Hello friends!

With summer now in full swing, I hope this finds you all enjoying life. Wayne and I have been spending lots of time with loved ones, and the recent celebration of our 6th wedding anniversary left me thinking how much I am looking forward to the years ahead, and how happy I am we’ve opted for a healthy lifestyle, based on the best-available evidence. Hot of the press, researchers of a study published in the New England Medical Journal of Medicine observed among U.S. adults consistent associations between increasing diet quality over 12 years and a reduced risk of death. Of three dietary patterns studied, common food groups contributing most positively were whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and fish or omega-3 fatty acids (think walnuts and soybeans).

With that, I am keeping this summer edition easy and breezy, so read on for some fun ways to include healthy food into your days ahead!

What’s the Scoop on Smoothies?

Would you agree that it’s pretty easy to make a smoothie for a snack or even a light meal? Here’s what you need to know:
* Blending vegetables into smoothies can maximize nutrient absorption.
* To feel more satiated, better to sip them slowly, over a half hour or so, rather than drinking them quickly.
* The more greens you can add to your smoothie the better (all-fruit smoothies are less satiating).
* Add ground flax seeds. One tablespoon of flax seeds was found to significantly suppress appetite and calorie intake. Flaxseeds can also help maximize the absorption of fat-soluble phytonutrients and possibly lead to a significant reduction in cholesterol.
* Avoid added sugar or juice.
* If your smoothie is acidic (for example contains citrus), drink through a straw or rinse your mouth with water after drinking and avoid teeth brushing for an hour after.

The Mayo Clinic’s Green Smoothie

This one was recommended by Michael Greger, MD and combines the healthiest of the fruits (berries) with the healthiest of vegetables (dark green leafies). We liked it!

Serves 4
* 1 banana
* 1/2 cup strawberries
* Juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
* 1/2 cup other berries such as blackberries or blueberries
* 2 ounces fresh raw baby spinach (about 2 cups)
* 1 tablespoon fresh mint or to taste
* 1 cup cold water or ice


Place all ingredients in a blender and puree. Enjoy!

If you want a tasty, healthy option for the BBQ, try these Field Roast brand FieldBurgers, “formed by hand in Seattle and built from barley, fresh carrots and celery”. I just tried them, and really enjoyed them, especially compared to other prepared/frozen veggie burgers. Click here for where to buy them.

For those of you in the London area, check out Vegstock, a 19+ vegan party featuring London and area’s best vegan beer, wine and food. Vendors announced so far are London Brewing Co-op, Anderson Craft Ales, Glassroots, The Boombox Bakeshop and Sweet Teeth Vegan. Tickets are limited…buy them here!

Mexican Kale Salad

Diana from Beantown Kitchen makes great, short vegan cooking videos that you can find here. Her kale salad video is here and the recipe is below. It’s the season!

Ingredients for the dressing

3 tablespoonslime juice
1 1/2 tablespoonsDijon mustard
1 tablespoonmaple syrup
2 garlic cloves minced
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 teaspooncumin

Other ingredients

8 cupschopped kale
1/4 cupchopped red onions
1 medium bell pepper diced
1 15 ouncecan black beans drained and rinsed
1avocado peeled, seeded and diced
3/4 cupfresh or frozen corn ( thawed)
2 tablespoonschopped cilantro

Instructions For the dressing

1. In a glass jar or medium bowl, shake or stir together the dressing ingredients.

For the rest of the salad
1. Place the kale in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the kale. Massage with your hands for 1-2 minutes until the kale begins to soften. Add the remaining salad ingredients and toss to combine.

Recipe Notes

This salad holds up well in the refrigerator for a day or two, if you don’t mind browned avocado.