Monthly Archives: May 2014

Fresh Watermelon Orange Sorbet

I am on a summertime treat roll! Here’s my latest concoction:

  • 1 cup of frozen watermelon chunks
  • 1 navel orange, peeled and torn into four sections
  • 3 drops of liquid stevia

Layer fruit into smoothie/blender jar with the orange sections closest to the blades. Add in stevia and blend until smooth.

orangeWith my NutriBullet it requires me to shake the jar several times, but it’s so good that it’s worth it to persevere. With a regular blender you might have to stop and stir several times. I don’t add liquid and after blending it is like a soft serve sorbet … Delicious!

This Watermelon Orange Sorbet not only packs a nutritional wallop, but watermelon blended into a smoothie is the perfect way to preserve pieces that won’t be used up in time or a watermelon that you buy and is overripe or has an unappealing texture.

Another treat is frozen pineapple chunks, frozen sliced strawberries and a chunk of frozen banana blended with just enough juice to make a slush. I add a few drops of liquid stevia for added sweetness.

To feel really special, or for special occasions, dress it up with an orange slice and a fancy glass.

A client told me about just blending frozen pineapple and coconut milk. Another delicious smoothie for a summertime treat.

My next experiment is to make these and freeze them in Popsicle molds. After mowing the grass on a hot day, one of these puppies would be the perfect way to relax on the deck! Eating cold, healthy treats is a great way to cool off!

Summer treats … YUM!
Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach

Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices


Tasty Summer Treat – Dairy-free Ice Cream!

homemade dairy free ice cream

Check out how easy it is to create tasty treats at home where you know that the ingredients are healthy and support your efforts to bring better health to you and your family!

The best tasting non-dairy ice cream I’ve ever made (or tasted) is Strawberry Chocolate Chip. It’s a fun way to get everyone involved in a little chemistry and creating their own treats!

I was out of chocolate chips when I made some for the photo, so I topped it with a square of 85% dark chocolate.

1 cup of tightly packed, fresh, sliced strawberries (you can use any richly flavored fruit like peaches, bananas, mango, cherries)
1/3 cup of coconut cream (I get this at Trader Joe’s. If you can’t find it, just use full-fat coconut milk)
chocolate chips – amount depends on your preference (non-dairy)
1 sandwich size zip style bag
1 gallon size zip style bag (or large plastic coffee container-empty of course)
1/3 cup of table or rock salt
1/3 cup of water
1 tray of ice cubes

Put the ice, water and salt in the gallon bag. Set aside.

Blend the strawberries and coconut cream in blender (I use my smoothie jar). Pour into the sandwich sized bag.

Put the small bag into the large one and make sure it’s immersed in the water/ice mixture.

Flip the bag around for up to five minutes. (It often takes two minutes, but sometimes more.) I like to rotate it corner to corner.

Be careful when you do this as the bag can get cold enough to cause injury. 

I recommend oven mitts or wrapping the bag in a kitchen towel. Watch kids when they’re doing this. (I must admit, I don’t use anything. I just touch the very corners with my thumb and index finger and haven’t had any problems.)

When the ice cream is ready, just remove from the bag and transfer to a bowl. Add the chocolate chips, stir and enjoy!!!

Makes 1 generous serving

If you want to serve this at a backyard get together, you can make the strawberry blend ahead of time and store it in the fridge for a day. Make up the gallon bags with ice ahead of time, but don’t add the salt or water until it’s time to play. Have the salt/water mix measured out in individual containers and you can have everyone form a serving line. Hand them a gallon bag, they open it, you pour in the salt/water mixture and hand them a sealed bag of strawberry blend and a towel. Set up a table with bowls, spoons and chocolate chips. Your partner in crime can go through the line first to show everyone how it’s done.

This stuff is FABULOUS!! Here’s another idea:

Wellness Today is a series by the school I attended, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

I hope you get a chance to try these. They are truly wonderful and the perfect summer treats!

Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices


Water … It’s not just water anymore!

cropped sparklingStep One. Oh Wait, We’ve Done a Bunch of Steps Already! (Delicious ‘water’ recipe at bottom.)

Water. Drink more. Tap. Filtered. Sparking. Drink it hot. Drink it iced. Drink it room temp. Stay hydrated for better health.

Most of us think that we’re doing great if we respond to thirst with a glass of water, but if you’ve been a participant in many of my classes or read my blog on cravings, you already know that being dehydrated can mask itself as a craving for sugar instead of thirst setting us off in the direction of candy bars and brownies instead of what we truly need. Experts advise that by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.

If you suffer from stress, stress headaches, tightness and bodily tension drinking water often helps to get your body into balance.

In his internationally acclaimed book, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj attributes most illness and disease to dehydration. He concludes that asthma, arthritis, depression migraines, hypertension, multiple sclerosis and other diseases are preventable and curable with ordinary water.

I can’t attest to the veracity of his arguments, but common sense tells you that by drinking more water you will flush toxins from your body faster. (There is a small percentage of the population for whom adding in liquid can be a problem. If you suffer from edema or congestive heart failure or any condition in which the body retains fluids, it’s best to check with your doctor before adding any more liquid to your daily intake.)

Depending on where you live and/or your health, tap water may be the perfect choice. Despite having chemicals added, the water in this country is the safest available and federal standards for tap water are actually higher than for bottled water. Then there’s the planetary burden of plastic bottles and the question of chemical residue in the water and tap water sounds better and better.

If you want to filter out some/most of the chemicals in tap water there are any number of filters available from whole house to faucet to pitcher to bottle. Each type of filter rids you of most chemicals and makes your tap water even safer. Whatever your choice it’s key that you change the filter regularly!

Your hydration level is definitely an individual number. Find what works for you. Consider your personal habits when determining your water intake. If you eat a lot of veggies and fruit you are naturally hydrating yourself, and if you sweat a lot, you’re naturally dehydrating yourself. There’s a big difference in fluid intake with the food choices you make. Dry grains vs veggies … one is nearly water-less and the other is loaded with it. Those are the types of things you need to take into consideration when deciding how much water is right for you.

Whatever your level, it’s definitely helpful to get the majority of your water intake complete before late afternoon. Sound sleep is critical to good health and waking for bathroom breaks definitely interferes!

You don’t just have to drink water although that’s the best choice. Feel free to include herbal teas, soup and lemon water* in your daily count. They are definitely hydrating, just not quite as hydrating as pure water.

Water. Drink more. Tap. Filtered. Sparking. Drink it hot. Drink it iced. Drink it room temp. Stay hydrated for better health.

Here’s my favorite way to add alkalinizing, cold refreshment during the hot summer months. It’s my recipe for Sparkling Lemonade

  • Juice of one small lemon. (Trader Joe’s sells a 1lb. bag of small lemons for $1.49. I think there’s about 6-8 lemons per bag.)
  • 12 drops of liquid stevia
  • 12 ounce can of sparkling water (flavored or plain)

I actually make up pint jars with the lemon juice and stevia added and keep them in my fridge. All I have to do is take one out, pour in a can of sparkling water, ice and gently stir.

For a touch of color add a dash of pomegranate or cherry juice. I also like to put a couple of frozen strawberries in the jar. Lovely!

So, I went to make a glass and found I was out of lemons so the photograph is actually Sparkling Grapefruit … um … ade. And it tastes delicious. I believe I have a new favorite!

This is so much better for you than soda. It’s all natural and is totally refreshing!

Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices


Aldi Gluten Free: Good & Bad

Anyone who’s been to one of my Gluten Free 101 classes knows that I rave about Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Spaghetti Pasta and also recommend Tinkyada brand for those that don’t live near a Trader Joe’s Now Aldi has announced a new Gluten Free line of products and Aldi is just about everywhere. I was delighted when they announced a line of gluten-free products that included spaghetti pasta.

1 AldiAnd it’s good. It’s better than good. It’s better than a lot of the brands I’ve tried before. It’s also cheaper. The downside is that it doesn’t hold up well as leftovers. If you’re cooking and serving right away it’s fabulous, but after storing them in the fridge for a day, they have a bit of a funky taste and a terrible texture.

That’s a deal breaker for me, but I live by a Trader Joe’s where I can find a similar product that holds up great to storing for a few days. (I like to cook up a big batch for use in meals throughout the week.) For those of you without that luxury, this is a delicious way to scratch your pasta itch … Just don’t plan for leftovers!

The also offer things like pancakes, cornbread, pizza crust mix, pretzels and wraps. I’ve not tried those things because I rarely eat them. I’d love to include reviews from readers who’ve tried them! Drop an email to me if/when you do try them.

As I’ve said before, there is a lot of gluten free junk on the market! And, I have to admit that most of Aldi’s gluten free line is just junk: Brownies, cookies, etc. but that’s true of most products specifically designed for a gluten-free diet and if you’re looking for something as a special treat they might be worth a look since they’re a lot less expensive than what you find in most stores.

Even if you’re not considering going gluten free, it’s not a bad idea to find alternatives and reduce the amount of gluten in your diet, and finding products at a reasonable price makes it much easier.

Remember that I get rave reviews as a speaker and have a list of classes on my website. Does your church group want to learn more about getting healthy? Do the members of your Women’s Group want to get a handle on cravings and emotional eating? I teach a great class about that!  Just click here for more information.

Buon Appetito!
Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices



Challenge #1: I Challenge You to …

Today I am challenging you to add in one healthy habit THIS WEEK!challenge Add in fresh fruit. Add in a green smoothie or salad. Add in a ten-minute walk or a meatless meal. Add in a little self-care. Add in a hearty, protein-rich breakfast. Add in a social gathering or a dance class. Add in journaling. Add in a cooking class. Add in lunch with a good book. Add in date night. Add in a brown rice or quinoa pilaf. Add in a healthy take-out by going to the grocery and picking up a rotisserie chicken and salad from the salad bar. Add in a gratitude list. Add in dancing in the living room to your favorite beat.

Today I am challenging you to add in one healthy habit this week. Start today. Pick an easy one. In a week or two pick another, one a bit more challenging, and make a plan to make it happen.

I’m not just writing these for you to read and forget about. I write them so that you can add in healthy habits. Pick one. Add it in.

I challenge you to better health!

If you’re interested in journaling, I’m offering two classes this week: Thursday, May 15th at 7PM and Saturday, May 17th at 11AM. Both classes are at my office in downtown Overland Park and are offered on a Love Offering basis. Email for details.


ImageMaybe it’s not quite the official watermelon season, and some of my sustainable friends might give me grief, but those little ‘personal’ watermelons are in stores and are very tasty at this time of year. (I prefer to call them snack size since I consider any watermelon my ‘personal’ watermelon … size matters not!)

Watermelon is my favorite food and I have gone without for months. No longer! Sweet, crisp and cold it is my idea of perfection. Don’t take my word for it; here are some facts about this amazing green striped orb:

  • Watermelon has more lycopene than tomatoes; 20mg per six cup serving. Why do you care? Lycopene is an incredible antioxidant! Researchers have found evidence that shows by including it in your diet you can positively impact heart disease, cancer (most notably lung, stomach, breast, cervix and prostate), diabetes and osteoporosis. Toss in a side of anti-aging support and watermelon is a big winner!
  • By watermelon’s antioxidants corralling a bunch of free radicals it reduces the damage they can cause. Damage that includes the inflammation of arthritis, severity of asthma attacks and the stickiness of cholesterol which leads to atherosclerosis
  • One serving increases free arginine, supporting lower blood pressure and insulin sensitivity.
  • Watermelon is loaded with Vitamin A, C, B6, B1, potassium and magnesium offering strong support for your immune system.
  • The amino acid compound, citrulline works in conjunction with the arginine it forms to relax blood vessels causing watermelon to be known as a natural choice over Viagra for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
  • It is a vegetable that belongs to the same family as pumpkin, cucumber and squash … who knew?
  • Due to its high water content (92% water) explorers used watermelon as a canteen. (Okay, this created a cartoon in my head of a bunch of people in khaki, walking single file through the rain forest, each carrying a big watermelon. Sorry.)

Watermelon is gaining a reputation for its versatility as well; add it to salads or smoothies, create frozen summer treats or, if you’re like me, just eat it cold and crisp from the fridge! Whatever you do, don’t try to freeze it … you’ll end up with a disgusting, slimy red mess.

In today’s world of instant gratification, watermelon is something that you have to get while you can.  Enjoy it knowing that you are getting crazy good health benefits!

Nancy Oglesby, the Practical Health Coach
Simplifying Healthy Lifestyle Choices