Author Archives: Dixie Elliott

About Dixie Elliott

I'm your supporter, encourager and challenger in your quest to be healthy and well. Let's climb the mountain of health and well being together, one little step at a time. Every little step makes a difference!

Eat this fruit everyday for amazing benefits!

Can you guess which fruit is rated as one of the best?

It’s sweet and juicy.

It has no fat.

Only 82 calories for a whole cup and as an added bonus it has 3.4 grams of fiber.

It’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants. It’s small and round and blue.

Yes, it’s blueberries!

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So why are blueberries good for us?

 A)  They are high in antioxidants and they fight free radicals.

Ok, that sounds impressive but what does it mean?

Free radicals are not good.

“Free radicals cause cell mutations, damage immune function, cause wrinkles and aging and are a contributing cause behind many diseases including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and others”.

Antioxidants are good.

“An antioxidant is a chemical compound that protects cells against the effects of free radicals.

Food is the best source of antioxidants”, says Joanne Larsen, MS, RD, LD.

B)   Blueberries help to preserve vision. Blueberry extract was used in clinical studies regarding vision. The results suggest that blueberries can prevent or delay age related eye problems.

C)  Blueberries aid digestion. The high fiber in blueberries keeps your system working well. The fiber helps to fill you up and helps you feel full for longer. The vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion.

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D)   Blueberries aid in the prevention of high blood pressure.  A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed a large group of men and women. The results showed that eating blueberries reduced their risk of developing high blood pressure by 10 percent compared to those who didn’t eat any blueberries.

E)  Blueberries are low on the glycemic index, which means they do not have a big impact on blood sugar levels.  They are good for everyone, but they are a super food if you have diabetes.

How to choose?

Choose fresh blueberries that are firm and have consistent colour. The whitish bloom means they are ripe. Shake the container gently, they should move easily.

Frozen berries are a good alternative. Freezing the berries does not alter the antioxidants.

How to eat them?

  • Use blueberries as fresh toppings on your cereal, oatmeal, waffles and pancakes.

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Add to greek yogurt for a parfait.

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Whip up a smoothie using frozen berries, milk and some fresh spinach.

Mix fresh or dried blueberries into your regular salad.

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Be creative and find fun ways to eat them.

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Today’s little step: Incorporate ½ cup of blueberries into your daily food choices.

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Life with Dixie

Hey Friends

I was given the opportunity to do a guest post on a friends’ site.

Here’s the link for an inside scoop on my life and loves!

Inspiring women- life with Dixie

 

13 healthy items to buy today!

What can I eat today? Yummy food is one of the blessings of my life.

I won’t live a life of deprivation!

I want to eat delicious food that’s good for me too.

Here’s my list of healthy yummy food that I’ve researched and found to be some of the best!

Nothing is too weird and everything can be found in a regular grocery store.

Lifestyle changes work because we are focusing on what we can have!

Here’s your:

healthy grocery list

Almonds are high in protein and healthy fat. This is my go-to snack for protein. I have this with an apple. Serving-23 almonds

Apples contain lots of fiber and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Serving-1 small My favorite are Royal Gala as they are sweeter and have a great texture.

Bananas have high levels of potassium which helps blood pressure levels and they are high in fiber. A banana added to my peanut butter toast is delicious and keeps me full longer. Serving-1 small

Beans are good for your heart as they have lots of soluble fiber, which can reduce cholesterol. I’ve discovered hummus, which is made from chick peas, which are also known as garbanzo beans! I like the roasted red pepper flavor and I have it as a dip with fresh vegetables. Serving-¾ of a cup

Blueberries, the super fruit that has the most antioxidants, which help the body guard against heart disease, cancer and memory loss. Frozen blueberries are part of my yogurt parfait almost everyday either for breakfast or as a dessert. Serving-½ cup

Broccoli, consider it the number 1 cancer fighter. I like it raw with hummus, or cooked. Serving-½ cup

Greek yogurt is a great source of bone building calcium and lots of protein. It contains beneficial bacteria, which inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. My favorite is the sweetened coconut flavor. When I have this with blueberries for breakfast I’m satisfied for a long time. Serving-¾ cup of low fat

Kale, another great cancer fighter. It is also full of fiber and Vitamin K and antioxidants. I like it as a salad with a sweeter poppy seed dressing. Serving-1 cup fresh or cooked

Oatmeal continues to be a healthy choice. It is high in a special fiber called beta-glucan, which helps to lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol. It is a whole grain. I make it into granola and add a small portion to other cereal or my yogurt parfait. Serving-¾ cup cooked

Quinoa is now considered the new super food. It is packed with protein and fiber as well as many vitamins and minerals. I’ve tried it in salads but I think I like it hot better as an alternative to rice. I add some chicken stock for flavor. Serving-1 cup cooked

Salmon remains as one of the healthiest fish to eat. It is rich in Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the heart, and the brain. My husband loves salmon so we have this once a week. Usually I bake it in the oven and drizzle with maple syrup. Serving-3 ounces

Spinach is chock full of nutrients, iron, calcium and Vitamin A. As well as folate, which helps the body form red blood cells. I don’t like it cooked at all, but in a salad or on a sandwich I love it. Serving-1 cup fresh or ½ cooked

Tuna is high in protein, vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna salad made with low fat mayo is a great protein boost for my lunch. Serving-3 ounces fresh or canned

TODAY’S little STEP: Add these foods to your grocery list. Then just like me you can enjoy yummy food and reap the health benefits.  

Every journey starts with one little step.  Keep taking those little steps!

“And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation

If you have found this helpful please share it with your friends.

 

Summer salad-kale,chickpea and feta cheese!

Do you love summer salads?  My husband and I often enjoy a large salad for dinner on a hot summer night. This is our new healthy favorite.

Kale, Chickpea and Feta cheese salad

Ingredient List

1 bunch Kale, washed & dried or a package of chopped Kale

1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained

¾ cup light Feta Cheese crumbled

½ medium red onion diced

Additional vegetables of your choice, diced

Dressing

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of mustard

¼ cup of olive oil

½ teaspoon of garlic pepper

If you have a large package of kale you may need to double this dressing recipe.

Method

IMG_7616Combine ingredients of the dressing in order and mix well with a whisk. Set aside for later.

Rinse the chickpeas under cold water and let sit to drain.

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Dice the red onion.  I chose red and yellow peppers as others vegetables. Set aside for later.

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Prepare kale and place ½ in a large bowl.

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Pour ½ the dressing over the kale and mix well with your nice clean hands. Rub the dressing onto the leaves. I know it’s pretty messy but the kale needs to be well coated.

Then add the rest of the kale and the remaining dressing. Mix well with your hands.

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Then add the chickpeas and veggies. Mix well with a spoon this time.

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Add ½ the feta cheese and mix well. Then add the remainder of the feta cheese and mix well.

Refrigerate until ready to serve-preferably 1 hour.

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Enjoy as a side salad or alone!

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TODAY’S little STEP: Find a summer salad recipe that you love,make it and eat it! Enjoy these beautiful days they are are a gift from God!

Remember our key verse. “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation

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If you have found this helpful please share it with your friends.

Pina Colada dessert-healthy and delicious!

Pina Colada parfait! Try this delightful combination for breakfast or as dessert. As an added bonus there are 9 grams of protein, which helps us feel full longer. Most women need to eat more protein. Here’s the recipe with step-by-step directions and pictures too!

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Ingredients:

1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks

2 teaspoons of flaked coconut (1 tsp. for garnish)

1 container of coconut flavored Greek yogurt (I like Wal-Mart’s Great Value brand best)

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I like to use my mini food processor for this recipe. It’s great for the small quantity.

Place pineapple in processor.

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Add yogurt and 1 teaspoon of coconut.

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Process on high until the pineapple is cut and mixed into the yogurt. Sometimes I thaw the pineapple slightly so that it cuts easier.

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Then place the mixture in a chilled parfait glass.

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Top with the remaining teaspoon of coconut and 1 small piece of pineapple as a beautiful garnish.

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This can be eaten right away or placed in the freezer for ½ an hour.

This is a delicious breakfast on a hot summer morning or a delightful healthy dessert.

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I ate this one as part of my lunch!

Here’s the nutrition breakdown.

Calories 243

Fat         2.5

Sodium   46.6

Carbs.    47

Fiber       1.3

Sugars    44

Protein   9.3

TODAY’S little STEP: Try this recipe for breakfast or dessert!

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If you have found this helpful I would love it if you would share it with your friends on Facebook or Pinterest.

 

Sneak in some exercise-10 tips

Exercise seems hard to add to our already crazy lives.  But when we add incidental exercise into our day it makes a difference.

Incidental exercise is the exercise we get during daily activities. Activities like taking the stairs, walking the dog and doing housework.

Every little change we make to be more active helps us be healthier.

If you move during every commercial break while watching 2 hours of TV you can burn 270 calories a day. That’s one sneaky way to add incidental exercise into our lives.

On those crazy busy days you can still add in little steps!

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Here are some ideas

  • Use waiting times. While cooking dinner do standing push-ups while you wait for a pot to boil.

    Stand about an arm’s length from the kitchen counter, and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out to get toned arms and shoulders.

  • Phone calls. When talking on your phone pace around your home or office.  Remember just 10 minutes makes a difference.

  • Wear a pedometer everyday. Keep track of a regular day and then make a goal to add 2000-3000 steps a day. check out pedometer resources here.

  • Take the stairs. Whenever possible take the stairs, up or down, instead of the elevator.

  • Park further away. Park at the far end of the parking lot and take your packages to the car yourself.

  • Stand more. Standing burns more calories than sitting! Stand more often than you sit.

  • Walk briskly. Don’t dawdle, walk at a quick pace, like you are late!

  • Get outside. Mow the lawn, garden, sweep the walk or wash the car by hand. These activities engage your core muscles.

  • Go get it yourself. If you need something from the basement or upstairs, get it yourself.

  • Store it downstairs. Purposely put frequently used items in the basement. Then you will have to take the stairs.

  • Walk at children’s sporting events. Pace the sidelines during soccer, climb the stairs during swimming or walk during half time breaks.

Most of these incidental exercise tips are ones I use. They have become part of my healthy lifestyle.

My kids still tease me that I find the farthest corner of the parking lot for my parking spot.

My family has gotten used to me walking on the spot during tv or movie watching, as long as I don’t block their view.

I purposely keep frequently used items in the basement so that I have to take the stairs more often.

I am convinced that these little lifestyle changes have helped me to keep the weight off.

Remember our core Bible verse, “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation

TODAY’S little STEP: Pick 3 tips to incorporate incidental exercise into your daily life. Every little step does make a difference.

Sites used as research.  Check them out for additional ideas.

easy ways to boost incidental exercise

lazy girl fitness

fitness the easy way

small changes that take off big pounds

If you like what you have read, please take the time to sign up to receive new posts as a weekly email.

If you have found this helpful I would love it if you would share it with your friends on Facebook or Pinterest.

My strategies, my struggles – summer!

I want you to know that I struggle too. I have reached some of my health goals but I have to continue to take these little steps to health.

Writing this blog helps me stay accountable.  I find the summer especially hard because there is less routine and summer equals fun food!

Here’s how I stay on track and some strategies that work for me.

Veggies and hummus are a part of most of my lunches. I fill half my plate with the veggies first.

Then my plate looks really full when I add anything else.

Here’s a picture of what I might have for lunch.  I would add some crackers and cheese.

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When we have hamburgers I don’t have a bun.  The meat tastes great all by itself.

I spread salad dressing on the wrap before I assemble it so there is taste in each bite and I use much less. I fill my wrap with mostly vegetables and added white chicken meat.

If we have potato chips I include them as part of my lunch . I don’t buy salt and vinegar ones, as those are my favorite and too hard to resist. A small portion of potato chips, a nice sandwich and fresh raw veggies is a fun supper on a super hot day.

We have cubed watermelon available or popsicles for dessert.

A small hand dipped ice cream cone is a treat we enjoy, just not every day. When we have them at home I can control the portion. Licking an ice cream cone slows down the eating process and every lick tastes so good!

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One of my best strategies is to not have foods that tempt me in my home. Then I won’t hear them calling: “Oh Dixie….this is the big container of delicious mixed nuts and candy calling you. Stop by for a yummy treat. You deserve it.” Can you relate?

My husband Don deserves a shout out because he is very supportive. He doesn’t like rich desserts and I’m so glad, because I would make them all the time.

He appreciates that we eat healthy.

When I do occasionally overeat at a meal – yes, I still overeat – my temptation is desserts.

I make sure the next meal is healthy and a little lower in calories.

I also try to make sure I get some exercise that day.

Every little step does make a difference!

Let’s claim our verse again! “And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation.

TODAY’S little STEP: Keep taking little steps to be healthy. Use some of these strategies.  They work.  Every little step makes a difference.

If you like what you have read, please take the time to sign up to receive new posts as a weekly email.

If you have found this helpful I would love it if you would share it with your friends on Facebook or Pinterest.

Rest much, talk often, and laugh regularly. Summer is too short!