Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ladies and Gentlemen,                                                            
Give yourself a little pampering today. I have some of my favorite spa things to do at home. These are simple nourishing things to give yourself or a loved one a little down time on this day of love. If you would like to print these recipes off and post on a pretty piece of card stock it will make for a nice addition to any present. These are ingredients that you'll find in most kitchen or easy to find at the store.

Enjoy and Happy Valentines Day!

Basic Skin Toner ..A gentle cleanser
1 tsp of dried Chamomile
1/3 cup boiling water.

This little toner is so soothing for the skin. All you do is bring your water just to a boil remove from heat, and then place your dried chamomile, preferably in a teabag, in the water. Allow to steep for 15 minutes. Strain any loose dried chamomile while pouring liquid into a 4 once glass container. ( you can use a coffee filter if the chamomile was loose) When cooled. you can apply to face with cotton balls, or use a soaked paper towel and cover face and lay back and relax. I like to slightly warm the toner if using a paper towel for a nice warm compress.
Almond Scrub
7-10 almonds
1 tsp olive oil

This is fast and easy. Grind almonds up to a small gritty meal. Mix almonds and olive oil together and then scrub in a circular motion over face, avoiding eyes. This scuffs off dead skin cells and leaves a rich nourished shine to the skin. Rinse with warm soapy water.

Yogurt/ Strawberry Mask                        
1 handful of ripe strawberries
2 tbsp of yogurt

Mash strawberries to a paste. Add yogurt and mix together. Apply to skin in a thick layer for mask, avoiding the eyes. Lay back for 5-10 minutes enjoying the refreshing, cool, and tingly nourishment to your face. Rinse with warm water.

These are all things you will probably have in the kitchen and you can have all the effects of a day at the Spa. Enjoy everyone, and have a great Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Reading Labels is a lot trickier than you think.

I have always known that the information can be misleading at times. Now I see how true that is.

FDA has regulations that ensures products list what is in the prepared or processed food. Knowing that a lot of ingredients and preservatives are used at times there are "guidelines and general rules" to follow. Here are some interesting Facts.

• Ingredients are listed in order of predominance of weight.
• Value and Percentages are showing how much of the daily recommended value is in that serving. This can be difficult to know if you’re getting too much or not enough from a specific nutrient. Most do not walk around knowing the FDA has said that 1000 RE are recommended for Vitamin A. This serving of Juice has 25% Vitamin A. So that means I just had 250 RE of my daily 1000 RE recommendation for Vitamin A. It also will not list if that is a pure source of Vitamin A or synthetic.
• Sometime they will list an ingredient like Mayonnaise. It will not itemize the oil, eggs, vinegar, and if that oil was vegetable, hydrogenated form, and/or another.

Sodium is even more disturbing. Considering how much sodium, excluding plant based forms, plays a part in most health issues. Look at these facts.

Mini glossary of terms on food labels

• Sodium free: less than 5 mg/serving

• Very low sodium: 35 mg or less per serving

• Low sodium: 140 mg or less per serving

• Reduced sodium: processed to reduce the usual level of sodium by 75%

• Unsalted: processed to without the normally used salt ( may still contain sodium present in the food originally)

When I read Unsalted I would think that there is NO salt. Not that salt was in the food and then they processed to reduce it. And then they have no true value of what the original amounts were and how much is left behind. No wonder people trying to watch their cholesterol get too confused with their blood work when they have been trying so hard to watch the salt. Not to mention, “Low Sodium” can be anything from 140 to 36 mg per serving. Think about it. If a bag of chips has Low Sodium on there, and it has 5 servings in the bag. You could have 700mg to 175 mg. These numbers are too broad for those watching their sodium intake, and be honest most do not take the time to do math and conversions to know how much is really in this handful of chips I am holding.

We should be reading labels. My point here is that even when reading labels things can still be misleading. What can we do? Stick with labels that have whole ingredients, 100% whole wheat. I am looking at a box of Spaghetti Noodles I bought because I wanted to show an example.

In this box of dried noodles it has ingredients whole wheat flour, that is it. Then allergy warning says, may contain traces of eggs, that should have been listed in ingredients correct? Then I look under Nutrition facts. Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 2%, and Iron 10%. In my mind why would you list it if the Value is 0? If it is not in there do not list it, if it is, then LIST it, but it does say it MAY contain. For those of you that are sensitive to gluten products you want to know whether or not there is gluten. Not....May contain Gluten.

In my mind stay away from foods that are processed. Stick to fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and add the others in as needed. When we take the time to prepare our food we know what is in it.

We are doing the Challenge to Eat in, inspired from auther Cathy Erway.  Here is a recipe from Melissa Adams.  It is short and easy, ideal for those that want to eat healthy in thirty minutes or less.


Zucchini Spaghetti
Who doesn't love classic spaghetti? For less carbs, try zucchini instead of pasta. Simply julienne the zucchini and steam with fresh garlic and salt/pepper. I use Gia Russa marinara sauce (publix). You can add ground beef if you choose. And just a touch of Parmesan cheese. Easy, cheap, and quick. :-)

 Thank you Melissa for your recipe! I had another recipe come in today that I wanted to share. I love black bean burgers and here is a recipe from Kari Hendrick. You are getting two for one today!

Black Bean Burgers
1 cup cooked or 1 can of black beans (if canned uncooked is fine) if using a can save the liquid:)
Dice up 1 small onion, a few tbsp.
Dice up celery, you could also add peppers instead.
A few tablespoons of flax seed or chia seed.
Bread crumbs, I always toast some bread and chop it up finely- maybe 2 pieces.
Some olive or walnut oil for drizzling.
Season with salt , pepper, I also use some hot sauce.
Add some of the liquid from the canned beans or some broth or even some almond milk, as I sometimes do
Mix and add just until the mixture is very sticky, not to dry and not to wet.
You may need to add a little flour at this point.
Put some oil on your hands and form small patties in your hands.
Place in a hot skillet with oil and cook until hot and a little crunchy. If you like then flip and continue the same. You can top with onions, olives, cheese or whatever you choose. We eat them with some sautéed veggies and some rice or almond pilaf!

Thank you Kari!! We love Black bean burgers, one nice thing you can toss whatever you like in there, even some hot peppers for added Kick!

Have a Blessed and Healthy Day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Let us take a challenge to eat “In” this week

Let us take a challenge to eat “In” this week. The writer Cathy Erway, wrote a book "The art of eating In". She went on a 2 year journey to stop eating out so much in New York City. Now there are a lot of amazing restaurants out there, and totally support eating out at times. This challenge is to share recipes and a love of food and making it all in your own Kitchen. We can pack our lunch and enjoy some really great nutritious foods that you make your self. I want to post her site for almost 2 years worth of recipes that she has made and to inspire you to "EAT IN!"


More information and her book.....

A great Vegetable Meat ball Recipe I just received from a friend of mine. Rachel Ciola.

Vegetarian Italian Meatballs

Sauté 2 onions and 5 cloves of minced garlic in olive oil until soft.
Stir in 2 cups of organic brown rice and add 6 tablespoons cooking sherry slowly until it dissolves. Then add 4 ½ cups of vegetable broth bring to a boil, stir cover and cook on low for about 50 minutes or until rice is done.
While the rice is cooking sauté’ 3 portabella mushrooms in olive oil until brown on each side then mince in a food processor, then mince 4 cloves of fresh garlic.
Add to a bowl along with1 bunch of chopped fresh basil, 1 bunch of fresh cilantro and 1 cup of chopped walnuts.
Stir in cooked rice and add 1 container of shredded parmesan cheese, 1 cup of Italian bread crumbs, 2 eggs. Season with salt pepper and paprika.
Mix all ingredients well and begin to form Meatballs place on a large casserole dish sprayed with oil (you may need a couple dishes).
Refrigerate veggie meatballs for 30 min. then broil on high until browned flip and broil other side. Serve with organic warm marinara over spaghetti or on sub bread as an Italian Meatball Sub.
Top with shredded organic mozzarella.

Thank you Rachel for sharing this. Share your favorite recipes here as well and let us all rediscover a love of nutritious and tasteful food.

Have a Blessed and Healthy Day.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Do you have pain and/or Inflammation?

In many cases, it would seem that chronic inflammation is the base of many illnesses, pains, and conditions. If you want to maintain vitality, anti aging, and illness then controlling inflammation is crucial. When we have pain we think it's from that box I picked up wrong, hiking, the football game, or even sitting in your office in that uncomfortable chair all day. While these things do contribute to creating inflammation and pain, they would not have as much effect if our diet is balanced and we have a healthy routine of exercise. All things play a major role in maintaining health.

Some items that create Chronic Inflammation within the body range from alcohol, Cholesterol, Infections, Obesity, Air pollution, Diabetes, Salty foods, Not enough Sleep, Stress, Stomach acid, Tobacco, and more.

Here is a little information to help you reduce chances or times of Chronic Inflammation.

• Get in 3-4 servings of fruits a day

• Get in 5-6 servings of vegetables a day

• Add 1- 2 tbsp of flax seed to your diet

• have a rotation of other seeds and nuts every day (about a handful)

• Start and end your day with breathing exercises

• Get in a walk or 40 minutes of your favorite fitness everyday

• Get in enough sleep. Breathing exercises help us to ease into sleep

• Cut out Processed foods

• Cut out hydrogenated oil and products that contain them

• Have a four day rotation of the foods you eat. this gets in a verity of nutrients and help keep your body from creating allergic reactions.

• A easy supplement to help with this is MonVie's "Mmun". Take just a shot in the morning and a shot at night, ask me how you can get some for your family.

Have a Blessed and Healthy day