Monday, March 31, 2014

3 Spring Cleaning Tips for Body and Mind

"You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present."  -Jan Glidewell

Spring Cleaning

People like “stuff”. We tend to hold onto it year after year. We save and stock up on things that we don’t know what to do with anymore. Maybe we keep things because they hold precious memories of days gone by, or they remind us of our parents, grandparents, past loves or childhood. To part with these precious possessions seems out of the question. There is a saying that goes, “You have to get rid of the old to make way for the new.” If you are feeling stuck or stagnant in your life, try spring-cleaning. Throw out some of that stuff, say goodbye to your past and welcome the new energy of your happy, healthy future.

Try these three ideas:

  • For good mental and physical health, we actually have two “houses” that need to be spring-cleaned: our physical homes and our physical bodies. Just as we accumulate “stuff” in the form of outgrown clothes, magazines, rusty bicycles, tools and random keepsakes, so do our bodies accumulate old food residues and toxins that need to be cleaned out.

  • To spring clean your body, give it a break from rich and complicated foods by either cleansing or fasting for a short period of time. 
    Cleansing means paring down your food to just simple fruits and vegetables, lots of water and perhaps whole grains. Fasting means limiting most foods and drinking lots of water, fresh vegetable and fruit juices, teas and soups
    Without much energy going toward digestion, more energy is available to the rest of your body and mind. Cleansing and fasting can sharpen your concentration, help you gain insight and promote spiritual awareness. It can also bring improved immune function and better digestion.  You don't have to invest in a crazy cleanse program with supplements and shakes.  Skip all of that.  Simply, start making a conscious effort to add more fruits, vegetables, water, teas and soups into your daily diet.

  • While you’re cleaning out your body and home, don’t forget to spring-clean your heart. Throw away negative thoughts and habits you’ve been harboring that no longer serve you. A clean, open heart will allow you to receive all the good that awaits you each and every day. If your heart and mind are cluttered, there is no room for life’s gifts and surprises to enter.

Food Focus: Greens

Swiss Chard
Leafy greens are some of the easiest and most beneficial vegetables to incorporate into your daily routine. Densely packed with energy and nutrients, they grow upward to the sky, absorbing the sun’s light while producing oxygen. Members of this royal green family include kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, broccoli rabe, watercress, beet greens, bok choy, napa cabbage, green cabbage, spinach and broccoli.

How do greens benefit our bodies? They are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc, and are a powerhouse for vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed full of fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. Their color is associated with spring, which is a time to renew and refresh vital energy. In traditional Asian medicine, the color green is related to the liver, emotional stability and creativity. Greens aid in purifying the blood, strengthening the immune system, improving liver, gall bladder and kidney function, fighting depression, clearing congestion, improving circulation and keeping your skin clear and blemish free.

Leafy greens are the vegetables most missing from the American diet, and many of us never learned how to prepare them. Start with the very simple recipe below. Then each time you go to the market, pick up a new green to try. Soon you’ll find your favorite greens and wonder how you ever lived without them.

Recipe of the Month: Shiitake and Kale
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 cloves crushed garlic
1 bunch kale, chopped
pinch of salt

1. Warm oil in pan on medium heat with minced garlic until aromas of garlic are released, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Add chopped shiitake mushrooms, stir-fry for 5 minutes.
3. Add chopped kale, stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
4. Add a splash of water and pinch of salt to pan, cover and let steam for 4 minutes.

Looking for more inspiring recipes?  Check out our Nourishing Spring Menu Plan!

Like what you see and want to learn more?  Please visit our website

Be well,


Monday, March 17, 2014

5 Ingredient Vinaigrette

Spring is in the air and with it comes the promise of gorgeous and delicious spring and summer salads.  Many people eat salads with the best of intentions, but ruin their healthful creation by piling on gobs of unhealthy dressings.  Even those so called "lite" dressings, which may be low in calories, are chock-full of ingredients that are detrimental to your health.

store-bought processed dressing

Here is an example of a popular Italian dressing. First ingredient - canola oil! This is NOT a healthy oil. It causes low-level inflammation in the body, a precursor to disease.  Not to mention the other harmful ingredients such as monosodium glutamate (msg) and polysorbate-60.

What most people don't realize is how SIMPLE and DELICIOUS making your own, healthful salad dressings can be!  Below is a recipe for a home made, simple, 5 ingredient  spring strawberry vinaigrette made with all fresh, real-food ingredients. So simple to make, takes no more than a few minutes with just a few basic ingredients.

Spring Strawberry Vinaigrette

- 6 organic strawberries (medium)
- 1 small shallot or 1/4 white onion
- 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon raw, local honey

Remove stems from strawberries and cut in half.  Place in a food processor or VitaMix.  Chop the shallot or onion and add to strawberries.  Next add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and honey.  Mixture should look like this pre-mixed:
dressing ingredients pre-mixed

Blend.  Poor in mason jar.  Voila!  Delicious home made vinaigrette to be served on any salad or used as a dip for veggies.  Makes 4 oz.  Keeps for a week in the refrigerator.
strawberry vinaigrette dressing

Olive oil is an extremely healthy oil in its uncooked state, providing loads of healthy omega-3's.  It is also rich in polyphenols which has anti-inflammatory properties (the very opposite of canola). That said, olive oil is not suited for medium or high-heat cooking as olive oil has a very low smoke point. Save your olive oil for dressings and marinades like our nourishing spring strawberry vinaigrette.

For your strawberries, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you choose organic.  Strawberries are on the "dirty dozen" list of one of the foods most highly contaminated with pesticides.  There are 54 pesticide residues confirmed by the USDA found on conventional strawberries, many being known carcinogens and neurotoxins.  Pesticides cannot be washed off of foods.  They are found in the meat of the fruit or vegetable.

This simple Spring Strawberry Vinaigrette is one of the recipes found in my Seasonal   Nourishing Spring Menu Plan. All of the recipes found in these plans are just as simple and nutritious as this dressing.  Full details here.  Weekly shopping lists provided and delivered straight to your inbox!

Be well,


Interested in learning more?  Please visit my website.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Love, Forgiveness, and The Art of Healing

There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love. 
- Bryant H. McGill

Love, Forgiveness, and The Art of Healing

Have you ever eaten an entire package of cookies, chips, or crackers?  Or eaten enough pizza and soda until you felt sick?  Perhaps had too many desserts not knowing when to stop?  I have been listening to many folks talk about this recently, and it makes me wonder - why?  Is this simply a distraction to a larger picture?

Sometimes we overeat to distract us from emotional pain.  Have you ever noticed yourself eating when you are not hungry at all?  Perhaps you are lonely.  Or angry.  Or sad.  Or maybe some emotion you are not even aware of yet.

Regardless, it is some sort of hurt that you are holding on to.  Think about it, identify it, isolate it, recognize it, and confront it.

Freedom comes with Forgiveness

Tap into the Power of Forgiveness

Rather than self-sabotage, wouldn't it be more effective to address your uncomfortable feelings?  The best, most thorough, most divine perfect way to do so is through forgiveness.

Forgiving is not easy, not even for the most enlightened among us.  If you have been allowing your present health to be negatively affected and controlled by your past hurt, I urge you try implementing forgiveness utilizing these suggested steps:
  1. Talk to sympathetic friends and family about your desire to forgive.  Talking with others is extremely comforting.
  2. Write a letter to the person you'd like to forgive, even if that person is yourself.  You can decide whether or not to send it.  
  3. Look at the situation from the other person's perspective - your perspective just might change.
  4. Don't forget to forgive yourself.  We can often be our harshest critic.
  5. Fully understand that you and you alone are responsible for your own attitude.  Don't let holding a grudge keep you from feeling free, open, and powerful in your own life.

Forgive.  Then watch how much easier your relationship with eating becomes.

Be well,


Interested in learning more?  Please visit my website.