Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blogger Spotlight: Lindsay Livingston of the Lean Green Bean


Lindsay Livingston who writes the Lean Green Bean is one of our favorite bloggers. Lindsay is a Registered Dietitian and is passionate about nutritious and healthy living. On her blog she creates and shares simple and healthy recipes, nutrition tips, information about her workout routine and a little about her life with her husband and pets. She also recently shared with all of her readers that she’s about to become a first time mom. Congratulations, Lindsay! All of us here at Wild Blueberries are so excited for you!

This summer we asked Lindsay to create four easy-to-make recipes using frozen Wild Blueberries. We’ve started sharing them right here on Wild About Health. In case you missed her first two tasty recipes, they were Wild Blueberry and Spinach Turkey Burgers and Wild Blueberry Ice Cream Sandwiches.

In the last few months, we’ve been able to get to know Lindsay a little bit better and understand just how committed to healthy living she is and we wanted to introduce her to you. We recently had a nice long chat and asked her about what inspires her recipes, what she loves about her job, summer and Wild Blueberries.

What inspires your recipes?  

I’m always looking to create recipes that work well with our busy and active lives. Eating delicious and healthy food and living a healthy lifestyle is really important to me. Because we are always on the move and I’m a huge snacker, I share a lot of healthy snack recipes on my blog. Having several healthy snacks throughout day is important because it keeps me from getting overly hungry and makes it less likely that I’ll over-indulge later in the day. Some of my most popular recipes, like my Quinoa Breakfast Bars, were created because I was searching for a way to get my husband to eat a good breakfast every morning even if it had to be on the go. I'm also always thinking about quick, easy dinners that I can create and share, using simple ingredients that a lot of people will have on hand. I want my readers to realize that whipping up healthy dinners doesn’t have to be complicated!

What type of recipes do you like to create? 

I've always loved baking — muffins and bars will always have a place in my heart. I also love the challenge of making healthy recipes that also taste good so that people actually want to eat them!

What made you want to be an RD? What do you love about what you do?

I taught preschool for several months and it made me so sad that half my class was already overweight at such an early age. I wanted to be able to make a difference. I love my job now because it's so unique. Every day is different and I have the opportunity to help people get healthier and work on so many different projects with tons of different companies and clients!

What three pieces of advice would you give to someone just getting started on their healthy living journey?

1)    Start small. People often get discouraged when starting their healthy living journey because they try to change too many things at once, which can be overwhelming. Instead, try picking 2-3 small changes to focus on initially and once those become healthy habits, make a few more small changes!

2)    Do what works for you. Just because everyone around you seems to be going gluten-free or following the paleo diet, doesn’t mean that it’s right for you. Nutrition is an individual thing. It’s about listening to YOUR body, figuring out what makes YOU feel your best and doing that, instead of worrying so much about what other people are doing!

3)    Food prep! Spending an hour or two on the weekends prepping food for the week ahead is my number one healthy living tip. Having meals or meal components ready and available makes it much easier to throw together quick, healthy meals during a busy week.

What do you love most about being a food blogger? Tell us a little about how you got started.

I love having a place to share what happens in my kitchen with the rest of the world. I started blogging because I needed a place to store all the recipes I was making for dinner. My blog has blossomed and I’ve found such a wonderful, supportive community with great opportunities and lots of new friends. I really can't remember what I did with all my free time before I started blogging.


What tips can you offer from making recipes with frozen Wild Blueberries?

My best tip is to always have them on hand and not to be afraid to think outside of the box – or the bag in this case. For example, not everyone would think that wild blueberries and peanut butter would go well together (like my Blueberry Cashew Bars) or blueberries and sweet potato (I often add them to my Sweet Potato Banana Bites for a snack) but they do! And you'll never know until you try. My motto is that they make pretty much everything better and they're not just for baking!

Tell us why you think the Wild Blueberry is so special and what makes it different from regular blueberries you find in the produce section of the store?

I love how unaltered they are. They really are one of nature's perfect fruits! And wild blueberries are tiny, potent berries with such a great flavor. Plus, you can't argue with an extra dose of antioxidants.

We hear you’re about to become a first-time mom. What are you looking forward to most?

Mostly I'm just excited to hold the title of mom. My husband and I had a long road to get to this point and even though I've had a few breakdowns because the thought of being new parents is slightly terrifying, I'm mostly excited to meet my son and get to be HIS mom. And I can't wait to watch him learn, grow and change every day!

What’s your favorite summertime activity?

I love being outside. This summer I've really been enjoying my daily walks with the dogs. It gives me time to get out of the house, disconnect and really just let my mind wander!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

FIVE THINGS WE LOVE ABOUT SUMMER



Summer in Maine conjures up the most wonderful imaginings and reveries—clear, pristine rivers, spruce-lined lakes, ancient mountains, bold rocky coastlines, honest straight-talking people, simple values, and fresh, local food.  Here are five reasons why we love summer! Share your ideas with us and remember to enjoy the best that summer has to offer before it’s gone.


  1. SWIMMING – Whether it’s the lake, the ocean, or the swimming pool, we love that summer is a cascade of water.
  2. CAMPFIRES – there’s nothing more enticing than a campfire and roasted marshmallows on a warm summer night.
  3. THE ENDLESS DAYS – summer days seem to stretch endlessly into evening – even the kids get to stay up later!
  4. OUTDOOR GATHERINGS WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY—summer is the season for outdoor parties and special occasions.

WILD BLUEBERRIES – well of course. For us, summer is not complete without delicious, healthy wild blueberries. If you didn’t know, they have twice the antioxidants and a more intense blueberry taste that makes summer meals just a little more special. 



 

Monday, June 30, 2014

A Red, White & Wildly Blue Dessert for July 4th


We have another wildly delicious recipe from Guest Blogger and Registered Dietitian Lindsay Livingston from The Lean Green Bean for the upcoming 4th of July holiday. Check back often all summer long as Lindsay will be sharing many more inspiring recipes using Wild Blueberries.

Growing up, 4th of July was always one of my favorite holidays. I loved it for several reasons:
1)   It’s right in the middle of summer- and what kid doesn’t love summer?
2)   Fireworks. I love them. I was never scared of the noise and I absolutely love watching the colors light up the sky. Even now, I watch them every chance I get!
3)   Good food. For me, 4th of July memories include hot dogs and ice cream. Doesn’t get any better than that!

This year I’ll be 25 weeks pregnant on 4th of July and although I’ve haven’t been feeling the best throughout this pregnancy, ice cream is one thing that ALWAYS sounds good. So, I put on my thinking cap and decided to come up with a 4th of July - themed ice cream dessert to share with friends and family at our holiday get-together!

When I’m at a party, the last thing I want to do is deal with using utensils. Finger foods are where it’s at, in my opinion. Keeping that in mind, I immediately started thinking about ice cream sandwiches because they’re easy to eat and they combine two delicious desserts - cookies & ice cream!

To make things festive, I made red velvet cookies, used vanilla ice cream and then added a layer of frozen Wild Blueberries to get the red, white & blue look I was going for!

Here’s how you make them:

Wild Blueberry Ice Cream Sandwiches
Yield: 12 ice cream sandwiches

1 box red velvet cake mix
½ cup plain yogurt
2 eggs
3 cups vanilla ice cream (approximately)
1 cup frozen Wild Blueberries (approximately)

Directions:
1. Combine the cake mix, eggs and yogurt in a bowl, mixing well until all cake mix is moistened. 
2. Freeze for 30 minutes.
3. Scoop onto greased cookie sheets and bake at 375 for 10 minutes (you should get 24 cookies.)
4. Let cookies cool completely.
5. Let ice cream soften slightly, then spread about 2 Tablespoons of ice cream on the bottom of a cookie.
6. Top with about 1 Tablespoon of frozen Wild Blueberries. 
7. Add another 1-2 Tablespoons of ice cream on top of blueberries and top with another cookie (bottom side down). 
8. Repeat with remaining cookies until you have 12 ice cream sandwiches. 
9. Store in the freezer, let thaw for 5-10 minute before serving. 


Notes:
- You could also make open-faced ice cream sandwiches by just using one cookie, adding ice cream and topping with frozen Wild Blueberries.
- Feel free to stick a few extra frozen Wild Blueberries into the outer edge of the ice cream for a more festive look!


Enjoy!
Lindsay