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Sheryl Kraft

Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.

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woman smiling and drinking a smoothie

New Foods and Recipes We Should All Try

If you struggle to come up with healthy lunches, here are some suggestions from healthy beans to smoothies.

Nutrition & Movement

Some people live to eat.

I am a bit different; I eat to live.

Don't get me wrong—I enjoy my food (when I can figure out what to eat); I just can't get excited about it the way other people can. But since I want to be as healthy as possible, I know that I need to figure it all out and eat the right things to get the most bang for my buck. But some days when it comes to eating meals—especially lunch—it's tough. I come up blank.

I know. It shouldn't be so hard.

I'm covered for breakfast. It's my favorite meal, and I pretty much eat the same thing day after day after day. I love these whole-grain muffins. Ever since I stumbled across the recipe from the Cleveland Clinic, I've been making batches every week and freezing them, so I always have a muffin on hand. (I substitute blueberries for cranberries and skip the frosting. Also, although applesauce is substituted for oil in this recipe, there is a slight typo in instruction #4, which says to whisk in the oil. Don't pay attention—it should read "applesauce" instead. Proofreaders, are you listening?)

When my sons do show up occasionally for breakfast, I'm forced to share my precious muffins with them—and they don't even mind that they're super-healthy.

Alas, boys do grow up to be (wise) men.

So, lunch. I'm usually busy working, and if I'm lucky, I'm so engrossed in what I do that sometimes I forget to eat. I don't mean that I'm lucky to forget to eat—I mean I'm lucky that I'm engrossed in my work.

No matter. I do realize I have to eat lunch—my stomach occasionally beckons—but I come up short. As luck would have it, two things happened today to help me solve that problem.

One, I got a box in the mail of an assortment of fresh and ready-to-eat beans from the company, Better Bean. You can tell that they're made with love. They were created by a guy who used to cook them for his family and then realized that since everyone loved them so much, he'd market them. That's so many people's dream, right? But he managed to do it for a nationwide audience, and the beans are carried in many stores, including Whole Foods. I am so excited to try them all, especially the Tuscan White Beans.

Then, a recipe for a smoothie, from Karlin Books, founder of The Squeeze in New York City, popped into my inbox. And since the weather is finally (!) warming up, smoothie season is not far behind. I can't wait to try this one of hers. (OK, I'll admit, I had NO idea what "lacuma" was, so I looked it up. It's a fruit that's high in beta carotene and looks similar to an avocado, but in this recipe, I assume she's calling for the powder, not the fruit.)

1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 teaspoon lacuma
2 teaspoon pure matcha tea powder
2 frozen bananas
2 to 3 dates, pitted
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract OR 1 vanilla bean
Small handful of ice (optional, depending whether you froze your bananas)


  1. Add the coconut milk, lacuma and matcha to your blender and process until completely mixed.
  2. Turn off, then add the rest of your ingredients and blend until totally emulsified.
  3. If using the vanilla bean, split the bean in half and scrape out the vanilla pods.

What are you gaining with all this food mentioned here?

Don't worry—not weight, but lots of protein, vitamins, nutrients, healthy carbs and fiber.

And pretty much a guarantee you won't get stuck, like me, trying to figure out what to eat.

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