Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

Inspired Beverage – The Green Smoothie

Photo by Ashley Teplin

I love smoothies–especially green smoothies made from a combination of green vegetables and fruits. They give me energy—make me want to do backflips or break out in a dance routine to “Footloose”.

Most of the time, I use a similar base of ingredients; banana, blueberries, broccoli, green peas, kale, almond butter and water. Next, I add whatever else calls to me; apple, plum, pear, spinach, chia seeds … I sometimes switch the almond butter for hemp or pea protein powder. Now and again I change up the kale for wheat grass powder. With all the tossing of this and that into the blender, sometimes the smoothie goes south and I have to work to bring it back into the realm of palatable.

Like last week, during a photo shoot for Mutineer Magazine. I’m being featured in a spread named, “Inspired Beverage Voices-Napa Valley”. My green smoothie is the rising, non-alcoholic, star beverage. On November 6th, I’ll be attending the Mutineer Red Carpet Party, without my blender in hand. While trying to impress the Publisher and Editor, Alan Kropf, I was once again clearly reminded of the art of green smoothie making and the pressure to tweak recipes.

Photo by Ashley Teplin

Why was my smoothie so thick? Of course I had used more kale than usual to impress my new smoothie converts. I ran out of blueberries and had to substitute raspberries. I added a plum and voila … my smoothie tasted okay, but not yet yummy. It needed help to rise to the stature of smoothie masterpiece. I added another banana (after all it was a smoothie for three people), one scoop of “GreenSuperFood with Goji and Acai by Amazing Grass” and poured in more water. Pure healthy, smooth, deliciousness!

Sometimes our beverages just need a little more inspiration to shine and be the best they can be. What inspired ingredients do you have up your sleeves, Healthy Junkies?

Radio Interview

A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by Kellie Fuller, from THE VINE, a local radio station here in Napa, CA, to talk about my story of cancer and healing and promote this month’s Eat Healthy Challenge.

This ignited my passion for radio and newfound respect for what it means to be on air—live—where nothing can be taken back or changed. We can’t alter what we said or didn’t say and we can’t edit out the insidious “ums”. Kellie suggested I relax and pretend I was having coffee with a long-time friend. She has a remarkable ability to make one feel completely safe and at ease.

When I got home, Jay asked me how it went. “I love radio,” I said, my cheeks still feeling warm. “I love the enormous microphone; head-set; large, leather, swivel chair; dimmed lighting in the room; and intimacy of the interview. I want to do it again and become proficient at it, like really good at it. Maybe they’d even let me DJ next time,” I smiled. Just in case, I’ve started compiling my list of songs.

You can listen to the interview by clicking on the You Tube Link. This is Part 1 of 2. You can listen to Part 2 on Youtube.

Brown Fried Veggie Rice

Brown Fried Veggie Rice (Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1 red or yellow pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 cups green cabbage
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ bunch green onions
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/8 cup of Braggs Amino Acid (tamari or soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil—adds a mild coconut flavor)
  • 1 small pat of butter

 Method

  1. Cook brown rice and let sit to cool and dry out.
  2. Chop all vegetables into small pieces.
  3. Remove seeds from jalapeno and chop finely.
  4. Sautee all vegetables and cooked brown rice together in olive oil until the vegetables are cooked.
  5. Beat the eggs and lightly scramble in separate frying pan in butter.
  6. Add the eggs to the veggies and brown rice, mix and heat.
  7. Add Braggs Amino Acids (tamari or soy sauce)
  8. Garnish with extra green onions.
  9. Enjoy.

Whatever Floats Your Nutritional Boat

With boat loads of information and conflicting viewpoints, it’s hard not to be confused about nutrition. Many of us are overwhelmed. What should we eat? What shouldn’t we eat? What’s healthy? What’s necessary? What’s good? What’s bad? Lately, I’ve been approached by many Healthy Junkies who are confused, annoyed and weighed down with information.  Some have stepped off the boat and given up on finding their way to better nutrition. Many have bought into the unattainable concept I like to call the “Nutritional Martha Stewart.” That is unless we’re eating only hand-picked, farmed-fresh, from our own backyard produce and meats, we’re simply not cutting it.  If we allow our vessel to be tipped over, and attempt to abide by every rule, we may find ourselves hard-pressed to find anything perfect enough to eat.

My first piece of advice is, relax! Cruising toward good health is not made any easier by stressing. However, incorporating healthier foods and cutting out the sludge can make us feel better and increase our energy. It’s really not that complicated to row our boats many waves closer to improved health. If we exclude non-foods from our diet and incorporate clean, whole foods, we’re sailing on the boat to healthy.

If we focus our attention on the structure we already know, our boat can afford a little sugary and non-nutritious cargo. Eat a range of foods; proteins like nuts, seeds, wild fish, organic eggs (the whole egg),clean meats that are free-range and not injected with hormones or antibiotics, and plain yogurt; whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet and oats; legumes such as black, pinto, garbanzo and adzuki beans; fruits (especially berries); and vegetables (the focus). It’s worth repeating—eat LOTS of veggies every day (no joke—this is key). If you’re already doing all this, good for you! Your boat can handle a mild storm of cupcakes, or too much wine, every once in awhile.

Regardless, we can all benefit from the Eat Healthy Challenge. It’s designed to help us really step into a healthier way of looking at food and ourselves. Some of us Healthy Junkies are making it more difficult this time by eliminating gluten for the twenty-eight days. But remember, health is not a competition. Go one stroke further ahead from where you are right now and forget about the other boats. It’s your boat that matters!

Non-Foods, Kind of Like My i-Phone

“Laura, have a Doritos,” my friend said as the bag was passed around the table.

“No thanks,” I replied.

“How can you turn down Doritos?” he asked. “They’re delicious.”

“I don’t know, I guess it’s the same way I refuse to ingest fast food hamburgers, diet drinks, deli meats with nitrosamines, and French fries. I simply don’t consider them food. It would be like picking up my phone and eating it,” I shrugged.

“Now that’s will-power,” he laughed and popped another Doritos into his mouth.

“I don’t really consider it will-power,” I said. “I know most people enjoy Doritos and I used to eat them by the bag—the large bag of course—but I don’t consider them food anymore. Like I said, it would be like eating my phone.” I pointed to my cell. “They’re not hard to say no to, because I’ve made up my mind and they don’t exist in my repertoire of what constitutes food. Plus, this way of being keeps my trim figure in check,” I joked.

 “Well, I’d eat my i-phone before I’d give up Doritos,” my friend said and licked the orange coating from his fingers. “They sure are tasty.”

I nodded, remembering the yummy taste of Doritos cheesiness. “I’m glad you’re enjoying them,” I chuckled. “I see you’ve made your choice and I respect that.”

I’ve spent many years reading and pondering labels. I’ve studied nutrition and given the experiences in my life—having had tumors and cancer three times—I think most would agree it would be absurd for me to ignore what I’ve learned and continue to eat non-foods. I have no desire to be sick again. I’ve come up with a way to rationalize my food choices based on nutritional value and a sort of risk and reward mentality that suits me. I don’t believe my body wants to tolerate chemicalized or nutrient-dead foods, so I avoid them. It’s as simple as that.

As soon as I see monosodium glutamate; hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated anything; artificial colors, like yellow #5,# 6, red #40, or any other color of the rainbow; aspartame, Nutra Sweet, Splenda; and nitrates or nitrites— I’m out. I wouldn’t eat spoonfuls of chemicals on their own, so why would I eat them in my food?

Deep frying alters the molecular composition of the nutrients, especially in potatoes, and is known to render the compounds carcinogenic. Why would I willingly eat foods that promote cancer—that chomp away at the antioxidants in my body, like a Pac-Man game gone rogue? I’m not going to say I never steal a fry, but it’s pretty darn rare. I feel these “non-foods” are dangerous and I don’t want to roll the dice. Sometimes I reconsider and eat sweet potato fries. You see, we all make choices!

What choices are you contemplating or making healthy junkies? Feel free to share on facebook at The Healthy Junkie fan page.

Next week, I’ll blog about demystifying food—making sense of the abundance of nutritional information. We don’t have to be perfect to be healthy!

The Power of Positive Thoughts – Video Blog

I see this as my coming out video. Not that I was really hiding. But the idea of posting this video blog, terrified me. The vulnerability was palpable. Then I realized the only way for me to really share … is to expose myself. 

I had to film this seven minute speech to enter a contest through Hay House Publishing to hopefully—fingers crossed—win and have my book published by them. So, I figured, Why not share it with all of you.

In my training to be a wellness coach, I’ve discovered that courage and purpose are two strong values of mine. Posting this video serves both of these values. More than anything, I hope to inspire and empower others through my story. If the video strikes a chord with you, or if you know someone who’s ill or suffering through a dark space, please feel free to share it.  

The quality of the video is enhanced if you click on the You Tube Link and watch it directly on You Tube.

The Diet Conundrum

There are countless diets that claim to be the quick and easy weight loss solution. We have the lose fourteen pounds in two weeks diet, the 2-step plan diet, the high-protein diet, the low-calorie diet, the fasting (no-eating) diet, the rub this cream on your belly diet and so on. These diets all claim to work long-term. They claim to be easy and effective, requiring almost no work or lifestyle change. Follow the diet for the specified amount of time and poof—almost like magic—you’re thin (again, or for the first time in your life).

If this is true and it’s really that easy, how is it possible that 34% of Americans are obese and almost 33% (one-third) are overweight? Today, obesity affects more than 72 million Americans. That leaves only one-third of the population in a healthy weight range. If these lose weight quick diets work, why are we getting fatter? Rates of obesity have increased by 11% over the past twenty years. But since 1990, a third of us have been as overweight as we are today. We have all these wonderful easy diets that work, yet the statistics continue to increase? I’m not a trained mathematician or statistician, but this doesn’t make sense to me.

Most would agree it takes time to gain weight. It doesn’t typically happen overnight. It might feel like it does. It might feel like yesterday we were twenty-three—stuffing our faces with chicken wings, cheesy garlic bread and beer—only to wake up at thirty-five and discover our bellies are soft and our rears don’t fit into anything we own anymore. Or maybe we’re closer to sixty and look back at pictures of ourselves, unable to recognize who that person is. The overindulging has typically been going on for years, and years, and at some point our bodies finally give way to the laziness of our choices. Our bodies give way to the toxicity of our choices. So why once we realize we have gained weight are we in such a hurry to lose weight? Why the rush?

I too would love to believe in the quick-fix, take-a-pill, don’t-change-a-thing-except-maybe-don’t-eat-carbs or maybe-just-don’t-eat-at-all, diets? I would also love to believe in fairy tales and Santa Claus, but the truth is I have to work at my relationship with Price Charming and I have to buy the Christmas presents and even wrap them every year. It’s work.

I know … I know … it sucks to be told the truth—that losing weight comes down to eating healthy and exercising. I know … finding time to exercise is hard and vegetables don’t seem to taste as good as other foods. But it’s pretty amazing how our taste buds change and how we find the extra time once we’re on the realistic road to healthy weight loss. Healthy meals need not be boring and believe it or not, walking is considered exercise. The sooner we understand our happiness is about health—a healthy body mass index (BMI) and a healthy weight—we’re on the right path to looking and feeling great, no matter our age or number of pounds to lose. First step—The Community Cleanse.

Happy cleansing cleansers!