January 14, 2016

Listen To Your Body

We are constantly receiving internal messages from our body about which foods are best for us at any given time. However, we are also surrounded by an external culture that judges some foods as "good" or "bad". As we try to tap into the body's intuition so we can hear these messages, it's important to drop the external value system that second-guesses them.

For example, if you are starting to feel under the weather, you might crave spicy food. This is the body's internal message. It's communicating with you, and its message makes sense. The capsicum family of plants (black pepper, cayenne, sweet peppers, chiles) stimulates capillary action and supports detoxification. 

But you may have read that too much spicy food can aggravate your liver or cause an ulcer, so you steer away from it. This external information blocks the body's intuition and you are more likely to catch a cold.

This example elucidates the importance of giving up black-and-white thinking. Embrace the fact that healthy eating is flexible and can include a wide variety of foods. Sometimes the healthier choice may be the choice that's seemingly more indulgent.

Which would be a healthier choice: cake or salad? The salad is only healthier if that’s what you really want. Otherwise, you might feel deprived and end up overeating later. Enjoying cake mindfully acknowledges that food is not only a way to nourish ourselves but is also a way to celebrate. We might end up eating both salad and cake and feel much more satisfied.

To practice listening to your body, sit down and tune in before you go to the kitchen and open the refrigerator.

Close the eyes or gaze at the floor.
Take a deep breath in for 4 counts.
Hold the breath for 4 counts.
Breathe out for 6 counts.

This cycle relaxes the nervous system and allows us to become more grounded and centered in our bodies.

Now, pay attention to how you are feeling. Can you name an emotion or a sensation? 

Are you tired, overwhelmed, excited, rushed, stressed, or calm?
Do you feel hot, cold, tense, or relaxed?
Choose a food that helps to balance this feeling.

Most importantly, eat it slowly, without any other distractions, and savor it. This is mindful eating.

To learn more about which foods bring balance to specific sensations, try a nutritional consultation with me.

January 2, 2016

Deep Winter Nourishment

Happy New Year!

Some of us celebrate with lights, toasts, and foods that delight our palates. Others choose to chant, meditate, or retreat and eat simple foods. No matter how you bring in the new year, set an intention.

Imagine yourself happy, healthy, feeling vibrant in your body, and intuitively knowing which foods are best for your body.

To find connection with this deep internal body wisdom, eat mindfully and nourish yourself with wholesome foods that are rich in good quality fats.

Fats soothe the nervous system, provide warmth, uplift the mood, and ease stress. Here are some recipes to try this winter.


Chicken Stock


Place 2 pounds of pastured chicken legs into a large stock pot and cover with 10 cups cold water.

Coarsely chop and add vegetables: 3 stalks celery (1 1/2 cups), 2 onions, (2 cups), and 3 carrots (2 cups). Add 2 teaspoons each: salt and pepper.

You can also add: 2 inches fresh ginger root to make a warming, spicy stock; 2 Tablespoons each astragalus root and reishi mushroom slices to enhance the immune boosting properties of the stock.

Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to barely a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, for 1-2 hours.

Remove the bones and strain the stock. Save the vegetables, purée them in a blender with olive oil, and eat as a spread on bread.

You can store the stock in the refrigerator for 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Use the stock to cook rice, kale, or make soup.


Winter Chicken Stew


You will need:
1 pound chicken: use boneless drumsticks or thighs 
To make a vegetarian dish, substitute 2 cups cooked red lentils.

2 large yellow onions
4 carrots, chopped into crescents
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon each: thyme and coriander

Salt and black pepper to taste

Chop onions.
Heat oil in large soup pot.
Add the rest of the spices, stir and sauté on medium heat for 2 more minutes.

Add onions, stir, and raise heat to high for 2 minutes.
Add lemon juice, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add carrots, turnip and celery. Add water if onions are sticking to the bottom.
Add the chicken pieces and 2 cups water. Cover and allow to cook for ½ hour (or until chicken is done).

Add kale and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Serve with shitake rice.


Shiitake Rice


You will need:
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 large yellow onions
2 cups shiitake mushrooms
1 teaspoon tamari
2 inches seaweed: kombu or wakame (I like Ironbound Island brand)
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups napa cabbage, chopped
1 cup short grain brown rice
2 cups water or chicken stock (see above)

Chop onions and shitakes.

Heat oil in a deep skillet.
Add onions and sauté on medium heat for 10 minutes, or until browning.
Add shitakes and sauté for 10 more minutes, or until soft.
Add tamari, seaweed, vinegar, and pepper.

Add cabbage, rice and stock / water. Stir well to incorporate.
Cook, covered, on low heat for 30 minutes or until you see air bubbles on the surface of the rice.
Serve warm.




Healthy Eating Program

Need to detox, uncover food allergies, feel nourished & satisfied?


I will tailor your Program to your dietary needs and health goals. Programs include shopping lists, prep/menu plans, recipes, mindfulness, & nutritional recommendations.


Click here to try a FREE sample of the Healthy Eating Program.

Real Time Web Analytics