Monday, September 27

What Women Love About Getting Older- Wellness Realized on!

I was recently asked by the lovely ladies over at NBC's to participate in a feature on what women of various ages, lifestyles, and careers enjoy about the process of getting older. The feature is intended to inspire and empower women to view the process of aging as a positive thing; a journey of learning, maturing, and growth where one gains the experience, confidence and knowledge of oneself necessary to pursue a life that is truly in line with one's dreams, aspirations, and desires. I am excited to be part of this feel-good feature and I think it turned out wonderfully, I hope you'll enjoy it too! This link is to my profile in the feature, but there are 12 women profiled in total, so make sure to scroll through and read the others for additional inspiration!

Interested in finding out more about what foods are right for your own body and why? Looking for personalized information and support to help you change your eating and lifestyle choices in order to achieve your own specific goals for health and wellness? Contact me to set up a consultation:

Friday, September 24

A Little Patience....Yeah....

Yes, I just referenced Guns n' Roses in a blog post. Welcome to the Big Show.

Patience: it's one of the essential elements in a peaceful life, and yet it is sorely lacking in how we interact with others and how we interact with ourselves in modern times. I am sure you could look around yourself today and point out a number of instances where a little loving patience could have easily smoothed out a difficult or unpleasant situation: either while stuck in traffic on your way to work, or bustling with the crowds onto the subway, or waiting in line at the deli, or working on a project in the office. New Yorkers are especially gripped by the Disease of Speed, but it's happening everywhere: these days, we expect everything to move and work and travel at lightning speed, and we extend that expectation to ourselves when it comes to things we are trying to learn, embrace, improve on, or become successful at. While you may be able to admit that you could have been a little more patient with that car driving a bit slowly in front of you on the road this morning, or that person who was confusedly swiping their faulty Metrocard and holding up the line, or the server at the deli fumbling with the change, or even your coworker who didn't get you that report you needed right when you asked for it for your project, when was the last time that you looked at yourself and realized how far a little loving patience could go? Or have you ever acknowledged how much you are depriving yourself of it?

We all have aspirations and expectations for ourselves. You can call them dreams, goals, whatever you want. We think about them, daydream about them, plan for them, motivate ourselves towards them, and seek encouragement to reach for them. However, more often than not in this process, we are employing resolutely negative thoughts or feelings about ourselves in order to propel us forward to this desired goal or dream. For example: "I need to learn to eat more healthfully, because I am overweight and unattractive", or "I need to go to the gym 5 days a week, because I am flabby and my body isn't strong", or "I need to work harder and get a promotion, because I am not making enough money or holding an impressive enough position in my career", or "I need to re-organize and re-decorate my home, because I haven't done a nice enough job setting up my environment and I'm too sloppy". We then drive ourselves relentlessly towards these insufficiency-based goals. What's the common thread here? It all comes down to "I need to change, because I'm not good enough as I am. And I need to change fast, NOW." So where's the problem? Deep down inside, we don't like being told that we aren't good enough, by others or ourselves; it causes a pain that resides deep within, a pain that we may be unaware of but that is very real and that results in procrastination and resistance towards the very imperatives that we feel so compelled to fix, change, and improve about ourselves. Do you hear an echo of yourself in the above statements? And if so, how's that "self-improvement" project going??? Let me's not working out very well. But you're ON IT, right?

Instead of ceaseless criticism and a constant driving pressure to be better, faster, more, less, stronger, richer, higher, prettier, what if we just focused on sending love, kindness, and patience to ourselves right where we are in the quest for our desires, accepting ourselves fully for wherever we are in the process...and then approached our dreams and aspirations from a place of wanting to grow and learn naturally, according to our current capabilities and at the pace that is right for us, by standards that we ourselves define according to what comes intuitively? Doesn't that sound a whole lot easier, more pleasant, and more realistic as a method of actually getting what or where we want?

I'll give you a personal example: I love yoga. I Love Yoga. If you've worked with me as a client, you probably know how I feel about yoga; its transformative powers, and its unique ability to combine a spiritual, emotional, and physical practice seamlessly into one awe-inspiring, mind-and-heart opening, body-toning, spirit-soothing soul shakedown party. You get the idea? I'm into it. I learned about yoga from my Mom. My Mom was doing yoga when I was a little girl, way before it was so fashionable, and that's how I first came to know yoga and the wonderful secrets and powers that it promised. My Mom brought me with her to a yoga class when I was so young that my memories are hazy...but what I do remember is this: the teacher was soft-spoken, gentle and kind, there were green plants around the room, the other practitioners were open and welcoming to a curious but shy child in their midst, morning sunlight was streaming through windows into a quiet and warm space, and I saw my Mom in a light that I had never seen her in before: she was ensconced in her yoga Practice. I saw her in a different way than I was used to...I was in awe. She was moving her body into positions I had never seen; it seemed vaguely gymnastic and yet profoundly calming at the same time. It felt powerful and yet freeing; and everyone was quiet, but still moving...they were part of something unique, something special and beautiful. I was hooked. I can't tell you anything more specific than that, because it is the overall shapes and feelings that are still with me, but I remember those elements and the energy in that room like it was yesterday. That experience was the beginning of my intense feelings towards yoga, and my joy in the possibilities that it holds. I am forever grateful to my Mom for introducing me to yoga. And to vegetables, but that's another story.

Fast forward to many years later, when I was 25 years old and living the fast, fun and free life in the city, working at an office job in Manhattan, burning the candle at every end there is....and loving every minute of it. There was a yoga studio on the same block as my office that a friend belonged to, and she convinced me to join. Now at this point, my exposure to yoga had been limited to that one class when I was very young plus a very small handful of other classes sporadically through the years, usually with my Mom. As much as I was romanced by it, I had been tentative in my explorations. I wasn't sure yet if I was up to the challenge; if yoga would have me. So at 25 I was pretty much at the "beginner with familiarity" phase of my practice. But there was a twist to the story: that previous summer, my life had taken an unexpected and profoundly staggering turn when I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the same diagnosis that became the final straw in leading me to a path of Health and Wellness Counseling as a future career. But that was a little later; at the time, I had to undergo significant surgery, and an even more traumatic recovery period. In the medical quagmire that followed, I dove into this new yoga practice with all of the fervor of someone wanting to be saved: This was going to make me Healthy! This was going to make me Safe! This was going to make me Fit! This was going to get my Spirit and Heart in line! This was going to make me all Goodness and Purity and Light! Bring it on!!!

(no pressure, right?)

As any of you who have taken yoga classes in the past few years in New York or any other cosmopolitan city can attest to, the yoga can get a bit....competitive. And high-speed. Without dwelling on this, let's just say, this is not the point of yoga. It's about challenging yourself physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally, yes- but your practice should be on your own terms, challenging you in the ways you need for your own growth; it should not be about how fast you can go to keep up with the others around you or how much can you push yourself to the extreme in order to achieve that next level of ability. I can admit that I succumbed to this mentality a little bit, it's easy to get caught up. I was having fun, I was invigorated, I was getting a great workout, and I was indeed getting the spiritual and emotional benefits of the practice...just not as much as I could have been because I was moving a little too damn fast, literally and metaphorically. Basically, I wasn't having patience with myself.

A few short months into my new yoga practice, I was taking a Sunday morning Advanced Level class. I had been out the night before, I was tired and stiff, and I had no business being in an Advanced Level class in the first place being that I was early on in my yoga practice. My body told me to stay in bed that morning, but my friend and I wanted to be motivated, so I pushed myself to go. The class warmed up quickly, VERY quickly, and before I knew it we were in full swing...a swing I was not quite ready for, but I didn't listen to myself, because I didn't take the time it would have taken to come to that realization before it was too late. Things were going fast and hard, at least for me, and I pushed myself into a position I was not warmed up enough to go into, and I went all the way.....POP, RIP!!! I hit the floor. I had badly torn the muscle that was most affected by my melanoma surgery 6 months before; I had not yet healed enough to regain the strength in that area needed for such a vigorous practice, I hadn't given myself the time. Adding injury to injury, I was devastated...I limped out of class right then and there, spent the next three days horizontal on a couch, and the next 3 years avoiding yoga more or less altogether.

Not exactly altogether...I knew deep inside that I wanted, needed yoga in my life, and so I would meekly show up to a class now and then but very rarely, never more frequently than maybe once or twice a year, and every time I would try to match the same level I was at right before that class when I got hurt, right before I pushed it too far, even though this was nonsensical: I got hurt in the first place because I was going too fast and too hard for my needs. Aside from being nonsensical, it was frustrating: the injury hadn't properly healed and so my body was now hurt more than it had been originally from the surgery, and so I simply could not maintain a consistent yoga practice at that level without causing further aggravation of my injury. But I didn't know how else to approach it, I felt I simply needed to make it happen. Each time I'd gather up my courage and go back, I'd try to keep up with my previous practice, and I'd leave frustrated (and limping in pain), angry at my inability to really embrace the practice, envious of others who could, and I would not go back for months and months. Meanwhile, my heart, soul, mind and spirit were missing out even more....they yearned for the peace and calm and love that yoga brings, but I was unintentionally depriving myself of those things, because at the time I wouldn't give myself the patience and compassion it would have taken to allow myself to approach my yoga practice through slowness and calm, stepping it back a level and taking it at the right speed and intensity for me this time, honoring the needs of my injury and re-injury, greeting and embracing the challenges but with acceptance of my current limitations; ultimately, giving myself the time and space to truly heal, and to move forward with seeking an expansive and enriching yoga practice from there rather than forcing it.

I learned that lesson finally. I let patience into my life, and into my yoga practice. I re-approached it slowly, it didn't happen all at once. I had to employ all of the concepts above and take it back to basics at first, and that wasn't easy. But I am joyful and proud to report that I now have a consistent, enormously satisfying and expanding yoga practice in my life again, and I got there by accepting a few things:

1. I am where I am. I know where I want to be, but to get there, I have to fully accept and respect where I am, embracing my strengths and my limitations.

2. It is worth it to take on the sometimes difficult but profoundly rewarding challenge of having patience with myself in order to reap the amazing benefits of whatever experience or goal I aspire to.

3. It is not about being perfect or meeting anyone else's standards. I want this for me, for my own reasons, and on my own terms.

This story is about yoga, but we all have something that we love or aspire to, something we want to have or to be a part of; something that we want to look at and be able to say I Am That. This goal comes out of a dream or a desire that we treasure and long for, something we feel will positively effect our lives- and yet we drive ourselves, abuse ourselves, judge ourselves, criticize ourselves relentlessly to get there....does that make sense? And does it work? No, it doesn't. If you can take on the challenge to look at yourself as you are, where you are, and accept it, even love it, with all of it's bumps, inconsistencies, imperfections, beauties, strengths and uniqueness- and then, from that place ask yourself what it is that you want and what you are willing (and able) to do to get it in your own time, that is when you will be embracing patience and love towards yourself on your path to whatever it is you desire- and that's how you get it, without pain, disappointment, and feelings of failure.

I spoke to my Dad on the phone the other day. My Dad is a surfer, a native Montauker like myself and his father before him, and he grew up on a surfboard in the ocean. He may not get out in the water as much these days, but he will always be a surfer to me, and I believe- and hope- he will always think of himself that way. My earliest memories involve my Dad and a surfboard, and his seemingly effortless movement through the water; his natural home. He is the one who taught me how to swim safely and confidently in ocean waves, an experience I will never forget. On the phone with my Dad that day, when I asked him what he had been up to, he excitedly told me about how he'd been surfing the day before. This wasn't just any trip out into the waves: it was his first time surfing since his diagnosis with colon cancer 3 years before, and the ongoing medical complications and recovery that he and my Mom have had to navigate together since then. He described the sensation of being out on his board in the ocean again after so long; the cool water sliding past him as he paddled out, the fresh salt air on his skin, the peace of being in that sacred space that he had missed so much; he had returned, it was all right where he left it, ready and waiting for him. I was thrilled for him, but what I loved most about the story was how he described his initial apprehension about going out into the water to surf: it had been so long, he was out of the habit, his body had undergone multiple surgeries and setbacks since then, how would it be? How would he do? And then he said Hey, you know what? Who cares, I'm just going to do this. It will be whatever it will be, and I might be a little rusty, but I want this, and it's worth it. And he did it, and he loved it, and it was worth it....and he was just fine where he was.

Please consider how hard you are on yourself all the time in your quest to achieve that which you want in life. Take a break and notice all of the little judgements, criticisms, and pressures you issue at yourself all day long. How exhausting that is! Not to mention, how ineffective! In my counseling practice, I constantly have people come to me who want to get to a particular place either with their weight, or their health, or their fitness, or their success, or their happiness, but they feel they've been trying for so long and with no luck- something inside of them has been resisting the process, but they don't listen to themselves and on they march, driving themselves harder all the time with ever-increasing doses of judgement, criticism and self-doubt, feeling that they need to change to be good enough. The harder they have pushed themselves, the harder they have fallen. That is because it takes patience and acceptance and love of who we are to get where we want to go, not constant punishment. Respect who and what you are and what you're working with, and in doing so, you empower yourself to take the steps it will take to get where you want to be- you can do whatever you dream to do, it just takes a little love and patience. Are you willing to take that challenge to get what you want?

Interested in finding out more about what foods are right for your own body and why? Looking for personalized information and support to help you change your eating and lifestyle choices in order to achieve your own specific goals for health and wellness? Contact me to set up a consultation:

Thursday, September 23

Having Your Just Desserts

So with all of these tasty and healthy recipes, how about a little dessert up in here? You got it.

I'm not a baker. I'm a cook; a chef I sometimes like to think. But baking, and dessert making in general, just does not hold the appeal for me that cooking does. I'll whip up the occasional homemade dessert for special occasions, but it's rare. That being said, sometimes you want a little something sweet after your meal, without going into a lot of time and effort to get it. Enter the quick fix dessert.

See, it's common to want a little something sweet after a meal, and there's a reason for that: the sweet taste helps to move the energy of the liver to help you digest and assimilate your food. However, this does NOT mean we need dessert after every meal or even every day, and it does NOT mean you're going to help your liver OR your digestion if you dive into a big bowl of ice cream or a giant slice of cake. With desserts, as with meat, dairy, and animal food in general, and the more extreme foods like sugars, salts, fats, and alcohol, less is more and quality is the key. Go for desserts that are simple and only contain real, natural, unrefined ingredients, and indulge with a small amount rather than overloading your body with a dose of sweetness that will leave you feeling overly full and your body feeling imbalanced. When looking for desserts or making your own dessert recipes, great natural options to look for instead of refined sugar are agave nectar, honey, pure maple syrup, brown rice syrup, barley malt, and molasses. Also, remember that our desire for sweet food is meant to be satisfied by a small amount and not on a frequent basis; it's easy to go overboard, so keep portions small and remember it's about taste and satisfaction, not about filling up. You'll appreciate dessert more and balance your body more easily if you go for quality not quantity and savor that dessert indulgence a few times a week at most, rather than loading up on sub-par sweets every day.

So what to do when you're craving something sweet at home and want to follow the above guidelines but also enjoy an indulgence that's quick and easy? Read on for some fun Fall ideas for super quick, no sweat desserts that you can whip up with things you already have on hand.

Here's a super simple, quick and easy dessert that is creamy, sweet and a little spicy, and only packs 100 calories...making it a much better option than packaged "100 calorie" desserts on the market that are full of preservatives and sugars. This is a drink dessert, so you can sip it slowly and really savor it, and because it's liquid it gives you a cozy full feeling without filling you up too much. And it's also a healthier but still fun use for your martini shaker! Come holiday time, this is a great substitute for egg nog.

Almond Milk Frappé

1 cup natural unsweetened almond milk (skip brands like Almond Breeze with a lot of added sugar; many brands have some added sugar but the lower the better)
1/2 tablespoon agave nectar, honey, or pure maple syrup
several shakes of powdered cinnamon
2 ice cubes

In a beverage shaker, combine all above ingredients. Cover, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into a large wine glass or fancy glass, and enjoy! For a slightly thicker consistency, blend all ingredients in a blender including ice, resulting in a frostier drink.

Want something chewy and cake-y instead of smooth and liquidy? Try this delicious treat, it's like a combination of the recently popular olive oil cake and a more traditional pound cake, but way less calories and fat and not even a fraction of the time to prepare: this is really easy breezy.

Sweet Sticky Salty Toast

1 slice Brown Rice Bread (chosen because of it's dense, uniform, "cake-like" texture)
olive oil
sea salt

Lightly toast the bread until soft and just beginning to crisp on the outside, do not toast until dark. Once warm and toasty, baste one side of the bread with olive oil, or drizzle and spread with a knife. Next, drizzle honey over the same side of the bread and spread with a knife. Finally, sprinkle sea salt over the same side of the bread. Enjoy warm. Easiest thing ever, and boy is it delicious!

Wanting something crunchy and more textural, with a nice dose of fruit and richness? Got you covered:

Happy Trails Dessert Mix

2 tablespoons plain almonds, pecans, or walnuts, or a mix
2 tablespoons raisins, dried cranberries, or dried blueberries
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, or brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon olive oil or sesame oil
light sprinkle sea salt (optional)

serve with:
100 % natural applesauce, store-bought or homemade (optional)
Apple slices (optional)

Heat 1 teaspoon olive or sesame oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat, do not boil or bubble oil. Add nuts and dried fruit and saute a few minutes, until nuts start to brown and dried fruit starts to puff up. Remove from heat, transfer into a tiny dish or fancy cup, and drizzle with natural sweetener of your choice from recipe list above (remember the dried fruit is already providing sweetness, so you don't need much sweetener). Sprinkle with sesame seeds, and small sprinkle sea salt if using, and enjoy! This mixture is delicious on it's own, or it can be used as a topping for a small bowl of applesauce, or spooned onto thin slices of fresh apple.

So there's a few quick and tasty options for easy desserts when you want something delicious and healthy without getting the oven involved. Happy Eating!

Interested in finding out more about what foods are right for your own body and why? Looking for personalized information and support to help you change your eating and lifestyle choices in order to achieve your own specific goals for health and wellness? Contact me to set up a consultation:

Tuesday, September 21

Millet Risotto with Basil, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Garlic String Beans

Perhaps you're thinking, "didn't we just see a recipe with a few of these ingredients?" Necessity is the mother of invention. In other words, having the "necessity" to use some vegetables before they lose their freshness and the "necessity" to get your butt into the kitchen and cook something fast because you waited too long and now you're very hungry are both inspirations to invent something new on the spot for your next meal. In today's example, I wanted to use up the shiitake mushrooms and fresh basil from last week's recipe for Tofu, Arugula, and Shiitake Mushroom Sauté before they passed their peak, and I also found myself in the position of being rather hungry and needing to decide what to make fast, not having done any prep work. Fear not, this is not a disaster situation! Merely time to whip up some kitchen magic on the fly.

Using a certain grouping of ingredients more than once in a given period of a few days is a great way to take some of the reinvention work out of cooking and also a smart way to cut down on the amount you have to shop for at once, while also making sure than the beautiful food you have bought won't spoil and go to waste. And it doesn't mean that the dishes you make using a particular grouping of ingredients has to taste the same just because it has some of the same things in it, as this recipe will illustrate- that would be boring, and we don't like boring.

People generally associate risotto with being a creamy, indulgent dish, and this is- but by changing up the cooking method a little bit and using less oil in combination with whole grain millet instead of white rice, it packs in much more nutrition and much less fat than a standard risotto without losing any of the flavor, texture, or indulgence! For the string beans in this meal, I used wax beans (one of several versions of green bean, yellowish in color and sweet in taste) that I purchased at a farmer's market upstate, which worked particularly well, but you can use regular green beans too.

Millet Risotto with Basil, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Garlic String Beans
Serves 2

1 bunch string beans (about two large handfuls)
1 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms, cut into in small pieces
3-4 large fresh basil leaves (more if leaves are small) torn into small pieces
1/2 cup dry uncooked millet
2 tablespoons olive oil, with some extra
sea salt
garlic powder
dried thyme
fresh ground black pepper

Sauté mushrooms in a saucepan with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and a small splash of water over medium-low heat until they brown and shrink in size. Turn heat off and set aside. Wash millet well in a bowl of water and drain using a fine mesh colander or seive (using a regular colander will result in millet grains washing away through the holes). Combine the washed millet with 1 and 3/4 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, add shiitake mushrooms, torn up basil, a sprinkling sea salt and a few pinches of dried thyme, then cover and turn down to simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim and wash string beans and set in covered skillet with 1/2 inch of water in the bottom, bring to boil and turn down to medium-low heat to simmer steam for about 8 minutes (check a bean part way through- you want them to be juicy and chewable but still firm, not tough and fibrous or limp and mushy). Drain string beans and set aside. Uncover millet mixture, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, stir well, cover again and leave simmering over low heat for another 10 minutes. (At this point when you've added the additional oil, mixture should be looking creamy and still "wet" with the water. If not, add a little more water along with the olive oil before covering to simmer for the last 10 minutes.)

While risotto is finishing, transfer string beans from the colander back to their skillet, drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, a sprinkling of sea salt and a light dusting of garlic powder and stir around to coat. After 10 minutes is done, check millet- the consistency should be very creamy, like that of risotto; if so, it's done. If not, add very small amounts of olive oil and water and continue to simmer until creaminess is achieved; this is why using correct amounts of water in the earlier stages of cooking is a time saver here and results in a more consistent dish. When ready to serve, warm string beans lightly over medium-low heat. Place risotto into mounds on two plates, and serve beans alongside on the plate.

This meal came together in less than 30 minutes with no prep time and no plan in place beforehand...and it was marvelous! All it takes is a little imagination...enjoy!

Interested in finding out more about what foods are right for your own body and why? Looking for personalized information and support to help you change your eating and lifestyle choices in order to achieve your own specific goals for health and wellness? Contact me to set up a consultation:

Monday, September 20

Tiffins and Such: Bringing Ease to Homemade Lunches and Portion Control

So now you may be thinking, "Excellent, I'm looking forward to trying all of these fabulous recipes for wholesome, natural, homemade food and bringing some of them to work for lunch....but how exactly do I transport a Tofu, Arugula, and Shiitake Mushroom saute to my office? Or any number of the other dishes you post recipes for?" Well, you can use any food storage container you have around your home, of course, but convenience and practicality are very important here, so I recommend some variation on the "tiffin" or something similar to it.

What on earth is a "tiffin" you ask? Tiffins come from India, and they're basically just stackable metal food containers that snap together, keeping food items separate but compact and resulting in ease of transportation and enjoyment. Because the containers are usually made of stainless steel, they won't discolor, crack, peel, or leach nasty chemicals into your food. They look like this:

Many other cultures have similar items that are used for transporting and portioning food, such as the Japanese bento box, usually made of lacquered wood or smooth enamel:

These days, you can find variations on this idea made from non-leaching quality plastic that does not contain BPAs, such as the handy ones from Sistema available in a multitude of shapes sizes that are divided into sections:

The main idea here is convenience and compactness, of course. You don't need to be fancy. But having something reliable and purposeful readily available for you to pack your lunch into each morning (or the night before, you go-getter!) really makes the idea much more manageable. No more rooting around through drawers of mismatching Tupperware lids and bases, most of them scratched and yellowed with age, or saving up those flimsy plastic take-out containers. Not to mention these handy options described above are made from materials that won't leach dangerous substances into your food; something we want to be aware of.

Now onto portion sizes...these handy dandy containers serve another function (you knew I was going to get there....) The thing is, sometimes we need some help adjusting to what an appropriate portion is given the distortion that we've been exposed to. Ultimately, the very best gauge of portion is trusting the needs of our own body, because people are different and sometimes we need more food and energy than other times. However, when we are learning to trust our body in this way, and when we are still in transition from the Portion Distortion of our culture to a more mindful awareness, we can use a little help. These pack-and-go containers can make it easier for us to stick to proper portions because they are designed to be compact and taken on the go, AND because they are divided into sections already, or "portions" if you will. Let's say, for example, that you have a tiffin with four equal sized compartments: fill one with your starch (like brown rice, quinoa, or soba noodles), one with your protein(like black beans, tofu, or fish), and the other two with a different vegetable each (like kale and carrots, or brussels sprouts and artichoke hearts) . Or maybe you get a Sistema plastic container divided into three sections; one larger, two smaller. The larger section if for your "entree", perhaps a cooked dish like a recipe I have posted, or a nice salad with protein and grains in it, or even a sandwich, and then the two side compartments can be for additional veggies, fruit, get the idea.

It's rare than I advise people to buy food-related tools or extra "stuff", because I firmly believe that making positive, life changing shifts to a healthier and more balanced diet and lifestyle doesn't require anything fancy, expensive, or complicated...however, there are some times when a small and simple investment brings back significant long term gains, especially when it comes to ease and convenience. One example: a vegetable steamer. Another example: a handy dandy grown up lunch box. So consider it, especially as you try many of the recipes I've been posting. Both your work bag AND your waistband should be feeling roomier in no time....

So where do I get one of these? It depends on where you live; in some cases ordering online may be easiest- sells a large variety of tiffins, Sistema plastic containers, and even bento boxes, and they can ship anywhere in the world. Or simply do a online search for any of the above items and find a vendor near you. Many cooking stores will stock this type of thing. For example, New Yorkers: in Brooklyn, visit A Cook's Companion on Atlantic Avenue for tiffins and Sistema, and in Manhattan, visit Broadway Panhandler or Pearl River Mart. They won't be hard to find, and they aren't pricey. Happy packing!

Interested in finding out more about what foods are right for your own body and why? Looking for personalized information and support to help you change your eating and lifestyle choices in order to achieve your own specific goals for health and wellness? Contact me to set up a consultation:

Friday, September 17

Sandwiches...When You Want Something You Can Wrap Your Hands Around!

I have a lovely, wonderful friend named Shannon, with whom I was a roommate in college. One Saturday, when discussing what she was going to eat for lunch, Shannon said she needed to eat "something she could wrap her hands around". This is a sentiment many of us can relate to (I certainly can), and was well put. She knew a fork and knife weren't gonna cut it this time. My husband is also an enthusiastic lover of sandwiches, as are many people, and it's easy to see why....what's not to love about two pieces of bread brimming with all sorts of tasty trimmings that you can deliver by hand right into your own mouth?

So. There's been a lot of me posting my recipes on here lately and lots of talk about bringing lunch to work and making time in the day for a more relaxed, substantial meal. Worry not, this does not mean we aren't showing love to sandwiches. It's simply a matter of re-imagining your standard sandwich, making some small but worthwhile changes, and getting back to the good stuff....and after trying these substitutions and sandwich ideas, I don't think you'll mind.

Let's start with the basics. Most people envision a sandwich to mean bread, some kind of meat, often cheese, *maybe* lettuce and tomato, and some kind of condiment like butter, mayo, mustard, ketchup, etc. Your standard deli sandwich. Now let's take that model and, without getting too fancy or complicated, turn it into a healthier, more wholesome meal.

First of all, swap out the white or flimsy whole wheat bread for some good, hearty, whole grain bread. It's out there; and it's more substantial and better tasting than the alternatives, not to mention much better for your body. When buying bread, read the ingredients to see what is in it: First of all, skip enriched flours, often listed as the first ingredient. "Enriched flour" means the manufacturer added in vitamins and minerals to make up for the fact that the flour was refined in the first place, thus stripping away these natural essential elements from the grain. Sound counter-intuitive, wasteful, and ridiculous? It is. But you don't have to settle for that- look for whole grain flour, simple as that. Next, look at what sugars, additives, and preservatives are in the bread- you want to keep it simple, bread is an old-fashioned ad straight forward food. You want to see that WHOLE GRAIN is the main element. Buying wholegrain bread from a local bakery helps to cut down on the unwanted stuff, but if that's not an option, your grocery store has better choices too. Do the best you can. Look for nutrition labels that show the most fiber, protein, and minerals while STILL having a simple and basic ingredient list. You don't want them just adding THAT stuff in, either. Keep it real. Real food, real simple.

Next, fillings. If you're going to use meat, get the best quality you can. (And if you're not a meat eater, skip to the next paragraph). Organic is always best when it comes to animal food, and even better if you can obtain it from a local source who can assure the quality and safety of the origin of the meat. If that's not an option, look for store brands like Applegate Farms that assure that the meat does not contain any added growth hormones or antibiotics, and in some cases that the animals were raised humanely. When it comes to amount of meat in the sandwich, less is more: when I make sandwiches for my husband or other people who want to eat meat, I use two thin slices. Two. Think that's crazy? Visit somewhere like Europe and see how much meat they put in their sandwiches. When it comes to protein, we do need it- but we don't need a mound like we get in most American sandwiches. Too much meat in proportion to vegetable food in the meal (and overall diet) results in bloating, constipation, and acid inflammation, not to mention try to make the switch and realize that when it comes to meat, Less Is More. If you're using cheese, same guidelines: organic whenever you can, or at least all natural good quality cheese, and less is more- one thin slice does the job.

So what are you going to do with all that room now that you've trimmed down your meat and cheese portions? Bring in the veggies. Lettuce and tomato are great, but why stop there? And why so little? Step it up! For greens, try arugula, spinach, or watercress (where I studied abroad in Scotland, sliced hard boiled egg with watercress on wholegrain brown bread was a popular sandwich), and add more volume than you used to. If using lettuce, use the darkest green possible. Slice up tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, throw in some sprouts, sliced olives, radishes, avocado, or even a layer of cooked vegetables from your leftovers from the day before- why not? Go to town! You're reinventing the sandwich here, don't be shy. Let the veggies take the stage, and you'll be surprised how filling they can be! Also, especially because you're now using nutrient dense, fiber-full, protein-and-mineral-packing whole grain bread, your sandwich will be more filling and long-term energizing anyway, so you won't miss the larger portions of meat and/or cheese, and you'll be doing your body a favor by following the proportions of animal food to plant food that are best for health, digestion, and metabolism.

So what about the condiments, the icing on the cake? If you're like me, you love love LOVE condiments and sauces of any kind, and sandwiches are no exception. I was once told by an Irish person that is not my husband that the typical American refrigerator contains all condiments and no food. While I disagree about the no food part (or at least I hope/believe that is changing), I do agree that as a culture we have a love for the condiment...and we're not ashamed to show it, nor should we be! So feel free to use that affinity for sauciness to dress up your sandwich a bit, but here again, consider some restructuring. For example, if you're going to use higher fat and calorie condiments like butter or mayonnaise, use organic when you can and only use a little. With condiments, we're going for taste and sometimes texture, not bulk or substance, so we really don't need a lot- they're meant to be used sparingly. Next, make use of lighter options like mustard, vinegar, natural ketchup or barbecue sauce, olive oil, pesto, relish, horseradish, sesame tahini dressing, salsa, and many more to add punch, flavor and moisture. Avocado and tomato are particularly wonderful sandwich ingredients because they function as both filling and condiment- both add moisture, flavor, and texture- one creamy, one juicy. For a sandwich revelation and boost to your health, try swapping out cheese in your sandwiches for sliced avocado sprinkled with a little sea salt. It's creamy, fatty, rich, salty...all the things we want from cheese, but with healthier fat and fiber and protein to boot. Your heart will thank you, and your tummy won't mind a bit.

So that's how to reinvent the "standard" sandwich. Now are you ready to shake it up a little? Try skipping the meat....the vegetarians are already used to this, and know how satisfying meat free sandwiches can be. Try the following options as choices for the main filling: hummus, bean-and-grain burger (not processed soy burger), avocado, tofu, or tempeh. Then follow the steps above to pack the sandwich with filling, nutritious, satisfying veggies. Top with condiment combo of your choice, and voila!

Below are some examples of how this simple sandwich wizardry works, and some non-"typical" sandwich options that anyone can enjoy. Don't be afraid to let these balanced sandwiches become a new, healthier part of your foodscape!

Quality WHOLE GRAIN bread topped with...(remember always to UP the veggie portions!!)

-hummus, avocado, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, mixed green lettuce, and bean sprouts

-bean and grain burger, sliced pickles, arugula, mustard, natural ketchup

-steamed tempeh, sauerkraut, sliced radish, tahini dressing, natural ketchup (kinda like a Rueben!)

-olive tapenade, avocado, sundried tomatoes, drizzle of pesto (less bulky, but more rich....great for a pizza substitute! Also can add spinach or arugula)

-2 slices of any lean meat, spinach leaves, shredded carrot and cabbage, drizzled with olive oil and vinegar.

-Sliced smoked salmon with capers, baby mesclun greens, and raw onion on olive-oiled bread dash of horseradish

-leftover cooked vegetables and beans from another meal thrown into a whole grain wrap, or even wrapped up in a large collard green or lettuce leaf as described in a recipe here

-one sliced hard boiled egg, watercress, sliced cucumber, and toasted pumpkin seeds, light smear of pesto if desired

-almond butter or sunflower seed butter, shredded carrots, raisins, and sliced apples (sound weird? It's awesome. You have the mother of a kid in my 5th grade class to thank for this one....I haven't forgotten!)

The list goes on and on....remember, just have fun with it and experiment. The whole idea of a sandwich is about putting things you like together in new combinations tucked in one handy package, so be bold and don't worry about messing it's only a sandwich!

Interested in finding out more about what foods are right for your own body and why? Looking for personalized information and support to help you change your eating and lifestyle choices in order to achieve your own specific goals for health and wellness? Contact me to set up a consultation:

Thursday, September 16

Tofu, Arugula, and Shiitake Mushroom Saute with Fresh Basil

This dish is light, mild, and comforting. It's delicate flavors and textures manage to be warming and refreshing at the same time, making it a great Fall recipe. Tofu is a cooling food, but by steaming it thoroughly before use we counteract some of that cooling effect. The arugula and basil are both warming, and shiitake mushrooms are detoxifying, so this is a nicely balanced dish that leaves you feeling refreshed and light, but warm and comforted at the same time.

Tofu, Arugula, and Shiitake Saute with Fresh Basil
(serves 3-4 people)

1 14 oz. block of organic, non GMO tofu*
6 cups of washed, loose arugula
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, gently wiped clean and sliced into thin strips
Several leaves fresh basil, cleaned and torn into small pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons miso paste
fresh ground black pepper
1 clove peeled and chopped garlic (optional)

Combine 2 teaspoons miso paste in a cup with a few spoonfuls of water, and mix/mash gently with a spoon until fully diluted into an opaque liquid. Set aside. Drain block of tofu, squeeze excess water out with papertowel, and cut into small cubes. Place tofu cubes in a large covered saute pan or skillet with 1/2 inch of water in the bottom. Bring to a boil, and then turn heat to low and simmer for at least 5 minutes or until water is almost gone. Remove tofu and drain if necessary, set aside. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into same saute pan or skillet, and warm over medium-low heat. Do not allow oil to bubble or boil. If opting to use garlic to punch up the flavor of the dish, saute the garlic in the oil at this point over medium-low heat just until fragrant, not brown. Add shiitake mushrooms and basil into the oil with a small splash of water, move around to coat, cover and simmer 5 minutes with heat still at medium-low (mushrooms are very absorbent and will soak up the oil very quickly, hence the adding of a splash of water). Uncover pan, add arugula bit by bit, stirring to allow it to wilt and make room for more. At this point you will probably want to add the other tablespoon of olive oil and/or a small splash more water to create enough cooking liquid. Add tofu back in as arugula is wilting and cooking, but only cook arugula lightly until all is wilted but still bright green. Turn pan down to very very low simmer, and add in the miso liquid from the cup. Stir to warm and combine and all flavors, and finish with a dusting of fresh ground black pepper. Serve this over cooked brown rice, and ideally with chopsticks- the delicate and un-rushed method of eating with chopsticks is perfect for this dish!

*when cooking with tofu or tempeh, both of which are made from soy, make sure to buy organic non GMO (non-genetically modified) versions.

(Note: If you desire to make this into a meat dish, you could saute some strips of organic, all-natural meat during the portion of time assigned to water-sauteing the tofu, and then follow instructions as usual.)

Interested in finding out more about what foods are right for your own body and why? Looking for personalized information and support to help you change your eating and lifestyle choices in order to achieve your own specific goals for health and wellness? Contact me to set up a consultation:

Wednesday, September 15

Wholesome Lunches at Work...Yes You Can!

Some of you may know that I prepare a homemade lunch for my husband every morning before he leaves for work. And I don't mean just making sandwiches, mind you...I prepare an entire lunch for him every day using wholesome, natural foods, and more often than not, cooking everything from scratch. This means full meals; we like to treat lunch as the main meal of the day and dinner as a light top-up, as is healthiest for the body in terms of digestion, metabolism, weight maintenance, energy and sleep-cycle. Sure, sometimes I make him sandwiches....but when I do, they're made of all natural ingredients on whole grain bread and accompanied by beautiful salads composed of multiple healthful vegetables (such as the Crunchy Cabbage Salad described here), and side items like hand-cut carrot sticks, toasted pumpkin seeds, fresh fruit, and sometimes some kind of dessert. Often times, though, I am making "entree" meals for his lunch; things like 3-bean chili over brown rice with roasted broccoli, or spiced lentils over quinoa with stir fried bok choi, or sauteed shrimp and arugula over wholegrain pasta with lemon and garlic, or, in the case of yesterday, Spinach Tabouleh Salad (recipe below).

In some cases, meals that I make for him will involve all natural meats or fish or eggs, but many meals are completely vegetarian, and no matter what the meal is the emphasis is always on plant-based foods like whole grains, beans, fresh vegetables and fruit, with ingredients like nuts, seeds, spices and healthy oils thrown in for taste, nutrition, and to keep things interesting. The best part? He LOVES it, he feels the benefits in his body, and he saves time and money by bringing his lunch with him to work. The second best part? I get to know I am treating my husband to healthy, natural, tasty food, and of course I am eating the same wonderful food later on for my own lunch :) Not always exactly the same, but doing the prep and the majority of the cooking and assembling in the morning means I have less to do later on. Then I can make easy adjustments to suit both of our tastes and predispositions. We all have different schedules, but everyone can set aside some time in their day for food preparation.

So you may ask, "How does this work? Where does the time come from? I could never do that." And that is the purpose of this post and of many of the recipes that I post on the blog- to show you that healthful, delicious, all natural food can be prepared at home without a tremendous amount of time, money, or effort, and makes a world of difference in the health of you and your family- not to mention saving you a ton of money. A few tips that help: foods like whole grains and beans are the basis of many meals in our home, and these ingredients are purchased dry and last for months and months. Cooking them ahead of time in a batch large enough to last for up to 3 days saves you time and energy. So, for example, you have one type of grain and one type of bean that you cook (separately) at a time when you have some free time, such as an evening night before bed or on a Sunday before the work week. Then, for the next several days, you make up interesting ways to combine those ingredients into several different varied meals; some examples would be stirfries, the classic beans over grains with spices, wrapping up in large green lettuce or collard green leaves as a take on a "wrap" sandwich, or tossed into a salad. Salad, mind you, only means a dish composed of many ingredients mixed together-don't limit yourself! You now have permission to "play with your food"...experimentation is how you learn, and it's how I taught myself to cook.

This way, whatever you decide to do for the meal, you are simply choosing different vegetables and seasonings to add, and the bulk of the work is already done in having whatever protein and grain you are going to use pre-prepped. You save yourself enough time in the morning to prepare the vegetable element of the meal and throw it together, and you're good to go. Even vegetables can be cooked or prepared the night before if need be; this works best for roasted vegetables, undressed salads (add dressing when about to eat), and vegetables that are cooked into dishes like casseroles and stews. Steaming or sauteing vegetables should be done the day of. If you are using a different protein than beans, like fish or meat, you have the option of cooking that the night before when you have time and setting aside for the next day or whipping it together in the morning. Fish and meat can be kept in the freezer if need be and left out to defrost over night, then quickly grilled, baked, or sauteed in the morning if you don't want to do it the night before.

It basically comes down to two factors: 1. Preparation: having food options stocked in the home that you can work with and mix and match, and doing whatever you can of the prep ahead of time, and 2. Being willing to make this as a commitment and set aside the time, whether it means giving yourself a half hour at night to prepare food for the next day's lunch at a relaxed pace instead if watching TV, or whether it means waking up that 1/2 hour earlier to make your food in the morning before you leave for work. It really does only take 1/2 an hour, sometimes less depending on what prep has been done beforehand, and it is so worth it. One handy way to accomplish two health goals of smaller dinners and more substantial lunches while also preparing and bringing your own wholesome, natural lunch to work is to do the following: save the cooking for the evening when you get home, but make enough for yourself and your family PLUS extra- when ready to eat, only serve yourselves a small portion for your light dinner, and wrap up the rest to take to lunch at work the next day.'re done with cooking in one shot for the entire day, you managed to eat a smaller dinner than usual, and you have a wholesome, balanced, substantial home-cooked lunch ready to bring to work the next day. No getting up early required! Once you get in the habit of more substantial lunches and smaller dinners, this will feel natural and you'll feel less hungry at night because you'll be satisfied from what you ate during the day.

So you're probably ready to get going, right? Here's a particularly easy, quick, and delicious lunch meal that I recently made for my husband to take to work. Because I had cooked the beans ahead of time in the evening, this entire meal took less than 15 minutes to put together, and was completely balanced in terms of both nutrition and taste. He gave it high marks, I hope you will enjoy it too!

Spinach Tabouleh Salad

3 cups loose organic baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
1 cup uncooked whole wheat couscous (can be purchased at Trader Joe's)
2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds or raw sunflower seeds
3/4 cup kidney or pinto beans, cooked (can use canned if necessary-rinse very well)
1/4 cup organic frozen sweet corn
Handful of grape tomatoes, washed and sliced in half
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a small amount for cooking couscous
Juice of 1/2 small lemon, remove seeds
Garlic powder, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper for seasoning

Cook couscous according to instructions on package (generally, boil 1 cup water and add one cup couscous with a small amount of olive oil, cover and remove from heat immediately to rest covered until all water is absorbed- about 5 minutes). Meanwhile, boil a small amount of water in a saucepan and boil frozen corn for 3-5 minutes, drain (or just pour boiling water over it in the colander). Place washed and dried spinach leaves in a large mixing bowl, add the 3/4 cup of beans, the cooked corn, and the sliced grape tomatoes. While couscous is waiting, quickly toast the 2 tbsp of seeds in a skillet over medium-low flame until golden green/brown and just beginning to pop, immediately remove and toss into bowl with vegetables. When couscous has rested 5 minutes and all water is absorbed, fluff it around with a fork to loosen and separate all the bitty pieces. Then spoon about 1/3 of the total amount of couscous into the bowl with the vegetables, reserve the rest for use at another time. Now that vegetables, beans, couscous, and toasted seeds are together in the mixing bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and the juice from 1/2 a lemon. Toss well to coat all ingredients. Sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper, and toss again to mix evenly.

Possible substitutions: switch out the couscous for cooked quinoa (takes about 20 minutes to cook and can be made ahead of time), or switch spinach for arugula.

Since the beans were cooked ahead of time, the vegetables were raw, and the couscous, corn, and seeds only take 5 minutes to prepare, this meal came together in no time! Even better, it's a one-part meal, it has everything you need in one place: whole grain goodness, lean protein, and vitamin and fiber packed veggies, along with a dose of healthy fat to help you absorb those vitamins and keep you satisfied. These are the building blocks of healthy, wholesome, balanced meals...try this one, and then have fun experimenting on your own! Stay tuned for more quick and easy recipes to come....Happy Eating!

Interested in finding out more about what foods are right for your own body and why? Looking for personalized information and support to help you change your eating and lifestyle choices in order to achieve your own specific goals for health and wellness? Contact me to set up a consultation:

Tuesday, September 14

Wellness Realized takes the Podium

Today, I will be delivering a lecture presentation at the Federal Reserve in Manhattan on the topic "Healthy Shopping, Cooking, and Eating: Navigating Today's Food Marketplace". Giving talks and presentations to groups has become an increasing part of my practice as a health professional, and it is an opportunity I greatly value and enjoy because it provides me with the platform to communicate important and helpful information about food, health, and wellness to a large group of people at one time, while also cutting down on the cost for each of those people to receive and benefit from that information. Generally I am hired by a company or organization to speak to their staff or members, in which case the attendees are receiving the information without cost to themselves, usually during a lunch hour or a break in the day. Other times, the presentation will be hosted as a special event at a time convenient to attendees. In this vein, as well as talks, I am also hired to participate in health and wellness events where I am available on site in person for a period of time to answer any questions for staff and/or members.

These are services that companies and organizations are increasingly interested in, for reasons ranging from concern over the health and well being of their employees and members, to a desire to increase productivity in the workplace, to an effort to reduce health insurance costs. If you would be interested in having me to come to your workplace or organization to give a talk or participate in a health and wellness event, please contact me for more information and/or pass my information on to the appropriate person in your community. I am also available to speak or present at private group gatherings or symposiums in a range of settings; homes, churches, schools, etc.

I have given presentations at the following companies and organizations:

The Federal Reserve
The Social Sciene Research Council
Harris, Rothenberg International (currently employed as freelance lecturer)
The Brooklyn Tabernacle
The New York City Family Court
Omala Yoga
The Providence Day Spa

The following are options for presentation topics:

What to Eat and Why: The Basic Fundamentals of Holistic Nutrition
Healthy Shopping, Cooking, and Eating: Navigating Today's Food Marketplace
Stress and Your Eating: Healthy Habits for Eating in the Workplace
The Healing Power of Vegetables: Nature's Nutrient Powerhouses
Going With The Grain: Incorporating Whole Grains into Your Life
Vegetarian Cooking 101: How to Benefit from a Plant-Based Diet
The Scale of Truth: Separating Fact from Fiction in Weight Loss
Healthy Nutrition on a Budget: Eating Well and Saving Big

I am also open to tailoring a talk around a topic specified by the hosting group.

Prevention of illness and day to day maintenance of well being are the future of health and wellness; what we put into our bodies and the environments we live in come together to create the reality of what is going on inside our bodies. As we become aware of the fact that making powerful changes to our wellness is within our grasp and can be executed simply and naturally, we are on our way to a healthier, fitter, more balanced population with less disease, obesity and stress. I am here to inform, support, and help to create that change. Contact me if you are interested in benefiting either on your own through one on one counseling or in a group through a company/organization event, private group gathering, or other hosted wellness event.

Interested in finding out more about what foods are right for your own body and why? Looking for personalized information and support to help you change your eating and lifestyle choices in order to achieve your own specific goals for health and wellness? Contact me to set up a consultation:

Monday, September 13

Crunchy Cabbage Salad

Due to popular demand for more healthy recipes on the blog, I will be posting them more frequently and continuing to follow the same criteria: Simple, Healthy, and Quick. Here's a great one that anyone can throw together with just a few simple ingredients, and it's a wonderful way to pack some fiber and vitamin rich veggies and fruit into your day. It's cool and crunchy, sweet and tangy, and it will keep in the refridgerator for a second day so don't worry if you have leftovers! This dish is great as a side with sandwiches for a picnic or bring-to-work lunch, and can be made into a light main meal by accompanying with some lean protein.

Crunchy Cabbage Salad:

1 head Nappa cabbage (if not available, use standard green cabbage)
1 firm, crisp apple- preferably Granny Smith but any kind will do.
4-5 scrubbed carrots (if organic, don't peel)
Juice of 1 large or two small lemons
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt to taste

Place cabbage on a cutting board on the horizontal and shave with a sharp knife into very thin shards. You can also shred in a food processor. Use all of the leafiest parts of the cabbage, and you can leave out the base of the tough core. Set shredded cabbage aside in a large mixing bowl. Shred carrots either by hand with a cheese grater or through a food processor, set aside with cabbage. Wash apple and cut into tiny chunks, combine with cabbage and carrots. At this point you should have slightly more cabbage than carrot; if the proportions are off, add more of either to balance. Mix all ingredients well to combine. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the fresh squeezed juice of one large or two small lemons (make sure seeds are removed), as well as a sprinkling of sea salt. Toss well with tongs to evenly coat all ingredients in the olive oil and lemon juice and salt. Now toast 1/4 cup of raw pumpkin seeds by putting in a skillet over medium-low heat and toasting lightly while stirring, until seeds are golden-green and smelling fragrant and beginning to *pop*. Remove from heat and sprinkle directly into the dressed salad in the mixing bowl, tossing again with tongs to mix all ingredients. Taste and adjust salt if desired. Serve immediately, and cover remainder in an airtight container to be kept in the refridgerator for an additional day.

Variations on this idea: Asian Crunchy Cabbage Slaw

Follow same general instructions above, but trade out apple chunks for shelled edamame beans (adding protein, thus making this a more filling dish). In this version, pumpkin seeds can be switched out for toasted black sesame seeds if desired, and the lemon-olive oil dressing can be swapped out for carrot ginger dressing if desired.

Play around with the options and mix and match (but do not combine apples with beans due to digestion)- have fun with it! This salad is bright, colorful, and has a lovely mix of flavors and textures to please even the vegetable skeptic, so whip one up and enjoy!

Did you know? Pumpkin seeds contain plentiful amounts healthy fats, fiber, and protein but also contain high amounts of zinc, a mineral that boosts the immune system and helps to fight off illness. They add wonderful richness and crunch to salads, grain dishes, and even when sprinkled over soups or casseroles. The toasting beforehand wipes out any bacteria that could be on the surface while also mitigating possible rancidity, and increases digestibility while improving taste. It only takes a few moments, so keep an eye on them and be careful not to burn!

Interested in finding out more about what foods are right for your own body and why? Looking for personalized information and support to help you change your eating and lifestyle choices in order to achieve your own specific goals for health and wellness? Contact me to set up a consultation:

Thursday, September 9

Beating Bloat

Check out this magazine article I was interviewed for on Bloat: It's Causes and Natural Remedies, which ran in the July issue of YourHealth Monthly, a nationwide health and wellness publication. You can zoom in to read/print the info!

Interested in finding out more about what foods are right for your own body and why? Looking for personalized information and support to help you change your eating and lifestyle choices in order to achieve your own specific goals for health and wellness? Contact me to set up a consultation: