Avocado Toast with a Twist

Avocado toast is a currently popular, healthy, lectin-free alternative to peanut butter or jam, or PB&J.  Breakfast, lunch, or an anytime snack are great reasons to give avocado toast a try.

Add Pesto for a Twist

I love avocado toast, especially with my signature twist of homemade, also incredibly healthy, pesto.

Featuring fresh basil and garlic from my backyard garden, my version of pesto can be quickly whipped up by adding parmesan, almonds, and just enough virgin olive oil (for the healthiest version) to create a paste. I use my Pampered Chef blender, love how well it works for this recipe.

Sorry, I never measure the ingredients when I blend a batch of pesto.  Or many other things for that matter.  You could Google a proper recipe for a guideline though.  Although traditional pesto recipes call for pine nuts, I prefer to use always-available-in-my-pantry almonds instead.  Remember, almonds contain healthy fatty acids.

I scrape a batch of pesto into an icecube tray, then freeze.  A few hours later, pop the cubes into a sealable container and store them in your freezer. 

Avocado toast
Cube of pesto

Uses for Pesto

My pesto cubes get added to soups, pasta, sauces, and more.  Just today I had pesto avocado toast with a few pieces of bacon left over from yesterday’s breakfast. 

Avocado toast
Crispy bacon

Pesto also makes a healthier substitute for mayo in a toasted tomato sandwich or a BLT.  I haven’t tried this yet, but can you imagine a macaroni or potato salad with pesto instead of mayo?

Use your imagination! The possibilities are endless. Let me know your favourites.

A smoothie a day keeps me healthy

I have modified the ingredients of my daily smoothie to include turmeric, celery, cucumbers, broccoli slaw, collagen powder, ginger, avocado, lemon juice (fresh) blueberries, hemp hearts and green tea. Same principle though, makes a great hydrating, nutritious, pre-garden drink. Twenty-five years later, with five grandkids to keep up with, I still make one (almost) every day!  The following is reposted from my own blog; one of my earliest posts back in 2012…

Avocado Keeps the Doctor away

avocado

Move over apples, the new health axiom is “an avocado a day keeps the doctor away.”

avocado
pictures courtesy of Pexels

How an Avocado is Good for You

Even though a medium-sized avocado adds around 250 calories to your daily intake and 24 grams of fat, the fat is predominantly the “good for your heart” monounsaturated variety.  Avocados also lower our “bad cholesterol” or LDL (low-density lipoproteins) because they contain high amounts of plant-based phytosterols.

avocado

How to Incorporate Them into Your Daily Diet

Start by incorporating avocadoes into your daily meals.  Chopped, pureed, or mashed, use your imagination to try avocados for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Just be careful what you eat them with.  In other words, skip the chips.

Keeping in mind that a healthy allotment of fat is 65 grams within a daily diet of 2000 calories, simply replace the fats you have been eating for years with avocado.  Eliminate the “not so good for you” fats like margarine or butter, peanut butter, oils, and mayonnaise.  Avocado toast has become a popular and healthy breakfast treat.

As well as the heart-healthy fat, you will be adding vitamins, minerals, and fiber with this substitution.

Please check out my garden website

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Plan your encore career

Encore careers are becoming increasingly popular, especially within the baby boomer generation.  After a stress laden career, baby boomers are often not quite ready to retire completely, so find a way to continue earning money doing something they enjoy.  An encore career is usually something totally different from  the original career.  This change of focus to something more enjoyable and relaxing can be exhilarating and healthy for active baby boomers.

Growing Bolder's photo.

 

So, if you have been working for years in the same career or same type of job, consider a stress-free encore career.  If you can collect a partial pension or severance package when you leave the old job, all the better.  Find something you are good at that people are willing to pay money for, and start your own business.  It does not have to be a large business and is easier than you think.   You will be amazed at the improvement in both your physical and mental health.

 

 

 

#4 of 4 Healthy Resolutions for 2015: Exercise More

2kg hand weights and scale

Sorry, I had to include exercise as one of my healthy resolutions for 2015.  It is probably the most common resolution made, but also probably the least successful resolution.

Get Into a Routine

Exercise is one of those things that the more you do it, the easier it gets to be, and the less you do it the harder it seems to be.  As you age it seems to get worse, especially if you suffer from joint pain or other mobility issues.  I do suffer from mild arthritis, but I realize that the more I move, the easier I can move, and the longer I will be able to keep mobile.  The problem is finding the motivation to keep moving.  The trick, I think, is to incorporate some form of exercise into your daily routine so it becomes a habit instead of a chore.

In my very seasonal landscaping business, I have no trouble staying fit and limber from April through October, in fact, some days I put in six hours of gardening and then can hardly get out of my van when I get home.  When the season winds down late in October, my body seems to do the same. A poor excuse I know.

Walking is Great Exercise

Exercise does not have to be expensive or complicated.  My favorite form (other than gardening) is walking.  My husband and I try to get a one-hour brisk walk in every evening, but I must admit the cold and/or icy weather is certainly a deterrent. 

Yoga Stretches

Another form of exercise I enjoy is yoga.  During gardening season, I do yoga stretches before leaving the house in the morning and as soon as I return home.  If I forget to do this before I leave, my back reminds me within thirty minutes of work and then I have to quit earlier than anticipated.

Although planks are not considered to be yoga, I do add them into my stretching routine for extra work on core strength. Don’t be discouraged if you cannot do the planks for long at first; start slow and build up the seconds.

Get Addicted to Exercise

Whatever exercise regime you decide to pursue, remember that exercise can be addictive; the more often you do it, the more you look forward to it, and most importantly, the better you feel…

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The Best Iced Tea Recipe…

I can’t remember where I saw this recipe, but I tweaked it slightly producing the best iced tea ever, just in time for summer…

  • four green tea bags steeped in 4 cups of boiling water
  • 1/4 cup 100% blueberry or pomegranate (or a mixture) juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Stir all ingredients together, then pour into a pitcher of ice cubes.  Due to allergies and/or sensitivites, I make sure I use 100% green tea with no added flavor or preservatives.  Even “natural flavor” is not natural to me!  The same goes for the juices and maple syrup; they must be 100% (no sugar or artificial ingredients)   If you are feeling really fancy, use frozen strawberries, mangoes or blueberries instead of ice cubes.

If you have been following my other posts, all of the ingredients in this recipe are on the alkaline side of the chart, meaning they are healthy, so drink up…

Pork Tenderloin in the Slow Cooker

pork tenderloin in the slow cooker

This recipe (if you can call three simple steps and three common ingredients a recipe) for pork tenderloin in the slow cooker is the easiest ever…

I thought I was heading out of town this morning, so decided to make my family’s favourite pork tenderloin in my slow cooker, to be ready when I returned at dinner time. The weather changed my travel plans, but I still have the same dinner plans.

3 Ingredients

All you need is a pork tenderloin, one-half cup (approximately) of maple syrup, and one cup (again, approximately, I never measure) of frozen blueberries.

Instructions

Put the tenderloin in the slow cooker, pour the maple syrup over it, and then the blueberries over the syrup. Set the slow cooker to low and let the pork cook for 8 hours. Remove the meat from the slow cooker and let it cool (10 minutes) before slicing. Pour the juice, as is, over top after slicing.

If you prefer a thicker, gravy-like sauce, stir one tablespoon of flour into a bit of cold water, then add to the juice in the pot. Turn the setting up to high and cook until the sauce thickens.

Serve with potatoes or rice and another vegetable (broccoli is our favourite) for a healthy family dinner…

Succulent!! How much easier could a recipe be?

photo credit: pexels-photo-1587830