Do You Tanka?

I was recently introduced to Tanka at The Fancy Food Show last month here in Manhattan.  I love bison, however, I was a bit hesitant to try these products, but after one bite, I simply couldn’t resist.  Now, I keep a nice supply of Tanka bars and bites in my fridge for a bite here and a nibble there when I’m yearning for a protein-kick and a naturally sweet taste.  Tanka Wild combines the goodness of prairie-raised Buffalo and tart-sweet Cranberries with 100% Indian-grown and harvested Minnesota cultivated Wild Rice, making this delicious snack a little crunchy with a slightly nutty flavor.

Tanka’s wild rice is non-GMO, and contains no artificial flavors or colors. And as we all know, wild rice is a whole grain that is high in fiber, antioxidants and phosphorus.

The Tanka Wild Stick is a snack that moms can trust. It tastes great and leaves you full of energy, and not full of fillers and fat.

Tanka Wild comes in 2 great flavors: Traditional and Hot and Spicy Pepper Blend.

Tanka products are:

  • Gluten-free
  • No nitrates
  • Contains non-GMO wild rice
  • Lactose-free
  • Low-fat
  • No MSG
  • Low in sodium

Tanka Bars – Made from tart-sweet cranberries and prairie-raised buffalo, the 1-ounce Tanka Bar is a delicious real food bar with a smoky, slightly-sweet flavor. 100% natural and only 70-calories, Tanka Bars are gluten-free, hormone-free, nitrates-free, and low-fat. The new Tanka Bar Spicy Pepper Blend features a four-pepper blend of habanero, jalapeno, and red and black pepper.

Tanka Wild Sticks – Tanka Wild Sticks combine the goodness of prairie-raised buffalo and tart-sweet cranberries with 100% Indian-grown and harvested Minnesota cultivated wild rice in a convenient, eat-as-you-go snack stick. Also free of gluten, hormones and nitrates, the wild rice lends a little bit of crunch to the smoky-sweet buffalo and fruit. Tanka Wild is also available in Spicy Pepper Blend.

Tanka Bites:

Tanka Bites are the same great tasting recipe as the Tanka Bar in small bite form.

They’re conveniently packaged in a 3-oz. re-sealable pouch, ready for life’s adventures.

Tanka Bar Traditional:

A blend of slow-smoked buffalo meat with tart-sweet cranberries.

Hot Tanka Bar Spicy Pepper Blend:

Adds a balanced blend of black pepper, habanero, jalapeno, spice, and red pepper for a great spicy taste.

Native American Natural Foods is focused on creating a family of nationally branded food products that are delicious and that promote a Native American way of wellness that feeds mind, body, and spirit. Based on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, their vision is not to go back to a traditional way of life, but to bring the heritage of wisdom from their traditional healthy lifestyle into the 21st century and into the lives of those who share their vision.  For a brief video about the company and its mission please visit: http://tinyurl.com/2fqs9hh.

And…

I’m so excited to announce the Tanka Discount for my readers:

15% off any order of regularly priced Tanka products

Coupon good through Sept. 30, 2010

Coupon name: THEHEALTHYAPPLE

Have you ever tried Tanka products? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

In The News This Week…

Wholly Guacamole Goes Beyond The Party Circuit

Food, Beverages Rival Vitamins and Supplements

Raw Veggies vs. Cooked Veggies

Hain Celestial Helping Families Make Better Food and Fitness Choices

Whole Foods 365 Brand Expands Non-Dairy Beverage Options

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Sugar Blues and Open Sky Discount

sugar

Sugar is everywhere today.  Not only is it in soda, cake and ice cream but in more unlikely foods such as ketchup, canned food and salad dressings.  Sugar is often disguised in fancy language such as corn syrup, dextrose, fructose or maltose.  Many of us unknowingly consume 30 teaspoons of sugar each day, which is 3 times the USDA recommendation.

It is only natural that we crave sugar.  It is simply the body asking for energy.  When sugar is digested, it turns to glucose which fuels the body’s cells and helps restore energy levels.  But, before you hit the vending machine for an instant energy boost, note that all sweets are not created equal.

Refined sugar creates a roller-coaster effect–imagine a child’s birthday party.  The kids are calm in the beginning, but after cake time everyone is bouncing off the walls.  The sugar from the cake quickly enters the bloodstream and causes the blood sugar level to skyrocket causing excitability, hyperactivity and nervous tension.  Because this sugar is refined and does not have any minerals or vitamins to sustain energy, the hyperactivity will only last for a short period of time before the energy plummets and the kids become cranky and tired.  Ever wonder why these kids birthday parties last only a couple of hours?

Refined sugars not only lead to major mood swings but also take a tool on the body leading to health problems such as diabetes, weight gain and hypoglycemia.  Because the table sugar in your morning donuts is such a severe dose of energy, it causes your body’s glucose levels to spike up and then crash down.  When the body senses a high level of sugar it goes into panic mode and words hard to burn it up as quickly as possible.  In order for the body to absorb sugar properly, it uses its own minerals and enzymes creating a deficiency.  Refined sugars also create more cravings for more high-calorie, sweet foods as your body tries to replace lost nutrients.

For those of you who are sugar addicts, start slowly.  Rather than quitting ‘cold turkey’, try to incorporate sweeter veggies such as carrots and sweet potatoes into your day.  You may still experience energy dips in the early afternoon and then a couple of hours post lunch, however, this is only natural.  By incorporating more foods with naturally occurring sugars, the energy dips will not be as sever as if you were to eat a candy bar.  As you add more veggies, you will eventually crave less sugar and naturally crowd out the sweet snacks.

Sometimes your cravings go beyond hunger or the need for an energy boost.  The desire for something sweet may be the need for other forms of comfort in your life. When do you crave sweets the most? Is it in the late afternoon when you are bored at work or when you are home alone? Along with replacing simple sugars with sweet veggies, whole grains and fruits, try to incorporate more self-care into your life, whether it is though relationships, exercise or hobbies.  You may be surprised to learn that your desire for that bowl of ice cream is not as strong.

Here are a few of my facts and tips to help you navigate through your Sugar Blues:

  • Sugar is addicting; once we start…we cannot stop…we continue to crave sugar and want more and more!
  • Food changes everything; we take it in with our mouths and it becomes us..’you are what you eat’, so when we are eating too much sugar, we are very different than when we are eating leafy greens and good sources of protein
  • Willpower is not the problem, it’s the uncontrollable cravings
  • Sugar is the solution, not the problem
  • Why do we go for sugar? It gives us something-energy, feeling happy, satisfied, etc. and it’s an instantaneous solution to these problems. It will shoot our energy through the roof but we will crash later. So, sugar is our solution in the moment- our body is constantly trying to achieve homeostasis (balance).  We want balance.
  • So, if we wake up tired-we want coffee, donuts or sugar, which spikes us up then we crash
  • If we are eating too many salty foods (yang) such as meaty, salty grounding foods they will make us crave sugar (yin) foods.  For instance, bartenders put out peanuts so that people will continue to drink sweet alcohol.  The same goes for dining out–the food is always heavy on the salt so that we will want to order off the dessert menus.
  • When we are craving sugar we are not hungry, we are usually thirsty.  Most Americans are dehydrated, which causes migraine headaches and exhaustion.
  • When you get a craving; take a deep breath and drink water, look at your watch and wait 20 minutes for the craving to pass.
  • There is ALWAYS something behind your underlying causes of cravings.
  • Could be our lack of primary foods in our lives? By Primary Foods, I am referring to love, friends, relationships, work, spiritual practice, career, exercise, hobbies and anything that is a non-food source that heals your soul.  Are you bored? Are you lonely? Are you running away from something or someone? Many people use food to fill a void that food CANNOT fix. The freezer (ice cream) satisfies that need, but the ice cream does not solve anything, so you are off to find another quick fix.
  • Put a list on your fridge that will list non-food options called a ‘Nourishment Menu’; use this menu to feed your soul.  Work in the garden, call a friend, take a walk, get outside in nature, practice yoga, read a book, make a human connection with friends or family members.   Food cannot help our problems or make us feel as good as these options can.
  • Ask yourself, “Am I getting the nourishment that I want from my life?”  ” Am I looking to food to fill this void in my life?”
  • Sugar is not the problem; it is the solution and our body is always trying to come into balance. When we eat too many meat-based or grounding foods we are going to crave the opposite.
  • If we are dehydrated we will crave sugar.
  • Often times, food is not the issue.  We are looking for connection with spirit in our body.  Take a step back and analyze the situation.  You may be surprised to know that food is not the problem at all.
  • What is one thing that you learned about yourself with your relationships with food?  Be sure to look at everything you do for yourself that truly nourishes you.  True nourishment comes from non-food sources; mindless snacking is something we do to keep us busy.
  • If your sweet tooth is not satisfied with sweet vegetables or fruit, here are some of my favorite ‘Sweet’ Condiments, which are more natural alternatives to sugar.

Be sure to understand and comprehend each bullet point above.  Ask yourself if these scenarios relate to your life.  Do you realize the impact of sugar on your health and well-being?

Eat for quality, not quantity and savor each bite of food.

Open Sky Discount

Shop my Open Sky store and receive 10% anything on the Open Sky website; use the coupon code REDESIGN throughout all of January.

Product Review: Panda Licorice

Thank you to Panda Licorice for sending us a generous package of their all natural licorice samples.


panda

Panda Black Licorice

This Panda Black Licorice has to be my favorite brand of licorice.  I will NEVER go back to Twizzlers or other mass marketed licorice.  These are the REAL thing.  Made with Licorice extract, these are the perfect cure for any sweet tooth.


Panda Raspberry Licorice
Although they do not have as many health benefits as black licorice, they are still a tasty sweet treat. The raspberry flavor wasn’t too overbearing and not too sweet either.  I could eat half the box of the little chews without feeling like sugar overload.  I’ll definitely be keeping my cabinet well stocked with these little guys.
Thank you, again to Panda Licorice for sending me samples of their tasty treats.  You can easily find Panda Licorice at any health food store and Whole Foods Market–be sure to look out for these tasty nibbles…they’re a perfect ‘desk-drawer’ snack for work.

Product Review: Benson’s Gourmet Seasonings

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Thank you so very much to the Benson family for sending me over a variety of their Benson’s Gourmet Seasonings.  I had the pleasure of working with the Bensons, who kindly sent me samples for my clients and I to taste.  For those of you who know me, I am a HUGE fan of spices and seasonings, however, I have yet to come across a brand with such exceptional flavors!

These delicious Benson’s spices are  Sodium Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free and Wheat Free.  Their seasonings are  All Natural and contain No Soy, No Salt, No Sugar, No MSG and No Preservatives.  WOW!  Benson’s Seasonings are the way to go when looking to add that kick of flavor to any dish.

Benson’s has a seasoning for any dish!  They are the perfect no potassium salt substitute for popcorn, chicken, poultry, seafood and vegetables.  Moreover, many of my clients and I use the seasonings in our baking and for our summertime BBQ’s.  Benson’s even has seasonings uniquely geared towards wild game, beans, chili and lamb!

My favorite seasonings are the ‘Family Collection‘, which is comprised of the following seasonings:

  • Supreme- Garlic and Herb
  • Gusto- Pepper and Herb
  • Masterpiece- A Hint of Southwest
  • Zesty- Tangy Lemon and Herb
  • Calypso- Jamaican Hot and Spicy
  • Table Tasty- All Natural Salt-Like Flavor

benson

Be sure to take a look at Benson’s Gourmet Seasonings and try them out for yourself…these unique spices will kick up the flavor in your meal!  Try adding them to your morning oatmeal or eggs, baked goods recipes for muffins and breads or your lunchtime salad and tofu dinner…the opportunities are endless.  Get creative and have fun in your kitchen with Benson’s Gourmet Seasonings.  Give them a try and let me know your thoughts; I would love to hear how you are using the Benson’s Seasonings in your meals!

Enjoy.

Healthy Coconut ‘Fried’ Rice

Here is a delicious gluten and dairy free recipe that I cooked up last night for myself.  The powerful flavors of the saffron and coconut make this a tasty meal for any season.

rice

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free milk (soy, hemp, rice, nut)
  • 1 large tomato, finely diced
  • Dash of Nu-Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Dash of saffron
  • Dash of curry powder
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 4 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 5 scallions, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 block extra firm tofu, pressed and drained

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, combine eggs and egg white; beat with a fork until blended.
  • Coat a large pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Pour in egg mixture and scramble.  Remove eggs and set aside.
  • To the same pan, add oil and heat over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and onions; stir fry until golden brown.  Add Nu-Salt, pepper, vinegar and diced tomato; continue to stir fry for 2 minutes.  Slowly add the non-dairy milk, cinnamon, agave nectar, nutritional yeast, saffron, curry, coconut flakes, coconut extract.
  • Add brown rice, tofu and continue to stir fry for another few minutes.
  • Add in the cooked eggs.  Stir fry for another minute to ensure even cooking.
  • Remove from heat and serve.  Top with scallions, a dollop of Greek yogurt and cilantro.
  • Enjoy!

Homemade Baked Beans

kidney

There’s nothing like a side of baked beans at your summer BBQ; here’s an easy recipe that you can quickly whip up the next time you light up the outdoor grill!  I love the taste of baked beans, however, I try to make my own from scratch when I have the time.  I  steer clear of the processed, canned baked beans due to their high sodium count and additives, which can be quite troublesome to my stomach.

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas (drained/rinsed)
  • 1 can kidney beans (drained/rinsed)
  • 1 packet NuNaturals Stevia
  • 1 Tsp. agave nectar
  • 1 ripe avocado (cored and peeled)
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. grain mustard
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Dash of Nu-Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • In a medium size bowl, combine the agave nectar, mustard, balsamic vinegar, stevia and avocado.  Mash the avocado until there are no chunks.  After mashing, be sure to mix the agave nectar, stevia and avocado well.
  • Add in the chickpeas; continue to mash slightly so you leave the bean shape but also get a smooth consistence.  Slowly add in the kidney beans; continue to mash.  Add onion and basil.  Mix well.  Sprinkle with desired amount of Nu-Salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to the stove top and cook for 20 minutes over Medium heat, stirring often.
  • Remove from heat and serve warm or chilled.
  • Enjoy!

More Snacks…

Just in time for the holiday weekend, my On-The-Go Snack List continues…

I’m sure many of you are planning on hitting the road for the upcoming 4th of July holiday weekend, so I thought I’d share some more of my snack ideas with you…many of them are quick and easy to prepare and can be stored in a Ziploc bag or Tupperware.

This time around I’ve categorized your munchies into what you’re taste buds are craving…You can indulge in these tasty, easy-to-prep finger foods guilt-free!

1003_food_healthy_snacks_3

Crunchy

  • Rye crackers with mashed avocado and lemon juice
  • Whole wheat cracker spread with nut butter, drizzled with honey and topped with sliced strawberries
  • Air-Popped Popcorn (make your own healthy variety)
  • Apple slices drizzled with Agave Nectar
  • Frozen Grapes
  • Crudites of veggies and your choice of dip (Hummus, Tabouli, Vinaigrette, Balsamic Dressing and Olive Oil)
  • Celery and Nut Butter
  • Whole Grain toast with hummus
  • Toasted nuts sprinkled with stevia and cinnamon

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Sweet

  • Wheat grass
  • Dried fruit
  • Greek yogurt and ripe fruit
  • Dried fruit and nuts (Try pairing together different options such as pistachios with dried mango, macadamia nuts with dried cherries, peanuts with dried apricots, hazelnuts with dried pears or cashews with dried cranberries)
  • Sprouted date bread with all natural jam
  • Frozen Greek yogurt (Make Your Own)
  • 1 Banana rolled in cocoa powder and drizzled with honey
  • Porridge (Maple syrup, cinnamon, soy milk, bananas mixed with your choice of left-over grains)
  • Smoothies (Carob powder, Greek yogurt, ice, fruit, soy milk, etc.)
  • Fruit ‘Ice Cream’ (Peel a banana, freeze and blend in a food processor along with nuts and berries.
  • Roasted Sweet Veggies drizzled with cinnamon and agave nectar (Experiment with root veggies such as yams, sweet potatoes, squashes such as acorn, butternut or kabocha and cut into chunks or ‘fries’, then sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with agave nectar; bake until crispy).
  • Organic Dark Chocolate Chips or Carob Chips

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Salty

  • Olives
  • Pickles, Pickled Beets, Pickled Tomatoes
  • Hummus, Tabouli
  • Organic Turkey slices wrapped around sliced avocado and tomato
  • Sardines and Oysters
  • Steamed veggies with your choice of Shoyu, Tamari, Miso or Umemboshi Vinegar
  • Miso Soup with whole wheat crackers
  • Sea Vegetables added to any dish
  • Whole Grain Tortilla chips dipped into homemade salsa/guacamole
  • Sprouted Cheese Melt (Toast sprouted bread and top with a slice of cheese; broil until cheese is melted and top with a slice of tomato).
  • Sauerkraut
  • Whole Wheat Pitas with Parmesan (Sprinkle Galaxy Vegan Parmesan Cheese over a whole wheat pita; broil until cheese turns brown and cut into squares.
  • Fresh Lime or Lemon Juice added to your beverages
  • Vinegar and Lemon/Lime Juice mixed into marinades and dressings
  • Salted Edamame
  • Organic Cheese

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Creamy

  • Smoothies
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Avocados
  • Homemade Rice Pudding
  • Baba Ghanoush/ Hummus Spreads
  • Pureed Soups
  • Cottage Cheese with whole grain crackers and fruit
  • Homemade Pudding (Made with Silken Tofu, Avocado or Mashed Banana)
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes/Yams
  • Coconut Milk

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Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win my Big S Farms Give-A-Way.  Send me a comment for your change at 1 of 4 great prizes.  The deadline is Monday, July the 6th.

Good Luck!

Have a Happy 4th of July Weekend!