You have the power to change

Three days ago I read something that made all my hair stand up on end. It wasn’t creepy or unsettling; it was a cosmic sign from the universe. In that very moment I knew that a major shift had occurred, and my purpose in life was suddenly vibrantly clear.

I was working on the materials for my nutrition class, which I currently teach to private groups in Utah (visit my Classes & Parties page for more info). I was searching for a little more hard science to back this claim by Dr. Mark Hyman, a specialist in functional medicine:

“Food is information carrying detailed instructions for every gene and every cell in your body, helping them to renew, repair, and heal or to be harmed and debilitated, depending on what you eat. What if you could send messages and instructions to heal your cells and turn on healing genes? And what if, by some simple changes in your diet, you could get rid of most of your chronic symptoms and diseases in just one week (or maybe two!)? That is entirely possible.”

Even though I believe this wholeheartedly and have heard this sentiment echoed in nearly all of my food and diet research (and seen it at work in my own life), I wanted to be able to share it with others in a way that would leave no doubt in their minds that food is the key to solving our health and wellness problems.

What I ended up finding astounded me.

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7 reasons you should make ready-to-eat snack bags

When you’ve got little kids, snack time is a way of life. It seems like someone is always hungry or begging for a snack, which can mean countless trips for mom to the pantry or fridge each week. One of my favorite ways to streamline my life in the kitchen is to make ready-to-eat snack bags, all prepped and easily accessible for little hands.

Having snack bags is like meal planning for snacks. You don’t necessarily need to make a strict plan, but you do need to think ahead to have treats on hand. After that, it’s easy as pie.  Continue reading

Recipes: Fresh salsa, 3 ways

Nothing says “summer” like salsa. Every time I take a bite of fresh tomato salsa or homemade guacamole I feel like I’m poolside or oceanside, basking in the sun and relaxing. Even if I’m just standing at the counter trying to enjoy a quick snack while my children tear apart the house around me.

That’s why I have an arsenal of salsas in my cooking bag of tricks. It’s like a vacation in a bite. Today I’m going to share three quick recipes for fresh, savory-and-sweet salsas for you to enjoy poolside or counter-side, or wherever you may need a pick-me-up on a humdrum day.

Salsa

 

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Recipe: Healthy Banana Muffins

Got another breakfast blender recipe, because you know I’m obsessed with my Blendtec. In fact, this recipe was inspired by the cookbook that came with my blender. I’ve been making the original banana chocolate chip muffin recipe for years and is one of my son’s favorites. The first  change I made was to put a few chocolate chips on top of each muffin instead of mixing them throughout the batter — but then I noticed that Evan would only eat the top of the muffin and abandon the rest. So I went back to the drawing board.

I figured that if the muffins themselves weren’t enough enticement to get Evan to eat the entire thing, I might as well tweak the recipe to make them as healthy as possible so at least my babies and I would get the good stuff. If I could convince him to eat up, then that was a bonus. (We have an extremely selective eater on our hands, folks. Sometimes we take what we can get.)

Email BoxThe first thing I did was swap out a few less-than-healthy ingredients for whole-foods, plant-based ingredients. Then I decided that if chocolate chips are the key to getting Evan to eat, I was willing to go with it. So instead of plopping a few big ones on top, I’d mix a few mini chocolate chips throughout each muffin. This way the amount of chocolate is about the same, maybe less even, but he has an incentive to keep eating once he was done with the muffin top. The result? Fluffy, moist, healthy whole-wheat muffins that my whole family will eat. Win! Continue reading

Recipe: Hold-the-Tuna Salad

Here’s a fresh, tasty lunch idea that will appeal to you meat-free folks: tuna salad minus the tuna, with all the flavor and fixin’s of the original but completely vegan. Instead of tuna, the base is made of nuts and seeds, soaked, chopped and flaked to mimic the texture of tuna salad to a T.

When I excitedly tried to share this recipe with some of my family members, they eyed me dubiously and said, “Why don’t you just use tuna?” A valid point, I suppose.

For me the answer is simple: Because I don’t like tuna, or any other fish. I never have. Plus, I don’t like mayo. That’s two strikes right there, no need to go for a third. Continue reading

What is a plant-based diet?

When people hear “plant-based,” they often think of piles upon piles of leafy greens. In fact, when I tell people that I have switched to a plant-based diet, I am pretty sure they imagine me eating bowl after bowl of raw broccoli or gigantic salads without dressing.

If that’s what people think, I can see why the idea of plant-based eating is so unappealing.

The truth, thankfully, is much different.

A plant-based diet is not solely based on vegetables, and you don’t have to go completely vegan or even vegetarian. A whole-foods, plant-based diet is made up of a variety of foods found in nature. The idea is to consume them as close to whole as possible, not processed beyond recognition — but not only eaten in their raw, natural state, either. These foods form the ingredients for some of your favorite dishes — soups, breads, burritos, you name it. When made from scratch instead of consumed in processed, sugar- and chemical-laden, ready-made, store-bought packages, your favorites become some of the healthiest foods you can eat. All it takes is a little slicing, dicing, blending, and sauteing, and voila!  Nature’s most delicious offerings become your new family favorites.

The other day, for example, I ate onion, garlic, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, celery, tomatoes, vegetable broth, white beans, and kale for dinner. But I didn’t eat them like this:

veggies

Photo Credit: Minimalist Baker

 

 

I ate them like this:

Soul-warming-1-Pot-Veggie-and-White-Bean-Stew-with-potatoes-kale-and-tomatoes-vegan-glutenfree.jpg

Photo Credit: Minimalist Baker

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