The Hippo


May 28, 2020








 A day of superfood 

Check out these recipes featuring superfoods, courtesy of Allison Lellos. 
Breakfast: Christmas Morning Crockpot Oatmeal
1½ cups steel-cut oats
4 cups water (or 2 cups water, 2 cups almond milk)
¼  cup almonds
¼ cup walnuts
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½  teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup blueberries and/or diced apple
Lightly spray the bottom and sides of crockpot. 
Add all dry ingredients to the crockpot. 
Add liquid ingredients to the crockpot (water and/or almond milk).
Gently stir to mix. 
Cover the crockpot and set to low. Allow to cook on low for at least 8 hours. 
If crockpot runs warmer or liquid is absorbed by 4 hours, add more water and stir. 
Lunch: Not Your Average Spinach Salad
1½ to 2 cups spinach
¼ cup black beans
¼ cup corn
½ to 1 cup cucumber
¼ cup cooked quinoa
½ cup shredded carrots
¼ cup diced avocado
½ cup salsa
Prepare quinoa (as directed on box) early in the week and refrigerate.
Rinse and dry spinach in paper towel. 
Remove excess sodium by rinsing and straining the beans and corn (if from a can). 
Rinse, dry and dice/shred cucumber and carrots.
Dice avocado and store remains in airtight container or ziplock bag.
Combine all ingredients and top with salsa. 
A few crumbled blue corn chips or ¼ cup of shredded cheese can be added on top if more salad excitement is desired. 
Dinner: Set It and Forget It Stovetop Lentils
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 to 2 cups dry lentils
2 to 3 cups water
½ cup diced carrots
½ cup broccoli
Handful of rinsed spinach
1 teaspoon oregano
In a medium-sized pot, heat olive oil on medium. 
Add garlic and let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add water and lentils to the pot and bring to a boil.
Add carrots, broccoli and oregano. 
Stir, cover the pot and set to low for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, or until liquid is gone (stirring occasionally). If lentils are not tender, add 1 cup of water and continue cooking on low. 
Once lentils are tender, add handful of spinach, stir and cover the pot until spinach has softened.
Serve with a dash of cheese on top if you like, and add salt to taste. 

Supercharge your diet
How to make the most of superfoods

By Angie Sykeny

 You don’t have to adopt a whole new diet to eat healthier this year. Simple modifications like adding a handful of berries to your yogurt can go a long way, especially if you know what foods give you the most bang for your buck. 

More than just “healthy” foods, superfoods are especially dense in one or multiple types of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and polyphenols.
“They’re considered ‘super’ because they provide a variety of health benefits such as prolonged life, provide you with more energy and reduce and avoid diseases,” said health coach Allison Lellos of Allison Lellos Holistic Wellness in New Hampshire. “Any kind of produce or non-packaged food can be beneficial, but superfoods pack a little extra punch of nutritional benefit.” 
What they are
Lellos said many people associate superfoods with exotic or specialty items like matcha and acai, but most superfoods are actually common items that you can find at any grocery store. They may even be a part of your diet already. 
Some “staple superfoods” that are commonly available and easy to add to any diet include fruits like blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, tomatoes and avocados; veggies like spinach and kale, lentils and black beans, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and broccoli; and other nutrient-dense foods like quinoa and chia, almonds, oats, garlic, green tea, Greek yogurt and salmon. 
“It’s a huge misconception that superfoods are too rare and unattainable or out of our reach. Some of them are right under our noses,” Lellos said. 
How to use them
Naturally, it’s easier to pair superfoods with a healthy diet than an unhealthy diet, so the best approach, Lellos said, is to focus on having a healthy and balanced diet first, then work superfoods into that mold. For example, if your goal is to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, think about ways you can fulfill some of those using superfoods. That way, you’re getting the basic benefits of eating a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables in addition to the benefits from the superfoods. 
Also keep in mind that different superfoods provide different kinds of nutrition, so you need to eat a variety of them to reap the full range of health benefits. 
“You could get your antioxidants from blueberries or green tea, but your probiotics from Greek yogurt and your iron and calcium from kale,” Lellos said. “They all have different qualities, so it’s important to mix them up. We need a multitude of color on our plates, even with superfood.” 
The best strategy for maintaining superfoods in your diet long term, Lellos said, is to make them convenient to use, stick with small changes and keep your diet fresh and exciting. 
Try dedicating one day a week to preparing superfoods in bulk so that they’re accessible to you throughout the week and easy to mix and match with your regular meals. You can make things even simpler by planning meals like stir-frys, salads, soups and stews, which are easy to add superfood ingredients to. 
One of the perks of superfoods, Lellos said, is that you don’t have to make drastic changes to your diet or come up with elaborate new recipes to get the health benefits. And if you start falling into a rut with the same foods, she said, it’s easy enough to get creative with new ways to use superfoods. 

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