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Sometimes the most challenging part of eating healthy is knowing what to buy, which is why I am sharing this list heart-smart grocery list that I found over at Best Health Magazine online. Here are a few items you should add to your grocery list right now. Your heart will thank you!

1. Unsweetened oatmeal
2. Whole-grain quinoa
3. Whole-grain brown rice
4. Bell peppers

Image via Best Health Magazine

Image via Best Health Magazine

5. Carrots
6. Winter squash
7. Sweet potatoes
8. Kale
9. Spinach
10. Swiss chard
11. Red grapes

Image via Best Health Magazine

Image via Best Health Magazine

12. Apples
13. Low-fat popcorn
14. Dark chocolate

Image via Best Health Magazine

Image via Best Health Magazine

15. 100 percent orange juice
16. Green or white tea
17. Rainbow trout
18. Pork tenderloin (Speaking of pork, look out for some heart-healthy pork recipes coming soon!)
19. Lentils
20. Extra-virgin olive oil
21. Walnuts

Image via Best Health Magazine

Image via Best Health Magazine

22. Flaxseed
23. Curry powder/turmeric
24. Oregano
25. Low-fat yogurt
26. Skim milk

Read the full post over at Best Health to learn more about how and why these foods are good for your heart. I hope that these posts have been beneficial to you and your health. I will be sharing more heart-healthy recipes this week, so be sure to check back here regularly.

As promised, beefy goodness galore…

Images via Cooking Light

Images via Cooking Light

1. Slow-Cooker Beef Pot Roast

2. Beef and Beer Chili

Images via Cooking Light

Images via Cooking Light

3. Roasted Flank Steak with Olive Oil-Herb Rub

4. Grilled Flank Steak Soft Tacos with Avocado-Lime Salsa

Happy Friday, everyone! Have a great weekend, but don’t forget to treat your ticker right!

In my search for all things heart-healthy, I found this fantastic list of recipes via Cooking Light. Today I am sharing some of their recipes for chicken, and tomorrow I will be back to share some drool-worthy recipes for beefy goodness.

Images via Cooking Light

Images via Cooking Light

1. Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sandwiches

2. Chicken, Cashew, and Red Pepper Stir-Fry

Images via Cooking Light

Images via Cooking Light

3. Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa

4. Sesame Brown Rice Salad with Shredded Chicken and Peanuts

Bon appetit, and have a great rest of the week!

Sometimes eating three meals a day is simply not enough. That’s why some extremely smart individual invented snacks.

Sneaking snacks doesn’t have to make you feel guilty, though. Here are some heart-healthy solutions for spontaneous snack cravings throughout your day.

Images via Food Network

Images via Food Network

1. Hummus Dip

2. Pizzettes with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, and Prosciutto

Images via Food Network

Images via Food Network

3. Kale Slaw

4. Whole-Grain Biscuits

For more heart-healthy recipes, check out my previous posts for dinner and dessert ideas now. Be sure to visit Food Network for a complete list of their heart-healthy recipes too.

Enjoy!

Yesterday I shared 4 Recipes for a Healthy Heart with all of you. I hope that the post proved that heart-healthy eating doesn’t have to be one flavorless meal after another. If anything, taking the time to choose ingredients that are better for your heart makes eating the meals you prepare that much more enjoyable because you know you won’t regret it later.

That being said, which part of a meal should always be enjoyed and never regretted? Desserts, of course! Here are a few recipes I found at Health.com for some heart-healthy desserts.

6 Recipes for a Healthy Heart: Desserts

Images via Health.com

1. Mocha Phyllo Cups

2. Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

6 Recipes for a Healthy Heart: Desserts

Images via Health.com

3. Quick Baked Pears

4. Cinnamon Streusel Crisps

6 Recipes for a Healthy Heart: Desserts

Images via Health.com

5. Cantaloupe Sherbert

6. Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

Check out the full list of heart-healthy dessert recipes at Health.com, and then meet me back here tomorrow!

Have a sweet week!

Gardening has and always will be my passion, however, even stronger than my love for gardening is the love I have for this man right here.

My Superman | Carmen Johnston Gardens

Recent events concerning my husband’s health have inspired me to share some heart healthy recipes instead of my usual garden-related posts. The last few weeks have been difficult, to say the least, but Tommy’s recovery has been nothing short of miraculous. A healthy heart is so important, which is why we want to start taking better care of ours.

Real Simple has an amazing list of heart-healthy recipes that I can’t wait to try. I just had to share some of my soon-to-be favorites.

4 Recipes for a Healthy Heart

Images via Real Simple

1. Vegetarian Tacos with Goat Cheese

2. Pork Tenderloin with Cabbage and Apple Slaw

4 Recipes for a Healthy Heart

Images via Real Simple

3. Salmon and Peppers with Caper Vinaigrette

4. Pasta with Bacon and Cauliflower

I hope our story–(which I plan to share in full detail later on)–will inspire you to evaluate your own health. Simply changing your diet can make all the difference. Be sure to visit Real Simple for their complete list of heart-healthy meals, and then check back here tomorrow for even more recipes as well.

Have a great week!

Happy June, everyone!

Spring has already sprung, summer is about to begin, and this green thumb gal is ready to spend some quality time in the sun. Today I am sharing with you my secret for healthy skin that is sun-kissed skin, but not burnt or blemished.

4 Products for Sun-Kissed Skin by The Green Thumb Gal's Guide

1. This pore perfecting facial polish by bliss is a must-have! End of story.

2. If brown spots are a girl’s worst enemy, then this skin brightening complex by Lytera is definitely her best friend.

3. When I told my friend Nicole, who just started her own dermatology practice in Columbus, that I was in need of some good sunscreen she recommended EltaMD. You can’t get a better endorsement than that!

4. Every now and then I like to make my own products as well. When your face needs a little extra moisture after a few hours in the sun, try this mask: 4 tablespoons of honey, 4 tablespoons of brown sugar, and half of a freshly squeezed lemon.

Enjoy the soon-to-be summer, everyone. Go out and get some sun, but not too much!

I would like to take a moment to wish all the mothers out there a Happy Mother’s Day weekend! I hope you enjoy your day. Be sure to soak up all that special love! Here are a few gift ideas for that wonderful woman you love.

The Green Thumb Gal's Gude for Mother's Day. Gift Ideas by Carmen Johnston Gardens.

1. You can’t go wrong with a Rifle Paper Company Mother’s Day card! There prints are always beautiful, which your one and only mother definitely deserves.

2. I am sure you have heard of TOMS by now, but did you know that they now sell bags? I adore this Chevron Straw Islander Tote! I think this is a fantastic gift for Mother’s Day because the proceeds from every bag purchased goes towards helping a mother gift birth to her baby with a safe delivery. Amazing, right?

3. How great are these boots? The print, the height–absolutely everything! With summer right around the corner these Hunter Floral Garden Boots are a must-have. And they are available at Terrain! I so want to add them to my boot collection, and I’m betting your mother will too.

4. If you have been keeping up with my blog, then you know that I recently did a post on “Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables” because it is one of my favorite gardening books. If your mother is inspired by edible gardens and is interested in starting her own, this will be a fantastic gift for her.

5. I cannot recommend this body balm by bliss enough! It is absolutely amazing for your skin, especially if you spend a lot of time working with your hands like me. If you are feeling crafty, you might even try making this DIY Honey, Lemon, and Salt Scrub as an added gift for your mom (and her hands!)

P.S. Be sure to follow #SaksGlamGardens on Twitter for lots of fun garden inspirations!

It has been a long while since I shared one of my favorite gardening books with all of you and I thought today was the perfect day to post the next one on my list.

The Best Gardening Books: "Heirloom Fruits & Vegetables" by Toby Musgrave and Clay Perry

I already shared with you my nostalgic connection to Bunny Williams’s “On Garden Style” and about my coffee table classic, “Flowers” by Carolyne Roehm. Today I want to talk about another “classic” of mine, a kitchen counter classic: “Heirloom Fruits & Vegetables” by Tony Musgrave and Clay Perry.

The Best Gardening Books: "Heirloom Fruits & Vegetables" by Toby Musgrave and Clay Perry

I just love how these photographs pop right off the page. (Of course, we did help out a little bit with some raspberries of our own.) I am so inspired to grow my own fruits and vegetables every time I flip through these delicious-looking pages.

The Best Gardening Books: "Heirloom Fruits & Vegetables" by Toby Musgrave and Clay Perry

“The Raspberry . . . produces agreeable eatable fruit . . . in estimation both as a decent fruit to eat raw, and for making tarts, sauces, raspberry jam, and other culinary preparations and therefore highly demands culture in every garden.”

The raspberry is also great for garnishing drinks and adding a subtle twist to the overall taste. Last year we made some raspberry mimosas to celebrate the beginning of summer. They were so yummy!

The Best Gardening Books: "Heirloom Fruits & Vegetables" by Toby Musgrave and Clay Perry

The Best Gardening Books: "Heirloom Fruits & Vegetables" by Toby Musgrave and Clay Perry 4

We planted some raspberries last year and (fingers crossed!) we will be enjoying them soon. What are some of your favorite fruits and vegetables to grow for good summer eats?

Photos: The Photography of Haley Sheffield

The Best Gardening Books

Check out my entire Great Gardening Books series…

My dear friend, Andrea Crawford of Couture House Interiors, created this incredible piece and I just had to share it with all of you. Such an inspiring idea! Seriously, I fall more in love with gardening every day! Just take a look at this fountain full of succulents and you will be smitten too.

Materials Needed:
Tiered fountain (Andrea found this one at Home Decorators)
Sand/soil mixture
Drill
Succulents

DIY Succulent Garden 1

Directions:
1. Give your plants plenty of breathing room by drilling holes for drainage. Air is just as important as water for helping your plants grow.
2. Mix one part potting soil with one part play yard sand to create the perfect environment for your succulents to live in.
3. Stuff ‘n’ Shove! Mix various colors and shapes throughout the fountain for a big, bold look!

DIY Succulent Garden in a fountain featured on Carmen Johnston Gardens

DIY Succulent Garden in a fountain featured on Carmen Johnston Gardens

4. If you want to take it to the next level, you can always add some sedum around the base of your fountain. You can never go wrong with chartreuse in spring!

DIY Succulent Garden in a fountain featured on Carmen Johnston Gardens

So simple, so chic! God has truly blessed me with such talented friends and I am beyond thankful for how they continue to inspire me. Thank you, Andrea, for your beautiful work.

DIY Succulent Garden 5