Fruit

Watermelon Fruit Pizza

Updated: 8/2/18 A little sweet, a little tart, and definitely a cool and healthy treat!

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Watermelon Fruit Pizza

Servings:
2 Fruits
1 Dairy

Ingredients:
1 cup Watermelon, wedges
1 serving Plain, Non-Fat Yogurt
1/3 cup Blueberries (Can use Blackberries instead if desired)
1/4 cup Strawberries, sliced
Fresh Mint Leaves

Preparation:
Cut watermelon into wedges.  Top each wedge with plain, non-fat yogurt, strawberries, and blueberries.  Garnish each wedge with mint leaves.  Enjoy this healthy dessert!

Fruit and Vegetable Water Infusions

Infused water is an excellent way to add flavor to water while staying hydrated and getting your recommended water intake each day. Try mixing a variety of different fruit, vegetable, and herb combinations to get a drink with delicious flavor and color, without added calories and sugar.

Suggested Ingredients: Cantaloupe, diced or balled Muskmelon, diced or balled Cherries, pitted and halved Pineapple, cut into chunks Watermelon, diced or balled Strawberries, sliced Orange, slices Lemon, wedges Lime, wedges Cucumber, sliced Celery Fresh Mint Leaves, chopped Basil, chopped Water Ice

Clean all ingredients. Place serving of fruit, vegetable or herb into a pitcher. You can pre-freeze the prepared fruit before placing into the water if desired.

If fruit is consumed, this counts as a serving of fruit on your Meal Plan.

Benefits of Cherries

Cherries may be a favorite when snacking on fruit, but there's more benefits to this fruit than just a sweet flavor!

4 Benefits of Cherries:

1. Cherries are high in antioxidants, contributing to decreased inflammation, and reduced risk of cancer and heart disease.  Sweet cherries are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C, anthocyanins and quercetin.  Fiber, Vitamin C, carotenoids and anthocyanins act as an anti-cancer team.  Cyanidin and quercetin help by reducing free radicals.

2.  Cherries are mostly water! Made up of an average of 80% water, snacking on this fruit will help you stay hydrated.  The water and fiber content in this fruit will also help you feel full, without all the extra calories.

3. They can help relieve pain from arthritis and gout.  Some research indicates that cherries can help reduce the symptoms from gout by lowering uric acid levels and reducing C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation.

4.  This naturally sweet fruit is an easy, healthy dessert for Spring picnics.  Just throw in a bag and serve!

Try a Cherry Recipe!

Twice Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato

Servings: 1 Fruit 1 Starch

Ingredients: 1/2 medium Sweet Potato 5 medium, fresh Cherries, pitted 1/2 small Orange, peeled and sliced

Preparation: Bake sweet potato until tender.  Cool slightly and scoop pulp from sweet potato halve so it can be filled.  In a food processor, process cherries and orange slices until chunky mixture is achieved.  Mix sweet potato pulp with fruit mixture until well combined.  Scoop mixture into potato shell.  Bake at 350F oven until heated through.

Cherry Chocolate Crunch

Servings: 1 Fruit 1 Starch 1 Supplement

Ingredients: 1 Chocolate Pudding Shake Supplement, prepared as pudding 1 serving Cherries, pitted 1 serving Rice Cakes, crushed

Preparation: Mix all ingredients together well.  Chill for 2 hours and serve.

9 Reasons to Eat Green

Updated: 4/19/18 There are so many tasty ways to incorporate more green foods into your meals.  What is your favorite green food?

As you celebrate St. Patrick's Day this weekend, try adding some 'green' into your diet! 

Did you know that most green foods consist of an array of fruits and vegetables?  They contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant nutrients such as: fiber, lutein, chlorophyll, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C and beta-carotene (vitamin A).

These nutrients can help with the following:

1. Reduce the risk of cancer. 2. Lower blood pressure. 3. Reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. 4. Keep you regular with normal digestive processes and bowel movements. 5. Support retinal health and vision. 6. Fight harmful free radicals in the body. 7. Boost the immune system. 8. Aid in weight loss and weight management goals. 9. Keep you generally m

Try adding some of these green fruits and vegetables to your meals such as:

Apples Asparagus Broccoli Brussels Sprouts Celery Cucumber Grapes Greens such as Chard, Collards, Kale, Mustard or Turnip Green Peppers Lettuce Spinach String Beans Zucchini

Original Article Here: http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/2011/03/17/beyond-green-beer-13-recipes-to-eat-your-greens-for-st-patricks-day-and-beyond/

The Positive Impact of Gardening with Children

Updated: 5/22/18 Gardening provides a great opportunity for kids to play and grow, and can be a powerful tool in teaching children about nutrition.  With a little effort, you can create your very own garden at home!  The benefits of gardening are endless for kids, and encouraging healthy eating at home sets children up for a healthy future.  

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Benefits of Gardening with Kids:

1. Gardening is a great learning experience for children.  Creating and maintaining a garden teaches kids about plant science, weather and nature.

2.  It encourages healthy eating by showing kids how fresh food is grown and then prepared into meals.  Children become invested in food that they garden themselves and have a sense of pride in the foods they have created, making them more likely to eat these healthy options.

3.  It teaches responsibility and the importance of caring for the environment.   It also teaches skills such as patience, planning and organizing.

4.  Gardening promotes physical activity.  Without realizing they are "exercising", kids are able to get physical activity by being outdoors weeding, planting and watering.

5.  It's fun!  Kids love digging in soil and getting dirty.  Gardening is also a great activity to spend time as a family.

Tips for Gardening with Kids:

1. Keep it simple!  Try planting a small bed of soil, or grow fruits and vegetables in an existing landscape in your yard.  If you don't have a lot of space or available land for growing, use small pots with soil for cherry tomatoes or fresh herbs. Use a trellis to grow vegetables like peas and beans.

2.  Use lightweight, easy, and small garden tools and equipment to keep children safe.

3.  Make a scarecrow.  Work with your children to create a fun, and creative version of a scarecrow for the garden.

4.  Select fast growing vegetables and brightly colored flowers to keep the attention of children.

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Does your school or neighborhood may have a community garden?

Creating Healthy Eating Environments for Children

Updated: 8/2/18 The food and behavior choices of children are shaped by the eating environments that surround them, access to healthy and fresh food, and product marketing.  Creating a healthy eating environment for children helps prevent childhood obesity and can leave a lasting positive impact into adulthood.

Here are some ways to promote a healthy eating environment for your kids:applebanana

1. Keep a variety of fresh fruits within reach of your children - this will encourage them to grab a healthy snack.

2. Inform children about nutrition and why it's important to eat healthy foods.  Discuss the different food groups and what foods fit into each group.

3. Provide healthy beverages, such as water and fruit juice.  Limit foods and drinks that contain added sugar.

4. If available, create a garden at home and grow fresh fruits and vegetables.  Involving kids in gardening fresh vegetables will encourage them to eat them.

5. Cook meals at home where you have control over ingredients and portion sizes.  Prepare plates in the kitchen before serving a meal and sit down to eat a family meal together when possible.

7. Pack lunches with your kids - if they are invested in what they will be eating, they are more likely to enjoy the food and not throw healthy items away.

Each of our clinic’s 30 free Pro-Teen programs – which include all medical set-up, lab work, 10-weeks of weight loss services and all nutritional supplements, and are valued more than $500 each – will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis from Sept. 1 to 30, 2016, using an online entry system at www.mwlcgiveaway.com.  Applicants must complete a short entry form and describe in 100 words or less why they are interested in MWLC’s Pro-Teen weight-loss services.

Apples: The Back to School Fruit

As the Fall season approaches, and kids head back to school, it's time to stock up on apples!  Apples provide several health benefits and are a great addition when packing your child's lunch. Apples

3 Health Benefits of Apples:

1. Apples have high fiber content.  A medium apple contains about 4 grams of fiber, helping you feel full, promoting intestinal regularity, and helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

2. Apples are rich in Vitamin C, an essential vitamin that helps the body create and maintain connective tissue.

3. Apples are high in antioxidants, contributing to decreased inflammation and reduced risk of cancer.  Apples contain a significant amount of an antioxidant called quercetin, which helps promote healthy lung function.

5 Ways to Incorporate Apples into Healthy School Lunches:

1. Make an "apple sandwich" by using apple slices as "bread" and filling the middle of two slices with peanut butter.  Try adding raisins.

ApplePeanutButterSandwich

2. Add diced apples to tuna salad and wrap tuna mixture in a whole wheat pita to add some crunch to your child's sandwich.

3. Use a vegetable spiralizer to make apple "pasta" noodles.  Kids can turn the spiralizer handle and watch their fruit turn into pasta.  Use as a base for a fruit salad, or place spiralized apple into a container to be eaten like "noodles".

4. Kids love to dip!  Slice apples into thin "sticks" that can be used for dipping.  Pack peanut butter or yogurt to dip the apple sticks.

5. If simply adding apple slices to your child's lunchbox, cut up the apple, then reassemble it with a rubber band around it - to keep the apple slices from browning and fresh until lunchtime.

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC442131/

Benefits of Spiralizing

Updated:  8/15/18 What is “Spiralizing”?

Spiralizing is a preparation technique used in cooking, that involves converting fruits and vegetables into noodles and chips.

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Why Spiralize?

1. Spiralizing your fruits and vegetables contributes to weight loss and a healthier diet.

Spiralized vegetables can be a great substitute for pasta noodles and rice.  With spiralized vegetable noodles, you can eat more and weigh less!  The high fiber and water content in the spiralized vegetables helps you feel fuller longer.  Simply substituting pasta noodles with spiralized vegetables will give you a healthier meal.

2. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that can be spiralized.

Spiralizing fruits and vegetables can create beautiful and delicious dishes, and add a new variety to your meals. Vegetables on your meal plan that can be spiralized include Summer Squash, Broccoli, Zucchini, Cabbage, Onion, Cucumber, Radish, Apple, Eggplant, and Peppers. 

3. Spiralizing is quick and easy.

Spiralizing fruits and vegetables takes minutes and adds a creative twist to a meal.  Check out the MWLC Recipes page for healthy and delicious spiralizer recipes!

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Tips for Spiralizing:

  1.  Spiralizing will be most effective when the vegetable or fruit is placed straight.
  2.  Fruits and veggies should be at least 1.5-in. in diameter for best results.
  3.  Remove the core from Apples before spiralizing to avoid seeds.

 

How do you cook spiralized vegetables?

Spiralized veggies are quick to cook, but there are a few tips you’ll want to employ for best results.

First, make sure you pat wetter noodles dry before cooking them — zucchini (which is 90% water) and squash are great examples. You’ll want to remove most of this water before cooking, so you don’t simply steam the noodles. All veggie noodles can be boiled, but the cooking time depends on the vegetable. Softer veggies such as zucchini only take 1–2 minutes, whereas sweet potatoes might take 4–5 minutes. For some “noodles,” you may not even choose to cook your veggies — carrots, as an example. Raw vegetables have a lovely texture and exceptional nutrition.

 

5 Flavored Ice Cube Recipes

If you're looking to add some variety to your water, try these flavorful ice cubes!

BerryIceCubes

BerryIceCubes

1. Add a few berries – blackberries, blueberries, raspberries – to each cube in an ice cube tray, add water, and freeze.  This is a delicious addition to throw in your water bottle.

2. Fill an ice cube tray with fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice and freeze. Enjoy the tangy flavor as the ice melts!

3. Slice your favorite citrus fruits – oranges, lemons, limes – and add 1 slice to each cube in an ice cube tray. Add water to the tray and freeze.

4. Make “watermelon ice cubes” by slicing watermelon into small cubes or using a melon baller. Add 1 cube/ball to each cube in an ice cube tray and freeze.

5. Chop fresh mint leaves, add a few leaves to each cube in an ice cube tray, add water and freeze.

All About Pineapple

Updated: 1/31/19

If you're looking for a delicious treat for Summertime, grab a Pineapple!  Rough on the outside, and sweet on the inside, Pineapple is one deliciously powerful fruit.

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3 Health Benefits of Pineapple:

1. Pineapples contain a large amount of Vitamin C, an essential vitamin that helps the body create and maintain connective tissue.

2. Pineapples are mostly water! Made up of over 80% water, munching on this fruit will help keep you properly hydrated during the Summer months. The water and fiber content in this fruit will also help you feel full and promote intestinal regularity.

3. Pineapple contains a significant amount of Bromelain, an enzyme that aids in digestion by breaking down protein. Studies on Bromelain have found that it is associated with several health benefits, including cancer prevention and improved immune function.

Quick Tips for Using Pineapple in Cooking:

1. Make a fresh salsa using your favorite spicy peppers and pineapple.

2. Add pineapple to kebabs made on the grill. Try grilling pineapple and watermelon on a skewer together, or adding pineapple to a skewer with chicken or shrimp.

3. Add fresh pineapple chunks to your favorite salad.

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Try a Pineapple Recipe!

Pineapple Coconut Cooler

Servings:
1 Fruit
1 Supplement

Suitable for Fast Track Patients

Ingredients:
1 Vanilla Pudding Shake Supplement
6 oz. of Cold Water
1 serving Fresh Pineapple
1/4 tsp. Coconut Extract
Add Ice

Preparation:
Mix supplement and water. Add pineapple and mix well. Add coconut extract. Pour into a tall glass and serve. Garnish with a pineapple chunk.

Pineapple-Jalapeno Salsa

Servings:
1.5 Fruits
1 Vegetable

Ingredients:
1 1/2 servings Fresh Pineapple
1/2 serving Jalapeno Pepper
1/2 serving Red Onion
1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. Garlic, minced
1/2 serving Stevia
1/2 tsp. Fresh Lime Juice
Pepper to taste

Preparation:
Dice/cube pineapple, seed and chop peppers, chop onion. Combine pineapple, peppers, onion, cilantro, and garlic in a bowl. Add Stevia, lime juice and pepper to taste. Serve chilled.

Benefits of Watermelon

Watermelon may be a favorite Summer snack, but there's more benefits to this fruit than just a sweet flavor! Benefits of Watermelon

1. Watermelons are mostly water! Made up of over 90% water, snacking on this fruit will help you stay hydrated during the Summer heat.  The water and fiber content in this fruit will also help you feel full, without all the extra calories (one cup of watermelon contains only 46 calories!)

2. This naturally sweet fruit is an easy, healthy dessert for Summer picnics. Just slice and serve!  (Fun tip:  Use cookie cutters to cut watermelon into shapes for kids!)

3. Watermelons are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It’s a great source of Vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as potassium!

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Try a Watermelon Recipe!

Watermelon Popsicles

Servings: 2 Fruits

Ingredients: 1 serving Watermelon, seedless, chopped finely 1 serving Strawberries, chopped Fresh Lemon Juice

Preparation: In a blender, mix seedless watermelon, strawberries and fresh lemon juice.  Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until firm.  Enjoy!

Grilled Watermelon and Pineapple Skewers

Servings: 2 Fruits

Ingredients: 1 serving Pineapple, cubed 1 serving Watermelon, cubed

Preparation: Alternate pineapple and watermelon cubes (3 of each) on skewers.  Grill all sides for about 30 seconds.