Good Morning! Breakfast was originally designed to 'break the fast' - 12 hours without food. So as you start your morning, it's best to eat something that's gentle on the stomach. Ideally, starting your morning with a cup of hot water and lemon to cleanse, and then slowly take in your 'spiritual meal', as Ayurveda refers to it.
I am ALL about quick and easy meals to make in a pinch - I just have to be sure I'm stocked with essentials to do so! Quinoa is one of those essentials, so are lemons, olive oil and rotating seasonal veggies. I usually shop once a week to pick up whatever needs replacing, which makes for a simple, mindful kitchen set up. If you need help with yours, just let me know - we can do a grocery and kitchen set up sesh (+ a diet assessment and menu plan too ;).
As most of you probably know already, I have practiced the art of cooking and eating through Macrobiotics, and Ayurveda, to heal myself with food.
Ayurveda literally translates to mean, "the study of life", and is derived from the Indian / Yogic culture, while Macrobiotics translates to mean, "The Big Picture of Life", which is derived from Chinese Medicine, and actually initially derived from Ayurveda.
Ayurveda came first, as did Yoga, when the first inhabitants of the world were learning how to take care of themselves, but once the sages expanded outward towards Asia, new methods of preventing disease were discovered.
When I was deep in my Macrobiotic/Vegan eating craze, I looked for any opportunity to eat sweets! Alicia Silverstone's cookbook, "The Kind Diet" was my favorite go-to for super easy, fun, yummy, healthy food!
I loved her recipe, Peach Crumble, and thought of it right away when we harvested our peaches! We didn't have everything on hand, so I made some substitutions and I think it came out even better than I remembered! I made it gluten free by only using brown rice flour (and not quite as much crumble), and I switched out the apple juice for tart cherry juice instead (an extra anti-inflammatory bonus), used only maple syrup and peaches as the sweetener, and opted for coconut oil instead of safflower oil.
Here's how the recipe looks, inspired by Alicia's:
4C sliced peaches
1 1/4C tart cherry juice
1tsp lemon juice
2tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
1 1/2C gluten free rolled oats
1C brown rice flour
1/4tsp sea salt
1/4tsp ground cinnamon
3/4C coconut oil
1C maple syrup
1C chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350. Place peaches in 9in baking pan. Reserve 1/4C cherry juice in small bowl. Heat remaining 1 1/2C in saucepan. Place the kuzu in with the reserved cherry juice and stir with a fork until it dissolves. Whisk the kuzu mixture and lemon juice into the hot cherry juice, stirring continually to prevent lumps from forming. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, and add the vanilla extract and salt. Pour over peaches in the pan.
To make the topping, combine oats, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside. Heat th eoil and syrup together in a separate pan, then pour over the flour misture and mix well with a whisk. Stir in the nuts. Crumble the topping over the fruit, then cover the pan with foil and bake for 30min. Remove the foil and bake 15-25min longer or until the topping is golden and the fruit filling bubbles a little.
We also made peach, tomato gazpacho, but we'll have to see when Paul is ready to give up his culinary creation before I share! ;)
Our Sun Gold Tomatoes are GLORIOUS, as are our zucchini's, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make a Zucchini 'Pasta' dish, inspired by this recipe I received in my inbox from The Joyful Belly last week. Since I didn't have all the ingredients on hand, I decided to make this raw vegan pesto I found online, and add some tomatoes to it, and OMG it was sooo delish!!!
Here's the recipe:
2 Zucchini's made into 'zoodles' by slicing them with a veggie peeler on all sides, until you reach the seeds.
1 Summer Squash sliced the same as above
1-2C halved sun gold tomatoes
5 garlic cloves
1 1/2C basil leaves
1/3C olive oil
1/3C nutritional yeast (great B12 boost and cheesy substitute)
1C pumpkin seeds
3/4tsp sea salt
Combine veggies in a bowl. You can toss in some olive oil and heat on a saute pan on medium for a few minutes to warm and wilt everything, or just leave it in bowl and eat raw. Add all the pesto ingredients to a blender and add 3/4C water to whizz together. Pour over veggies and enjoy!
So, there you have it, a farm fresh dinner and dessert from our house to yours! May you enjoy the fruits of your labor and get closely connected with food, with the source of prana / life force energy and with yourself through this beautiful practice of self care ~ growing your own food and cooking.
In good health,
While homemade dressings are probably the best, a quick and easy substitute is either Amy's / Annie's (T.J.'s version) or Bragg's brand. They make the best products that include the highest grade quality ingredients, and are readily available at any local natural foods store and Whole Foods.
Pour them on salads and grain bowls to make your veggies sing!
Amy's Goddess is my fave ~ tahini creamy lovin at its finest, or the Shitake Sesame or Balsamic ~ YUM!
We've been loving the Bragg's Ginger Sesame on all our greens lately too!
As for breakfast, I am a sucker for this insatiable, gluten-free, decadent granola, Love Crunch. There are so many flavors, but my favorite is the raspberry chocolate combo with some almond milk. OMG. Sometimes we sprinkle a little on our smoothie too! SOOO GOOD! It may not be the healthiest because of its added raw cane sugar, but once a week (or twice) is fine I think! ;)
Or you could be a little healthier with this SuperFood Cereal, and trust all the ingredients in it:
Both are available at Natural Food Marts!
Get on it!
I feel so in tune with the cycles of life, with the birthing/mothering and flowering of a fruit/veg, the importance of everything starting from a seed, the cultivation process, and directing prana/chi/sunlight energy to what we want to grow or create by pulling weeds and creating that space for life force to flow. I could go on and on, but alas, you cannot beat eating seasonally and locally for the best health and wellbeing benefits!
We are filled with such a sense of deep appreciation when we bring our harvest basket inside! Then it's time to get creative and cook! Here's what we've been up to:
~We have kale and snap peas coming out of our ears right now! (Below is the pic of the bonus kale that started growing out of our compost pile!!! Wahe Guru!)
Kale is a bitter veg which is known to detox the liver according to Chinese Medicine and Macrobiotics. It helps reduce inflammation in the body and alkalizes the blood which gives you clear skin (more info on that here) and keeps the immune system strong. It's also very cooling and cleansing according to Ayurveda practices, so it's best to eat lots of it in spring and summer to balance pitta and kapha doshas!
Here's what we do with our Harvest:
~We like to make a Kale / Avocado 'Smash' Salad. In a bowl, throw roughly chopped kale, an avocado, some olive oil, salt and lemon and massage it all together with your hands so it slightly cooks and wilts down. Maybe 3 minutes or so. Your hands will be really slimy after but it tastes so good!!
~Kale Chips. We've made so many different batches by mixing together different combinations in a bowl and then laying them out on a screen to place in our food dehydrator. We like a sesame oil and ginger combo. Or maple syrup, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Or cashew paste (cashews blended with water, onion powder, and salt).
~ Sage Saute. In a pan, we melt ghee and cook the kale in it along with chopped sage. Great Combo!
~We've been harvesting radishes and snap peas and making a macrobiotic blanched salad out of it with an ume vinegarette dressing. It's so simple and so yummy, and can be used with any combination of round, root, and leafy vegetables. Blanched salads are recommended to eat once a day in the practice of Macrobiotics because it has an uplifting effect on your health and mood. Radishes are very strong and heating when eaten raw but have a diuretic and detoxing effect when slightly cooked this way. Eaten together with snap peas tastes delightful and is very alkalizing to the blood! Perfect for Summer! *Raw snap peas also make a great vehicle for hummus dipping!*
Bring a pot of water to boil and submerge the snap peas in it until they turn bright green. Take them out with a slotted spoon and let them cool on a plate. Bring the pot to a boil again and drop in the halved radishes and let them cook for about 3 minutes. Finish by drizzling with 1tbs Olive Oil and 1tbs Ume plum vinegar (a macrobiotic favorite) whisked together.
We have tons of romaine which Paul grills with olive oil, a little goat cheese, and balsamic glaze. My FAVE!
We have gorgeous zucchinis happening right now too that we saute in ghee and season with fresh dill. Did you know that Dill is beneficial in calming your nervous system, relieving stress and overstimulation and supports your brain, according to ayurveda?
Hello Green Beans!!! We like to steam them and toss with olive oil and fresh thyme.
Borage is taking over our garden!!! It is an amazing edible flower that we throw on our salads and also juice along with kale, cucumber, mint and lemon for a cooling drink. The health benefits are endless. Among them are that they reduce fear and encourage you to speak your truth! Pretty cool, huh?! Not to mention that they enhance the garden in so many ways!
It's so wonderful to be eating straight from the garden because it ignites some creativity in the kitch so you can be intuitive with the gifts of nature and in harmony in life! It also helps to appreciate food so much more wherever you go out to eat, and encourages you to always source local, fresh food for the best health benefits! I do believe that everything starts with food!
Stay tuned for more harvesting and creating! And be sure to sign up on my mailing list to receive notification for when we have a farm stand and farm to table dinner parties! :)
*Photo Cred (except the first pic) to the handsome and talented boyfriend of mine* <3
Pizza is just fun, isn't it? It's comfort food that hits the spot no matter what! Why not have it all with a healthy version? I believe that cooking at home centers you and keeps you at your healthiest, but healthy doesn't mean you have to sacrifice fun and enjoyment!
I took a private cooking class in L.A, a few years ago where she talked about having a rotating dinner menu to rely on during the week. I love that idea, and think we should all have at least 3 or 4 dinner options to rotate through and rely on! She encouraged having healthy pizza, or taco nights using the most nutritious ingredients, and why not?!
We did just that a couple weeks ago made with whatever we had on hand: ezekiel wraps, sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, grass-fed ground bison, peppers, onions, garlic and broccoli.
Simply preheat the oven to about 400 degress. Place an ezekiel wrap on a piece of foil and use a sauce (we used a sundried tomato paste, but you could use a can of tomato paste or pesto) to coat as the first layer.
In a saucepan, brown your grass fed ground bison or beef and layer that on top of the sauce.
Arrange your veggies as you'd like, using whichever variety you have on hand.
Sprinkle with salt and crumbled goat cheese on top so it melts in the oven.
Place your foil on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until browned and crispy. Slice and serve your personal size pizzas! So good! So easy!
Menu Planning is essential for well being. Having meals you can turn to and a stocked kitchen you can rely on on a weekly basis keeps you grounded and rooted in self care practices. You still have wiggle room for eating out and indulging, but you can stay true to what works for you at home.
Joyful Belly Ayurveda is a great website and tool for learning all there is to know about the amazing lifestyle of living a balanced, harmonious, healthful way of eating and being. If you sign up for their newsletter, you'll receive weekly inspiration on the latest tools for staying healthy through the changing seasons.
As we transition into spring, we can start lightening up with brothy soups and keeping our immune systems and digestive fire strong with garlic and ginger!
Here's the link to the recipe I received in my inbox that I made last night. It was perfect and just what this overindulgent chocolate eating girl needed! ;)
Be sure to take a look at all the ayurvedic notes in the link! There are so many wonderful words of wisdom in them!
In good health my friends!
Even though I just blogged yesterday about how I've come out of my Macro rabbit hole, I still give credit where it's due. Macrobiotics is a healing diet, of which I learned so many healing recipes and practices that I can always come back to in times of need. After the long holiday weekend, I was happy to get organized and do a little self care this week! From many cleanses that I've done, I know that the best way to feel lighter is to eliminate the sugar, the nuts, the snacking, the cracked/puffed grains and to replace meals with liquid ~ ie: smoothies/juices and soups.
For the next 3-5 days, I am eating kitchari for lunch, and fish soup for dinner, with some juicing thrown in the mix to root and to cool me down. I'm taking my other self care tips and getting to sleep early, doing oil massages, walking, yoga and meditation daily to reconnect.
I thought you might like to know about this Macro healing fish soup recipe. The shiitake mushrooms give my immune system a boost, while also pulling out water retention. The leeks, napa cabbage, and bok choy scrub away the toxins and release inflammation. The white fish is 'yang', which means it pulls the energy down to avoid any excess 'yin' from sugar, as do the carrots.
Eating this soup between 5:30-7pm is the optimum time so my body can properly cleanse when I go to bed at 10. It's light on the digestion and really yummy and beautiful too!
Try it out:
1inch piece kombu (dried seaweed found in the asian food aisle)
2 dried shiitake mushrooms (also found in the asian aisle)
1 onion, sliced half moons
1 carrot, thin half diagonals
1C napa, thin diagonals
1C bok choy, sliced thin
1/2C leek, medium diagonals
1lb fresh white fish - wild caught** (cod, flounder, red snapper etc...) 1inch pieces
Tamari to taste
Garnish with scallions, and lemon
Place kombu, shiitakes, and fresh water in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Add the onion and carrot and return to a boil to simmer for 5 min. Add napa, bok choy, leek and then fish and simmer for 3-5 min. Add (capful) tamari and simmer 5 more minutes. Garnish and Enjoy!
Inspired and adapted from a combo of recipes ~ Alicia Silverstone's quick oats, my coach Sivan's recommendations, and the Juiced Press in NYC, I've come up with this dreamy, and nourishing concoction! Serves 1 (if you're like me and like to have a big breakfast)
1/2C steel cut oats
1 1/2C unsweetened almond milk
4 Chopped Dates (when I'm feeling indulgent and need extra comfort)
1/3 chopped apple
1/2 tsp cardamom
1tsp coconut oil
2tsp flax seed
Bring oats, almond milk, apples and dates to a boil. Add one pinch of sea salt, cover and simmer for about 10-15 min., stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick. Pour into bowl and add the remaining ingredients. (I like to drizzle the honey on top at the end, but you decide how you like to serve it).
Goooood Morning! Check out my other breakfast options on this post.
For the love of Mochi!! There are so many ways to eat it and all of them are super satisfying! Mochi is a sweet brown rice that's been steamed and pounded into a block. It's kept in the refrigerated aisle of your natural food store and is a Macrobiotic staple originating from Japan.
Here are my favorite ways to eat it:
As little cubed 'crutons' in soups made by frying it up with a little oil for a few minutes on each side til it puffs up like this:
Or as a savory breakfast eaten as a mochi roll up. I cut thin rectangle slivers and place in a steamer basket inside a cabbage leaf filled with grated carrots, pumpkin seeds and a few drops of tamari. It melts and becomes gooey and cheese like inside!:) *You can basically steam any vegetable with sliced mochi on top to make it like a 'melt'.
Try it and play around with your own concoctions! It's playful, yummy food and comes in lots of different flavors!
The biggest question I get from clients and friends when transitioning into a more vegan (plant based) diet, is "What do I eat for breakfast?" after they've been used to eating eggs, bacon, milk, and sugar filled cereals! In Macrobiotics and Ayurveda, we start our morning off right by breaking the fast with warm, soothing grains! Warm food is easiest to digest. A lot of fitness fanatics opt for the cold smoothie filled with many ingredients such as nuts, seeds, superfoods, fruits and veggies but this will make your belly work harder! Breakfast is considered 'the spiritual meal' in Ayurveda! Too many ingredients are hard to assimilate, not to mention the cold temperature and raw veggies compromising your digestion!
Opting for 'perfect porridges 'are ideal, but for some variety, choose any of these options below (have your smoothie occasionally, just keep it simple and don't make it too thick or cold!;):
Rotating Breakfast Options (slightly evolved from my first breakfast post):
#1) “Instant Oatmeal” inspired by Alicia Silverstone:
A bowl full of rolled oats (I like 1C), chopped pear/apple (1/3), diced dates (maybe 4/5), maple syrup or honey (1/2tsp), a few shakes of cinnamon and/or cardamom, a pinch of salt, and a handful of nuts. Steep in a bowl of boiling water with plate to cover for oats to absorb.
#2) Ezekiel toast with avocado spread and squeeze of lemon, drizzle of olive oil and pinch of salt, or 1TBS almond butter and 1tsp honey.
#3) A simple smoothie a la Sivan with 1C berries, 1C dairy free milk alternative and 1tsp of Vita-Mineral Greens. You can add banana or nut butter to thicken, or even a little honey to sweeten!
#4) Tofu Scramble (can also be a fun dinner option!) a la Alicia ~ saute veggies of your choice, then crumble tofu on top and season with turmeric and tamari and cook for a few more minutes. Top with seeds and parsley. Served with slice of ezekiel.
#5) Steel Cut Oats simmered with chopped apples and raisins. Topped with honey or maple syrup.
#6) Perfect Porridge – any fresh or left over whole grain (I like to use amaranth or quinoa if not using steel cut oats) brought to a boil with almond milk and chopped apples, then simmered til soft (about 10-15 min.) Top with dried fruit and/or nuts/seeds.
This is for all you healthy, veg - eaters out there, sans gluten free! I’ve had my mason jar filled with Barley for months now! I haven’t used it because I’ve been on a Kitchari kick!! When I was deep in my Macrobiotic lifestyle, I was rotating my daily grain with a vengeance, and had every grain on hand, but once I discovered my constitution (primary doshas), and learned that grains, like Millet weren’t ideal, I stuck to just a few essentials, forgetting about my other grain friends!
I’ve recently turned a corner with my diet and am implementing some new foods and practices with my newfound understanding of Ayurveda! It’s Spring Time, which means it’s Kapha Season! Kapha qualities are wet and heavy, so in order to dry them out, and lighten up, we can eat grains like Barley, along with millet, asparagus, celery, corn, etc!!
Check out my yummy Barley Bowl Breakfast porridge inspired by John Douillard of the 3 Season Diet book to help detox this spring!
As I was cooking up my daily goods yesterday morning, I got a pot of barley going, brining 1/2C barley mixed with 1 1/2C water to a boil. Adding a pinch of salt and then covering and simmering with 1/3 of a diced apple for about 20min. I mixed it with a handful of raisins (dried fruit is best for spring), a handful of pumpkin seeds and some honey placed it in a bowl. It was a simple, satisfying, light way to start my day!
I hope you try it and enjoy!
Ps: Barley Tea is perfect for spring time also:)
When I first started working with my Macrobiotic Counselor, Warren Kramer, a few years ago, I was completely in over my head as to how I would make all the magic happen! The planning and the prepping was non stop! I'd often feel that I was constantly behind the stove, but couldn't get out! I was hooked, but bound and determined to master the practice! While I've since backed off a little and have found my own way with balance, I thank Macrobiotics for teaching me how to cook, and for allowing me to find a groove in the kitch, but it definitely came with some breakdowns along the way!
According to Macrobiotics, It takes 10 days to clean the blood and eliminate the extreme energies of yin (expansive) and yang (contractive) within the body. What follows, is a state of balance, peace and harmony so that you feel vibrant, centered, alive and well!
Luckily I had the help of my personal Macrobiotic Chef, Karen Daisa, in L.A. who designed 10 day menu plans for me, so I had some what of a road map without being completely overwhelmed! So, I thought it would be nice to do one for you here!
Last year, I had lots of free time to play, create, cook and eat while taking a break from my job, so I documented a 10 day streak for you to take a peak into. It may seem a little exhaustive, but at least you can gain some inspiration from it!:)
Just so you know, I had LOTS of leftovers in the fridge as I was only cooking for myself. You'll have to adjust accordingly to who you're cooking for, but at least you get the gist of how to plan and play!
Within these 10 days you can always come back to center through whole foods: grains, beans and vegetables. Here's what my 10 day plan looked like, based off of Macrobiotic and Ayurvedic Recipes:
Breakfast: Amaranth porridge. (one of my fave's!)
Bring ½ C amaranth to a boil with 1C water. Add pinch of salt, cover and reduce to simmer for 12 minutes. Then, add a handful of chopped walnuts, handful of blueberries, a handful of chopped dried apricots , 3 shakes of cinnamon and a drop of stevia. Stir to combine and enjoy.
Lunch: Quinoa salad
Blanch veggies: Bring small saucepan of water to a boil and add 1/2C sliced collard greens and watch til they turn bright green (about 30 seconds) and remove with slotted spoon to cool on a plate. Bring pan back to boil and add 1/2C frozen organic corn kernels for about 1 minute, then remove the same way. Bring back to boil and add 1/2C half moon sliced radish for about 2 minutes then remove the same way. Bring water back to boil and add 1/4C diced carrot for 2 minutes then remove and cool. Add all vegetables to 1C cooked quinoa in a large bowl with a handful of pumpkin seeds, 1 sliced scallion, 1/4C half moon sliced cucumber and squeeze of one lemon to dress. Mix and enjoy.
Dinner: Millet Sweet Vegetable Soup w/ Miso (Miso good for you!)
In a soup pot: layer 1/4C each of onion, cabbage, sweet potato and carrot in that order. Top with 1/2C rinsed millet and a piece of dried shiitake and wakame. Add water to your desired soup consistency liking (4-6C) and bring to boil, then cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes. Dilute 2 teaspoons miso paste in broth then add to soup and simmer for additional 5 minutes. Top with sliced scallion or parsley and enjoy.
*Store extra for next day*
Breakfast: Quinoa porridge.
Bring 1/2C quinoa with 1C water to a boil, then add pinch of salt, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add cinnamon, ground ginger and stevia, stir and enjoy.
Lunch: Leftover Millet soup with added blanched salad
Blanch Veggies: Bring small saucepan of water to a boil and add a handful of sliced collard greens for 30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and let cool on plate. Bring water back to boil and add handful of broccoli (1-2 minutes) and remove the same way. Bring water back to boil and add handful of quartered radishes for 2 minutes and remove. Toss together with lemon and pumpkin seeds and enjoy with re-heated soup (on the stove top).
In Soup pot, saute 3TBS coconut oil or Ghee on medium low heat with 1tsp cumin, 1tsp turmeric, 1tsp coriander, and 1inch diced ginger root. Add 1C brown basmati rice, 1C pre-soaked mung beans and 1C chopped vegetables of your liking (I used sliced leeks) and saute for a few minutes before adding 5-6C water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 35 minutes. Add 1/2tsp of salt and stir to combine. Simmer 10 minutes more. Garnish with sliced parsley or cilantro, 1tsp coconut oil, 1TBS coconut flakes and squeeze of lemon or lime. *Store extra for next day* (Makes 4 servings)
Breakfast: Leftover Millet and sweet vegetable soup with miso (Reheated as a porridge)
Lunch: Leftover Kitchari with steamed greens added (Place ¼ in water in small sauce pan and cover. Bring to boil and add sliced collard greens for 1 minute. Remove with slotted spoon and dress with sesame seeds and lemon juice.)
Dinner: Amaranth and Nishime (super healing Macro dish!)
Nishime: Place 1/4in. water in medium size sauce pan with postage sized piece of kombu or wakame. Layer 1/2C each of coarsely chopped vegetables in this order: brussel sprouts, turnip and carrot. Cover with lid and bring to boil over medium hight heat (you will know when steam is coming out the sides of lid—about 5 minutes). Lower flame to medium low and allow vegetables to cook on a long, slow steam for 25 minutes. Then add 1TBS tamari. Cover again and shake pan to distribute the seasoning. Simmer 5 minutes more. Turn off heat and let sit for about 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook amaranth in a 2:1 ratio water to grain, adding a pinch of salt once it reaches a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish with shiso powder. Enjoy. *Store extra amaranth and nishime for next day*
Breakfast: Leftover quinoa porridge
Place leftover quinoa in saucepan with equal parts water. Add handful of raisins and scants of cinnamon. Stir, cover and bring to a boil, then let simmer 10 minutes.
Lunch: Leftover Nishime and Amaranth
Dinner: Brown rice and Lentil Vegetable Stew
Bring 1C rice to 2C water to a boil. Add pinch of salt, cover and simmer for 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a soup pot, layer 1/4C each of diced onion, cabbage, sweet potato and parsnip in that order. Add 1/2C lentils on top with just enough water to cover and bring to boil. Let simmer about 30 minutes til tender. Season with 1TBS coconut oil and 1/4tsp each turmeric, coriander, cumin and cinnamon, stirring to combine. Add handful of chopped collard greens and re-cover to simmer for an extra 5 minutes. Serve stew over rice. Enjoy.*Store extra rice and stew*
Breakfast: Amaranth porridge
1/2C amaranth with 1C water, combined and brought to a boil. Add pinch of salt, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Add handful of chopped dried apricots, handful chopped almonds, handful blueberries, TBS raw cacao and taste of stevia. Combine and enjoy.
Lunch: Leftover Stew
Dinner: Noodles in Broth
Bring 5C water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add gluten free, brown rice noodles to cook til al dente. Meanwhile, bring 2C water to a boil in a small saucepan with 1 dried shiitake and a postage sized piece of kombu. Add pinch of salt and handful of chopped broccoli and handful half moon sliced onions. Cover and reduce to simmer for 5 minutes. Add 1TBS tamari and simmer 4 min more. Once noodles are cooked, drain and rinse with cool water. Place in bowl and cover with broth. You may slice shiitake and kombu at this time and add to bowl. Garnish with sliced scallion or parsley and ginger juice (grate ginger and squeeze juice out of it). Enjoy*Store extra noodles for next day*
Breakfast: Steel Cut Oats
Bring ½C oats to a boil with 1 1/2C water, add pinch of salt, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add 1/3 diced apple, handful raisins, scant of cinnamon, taste of stevia and handful chopped pecans. Stir to combine and enjoy.
Lunch: Noodle Stir Fry
In sauté pan, Saute 1/4C each of sliced mushrooms, half moon sliced onion, corn kernels, diced cabbage in 1TBS coconut oil for about 5 minutes. Place leftover noodles on top and add 1-2TBS tamari to season with about 3TBS water. Saute another 4 minutes til water is absorbed. Garnish with scallion. Enjoy.
Dinner: Ate out--Mexican food
Breakfast: Stewed apples and pears
Slice one apple and one pear and bring to boil with just enough water to cover. Add handful raisins and 1tsp cinnamon, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour in bowl and drink/eat.
Lunch: Brown Basmati rice with blanched vegetables
Bring 1C brown rice to 2C water to boil. Add pinch of salt, cover and simmer for 50 minutes.
Blanched Vegg: Meanwhile, bring small saucepan of water to boil and add handful sliced collard greens for 30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and let cool on plate. Bring water back to boil and add handful of radishes—quartered, for 2 minutes. Remove same way and toss both vegetables together with squeeze of lemon. Enjoy simple lunch of rice and vegetables.
Dinner: Leek Soup
1/2C each sliced leek, diced sweet potato, sliced collards, diced zucchini brought to a boil with just enough water to cover. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Puree in blender and garnish with lemon and sliced watercress or parsley.
No Breakfast. Fasted. (Received hydrocolonic.
Lunch (early @ 11am): Leftover brown rice with green salad
Bring 1/4inch water to boil with lid on. Add 2C sliced collard greens and steam for 1 minute (covered). Remove and add 1TBS tahini mixing until well dressed. Add handful of pumpkin seeds and enjoy.
Dinner: Split pea lentil and quinoa soup
In a soup pot, add 1C chopped vegetables of your choice. Add 1/4C quinoa and 14C lentil on top. Add water to cover (4-6C) and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 35 minutes. Season with 1TBS tamari and simmer 4 more minutes. Garnish with parsley or scallion and enjoy.*Store extra for next day*
Breakfast: Amaranth porridge
Bring 1/2C amaranth with 1C water to boil. Add pinch of salt, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Add 1TBS raw cacao, handful of chopped walnuts, handful of chopped apricot/raisin, handful of blueberries and taste of stevia. Combine and enjoy.
Lunch: Leftover Soup with Blanched Salad
Bring small saucepan of water to a boil and add handful of sliced collard greens til they turn bright (30seconds). Remove with slotted spoon and let cool on plate. Bring water back to boil and add handful halved brussel sprouts for about 1-2 minutes. Remove same way and bring back to boil. Add handful diced carrots for 2 minutes and remove same way. Dress with lemon juice and handful of sunflower seeds (unsalted).
Dinner: Eat Out (Mediterranean food)
Breakfast: Leftover stew with pumpkin seed garnish
Lunch: Grain salad
Bring 1/2C millet with 1C water to boil. Add pinch of salt. Cover and simmer 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, Bring 1/4inch water to boil with cover on. Add handful of chopped sweet potato, handful chopped carrot and handful sliced brussel sprouts to steam for 10 minutes on medium flame. Combine vegetables with millet and dress with lemon juice, coconut oil and 1/4tsp turmeric, 1/4tsp cumin.
In soup pot, saute 3 TBS coconut oil or Ghee with 1/2tsp cumin, 1/2tsp turmeric, 1/2tsp coriander, 1/2tsp fennel and one inch diced ginger root over medium heat. Add 1C brown basmati rice, 1C pre-soaked mung bean and 1C chopped kale to saute for a few minutes. Add 5C water and bring to a boil then cover and place on simmer for 30-45 minutes. Garnish with lime squeeze, coconut flakes, 1TBS coconut oil and cilantro. Enjoy.
Ta-Da!!! Hope you have fun!
"It's the most. wonderful. time. of the year!!!...(ding, dong, ding, dong)" (christmas song on the brain;) I'm sure most of you are gearing up for your holiday travel plans, as I sure am! Packing and planning tends to lead to lots of stress prior to the final departure, but it's all part of the fun! This might be kind of weird, but I actually get super excited about all the goodies I'll be packing for snacking on board ~ vacation has officially begun once en route, right?!
Now that I've adopted a very mindful healthy eating lifestyle, it's become second nature for me to think a day or two in advance as to what I'll be eating. If you don't plan, you'll be likely to set yourself up for the 'hunger, grab anything and everything scenario', which typically leads to non-ideal choices. This cultivation takes time, but soon enough, you'll be in your own groove, I promise!
As a little jet-setter myself, I've gotten into my healthy travel groove, now knowing what to expect and how to avoid being hungry or unsatisfied with a little preparation!
First off, definitely pack a little bag full of treats. I make a trip to the natural foods store and stock up on a few raw, vegan, unrefined sugar treats (being the sweet tooth that I am--maybe yours are savory snacks?) ~ typically a 'chocolate tart', or chocolate bar, some raw cookies, or yummy gomacro bars, larabars or something of the like...don't be embarrassed to lug your grocery bag around, it's totally worth it in the end! Oh, and don't forget to always have some nuts and seeds on hand anytime you're on the go--raw almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, whichever you prefer--just make sure they're not salted and there are no other ingredients in them like oils and sugar, etc. (just pure raw nuts/seeds--organic preferably)
I also bring a lunch with me. Sometimes I have leftovers to bring with me, like a roasted sweet potato or batch of steamed squash, but that can get kind of annoying when lugging the tupperware around after, so I prefer bringing a prepared lunch from the natural foods store.
Breakfast is always easy in the airport or whenever traveling, if you just find your closest Starbucks! I order the oatmeal without sugar or dried fruit (careful, it's always covered in sugar unless otherwise stated) and double the bags of nuts. I'll be honest, I usually order two oatmeals so that I can really be satisfied for a few hours ~ I like to eat, if you couldn't tell already!;).
While you're there, do yourself a favor and order a large cup of hot water. When traveling, your stomach tends to bloat due to an ayurvedic vata imbalance, reflecting the mental disturbances of the mere concept of travel and all the anxieties/stressors/altitudes that come with the territory, whether you know it or not. Hot water will calm your stomach. It's best to sip it before you eat, but throughout the whole day is great ~ keep ordering it on the plane, or maybe add a tea bag or lemon! Either way, please stay hydrated! Another way to do that is to use nasal spray (from the natural foods store ideally) to keep all the airplane toxins away!
Once you get to your travel destination, if you can make a quick run to a local market, a few essentials will do the trick for a few days: oats, quinoa, ezekiel bread, almond butter, apples, greens, berries, avocado. You should be able to make smoothies, almond butter and toast, or oatmeal for breakfast or snack, and lunch of quinoa with steamed/raw greens with avocado or any variation of the above. And please pack a Green Powder. I like Vitamineral Greens from the natural food store (or Whole Foods). Your system will thank you for it!
The holidays are for spending quality time with those you love. This is a time to relax and enjoy your company and surroundings, but still be able to be true to your center of balance. These few suggestions should help you do just that. :)
Have a happy and safe holiday season!
here's a little taste of what i was up to in the kitchen today, so you can see just how easy it is to eat natural foods! my morning began with a little miso soup, leftover millet porridge and blanched collard greens.
this is a very traditional macro breakfast - don't knock it til you try it.
miso paste is a medicinal food used to support healthy bacterial flora in your stomach.
it aids in digestion and acts like yogurt would to dairy eaters. it should be taken 4x/week to get your stomach functioning optimally! it's super easy to make too - all that is needed is wakame, scallions and miso paste.
the porridge can be made fresh or you can use whatever leftover grain you may have in the fridge, heated up in a saucepan with some water to soften the grain.
this starts your healthy digestion for the day so your stomach doesn't have to work so hard at breaking down the food.
the blanched veggie is simply placed in boiling water for a about a minute then taken out and can be eaten plain or with a little lemon juice. what a way to start the day, eh?!
for lunch i used up the leftover udon noodles (whole wheat) that i had in the fridge from the other night.
i sauteed some snow peas, mushrooms and sliced cabbage in a little sesame oil then placed the noodles on top, added a few drops of water to the skillet with some drops of tamari and tossed it all together over med-high heat for a few minutes, garnished with some sunflower seeds, and voila - lunch was served in about 5 minutes. and it was very satisfying!
tonight's dinner was leftover beans (my protein) and veg from last night with freshly made pressure cooked brown rice/sweet rice combo with chestnuts - super sweet and delish!
i steamed a little kale to round it out. i should mention that my rice was soaked in fresh water for a few hours prior to boiling, to alkalize the grain.
just to get you inspired even more, i made a yummy snack for my friends/family just because...
peanut butter/chocolate chip rice crispy treats! the recipe is from alicia silverstone's book, the kind diet. it is a decadent, chewy, gooey peanut buttery delight in your mouth! it takes about 5 minutes to put together and is a perfect healthy snack alternative to keep in the fridge! please indulge!
what did you make today? and how can you fine tune/substitute your choices? are you still moving in the direction of your health intentions? i'd gladly make suggestions if you have questions!
in good health til next time,
what an amazing cooking class/lecture i had the pleasure of experiencing this weekend! my macrobiotic counselor hosted a 'fresh start program" outside of boston, in newton on saturday. he is truly amazing on all levels - spiritually and intuitively attuned to living a life that is whole and complete. if you ever get the chance to catch him in boston or on the road, i highly suggest it - you will feel inspired and centered in no time! check out his website @ www.macrobioticsofnewengland.com.
it's easy to lose your direction in regards to health and the best way to re-establish your intentions for yourself is through food.
i'm a firm believer in the eastern world's approach of preventative health care. yes, there's a place for western medicine as well, but the cleaner we are, the more sensitive/intuitive our bodies become - speaking to us about what works and doesn't almost immediately.
my friends and family think it's crazy that if i have a few carob chips, or salsa or tomato sauce (anything acidic), i will end up with a blood blister on the inside of my cheek - just like that.
it freaked me out at first, but when i figured out what triggered it and why, i now am so grateful for my bodily functions to alert me of what it doesn't like. i still have the free will to eat it and understand what the ramifications will be, but the fact that my body can discharge/detox that fast is truly a blessing.
if it didn't happen that way, it would happen down the road, manifesting in other ways in the forms of tumors, disease, etc.
bottom line, being a clean, mean machine is pretty awesome!
with that being said, it is so important to be satisfied with our daily meals, so that we don't feel the need to eat things that don't serve us.
we need to stay on that road and realize that the things that don't work for us need to be let go.
we are re creating a healthy environment as we head down this road, and the things we used to do or eat, may not fit into that mold, and we have to be okay with it and embrace the new.
it's a challenge, to say the least, but it helps to have a structure within that journey.
the key ways in keeping that essence alive is by sitting down to at least one whole grain meal per day.
grains attract vegetable dishes, and the more we eat healthfully, the more we crave it, in turn decreasing our desire for sweets, flours, etc.
another way is to sit down to a satisfying bean dish a few times per week.
as long as it's cooked correctly, it will not give you gas. it will help improve liver function, creating younger looking skin, and will lower cholesterol.
the structure of my meals are based around whole grains, vegetables and beans.
it's meatless monday today so maybe you can try a meat free dinner tonight?
i'll be making brown rice, pinto beans with carrots and onions, and a vegetable dish.
remember to make enough for leftovers for your lunch tomorrow!
i always have some on hand and can whip up a quick dish - today i reheated last nights soup and added a light salad with a yummy sesame seed dressing!
dressings make everything more fun!
here's the recipe:
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. sesame seeds
1 tbs brown rice vinegar
1 tbs shoyu
3 tbs chopped scallions
1 tbs lemon juice
i'll let you know what i do with tomorrow's leftovers.
hope to have inspired you in sticking to your intentions of taking care of yourself through food and a good mental attitude, to respect your body and inner voice of your soul!
one of the most challenging transitions of being vegan is when it comes to 'the most important meal of the day'. sure, you can eat bagels and vegan cream cheese, and sugar packed cereals with dairy free milk, but that's not healthy, and will definitely not keep you energized and vibrant!
going vegan doesn't mean that you're instantly healthy - you can eat all the processed foods you want that don't contain animal products, and still be vegan. i don't know about you, but i'm striving to be healthy, and pH balanced. by cutting out animal products, i am minimizing acidity, but typically anything packaged/processed is filled with sugar and chemicals which contribute to an acidic environment as well.
so really, we should be striving to eat clean, whole foods. but who has time to assemble an elaborate meal that covers all your basis? i try to keep things simple. i work 10 hour days and am on my feet all day without a lunch break. i eat in-between clients, which is not ideal. we should all be able to sit down, breathe, and chew our food properly, but our american eat-on-the-run lifestyle limits us from doing so. we just have to do what we can, as best as we can.
for me to stay full, satisfied and energized, i have discovered what few breakfasts work for me, and i'd like to share them with you.
i adopted breaky #1 option from alicia silverstone's book, the kind diet:
quick oatmeal: 1 cup rolled oats, 1 handful of chopped nuts of your choice, 1 handful of dried fruit of your choice (raisins, dried apricots, etc.) 1/3 chopped apple or pear, 1 spoonful of brown rice syrup, 3 shakes of cinnamon thrown together in a bowl. bring a kettle of water to a boil and pour it over the ingredients just enough to cover. place a plate over the bowl and let the water absorb. this should probably take 3-5 minutes. mix it all together and drizzle flax oil over it. YUM!
breaky #2 option:
smoothie: for days when it's warm out, throw any fruit or veg in a blender with some ice and a banana and dairy free milk of your choice. i typically will do one banana, berries, kale and maybe a scoop of almond butter or handful of nuts for some crunch. if you need to sweeten it, throw some chopped up dates in there. i will also throw a tablespoon of my vitamineral greens in there (def check out this product for a great all around supplement - more on that later) for added nutritional value.
breaky #3 option from the kind diet:
tofu scramble: the best way to throw a meal together any time of the day! saute 2 cups chopped veggies of any kind for about 5 minutes, then season with 1 tbs shoyu, 1 tsp ume vinegar and 1 tbs mirin (rice cooking wine). then crumble 1 package of extra firm, organic tofu over the veggies. heat through for another 2-3 min. sprinkle scallions and sunflower seeds over it, and eat! such a great protein packed way to start your day!
breaky #4 option, also from the kind diet:
mochi wraps. this may sound weird, but it's a totally savory treat that will give you strength and stamina. mochi is a steamed and pounded brown rice, which often comes in a packaged block - you can buy it in the refrigerated section at your health food store. heat 1 tbs sesame oil in a pan over med-low heat. place 3 squares of mochi in pan, and cover. heat for 4 min. and sprinkle 1 drop of shoyu per square, then flip. heat for another 4 min until they morph into funny shapes. take a sheet of nori paper and fold into quadrants and tear into squares. place 3 squares on plate, with mochi on each. then put 1 tbs of grated daikon atop each. pick up with your hands and eat, like little mini sliders...
final note on breaky - try to switch it up. don't eat the same thing for more than 2/3 times a week. your body needs different nutrients.
maybe on your lighter days, do the smoothie...and more intense days try tofu scramble. you'll start to know what your body needs as you ease into it. and don't forget to indulge on the weekends! find a fun vegan brunch spot or whip out your cook book to find comfort in pancakes, waffles, french toast, muffins, breakfast burritos, eggs bene....you name it, you can re-create it!!!
try this for fun! nobody would even know it's vegan...