I like to shop at the local farmers markets so I get the freshest produce that is grown in the season. I make a meal plan according to what I find at the market. I find it a fun experience picking out from the bins of great looking veggies, which of course makes me hungry. I start thinking what recipes that I can cook or grill. These are some of the seasonal veggies:
2. Peppers (in lots of colors, good for grilling)
3. Eggplant (good for grilling)
7. String beans
10. Swiss chard
I like to make Ratatouille which is a french dish. It's a one pot vegetarian dish that's so delicious and it uses a lot of seasonal veggies!
Ratatouille over Brown Rice Pasta
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 egg plant peeled and cubed
2 zucchini cut into cubes
2 large fresh tomatoes chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil or fresh chopped and 1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and pepper
1 bag of brown rice pasta
1. Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 min
2. Add all veggies and spices cover and simmer until tender about 20 min.
3. Boil pasta while veggies are cooking for 8 to 10 min.
The news reports that talk about bottled water sold in plastic containers is very confusing. We do not know for sure what is really in them or where it is sourced from. Drinking water is essential to our health, and without it we can become dehydrated and die. Here are some facts about this common, clear liquid that you might not know and tips that can help you:
1. Plastic bottles contain lots of chemicals that seep into the water, especially if the water heats up in your car or in the sun. BPA (Bisphenol) is an estrogen mimicking chemical leads and can lead to serious health problems such as prostate and breast cancer, learning and behavioral problems, and to top it off, ruins the immune system.
2. Phthalates, salts or esters of phthalic acid, are in plastic, otherwise known as PVC. This chemical effects the endocrine system and hormonal imbalance. Thyroid disease is way too common in women and also in men. Chlorine is another harsh chemical that puts a strain on the liver.
3. At least 30-40% of all the bottles contain tap water. Through processes of radiation, filtering and ultraviolet light, you are basically paying money for treated tap water.
4. Carry a glass bottle or a BPA stainless steel bottle and fill it with filtered water from home. Some bottles even contain a built-in filter so you can refill it anywhere.
5. The rule is: Drink half of your body weight in ounces (I have to drink 60 oz of water a day). I have a two quart glass pitcher that I fill and drink it all day long. However, water can get boring sometimes so I add lemon, limes and mint leaves to it so it tastes better. I almost feel like I am having a tropical drink without the carbs and sugar! Citrus is very good for your liver and kidneys, and now you have yourself an alkalizing drink. It also saves $$$.
6. Another way to save money and the environment is by buying your own water filter system (Of course I have one I knew you would ask!) I use the Birby brand and it filters out EVERYTHING! I can even pour pond water in it and it will come out pure & delicious!
7. A filter for your shower head is also a must! When you take a shower, your skin absorbs toxins from the water as much as 8 glasses of water per shower. Plastic shower curtains also contain BPA (Yippeeeee), so you will absorb chemicals from the curtain. Do yourself a favor and buy a cloth liner.
Millions of bottles pollute the Earth and leave a big, negative impact on the environment. And to top it off only about 10% get recycled. They are made using fossil fuel and are not biodegradable.
We have to be more aware of what we are drinking and eating. Health problems can be cleared up by making small changes.
If you would like more information of Birby filters, go to www.holisticmama.com and click on "My Favorite Things". The website/company was founded by my daughter, Roxanne, and she is another expert on holistic living!
I eliminated foods that would cause yeast growth before I started the cleanse (Bread, cookies, muffins, and sweeteners like honey and maple syrup and of course sugar). Even though everything I eat is gluten and dairy free, I have to limit the carbohydrates for 3 months to clean up my gut.
Fruits are another source of sugar. For the first month, I did not eat any fruit. The second month I added green apples and blueberries. I also had brown rice pasta and wild rice only two times a week. I kept a food diary of everything I ate and wrote down how I am feeling with this cleanse.
A normal reaction to this diet is fatigue and not to be gross but I had a lot of "prairie dog moments" (LOL). I miss dark chocolate and honey so much. I do yoga stretches every day to help with stress.
Surprisingly, it's not that bad. I have lost 5 pounds and I feel leaner. Here is a one day example of what I eat on a daily basis:
Breakfast: bone broth and wild rice
Lunch: vegetable soup and salmon salad
Snack: almond crackers and almond butter (homemade by moi)
Dinner: Chicken thighs marinated in coconut aminos with zucchini and pesto spaghetti and a beet salad
Here is a recipe for the salmon salad:
Ingredients: Wild Planet Wild Sockeye Salmon, half of a red onion diced, one teaspoon parsley, one stalk of celery diced, a third of a cup of extra virgin olive oil, one teaspoon of dijon mustard, three teaspoons apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Drain salmon. Combine onion, celery and parsley. In a bowl, whisk EVOO, mustard, vinegar and salt and pepper. Mix dressing with the salmon. Can be served over lettuce, greens or crackers.
If you have any questions about this cleanse, email me.
I had a test done by my Homeopathic Allergist, Dr. Orlando Seubela that works in the office of Dr. Jonathan Dashiff in Westbury, NY. A few months ago I took the Candida Test, which had high positive results.
I started to read and research Candida and read several books. I have some knowledge and experience of guiding patients on this diet. Also, my mother had severe colitis and the Candida diet controlled her colitis very well. Eating this way gave her relief and a better quality of life.
It is a three month diet and then after that time period you can add in low sugar foods, such as berries, green apples and high protein grains.
Candida is an overgrowth of yeast or fungus in your gut. 1 in every 3 people suffer from yeast related conditions. Candida symptoms include fatigue, bloating, weight gain, brain fog (when you can't think clearly), arthritis, allergies and depression.
Of course, there are many other conditions related to Candida like vaginal yeast infections and toenail fungus, and the list goes on and on. Persistent symptoms can also develop such as ear and sinus problems, upper respiratory infections, PMS, fibroids, endometriosis, hypothyroidism, acne and anxiety. Severe conditions that can be caused by Candida include auto immune diseases, fibromyalgia, lupis, autism, mental illness and cancer.
One of the common causes that results in Candida is frequent or occasional antibiotic use and a poor diet. Many prescription drugs can contribute such as steroids, birth control pills and heavy metals from silver amalagam fillings. Eating a diet with a lot of refined sugars, carbs, dairy products, alcohol and processed foods can also cause Candida.
If you are eating dairy and animal products that are raised with food that contain antibiotics and hormones, there is a high chance you might be positive for Candida. Eating a clean diet with organic veggies, fruits and animal products that are antibiotic free will make you feel great and look younger.
I provide a one on one consultation service for $75.00 a session, which includes helping you eat a better diet by adding in healthier choices. I will also review your health history, evaluate and measure goals and plan a menu. With a change in diet you can alleviate digestive disorders, chronic conditions and allergies.
For more facts on Candida, please pick up a copy of The Candida Cure: Yeast, Fungus and Your Health by Ann Boroch.
Hope everyone had a good Easter weekend! Here are some photos of my family and what foods I made. Enjoy!
The best time to start a detox or cleanse is the beginning of spring & fall. It resets your health and cleans toxins. I am currently doing a GI cleanse which will help my digestive system.
How do you start a detox and cleanse?
First you stop eating any and all foods. That includes sweets and lack night snacks!
Then, you eat ONLY what the detox or cleanse requires. In my case, this happens to be in the form of a medical food shake, which I drink four times a day.
Note: In order to complete a cleanse or detox, you MUST make sure you are eating foods with proper vitamins and minerals. My shake has vitamins and minerals in it, but I would not suggest taking a cleanse without nutrients.
I included probiotics in my cleanse to help my immune system and keep a normal intestinal flora (to make sure you have good bacteria). I also take omega 3 supplements to help inflammation and L-Glutamine to help with digestion.
I only am taking this shake for three days, and after that I can gradually add foods like broiled fish, chicken, steamed veggies and low sugar fruits (berries) in my diet.
Foods that contain these ingredients are not allowed: sugar, gluten (I can't even eat gluten anyways -_-), alcohol, coffee, carbs, soy and any foods that you are allergic to.
A normal detox or cleanse would last 30 days, however, you can do it for any length of time. I personally have to do my cleanse for 3 months due to medical reasons.
Please comment below if you will be starting or have already started a detox or cleanse recently!
If you also need help with a cleanse or detox, feel free to reach out and schedule an appointment with me so I can guide you through an easy detox. One cleanse that I recommend is Metagenics, which is only sold by practitioners and I happen to sell. It includes supplements and a diet plan. Contact me if you would like to buy one.
Congratulations, you made it to Step 2: Creating Your Food Journal. Here are some steps to complete Step 2:
1. Write a food journal, meaning log in a notebook what you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and drinks for at least a week. At the end of the week, review and evaluate.
2. Out of everything you ate, divide the foods into healthy and unhealthy categories.
Having a visual and writing down your diet, you can assess which foods are beneficial to keep in your daily routine and which ones are not. Think about what foods make you feel energized and happy. For me, I'm all about protein and salads. I cannot go a week without having a big salad with avocadoes, chickpeas, walnuts, apples or pears. That satisfies my stomach for hours!
Try a new veggie and try to incorporate it in a recipe that is good for you. For me, I wanted to incorporate parsnips into a recipe because they are a good root vegetable and have a natural sweetness. It is also a good winter food. I like to roast them and add them into soups. Here is a recipe I found in Whole Living with my own little twists.
Braised Chicken and Parsnips
Prep time: 5 mins, Total time: 1 hour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 leeks, white and pale green parts thinly sliced (2 cups)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 3/4 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 cups cooked brown rice for serving
3 carrots sliced
Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium high heat. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Cook until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes, and set aside. Reduce heat and cook leeks until tender, about 4 minutes. Add vinegar and scrape up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add parsnips, dried sage, stock, carrots and seared chicken and its juices and bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to oven. Braise until chicken and parsnips are very tender, about 50 minutes. Serve over rice.
Meal planning and preparation can be such an exhausting endeavor!
The first step to meal planning is to keep a journal of all your favorite meals (so you can refer to it when you don't know what to cook!)
To add to your "recipe repertoire", try a new recipe once a week on a day you have more time, such as on the weekend.
When you cook your own food it is so satisfying to know that you did it all yourself. When I cook a meal, I try to make double the amount. That way, I can eat it later on in the week. Cooking once and eating twice... doesn't get much better than that!
The recipe can be just a vegetable recipe to add to the variety in your diet. Get your family involved and discuss what other foods they would like to try. I will be posting recipes on my blog every two or so weeks so that you can try them for yourself!
Below is the recipe for pot roast with mashed cauliflower and millet. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Pot Roast Recipe
1 2-3lbs rump roast or chuck roast
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups water or beef stock
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
A pinch of ground cloves
Directions: Place everything in a crock pot (except flour). Cook on low for about 6 hours until fork tender. Add flour and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve!
Millet Cauliflower Recipe
1/2 cup millet
2 cups chopped cauliflower or one head
2 cups filtered water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
parsley to garnish
Directions: Rinse millet in strainer. Wash and chop cauliflower. Place both in medium saucepot and add salt and garlic powder. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes until millet and cauliflower are soft. Use potato masher and blend together. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.