Cashews, often deemed indulgent, are a rich dietary source of monounsaturated fat and copper which is essential in energy production, antioxidant functioning and bone formation. Enjoyed in moderation, they contribute to increasing our overall intake of nuts which studies have confirmed can lower our risk of heart disease, lower the risk of developing gallstones, and lower our risk of gaining weight! Participants in a study that consumed nuts 2x per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than those that never ate nuts. Enjoy (in moderation)!
Although it’s true that dark chocolate contains beneficial bioactive compounds, we like this evening snack for its theanine (in the chocolate) to help induce relaxation– perfect for those cold winter nights. This hot chocolate is balanced and very subtly sweet compared to commercial preparations – but that’s why we love it. Sip it knowing you are supporting your health through balance and before you know it you will actually prefer its simplicity.
Legume-based pasta (like garbanzo, black bean, and soy) is an incredible way to continue enjoying pasta while getting much more nutrition than just carbohydrates provided by flour-based varieties. This recipe pairs legume-based pasta with our Faux Alfredo Sauce (white bean sauce) to make a plant-based protein-rich, fiber-rich (which equals FILLING) meal. Enjoy with endless varieties of leafy and tender veggies!
This salad is as pretty as it is nutritious. Pomegranates have various bioactive compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties against cancer cells. The arils are also a wonderful source of vitamin C and potassium needed to regulate blood pressure. The prebiotic and soluble fibers also help regulate the native strains of gut bacteria. This is a lot of health activity from something we just call “lunch”!
You know how alcohol is an acquired taste? There is usually something a little bitter (like tannins) or pungent in these beverages that we come to anticipate. When finding alcohol alternatives, I like to experiment with combinations of flavors that I might not exactly love at first sight – but I acquire a taste for it. This makes it more satisfying to me than just replacing my wine with a glass of juice. I still want that distinct taste that makes me sip it, slow down, and relax. Here is one combination that I enjoy. And in the spirit of CARE, the herbs are also therapeutic to the digestive system. This beverage supports your native strains of bacteria rather than stress them (as alcohol does).
A CARE member brought a copy of this recipe to me after her family just fell in love with it. It is remarkable how a staple like peanut butter, or other nut butter, can be blended into soup stock transforming it from “the usual” to absolutely unexpected. I added tofu for additional protein compared to the original recipe. This makes this vegan soup an unexpectedly rich source of calcium. Adapted and balanced from Robin Asbell’s recipe in the Star Tribune which she adapted from “The Moosewood Cookbook”.
Making a roast in the slow cooker is an excellent method for leaner, tougher, and cheaper(!) cuts of meat like chuck. The slow, lower temp cooking method is ideal for tenderizing and breaking down fibers while maximizing flavor. Roast is great for make-ahead protein, too. To keep with our CARE goal of red meat no more than 2 meals per week, enjoy a dinner with the root vegetables you cook it with the night you make it, then pre-portion and freeze left-overs for upcoming meal plans.
This recipe is a staple in CARE. It’s introduced in the first week’s sample meal plan for new members for a reason. It’s easy, so family-friendly, and a great example of how balanced doesn’t have to mean boring. Using store-bought rotisserie chicken and making your rice ahead of time makes this a quick 20-minute dinner option (lean ground turkey could also be used). This recipe also shows you how you can still make savory, comforting dishes with cheese and rice – by balancing the right quality and in the right amounts.
Roasted chickpeas were made for us “salty snackers”. Replace the afternoon pretzels with this high-fiber, high-protein yet salty and crunchy- alternative. Chickpeas are a rich pre-biotic food (from our CARE Bonus Step: Strengthening Digestion). Pair with an herbal digestive tea, like ginger or mint, for a therapeutic mid-day break that actually support your intestinal cells vs stress them (like high caffeine, high sugar afternoon snacks). PLUS, this is a great portable snack that keeps in desk drawers and bags making sure adhering to meal timing is not a problem!
I love this snack as an example of food first (vs. supplements). This snack supports your immune system, natural detoxification, and thyroid by providing 100% of your daily needs for both vitamin C (kiwi) and selenium (Brazil nuts). It also provides fiber and just the right combination of healthy carbohydrate (kiwi) and healthy fat (Brazil nut) to help control your blood sugar in-between meals. This is how easy, and tasty, it is to eat with purpose.