Ahhhsparagus!  It is my new Springtime favorite!  Why?  It is plentiful, super easy to prep, quick to cook, really nutritious and so delicious you forget that you are doing something great for your body.    So far, my favorite way to cook asparagus is to roast it quickly in a 450 degree oven for about 7 minutes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  That’s it.  And, it is so incredible it is hard to believe it isn’t super sinful!  Here’s why it so so great for your body…..asparagus is a substantial source of anti-inflammatory nutrients and anti-oxidants, it is rich in fiber and protein (four to five grams of protein per cup), one of the leading sources of folic acid and has a significant amount of inulin.  Inulin is considered a prebiotic because unlike most carbs, inulin doesn’t get broken down until it reaches the large intestine.  Once there, it becomes an ideal food source for certain types of bacteria that are associated with better nutrient absorption, lower risk of allergy and lower risk of colon cancer.  Jerusalem artichoke and chicory root are the only other two foods that have more inulin.  That is one of the things I love most about this lovely little stalk-it benefits us in ways most other veggies can’t.  All things from the earth are a gift to our bodies, each with their own unique properties.  Just as root vegetables are grounding and warming to our bodies and are plentiful in the winter months, asparagus shoots up in early spring with it’s vibrant green stalks that help to detox, cleanse and lighten our bodies from the heavier foods we consumed over the winter.   Help your body align itself with the seasons and you will feel the difference.  xxo!

Leave a comment

Wow, what a surprise!  The first really chilly, blustery day of Fall for us!  As it is barely sixty-two degrees, I find myself wondering what I can prepare to warm myself up.  Upon realizing I don’t have time to cook, I remember this little soup I have tucked away in the freezer for times like this.  It can defrost while I take care of some important errands and just when I need something to eat, I can reheat this, throw in a little quinoa from last night’s dinner, plate it, toss on some arugula, grated parm and there I will have it-a wonderfully filling + warming lunch that will help me power effortlessly through the rest of the afternoon.   

I do this little practice all of the time because if I don’t have something healthy and ready to go when lunch-time rolls around, I will grab the first box of crackers or chips and munch away; even knowing that it will make me feel less than myself.  So, to avoid that not so fun feeling,  here’s my suggestion that will have you feeling more energetic, less stressed, more alert, and have zero guilt feelings.  I freeze individual-sized containers of leftovers from my favorite dinners as I clean up.  This is my emergency stash.  Mostly, what I find myself saving for future meals are all soups, bean dishes and any meals I have made where greens and other veggies are combined with grains or pasta.  What I am thinking as I pack away my portions is…… I need power foods that won’t weigh me down or make me tired; I need to be able to grab, defrost, heat and eat.   
Read more

Leave a comment

I just arrived at this amazing concoction this afternoon……I started out measuring the ingredients and ended up adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that…and…..well, it’s amazing but I’m not quite sure how to create it again.  Not being a fan of bottled salad dressings, I have been working on creating a healthy, super tasty homemade vinaigrette that will make me want to eat lots and lots of leafy green salads with kale, dandelion greens, swiss chard and any others I can find. Well, I did it and although I don’t know all of the measurements, I do know the ingredients! Here’s what’s in it- a really high quality extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ume plum vinegar, brown rice vinegar, agave syrup, honey, salt and pepper. So, now I will work out the measurements and share it with you very soon, so we can all love eating lots of dark leafy greens and feel amazing!

Leave a comment

I never cease to be amazed by what the Vitamix can do-super efficiently!  In less than five minutes I went from two avocados, a handful of cherry tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, cayenne and a lime to this…….absolute perfection!  Creamy, but not too creamy, fresh with a little crunch and a nice kick from the cayenne.  Since I most often include beans in the majority of our meals, (I think they are the most perfect, power food ever)  I frequently find myself looking for ways to keep them interesting.  Today, I kept thinking about guacamole.  Mostly, because I find it heavenly and also because it is composed of incredibly healthy fats from the avocado which will improve the absorption of all of the micro and phyto nutrients found in the onion, cilantro, tomato, and anything else it is paired with.  Feeling out of ideas for a healthy dinner, I tried my hand, actually my Vitamix at homemade guacamole, which I have never, ever attempted before.  So, with this in mind, our busy weeknight dinner was centered around steaming bowls of black beans and sprouted brown rice, topped with shredded cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, homemade guacamole and a touch of Cholula.  Mmmmmm.   Quick and satisfying with layers of flavor, this meal made everyone happy.   Homemade guacamole is a nutritional powerhouse.  It is a gift to the palate and to the body.  And, all it takes is tossing your ingredients into the Vitamix, pulse it five or six times and voila’, gourmet guacamole!

Leave a comment

This amazing, I can’t believe I haven’t thought of it idea, was requested by my sister.  The other day she begged me to come up with some lunch ideas that she could simply grab and go.  Having four children at three different schools, she spends about two and a half hours driving between their schools which are in different areas of the city.  She told me that she is always hungry and tired because she doesn’t have time to prepare a lunch for herself and she doesn’t want to succumb to all of the fast food she passes along the way. Good for her!  So we needed to figure out something yummy, healthy and portable she could pack for herself as she prepared her children’s four lunches.  Yes, three schools, four lunches, every day-busy girl!  My main goal was protein, fiber and several options to keep her satisfied.  I felt like we needed to have some crunchy (celery sticks, carrot sticks, mary’s gone crackers), some creamy (cheese sticks, cottage cheese, plain yogurt, hummus) , a little juicy (tomatoes), and a little savory (pitted kalamata olives).  With all of these different flavors and textures, it would minimize the chance that she would feel like she was missing something and fall prey to the drive-thru’s.  I also did a little pantry snack box for those things not needing refrigeration.  In it, I put packaged pistacios, individual cups of peanut butter, my sprouted homemade granola, and the most amazing gluten-free granola bars I have ever found from Nature’s Path.  With all of these different options, she could give her body what it needs on the days when she doesn’t have time to stop for something healthy.   As I was working on this, my husband saw it in our fridge and was so excited that he had healthy snacks to take to work for those times when he is too busy to find something healthy to eat.  Need healthy options for sister’s lunch; check.  Healthy snacks for husband; check.  Healthy snack/lunch ideas for my readers; check, check, check!  xxo!

Leave a comment

Have you ever noticed how something homemade fills you with love, and others with nourishment that satisfies not only the body but the heart as well?  This yummy little fresh berry, sprouted granola and greek yogurt morning parfait, a beautiful, yet simple breakfast, will leave everyone in your household feeling fulfilled on many different levels.  Stressed from running out of options to feed my tree-nut allergic child something healthy and delicious for breakfast, I was inspired to try my hand at homemade granola-no recipe, no measurements, just off the top of my head.  I knew what I wanted my ideal granola to consist of.   I needed seeds bursting with tons of nutrients, the highest quality oil to bind everything together, a natural sweetener and oats, of course.   So, that’s what I grabbed.  First, a big scoop of raw oats.  Then, smaller scoops of sprouted sunflower seeds and sprouted pumpkin seeds.  Then another smaller scoop of sesame seeds.  Wanting to keep it simple, I stopped there and drizzled melted ghee and grade B maple syrup over everything.  Gave it a good stir, spread it out evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet and placed it in a 350 degree oven for ten to twelve minutes, with a gentle stir every few minutes to make sure the entire mixture was evenly browned.  Once our kitchen filled with a heavenly aroma, I knew it was ready.  Out came the most beautiful homemade granola.  That was the hard part in my mind and it wasn’t hard at all.  In fact, it was amazingly easy….and fun.  Off to the side that went while I set about constructing the rest.  First, about a cup or less of two percent plain Greek yogurt and then a layer of sliced fresh strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. Then, another little spoon of yogurt, more blackberries, blueberries and sliced strawberries then……the sprouted, homemade granola.   I placed it in front of my precious little drowsy boys and were they surprised.  It was new, it was colorful, and it tasted wonderful and it was full of so many nutrients present in every ingredient I added.  Now off to figure out the measurements so I can post the recipe and all of the amazing nutritional benefits in the recipes section for all to enjoy!  xxo!

Leave a comment

What an amazing discovery when I decided to try Gweneth Paltrow’s recipe in her cookbook;  My Fathers Daughter.  I have never before worked with anchovy’s so I was intrigued when I noticed this recipe in her book.  I am always on the lookout for making greens irrestible…even better…. bitter greens for their detox benefits.  This recipe jumped out at me when I noticed the reference to this dressing as an amazing pairing with bitter greens.  I was hooked and immediately whipped out my Vitamix blender.  This recipe is taken straight from her cookbook and is one of the fastest and easiest salad dressings I have ever made.  It is everything Gwyneth says and more.  It tantalizes your tastebuds.  It is velvety, tangy, and oh, so addictive.  Now that I had the dressing, just for fun I wanted to see if I could capture a similar shot to test out my new macro lens…how could I not with such a fantastic little tin of anchovies!  So, now it’s your turn!  Purchase a few different varities of greens, make sure you have some bitter ones (like endive or dandelion), whip up this unbelivable delicacy and you will be unstoppable in your consumption of nutrient packed dark leafy greens! 

Leave a comment

Give yourself a week.  Yes, only seven days.  Treat yourself to a green smoothie at least once each day for seven days.  Change up the ingredients to keep it interesting and really tune in to how you feel after you finish your smoothie each day and at the end of the week.  Think about what the color green represents in nature.  It represents vitality, life, growth and energy.  All of the amazing properties of our green gifts from the earth can be ours too.  We just have to take them in, and the fastest way to feel their energy is break down their structure into the smallest possible matter.  My favorite way to do this is with a blender.  The more your blender does, the less your digestive system has to do.  So, all of the amazing benefits of dark leafy greens are immediately available to your body to benefit from.  You will feel the difference so quickly it will astound you!  Here’s why-there is so much fiber, which will help rid your body of toxins and keep you from feeling hungry.  There is liquid from the water, the fruit and veggies-many of us are dehydrated so just getting hydrated is huge.  Also, the enzymes and many, many nutrients are so incredibly beneficial to your body, besides feeling great you will look great too.  Give it time and stay committed to this little practice at least once a day for a week or longer!  Besides being nutrient-starved, many of us are starved in self-care too.  This green smoothie practice helps you score points in both of those areas of your life!  xxo!

Leave a comment

Well, the time is here for family, friends. amazing food and fun getting all cozy while the crisp winds of fall blow outside!  I love it!  It’s my absolute favorite time of year!  We have been busy here testing out pumpkin bread recipes and having even more fun tasting them!   Finally, after several failed attempts at getting any pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffin recipe to come out just right, my boys and I happened upon this one…..which just so happened to be perfect!  I have to admit, we did our testing with canned pumpkin since it is quite a bit less labor intensive than using a fresh sugar pie pumpkin!  These little pumpkin bread loaves are so yummy and so cute, we have decided to give them as holiday gifts to our family members.  With a little bit of supervision, my two boys pretty much made this batch on their own!  They were so proud.  So, besides being healthy, this is a great little project to do with your children.  Then, they love to wrap them up in little boxes, cello bags or vintage tea towels and present them as precious gifts.  Check out my recipe section!  I will be posting this amazing recipe in a bit so you can share this fall treat with your family!  xxo!

Leave a comment

Taking a little time to plan what goes into your pantry and strategically placing the most nutritious items within reach can go a long way in making it easier to incorporate healthier foods into your daily life.  For example, I have managed to designate a little superfoods section in one area of our tiny pantry.  Each superfood is in a clear airtight container so I can see what is in there and be reminded to use it.  So, when I go to make a smoothie, I have maca, cacao, chia, protein powder, hemp hearts, gogi berries, dried coconut, etc. all at eye level and all grouped together so all I have to do is grab what I want and toss it into my smoothie.  It really makes a difference on those super hectic mornings when we don't have time for anything……..except a supercharged smoothie!  
Also,  all of my baking items are all the way at the top of our pantry, grains & sea veggies are right in your face, packaged…aka….processed foods are tucked away and surprisingly…easily forgotten about by everyone….yea!  So, basicially the easiest places to see hold the most healthful items.  The little dark corners where we actually have to stick our heads inbetween the shelves to see what's hiding back there, well, these days….that's where you'll find marshmallows, Hershey's Kisses and lots of other little goodies just waiting to be turned into little Halloween treats.  Hey, who said we can't visit the dark side occaisionally on our quest to be healthy?!  It's all about balance!

Leave a comment