Three Delicious Crock Pot Dinner Recipes

by Institute for Vibrant Living

Having a collection of tried-and-tested crock pot dinner recipes can be a wonderful way to feed the family inexpensively and easily without spending hours in the kitchen. The key to successful crock pot meals is being organized. You need to make sure the meat is defrosted before you start, and that you have all the ingredients to hand, ready to combine them in the crock pot to cook. Ideal for busy families, or even for entertaining, cooking in a crock pot has the added advantage of welcoming you home with mouthwatering aromas. 

Crock pot dinner recipes can be wholesome and tasty

Here are a few favorite crock pot dinner recipes, adapted to slow cooking:

Family Meat Loaf for 8

Mix together 2 pounds ground beef , one chopped green pepper, one large onion, 1½ tsp salt,  2 eggs, 1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs and 1 cup tomato sauce or ketchup. Mold into a loaf with your hands then place into a crock pot lined with aluminum foil spritzed with non-stick spray.

Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. Top with ¾ cup ketchup mixed with ¼ cup brown sugar and 1 tsp. mustard and cook for a further 15 minutes. Cool, slice and serve with a selection of green vegetables and mashed potato.

Tasty Beef Stew for 8

No one would guess that the secret to one of my top crock pot dinner recipes is a can of condensed tomato soup!

Toss 2 pounds cubed beef chuck roast in a bag of seasoned all-purpose flour. Shake off the surplus flour and fry quickly in oil to brown. Add to the crock pot with 6 white onions (peeled and quartered), 4 medium potatoes (thickly sliced), 3 carrots (sliced), 12 mushrooms, 2 sticks celery (sliced), 1 can condensed tomato soup (undiluted), 1 cup red wine, 2 reduced sodium beef bouillon cubes and 3 tsp Italian herb seasoning. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours. Serve with crusty whole grain bread for a healthy, tasty meal.

Related:  Four Spices to Help Boost Sex Drive

Crock Pot Peach Cobbler for 4-6

Crock pot dinner recipes don’t have to be savory! Try this delicious dessert of peaches and rolled oats.

In a bowl mix together 1 cup flour, 1 cup rolled oats, ¾ cup dark brown sugar, ½ tsp each of baking powder, nutmeg and allspice. Work in ¼ cup butter or margarine with your fingertips to form crumbs. Finally, fold in 20 ounces frozen peach slices.

Butter the base and sides of a 3-quart crock pot, add the mixture and cook on LOW for 3½ hours. Serve warm and wait for the compliments!

We hope you enjoy these crock pot dinner recipes as part of a healthy lifestyle, largely avoiding processed foods and including some of your 5-a-day fruit and vegetables, organic meats and heart-healthy grains.   



Three Gluten-Free Party Recipes for Italian Dinners

by Cindy Gray

Since pasta is a wheat product loaded with gluten, Italian food and gluten-free don’t seem to go together.  While gluten-free means wheat-free (and other grains like barley, rye or commercially processed oats) that doesn’t mean you can’t serve a delicious Italian feast with gluten-free party recipes. 

These three Gluten-Free Italian recipes are perfect for your next dinner party. They are simple to prepare and delicious, so send out those invitations and get cooking!

Gluten-free party recipes you’ll find easy and delicious


Noodles do a great job of holding the sauce and meatballs. But you can skip them and enjoy these gluten-free party recipes for appetizers.



3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

½ Tbsp. red pepper flakes

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

½ Tbsp. Italian Seasoning

½ Tbsp. dried parsley

1 lbs. package of lean ground turkey

2 egg whites

2 Tbsp. milled flax seed

1/3 cup dried chopped onions

1 Tbsp. minced, garlic


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  Form meatballs into one-inch diameter; makes approximately 30 meatballs. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet.

Bake meatballs for about 15 minutes, then turn and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving


Making homemade sauce instead of store-bought sauce ensures it is really free of gluten; plus it will taste better and have less sugar or preservatives.


½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp dried parsley

½ tsp oregano

½ tsp rosemary

1-14.5 oz. can of stewed tomatoes

1-14.5 oz. can of tomato paste

One half red or yellow bell peppers (stem and seeds removed)

¼ cup dried or fresh onions, chopped

1Tbsp. minced garlic


Place all ingredients in a blender. Mix until mixture is fairly smooth.  Spray a saucepan lightly with oil and pour in marinara sauce. Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve with meatballs.


This quick and easy caprese salad is healthy, and it’s an Italian dinner staple that’s gluten-free. 

Spinach Caprese Salad


2 Tbsp. fresh chopped basil

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

½ Tbsp. of olive oil

1 and ½ cups baby spinach

½ cup of cherry tomatoes, chopped

1 oz. of fresh buffalo mozzarella, cubed


Place the spinach in a bowl. Add cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cubes and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and enjoy!

Related:  Mediterranean Diet Improves Quality of Life


Nothing says Italian like home cooked lasagna. This noodle-less version is healthier than what mom used to make (sorry mom); it’s gluten-free and delicious.


1 lb. lean ground turkey

2 large or 5 small zucchini sliced lengthwise

1 white onion, diced

1 small eggplant, sliced

1 green pepper, diced

16 oz. baby spinach

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

1-15 oz. tomato sauce

1-12 oz. can of tomato paste

2 egg whites

1-15 oz. fat-free ricotta cheese

8 oz. fat-free mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 and ½ Tbsp. salt

2 Tbsp. basil

1 Tbsp. oregano

¼ cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp. garlic, minced


Lightly salt and oil zucchini and eggplant slices. Bake in oven for 5 minutes.

Place turkey in a pot and cover.  Cook over medium heat till browned (about for 5 minutes.)

Add vegetables and sauté for 5 minutes.

Combine meat with sauce and mix well. Simmer 15-20 minutes.

In a separate bowl, blend ricotta, egg whites and parsley.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a baking pan.

Layer lasagna in the following order: 1/3 meat sauce, 1/3 zucchini, 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/2 eggplant slices, then all the mushrooms.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow cooling for about 10 minutes before serving. Slice into lasagna into squares

Bon appetite!


How to Live with a Gluten Free Diet and Still Love what You Eat

by IVL Products

Gluten intolerance, also known as Celiac Disease, affects around one in every hundred Americans. You may suffer from it yourself, or know someone who does. Understanding the problem and learning to live with a gluten free diet can be challenging. Perhaps our diet tips and information will make it a little easier!

A gluten free diet may be the chance to start a new healthier lifestyle.

What is Gluten Intolerance?

A person is deemed gluten intolerant when their immune system reacts negatively to gluten, the protein found in barley, wheat and rye. When a gluten intolerant person digests gluten, the body produces antibodies to attack the gluten. It may cause damage to the intestines and can prevent the body from properly digesting other essential nutrients.

The internal inflammation triggered by eating foods containing gluten may cause severe bloating, nausea, gas and stomach cramps in anyone who is gluten intolerant. Some people have no internal symptoms but the resulting poor absorption of nutrients leads to tiredness, hair loss and malnutrition. The only treatment for gluten intolerance is to adopt a totally gluten free diet.

What You Can Eat on a Gluten Free Diet

Anyone forced to adopt a gluten free diet will quickly find that there are many foods that contain gluten. Bread, pasta, pizza bases, thickened sauces and soups, cookies, cakes, ice cream, canned and cured meats, condiments, breadcrumbs and spice blends…the list is depressingly long.

Related:  Gluten Brain:  Wheat Cuts off Blood Flow to Frontal Cortex

It’s easier to focus on what food groups you CAN eat on a gluten free diet. You can freely enjoy as much as you like of the following healthy gluten free foods:

  • Fresh fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • Non-processed meats, chicken and fish
  • Eggs
  • Natural dairy products, milk and unprocessed cheeses
  • Grains and cereals such as corn, rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and millet

How to Live a Gluten Free Lifestyle

As gluten intolerance affects around 3 million Americans, the food industry has developed a whole range of gluten-free foods to add to the above list of gluten-free staples. You’ll find gluten free bagels, muffins, pancakes, bread, doughnuts and desserts in most supermarkets and health-food stores.  

Treat yourself to a cookbook of gluten-free recipes and search for websites with more information on adopting a gluten free lifestyle. Pinterest is a good way to source gluten free meal ideas or try these tasty gluten free recipes as part of your new gluten free diet.

Read the Label

It’s important to understand that if you are gluten intolerant you can’t just reduce gluten intake, you must completely eliminate gluten to avoid serious damage to your health. Unfortunately, gluten is found in makeup, beer and in many ready meals. However, when dining out, most chain restaurants offer gluten free options.

If a product does not specifically say it is gluten free, you need to check the label for hidden gluten in words such as:

  • Spelt
  • Kamut
  • Triticale
  • Matzo
  • Licorice (made from wheat flour)
  • Semolina
  • Durum
  • Farina
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Malt products
  • Maltodextrin

Although a gluten free diet may have been forced upon you by circumstance, embrace the opportunity it brings and establish a new healthier lifestyle for yourself and your whole family.


Featured Heart-Healthy Recipe – Football Sunday Chili

by Cindy Gray

Heart-healthy recipes often take hours to prepare, but we’ve devised a low-fat, low-sodium recipe for chili that only takes 30 minutes to make, thanks to a couple of “cheats’. Not only is it good for your heart, it also manages to be extremely tasty, satisfying and nutritious.

Try our version of chili – one of the best heart-healthy recipes for families


1 lb. 95% lean ground beef (or ground white meat chicken, turkey, or a non-meat vegetarian substitute for an even healthier option.)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1 medium jalapeño chopped (omit if you don’t like hot chili!)

4 cloves fresh garlic minced OR 2 tsp. minced garlic from a jar

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

15.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added or low-sodium pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained

14.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added or low-sodium, diced tomatoes, undrained

3/4 cup jarred salsa (low sodium)


Spray a deep skillet or large saucepan with cooking spray and fry the beef and onion over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring and breaking up the meat as it cooks. Tip the meat mixture into a colander and rinse with hot water to remove excess fat. Return to the pan.

Next, stir in the bell pepper, chili powder, garlic and cumin and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve topped with a dollop of fat-free sour cream, sliced avocado and snipped cilantro or chopped scallions. Serves four.

Nutritional Value of This Heart-Healthy Recipe

Calories per serving are 297 with 7g fiber and 31g of satisfying protein. This low-fat recipe delivers 6g total fat and 2.5g saturated fat – one of the definitions of heart-healthy recipes. It also has 62 mg cholesterol – much less than normal chili recipes that retain all the meat fat.  Using low sodium beans, salsa and tomatoes keeps sodium to just 288mg per serving.

Related:  Best Vegan and Vegetarian Protein Sources

For families on a budget, this chili recipe costs about $3.45 per serving. It’s even suitable for those who live alone as it freezes well in individual portions. Once defrosted, it can be reheated for a satisfying midweek meal.  How’s that for one of the best heart-healthy recipes anywhere!


Six Simple Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

by Health News

With 35 percent of Americans now termed medically obese, there has never been a better time to discover tips on how to improve your heart health. With our modern Westernized diet, a healthy cardiovascular system cannot be taken for granted. Lack of exercise, too much fatty processed food, and lack of fresh fruit, vegetables and oily fish can all take a toll on our heart. 

t’s easy when you know how to improve heart health

As we age, the risk of heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia and other heart conditions become more apparent.  The sole person in charge of YOUR heart health is YOU! Here are six effective ways to ensure a healthier heart.  So run through our checklist and see where you can improve your heart health, starting today.

1.     What’s in Your Kitchen?

Your refrigerator may be full of fresh fruit and vegetables, but what about your freezer? Ice cream, fast foods, sweet desserts and French fries are all lined up conveniently for an instant snack or quick meal after work. If you are serious about improving heart health you need to get rid of temptation and restock your kitchen with healthy meals and snacks. If you can’t throw the food away, have a party or BBQ or donate canned items to a food pantry. You’ll feel better once you have made this first important step!

Related:  Inflammation Testing: A Valuable Predictor of Cardiovascular Risk

2.     Conscious Eating

Become more aware or what you’re eating and when you’re eating in order to assess ways for how to improve heart health. Snacking between meals out of habit, or eating TV meals without being aware of what you are putting in your mouth lead to a feeling of dissatisfaction, a sure way to crave snacks later. Be conscious of every bite and savor every mouthful.

3.     Shopping Temptations

The only way to shop for your heart-healthy diet is to plan meals ahead. Once you become a meal planner, you can make a shopping list and buy only what you want without deviating off to the latest special offer or sinful treat.

4.     Eat at Home

Eating out regularly means we relinquish control on ingredients and portion size to someone else – someone who is not interested in how to improve your heart health! Subscribe to a healthy living magazine such as Cooking Light or Healthy Living for inspiration or look for heart-healthy recipes online. Focus on easy-to-prepare meals to save on time and organize your grocery list (above) so all the ingredients are to hand. No excuses!

5.     Smart Meal Options

If you do eat out occasionally, most restaurants mark healthy options on the menu so you can pick wisely and not return to unhealthy eating habits.

6.     Get Active

There is no substitute for physical activity 4-5 times a week. Set aside time for walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, gardening, cycling or whatever you enjoy.

By adopting these six lifestyle rules you will discover new ways for how to improve heart health, resulting in a longer, healthier and more fulfilled life.



Can Exercise Lower Blood Pressure?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

More than 75 million Americans have hypertension, a condition the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) defines as "chronically elevated blood pressure greater than 140/90 mmHg."  Left untreated, hypertension raises risks for heart attack, stroke, and other types of cardiovascular disease.  While some people turn to medication to manage hypertension, others prefer more natural remedies.  Can exercise lower blood pressure?  Research tells us that regular physical exercise can lower blood pressure.  It even lowers death rates in certain populations.

Many people wonder, Can exercise lower blood pressure?  Research shows positive benefits of exercise for blood pressure and the cardiovascular system as a whole.

A review study published in the Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine determined that exercising three to five times per week at an intensity of 40 to 50% of maximum exercise performance appears to lower blood pressure, especially in people who are hypertensive.

Researchers from the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas compared fit men with uncontrolled blood pressure to sedentary men with the same condition.  Death rates for moderately-fit men and highly-fit men were 46% and 68% lower respectively, than death rates for sedentary men.

How can exercise lower blood pressure?

Physical activity causes blood to flow more rapidly through the arteries.  The force of quicker blood flow triggers endothelial cells along the blood vessel walls to produce nitric oxide, a substance that relaxes and expands blood vessels.  When relaxed, vessels circulate more blood throughout the body, which lowers blood pressure and reduces chances for heart disease and stroke.  According to the ACSM, people who follow a regular program they can stay with over the long term maximize the blood-pressure reducing benefits of exercise.  

Related:  Prevent Alzheimer's Disease with Exercise

What is the best kind of exercise for reducing blood pressure?

Most experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity five days per week.  Good examples of aerobic exercise include:

  • Walking
  • Jogging or running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Rowing

By boosting amounts of nitric oxide produced by the blood vessels, exercise benefits blood pressure and a whole lot more.  The addition of a nutritious diet and stress-reduction techniques like guided imagery, meditation, or yoga offers a holistic recipe for an ultra-healthy cardiovascular system.  


Over 40 and Can't Lose Weight? Cut Out These Two Foods!

by IVL Products

Weight gain, bloating and difficulty with digestion are common problems for women in their 40s and older. This frequently manifests itself as belly fat and older women find they can’t lose weight as they used to. Hormonal changes are often blamed for such problems during menopause, but it could be intolerance to gluten and dairy foods that are the real culprits. Here's how to check whether these two food groups are the reason why you can’t lose weight.

Dairy and gluten foods are a common reason why people can’t lose weight

Symptoms of Food Intolerances

Foods high in gluten, such as flour, wheat, semolina, barley, bulgur and rye, can cause intestinal problems in those with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Often undiagnosed, gluten intolerance can cause cramps, a swollen stomach and inflammation throughout the body.

Similarly, those who are lactose intolerant may suffer with gas, bloating and diarrhea, as they are unable to digest the lactose (sugar) in milk and dairy products. Other symptoms of food intolerance in those who can’t lose weight include chronic fatigue, headaches and a stuffy nose.

If these problems sound familiar, it’s time to address the reasons why you possibly can’t lose weight by eliminating the cause of the problem.

Alternatives to Gluten and Dairy Products for Those Who Can't Lose Weight

At first glance it may seem that all your favorite foods fall into either the gluten or dairy categories. Eliminating these foods can be daunting, but once you have established a healthier more wholesome lifestyle, you can gradually reintroduce the foods one by one to see if they cause any problems with bloating, inflammation and that inability to lose weight.

Related:  Gluten Brain:  Wheat Cuts Off Blood Flow to Frontal Cortex

It's all about substituting foods, or significantly reducing those problem foods from your diet. First, eliminate all bread, cakes, cereals, breadcrumbs, bagels, tortillas and pasta that contain wheat or other glutens. Substitute them with rice or corn flour in cooking. Flaxseed, quinoa and millet flours are all acceptable along with potatoes, sweet potatoes and rice. Polenta (corn meal) is a good side dish; and seeds, beans and nuts can also be imaginatively used in gluten-free recipes. Health food stores offer a range of gluten-free breads, crackers, rice cakes and flours to help you ease into making these changes.

Dairy substitutes are a matter of shopping wisely and choosing soy, almond, rice and coconut milk instead of cow's milk. There are good replacements for sour cream and cream cheese, especially when making dips and spreads. Replace ice creams with sorbet and gelato. Soy-based yogurts are widely available in supermarkets.  

Solving the Problem, One Food at a Time

Once your digestive problems and complaints of "I can’t lose weight" are solved, enjoy your new healthy diet. If you hunger for certain products, then add them back carefully one at a time, monitoring for any bloating or symptoms. 


Top Ways to Use Chia Seeds

by IVL Products

We've had buckwheat, kamut, faro and quinoa, and now it seems we can add the benefits of chia seeds to our ever-growing list of wholegrain foods.  Although ‘chia’ is technically a seed, health advisors are going crazy about the health benefits, diversity and ways to use chia seeds.

What are Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia Hispanica which grows mainly in South America. The word "chia" comes from the Mayan word meaning "strength."  Ancient civilizations such as the Aztecs and the Mayans used the seeds as a source of energy and power.

Chia seeds are a rich source of nutrients and healthy fats. Just one ounce (28 grams) of these seeds contains 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 5 grams of Omega-3s. In addition, it delivers 18% of your recommended daily amount (RDA) of calcium, 30% of manganese RDA, 30% of your magnesium RDA and 27% of phosphorus RDA; along with zinc, potassium and B-vitamins—all in only 137 calories.

Further benefits of chia seeds include their ability to help fight inflammation.  Chia seeds are gluten-free, and they are high in antioxidants which fight free radical damage.

If you are going to be stranded on a desert island, a supply of chia seeds could be your salvation!

Related:  Flax Seed--Unleashing the Health Bounty of a Wonder Seed

The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

We've already covered some of the health benefits of chia seeds, but they have many more uses. Those on a weight-loss program will find chia seeds are high in quality protein which reduces the appetite and temptation to snack. They are high in fiber which slows down digestion and leaves you feeling fuller for longer which can all help you lose weight.

As the chia seeds pass through the digestive tract, they feed the good bacteria, yet another boost to health. Brimming with omega-3s, another benefit of chia seeds is that it has more omega-3, gram for gram, than salmon! With all these positives, it’s no wonder that chia seeds are promoted by healthy specialists for being heart healthy, lowering triglycerides and the risk of diabetes.

Ways to Use Chia Seeds in Your Diet

Ways to use chia seeds are almost as numerous as the benefits of chia seeds.  Grind one tablespoon in a food processor and add 3 tablespoons water to replace one egg in baking recipes. Blend the seeds with coconut milk, natural sweetener and cocoa powder then leave in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to make a delicious thick pudding.

Use chia seeds to thicken soups and gravies. Just sprinkle on top, or use ground chia seeds in place of breadcrumbs. Finally, eat in salads like beansprouts or just chew on them whole as a snack.

With so many excellent ways to use chia seeds, you'll wonder how you ever managed without them. 

28 Superfood Recipes for Everyday


Fish-Free Wrinkle Free: The Vegetarian Answer to Omega-3s

by Health News

With supplements and a few additions to your shopping list, you can find fish-free omega-3 foods that will enhance your anti-aging diet, yet still honor your choice to live a vegetarian lifestyle. There are a lot of plant sources with essential nutrients to help keep you young, vibrant, and vegetarian!

Walnuts provide omega-3 fatty acids and help you get essential nutrients into your anti-aging diet.

Power Plants

Mother Nature offers so many healthy ways to get your much needed fish-free omega-3s and other nutrients. Here are a few:


Grinding the seeds and adding them to cookie, bread, or muffin recipes is one method to get flaxseed into your diet.  Research shows that ground flax can be used in baked goods without losing their desired health benefits, such as ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and omega-3 fatty acids as long as you keep the oven temperature at 300 degrees Fahrenheit—or less.

Flax offers other health benefits like phytonutrients called lignans, which are antioxidants, something essential for maintaining youthful energy levels and glowing skin. As little one ounce of flaxseed can help keep obesity at bay, improve circulation and lower blood pressure.


Barley is a delicious, nutty flavored and versatile cereal grain with lots of health benefits.  It is chock full of manganese, fiber, selenium, copper, vitamin B1, phosphorus, magnesium and niacin, just to name a few of its wonderful nutrients.

The selenium in barley make it a great anti-aging food because it strengthens metabolic pathways for a healthier immune system and lowers your risk of developing some cancers, something essential for keeping you feeling young and vibrant at any age.

Related:  Vegans May Benefit From Supplements of Omega 3s and Vitamin B12

Soy Lecithin

Lecithin is produced in the liver and makes up an important part of the mucus layer in our large intestines.   It’s made up of three fat-soluble molecules that are the building blocks of cell membranes that facilitate cell communication and keep cells from sticking to each other.

Soybeans are a good source of lecithin and beneficial as a meat-free food that helps keep your liver healthy by emulsifying (breaking down) fatty deposits that can lead to high cholesterol, liver and cardiovascular disease.


Seaweed offers nutrients from the ocean not found in land-based greens.  It has long been a part of the diet of many Asian cultures and should be in your anti-aging diet plan.

Seaweed is a great source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and it can help regulate estrogen and estradiol levels. Those two hormones can help women lower their risk of developing breast cancer.

One nutrient that is missing from many diets and is in few foods is iodine. Seaweed is rich in iodine, which is essential for keeping your thyroid healthy. Since thyroid problems are a common problem as we age eating more seaweed salad is good idea.


If you are vegetarian you would be nuts not to be eating walnuts regularly. When consumed whole with the skin still on them you get a healthy dose of:

  • Vitamin E
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Biotin
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium

Numerous research over the last few decades have shown walnuts to help lower the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, or suffering a metabolic disorder.  Walnuts are also rich sources of antioxidants, help reduce inflammation, and support collagen production, which keeps skin smooth and wrinkle free.

No Need to Fish for Compliments

Adding these foods to your shopping list to round out an effective anti-aging diet is a smart way for anyone looking to get fish free omega-3s and other essential nutrients without eating meat.  


A Fishy Solution to Anti-Aging

by IVL Products

If you happen to enjoy fish, that’s great!  There is no better source of protein, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients than those found in many kinds of seafood.  To keep the hands of time from wreaking havoc on your health, a good anti-aging diet should include a variety of fish. 

Omega-3 fatty acids for anti-aging

We are swimming in a sea of information touting the myriad health benefits of salmon and trout.  It’s true, because they are such a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but there are many other types of healthy choices available when it comes to selecting seafood.

Catch of the Day

How much fish should you eat a week? What about fish oil supplements?  Getting the right amount of fish in your diet through regular food and supplements is really quite easy.

Most health experts recommend adults eat between one to three servings of fish per week. That is not always possible, so supplementing your diet with fish oil capsules is a good idea. Taking supplements of 1,000-2,000 mg of fish oil a day is safe, healthy and an easy way to ensure you are getting enough of the two essential fatty acids so beneficial for anti-aging: EPA and DHA.

What’s In It for You?

EPA and DHA are omega-3 fatty acids not naturally produced by our bodies. They are called essential fatty acids because they are critical to maintaining good health, and you can only get them through food and supplements.

Omega-3s are essential for:

  • Normal cognitive function
  • Blood circulation
  • Healthy Skin

Fish consumption is widely recommended by healthcare professionals because of research showing a diet rich in fish and fish oil supplements decreases the level of triglyceride (fat) in the blood which lowers your risk of developing coronary disease, a common affliction that comes with age. 

Eating fish also helps you maintain a healthy weight, lowers blood pressure, and helps your hair to grow longer, thicker and stronger, too.

Related:  Healthy Recipes: Make Fish For Dinner

Little Fish in a Big Pond

Of course, salmon, cod, trout, and tilapia are good choices, but variety is the spice of life and there are other fish that you can make part of your anti-aging diet that are versatile, healthy, and delicious.


Anchovies are small but mighty fish food! You only need a few to add intense flavor to salad dressing, sauces, pizza, or to pasta.  They taste salty rather than fishy when mixed into sauces and dressings.

Packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids anchovies are low in calories. They are a good choice for a fish that has little or no mercury, something large types of fish like salmon or cod are known to have, which of course, dictates that we cannot eat larger types of fish too frequently.


It’s good to pack in sardines! These little critters are full of nutrients like EPA and DHA plus a rich source of vitamins B12, D and phosphorus. These nutrients promote cardiovascular health, strong bones, healthy teeth, and help lower risk of developing certain kinds of cancer. 

Sardines are a great source of unsaturated fat, protein, and essential amino acids that help maintain muscular strength, which is something that diminishes with age.


Pollock is a great fish choice for its low levels of contaminants, high quality protein, flaky texture and mild flavor, making it a good choice for kids and adults. It also contains the essential fatty acids you need daily in only a 4-ounce serving.

In addition to being a great source of omega-3s and protein, Pollock has choline and vitamin B 12, which supports brain cells to slow down cognitive decline, so it makes it a good choice for any anti-aging diet.


Three Rules For Soy and Menopause Symptoms

by Cindy Gray

Soy for menopause symptoms is not a new idea. In many Asian countries women there report much milder symptoms when going through the change, and it is thought to be partially due to the wide variety of soy foods they consume.

Try soy foods for natural relief for menopause symptoms.

If you are in early stages of menopause, or right in the middle of it, foods for menopause like soy can provide some relief from your symptoms. There are some “rules” to follow to get the most benefits from soy to lessen some of the worst menopause symptoms.

What is Menopause? Signs and Symptoms

Menopause is a time when women’s bodies begin to decline in the production of the fertility hormones estrogen and progesterone.  Women usually begin having mild symptoms that increase as production of the two hormones continues to dramatically decline with age and eventually stop menstruation. Other symptoms include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness, atrophy, and pain during intercourse
  • Urinary tract infections or incontinence
  • Mood swings and depression
  • Irregular periods or none at all
  • Breast tenderness
  • Decreased sex drive (libido)
  • Changes in hair in skin (may feel thinner and drier)
  • Fatigue

How Can Soy Help?

Soy is rich in compounds called isoflavones;  polyphenolic compounds that are capable of exerting estrogen-like effects (Linus Pauling Institute)

Isoflavones are classified as phytoestrogens, meaning plant-derived compounds with estrogenic activity that can act like estrogen in the human body.   Since the abrupt decrease of estrogen and progesterone is what causes menopause, replacing it with a similar compound can bring relief to those suffering unpleasant symptoms.

Related:  Healthy Recipe:  Vegetable Tofu Stir Fry

The Three Rules for Menopause Relief with Soy

1. Soy Pills Don’t Work

According to a University of California San Francisco study published recently, soy pills had no measureable effect on menopause symptoms like hot flashes. While disappointing it is not surprising.  Asian women who suffer less severe menopause symptoms do not take soy pills or supplements.  They consume it by eating real foods.

2. Real Food Is Best

Consume whole soy by eating it in real food form.  Most women can eat a lot of it every day with no side effects.  For a small percentage it can cause digestive discomfort, but that is rare.  It’s really easy to incorporate more soy into your diet, too.  You can eat:

  • Tofu (prepared many different ways)
  • Tempeh (deep-fried fermented soy beans)
  • Miso (miso soup is delicious!)
  • Whole soybeans like edamame
  • Soymilk
  • Soy powder
  • Soy ice cream

It is important to note that you consume soy whole soy foods, not just isolated isoflavones or soy protein to get the estrogenic effects to relieve some menopause symptoms like hot flashes.  It’s the combination and concentration in whole foods rich in soy that make it an effective menopause symptom reliever.

Since soy is one of the most GMO (genetically modified) crops in the U.S., so always choose the organic varieties.

3. Consume Soy Throughout The Day

To get the most benefits from soy for menopause, it is best to consume soy-rich foods throughout the day rather than a lot in one meal.

Soy is safe to eat everyday so look for recipes to prepare tofu in different ways. Use soymilk on your cereal or to make a smoothie.  Edamame has a mild flavor, but is rich source of isoflavones and protein to enhance many dishes.

Since menopause symptoms like hot flashes can come and go eating soy throughout the day will help keep them in check for more consistent relief.

Say “Soy Long” To Hot Flashes

Since menopause is an inevitable physical change for all women, it’s not too early to start making soy a regular part of your diet.  Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones who won’t suffer a lot of the more unpleasant symptoms of menopause because you are regularly consuming soy


Garlic Roasted Potato Skins

by Health News

Did you know that when you peel your potatoes you’re throwing away (or maybe composting) the most nutritious part of the food? Don’t do it! In fact, based on an average 2000 calorie per-day diet, a potato skin provides 45% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C, 18% of your RDA of potassium and 10% of your vitamin B6! Not only that, it’s fat free!

Here is a healthy, easy recipe that takes advantage of potato skin’s delicious flavor and appealing texture:

Garlic Roasted Potato Skins

Garlic Roasted Potato Skins


3 lbs russet (baking potatoes 6 to 8 medium; preferably organic)
1 head garlic (2 inches in diameter)
4 1/2 tbsps unsalted butter (softened)
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Prick each potato once or twice with a fork. Cut off and discard top fourth of garlic head, then wrap garlic tightly in foil. Bake garlic and potatoes on same rack in lower third of oven until potatoes are tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove potatoes from oven and cool on a metal rack 15 minutes. Continue to bake garlic until tender, about 15 minutes more, then cool in foil on rack.

While garlic cools, halve potatoes lengthwise, then quarter each half (to form short wedges). Scoop out potato flesh (reserving it for another use), leaving 1/4-inch-thick potato skins.

Increase oven temperature to 425°F.

Squeeze garlic into a small bowl, discarding garlic skins, and mash to a paste with butter, salt, and pepper using a fork.

Divide garlic paste among potato skins (about 1/2 teaspoon each), spreading evenly, then roast skins in a large shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) until golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.


Healthy Recipes: Watermelon Slushie

by Nancy Maneely

Is there anything more refreshing on a hot summer day than an icy-cold wedge of watermelon? And lucky for us, we can enjoy this wonderful summer treat without guilt, because it’s low in calories, high in dietary fiber, and contains lots of antioxidant nutrition.

Healthy Recipes: Watermelon Slushie

Watermelon is a friend to the “healthy aging” crowd as well as weight-loss aficionados. That pretty pink color? It’s from lycopene. Watermelon contains higher levels of the antioxidant lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable (15 to 20 mg per 2-cup serving) and is part of a healthy diet.

Watermelon also provides Vitamin A for eye health, Vitamin B6 for immune system support, Vitamin C (another antioxidant powerhouse), and potassium.

When I was a kid, watermelon was regarded with some suspicion by health-conscious moms. How could something this tasty and fun be … GOOD for you? It was a fabulous summer indulgence at picnics and barbecues. But why wait for a special occasion?

At this time of year, watermelon prices are at their lowest and there’s an abundance of varieties everywhere you look. As far as I’m concerned, you can’t get too much of a good thing! Enjoy it alone or in a fruit salad. 

Healthy Recipes: Watermelon Slushie

There are also lots of recipes on the Internet for smoothies, cocktails … even gazpacho with watermelon as the star ingredient. Go for it!

Here’s an easy, delicious recipe for Watermelon Slushie. Enjoy it with friends or family and make some extra to have on hand, in case the neighbors drop by.

Watermelon Slushie

  • 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • 10 ice cubes (or you can substitute frozen strawberries!)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 tbsp. sweetener, adjust to taste (sugar, stevia, honey, or agave syrup)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Place watermelon and ice into a blender. Pour in lime juice, sugar, and salt. Blend until smooth.

Yield:  5 servings

Nutrition Information Per Serving:  70 calories, 0.2g Total Fat, 0mg Cholesterol


National Watermelon Promotion Board
Self Nutrition Data


Beauty’s Dangerous History

by Institute for Vibrant Living

If you’re dying to be more beautiful, be careful what you wish for. Although our modern-day cosmetics and beauty treatments are carefully tested and FDA approved, in the past people have not been quite so lucky. History shows that humans have been putting poisons in cosmetics for thousands of years.

Beauty can be deadly, as history shows we have been putting poisons in cosmetics for many years.

Lead Lipstick

Although we are now acutely aware of lead poisoning, in the past lead was a common ingredient in lipstick, eyeliner and even face powder. In ancient Greece the most fashionable women painted their faces with white lead and chalk mixed with vinegar. The lead would slowly poison them, causing prematurely gray hair, dry skin and abdominal cramps before finally killing them. No wonder their life expectancy was considerably shorter than today!

Related: Recipes to Fight Breast Cancer

Mercurial Beauty

In the 15th century, women went to great pains – literally – to enhance their natural beauty. As well as plucking their hairline to give the illusion of a higher forehead, they would redden their lips with mercuric sulphide. We now know that mercury can cause birth defects, depression, tremors, kidney and liver problems. However, even quite recently mercury was used to cure blemishes and was present in some cosmetics.

Killer Eye Drops

To make their eyes shine brightly, European women used belladonna (from deadly nightshade) as eye drops. It actually works by cutting off neuron function to dilate the pupils, but ultimately it lived up to its name and was deadly.

Arsenic Face Powder

At one time, taking arsenic was a popular way to achieve that enviable pale complexion. Women would soak arsenic out of fly papers which created a pale countenance by killing their red blood cells. Eventually the ensuing baldness and deadly side effects led to it being banned in the 1920s. Arsenic was replaced by quack doctors selling products such as “Dr. McKenzie’s Improved Harmless Arsenic Complexion Wafers”.

Bone-Aching Beauty

In Victorian times, women would be laced into rib-breaking corsets to create a tiny waistline. In China, tiny feet were considered dainty and infants had their feet bound to restrict growth in a painful procedure.

Modern Day Toxic Beauty

Although these historic tales seem ridiculous, in some ways we have not learned from the past. We still use known carcinogens to dye our hair, and inject botox (botulinum toxin) to paralyze signals from the nerves to the muscles to prevent wrinkles.

Coal tar is still found in some anti-dandruff shampoos and hair dyes. It is a human carcinogen that causes a susceptibility to sunburn and damages DNA.

Fortunately, beauty can be achieved without going to such dangerous extremes.  A healthy diet, plenty of exercise and organic cosmetics can provide a natural healthy glow that surely outshines other more extreme beauty treatments.


Top Three Fermented Foods for Constipation Relief

by Cindy Gray

How healthy is your colon? The primary sign of a healthy colon and digestive system is if you have a bowel movement at least once a day. If you don’t, chances are that you are suffering from constipation and may need some help from nature. Eating fermented foods regularly will help provide constipation relief by improving your digestive process and cleansing your colon.

Your diet should contain plenty of fiber from your five daily portions of fruit and vegetables, whole wheat bread, pasta and cereals. If you need a little extra help, consider introducing these fermented foods into your diet. You’ll feel more energetic and alive once you have found relief for constipation. 

Fermented foods use an ancient form of controlled fermentation to produce lactic acid which will help keep all bad bacteria and decay at bay. The fermented foods then introduce this healthy flora into the gut, helping the digestive process, keeping food moving at a healthy pace, and helping to eliminate waste products through the bowel for effective constipation relief.

What is Kefir?

Kefir is a fermented milk product similar to yogurt. However, it is produced using a different method and contains high levels of healthy bacteria that colonize the intestines. It is made using milk kefir grains which contain yeast and live bacteria. The milk is then cultured at room temperature, unlike yogurt which needs heat to culture. Kefir can be drained to produce a more solid consistency and can then be eaten or made into cheese. It has a tart flavor but is a great ingredient for using in other recipes such as smoothies, salad dressing, soups, dips and desserts.

Related: The Benefits of Chlorella

What is Kimchi?

Kimchi is a good source of constipation relief

Kimchi is a spicy fermented vegetable dish which is popular in Korea. It can be made from scallions, radishes or cabbage. It is soaked in brine then the healthy lactobacillus bacteria ferment the cabbage during the process which takes several days. The fermentation gives the cabbage a sharp tangy flavor. Some people prefer to add seasonings such as garlic or ginger to make it tastier.

How Can Sauerkraut Help Relieve Constipation?

Sauerkraut is made using a similar process to kimchi. It should be fermented rather than pickled in vinegar to provide all the health benefits of the fermentation process as it produces millions of health supporting probiotic bacteria.

When eaten, these probiotics help break down food in the digestive system, making it faster and easier to process the food and eliminate waste. The benefits of probiotics and fermented foods for constipation relief are becoming more popular as people understand more about how these fermented foods work.


Fermented Vegetables for Indigestion

by Cindy Gray

The typical American diet often consists mainly of highly processed foods, fatty meats and few fruits or vegetables.  As a result, indigestion and gastrointestinal (GI) disorders are on the rise, and nutritional deficits are the result.  Adding fermented foods, especially vegetables, into your diet can significantly improve the health of your belly, boost your immune system and stave off metabolic disorders that lead to high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and weight gain.

Fermented Vegetables: Optimal for Health and the Digestive SystemWhat Does Fermented Mean?

According to the dictionary, fermentation is: “the process in which a substance breaks down into a simpler substance.”  Usually some kind of agent, a microorganism like yeast or bacteria, starts the process that breaks sugar down into alcohol for instance.  Through fermentation, milk becomes cheese, yogurt and kefir. Grapes become wine and cabbage becomes kimchi or sauerkraut. Fermentation has been used for centuries in almost every culture as a way of preserving food.  Long before there was refrigeration or fast food restaurants, fermentation was an easy way to keep food edible for the winter months or for long journeys.

Probiotics for Healthy Digestion and Stronger Immunity

Fermenting vegetables and other foods makes them rich in probiotics.  These are the intestinal flora (good bacteria) essential for healthy digestion. They feed on sugar and help break down the nutrients in the intestine, which makes it easier for our bodies to absorb them.

When the good bacteria in our gut gets out of balance it can lead to:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea or Constipation
  • Inflammation
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Increased risk of contracting illnesses like colds or the flu

Research has shown that obese people tend to have an imbalance in gut flora; and the immune system can become compromised when you don’t have enough healthy bacteria in your GI tract.  The Journal of Nutrition has even found a link between probiotics and a decreased risk of colon cancer.

Fermented Vegetables

We all know that vegetables are an essential component of a healthy diet. Fermented vegetables offer additional health benefits, but are not common in many American meals.  Making them a part of your diet has many health benefits, so here are a few to try.  Some of them may sound odd or exotic, but don’t let that stop you from trying them.

Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish consisting of fermented cabbage.  Unless you grew up in a Korean family, you might find its pungent odor and spicy tang unappetizing.  It is an acquired taste, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to like it and by doing so, reap great health benefits.

Other fermented vegetables that can help indigestion are:

  • Pickles

  • Sauerkraut

  • Miso (fermented soy beans that form a base for soups and sauces)

  • Poi (fermented taro root)

  • Natto (fermented soy beans that are a traditional Japanese breakfast)

When trying these foods, be sure to look for those that are not pasteurized. Choose the high quality pickles and sauerkraut in the refrigerated section of your grocery store rather than the canned versions that may contain high fructose corn syrup, a lot of preservatives, or are high in sodium. Shopping in specialty food markets is the best way to find good miso, poi or natto.

There are other terms for fermented like “pickled” or “cultured,” so read labels carefully and be aware that some of these foods are very high in sodium.  You can always ferment food at home, too. It’s actually a pretty simple process and there are dozens of recipes and “how to” articles and videos on-line to assist you.

Other Healthy Fermented Foods

Fermented vegetables are just one way to get gut-healthy probiotics into your diet for better digestion and a stronger immune system.  Other foods rich in probiotics are:

  • Kefir

  • Yogurt

  • Sourdough bread

  • Tempeh (cake made from fermented soybeans)

Introduce fermented vegetables slowly  into your diet if you are not used to eating them regularly.  Until they become a regular part of your diet, try adding them as a side dish or snack so you don’t overwhelm your palate. You will reap the benefits of a healthier gut and a stronger immune system.

Related: Simple Tips for Relieving Indigestion


Healthy Recipes: Walnut Crusted Salmon Filets

by Health News

Looking for dinner ideas to add to your arsenal of high blood pressure recipes? Here is a delicious recipe that will be a sure hit!

High Blood Pressure Recipes: Walnut Crusted Salmon FiletsIngredients
3 cups walnuts
6 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
6 tablespoons lemon rind, finely grated
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper
12 3-oz salmon fillets, skin on
Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1. Place walnuts in food processor; coarsely chop. Add bread crumbs, lemon rind, olive oil and dill; pulse until crumbly. Mixture should stick together. Season; set aside.

2. Arrange salmon fillets skin side down on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Brush tops with mustard.

3. Spoon 1/3 cup of walnut crumb mixture over each fillet; gently press the crumb mixture into the surface of the fish. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

4. Bake at 350°F 15 to 20 minutes, or until salmon flakes with a fork. Just before serving, sprinkle each with 1 tsp lemon juice.


The Best "HEALTHY" Guacamole Recipe

by Health News

The key to healthy aging is maintaining a healthy diet. Check out this guacamole recipe that has the added bonus of wheatgrass powder!

The Best "HEALTHY" Guacamole Recipe


  • 6 ripe avocados
  • 1 package guacamole seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons wheatgrass powder of your choice (this amount can vary depending on the brand)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Cut avocados in half and remove pits.
  2. Scoop out avocado with spoon into a mixing bowl.
  3. Mash avocado with fork until no large chunks remain.
  4. Add seasoning to avocado mixture and blend with a fork.
  5. Add lime juice and water and blend.
  6. Sprinkle wheatgrass powder over mixture and blend.
  7. Add 1/2 of cilantro to mixture and blend.
  8. Place guacamole in serving bowl and sprinkle the remaining cilantro on top.
  9. Serve with the chips or crackers of your choice.  Remember to place the avocado pit into the prepared guacamole to prevent it from turning browning; then remove before serving.


Healthy Recipes: Seasonal Foods

by Health News

Savory turkey, sweet pumpkin, tart cranberries…These are the flavors of the fall/winter season. But according to some nutritional experts, we should be eating more of these types of foods all year round because they are so full of natural antioxidants and fiber.

“Several foods we consume this time of year are actually good for you when prepared with minimal added fat, sugar and salt, and consumed in moderation," says Stacey Snelling, a registered dietitian and associate dean at American University's School of Education, Teaching and Health.

Many people do not eat with the seasons. They eat whatever they want all year round. However, if you’re wondering how to have more energy, eating with the seasons is one of the best things you can do for your body. Fueling it with ample antioxidants and fiber will help you stay energized throughout the day.

Here are some examples:

  • White turkey meat is low in fat, high in protein, high in B vitamins, and low in calories compared with dark turkey meat.
  • Cranberries are low-calorie, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and high in fiber and vitamins A and C.
  • Sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and high in vitamins A and C, and fiber.
  •  Red wine is fat-free and high in heart-healthy antioxidants, but only one alcoholic beverage per day for women and two per day for men is recommended. How to Have More Energy: Seasonal Healthy Food Recipes
  • Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and a healthy indulgence when eaten in moderation.
  • Broccoli is the food that can do no wrong. It is low in calories, fat-free, and high in vitamins A and C.
  • Do you normally say “no” to the green bean casserole? You might want to reconsider it! Green beans are low in calories, fat-free, high in vitamins C and K, and high in fiber.
  • Green peas are fat-free, high in vitamin K and high in fiber.

The spices we use in these dishes might also provide health benefits, according to Snelling.

"Some research has found that cinnamon may lower blood sugar, improve diabetes and aid in treating bacterial infections," she says.


Healthy Recipes: Herbal Lemonade

by Health News

The key to healthy aging is maintaining a healthy diet. Here’s a great way to dress up homemade lemonade that will keep you cool and refreshed (and popular with anyone you share it with) all spring and summer long.The key to healthy aging is maintaining a healthy diet


  • 6 organic lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 cup raw local honey (or more to taste)
  • 2 quarts filtered water
  • 2 oz. fresh dill
  • 2 oz. fresh mint
  • 3 - 5 sprigs rosemary
  • Edible flowers to garnish


  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and add honey. When honey is dissolved, refrigerate until cool.
  2. Juice the lemons and remove the seeds.
  3. In a container, add the cool honey water, lemon juice and herbs (muddle the herbs to release their flavor)
  4. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  5. Garnish with edible orchids. Enjoy!

For more healthy recipes, check out this Salmon Salad with Walnuts and Asparagus.