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Dining outdoors is one of the best things about spring and summer, so why not host a patio party and invite a few friends for the evening? On the menu are three new light and delicious recipes straight from Brenda Watson’s Love Your Heart Eating Plan that are sure to dazzle your dinner guests.

Seared Sesame Tuna
Serves 4
Ingredients (slaw):
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. low-sodium tamari
1 tbsp. mirin
1 tbsp. rice vinegar (sugar-free)
2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 cups green cabbage shreds
1 cup Napa cabbage shreds
1 cup bok choy, sliced thinly
½ red bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 carrot, sliced thinly
3 scallions, sliced thinly

Ingredients (tuna):
1 tbsp. tan sesame seeds
½ tbsp. black sesame seeds
¼ tsp. wasabi powder
1 lb. tuna steak (about 4 individual 4-oz. pieces, 2 inches thick)
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced

Directions: In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, tamari, mirin, vinegar, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. In a large bowl, combine cabbage, bok choy, red bell pepper, carrot and scallions; add dressing and mix well. Set aside for at least 20 minutes before serving. In a shallow bowl, combine sesame seeds and wasabi powder; coat tuna steaks with mixture, making sure both sides are covered. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear tuna in pan for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until both sides are well browned but tuna is still very rare in the center. Garnish with cilantro and serve with slaw.

Ligurian Chicken
Serves 4
Ingredients:
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 cups kale leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions, minced
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 large onion, sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
Four 6-oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded lightly)
1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups water or low-sodium chicken stock

Directions: Preheat oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, lightly mash chickpeas with fork. Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add kale and garlic; sauté for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cooked kale to chickpeas, then add scallions and cheese. Let cool. Scatter onion and tomato on bottom layer of a 9×12 baking dish; layer on mint leaves. Gently fold chicken breasts around chickpea mixture and place in baking dish atop tomato and onion. Top with lemon slices and red pepper flakes; pour in water or stock. Lightly cover with foil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until chicken breasts are completely cooked through. Serve and enjoy.

Jicama Beet Salad
Serves 4
Ingredients:
½ large jicama
1 red beet
1 golden beet
1 tbsp. lime juice
½ tsp. fresh ginger, minced
Salt to taste

Directions: Peel and julienne jicama and beets; place in large bowl. Add lime juice, ginger and salt; mix well. Set aside at least 20 minutes before serving.

Remember, the Love Your Heart Eating Plan is a simple and heart-healthy way to eat that focuses on reducing your daily sugar intake and increasing the amount of lean protein, healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables, and low-sugar fruits in your diet to help you stay satisfied throughout the day. Enjoy!

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Everyone knows fiber supports digestive health and is great for helping to keep you regular, but really that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A diet high in fiber is good for your whole body, and in fact studies have shown that a high-fiber diet offers the following benefits:

  • Helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • Supports normal blood sugar
  • Promotes cardiovascular health
  • Helps remove toxins and waste
  • Curbs appetite by helping you feel full

Now for the bad news: according to the National Institutes of Health, Americans aren’t getting nearly enough fiber—on average only 10 to 15 grams per day.

Add More Fiber with the Love Your Heart Eating Plan

Foods high in fiber are encouraged in Brenda Watson’s Love Your Heart Eating Plan because fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested by enzymes in the digestive tract. High-fiber foods decrease the absorption of carbs after a meal, in turn helping to control blood sugar and insulin response to carbohydrates.

Brenda recommends eating 35 grams of fiber daily from plenty of non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits. The addition of a fiber supplement is also a great way to ensure you get enough fiber each day; just be sure to look for a supplement that is:

  • Made with natural and organically grown ingredients
  • Made with lignan-rich flax fiber, soluble acacia fiber or natural chia seed

Psyllium-free to prevent cramping, gas and/or bloating

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