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Kale–The “Queen of the Greens”

Growing up, I was always proud of myself for being like Popeye enjoying eating my spinach. We ate cooked spinach out of the frozen Birdseye box, boiling it with butter and salt. I think that my love of spinach gave me a love of greens in general.

And then I was introduced to kale – THE “QUEEN OF THE GREENS”!

Kale is being touted as “the new beef”. It’s a nutritional powerhouse that should be added to your diet because…

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Symptoms are not enemies to be destroyed, but sacred messengers who encourage us to take better care of ourselves.

Food Matters

Join a Healthy Revolution

A new client of mine is making BIG changes to her diet and lifestyle in the New Year. We’ve been doing some prep work to get her ready – looking at outdated dietary advice and beginning a pantry clean-out for starters. She checked in with me this week and wrote:

“It’s hard not to feel like everything you are doing is wrong and it’s like starting over. I’m surprised by how immersed I am in my habits and it’s eye-opening how to change it.”

My response to her was:

“You aren’t alone in feeling like you’ve been doing everything ‘wrong’. You’ve been doing what you’ve been educated to do…like the rest of us have. And there is nothing ‘wrong’ with starting over. In fact, there is everything RIGHT with starting over, in leaving behind old habits that weren’t serving you and developing new habits that will bring you to where you want to be.”

I love the feeling of a fresh, new start! Whether at the beginning of a new year, a new week, or a new day, you can do a reboot and make small changes that will impact you immensely. Whatever ‘was’ before, you can literally make the experience different starting today. In fact, starting this very minute.

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10 Healthy Reasons to Eat Apples Everyday

The old Welsh proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is grounded in current research.

Nutritionally, apples are low in calories, providing only 50 calories per 100 grams. An average apple is about 90 calories, rich in dietary fiber (~ 4 grams of soluble fiber per apple), and contains fair amounts of Vitamin C and beta-carotene, two powerful antioxidants. Apples are a good source of B-Complex vitamins and contain minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium and boron.

For your health, here are 10 reasons why you should be reaching for an apple every day:

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Grammy’s Roasted Maple Acorn Squash

Ahhh, Fall is coming…

Crisp mornings, warm days, and cool nights. Leaves turning brilliant colors, the rain coming back to Oregon’s landscape, and WINTER SQUASH reappearing at the market!

One of my favorite childhood dinners Mom used to cook was acorn squash baked with spicy sausage, butter and maple syrup. We gobbled them up! And, as I recently found out, this is a recipe passed down from my maternal grandmother.

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Garlic Scape Pesto

Have you tried garlic scapes? If you are a garlic lover like me, you’ll find this yearly delicacy right now (early to late spring) at your farmer’s market or green grocer. Young, tender scapes can be chopped into salads or used as a topping like you would scallions. Mature scapes can be treated like asparagus – sautéed lightly and tossed into pasta or a egg dish, mixed with cooked greens, pickled or in any dish that would be complimented by garlic. My favorite way to use scapes is in this garlic scape pesto.

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Call in the Cauliflower!

“How’s your cruciferous vegetable intake?” asked the doctor never.

When concerned with anti-aging strategies, fighting off cancer, and reducing inflammation, cruciferous vegetables should be on your plate.

In general, cruciferous veggies are jam-packed with dietary benefits. They are low in calories, and high in fiber, calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and beneficial enzymes.

Crucifers contain important disease-fighting phytochemicals that may help lower your risk of cancers. In lab studies, the phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables – sulforaphane, indole 3-carbinol and crambene – stimulates enzymes in the body that detoxify carcinogens before they can damage cells.

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Give Us This Day…But I’ll Skip the Bread

My students used to ask, “If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island, what two foods would you bring?”

My standard answer used to be bread and cheese. But several years ago I started toying with the idea of giving up bread in my diet…Crazy idea, huh?

Bread is everywhere in our American diet! It’s in some form at e-v-e-r-y meal and given freely at restaurants to tide us over while waiting for the plates to come. A handful of crackers, a piece of toast or half a bagel is an easy snack to grab between meals. In fact, toast slathered in peanut butter or topped with a fried egg was my grab-and-go breakfast most morning as I rushed out the door to teach.

 

How do you go without toast in the morning? And how do you eat a sandwich without bread? Will I be able to keep from uncontrollably stuffing delicious, crusty artisan bread in my mouth during monthly book club meetings if I’m depriving myself day to day? What will I use to sop up that delicious pasta sauce/gravy/broth without a warm loaf of sourdough or French bread? No Chonga bagel, banana bread or scone with morning coffee? These questions vexed me as I thought about the challenge I was delivering myself.

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Coconut Water

Coconut water is being marketed as nature’s perfect sports drink. What exactly is it? It is the clear liquid found in the center of a young coconut before it matures. Once mature, the water has solidified to become the coconut’s tasty white flesh.

Grown in tropical regions all over the world, coconut water can be drunk directly from the freshly harvested green fruit. Across the US, pasteurized coconut water is becoming more readily available in cans, bottles and tetra packs. Some health food markets also carry green coconuts in the produce department for a “fresh” source of this beverage. (Fresh would be best coming straight off the coconut tree.)

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Antibacterial Soap Myth

Have you noticed that practically everywhere you go you see pump bottles of antibacterial soap on the bathroom sink in stores, offices, homes, etc.? Pump! Pump! Signs urge us to protect each other from illness by pumping this liquid soap onto our hands. For many people, this act has become automatic. But is it any better than simply washing our hands the old-fashioned way with regular soap and water? Turns out it isn’t.

Research has shown that antibacterial soaps are no better than ordinary soap and water for germ removal or disease prevention.

Researchers at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and University of Michigan’s School of Public Health have found that hand washing with soap and water is the most effective way to prevent bacteria and disease, and it is just as effective as antibacterial (aka antimicrobial) soaps.

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