WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Curing migraines, escaping allergies, or dodging a hangover. "TODAY" show nutrition expert Joy Bauer says you can find remedies to life’s everyday ailments through the foods you eat, and it can be packed with flavor.
Bauer was the keynote speaker Wednesday for the Meals on Wheels of the Palm Beaches fundraiser, where NewsChannel 5's Tania Rogers served as master of ceremonies.
“Meals on Wheels has been very near and dear to my heart for a very long time,” Bauer said.
Her mother volunteered for the organization for years while Bauer was growing up, delivering thousands of meals while she often chipped in to help.
“I'm all about nourishing our bodies with healthy food, but Meals on Wheels is all about so much more than that,” Bauer said.
The organization says it delivered more than 52,000 meals in the last year to 475 home-bound seniors with the help of 235 volunteers. The organization announced at Wednesday’s event that it is getting a new 5,000-square foot kitchen to serve the community from Lantana to Tequesta.
Bauer has long encouraged viewers and social media followers to embrace the foods for the gifts they can offer. She's the author of more than a dozen bestselling cookbooks, including one recently released called “Joy’s Simple Food Remedies.” She leads a community of enthusiasts called the “Joy Fit Club” who have lost more than 50,000 pounds collectively through diet and exercise alone.
Certain ingredients can provide remedies for life’s ailments and boost brain power. Bauer’s recipes show how versatile healthy ingredients can be.
Walnuts, for example, are packed with omega-3 fats. They can be ground up and used as a binder in meatballs, or added as a crunchy topping to pasta or salad. Artichokes have more fiber per cup than broccoli or sweet potatoes and can be roasted in the oven with extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, garlic powder and lemon juice. Coffee can be used in a smoothie or frozen into ice cubes for cool drinks.
“Coffee can help us feel smarter. We know that the caffeine in coffee helps to wake us up, but there's also a lot of antioxidants in coffee that can help improve memory and focus,” she said.
The process of improving health is one simple step at a time, according to Bauer.
“Many people feel that you have to give up all of the foods that you love and crave and that's just not the case. There are strategies, simple tweaks that you can do to just about any recipe including things. Like buffalo wings and deep dish pizza and chocolate milkshakes so that you can re-imagine them and recreate them in a way so that you still get that indulgent, satisfying flavors, yet it's all filled with good-for-you ingredients,” she said.
Even Super Bowl foods, which are classically packed with calories, can be made healthier with some swaps. Friday morning on The Today Show, Bauer will make snacks like a protein-packed healthier pretzel she claims will taste just like a soft pretzel. The average American is believed to consumer about 2,400 calories during a typical Super Bowl game.
“If you want to make a good-for-you chicken wing, all of you have to do is make the chicken with skinless drumsticks or thighs, wings are really a high meat-to-skin ratio, you're basically just eating fried skin. But if you make them with chicken tenderloins or if you make them with spineless thighs or drumsticks and you slather that hot sauce all over them. And then you make the blue dip blue cheese dip topping with a nonfat-Greek yogurt, and some blue cheese crumbles, a little bit of garlic powder, a little bit of onion powder, you are set, that's just one of the tricks,” she said.
One smart tweak can lead to another great goal, and so on.
“A lot of people don't realize how lousy they feel at their baseline because they're stuck there, but once you start feeling better by eating smarter, you can't imagine how much better the world can be, and how much happier and energetic you can feel,” she said.