Grilled Stuffed Pears

Pears grilled and stuffed with quinoa and cheese

When it comes to summer grilling, pears are often overlooked. But the fact is their hardy texture is ideal for standing up to the intensity of the grill, and as they cook, their delicious flavor is enhanced by the smoky flames. Grilled pears can be prepared in both sweet and savory ways: think grilled pear halves topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert, or sliced grilled pears tossed in a summery salad. Here they are cooked on the grill until just tender and juicy, with a quinoa salad stuffing that evokes flavors of the Mediterranean. Extra-virgin olive oil, Spanish-style chorizo, and fresh mint add a bold, summertime flare, while white balsamic vinegar adds a sweet, fruity tang to complement the flavors found in the grilled pears. Serve these at your next backyard barbecue, for an outside-the-box appetizer Continue reading

Be Your Own Valentine!

Some people are lucky. But some of us, unfortunately, are a touch unlucky, whether it’s in love, career, health… My family health history is a convoluted maze of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. My genetic prescription suggests I may not live a long, healthy life: That’s not just disheartening, it’s downright discouraging! But this Valentine’s Day, there is good news! Although DNA plays a role in health and lifestyle, we can combat our genetic roadmaps; we can change our lives, we just have to love ourselves enough to make the change! At one point I was much heavier, couldn’t name many fruits or vegetables, had disordered endocrine function, and was, simply, lazy. One day I decided I was done being uncomfortable in my own skin and decided to love myself. I experimented with veggies, added fruit to my lunches, found Continue reading

Eat Fresh!

Halloween is over but the holiday season is just getting started; my calendar is already booked with holiday parties, family trips, and a multitude of feasts! Every year I struggle with old habits; holidays should be about celebrating and enjoying time together, but I stress about overeating at holiday celebrations. I’m not going to be hard on myself, but I am going to prepare ahead of time. First, I already have a new physical activity regimen in place, and I plan to keep it up well into the new year. Second, I am going to focus on enjoying myself rather than falling into old habits. For me, holiday overeating is a habit based on many years of overindulgence; this year, I’m focusing on practicing a new habit – enjoying the company and not overeating. To do this, I’m going to Continue reading

Make Half Your Plate Pears!

The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans are here! Every five years, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services update the Dietary Guidelines, guidance that focuses on nationwide health promotion and disease risk reduction based on current nutritional science. Not surprisingly, the latest guidelines focus on trimming waistlines though physical activity and proper nutrition, including increasing consumption of nutrient-dense foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The guidelines form the basis for federal nutrition policy, but also provide specific messages to improve consumer health. One of these consumer messages, and in my opinion the most effective message, is to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. The most recent data reveals that 72% of men, 64% of women, and 32% of those younger than age 20 in the United States are overweight or obese.1,2 The obesity epidemic Continue reading