Spring is in the air full force and this time of year I love to clean out closets, cabinets and my garage. It is always necessary to clean out the old to make room for the new! Did you know that the most effective way to stay healthy is to clean out your refrigerator, pantry and freezer and eliminate the unhealthy foods and stock it with healthy food choices? This process will allow you to select something healthy next time you feel like snacking!
Items to have on hand for healthy eating include lean meats like chicken or turkey, canned tuna, hard cooked eggs or hummus. A fruit bowl on the counter could include some bananas, apples and pears or have cut up fruit in the refrigerator such as pineapple, berries or cantaloupe melon. Handy snacking items for vegetables include cut up peppers, cucumbers, carrots, celery, small grape tomatoes and leaf lettuce, spinach or kale for salads. In the dairy section select high protein Greek yogurts and almond milk for smoothies which have fewer carbohydrates than regular milk. For healthy carbohydrates select better choices like oatmeal, quinoa, shredded wheat and high fiber crackers like Wasa or Triscuits and pitas or tortillas for sandwiches. I like Joseph’s brand for pitas and Mission gluten free tortillas for sandwiches.
By creating a micro-environment of health in your home and office you are on the road to creating better health for yourself and your loved ones! Here’s to a wonderful Spring & Memorial Day Weekend!
In September & April I roll out new programs based on my work as a nutritionist & health coach. September makes sense- it is the start of a new school year- but why April? Well April is my birthday month and I get to start a New Year. I LOVE change and starting new opportunities so April makes sense to me!
My partner (Ron) is excited to hear me talk about and create new ideas. Others ask me: How do you get inspired to create something new? The answer is simple: Nature! Sometimes it’s a leisurely bike ride near home or time on our boat; other times I need to go “full guns” and search for Truffles in the hills of Tuscany or hike Maccu Piccu. But that is not the only thing that inspires me.
I am a fan of the book “Creative Visualization” by Shaki Gawain. I have used it for over 20 years and the ideas are never old. This book offers many techniques (love the meditations for healing) and focuses on the concept of “Form Follows Idea.” As Shaki describes people tend to live their lives backwards. They try to have more things (e.g. money) in order to do more so they will achieve happiness. She feels happiness works in reverse which means first- be who you are, second- do what you need to do and third- have what you want. The four basic steps for creative visualization are: 1. Decide what you would like to have 2. Create a clear idea or vision 3. Focus on it often (post it somewhere) and 4. Give it positive energy and receive and achieve it. In this way you can accept and have what you are seeking. Often times we achieve what we set out to do but fail to acknowledge our own success! Lastly, Shaki hits the nail on the head with the concept that creative visualization is not just a technique but is a state of consciousness. She states “manifestation through creative visualization is the process of realizing and making visible on the physical plane our divine potential.” Hope you create your heart’s desire and share with me your success!
Broccoli is a cruciferous (Brassica family) vegetable and has anti-cancer properties. Nutrient-wise it has lots of vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin K, folic acid and calcium. Steam until it is bright green and just tender. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a spritz of fresh lemon juice. Broccoli is also delicious with the herb tarragon.
Green Beans contain carotenoid phytonutrients such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin (these phytonutrients protect the eyes) which provide anti-inflammatory properties. They are a concentrated source of vitamin K and also vitamins A and C. Steam green beans for 5 minutes and dress them with a healthy Mediterranean dressing such as 3 T. olive oil, 2 tsp. lemon juice, 2 medium gloves of garlic (minced) and ground pepper.
Green Cabbage. This is a popular cruciferous vegetable (Brassica family) and ranges in color from light to dark green. You can select the best tasting cabbage by choosing heads that have a vibrant, bright color and are firm, heavy and dense. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K & C, folic acid, manganese and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). Cutting cabbage thin (1/4 inch) slices and cooking it al dente for only 5 minutes is my secret for preventing the formation of smelly compounds often associated with cooking cabbage. Enjoy this holiday with some corned beef! The larger leaves can also be filled inside with herbs, cheese or even meat or rice, roll them up firmly and steamed.
Zucchini (green). This is one of my favorite vegetables. It is an excellent source of vitamins C, A & K, manganese, magnesium, potassium and folic acid. It can be sautéed for 3 minutes and served with a Mediterranean dressing or make a Cool Zucchini Salad by grating 2 medium zucchinis, 2 medium carrots and tossing this with 1 tsp. each chopped fresh mint and oregano. Then add pepper to taste and 3 T. extra virgin olive oil. For a creamy dressing add 1 cup of plain low fat yogurt. Yum!
Spring is almost here! It’s a time for rebirth and new growth. What new things are you growing in your life that will re-ignite your passion & energy? It is now time for that seasonal reboot. Take an internal inventory. Are you meeting your health goals, did you sign up for that new class, are you planning that vacation you have always wanted? It is time for those new projects & goals to take root. As you plan the NEW things remember to get rid of some of the “old” patterns or projects in your life. Your passion will be ignited and you will soar to a new height by reaching for something “new” this Spring