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Protein

If you’ve ever followed a nutrition or fitness plan you have probably heard talk about the importance of protein and its ability to help build muscle. Protein serves many different functions in our body in addition to building and maintaining lean muscle mass. When protein is digested it’s broken down into amino acids which help balance hormones and form the building blocks of our brains neural network. Protein is a big part of what makes us feel full and satisfied at a meal.

People often ask how much protein they should consume in a day. The answer can depend on your weight, gender and fitness goals. However, the Recommended Daily Allowance for protein, set by medical professionals, is .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. A 150lbs person would need about 54 grams of protein per day.

A high protein diet is often recommended during a fat loss program because of its ability to digest slowly and satisfy hunger. The key to protein consumption is balance. It’s best to choose a wide variety of animal and plant based proteins while striving to have a combination of protein, whole grain carbohydrates and healthy fats at each meal and snack.

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Stove Top Oats

This classic food can take on a different form with each passing season. Spring and Summer often make me enjoy my oats chilled with a side of fruit, yogurt and my oat staple – almond butter.

1 cup water
3/4 cup Clearly Organic Almond Milk
1 cup Clearly Organic Old Fashioned Oats
1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Vanilla
10 blackberries
1/2 banana, sliced
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Chia Seeds
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Almond Butter
2 Tablespoons chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts)
2 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
Dash of cinnamon

Bring water, milk and vanilla to a boil in a small pot. Add oats and stir. Let simmer on medium low heat for 5-8 minutes stirring occasionally. Oat mix will thicken and absorb all the liquid. Let cool. Portion oats evenly into two bowls. Then also portion fruit, nuts, nut butter, yogurt and chia seeds evenly into the two bowls. Recipe serves 2.

 

Stove Top Oats

 

Stove Top Oats

 

Stove Top Oats

 

Stove Top Oats

 

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Citrus Asparagus Salad

This unique citrus salad is a perfect spring side dish. It highlights seasonal foods that blend beautifully to create a refreshing and nutritious salad.

1 lb thick asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced
Zest from one orange
1 orange, segmented
4 oz Romano cheese
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
3 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, chopped
1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Pepper

Place all ingredients in a medium size salad bowl and toss. Prepare salad 30 minutes before serving to allow time for flavors to blend.

 

Citrus Asparagus Salad

 

Citrus Asparagus Salad

 

Citrus Asparagus Salad

 

Citrus Asparagus Salad

 

Citrus Asparagus Salad

 

 

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Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil

Coconut has recently become the new trendy ingredient that’s popping up in all kinds of products. From food to water, skin care products and even straight coconut oil for use on your hair and lips. What’s behind the recent excitement over this long standing natural oil? A growing number of studies have shown that adding coconut oil to your diet can be a great way to improve your well-being, overall heath and appearance.

One of the central health benefits of coconut oil is its medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s), this substance helps to build and maintain muscle mass. Which in turn boosts your bodies energy expenditure and ability to burn calories. MCT’s have also been linked to improved brain function, memory and disease prevention. Next time you’re preparing vegetables for a stir fry, making popcorn or baking consider trying organic coconut oil for its health benefits and delicious flavor.

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Soft Cooked Eggs In Salsa

This recipe can be a delicious protein packed breakfast option or a hearty lunch choice. Soft cooked eggs go great over wilted greens and organic brown rice.

3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Olive Oil
3 or 4 eggs
1 jar Clearly Organic Black Bean Salsa
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Brown Rice, cooked
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook Clearly Organic Brown Rice according to package. While rice is cooking in a sauté pan (with a lid) over medium heat place chopped spinach and olive oil. Stirring occasionally cook until spinach starts to wilt. This will only take about 3-5 minutes. Remove spinach from pan and set aside in a bowl. Pour entire jar of Clearly Organic Black Bean Salsa into sauté pan. Notch out holes for the eggs and crack eggs into holes. Heat pan on medium high heat and cover with lid to let eggs cook. While eggs are cooking arrange wilted spinach and cooked brown rice in a bowl. Once eggs are soft cooked place them over the brown rice and spinach mix. Top with cheddar cheese. The egg and salsa combination goes great with a few organic blue corn
chips!

 

Soft Cooked Eggs In Salsa

 

Soft Cooked Eggs In Salsa

 

Soft Cooked Eggs In Salsa

 

Soft Cooked Eggs In Salsa

 

Soft Cooked Eggs In Salsa

 

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Veggie And Cheese Egg Bake

4 slices bacon
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 medium size red potatoes, chopped (in1/2 inch cubes)
8 Clearly Organic Eggs
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Milk
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Pepper
1/2 cup grated cheese

Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with Clearly Organic cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium skillet cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and lay on paper towel lined plate to absorb grease. Pour the extra bacon grease from the pan then return pan to the stove and add chopped onion and potatoes. Heat over medium heat with pan covered, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and cook onion and potatoes until they become tender, about 15 minutes. Once potatoes and onions have reached desired doneness remove from heat and add chopped spinach. Let spinach slightly wilt by stirring into mixture. While the veggies are cooking crack eggs into a mixing bowl and add milk. Beat with whisk to combine. Place cooked veggies in prepared baking dish. Crumble cooked bacon on top. Pour in egg mixture and add cheese. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the center of the dish is set. Let dish cool for 5 minutes then serve warm with a bed of greens.

 

Veggie And Cheese Egg Bake

 

Veggie And Cheese Egg Bake

 

Veggie And Cheese Egg Bake

 

Veggie And Cheese Egg Bake

 

Veggie And Cheese Egg Bake

 

Veggie And Cheese Egg Bake

 

 

 

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Flax Eggs

A flax egg was made popular by a desire for a vegan egg substitute in recipes. What is a flax egg you might be asking? It’s a natural completely vegan, gluten free, dairy free egg substitute made from 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons water. When these two ingredients are mixed together, then allowed to sit in the frig for 15 minutes, they gel to form an egg like consistency that is loaded with nutrients from the flax seeds.

However, much like eating a raw egg it’s not recommended to consume the flax egg mixture by itself. It’s not going to offer much flavor or enjoyment. The 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons water is equivalent to one egg. Double for a recipes that calls for 2 eggs. In general this ratio works best as an egg substitute in most baked goods particularly muffins, quick breads and pancakes. It also works well in veggie burger recipes.

You don’t have to be vegan to give flax eggs a try. Flax seeds are high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and they offer a plant based protein. It’s always beneficial to offer your body a wide range of natural seeds, nuts, produce and wholesome grains. That is why I find implementing flax eggs, or flaxseed meal into my nutrition plan as a healthy way to achieve balance, variety and moderation in my daily routine.

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Health Benefits Of Asparagus

This bright Spring vegetable is well known for its vast health benefits. It’s a great source of fiber, vitamin K, folate and iron. Asparagus is also very versatile in the ways it can be prepared. Not only is this super food good raw it can also be roasted, steamed, sautéed, pickled or baked. Since we are entering into asparagus season it’s the perfect time to add this unique vegetable to your next recipe.

One of the most beneficial aspects of asparagus is its natural folate content. Folate is one of the vital nutrients that helps ward off heart disease, cancer, depression and is a key component to healthy pregnancies. Consuming just one cup of asparagus provides half your recommended daily allowance of vitamin K. This vitamin helps calcium absorb and can promote bone health. The iron in asparagus also promotes bone and joint health. Therefore, next time you’re walking through the produce department consider adding a bundle or two of fresh asparagus to your cart!

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup Clearly Organic Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Honey
1/4 cup Clearly Organic Sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons Clearly Organic Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a standing mixer or mixing bowl combine peanut butter, honey and sugar. Beat in mixer or with a hand held mixer until evenly distributed. Beat in egg and vanilla. Then add salt, baking soda and flour. Mix until dough forms a ball. Shape dough into small balls, about 1 Tablespoon of dough. Place on baking sheet. Slightly press dough balls using your hand or a cup. Then press in a few dark chocolate chunks. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

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Mexican Lasagna

This recipe is gluten free plus full of protein and nutrients. It can easily be made in advance and it’s a freezer friendly food.

1 lb lean ground beef
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (16oz) can Clearly Organic Refried Beans
1 (8oz) can Clearly Organic Tomato sauce
1/2 cup Clearly Organic Salsa
1 (15oz) can Clearly Organic Black Beans, drained and rinsed
10 corn tortillas, cut into strips
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

Sauté onions and ground beef in 2 Tablespoons oil. Add spices to the meat and onion mix and stir occasionally while meat browns and onions sauté. Combine refried beans, sauce and salsa in a mixing bowl. Stir contents. Drain and rinse black beans. Set aside. Spray an 8×8 casserole dish with Clearly Organic cooking spray. Add a thin layer of the sauce mix to the bottom. Then place tortilla strips over the top to cover the space. Add half the beef mix and half the cheese.
Sprinkle half the black beans over the top. Repeat layers of tortillas, meat and beans. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

 

Mexican Lasagna

 

Mexican Lasagna

 

Mexican Lasagna

 

Mexican Lasagna

 

Mexican Lasagna

 

Mexican Lasagna

 

Mexican Lasagna

 

 

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