Healthy Protein Veggie Salad for Summer

Blog Bite: Healthy Protein Veggie Salad for Summer

Actually, this salad is great any time of the year! This is one of my all-time favorite salads – one bite and you will understand why!

This blog bite features one of my all time fave salad recipes – and variations are so simple – you may just want to serve this 2 or 3 times a week in your household.

The croutons are delicious – and super simple to make. And if you are gluten free, simply substitute gluten free bread in the recipe (millet is a low carb, high protein personal favorite).

If you want to leave off the croutons, the salad is still delicious without them!

Try a variation of healthy salad dressings for a different burst of flavor each time.

Two of my all time favorite salad dressings are :

● Chipotle Ranch Simply Nature brand from Aldi’s stores
● Balsamic vinegar mixed half and half with extra virgin olive oil

Even lemon or lime juice spritzed onto the salad with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) would be scrumptious!

Check out the recipe (and the pictures) right here:


5 Minute Meal Starter That is Super Delicious

Blog Bite: 5 Minute Meal Starter That is Super Delicious!

It’s summertime – and folks are busy with outdoor activities, trying to stay cool, and not wanting to spend hours in the hot kitchen cooking dinner!

So here is a quick meal starter idea!

You can use this delicious mixture in tacos, burritos, or as a dip with organic chips or veggie sticks.

Also works very well with gluten free wraps or crackers!

If you are going low carb for the day, simply add your favorite low carb veggies to serve alongside or to use for dipping.

There is no limit to what you can do with this delicious, Mexican bean meal-starter.

And you won’t believe how easy it is!

Check it out here:

(the pictures are worth their weight in gold – don’t miss them!)

Confessions of a Chickpea Salad Sandwich Lover

Blog Bite: Confessions of a Chickpea Salad Sandwich Lover

Ok – I admit it. I used to be a fan of chicken salad sandwiches.

But now?

Give me this recipe anyday!! In fact, I have to make a double batch, because it disappears so quickly around here!

What’s so special about it?
● It’s a vegan recipe
● Tastes great by itself, on a bed of lettuce, or on bread (easily substitute gluten free bread – lighty toasted is my favorite)
● Ingredients are easy to find (and organic ingredients are also easy to find in my part of the country)
● The combination of flavors are exquisite
● It’s healthy!

I decided to take this recipe to a gathering of ladies from my church and see what their reactions would be to an unusual dish. Let’s just say that it not only had RAVE REVIEWS on site, but several ladies begged me for the recipe!

(Did I mention this is my favorite food blogger?)

Give this recipe one try and you will understand why!

What better way to serve a cool lunch in the heat of summer (or any time) than with an all-time favorite recipe like this one?

I’d love to know what you think!

Healthy Grape Soda

Blog Bite – Healthy Grape Soda!

Here we are with another Blog Bite – a quick post with a link for you to check out some of my favorite recipes – delicious ways to keep you on track to meet your healthy goals!

Are you – or someone you love – addicted to soda?

You know it’s filled with chemicals and / or sugar – but you love the fizz and you really don’t want to give it up?

If you relate to this, I’ve got an answer for you.

Check this out!

Now you can actually have your soda without sacrificing your health with junky ingredients.

Here’s to a healthier drink you can feel good about!

Keep the Kitchen Cool With Delicious Mexican Crockpot Recipe

Blog Bite: Keep the Kitchen Cool With Delicious Mexican Crockpot Recipe!

It’s summertime, and that means the kitchen gets mighty hot if you’re using the stove or the oven! So how can you eat healthy and still enjoy cooked food during the dog days of summer?

This brief blog bite will share a delicious summer Crock-Pot recipe using peppers and other easy to find ingredients. The crock pot not only uses very little energy, it also doesn’t heat up the kitchen as other appliances will.

Check out this scrumptious Mexican recipe made with mild peppers and easy to find ingredients. I absolutely love the combination of flavors and the fact that my kitchen can stay cool while my tummy stays warm!

P.S. – Organic chips are optional – this dish is just as delicious as is – straight from your slow cooker. 🙂


What is Detox?

Commonly, people think of detoxification as something to help those who are dependent on alcohol or drugs to get over their addiction. Although that is one meaning of detoxification, there are other many ways of detoxifying that people can use to improve their health and well-being. A detox diet is one such method.

Our bodies may contain many potentially harmful and toxic chemicals and a detox diet can help to remove that burden from the body. Detox diets have many and various plans and may come in a number of formats. If you do an internet search for the term “detox diet”, you will find a number of options. So how do you know what’s the best one for you? Well, it really depends on your own personal preferences.

When you decide to choose a detox diet plan, remember your primary goal. This goal is to get rid of his many potentially harmful substances from your body as you can. Even if you never consume alcohol or engage in illegal or prescription drug use, it’s still possible for chemicals to make their way into your system. The sad truth is that certain studies show there’s a whole lot more than just fluoride in many sources of our drinking water.

Since the main goal of detoxifying is to cleanse your body, it is of vital importance to choose your foods and drinks wisely. First, look at your diet and determine which substances are potentially harmful. Do you like to drink soda and or coffee? Caffeine in moderation is okay, yet caffeine is not something necessary for our bodies to function. For this cause, if you’re looking to begin a detox diet, you are typically going to want to eliminate coffee and soda from your diet- even if it’s just for a few days.

What can you use in place of coffee and soda? Natural vegetable juices are good, as well as fruit and veggie infused water. Teas, particularly herbal teas, are an excellent choice of fluids during your detox.

Toxins must be expelled from the body, so foods that are high in fiber are recommended during your detox and are healthy to use on a daily basis. High fiber foods can help regulate your digestive system and keep things moving along. Pure water as well as fiber will also help you to flush your body of things you don’t want or need in your system.

Many processed foods we consume are full of additives and chemicals. Even traditional fruits and vegetables are often coated with pesticides, waxes, and dyes. We definitely do not need these substances to survive. One of the best ways to detoxify your body is to cut out those foods that contain added chemicals, colorants, and unhealthy additives. Eating organic foods is a great way to improve your diet.

But what if you are on a budget? It’s true that in some places organic foods cost more, but check out your local grocery store or health food store for sales and specials. Some grocery chains specialize now in inexpensive organic options. Check out cereals as well as peanut butter, snacks, and of course fruits and vegetables. A diet high in fruits and vegetables has many and numerous health benefits. In addition, you might look into a local co-op for inexpensive produce options that are unsprayed or organically grown.

How long should a detox diet last? Some diets specify three days while other plans might call for two weeks or even longer. In many cases 7 to 10 days is a good option, but you need to tune in to your own body to know for sure. If you have super strong reactions, incorporate some regular (hopefully healthier) foods back into your diet to slow down the symptoms. However, there are numerous benefits to daily practicing certain components of a detox diet, such as eliminating caffeine and soda, or increasing your intake of organic foods.

I find it very helpful to incorporate at least one detoxing food or drink to your diet on a daily basis, so you will have less buildup of toxins to contend with during the times that you want to go on a longer detoxing plan.

For more information on adding a detox component to your daily life, you can purchase the Here’s the DEAL – Healthy Weight Loss book (link in the sidebar) which explores a number of options based on your personal preferences. The “D” in DEAL is all about the Detox component of a healthy diet. Here’s to a healthier and happier you!

Watermelon detox drink

Blog Bite – Detox Water Recipe!

What is a Blog Bite, you may ask?

A BLOG BITE is a short, compact post intended to deliver food inspiration – from sources that I personally love and recommend!

I will be incorporating these from time to time interspersed with traditional blog posts – and route you to my favorite food blogger(s) with delicious, healthy recipes you will love!

Here’s my latest favorite:

This is delicious, nutritous and detoxifying all wrapped up in one simple recipe.

Hint: I also like to add some fresh slices of ginger root to give it a bit of a kick as well as added health benefits.

Who said detoxing needs to be boring?

Bring on the melon! 🙂

Easy Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free Super Smoothie Recipe

Do you struggle with what to fix for breakfast each morning?

Do you ever get a craving for a thick, creamy milkshake but know you shouldn’t indulge because the high sugar content and other questionable chemicals it might contain?

Do you ever find yourself in serious need of a chocolate or dessert “fix” (you know what I mean, when it has been that kind of a day)?

If you want to be healthy but find yourself in any of the above scenarios (or any variation of the above), I have good news for you!

From the time my kids were small, I had to get creative as my oldest son had severe asthma and eating any kind of dairy would trigger a coughing fit and subsequent breathing difficulties. I also knew that sugar is hard on the immune system. Since a simple cold would inevitably move him into a 3-day asthma episode, I had to take drastic measures to feed him in a strictly healthy manner – and that meant no dairy and no refined sugar!

But even if you – or your children – are not in such a place necessitating drastic changes in food intake, you can still satisfy your cravings – for creaminess, chocolate (if you so desire) and dessert – just whip up a Super Shake or Smoothie!

In celebration of the 3rd Here’s the DEAL book – slated for soon release – I am going to give you one of my favorite Super Smoothie recipes as a peek into what is in store for those who want ideas for a variety of healthy, creamy, delicious, dairy-free and sugar-free dessert drinks for any hour of the day!

Chocolate Berry Blast Smoothie

2 chunks frozen banana
1 ice cube
1 large strawberry
1 tsp. raw cacao powder
1 Tb. Flaxseeds
Unsweetened almond milk (about 10 oz)
2 tsp fruit fiber (optional)
Dairy free protein powder (optional)

Put ingredients into Magic Bullet, Nutribullet or blender. Whir for several seconds until well blended. This is a berry chocolate-y delightful smoothie!

Note: If you desire a lower carbohydrate count for the meal, simply replace the banana chunks with more ice cubes.

Additional Options:
Add ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Add 1-2 Tb coconut cream for added creaminess and satiety.

Note: The frozen banana gives an “ice –creaminess” to the shake that you might find hard to believe –until you try it out for yourself!

I’d love for you to make this recipe and let me know what you think!

I also love to hear from you regarding your own favorite drinks and dishes.

And – don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for more recipes coming soon.

Stay healthy and happy!

Moisturize Your Skin By Drinking Healthy Liquids

Moisturizing lotions may be all the rage, but the real key to glowing skin is to begin from the inside out! Simply eliminating caffeine in the form of sodas and coffee is a great place to begin. Caffeine dehydrates both the body and the skin – did you know that? It also acts as a diuretic, increasing urine output, which also depletes both your body and your skin of the soothing moisture it needs. Of course, we commonly battle the effects with all kinds of moisturizers, but the better way is to put the moisture INTO your body, not just onto it.

Drinking plenty of pure water, unheated juices or coconut milk or water will give your skin and body the hydration it craves. Look at the colors in fruit and vegetable juices – they are the colors of the earth and will cause your body to glow in warm and healthy skin tones. You really ARE what you eat (and drink)!

So do you really need to drop the coffee and sodas? Well, the truth is that the overall effects of caffeine in your body will show up in your skin as well. Heavy caffeine consumers can experience a variety of various maladies: osteoporosis, depression, headaches, and sleeplessness, in addition to heightened agitation and irritability. Believe it or not, the results will also reflect in your skin.

When you replace these cokes, coffees and teas made with boiling water with pure water, juices, “sun tea” and coconut milk, you will soon notice that you will start to feel better and sleep better. (Don’t be surprised if you have a few withdrawal symptoms at first, though – this is to be expected). Your skin has no choice but to reflect the good bursts of health that the organs and cells of your body are now cheering about – once you’ve kicked the caffeine habit to the curb.

Another reason for drinking pure water, natural juices and “sun tea”, is simply this: when you boil water, you release oxygen from it. All of those highly processed sodas, juices and the like that come from the grocery store shelves are primarily heated, pasteurized and devoid of any life giving substance. But pure juices, water and tea actually help the body detoxify, and the skin is the largest eliminative organ we have.

So to achieve that healthy complexion you’ve always wanted, drink plenty of water and pure juices, including coconut water or milk if you like, and eat plenty of raw food.

What goes into your body will reflect on that beautiful face of yours – so feed it what will make it glow!

Readers and Reviewers – Hats Off To You!

I am so pleased that my first flagship book: “Here’s The Deal: Healthy Weight Loss and Fat Burning Over 40” continues to gain readers and reviewers after just a few short weeks on the shelves. Thank you! This tells me that you resonate with the message and are believing with me that getting into shape while eating healthy, delicious food is not only possible, it can also be an adventure!

Since there are always many more readers than reviewers, I especially want to give a special “shout out” to those of you who took the time to give your honest feedback on the impact of the book on your lives.

Here’s what just a few reviewers had to say:

Packed with action items you can check right off of your list – Healthy Weight Loss is a book PACKED with the real DEAL – literally. Using the acronym D-E-A-L, the author makes memorable cues for lifestyle changes that can be acted upon in small increments that affect BIG changes.

If you didn’t like anything ELSE in the book, (and THAT’s not gonna happen!) the price of the book is WELL WORTH the price JUST for the amazing chocolate bar recipe at the end . . . can’t WAIT to try the Organic Homemade Chocolate Bar Bliss TOMORROW!! TWO thumbs up + 5 stars on this one!

— Darin Pope

And Esbee had this to say:

I’m not talking about the price of the book when I say, “What a great DEAL!”

I’m talking about the “DEAL” approach to healthy weight loss as described in this book. A simple, practical approach that really seems easy to follow.

Recipes like “Organic Homemade Chocolate Bar Bliss” and “Chocolate Protein Shake for Breakfast” make sure that the “Yum” factor is not ignored in your diet.

I mean, instead of fighting your cravings, you can actually substitute them with healthy choices. In fact, the book gives plenty of healthy substitutes to satisfy your taste buds.

If you think its all about desserts and chocolate, then consider other recipes like the “Quick and Easy Power Packed Cole Slaw”, “Super Easy Leftover Bean Soup” or the exotic sounding “Sweet Heat Veggie Asian Stir Fry”

But, this is not a recipe book, it is an entire weight loss strategy. The book is entertaining to read and written in a conversational style. You often get a feel that the author is actually having a personal conversation with you sprinkled with anecdotes and humor.

But, the real highlight of the book is the “DEAL” strategy which although aimed at the 40+ crowd is a wonderful approach to healthy eating at any age.

What about you? I would love your feedback on the book as well! Also, please comment below about what types of dishes and recipes you would like to see in upcoming books, and what you crave that you WISH there was a healthy alternative to that you could consume without guilt.

Thank you again to all of you, my special readers. We’re on this journey together, and it wouldn’t be the same without you! 🙂