Cauliflower is the New KaleWe’ve been taught to “eat the rainbow” and reach for color in vegetables as an indicator of nutritional vibrancy. Surprisingly this pale cruciferous orb is packed with goodness. Continue Reading
Why I find it so important to eat wellMind you, this was all before I went to school and got my degree in Nutrition, but instinctively I knew that fueling my family, not only with healthy food, but delicious and aesthetic food was also important. I believe in the soul, I believe in music and art and the magic of creation. So while I was helping my kids grow their minds and beautiful bodies, I wanted that to be nourished and inspired. How did I do it? First I learned how to cook. Nothing particularly fancy at first, but some good solid basics that I could rely upon. Once I got confidence in that, I moved on to other things. Failures? Sure. Did I get some scowls? Absolutely. And no, my kids didn’t love everything, but we all learned together what was what. We spent time in the kitchen together, the kids set the table and cleaned the dishes. We joked, teased and worked through our frustrations together. Some of my best memories are of my family around tables. Now my kids are grown and out of the house and my cooking life has shifted, though my busy-ness has not. I love to eat out, and I have no qualms about grabbing something on the run, but even though I often cook for one, I still make a point to not just fill my belly, but make it enjoyable too.
A little peek into how I do itThis meal was actually a lunch that I took to the place where I volunteer twice a week. I poached enough salmon for two days in one swoop. Continue Reading
- 1 lb string beans (or haricots verts if you prefer)
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 med shallots
- 2T olive oil
- 2 tablespoons good quality red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Trim and was the beans and set aside.
- Mince the garlic and slice the shallots into rings.
- Warm a sautee pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and shallots and gently sautee until they are golden and brown, but not scorched. Scorching garlic will make it bitter and unpleasant. Remove this to a serving dish and set aside.
- Return the pan to the stove and increase the heat to medium high. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and when the oil is hot, add the beans.
- Allow the beans to sit tight on the heat without disturbance for a few minutes to get a char on them, about 3 mins. Then toss them and turn them to get a char on the other side for 2 minutes. Remove them to a serving platter. Add the shallots back to the pan and splash with the vinegar and salt and pepper. Warm through, just for 30 seconds. Then pour the gorgeous glistening shallots over the beans and enjoy!
- To make quick work of trimming beans, grab a small handful, about 10 beans or so, and line them on your cutting board in a row North to South. Place your hand on them so they don't roll, then using the edge of your knife, tap them on the end to align the ends. Then with one quick swipe, chop off the tops. Voila!
- You may prepare frozen beans this way as well if that is all you have on hand, it tastes just as wonderful.
Sweet Potatoes are BOSSIf you’re going to get excited about a vegetable pick this one. First off, you know that the gorgeous color means that they are packed with gorgeous antioxidants, and the orange means Vitamin A. Yep, 1 cup of sweet potatoes can benefit you with over 200% of your daily Continue Reading
Double Good vs Double BadI don’t need to tell you that vegetables are vitamin and fiber packed- but let’s talk about inflammation for a sec. The concept of inflammation is a popular one lately and I am fully behind it. When we eat highly processed foods, for example, we are not only Continue Reading
Are Sore Muscles Bad?Sore achy muscles are a result of a couple of things. When you exercise your muscles build up lactic acid and the stress may also create micro tears. The result is an inflammatory response as your body repairs itself. Fear not! This is a natural thing and not to be concerned with. As your muscles adapt they will more efficiently use your body fuel and the result is less build up and better metabolism of lactic acid. In the meantime here are the two best things you can do for yourself.
- Treat it nutritionally. Be sure that you are drinking more than usual fluids to keep things flushing and circulating. Eating a small carbohydrate, antioxidant and protein based snack right after exercising will help. i.e., a small blueberry smoothie with greek yogurt. This will provide your body with the building blocks it needs to repair and rebuild. Keep it small though so as not to overload on calories. Around 100-200 calories is sufficient.
- The Hair of the Dog. You may think that taking a day off is what your body needs, but it is actually better to get your body moving again. Take it down a notch or two if you are feeling super tight, but exercising will increase the bloodflow to your muscles and speed healing. I guarantee as you get moving you’ll feel better. This said, if you are in PAIN (not just soreness), then most definitely rest and seek advice from a professional. If your achy-ness is too much to bear, try a dose of ibuprofin to get some relief and still try and get in some stretching or gentle movement. The next time out keep in simpler super hero.
And What About The (ahem) Gas?Most likely you are eating far more fiber than your digestive system is used to. That is awesome and I beg you not to stop. It may take a little time but your body will adjust. In the meantime you can try these 3 things.
- Sip on peppermint, chamomile, or ginger tea. They have calming affects on your tummy nerves and can reduce irritation and improve digestion. They also add more fluids that your body needs.
- Be sure to chew thoroughly. Your tummy will have more success when you chew better. The enzymes in your mouth help to begin the digestive process and by not chewing thoroughly you make more work for your belly. The more time in your belly and digestive tract the more bloating.
- Lastly- For Goodness Sakes- Stand Downwind! Seriously, embrace the fact that your body is working properly and give yourself a break, just try and not impact your loved ones any more than necessary while you adjust. Your body will begin to produce more enzymes and microbes to aid in your digestion. Each person is different, so give yourself time and hang in there.
As I go through my day (playing tennis, shopping, etc.) I talk to folks wherever I go. People are always eager to speak to me about eating well, and we have a lot to share together, but what do you think almost every person does? Seriously, almost every single person I speak to does this:
The shoulders sag, the head goes down, and then they say, with voices filled with guilt and shame, “I know I need to eat better….”, and then comes the litany of the aches and woes of why they have trouble not eating well.
BUT here’s the amazing part! Not long into the conversation it comes out that some improvements have been made! Perhaps it’s less coffee, reduced gluten, or awareness of too much sugar. A lot of people are making efforts every single day- but no one feels like a victor.
Honoring the Victories of All Sizes
But I’m No Chef
When I speak to people about cooking healthy meals most often I receive sighs and slumped shoulders and a muttering, “I don’t really know how to cook…” I find that for many people cooking is a dark hairy monster that instills feelings of dread, anxiety and inadequacy. But here’s the good news! You don’t have to be a Master Chef to prepare healthy food for yourself. It is quite possible to get by with a few simple cooking techniques