Tag Archives: eat healthy

Meet the Maker: La Bonne Crepe

La Bonne Crepe began in 2012. Owned by Maya Ittah initially, it quickly became a hit throughout the area for the one-of-a-kind crepes inspired by Maya’s upbringing in France. Maya’s mother, Chantal, and her grandmother made crepes throughout her childhood. After moving to the United States (first to New York, then Virginia), Maya began La Bonne Crepe with the desire to share the dish she loved so much with new friends and acquaintances. In 2014, Chantal took over the business so Maya could concentrate on her studies. Today, you can find Chantal serving fresh crepes at the Blacksburg Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays every week. She also sets up at Sweet Donkey Coffee on occasion, and participates in local festivals like Go Fest.

“I want people to experience the difference that wholesome, organic ingredients offer. [Our crepes] have a lot more nutrients. This meal is going to give them energy and strength. That is my goal,” explains Chantal.

“People really like the crepes, and they enjoy watching me making them,” she adds. “They like the healthy version.”

The rich family history and connections behind this business are far from over. Chantal and Maya have plans for a brick and mortar location to offer both delicious crepes and guidance for those trying to eat healthy.

Soon, Maya will earn her Master’s degree. She will open a cafe in southwest Roanoke in September, using her knowledge of nutrition to help customers with specific conditions find food that works for them. Once the cafe opens, Chantal will join her there, still serving her healthy crepes.

Crepes, by the way, that offer something for everyone. Chantal is a traveler, and her adventures inspire creativity. She often adds cultural influences to the crepe fillings, making the experience educational and unique.

“I loved to travel when I was younger. I was fortunate to do that and learn about other cultures. My passion is to discover all the cultures and immerse myself into their traditions and languages. I enjoy what I do so much because people come to my booth from all over the world. We talk a lot, and that’s why I feel like I want to add something different to the crepes. People do [them] differently all over the world,” she says.

Stay up to date on where to find La Bonne Crepe, and the new cafe (coming soon!) by following them on Facebook.

Earth Girl Wellness: Snack Smarter

It is quite tempting to think you are doing yourself a favor when you grab a box of 100­ calorie snack packs. Cookies, crackers, and chocolatey sweets all promise fulfillment in a little snack pack! Before reaching for the supposed convenience in a bag, consider what those 100 calories might actually mean to your health.

Whereas 100 calories seems entirely reasonable when it comes to noshing on a little something, the consequences to your body’s satiety (full feeling) response isn’t what you might expect. Your body expects to receive nutrients that are actually usable whenever food or drink crosses your lips. Many 100­ calorie packs are full of nothing but empty calories. Follow the logic here:

  1. You eat your 100 calorie treat.
  2. Your body doesn’t register any of the nutrition it needs.
  3. Your body says “whoa, where’s my food?”
  4. You grab a second 100­ calorie pack or other calorie filled food to make yourself feel nourished and full. Suddenly, your 100 calories has become 200 calories (or more!) and you still might not feel satisfied.

It would be far superior to snack on 200 calories of real, life­-giving food. Consider healthy options such as air­-popped popcorn, carrot sticks with hummus, or a small nut butter sandwich. Gulp it down with some clean, refreshing water and your body feels satisfied because it can register true, desirable nutrients.

Now, self ­discipline is a wonderful thing! If you are truly able to slowly savor a pack of 100 calorie cookies as your last treat before bed, by all means, indulge! Take care to savor your snack. Tasting each bite, noticing each swallow, and taking a moment to feel the “love” of your indulgence. Some 100 calorie packs can have health benefits, so reach for a pack of almonds or trail mix (without the sweet add ins such as chocolate chips) instead. To save money, create your own 100 calorie packs each week so you have them ready to grab at a moment’s notice. Think about dried fruit, some turkey and cheese, or whole wheat crackers. Your checkbook will thank you as well since most 100 calorie packs are charging for the packaging, not so much the snack!

Earth Girl loves a great snack, but she recommends you choose proper nutrition with life providing calories versus a snack in a pack that has been marketed to trick you into thinking you are doing yourself a favor. Carry on your adventure and snack wisely!

 

Written by Tina Hatcher of Earth Girl Wellness

A Recipe for Comfort (from Well Fed Farm)

Well, I am hoping everyone made it through the holiday season with minimum trauma and maximum enjoyment. While I am not big on proclaiming resolutions, I am a proponent of taking stock and putting everything in order for the days, and year to come. One of my favorite parts of doing this out here on the farm is seed catalog time! When I finally get a chance to grab the big stack of catalogs that have been trickling in from the mailbox, my garden notebook from the season before, a few pens, a hot cup of milky homemade chai, a small bowl of popcorn, and then make my way to the sheepskin covered couch I am prepared to settle in and breath everything else out. As the big red woodstove burns through another round of locust inside the farmhouse and just through the window I can see the garden all tucked in and dormant, I am in my happy place. Oh, the possibilities.

img_2272While I do save many types of seeds year to year (there is an ox-heart type tomato that came from a friend years back, known simply as “Orange-It’s So Good!”) the excitement of new varieties has a hypnotic pull and I know I am not alone here. Sometimes it’s tracking down that elusive variety you sampled the summer before: a tomato that woo-ed you or those perfectly salty pan-fried Shishito peppers you cooked up after bringing them home from the farmers’ market. Other times it’s adding a vegetable variety just for the novelty of it. Mexican Sour Gherkin cucumber, anyone? (BTW they are not truly cucumbers and totally worth growing because they are adorable, as well as, delicious). The magic, and its ensuing promise is all there inside these catalog pages full of images and convincing descriptions. There’s the gorgeous scarlet colored Rouge Vif D’Etampes pumpkins, the ever sexy and otherworldly looking Tardivo radicchio with it’s deep burgundy white ribbed leaves, and the early ripening Liebesapfel sweet pepper with it’s lovely ruffled shape. I always end up circling more than I could ever realistically plant, grow, and harvest.

Flipping through these pages and circling the garden workhorses along with the “well, why not give it a try?” choices reminds me of why I do what I do.  Dreaming of all those fresh meals that lie ahead and all the folks you look forward to sharing them with is good winter cheer indeed. As I hear the kids stomping ice off their boots on the front porch and gaze out at the beautiful belted cattle standing around the round bale hay feeder looking like dusted sugar cookies in the snow I feel grateful indeed.

img_1458Stove Top Duck Fat Popped Corn
with Sumac, citrus zest, and Nutritional yeast
(Serves 4-6)

1 ¼ cup quality popcorn kernels
¼ plus 1 Tbsp. rendered duck fat*
Zest of one half (well rinsed) orange or zest of one full clementine*
Several healthy pinches of sumac*, nutritional yeast*, + salt

Method: Melt 1 tablespoon of duck fat in a small container and set aside. Set a tall, heavy bottomed stockpot over high heat. Add remaining ¼ cup duck fat and swirl pot to keep fat moving as it melts. Once melted, add in popcorn kernels all at once and cover pot with lid. Using a kitchen towel to hold the stockpot by a handle, begin to shake it gently keeping the bottom of the pot on your burner. Very soon you should begin to hear the corn start to pop. Keep moving the pan every ten seconds or so. The pops will start to speed up and then begin slowing back down. This all only takes 2 minutes or so. Listen for the popping to taper off and then immediately pull the pot over to another cool burner and remove lid. Pour popped corn into a large bowl or clean paper bag and add remaining tablespoon melted fat along with sumac, zest, salt, and yeast. Give a few good shakes and taste, adding more sumac or salt as you please.

Notes:
Yes, I am the type of gal that takes having various fats on hand for cooking as serious business. No ball dropping allowed here. I usually have farmstead lard, rendered duck fat, and raw cultured butter in the fridge at all times. Not to worry though, if your shop doesn’t stock duck fat plenty of online retailers these days do or you can substitute coconut oil, grape seed oil, or even saved bacon fat!

~Please use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements + ingredients as necessary.~ 

Use organic citrus if possible. A Microplane rasp makes zesting a breeze. Sumac, which imparts a tangy tart and (to me) entirely moreish aspect to the popcorn, can be found at an ethnic grocery store. Nutritional yeast can be found in bulk at your local co-op or online. It is a powerhouse of B vitamins and is NOT the same as brewers yeast. I use Himalayan pink salt.

Written by Aaren Nuñez 

Healthy Snacks: Brussel Bytes!

Looking for a healthy alternative to traditional, salty road snacks? Try something outside the realm of cheese doodles and pretzels this summer, and take a look at Brussel Bytes from Wonderfully Raw Gourmet Delights. These up-and-coming veggie bites can be found along the shelves of any Target or online through Wonderfully Raw’s website.

The bags ring up at $5.99, and are available in three flavors: Cheezy Herb, Chili Pumpkin Seed Crunch and Tamarind Apple Crunch. The variety of savory and sweet tastes provide customers with the option to satisfy any range of cravings–not to mention these veggies are chalked full of healthy Vitamins A and C.

cheesyfront_81f18979-c7d5-4af7-87c7-66b7323706d0_1024x1024Perfect for that extra boost while you’re out and about, settling in after a long car ride, or on the Amtrak to the city, Brussel Bytes are organic, gluten free, non-GMO and vegan-friendly. They are made with organic kale, carrots, pumpkin seeds and brussel sprouts.

Throw them in your lunch box before work or take them on a hike with friends one afternoon. Each bag provides two servings, making it a great snack to share with a hungry travel partner.

Brussel Bytes excludes additives, preservatives, stabilizers and artificial flavors from its snacks. They are made with all natural ingredients, and because of this, snacks will reach an earlier expiration date than other comparatively preserved snacks. If the snacks are not satisfactory, Wonderfully Raw Gourmet Delights will replace the product free of charge to guarantee freshness.

 

Written by Emily McCaul

Books We Love: Aim True

Aim True, a new book by Kathryn Budig, is written for those who want total wellness to be apart of their daily routine. Kathryn is a yoga expert who has been featured in publications like Women’s Heath Magazine, Forbes, Yoga Journal, The New York Times and television shows like The Food Network and E! Entertainment. She has helped many people get their lives and bodies on the right track including Food Network star, Giada De Laurentiis!
aim true coverIn writing this new book she teamed up with Dr. Deborah Kim, a widely known holistic nutritionist. Together, these experts have put together a collection of yoga exercises, healthy recipes, tips for meditation, body-positive narratives, and DIY beauty recipes! The recipes in this book are designed to ignite a passion for cooking, while the yoga exercises are designed to make you fall in love with a healthy lifestyle. If you’re looking for a new addition to your routine, Aim True is perfect–it has all of the resources you need to get back on track and lead a happy and balanced life!

Don’t wait–Aim True is available today. Get your copy here!

Written by Kathleen Duffy

Enter to Win a Copy of The New Health Rules!

You’ve made the commitment to get healthier, but you have no idea where to begin. That’s where The New Health Rules: Simple Changes to Achieve Whole-Body Wellness by Dr. Frank Lipman and Danielle Claro can help.
51ZrNqYwnQL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_This illustrated guide to improving every aspect of your mind, body, and soul is meant to help map healthy habits you want to integrate deeply and forever.
It offers guidance on a variety of topics including diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes that can positively impact your life. This includes advice on what you should buy every week, simple secrets to a good night’s sleep and boosting your energy, and the products that you should avoid.
Order yours today and get started on the journey to a healthy, more fulfilled routine. You can also enter to win a copy on our Facebook page!

Make Healthy Choices at Smoothie King!

Located on the lower level of Towers Shopping Center, Smoothie King offers a wide variety of smoothies for those looking to improve their meal choices. We sat down with one of owners, Cindy Starleigh, to learn more about their smoothies and how they can help customers achieve their goals for a healthy lifestyle.

How were you first introduced to Smoothie King?
“I was a senior project manager so I travelled almost every week to various cities such as Charlotte and St. Louis. When you travel, it is important to be healthy when you are dining out. I liked Smoothie King because they definitely offered that option.”
What made you want to open a location in Roanoke?
“My husband Rocky and I lived in Northern Virginia, but I had family members in Roanoke so we decided to move here. My husband took over our family dry cleaning business and he did that for four years while I continued to travel with my job. During that time, we realized that Roanoke didn’t offer anything like Smoothie King. It was important to us to provide something convenient that encourages people to live a healthy lifestyle.”
smoothie-cupWhat inspired you to become a locally-owned part of the international franchise?
“Franchise was something that we wanted to do because it is a higher rate of success compared to if you opened a small business on your own. Smoothie King has been around since 1973, and the franchises began to open in the late 1980s. Everyone in this business loves what they do and believes in it. That was important to us, because we wanted to sell something that we believed in and had no issues marketing to our customers. For example, we wouldn’t want to encourage our customers to buy foods packed with high calories, chemicals and preservatives. We want them to be healthy.”
What makes you different from some of the other restaurants that offer smoothies?
“There are quite a few differences. First, some fast food places use flavoring liquids to create their flavors. At Smoothie King, we use real fruits and fruit juices. There are no hidden ingredients or preservatives. We also offer vegan smoothies and partner with reputable companies like Nutrition53 Lean1, Chobani, and Sun Warrior to bring the best ingredients to our customers. 
Secondly, all of our smoothies are certified gluten-free. Last year, Smoothie King partnered with the NBA New Orleans Pelicans and their New Orleans stadium is now the Smoothie King Center. In order to be that level of a sponsor, our products had to be tested to make sure they were healthy and clean. The NBA spent close to eight months analyzing our ingredients to make sure there were no chemicals in them and that they were safe for the NBA players and other athletes.
Even the retail products that we carry are scrutinized to make sure they do not contain anything outside of an approved list, because we know that the products that aren’t on that list could have chemicals that are not good for athletes and people.”
Can you replace a meal with a smoothie?
“Absolutely. In fact, we are currently promoting our “Change a Meal Challenge” that will continue through the end of February. The idea is to replace one of your meals with a smoothie, and maybe even replace two meals once you are comfortable. Our smoothies have proteins, vitamins, minerals, and nutritional ingredients that you would typically look for in any type of food. Replace what you are comfortable with and stick with it to see what kind of changes you can experience. In the end, it is about putting things into your body that it needs. It’s not really about dieting, but instead making a lifestyle change you can stick with. ”
IMG_1107How can you help busy women (and men!) with their weight loss/health goals?
“A lot of focus is placed on how we look and losing weight. It creates additional stress that we really don’t need because we are already working and taking care of our families. Losing weight is not simple or easy. Eating healthy isn’t either, but help is available in this store. We want you to know when you are running short on time to prepare a healthy meal, Smoothie King is a great option as opposed to fast food. We even offer products that will help you make your smoothies at home to cut down on costs. We can also give you advice so you have a little less to stress about while you lose weight and get healthier.
Women tend to put their families first and themselves last, but you have to be healthy first in order to do so much for others. It’s easy to say, but doing it is harder. Little things that you can tweak can really make a difference. It all starts with what you put into your body!”

Smoothie King is open seven days a week and their staff is always ready to help you with your nutritional needs. Visit them on the lower level of Towers Shopping Center in Roanoke or go to www.smoothieking.com for more information on all of the products they offer!

P.S. Be sure to pick up a copy of our February issue–it includes a coupon for a FREE 20 oz smoothie from Smoothie King!

Meet Amy Garland!

In our January issue, we sat down with Amy Garland, owner of Little Green Hive, to learn more about the unique local business, her other ventures, talents, and interests. Check out her interview below, and be sure to drop by Little Green Hive to try one one of the many delicious items on their menu!

How did Little Green Hive get its start?

I’ve been a health coach for about eight years and thought more about it being a smoothie bar in the beginning. It was about opening up a spot where I could coach people right here in my community as they started their journey towards better health. However, the space needed a coffee shop so we figured out a way that it could be both. 

IMG_0827Why is it so important to have options like this in Roanoke?
I moved here from Manhattan, where there were more choices for people who wanted to eat “clean.” At the time, it was more difficult to find things like that here.
Eating healthy is hard when the only convenient options are not good for you. The goal is to be a resource for people downtown to pick up healthier items quickly while they are out and about. Our smoothies don’t have any sugar added to them. The ingredients we use in our shop do not include any artificial flavors, sweeteners, or colors. 

What are the origins of the food and beverages served at Little Green Hive?
Local foods became very important to me because our local artisan famers offer an abundance of them. We incorporated milk from a local dairy, local coffee from Red Rooster Coffee and non GMO fruits. The idea was to keep everything as local and quality as possible and keep it affordable for our customers.

What else do you do?
I have a Web Development Firm called 23 Hearts (www.23hearts.com), and work with clients like Just Dance Roanoke, Community High School, and Breadcraft. Additionally, I continue to work with women as a health coach to balance hormones and improve their health.

What’s Next:
I am creating new programs for my health coaching clients. You can find more information at www.nourishedfeminine.com

How do you spend your free time?
I love getting outside in the valley on the greenways and hiking. My husband and I are also part of the Virginia Inland Sailing Association (VISA) and we go sailing on the weekends. I enjoy metalsmithing and jewelry making in my spare time.