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Look and Feel Your Absolute Best With These Key Self-Care Tips

21 Sept Health Tips Thomas

Article by: Kim Thomas

When was the last time you scheduled time for your self-care?

Just like you would pencil in an event or work meeting, it’s crucial to set aside the time to do what’s best for your mind, body, and soul. So, if a little extra self-care sounds like something you could use, then read on for key tips from Out2 News that will help you look and feel your absolute best.

Nourish Your Body With Nutritious Food and Exercise

There’s a reason health is often the first thing that comes to mind with self-care. Taking care of yourself begins with nourishing your body with nutritious food and exercise. Even when life gets hectic, it’s important to take time to prepare quality meals and move your body.

So, what can you do if the thought of the gym holds you back from getting exercise? The good news is there are plenty of other ways to take care of your body. Why not practice yoga, take a bike ride, go for a hike, or get out for a brisk evening walk with the dog? Switching up the activity for 30 minutes a day is a great way to keep exercise fresh and fun.

The same can be said for preparing healthy meals. Eating a diet high in saturated fats and refined carbohydrates is the quickest way to drain your energy. If you don’t have time to cook each day, then consider picking one or two days in the week where you can prepare your meals ahead of time. Most meals can be frozen and then unthawed as you eat them.

Focus on Setting and Achieving Goals

Do you ever feel uncertain about where your life is headed? If you’re not including strategized goal setting as part of your routine, then it’s easy to feel a lack of direction. This aspect of self-care is often overlooked, yet it’s one of the driving factors behind feeling your best.

To get started, it’s always best to write down your goals so they become concrete. Having a goal to work toward helps create ambition and, once accomplished, can feel incredibly rewarding. As one example, have you always dreamed of owning your own company? If so, your plan of action might include furthering your education before taking the leap to entrepreneurship. You could start working toward your ultimate goal by enrolling in an online MBA program to help you learn the ins-and-outs of running a business, how to be a better leader, and financial literacy must-dos. Once you’ve reached that goal, then you can work toward the next, such as creating a business plan and securing funding for your new company.

There’s no better confidence builder than consistently setting and achieving new goals, which will help you build the life you want.

Indulge in Some ‘Me-Time’

It doesn’t hurt to treat yourself to a relaxing day at home every once in a while. Nothing says self-care like spending the day recharging by indulging in your favorite relaxing activities.

Rewarding yourself for working hard can be as simple as taking a bath, getting a massage, or treating yourself to a little retail therapy.

Take a Self-Care Trip

Need to unwind and recharge? Even if you’re not feeling particularly stressed out, it never hurts to get away for a while. Plus, a self-care trip doesn’t have to break the bank either. Think about planning a weekend camping trip in nature or spending a night or two in a hotel in a nearby city.

You may even want to consider turning off all of your devices to ensure you’re focusing on yourself. As long as you’re giving yourself a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you’re on the right track.

It’s Time to Make a Daily Practice of Mindful Self-Care

By being mindful of your self-care practices, you’re sure to look and feel your best in no time. Try a few of these wellness habits to start feeling like a new you.

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Boosting Immunity for the School Year

21 Mar Hobe Sound Primary Care Logo

Article by: Gracia Pierre-Pierre, MD CAQSM
Hobe Sound Primary Care

Boosting immunity for kids
Whether your kids are going back to school virtually or they are physically going back into a classroom, immunity is always a big concern for parents as cold, the flu season and nowadays COVID-19 looms ahead.
While all we hear about is COVID-19 this year. Especially a new variant that just this past week that has infected 94k kids, there is not much they can do to protect themselves beyond guidelines already set by the CDC.
But kids still need certain nutrients and vitamins to help boost their immune system to help protect against all the germs they will face, either in the classroom or at home.
The best foods for immunity-boosting in kids
Knowing the best foods that can help boost immunity can help you meal-plan for your child, whether that’s mealtime or an afterschool snack.

Zinc
One of the most important minerals that can help a kid’s immune system is zinc. It is typically found in protein-based foods. So oysters, red meat, poultry are some of the best sources.

Probiotics and prebiotics
It is very important to give your kids a good source of probiotics. They help create a balance between healthy and unhealthy bacteria in the gut.
You cannot go wrong with yogurt, because not only it is a kid’s favorite, but it is also full of probiotic. Other options like kefir, sauerkraut and pickles are good sources. Also, apple cider vinegars are a good way to work in probiotics into a diet. Parents should be sure to get their kids prebiotics which are plant fibers that stimulate the growth of good bacteria. Some sources are plantain, yams, and asparagus.

Nuts and seeds
Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seed, chai seeds all are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They source protein, fiber, mono and polyunsaturated fats, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamins E, B6, B12 and A.

Fruit and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables, provide various antioxidants which protects cells from damage and disease. Foods rich in antioxidant include berries, like spinach, kale, collard, and mustard greens.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, E, B2, B6, K, potassium, folate, magnesium, and zinc.
And yes, vitamin C is key to immunity and available in citrus fruits like oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruit.

Supplementation
Whole food is always the best options to get all your nutrients. But should you come short on your nutrients in spite of a well-balanced diet, this is when supplements make sense.
Supplements make sense when you are dealing with a picky eater or you have a kid that just do not have a large appetite or just struggling with a kid’s diet to get them the nutrients they need. In those instances, supplements make total sense.
A perfect example for supplementation would be vitamin D. While kids can get vitamin D soaking up sunshine, it is less evident for instance in Florida when wearing sunscreen, during the cooler months and during the school year.

Lifestyle tips
It is not just food that can help your kids stay healthy throughout the school year. Good sleeping habits, exercise, stress management and immunization are other strategies that can help with immunity.

Good sleep habits
Lack of sleep can weaken your kid’s immunity because the body cannot regenerate itself properly keeping their immune systems functioning as best they can.

Exercise
Exercise is very important, because it keeps the body moving, facilitating a faster circulation of the immune cells in our body affording us a stronger immunity. Parents need to ensure their keeps keep their bodies moving.

Stress management
Keeping stress and anxiety at a minimum will also help your kid’s immunity. Especially nowadays with the COVID-19 risk of infection looming, to the change in the classroom to the stress of being separated from friends it is even more important to arm them with tools to help them cope effectively.
Parents need to be in constant communication with their kids to find ways to minimize any negative feelings they may be experiencing during these uncertain times.

Immunization
It is imperative that your kids are up to date with their immunization, the goal is the protect them against preventable conditions that can weaken their immune systems and leave them vulnerable to the colds, the flu and obviously COVID-19.
Boosting immunity for the teachers
Teachers, do not let cold, flu season and COVID-19 get the best of you! Even when it seems like the whole school is sick, there are things you can do to boost your immune system. The following are some easy tricks you can follow.

Balanced diet/Supplement
It is essential to have a diet rich in protein, which is the building block for our tissues and body as a whole. In order to meet your protein requirements, you can: eat fish at least twice a week, red meat twice or three times a week, legumes such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils two to three times a week and if you are not allergic, have eggs, cheese every morning.
You also would benefit from eating fruits and vegetables that are in season to get vitamins naturally. Probiotics like yogurt or kefir, elderberry syrup can help boost your immune system. Nuts like walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts are high in vitamin E, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids that also help strengthen the immune system. Let us not forget vitamins C, D3 and zinc.

Practicing good hygiene/ Wearing masks
All germs, including the coronavirus are easily transmitted as a result of poor hygiene and contact with other people or objects or via oral and nasal secretions. Therefore, you should wash your hands with plenty of water and soap for at least 20-30 seconds before and after meals. Studies show that for respiratory illnesses alone, washing hands can reduce illness by more than 20 percent. Also, taking a bath or shower every day after going outside, would be a good idea. Teachers, you should be wearing a mask when in class as you do not know which kid might be an asymptomatic carrier. Especially the mask becomes a necessity when interacting with special need students due to the proximity.

Appropriate hydration
Staying well hydrated is a good idea as it helps regulate blood circulation, supports the metabolism, and facilitates the elimination of harmful substances and toxins from the body.

Establishing a sleeping schedule
It is very important to get enough sleep, as there are functions in your body that get repaired during your sleep. When you are tired and sleepless, your body’s resistance decreases, and you get sick very easily. For this reason, do not be afraid to skip that late-night grading. Your sleep is important to keeping you from getting sick and staying healthy overall

Keeping active
We get it. Between planning and grading, it may seem hard to find time to squeeze in a workout. But, exercising and staying active also strengthens the immune system and increases body resistance against diseases. It achieves that by improving circulation throughout the body and with good circulation, immune cells can move more effectively throughout the body, making you less prone to illness.

Keeping room well ventilated
Classrooms need to be well ventilated. If not, germs stay trapped longer contributing to respiratory infections. Studies with the coronavirus have shown that getting fresh air and using fans decreases the chances of getting infected.

Getting vaccinated
Vaccines provide protective immunity for individuals as well as the general public. Get your COVID shots today and the Flu when in season. Your immune system will be strong and more likely to protect you from COVID-19 and the flu season coming up.

Being nice to your liver
Your liver filters out toxins from your body. If it is overworked, it will not be able to flush out toxins as easily as a healthy liver would. Both cleansing the liver by drinking lemon water each morning is a good idea, as well as limiting foods and activities, including consuming alcohol and smoking, that stress out the liver.

Reducing your stress load
Constantly feeling the strain of stress can drain your immune system. Make self-care a priority is a must. The following are a few options you might try:
1. Meditation
2. Yoga
3. Exercise routine
4. Planning a fun activity with good friends
This will make a difference in your overall risk of sickness and in how well you can bounce back if you do get sick.

I would like to wish both teachers and students returning to school today an uneventful school year 21-22!
Gracia Pierre-Pierre, MD CAQSM
Hobe Sound Primary Care
9955 SE Federal Hwy
Hobe Sound, FL 33455
772 932-9310
www.hobesoundprimarycare.com

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How to Engage Your Child With Learning Disabilities in Art

21 Sept Dance McGregor

Photo by: Unsplash  /Article by: Jennifer McGregor

Engaging in the arts through acting, dance, or painting reaps benefits for anyone, but especially for children with learning disabilities. Participating in all kinds of art forms enhances kids’ development, improves self-confidence, and offers them the chance to form connections with others, boosting their social skills. Sometimes children with learning issues feel as though they're not sufficiently smart or successful, which can be destructive for their self-esteem. Introducing them to the art world can provide them with a way to communicate and express their feelings and thoughts.

Choose Suitable Activities

Proper forms of art ideal for children with learning disabilities include performing arts, visual arts, crafts, and music. When choosing the activity your child should try out, consider their age, interests, strengths, and learning styles. For example, if your child is a visual learner, they will enjoy visual arts, but they will be best suited to try music if they are an auditory learner. A kinesthetic learner will do well with dance, drama, and crafts. The movements in dancing improve their physical capabilities and are also an entertaining method for developing self-esteem and confidence while offering students an avenue for socializing and expression. If you’re not sure which type of art your child would love, it would be best to consult with a learning disabilities specialist and choose a place close to home that will help your kid develop further.

Depending on your geographical location, looking for dance classes at a local studio could be a fantastic option. If this is not an option, you can find online lessons your kids can attend and practice in the comfort of their own homes. Overall, it's best to let the talent reveal itself, then help your child develop it gradually. No matter which art they show interest in, allow them to explore it on their own first before attempting to develop particular skills.

Designate a Playroom for Your Child

Set up a part of the house or a room for your child to engage in their art without restrictions. For instance, if you have a spare portion of your property - be it an extra room or an unused basement - consider renovating the area and transform it into a lodge where your kid can explore their inventiveness. Equip it with all the necessary items, such as music instruments, paints, papers, pencils, or a TV for dance lessons, and let your child know that they are free to work on their art and be messy in this area. Depending on what kind of renovating and updating you are making to the area, you can also increase the appraisal value of your property if you ever decide to sell it.

Use Role Models

There are numerous artists - dancers, painters, actors, and others - who have or had some form of learning disability. For instance, it is believed that Leonardo da Vinci suffered from dyslexia, and so do actors like Orlando Bloom and Keanu Reeves. Actor and writer Chris Burke was born with Down syndrome but managed to become a grand figure. Besides, there are several other musicians who suffer from different learning disabilities, including Paul Stanley and Stevie Wonder. Tell stories about these people to your child for encouragement and to show them that not much of anything can get in the way of creating fantastic art.

Use Your Skills to Start a Business

If you find that by working with your child you have a natural ability to help children connect with the arts, you could take this as a sign to start your own business. Particularly if you have a skill in the arts that you’re tapping into. Plus, by having the experience of working with your special needs child, you’ll be in a better position to help other children. It doesn’t take much to start a business either. Confirm what you plan to offer, apply for any necessary business licenses and permits, survey what it takes to formalize an LLC in Florida, and then start to put the word out.

The Bottom Line

As you ​and your child find fun and exciting ways to enter the world of the arts, you will see a lot of progress. Kids with learning issues will develop a unique and rewarding way to express themselves and gain confidence, so rest assured your efforts are not in vain.

21 Aug Inner Truth Flyer

Head-to-Toe Health Tips That Will Have You Looking Your Best

21 July UpSplash

Article by: Jennifer McGregor

Photo Credit: Unsplash.com

Taking care of your physical and mental well-being doesn't just leave you feeling better. It can also improve your appearance. When your body and mind are healthy on the inside, everyone will see the result on the outside. You don't have to spend big bucks on fancy gyms or vitamin supplements to achieve a healthy lifestyle. It's all about taking small, actionable steps to care for yourself every day.

Read on for more tips on how to get glowing inside and out, brought to you by Out2 News.

Ramp up your workout routine to get gorgeous skin

Regular exercise improves circulation and helps eliminate toxins from the skin, according to the U.S. Dermatology Partners. If you aren't a huge fan of working out, look for a fun alternative form of exercise you can enjoy, like dancing or hula-hooping. As you ramp up your fitness routine, use a smartwatch or similar device to track your progress. Keep your new gadget safe with a durable watch band; there are various models to suit any style.

Try meditation and mindfulness to keep stress acne at bay

 Stress can leave you feeling exhausted, drained, and irritable. Plus, it can cause unsightly pimples. According to Allure, stress impacts your body's hormones, which can trigger breakouts. Look for ways to keep your calm when everyday stress hits. Mindfulness practices like journaling and deep breathing exercises are options. You can also try meditation to calm your mind.

Enhance your sleep routine to look and feel your best

A good night's rest will leave you feeling refreshed and energized. The consequences of a bad night's sleep are easy to see. You may notice that your face is puffy and you have dark circles under your eyes when you fail to get your beauty rest. VeryWell Health provides tips for improving your sleeping habits. For example, you can try aromatherapy or breathing techniques to calm down before bed, preparing your mind and body to relax.

Focus on eating a nutrient-rich diet

Food fuels your body and your mind. It also impacts your appearance. According to the BBC, research has shown that a good diet can improve a person's appearance even more than makeup. Aim for a nutrient-rich diet with a balance of whole grains, lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy. Limit your intake of extra fats, salts, and sugars, and steer clear of processed foods whenever possible.

Make time to pamper yourself

Taking time to pamper yourself can be a great way to unwind mentally. Lifehack provides affordable tips for indulging in the comfort of your own home. Options include taking a hot bath, applying a face mask, and using essential oils. By pressing pause and focusing on your own enjoyment, you are prioritizing your needs. This approach to self care can leave you feeling and looking relaxed.

Stay hydrated

Your body is made up of about 60 to 75 percent water. It's critical to stay hydrated to maintain cell health and support your body's systems. According to Realbuzz, the average woman should drink about 2 liters (about 68 fluid ounces) of water per day, while the average man should drink about 2.5 liters (85 fluid ounces). Make sure you're getting the fluids you need by carrying a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go.

Investing some time and effort into your mental and physical health is well worth it. Follow the above tips and you'll find yourself feeling and looking better.

What is Infant Mental Health and Mental Health Consultation?

19 Nov Tykes & Teens Logo

The first few years of a child’s life are a blueprint for their entire future. When very young children are exposed to traumatic events, it increases their risk of long-term mental and physical health problems. Addressing issues early means healthier children who will require less intervention later in life and can reach their full potential.

Infant Mental Health Helps:
• Improve a child’s ability to regulate emotions
• Strengthen the relationship between the child and caregivers
• Heal from a traumatic experience for the parent and/or child that is interfering with a healthy attachment
• Reduce suspension/expulsion from childcare or preschool
• Enhance childcare center staffs' use of social-emotional practices so that all caregivers are equipped to facilitate healthy social and emotional development

Tykes & Teens Infant Mental Health therapists utilize Child Parent Psychotherapy and other evidence-based interventions for children who have experienced at least one traumatic event and as a result are exhibiting challenging behavior, attachment difficulties and/or experiencing social-emotional delays. The primary goal of this program is to support and strengthen the relationship between a child and his or her caregiver, to restore the child’s sense of safety and attachment, and to improve the child’s cognitive, behavioral, and social functioning within all environments. Infant and toddler primary caregivers are active participants in treatment, which often includes play therapy for facilitating communication between the child and the caregiver. With older children, the child is a more active participant in treatment, which uses multiple interventions as a vehicle for facilitating communication between the child and the caregiver, and builds resiliency and heals in the context of a relationship. When the caregiver has his or her own history of adverse experiences the therapist helps the caregiver understand how this history can affect the child-caregiver relationship, and helps the caregiver interact with the child in new developmentally-appropriate ways.

In addition to family and individual therapy, Tykes & Teens' Infant Mental Health therapists and staff are collaborative partners within select Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs in the Treasure Coast, providing Mental Health Consultation (MHC). Mental Health Consultation is a preventative-based approach focused on fostering the social emotional development of all young children at early childhood education programs to promote long-term emotional health and wellness. Tykes & Teens therapists are highly specialized in child development, evidence-based classroom practices, and the effects of stress and trauma. The agency’s therapists and staff develop relationships with caregivers at early childhood education programs to support building the adult’s capacity and skills to strengthen the healthy social and emotional development of all children at the center – early and before formalized intervention is needed. Therapists and staff support the development of nurturing and responsive relationships to decrease incidents of challenging behaviors, reduce preschool suspensions/expulsions and support the need for a program-wide effort in using culturally-responsive practices and addressing implicit bias.

For more information on Tykes & Teens’ Infant Mental Health services, visit www.tykesandteens.org/infant-mental-health/ or call 772-220-3439.

BECOMING!

Article & Photo: Courtesy of: Gracia Pierre-Pierre, MD CAQSM

I was born in Haiti to an orthopedic surgeon, Jacques Pierre-Pierre and to Eveline Noel Pierre-Pierre that holds a bacc in laboratory sciences on November 11, 1977. I grew up in a medical family where not only my dad, but 3 aunts were also physicians. Therefore, I have been exposed to Medicine and to the right way medical services should be rendered with compassion, care, empathy, professionalism, and respect of patient’s time early on.

As a child growing up, I found myself gravitating towards endeavors that required self-directed motivation and perseverance such as martial arts and medicine.

Because I used to be bullied, I joined a martial arts school at 10 years old, earned my black belt at 13 and started being involved in bodybuilding.

Fast forward to 2004, I graduated top 8 of my medical school class from the Universite Notre Dame d’Haiti. Eager to further my medical education, I left for the US in March 2008 in the quest to complete a post graduate training in Musculoskeletal Medicine. I completed a Family Medicine residency at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY in June 2014 and went on to complete a Sports Medicine fellowship in Tyler, TX at the University of Texas at Tyler in June 2015.

I currently live in Florida with my wife of 12 years and 2 beautiful healthy kids making a living as a Physician of Sports Medicine which has placed me in a position to learn about how pervasive bullying is in school aged kids and how common suicide was amongst these kids. I got angry and decided to do something about it.

As such, I created Black Stallion of America corp. an anti-bullying nonprofit organization on 10/11/2018 which goal is to help kids by nurturing them into selfless, well balanced adults via martial arts and fitness. I was awarded the volunteer of the year award for my collaboration with the Boys and Girls club of America of the St Lucie county in Florida in February 2020.

Although I was financially stable working for my last employer, there was something missing. Me. I was not BECOMING. I had been with my last employer for 18 months and decided that it was about time I went out and started my own medical practice, not based on an entrepreneurial seizure but based on a clear vision of how compassionate a physician is supposed to be. And I am pleased to announce that Hobe Sound Primary Care opened its door on August 31, 2020 and our mission is to render medical services differently.

Glory be to God!

Gracia Pierre-Pierre, MD CAQSM

For more information contact Dr. Gracia Pierre-Pierre,MD CAQSM - 772-932-9310

ACL TEAR PREVENTION PROGRAM

FB_IMG_1619190400847

Article by: Gracia Martin Pierre-Pierre, MD CAQSM
Sports Medicine specialist
Specialist in sports concussion

Here are a few tips to decrease the chances of getting an acl tear.

Dynamic Warm-up

Begin each workout with a dynamic warm up. These might include walking lunges, jumping rope, or mountain climbers.

Dynamic Strength Training

After the warm-up, move on to dynamic and functional exercises.
Examples include single-leg balance, heal drops, walking lunges, and physioball hamstring curls.

Plyometrics

Examples include lateral hopping, forward and backward hopping, box jumps, and scissor jumps.

Agility and Sport Specific Drills

To improve the dynamic stability of the entire lower body, practice shuttle runs, forward and backward running, running with quick stops, and cutting and bounding runs. You will want to choose drills that closely resemble your daily activities or sport.

Post Work out Stretch

End your workout with simple, passive stretching of all major lower-body muscles. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds. Consider adding core strengthening exercises (planks and crunches) to round out your training session.

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21 Aug Out2News Recipes

Turkey Tacos

21 Aug Turkey Tacos

Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 or 2 fresh chili peppers (like serranos or jalapeños, chopped)
2 teaspoons olive oil (or canola or vegetable oil)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey meat (or 2 cups shredded cooked)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (chopped)
1 lime

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.

Add the garlic and chiles. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and soft, about 2 minutes.

Add the cumin and cayenne and stir to combine until spices sizzle, about 30 seconds.

Add the turkey and salt. Stir to combine and break up meat with the back of the spoon or spatula.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the turkey is cooked through. Note: if using shredded cooked turkey, also add 1/4 cup of water, stir to combine, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover to heat everything up and let the flavors blend a bit, about 10 minutes.

When the meat is fully cooked, take it off the heat, and stir in the cilantro.

Juice the lime over the meat and stir to combine.

Heat the tortillas, if using, and top each one with some ground turkey, salsa, guacamole, and lettuce (or fill each taco shell). Add sour cream or shredded cheese, if you like.

*8 corn tortillas (or taco shells)
Optional: salsa, guacamole, spring mix lettuce, cheese, and sour cream

California Quinoa

21 Aug Cal Quinoa

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and well drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 cups water
3/4 cup canned garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Directions:

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add quinoa and garlic; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until quinoa is lightly browned. Stir in zucchini and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed, 12-15 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients; heat through.

Parmesan Cauliflower Bites

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs (or regular bread crumbs)
1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 large eggs, lightly whisked
Marinara, for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°. Add panko, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning to a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then mix everything together until thoroughly combined.

Dip cauliflower pieces in egg and then roll in bread crumb mixture until fully coated and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You may need to press on the coating to help it stick to the cauliflower bites. Repeat until all cauliflower florets are coated.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until coating is golden brown and crunchy. Serve with marinara.

Shrimp Orzo with Feta

Ingredients:

1-1/4 cups uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-1/4 pounds uncooked shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

Cook orzo according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Stir in shrimp. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until shrimp turn pink, 4-5 minutes.

Drain orzo. Add orzo, cilantro and pepper to shrimp mixture; heat through. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

Italian Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini

21 Aug Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients:

6 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces each)
1 pound Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Additional minced fresh parsley, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut each zucchini lengthwise in half. Scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-in. shell; chop pulp. Place zucchini shells in a large microwave-safe dish. In batches, microwave, covered, on high 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender.

In a large skillet, cook sausage and zucchini pulp over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink, breaking sausage into crumbles; drain. Stir in tomatoes, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, herbs and pepper. Spoon into zucchini shells.

Place in 2 ungreased 13x9-in. baking dishes. Bake, covered, 15-20 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, 5-8 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. If desired, sprinkle with additional minced parsley.

Shrimp & Nectarine Salad

Ingredients:

1/3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1-1/2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon

Salad:
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 pound uncooked shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 cups torn mixed salad greens
2 medium nectarines, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk orange juice, vinegar, mustard and honey until blended. Stir in tarragon.

In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add corn; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from pan.

Sprinkle shrimp with lemon pepper and salt. In the same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Stir in corn.

In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Drizzle with 1/3 cup dressing and toss to coat. Divide mixture among four plates. Top with shrimp mixture; drizzle with remaining dressing. Serve immediately.

Overnight Oatmeal

21 Aug Overnight oatmeal

Ingredients:

1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
3 tablespoons fat-free milk
3 tablespoons reduced-fat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup assorted fresh fruit
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted

Directions:

In a small container or Mason jar, combine oats, milk, yogurt and honey. Top with fruit and nuts. Seal; refrigerate overnight.

Chocolate-Cherry Oats: Use cherry-flavored yogurt, add 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder, and top with fresh or frozen pitted cherries.

Banana Bread Oats: Replace honey with maple syrup and stir in half a mashed banana and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Top with toasted pecans.

Carrot Cake Oats: Add 2 Tbsp. grated carrots, and substitute spreadable cream cheese for the yogurt.

Pina Colada Oats: Add half a mashed banana, 2 Tbsp. crushed pineapple and 1 Tbsp. shredded coconut to oat mixture.

Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies

21 Aug Choc Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Softened butter or coconut oil
2/3 cup Granular Sweetener (Click here to see my favorite on Amazon)
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 cups almond flour (click here to see my favorite on Amazon)
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 9 Ounce Bag Sugar free Chocolate Chips (Click here to see my favorite brand on Amazon)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350F

Add softened butter (or coconut oil) and swerve sweetener in a stand mixer (or hand mixer with a large bowl), mix on medium until combined

Add 2 eggs and vanilla and mix until combined

Combine almond flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined

Fold in Chocolate Chips

Scoop 18-21 cookies onto lined baking sheet (you may need 2 depending on how big your sheets are). Flatten them out by pressing down on the top slightly.

Bake for 10-12 minutes

Let cool on the cookie sheets for 30 minutes. These will stay soft and delicious for at least 4 days in an air tight container. See notes for freezing instructions.