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Megan Myers

The holidays are a time of indulging and, yes, often overindulging!

When you’re among friends and family, and so much delicious food, it can be hard to say no to another scoop of mashed potatoes or a late-night snack of leftover pie.

Luckily, there’s a nice break between Thanksgiving and Hanukkah and Christmas to help you slow down from heavy foods and get some of the delicious seasonal greens and other produce on the menu.

Start Fresh

Get the day going on the right foot by filling your breakfast full of fresh produce. Our Double Greens Smoothie, filled with spinach and kale, is the perfect option. Or try these others:


Sunny Citrus Smoothie


Mango-Mint Green Smoothie

Lighten Up Lunch

The midday meal is an ideal time to relax and eat a filling meal. Round out any dish with a big salad of fresh greens and your favorite dressing (like our No-Oil Balsamic Dressing).

Try:


Lentil and Quinoa Salad with Cashews


Kale, Carrot and Avocado Salad

Snack Smart

OK, so you might not feel like reaching for the carrot and celery sticks. You can still eat healthfully while calming your snack attack. Try our Pumpkin Pecan Cookies if you’ve got a cookie craving, or try these snacks:


Hempseed Apricot Chews


Banana-Cocoa Snack Cake

Simple Suppers

Flavorful, healthy dinners don’t have to take a lot of time. Using fragrant herbs and spices, you can transform a variety of ingredients and not need to add heavy fats, cream, or less-nutrient-dense foods.


Lemongrass Steamed Barramundi


Tempeh Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans

Sweet Endings

Keep dessert simple and feature seasonal fruits for a lightly sweet ending to the day, or get a light hit of chocolate with our dairy-free Chocolate Mousse.


Raw Apple Crisp


Cinnamon Roasted Pineapple with Macadamia Nut Cream

What foods do you like to make in between the holidays?

winnie.hsia@gmail.com
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Probiotics are products containing the "friendly" bacteria that normally inhabit the human intestinal tract, where these beneficial microbes help complete the digestive process. Some of these microbes actually produce vitamins, and evidence suggests that without them, the immune system doesn't function optimally, compromising resistance to infection. The latest word on probiotics is that they may also help lower blood pressure. A new analysis of nine earlier randomized controlled trials found that regularly taking probiotics led to reductions in systolic blood pressure (the top number) by an average of 3.56 millimeters of mercury and diastolic pressure by 2.38. While these changes aren’t dramatic, the Australian research team that conducted the review concluded that bigger reductions may occur in people who already have high blood pressure (some of the study participants had normal blood pressure to begin with) Greater benefits might also be possible using probiotics that provide larger quantities of helpful bacteria or multiple species, or when people take probiotics for more than two months, as was the case in the studies reviewed. Positive effects from probiotics on diastolic blood pressure were greatest in people whose blood pressure was equal to or greater than 130/85, which is considered elevated. The probiotics used in the studies were primarily strains of Lactobacillus in dairy products. The study authors concluded that more research is needed before doctors can confidently recommend probiotics for control and prevention of high blood pressure.

Sources:
Jing Sun et al, “Effect of Probiotics on Blood Pressure - A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials,” Hypertension, doi: 10.1161/ HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.03469

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