Fresh Picks Newsletter: September 2009

sepetmber-fresh-picksSeptember 2009

Welcome to Fresh Picks! September 2009, Issue #3

This is the newsletter for where I share fresh ideas to enhance and inspire our clean, healthy lifestyles.


The kids are finally Back to School.  It is time to create mindful, energy sustaining, yummy meals for them to pack in their lunch boxes.  Not such an easy task, but do able if you plan ahead and pack lunch the night before.

With extremely  early drop-off times, the better prepared we are in the evenings the more time can be spent in the morning eating a healthy breakfast to get ready for a busy day ahead!

Fresh Recipes: The recipe list is growing!  In the past few weeks I have added a variety of great, clean eats from sweet to savory.  The new posts include:

The Sushi Roll

Cocoa: The Basics

Cocoa 3 Ways

Sesame Soy Cucumber Salad

Meatball Lollipops

The Art of the Mini-Meal

Power Me Up!  Toasted Sunflower-Honey Granola Bars

Matcha Green Tea: Granita and Smoothie

Oatmeal: The Basics

Oatmeal Bowls: 7 Flavor Ways

“In a Pinch” Crab Salad

These are easy, healthy, yummy recipes that require as few ingredients as possible.  When we choose fresh, unprocessed ingredients the flavors present themselves better, so we need fewer ingredients!

sweet-smoked-paprikaFresh Ingredient: Smoked Paprika

The guys at Gastrokid (see Fresh Read below) are so on it.  I have to agree with them, the addition of Smoked Paprika to your savory dishes kicks the flavor quotient up many notches.

It can be added to your sauces, grilled meats, soups, pasta, sandwiches, eggs, etc… is so versatile.  The flavor of the smokey, toasted peppers that are used to make this spice transport you to an exotic seaside village in Spain.

By the way you can buy the “sweet” variety,” or the “hot” one.  You can also blend them according to taste.  A little of this spice goes a long way as far as flavor goes.  I found mine at Whole Foods, you can also check out:

toasted-cheese-and-chicken-breastFresh Tips: Toast it!!  Ever notice how your basic sandwich can go from blah to fabulous with the addition of heat?  Not only do the flavors come together and marry when heated, but the play on textures is blissful!  Think warm, oozy cheese with the delicate crunch of the bread.  Toasting caramelizes and intensifies the flavor of your ingredients.

Freshie Tip for the Kids: A quick snack idea….if your kids have no nut allergies go ahead and toss a handful of unsalted or low salt nuts into their snack container of pretzels.  The healthy fats in the nuts will help sustain energy levels better than the carbs alone.  No nuts allowed at school?  A quick Mini- Meal for them can include a wedge of cheese with a piece of fruit or whole wheat pretzels.  How about a handful of whole wheat crackers, some dried organic fruit and sunflower seeds.

nuts-onlineFresh Online Marketplace: Nuts Online

It is super fun to browse this online store.  This website has loads of bulk nut and other items, many choices are organic.  There are 57 peanut items!  They also have a great selection of organic dried fruits, grains, beans,  and “raw” products.

laptop-lunch-logoFresh Products: Laptop Lunches

My friends are raving about these bento style, environmentally conscious lunch boxes.  They are cool lookin’, reusable. recyclable meal packing systems.  Go to their website to choose from various bento/lunchbox  styles, accessories, recipes and packing ideas.


Eat Cleaner

We can never be too clean right?  Same goes with the foods we eat.  The Eat Cleaner team has come up with a great line of products to help get all of the ick (pesticide residue, dirt, grime and germs) off your produce and seafood/poultry.

They make it really easy to clean your eats with wipes, sprays and washes.  Check out the above link to order these all natural, biodegradable products.  Who knew you could make your “Clean” foods even cleaner!

gastrokidFresh Read: The Gastrokid Cookbook

by Hugh Garvey and Matthew Yeomans

I found The Gastrokid Cookbook this summer at my favorite independent bookstore Between the Covers in Telluride, CO.  You can also order it at The writers of this book are on to something great……Clean, Healthy, Yummy meals for the family!  Hmmmmm……

When I found this book I was thrilled to see others speaking my language when it comes to feeding ourselves and our kids.  Included in the pages of this wonderful book are delicious, insightful high-energy recipes.  The authors agree with the idea that we shouldn’t have to “sneak” and “hide” healthy ingredients in our kids foods.  Our children should be exposed to great, whole foods at a young age so their palates adapt.  They will come to crave healthy foods if they are exposed to them.

Fresh Clicks: Gastrokid

The above authors of The Gastrokid Cookbook also have this nifty website.  For more info on clean, healthy, yummy meal planning, recipes and insight check out the website that inspired the cookbook.

playground-pump-coverplayground-pumpFresh Exercise Pick:
Playground Pump!

I met the creators of Playground Pump this summer in Telluride.  Not only are they the epitome of health and fitness, they are  full of positive energy!!  This dynamic duo will get you in shape with this unique workout.

The Playground Pump fit deck offers us all a chance to grab a workout, (mind you a really good one) at your local playground.  It is a handy deck of 50 cards that has a nifty ring attachment so you can latch the deck on to your stroller, backpack, purse etc…

No more excuses folks, kids or no kids, these exercises utilize the playground equipment as your resistance and “machines.”  No pricey gym memberships needed.  Each card in the deck focuses on a different body part, from upper and lower body to core.  They provide stretches and other great tips as well.  Some of my favorite exercises include: The Swing Knee Tuck, The Bench Shoulder Press and the Windshield Wipers.

You can pick up your very own Playground Pump Fit Deck at

Again, no excuses not to get a great workout: Just released Playground Pump iPhone app

Family Freshologie: Use a knife and fork….even for your sandwiches!  I always talk about being mindful, but here is a great way to put that suggestion to work.  Ever notice how you slow it down when you need to slice your food with a knife?  You take smaller bites and eat with more care.
Food blogger extraordinaire David Lebovitz discusses this in his book The Sweet Life in Paris(great read!)  Not only is it mindful to eat with your knife and fork, but if the French do it than it must be tres chic!

Please Note:  Please use your own judgement or the advice of your doctor to decide which ingredients and products are appropriate for you and you family. does not accept any responsibility for injury sustained as a result of following the advice or suggestions contained within the content of this blog.

~ Marla Meridith

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