Archive for June, 2012

But It’s GREEN!

June 27, 2012

Green drinks can take a little getting used to.  They look and taste, well… green.  Freshly mowed lawn and algae sometimes come to mind… but, put all that out of your mind.  Green smoothies are chock full of nutrients, more in one glass that most people get in an entire day!

But it’s GREEEEEN!

OK, get over the green thing.  Let’s consider what’s in the green drink.  Here’s a smoothie I drink almost every day:

Green Smoothie

Ingredients: strawberries, pineapple, baby spinach, avocado, wheatgrass powder, fresh parsley, peeled cucumber, chia seeds, coconut water, raw milk kefir or carrot juice.

Optional Ingredients: flax seeds, flax oil, bee pollen

Method: Add 1 Tblsp chia seeds to 1/4 cup coconut water and set aside to gel.  I use frozen fruits and let them thaw in the blender cup overnight in the fridge so they are soft but still cold in the morning (about 3-4 strawberries and 3-4 chunks of pineapple).  To the fruit, add a small handful of spinach leaves, 1/2 an avocado, 1 scoop of wheatgrass powder, a few sprigs of fresh parsley, and about 1/4-1/2 cup cubed cucumber.  I then add about a teaspoon of either flax seeds or flax oil and 1/4 tsp of bee pollen.  Add raw milk kefir or carrot juice (1/2 – 1 cup depending on consistency you want).  Blend thoroughly.  Just before drinking, stir in gelled chia seeds in coconut water.

Of course, you can alter the fruits, veges, and optional ingredients.  To make this vegan, use carrot juice instead of raw milk kefir and do not use bee pollen.

You might be wondering about some of these ingredients.  Parsley is a wonderful detox herb, aiding the kidneys in flushing toxins out.  It is also very high in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and calcium.  Chia seeds provide protein, magnesium, dietary fiber and Omega-3’s.  The gel also helps move toxins through (and out) of the intestines.  Wheat grass powder is an easy way to help you reach your 5+ servings of vegetables each day.  It is chock full of antioxidants and dietary fiber and also supports your immune system.

So what are you waiting for, GO GREEN!

What’s Healthy?

June 19, 2012

OK, here we go… I was browsing around Pinterest (check it out, it’s a great place to find everything: recipes, decorating ideas, geeky pictures) and I came across another seemingly great healthy recipe.  Breakfast cookies they are called, so I dutifully followed the link to see for myself.  The first line of the blog entry: “When I first saw this recipe I was intrigued by the fact that these have NO sugar, butter, eggs or anything that can be considered unhealthy.”  Well, despite the fact that eggs and butter ARE healthy, I continued on to the ingredient list:

Rolled oats, check… coconut flakes, check… salt, cinnamon, allspice, check…  almond meal, mixed nuts, dried fruit, check… bananas, check… vanilla, check… canola oil … WHAT?!  Canola oil?  Really?  You’ll demonize real unadulturated butter but praise a chemically altered GMO oil that turns toxic once heated?

Sorry, epic recipe FAIL.

Let’s start over.  I will try baking these cookies using my own healthy ingredients: coconut oil instead of canola, and I may add an egg in place of some of the banana (Bananas are good, but egg gives extra protein and a better consistency for baked goods).  I will post an update with pictures so stay tuned…

In the meantime, consider food.  Real food, not a food-like product.  Can you identify where it came from (it grew in the ground naturally, it is a part of an animal or came from an animal)?  Would your grandparents recognize it is a food product (whether or not it came from their country or was part of their diet)?  Could it be reproduced at home, from scratch (like making butter from unpasturized cream)?

So many healthy and natural food products are declared  unsafe, yet they are the foods that our country’s founders ate.  Did the settlers have homoginization and pasturization processes?  No, they didn’t need them.  Unclean, profit-driven factory farms didn’t exist.  Just the family cows, who may have even had names and were taken care of in clean barns and fields.  Milk came straight from the cow.  The cream that separated naturally was churned into butter, not hydrogenated spread.  But butter and whole milk and animal fat cause heart disease, you might be thinking.  Well, think again and do the research for yourself.  Look up “lipid hypothesis” and then make your own decision (rather than relying on what the pharmaceutical companies are feeding to the medical industry).

I could continue (and don’t you worry, I will in future posts!) but for now, suffice it to say that what the average American believes are healthy foods are not.  But don’t just listen to me. I encourage you to do your own research (from a variety of sources, including sources not funded by big pharma, the processed food industry, and the FDA) and decide for yourself.

Food For Life

June 18, 2012

So, another blog about food.  There are many with healthy recipes (yup, this is one).  There are many with quick and easy recipes (yup, this is one).  There are many with fun, new ideas about eating (yup again, this is one).  Seems like there are so many out there these days, what makes this one any different?  Well, for starters, my definition of healthy eating is somewhat different than most others.

I do not promote low-fat, low-cholesterol, diet, low-calorie, light, low-carb or any other food-like substances.  I believe in whole food in its whole form (as much as possible).  My theory on healthy eating is that if my grandparents recognized it as food, then it’s food.  If it comes from a plant or ate plants, then it’s food.  If it was made in a plant, I’ll pass thank you.  I promote food that keeps you alive and healthy.  Food for life.

More about my theories and feelings about food and nutrition in future posts.  For today, let’s take a look at comfort food.  I’m home for a couple of days with a back injury and really not up to doing much of anything except trying to be as comfortable as possible.  Is it possible for comfort food to be healthy?  Absolutely!  Comfort food is food that invites you to hunker down with a big bowl of something simple and delicious.  No frills.  No mess.  While there are plenty of other healthy, comforting recipes, this one is a favorite of mine and I hope will become one of yours too.

One key to keeping this recipe (and many others to come) quick and easy, is to always have a few key items on hand.  One of my kitchen staples is a pot of cooked rice.  A rice cooker is a beautiful thing and I almost always have a pot of rice in the fridge ready for stir-fry, fried rice, soups, or whatever.  A few other staples: butter (REAL butter from a cow, not hydrogenated or soy based butter-like product that is nothing like butter), avocados (a true superfood that goes in everything from chocolate pudding to breakfast smoothies to nachos), lemons and limes (both versatile flavor enhancers as well as alkalizing and cleansing).

OK, enough already, the recipe…

Avocado Rice

Ingredients:  rice (I mix 1/2 brown basmati and 1/2 white basmati), avocado, butter, salt (Himalayan or Celtic preferred), pepper, lime

Method: Scoop hot rice into a bowl.  For the purpose of this recipe, let’s say 1 – 2 cups.  Add about a tablespoon of butter (yes, a whole Tablespoon, maybe two if you’re using 2 cups of rice) and stir so butter melts into rice.  Cube the avocado and add to the rice.  Add a squeeze of lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently with a fork and enjoy.

So simple and so satisfying.  Serve warm on a cold day or let cool to room temperature on a warm day.  Either way, it’s nourishing and comforting.