Summertime means Cucumbers!

I love summertime!!! My best memories are summer days in the country in Virginia! Running around barefoot in the sweltering heat and didn’t even care! Climbing trees, rolling in the grass, eating all the wonderful garden treats, it was divine!! I was very skinny and sometimes I’d be so full from fruit and veggies that I wouldn’t touch my dinner; oooooOOOO it made my grandma upset! She was sure I’d waste away to nothing. I didn’t…I made up for it!

One of my favs was cucumbers, we had them at every meal both in cucumber form and pickles! My Mamame, my other grandmother, made pickles every year, mostly I remember how bad the house smelled!!!! For the most part, I’ll take them pre-pickle form i.e. cucumber.

My grandmother, and just about everyone, served them in vinegar with onions, but I haaaateed vinegar, so my grandma would put one little bowl of cucumbers on the table with water and a little salt. Just for me!!! I loved it!! Sometimes I’d just slice a cucumber like cutting up an apple, sprinkle a little salt on every slice and pop it into my mouth! The best, right next to pulling a cherry tomato off the vine all warm and sunshiny and then having it burst with weirdly cool tomato juice in side your mouth!!! MMMmmmMM!!!

Pickles are worthy of a blog post in themselves. I once nearly made myself sick in a church fellowship hall because all the ladies made their own recipe for deviled eggs ( a weakness of mine), but every egg had a little sliver of THIER OWN homemade pickle on top. I mean…It woulda just been rude to not try at least one of each y’all!! Plus they’d ask!! And you can’t lie in a church fellowship hall. I’m sure God tell’s southern ladies if you lie about their pickles. We’ll stick to cucumbers today.

Did you know?

  • The expression “Cool as a cucumber” was first used in 1732 to mean steady and calm.
  • You can rub a cucumber on your window to help keep it from fogging up. Hmmm…mask eyeglass fog problem solved??
  • Rehydrate. The high water content is hydrating and can even help with a hangover because of the water content and high vitamin content – so they say.
  • Joint health, their silica content may help with aches and pains and promote joint health.
  • Cucumbers are high nutrient density, but low calories making it a great choice when watching your calories…or any other time.
  • Cucumbers are packed with antioxidants, primarily lignins, triterpenes, and flavonoids and can help with cell health and inflammation.
  • Cucumbers are over 3000 years old and originated in India
  • Cucumbers are a good source of Vitamin K, A, calcium, choline, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and folate, plus fiber.


Paula Deen’s Cucumber Salad

Icebox Pickles (Icebox is a refrigerator and yeah; I had to squeeze one pickle recipe in)

Cucumber Salad – the basic

Cumber & Blackberry Salad

Fresh Tomato, Cucumber & Feta Salad

Julia Child’s Baked Cucumbers

Cucumber Melon Salad with Chile and honey (yeah, lots of salads)

And of course Cucumber Sandwiches

Pimm’s Cup Note: British lemonade is fizzy and not like American lemonade. Try something like sprite or use lemonade and add carbonated water.

Share your cucumber recipes, OK pickle too, in the comments!

Happy Summer and Enjoy!

I live in Greensboro NC with my husband who is an Environmental Consultant and Geologist and I am a Certified Health Coach. We both are Independent Shaklee Distributors and help people live healthier, greener lives.

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 I love my morning smoothie!  It gives me energy, fills me up (especially if I add protein) and helps me get in more fruits and veggies.


  • Heartburn can be an issue as we age and many find that sipping a smoothie helps the digestion process and elimination process.  There is also less tendency for reflux
  • Smoothies are natural laxatives
  • Some studies show that incorporating smoothies into the diet may aid in weight loss
  • The more amazing goodness you put in your smoothie from fruits and veggies the more you get the benefit! Smoothies are packed wit phytonutrients and help boost the immune system.
  • Fiber, fiber, fiber!  Americans need more fiber and smoothies keep all that great fiber vs juicing which extracts the fiber.  The fiber also slows the impact on the blood stream stabilizing the blood sugar.  Sipping a smoothie slowly over time also helps keep the insulin levels in check.   The best smoothie to slow down the spike in blood sugar is one that remembers to pair fruits with proteins and some fat.
  • A great way to learn to like new foods.  I discovered that raw beets in a smoothie are amazing!

Smoothies can be a powerhouse of goodness for your body, but can quickly pack in calories depending on what you add to it.  For me this isn’t a real problem, I tend to under eat and find the calorie boost in the morning helps me, but for others remember that moderation is always the key.

There are tons of smoothie recipes out there, and I encourage you to use wisdom.  If you add frozen yogurt, ice cream, sherbet, sugars and syrups, food coloring, etc. it is nothing more than a fancy milkshake and you undermine the healthfulness of the smoothie.  I do allow myself a square or two on of dark chocolate, on occasion.  Try to retrain your tastebuds to enjoy natural sugars, like fruits and learn to want to eat leafy greens etc.  Your body will thank you.


Note:  I have milk listed in the recipes, but you can substitute any milk substitute or even water.  I also have protein powder in my smoothie recipes.  In full discloser I am not only a Health Coach, but also a Shaklee distributor and I love the protein powder options from Shaklee.  They are non-gmo and carefully researched.  If you don’t use protein powder you may substitute 2 ounces of firm tofu for the protein powder – you won’t taste it, I promise!

Substitutions:  2-3 ounces tofu and 1/2 tsp of vanilla in place of protein powder.   Almond milk, coconut milk, juice, etc. in place of milk.

I found that an immersion blender works amazingly well with smoothies and has less clean-up.  I just pack my smoothie ingredients into a wide mouth mason jar and stick in the immersion blender and blend. BOOM!

Chocolate Beet Smoothie

OK, I know it sounds weird and gross, but trust me it is so yummy!  Think Red Velvet Cake!

  • 1-2 scoops protein powder (chocolate rocks in this!)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 – 1 beet
  • 1/2 banana
  • a small block of dark chocolate, a spoon of chocolate powder or use chocolate protein powder
  • 1 cup greens – I like spinach, but you could use baby kale or others

Blend well and enjoy


Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

  • 1-2 scoops protein powder (I like vanilla for this one)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin from a can or fresh, cooked pumpkin
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or a blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 banana

Blend well and enjoy!


The Portly Primate

  • 1-2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 squares dark chocolate
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup milk

Blend well and enjoy!


Dreamy Orange

  • 1-2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 small orange
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Ice cubes

Blend until the consistency of a slushy and add orange juice if too thick.


Cherrie Smoothie

  • 1-2 scoops protein powder (I like strawberry in this)
  • 1/2 cup cherries (pitted)
  • 2 ounces cherry juice or pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 /2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (watch the sugar content and read the ingredients to choose the most natural yogurt available).
  • Umm, again you can add a square of dark chocolate to make this seem decadant

Blend well and enjoy!


Mocha Latte Smoothie

  • 1 scoop Cafe Latté protein powder
  • 1 scoop Chocolate protein powder
    • OR 2 scoops protein powder or 2 ounces tofu
  • 1/4 cup leftover coffee or one scoop/packet of instant coffee
  • 1 cup milk
  • Ice
  • Opt -1 small square dark chocolate

Blend well and enjoy!


The Go-To

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1-2 scoops protein powder
  • 1 cup leafy greens
  • 5 large strawberries
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup milk

Blend and enjoy!

Once you get used to making the smoothies above try adding leafy greens to the recipes, most of the time they add very little flavor difference, but boost the nutrients.

Try adding flaxseed or chia seeds for a little extra Omega fatty acid and feel free to go crazy and add anything you’d like to try -healthy thing!  For extra creaminess add 1/2 of an avocado.

Share your creations with us here on the blog or on Instagram #yieldingaction or our the Yielding Action Health Coaching Facebook page.

Lisa received her Health Coach Certification from the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, founded by world-renowned physician and author, Dr. William Sears. The Institute is a leader in science-based health and wellness education that focuses on the four pillars of health; Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (L.E.A.N.). A certification by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute is obtained only after completing the extensive course work and meeting all requirements. Once certified, a Health Coach possesses the knowledge, tools and resources to make a positive difference in the health of others.

The information in this blog is educational and not meant to diagnose, treat, or mitigate symptoms.

I offer individual coaching sessions and online health coach sessions through Zoom, if you are not local, as well as group sessions, workshops, and special events. I would love to help you on your journey towards health and wellness. Contact me for more information.

All photos are by me, Lisa Wright Burbach –  Feel free to share, but please give credit to the source.  Thank you.


Need Potassium? Eat your Veg!

Roasted Vegetables 

Recipe below

According to less than 2% of Americans meet their recommended  minimum adequate intake of potassium.   This is in large part to our avoidance of veggies!  So, what’s the big deal you ask?  I thought potassium was just for cramps.  I don’t have cramps; so, I’m good right?  Wrong.  Let’s have a crash course in potassium.

Potassium“It is also an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body, along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function”. – University of Maryland.

Ok, so what does it do?

  • Helps maintain the balance of electrolytes in your body
  • Helps your kidneys filter blood
  • Helps the heart beat
  • Helps manage blood pressure
  • Helps the muscles contract
  • Helps deliver oxygen to the brain which helps your cognitive abilities
  • Helps metabolism by helping to release energy from protein, carbs, and fats
  • Helps your nervous system

Wow, that’s a lot!  It looks like potassium is more important that I thought!  How do I get more in my diet? Eat your veggies!

It is important to have a healthy balance of potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium and the best way to get this balance is trough a variety of whole food! Real foods; eat all the colors! in other words, eat food that rots, but eat it before it does and you will be on your way to reaching your goals.

You don’t have to eat bananas all day to get your potassium, it can be found in many foods.  Here are a few:

  • Dark greens
  • Beans
  • Blackstrap Molasses
  • Potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Fish
  • Prunes
  • Zucchini
  • Milk
  • Yellow Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomato sauces (watch the sodium)
  • Yogurt
  • Clams
  • Orange Juice

All of these foods are packed with other nutrients our bodies need too.  To get the most out of your foods try putting foods together that help the body better absorb the nutrients, such as olive oil on your veg to help your body better absorb fat soluable vitamins like A, D, E and K or eat vitamin C with Iron rich food to help your body better absorb the iron. Try serving broccoli with your steak!

Here is a potassium packed dish to get you started:

Roasted Vegetables, 1-2 servings – I eat this as one serving as part of a yummy lunch!

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow, crook neck squash
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 large radish
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp Olive Oil

Chop the vegetables in large chunks and toss in olive oil and your favorite seasoning, I used Greek Seasoning from Penzey’s spices.  Then Roast at 425 for 15 minutes or desired firmness. The crispier the better! That is it!  It is very easy to roast vegetables and it brings out amazing flavor.

According to this one bowl of veggies comes in at 1, 159 mg of potassium.  The daily recommendation is 4700, so it isn’t enough, but it is a good start. Plus it has 6.5 g protein, 6.4 g fiber,  785 IU vitamin A, 75 mg vitamin C,  81 mg Calcium, and  2.8 mg Iron!  That is a powerhouse bowl of veggies!

Try adding kale to your smoothies and finding a way to add fruits and veggies to every meal.  If you do this on a regular basis, your taste buds will begin to love it and your body will crave it, and you will find it is easy to meet your potassium needs.

Today I had the veggies above and a smoothie with homemade yogurt, strawberries, banana, a cup of kale, 1 cup of milk and 2 scoops Shaklee Life Shake.  This brought my potassium up to  3028 mg for the day so far!  Looking good!

I try to buy organic veg etables and non-gmo foods because I feel it is the best choice for our family, but they can be more expensive and it is better to eat your veggies then to skip them all together because organic was too expensive.  Do what you can as you can!



What’s for Dinner? Using the Produce Box

My family recently joined The Produce Box , a NC company who deliver boxes of fresh produce directly to your door.  My plan was to help our family to eat more fruits and vegetables.  It has worked!  Each week we receive a box of local, fresh produce and I add it into our weekly meals.  It means a little creativity, but well worth it.

What ways do you make an effort to add in more healthy food?  I’d love to hear form you!  Just leave a comment in the comment box.

Meatless Monday: Corn Chowder – Tyler Florence

corn chowder

Time: 55 Minutes

Ease: Intermediate

Review:  This is a nice hearty soup, the kind that makes you feel like curling up with a blanket.  Thanks to our Produce Box we had plenty of fresh corn.  It has potatoes as well and is a nice soup to add to your winter menus.  I recommend it!  I think you will find it easy to make as well.

Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole

enchilada casserole

Time: 45 Minutes

Ease: Simple


3 Cooked chicken breasts

2 cans enchilada sauce (look for low sodium)

1/4 cup green peppers (Produce Box item)

1/2 cup onions


flour tortillas

Cook the chicken breasts in 1/2 of a can of enchilada sauce either in the oven or microwave.  Once done chop chicken into fine pieces.  I use the Salad Choppers from Pampered Chef and just chop away at my chicken.  (One of my favorite tools.)  Saute onion and green peppers until the onions are translucent and add to the chopped chicken.  Using a slotted spoon fill a large tortilla with chicken mixture and top with cheese and then roll up and place in a large casserole dish.  You don’t need to bother tucking the ends in.  I was able to use 5 large flour tortillas and serve 4 people.  Once assembled pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the tortillas making sure to cover the ends, this will help it not burn.  Top with cheese and bake 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and starting to darken.

This is an easy meal and filling.


This week in our Produce Box we had broccoli, apples, corn, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, bell peppers and green beans in our Produce Box.  With this box we had:

  • Broccoli bacon Quiche.  I like to use Jamie Oliver’s quiche as a base and just change the ingredients to suite me.
  • Roasted Sweet potatoes with sea salt and rosemary
  • I used the bell peppers in several dishes and froze some
  • Corn Chowder, see above
  • We have used apples in oatmeal, with peanut butter and tomorrow we are having fried apples and pork chops! mmmm and we will have the green beans.
  • This just leaves the Acorn squash which we will have this weekend.

It just takes a little thought, but is getting easier to use all of our produce.  Look for a program in your area, we have found it to be economical and we are definitely eating more fruits and veggies!  You can’t beat that. Enjoy!