Papaya is a tropical fruit long promoted for it’s health benefits. It has a sweet flavor with musky undertones, and a butter-like consistency. Although the papaya tree can produce fruit year round, it peaks in early summer and fall.
Digestion: Good source of fiber (~2.5 grams per cup) to help enhance digestion and bind to toxins and “bad” cholesterol in your body. Fiber also helps you stay full longer! In addition, papaya contains a digestive enzyme, called papain, which helps to digest protein.
Immunity: It is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is also helpful in reducing inflammation. It’s beautiful orange color provides beta-carotene, which converts into antioxidant vitamin A.
Skin: Incredibly hydrating and packed with Vitamins A, C and E, all essential for healthy and radiant skin. As a natural source of alpha-hydroxy acids, it helps rejuvenate the skin and brighten complexion.
This is an excellent recipe to prepare the evening prior to a busy morning. I love the convenience of simply grabbing my jar of overnight oats and going! This meal is high in fiber, and contains both healthy fats and protein to ensure you will stay full all morning and avoid blood sugar spikes.
Gluten-free oats: oats are naturally gluten-free, but the facilities and processing methods pose high rates of contamination. Regular oats are fine if you don’t have a gluten intolerance, but if you’re eliminating gluten for whatever reason, be sure to choose gluten-free. Cinnamon: helps lower blood sugar, loaded with phytonutrients that decrease inflammation Bee pollen: local pollen to your area can help with seasonal allergies; packed with vitamins and beneficial enzymes Raw honey: local raw honey can help with seasonal allergies; antiviral, high in antioxidants Chia seeds: good source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber
1Tbsalmond or peanut buttermake sure there is no added sugar listed in ingredients list
drizzlehoneyomit or use stevia if monitoring blood sugar
Add non-dairy milk, nut butter, chia seeds and honey (optional) to a glass container. Mix well, then add oats. Make sure oats are fully submerged in milk.
Put in fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
In the morning, top with fresh berries, bee pollen and cinnamon!
This recipe is a total of 37 grams of carbohydrates, making it appropriate for diabetics on a consistent carb diet of 30-35 grams per meal. *If you prefer to use frozen berries, add those the night before.
Walking through the breakfast isle in the store, I can’t help but think, this is what America is serving our youth…breakfast cereals laden with sugar, artificial flavors and colors, and highly processed white flour with virtually no nutritional value aside from the vitamins and minerals added back in after the fact. Unfortunately even those are minimally beneficial as fortified vitamins and minerals are rarely added in a form our body can easily digest.
Granola bars, toaster waffles, brown sugar and cinnamon instant oatmeal — these are all in the same category. They are highly processed “franken-foods” (thanks Dr. Mark Hyman) with little to no fiber, healthy fats, or protein. When protein, fat and fiber is removed, foods become less filling, resulting in a higher than desirable intake. This process also increases the speed of digestion, resulting in higher blood glucose levels.
Growing up I would live off these foods for breakfast (though add toaster strudel into the mix). Now, with the obesity rates rising and over 52% of the U.S. adult population having either prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, I am here to provide you some better options!
Over the years, as I started paying more attention to food labels and limiting processed foods, pancakes were on of the foods I started making homemade rather than buying a mix. Unfortunately, top brands are most often made with highly processed white flour, sugar, dextrose (aka more sugar), unhealthy oils (soybean, palm, canola), and have very little, if any, fiber.
My favorite part about these pancakes is that they only have two main ingredients and can be made in a matter of minutes! They are also very easy to customize by adding blueberries, chia seeds, nuts, cinnamon, cacao powder or dried coconut. Additionally, since the banana gives them a natural sweetness, minimal syrup is needed.
-2 eggs – 1 banana (I typically make this recipe when my bananas are about to go bad as that is when they are the most sweet!) – Optional ingredients to add to batter: cinnamon, cacao powder, coconut flakes, chia seeds.
– Top with: berries, nuts – Drizzle with: honey, pure maple syrup
Mash banana in a bowl using a fork.
Add 2 eggs and scramble together with the banana.
Add optional ingredients and mix together.
Cook pancakes on preheated griddle or large pan for 2-3 minutes or until bubbles form.
Flip and cook and additional 2-3 minutes until they are done in the center.
NOTE: I prefer to use coconut oil on the pan as it is stable at high temperatures and adds great flavor to the pancakes.
Meal prepping is a great way to not only save time, but money as well. It is a helpful strategy to utilize during a busy week, when a lack of time or energy may result in a last minute stop at your local fast food restaurant or a call for delivery pizza. It is also a way to control what exactly goes into your food – a must for anyone trying to stay on track with their health goals.
Before meal prepping there are several points to consider such as the best day of the week to cook, the recipes you will use, the number of people you are meal prepping for, and if you will get sick of eating the same meal every day. For beginners, I recommend keeping it as simple as possible. Making a list of your favorite types of protein, vegetables, and starches will make shopping and cooking easier. I have also listed some suggestions below.
In an effort to save time and keep my meals nutritious during my busy workweek, I am constantly planning ahead. I pack my lunch the night before and place it, ready to go in my lunchbox, in the fridge. As for breakfast – although I prefer to cook breakfast, early morning alarms and a long work commute make cooking chaotic and time consuming.
This recipe has been one of my favorites for years. I make it all the time as part of my regular meal prepping and mix up the ingredients to get a variety. These are not only great for adults, but are perfect for little hands too!
The eggs serve as a great source of protein and healthy fats* to stabilize your blood sugar and help keep you full all morning. The vegetables are a great source of fiber and micronutrients. This is also a great way to get an additional serving (or two) of vegetables in each day!
*Eggs from organic, free-range chickens have TWICE the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in them compared to conventional eggs.
Here is the recipe:
8 organic, free-range eggs 1 zucchini (green or yellow) 1 sweet onion grape tomatoes sea salt oregano or seasonings of choice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Scramble 6 eggs in a medium size bowl.
Dice 1/2 the sweet onion and 7-10 tomatoes. Add to the scramble.
Spiralize then lightly chop OR grate the zucchini then add to the mixture.
Using a muffin tin, grease 8-10 cups or line with paper cups. Spoon mixture into tins and bake for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly golden.
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