Healthy Lunch Series: Tip #1: Everything tastes better on a stick

As I mentioned last week in my post about the Lunchables, my kids are in summer camp which means that I have to pack a healthy lunch every day that is:

  • Nutritious
  • Peanut-free
  • Affordable
  • Quick
  • Something my kids will actually eat and enjoy


  • Provides my kids with the energy they need for an action-packed camp
  • Can sustain long periods without refrigeration
  • Doesn’t require a microwave


You know what a challenge this can be.

My kids quite enjoyed their Lunchable filled week, but I set out to improve the nutrition and quality of their lunches.

I talked with other moms and conducted some research on how to make a nutritious lunch that meets all of my above critieria. I have so many great tips to share that I’m going to make this topic a series, so look for daily tips and recipes over the ten days as I countdown my top ten healthy lunch tips. In the meantime, today’s post is focused on tip #1: Everything tastes better on a stick.

I love kabob’s. Place boring ham, cheese, fruit and veggies on a stick and instantly you transform a ho-hum lunch into something kids will actually eat.

Today I made fruit kabobs with watermelon, cantaloupe and grapes. I simply used a melon baller to scoop out watermelon and cantaloupe balls, then I alternated them on a wooden skewer. This simple technique makes eating fruit fun!

Skewer possibilities are endless. Try sandwich kabobs, which have bread chunks, cheese, cubes of turkey and cherry tomatoes. Another family favorite is chicken kabobs. I use leftover homemade chicken breast nuggets, cut into cubes, with mozzarella cheese, grapes and zucchini. For additional healthy lunch and snack ideas visit What is your favorite kabob recipe? Please share!

Convenience vs. Healthy Choice

I’ve been counting down the days for summer, because for the first time ever, my kids will be in day camp. I love spending time with my kids more than anything in the world, but after the past three summers of having them hang around the house, saying “I’m bored” approximately 3,000 times a day while I try to work,  it was time to make a change.

We went out last night to buy all of the supplies for camp: sunscreen, bug spray and lunch items. Sounds straightforward, right?

Not so much. My husband and I had a debate about convenience vs. healthy lunch in the meat aisle.

He grabbed ten packs of Lunchables, threw them in the cart and said, “Done.”

I said, “We cannot give them a Lunchable everyday.”

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because it is not healthy.”

He said, “It’s cheese, turkey and crackers. How bad can that be?”

“They are full of fat, sugar and salt. I research and write about how bad this crap is on my blog. If we buy these, I will not practice what I preach.”

If you don’t know how bad lunchables are, read Out to Lunch, which grades nine pre-packaged lunches. You may ask, “how can cheese, turkey and crackers be that bad for you.” Consider that Kraft adds starch to the cheese slices, hydrogenated oil and high-fructose corn syrup to the crackers and sodium nitrate to the turkey. This small meal, which would only fill up the tiniest of tummies, has 19 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat and 900 grams of sodium.

After I stood on my soap box and recited all of this to my husband, he came back at me with something that resonated louder than the shocking ingredients on the label, “You always say you are busy and don’t have time. Why are you making this hard on yourself?”

He had a point.

So in my moment of weakness under the glow of fluorescent lights in the grocery store aisle, I bought Lunchables, a bag of apples, yogurt and gasp….fruit roll-ups.

I caved.

When given the choice between convenience and the healthy option, I chose convenience. I don’t feel great about it, but it sure feels good having that extra thirty minutes in the morning to spend time with them instead of stressing myself out in the kitchen prepping lunches.

What would you do?

I’m going to find some easy, fast, healthy convenient lunches to pack for camp and I’ll share them with you on the blog. Please share ideas that you have! I’d love to hear your suggestions. In the meantime, my kids will enjoy their sugar and fat filled lunch.

Why should you pick-your-own?

This weekend I took my kids to Springs Farm to pick our own strawberries. This has been our tradition each spring since we’ve lived in Fort Mill. Why would we go out into the hot sun, spend hours plucking strawberries off of the vine, getting dirty in the process when we can go to the grocery store and easily pick up a pint?

Here are the top five benefits to picking your own produce:

  1. Instill Healthy Habits – Research show that when children are involved in food preparation, including growing, picking, preparing and cooking, they are more likely to eat healthier foods. A study published in ScienceDaily found that children who grew up eating fresh-from-the-garden produce were more likely to prefer the taste of fruits and vegetables.
  2. Burn Calories – The process of picking your own berries is great exercise! We spent an hour combing the fields finding the biggest, juiciest, brightest berries. We burned approximately 270 calories in the process, which earned us our bowl of strawberry ice cream made with the fresh berries! Check out this article on Livestrong about the calories burned through gardening.
  3. Science Lesson – Harvesting fruit teaches children that food doesn’t come from the grocery store, restaurant or fast food window. Picking your own produce sets the stage for having a conversation about how food grows and is a wonderful science lesson.
  4. Save Money – We paid only $9.00 for an entire gallon of pick-your-own strawberries. The same farm sold pre-picked berries for $15 and buying just a small container in the grocery store costs $4 for a small pint! By cutting out the middle man and going straight to the source, budget conscious families can save money.

  5. Memories
    – Spending quality time with your children, doing an activity you both love, will create loving, fond memories for years to come. Even if they complain about it or fight the entire time now (your kids are probably better behaved then mine. Mine decided to have a throw down in the middle of our beautiful day of picking strawberries. Check out the picture of my daughter hitting my son with the fruit basket. I took this picture so they can see how ridiculous they look when they fight) they will look back at these moments fondly……and the years pass too quickly.


There are so many ways to enjoy strawberries, including just straight from the vine, but I thought I would share a savory strawberry recipe with you today for Spinach Strawberry Salad. Spinach and strawberries go hand-in-hand. You’ll be surprised that kids actually like the mild taste of spinach and this antioxidant filled salad is a great way for kids to get their fruit, veggies and healthy fats all in one!


Strawberry Spinach Salad


  • 1 bag of baby spinach (10 oz)
  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. almonds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and onion. Cover, and chill for one hour.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds. Pour dressing over salad, and toss. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Black is the new brown

Black is the new brown. That is what I hear from all of the latest health research that shows that foods that are naturally black, dark blue and purple are full of antioxidants and are linked to a host of health benefits, from lowering cancer and heart disease risk to reducing inflammation.

Black rice, blackberries and black beans are just a few of these antioxidant rich foods that you can add to your diet.

Why are black foods so good for you? Because the same substance that gives these foods their dark hue, anthocyanins, also serves a critical role in preventing multiple health conditions.

The bran from black rice contains higher levels of vitamin E, which protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. Black rice is not commonly found, but you can find it in natural grocery stores, such as Earth Fare and Whole Foods.

Black beans contain bioflavonoids, which are potent in fighting cancer. They are also full of fiber, folate and iron.

Blackberries, which are coming into season right now, contain polyphenols which scrub cells that harm brain function. Blackberries are rich in vitamin C and manganese, which strengthens the immune system. Blackberries are also chockfull of fiber and low in calories. One cup of blackberries has only 75 calories, 1 gram of protein, 0 grams of fat and 7.6 grams of fiber!

This weekend I decided to make a big pancake breakfast with my kids at the cooking helm. We made whole wheat pancakes with blackberries and bananas. I made their initials with the pancake batter and even made a few butterflies, teddy bears and Mickey Mouse. We made them on Sunday before church and it took so long to make them that we were running late, so we threw them in a ziplock bag and ate them as a picnic brunch at Riverwalk. Nothing says summer picnic like blackberry pancakes, right?

Try out the recipe and let me know what you think:

Whole-Wheat Blackberry Pancakes

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 large egg whites
  • ½ cup Trader Joes strawberry keifer
  • 1 tbsp sugar or honey
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1 sliced banana


Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add wet ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix well with a spoon until there are no more dry spots.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Spray non-fat cooking spray to lightly coat. Make the pancakes into letter shapes (spell backwards so it comes out correctly,) animals or other fun shapes. Drop the blackberries and/or banana slices on the pancakes while they are setting up. When the bubbles settle and the edges begin to set, flip the pancakes.


Top 10 Sneaky Sugar Foods

It’s hard enough to limit sugar in sweet foods we eat, much less foods that shouldn’t have added sugar.

According to Dr. Donald D. Hensrud, an associate professor of Preventive Medicine and Nutrition at the Mayo Clinic, who was quoted in the ABC News article American Diet Too Sweet for the Heart’s Health, “Strictly from a health standpoint, sugar is a ‘triple threat’ – it provides extra calories, no nutrients, and it may displace other foods and nutrients in the diet that are more beneficial.”

The American Heart Association  recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance. For most American women, that is no more than 100 calories per day, which is 6 teaspoons of sugar. For men it’s 150 calories per day, or 9 teaspoons. With each teaspoon of sugar weight 3.94 grams, that adds up quickly.

Since I’ve been trying to limit added sugars I’ve been surprised at the amount of sugar in everyday products. I’ve learned a lesson that I need to read the labels and check out the ingredients list on everything! I’ve even noticed that added sugars vary by brand as well.

Another tip for limiting added sugars that may surprise you; stay away from light or low-fat versions of your favorite foods. When manufacturer’s take out the fat, they add in the sugar, usually making the “light” versions have more added sugar than the originals.

Want to know which one of your favorite foods “sneak” in sugar? I did some detective work in my pantry so you don’ have to and compiled this list of the top ten sneaky sugar foods.

1.     Salad Dressings

Salad dressing is an example of a product in which the light or low-fat versions have more sugar than the regular. For example, Kraft Buttermilk Ranch Dressing has 2 grams of carbohydrate per serving, while the fat-free version contains 11 grams. Typically we think of vinaigrette as a healthy salad dressing choice, but no so for Briannas’ Blush Wine Vinaigrette which has a whopping 14 grams of sugar for a measly two tablespoon server.

2.     Ketchup

I grew up on Heinz Ketchup and I won’t eat any other brand. Although I love ketchup, I’d rather go without than have Hunt’s or (shudder) store-brand ketchup. So imagine my disappointment when I read the label for my beloved Heinz Ketchup to find that it not only has 4 grams of sugar per each measly tablespoon, but it has high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup as the 3rd and 4th ingredients respectively.

3.     Yogurt

Flavored yogurts have added sugars, even the non-fat and “light” versions. Some brands of flavored yogurt can even have up to 35 grams per serving! Don’t let the “organic” label fool you either. Horizon Organic fat-free vanilla yogurt has 24 grams of sugar per 6-ounce container. Compare this to plain non-fat Greek yogurt, which has only 9 grams of naturally occurring sugar and no added sugars.

4.     Whole Wheat Bread

My favorite whole wheat bread, Arnold Healthfull™, whose tagline is “with protein & fiber to help satisfy your hunger”, has five different types of sugar and stevia (artificial sweetener.) At two grams of sugar per slice, it doesn’t sound like a lot, but this is bread that claims to be “heathfull” and it still contains sugar. At least the two grams in the “heathfull” slice is better than the whopping 10 grams of sugar found per Sara Lee plain bagels! The only bread that I’ve found that does not have sugar is the Ezekiel 3:19 brand of sprouted bread.

5.     Tomato Products

Sugar is added to tomato based products to improve their flavor if they are picked before they ripen and to give the optimal sugar-acid balance. Tomatoes have 5 grams of sugar naturally, so if the product contains anything over that, it is most likely added sugar. Unfortunately I found that my favorite spaghetti sauce, Hunt’s, has sugar. Bummer.

6. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a great example of a product in which the sugar content varies by brand. Skippy “Natural” peanut butter (I don’t know what is natural about this product since it contains sugar) misleads consumers in thinking their product is free of additives, however it contains 3 grams of sugar. Choose the Smuckers natural peanut butter instead, it only has two ingredients: peanuts and salt. Even better, grind your own peanut butter at your local health food grocery store, such as Earth Fare, Whole Foods or Fresh Market.

7.     Cereal

Kellogg’s Smart Start “Original Antioxidants” cereal used to be my cereal of choice. From the outside this cereal appears to be healthy. Their box claims “Good source of fiber“and “Made with Whole Grain.” A large banner across the front of the box touts “Strong Heart” and their website proclaims that “little things add up to positive changes when it comes to your heart.” However, I don’t think your heart would appreciate the whopping 14 grams of sugar per cup. Your heart also doesn’t benefit from the 14 various forms of sugar that are mentioned in the ingredient list. The added sugar makes this cereal not such as smart way to start your day.

8.     Granola and Granola Bars

There seems to be a misconception that granola is healthy. Some even use the term “granola” to describe someone who eats naturally and heathfully, but most granolas are anything but healthy. Take for example the popular Quaker Natural Granola Oats Honey and Raisins. This innocent sounding granola has 30 grams of sugar per cup! That’s 7 ½ teaspoons of added sugar. I’d rather have ice cream.

Many granola bars are also full of sugar. I picked up a Nature Valley Chewy Granola bar for my kids as a quick breakfast and I found nine different types of sugar in this small bar! Wow, I could have just given my kids a candy bar and sent them out the door.

9.     Canned Vegetables

Every Thanksgiving, and lately Christmas too, I make my Grandma’s famous sweet potato casserole. I know that’s not exactly a health food, but I figured that between the sweet potatoes and pecans, I was getting some health benefit from this dish. Well, I had been using canned sweet potatoes, which I didn’t realize were “in light syrup” on the can. One 2/3 cup serving has 17 grams of sugar and it has both corn syrup and sugar in the small ingredient list. Next year I will bake and mash fresh sweet potatoes and kick the can to the curb.

10.  Sauces and marinades

I was shocked when I read the label of my favorite barbecue sauce, Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue. I slather this delicious sauce on everything from chicken to baked beans to meatloaf. Call me naïve, but I always assumed that it just had a bit of honey in it, but when I read the label I discovered that the number one ingredient was high fructose corn syrup. Number 1! But wait, it gets better; Sweet Baby Ray must have decided that it wasn’t sweet enough, so it also has honey, pineapple juice concentrate, molasses and sugar. That is five different types of sugar. I would love to see the breakdown of how much of this product is just sugar, compared to the other ingredients. 2 tablespoons (which I’m sure I consume a lot more than that) has 15 grams of sugar. That definitely will make me think twice before taking a dip with this sauce.

After doing this research, I’m going to try to limit the added sugars that my family consumes from these seemingly innocent products. If I’m going to have sugar, I want ice cream, not barbeque sauce. Were you surprised by any of the items on this list? Do you watch your sugar? Would love to hear from you!

Digging for Ways to Teach My Kids About Nutrition

Researchers with Saint Louis University found that children who were served fruits and vegetables from a homegrown garden were more than twice as likely to eat the required five servings a day as those who rarely or never ate homegrown produce. In addition, children who grow up eating fresh-from-the-garden produce are more likely to enjoy the taste of fruits and vegetables over other foods, see their parents eating fruits and vegetables and eat a greater variety of produce.  Read my full blog post for Working Mother magazine, Digging for ways to teach my kids about nutrition for more info.

I’d love to hear what you think!



Exhausted? Eat this to get your energy back.

I was completely shocked when I read that America’s top weight loss coach, best-selling author and nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition and health – Dr. Jonny Bowden said that sardines are “health food in a can.” I was even more shocked to learn that sardines can not only help with overwhelming fatigue, but they can improve my mood, memory and metabolism. 

Sardines are full of healthy omega-3 fats. While we typically think of fat as “bad,” Omega-3 fats are definitely the exception. Why? Consider that a mere ½ gram of omega-3 fats a day can significantly decrease cardiovascular risk. Omega-3s can also reduce the risk of stroke and reduce the symptoms of depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), joint pain and rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3s have even been linked to protection against Alzheimer’s

We’ve all heard that we should eat more salmon to increase our intake of omega-3 fatty acid, but sardines are an equally good choice. Sardines are also convenient, since they can be eaten straight from the can, no preparation needed.

Speaking of the can, make sure that you get sardines packed in their own oil or olive oil, but do not buy the kind packed in vegetable oil. The vegetable oil simply loads them up with omega-6 fats, which are not good for you at all.

 Omega-3 fats aren’t all you will get from those little fish. Sardines are also loaded with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese. One can of sardines also provides over 150 percent of your Daily Value of vitamin B12. Sardines are also a great choice for pregnant women because they are low in mercury, unlike tuna. 

I headed to Trader Joes to pick up my dreaded can of sardines. I trust Trader Joes and figured if I had to try those little suckers, I’ll buy it from my go-to health food store. 

I have a confession though – I let that little can of sardines sit in my pantry for three full months before I built up the courage to try them. I was dreading the day I would have to try them. I even considered blogging about the health benefits without trying them, but quickly snapped back to my senses. My commitment to you is that I will try every one of the top 150 foods on earth, even as horrible as they may sound. I survived bee pollen. I actually enjoyed kale. I could survive sardines. 

I found a sardine recipe in the December 2010 edition of Whole Living magazine and decided that it was time….

The article stated that this dish, Spinach Pesto with Sardines, was essential to try if you are “feeling fatigued and spreading yourself too thin.” Bingo! I was definitely feeling run down, tired and overwhelmed – maybe this would help. 

I prepared the recipe (below) and gingerly placed two sardines on top of the pesto covered Naan bread. I closed my eyes so I wouldn’t have to look at those little fish bodies and I bravely took a bite. The spinach pesto was delicious and the sardines were innocuous. Their flavor was milder than tuna and the texture was firm, neither crunchy nor mushy. If I could just get over their appearance, I’d be willing to add these babies to my regular rotation, but I have a difficult time ignoring their headless shining bodies. 

Give this recipe for Sardine topped Spinach Pesto a try and let me know what you think. The recipe suggested serving on rustic bread, but I found the Indian Naan bread at Trader Joes to be absolutely delicious! 

Spinach Pesto with Sardines 


  • 1 lb. baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 can sardines
  • 1 package Trader Joes Naan Bread


Sautee spinach with garlic and red pepper flakes until wilted. Transfer to food processor and add pine nuts and Parmesan. Pulse until finely ground. With the machine running, add the olive oil and season with salt. Meanwhile, toast the Naan bread. Spread the Naan bread with the spinach pesto and top with two sardines.

Chunky Caramel-Apple Pumpkin Spice Dip and the Health Benefits of Cloves

This is for all of my friends who asked for this Chunky Caramel-Apple Pumpkin Spice Dip recipe after I posted on Facebook last night. I made one mistake on my Facebook post though – this dip doesn’t have 80 calories a serving, it only has 52 calories a serving! This pumpkin apple spice dip is the BEST dip I’ve ever made. It’s so good that it doesn’t even need to be eaten as a dip, you can just eat it by the spoonful, which I have to admit, I did.

We had friends over last night while we watched the Steelers playoff game and I made this amazing dip as an appetizer. I liked it so much, that when my husband brought out the Apple Brown Betty pie that he bought from Fresh Market, I opted for a spoonful of this dip instead.

Did I mention that not only does this dip taste amazing, but it is chockfull of good-for-you ingredients, including apples, pumpkin, cinnamon and cloves? All for only has 52 calories a serving. I have to give Hungry Girl credit for this amazing recipe. If you haven’t heard of Hungry Girl, go to and sign up for her newsletter – she has the most amazing healthy versions of typically calorie-laden foods.

I want to share the recipe with you, but first I wanted to talk a little about the health benefits of cloves. Cloves made the top 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth list for their medicinal properties. Cloves are the unopened pink flower buds of the evergreen clove tree. They resemble little nails and their name is actually derived from the Latin word clavus, which means nail. Cloves have been consumed in Asia for more than 2,000 years. Back in 200 BC Chinese men would keep cloves in their mouths to keep their breath fresh when courting women. In Asian medicine cloves are thought to be among the spices that promote energy circulation and increase in metabolic rate.

Cloves are best known for their antiseptic and anesthetic properties. The next time you have a toothache try putting a little dab of clove oil on your gums. The pain dissipates almost immediately and clove oil works better than any over-the-counter product I’ve found. You will also notice clove oil in some over-the-counter sore throat sprays and mouth washes.

Cloves contain significant amounts of an active component called eugenol, which is known to help kill bacteria and viruses. Eugenol is also an anti-inflammatory and contains a variety of flavonoids, kaempferol and rhamnetin, which also contribute to cloves’ anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Cloves are also an excellent source of manganese, fiber, vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids.

So when you eat this dip you’ll know that you are not only getting the amazing antioxidant power of apples, the potassium and fiber punch from pumpkin, blood sugar stabilizing cinnamon, but also the metabolic boost of cloves. All of that in a Super bowl party snack? Try out this recipe and please post back on this blog and let me know what you think. I can’t wait to hear if you love it as much as I do!

Chunky Caramel-Apple Pumpkin Spice Dip (recipe from Hungry Girl 200 under 200 cookbook)


  • One 8-ounce container fat-free cool whip
  • One 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 small box sugar-free fat-free instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups chopped apples
  • 1 tablespoon Splenda
  • 2 teaspoons fat-free caramel dip
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves


  1. Place apples in bowl with ¼ cup water. Microwave for 2 minutes. When cool enough to handle, drain water.
  2. Place ½ cup cold water in small saucepan. Add Splenda, cornstarch, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and mix thoroughly.
  3. Bring saucepan to medium-high heat, and then add caramel dip. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick, hot and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Then add apples and stir until mixed. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, mix cinnamon and cloves and remaining vanilla extract into the fat-free cool whip.
  5. In a large bowl, combine sugar-free, fat-free vanilla pudding with the pumpkin and stir well. Fold in the cool whip until completely blended. Refrigerate.
  6. Once the caramel apples are cold, stir them into the pumpkin mixture.
  7. Serve with sliced apples or cinnamon rice cakes.

Southern New Year's: Collard Greens & Black Eyed Peas

New Year’s Day in the south isn’t complete without black-eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread. We have a tradition in our family to eat black eyed peas to bring luck in the new year and collard greens to bring money. I typically am not a fan of this cruciferous vegetable, but I eat it at least once a year.

We had a New Year’s Day celebration, combining the best of the northern and southern traditions, with a menu of kielbasa, sauerkraut, pork chops, collard greens, black eyed peas and corn bread.

Collard greens are pure “soul food” and have been a staple of Southern cooking for years. Collards are a cross between cabbage and kale and are loaded with valuable cancer-fighting phyotochemicals.

Just like spinach, collards are loaded with calcium. One cup of collards provides as much calcium as in 8 ounces of milk and a whopping 5 grams of fiber. This nutritional powerhouse is also loaded with magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C, A and K. You can get all of these vitamins, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are key nutrients for eye health, for a measly 49 calories per cup. Talk about getting the most bang for your buck! Speaking of buck, collard greens are also very inexpensive, especially when purchased fresh. Just make sure you clean them thoroughly before cooking.

I wish I had a great recipe I could share for collard greens, but sadly we just make them the easy way: from the can. It provides just as many key nutrients, but without the fuss. I wish you a very Happy New Year! May 2011 bring you luck, love and all of your heart’s desires.

I can’t believe that I started the 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth blog one year ago today. I’m looking forward to sharing more healthy foods, recipes and tips in 2011. I hope you stay with me in my journey to healthier eating in 2011. I’d love to hear from you. What would you like to see on this blog in 2011? Anything you want me to start doing? Stop doing? Continue doing? I’d love to hear your feedback.

Thyme of my life (Dirty Bit)


A classic song from my favorite 80s movie, Dirty Dancing (No one puts baby in a corner.) 

An AWESOME new song by the Black Eyed Peas from their new album, “The Beginning,” just released yesterday. 

Hit number from last night’s episode of Glee (if you missed it, go to itunes to check it out.) 

And on the dinner table on Thanksgiving, in the thyme and sage stuffing. 

Time is everywhere lately, yet I still don’t seem to ever have enough of it. 

Give yourself some more time in your life by adding thyme to your diet. Thyme has a long history in healing a wide variety of ailments. According to the natural health and diet site, thyme is a powerful antioxidant and can improve the life and longevity of human cells, and therefore prolong the life of the body. 

Thyme can aid digestion and even help relieve chest and respiratory problems, such as coughs and bronchitis. The essential oil from thyme is also used for aromatherapy and can help relieve exhaustion, depression and upper respiratory tract infections. 

Thyme is also a powerful antiseptic and is used in everything from toothpaste to deodorant to even surgical dressings. 

This herb works really well in any kind of slow cooked-dish. According to the Old Home Remedies website, you can also make your own homemade cough syrup with thyme. Try out this old home remedy below and let me know if it works for you. 

Homemade Thyme Cough Syrup

Pour 2 cups boiling water over 2 tablespoons of dried thyme. Cool to room temperature. Strain and add 1 cup of honey. Shake to mix well. Keep refrigerated. Take 1 tablespoon several times a day for sore throats, colds, and coughing.