This Chicken Tikka Masala will make you holla’!

Tikka Masala

I love Indian food but I rarely make it at home because I feel I never get the spiciness just right. It’s just never the same as I get in Indian restaurants but this recipe…is the bomb! To be honest, I am not one to tolerate super spicy food. In fact my dad always would say that I just want to eat pablum, the bland baby food! Not true! Haha but there are some spices that literally just make my mouth go numb and then I don’t taste the food. Having that slight issue, it always scared me away from Indian food. That is until I ate some curry at a Farmers Market. Wow was it flavorful and my mouth wasn’t going numb even though it was spicy! Very excitedly, I started eating at more Indian restaurants and just loving the food. But like I said, every time I tried to create the same taste at home I just always fell short on the flavor/spice front. But with this recipe I have gained confidence! Yeah baby! The chicken coated in yogurt seasoned with garlic and ginger, and then broiled, makes it super tender and delicious. Try it and I promise you will love it!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients for Chicken:

1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (6 to 8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if one breast is bigger, cut in half to make all same size to cook evenly)
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (I love Fage)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (softened enough to mix)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (must use fresh ginger)
Ingredients for the Sauce:

Ingredients for the Sauce:

1 (14.5 oz) can whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or more!…I heart cilantro ūüôā )

Instructions

FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine salt, garam masala, and cayenne in a bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season thoroughly with spice mixture. Place chicken on plate, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Whisk yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger together in medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

FOR THE SAUCE: Process tomatoes and their juice in food processor until smooth, about 15 seconds is all. Heat coconut oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, garam masala, garlic, and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in processed tomatoes, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Off heat, stir in yogurt; cover to keep warm.

Adjust oven rack to 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Set wire rack in aluminum foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on prepared wire rack. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until lightly charred in spots and chicken registers 160 degrees, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken over half way through cooking.

Transfer chicken to cutting board, let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into 1 inch pieces. Stir chicken pieces into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, season with salt to taste, and serve.
Serve with basmati rice.
Enjoy!

Time: About 1 hour

Yields 2 servings: (easy to double to 4 but these servings are pretty good sized)

Adapted recipe from America’s Test Kitchen

Nourishing Bone Stock

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That title doesn’t seem very appealing! ¬†But stock made with bones is extremely nourishing and very easy to make. ¬†I didn’t realize I hadn’t blogged about it before and get asked about it all the time.

The difference between broth and stock is stock is made with bones and broth is made with the meat.  I use the carcass of a chicken after roasting the whole chicken.  There is some left over meat on the carcass and I also throw in the skin as well.  So you get the best of both worlds.

Bone stock is very nourishing because when you add in a little vinegar it softens the bones and releases marrow into the liquid.  It also releases the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

I have not tried eating marrow straight up yet. ¬†But after watching this video and reading more about marrow and all the health benefits, I am going to try it. ¬†I probably will first try it by adding it to my ground beef for a more nutritious burger or maybe adding it to some yogurt with cinnamon, honey, and blueberries…something along those lines.¬†Who out there eats just the marrow? ¬†Please share how you eat it if you do! ¬†I’m very interested in hearing and learning!

http://youtu.be/Jq7t03_MDHo

Here is my recipe for my chicken stock:

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Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken carcass…be picky about how the chicken was raised-pasteur, free range, etc.
  • 4 quarts filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar…can use apple cider vinegar as well
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 sticks of rosemary – optional
  • 3 cloves of garlic – optional
  • 1 bunch of parsley…thrown it at the last 10 minutes of cooking

*The optional spices are for flavor but also add extra nutrition.  Try adding in spices that you like!

Directions

  1. Place chicken in a large stainless steel pot with the water, vinegar, onion, and carrots.  Let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Then bring to a boil.  Remove any scum that rises to the top.
  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 8 to 24 hours.  The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful the stock will be!
  4. Add parsley in about 10 minutes before you are about to take it off from the heat.
  5. Pour the pot out into a strainer with a large bowl underneath to catch all the nourishing stock.
  6. Strain again to make sure all of the parts are out.
  7. Let cool and then cover and put into the refrigerator.  Fat will rise to the top and you can skim it off.
  8. Then put into jars with tight lids.  It will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.  It will keep in the freezer for several months.

It is worth the effort into making stocks for drinking straight up or added into soups, sauces, and anytime you use broth.  Pre-made broths have so much sodium in them.  Drinking stock is so beneficial to your immune system.  You will gain innumerable health benefits!

Eating 2 nourish as always…

To your health!

Julie

*recipe adapted from Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon.

Delicata Squash for a perfect Thanksgiving side dish

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The first time I had delicata squash was about a year ago.  It came served on the side of halibut I ordered at a restaurant.  I was so surprised to see the skin still on and how my fork just went right through it!  I instantly fell in love.

It’s a pain to cut up winter squash and take the skin off but I do it every season.  However this season has been a lot easier with these little cuties. 

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I know a lot of people use brown sugar and butter to top squash but this combo I use of butter, maple syrup, and sage is so delicious!  Your kids will eat it too.

Ingredients:
2 Delicata Squash
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons real maple syrup (not the runny fake stuff)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage

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Awww lets get started!

Preheat oven to 425¬į.  First rinse the squash really well with warm water.  Then carefully lay the squash on a cutting board and slice in half lengthwise.  Scoop out all the seeds and string with a spoon. 

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Then make 1/2 inch slices all the way through each half.  You can make the slices thicker if you want.  I use smaller slices when I will have a lot of items on my plate like at Thanksgiving.  ūüôā  And I’ll use thicker slices for smaller meals.

Spread the slices on a baking sheet, use 2 baking sheets if needed so that all slices are touching the bottom. Drizzle the olive oil and salt on and mix the slices with your hands to make sure each ring gets some.

Roast for 10 minutes.  Then flip with a spatula and roast for another 10 minutes.  If a fork doesn’t easily insert into a slice after 20 minutes, then keep cooking for 5 minute allotments. Make sure they don’t get too soft though.  
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When squash is done and cooling off a little, melt the butter in a small sauce pan.  Then add in the maple syrup and chopped fresh sage and mix together. 

Put the cooled, cooked squash slices into a bowl and pour mixture over and toss.  I like to cool the slices off a little because the mixture sticks better. 

And voila.  Yummy delicious delicata squash!  Haha I barely get time to take a picture of the done product before it gets devoured.  But please feel free to post yours!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

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Love,
Julie

Barre3 – Ballet, Pilates, Yoga, and a lot of fun!

I have been taking Barre3 classes now for about 3 months. ¬†I don’t have a before and after picture of my bootay…that actually makes me laugh just thinking of doing one! ¬†Haha but my behind is at least 2 inches higher because of these classes. ¬†I don’t weigh myself but determine how my body is doing by the fit of my jeans! ¬†They always tell the truth! ¬†ūüėČ

I love these classes and just had to blog about them. ¬†They incorporate it all…ballet, pilates, yoga, weight lifting, good music, and excellent instructors who push you to your limit and keep you motivated. ¬†My posture is better as well. ¬†I stand up straighter and taller and just feel so strong through my core. ¬†I started taking these classes because my running days were over…or so I thought.

My joints just started hurting too much on my runs which really bummed me out because running and listening to great music relaxed me and cleared my head of things.  So I checked out other workouts and thought I would try these Barre classes I had heard so much about.  I signed up on a Groupon deal and went every single day.   Lifting heavy weights and doing lots of cardio is what I thought had to be done to really tone up your body.  Boy was I wrong!  I was so sore after these classes, just the same as if I had lifted heavy weights or gone for a long run (without the joint pain).  They truly are amazing and work out every part of your body.

This picture is of the Horse Pose that we do a lot. ¬†All the detailed instructions in this pic is what they tell you in class. ¬†They talk you through every pose and really care about making sure everyone is doing it correctly because they want you to get results. ¬†Your legs will start to shake and that’s a good thing! ¬†Shaking equals transformation!

Back to my running days that were gone or so I thought. ¬†I went for a run the other day and my legs have never felt stronger. ¬†I would have run longer if it wasn’t so darn cold outside. ¬†But these classes also work out your tendons which keep all your bones and muscles in place. ¬†Ahhhhhhhh…now I have the best of both worlds!

I can’t say enough about how great Barre3 is and highly recommend them.

Eating to nourish is one thing, but moving to nourish is also as important. ¬†We weren’t meant to sit around! ¬†You have to move your body in order for everything to run smoothly.

Make it a great day~

Julie

Powerful Words To Lift You Up

I still think of Robin Williams and how sad I was to hear of his passing.  There are just so many movies that he was in that will always have a special place in my heart.  He was so funny and such a great actor!  I know heaven is laughing a little more these days!

I will never fully understand depression. ¬†I know people suffer from serious depression all of their life and it is a serious disorder. ¬†And some go through hard times and have a hard time pulling out of it. ¬†I have never been a sufferer of depression but I’ve been through hard times. ¬†When I do feel like nothing is going right and dark days might be coming, I start getting busy with myself and look to figure out why I feel this way and what changes I can make. ¬†I do know words have been very powerful with me, and have helped me make the right changes in my life to avoid being in a depressed state. ¬†Sometimes it’s someone else’s story and how they pulled through or it’s quotes from real people who can understand and have pulled through. ¬†Life is not easy. ¬†We have so many choices in this world which can be great, but so daunting and confusing at the same time.

So I just thought I would share this article because I love a few of these and they have lifted me even higher. ¬†And who knows, just maybe someone out there is having a bad day, bad times, bad year…maybe just one quote will inspire them.

Don’t let negativity in and never give up!

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-15367/15-quotes-that-lifted-me-up-when-i-was-depressed.html?utm_campaign=recommendation&utm_medium=popular&utm_source=home

Thai Steak Salad with Soba Noodles

Soba noodles! ¬†Soba noodles are made of buckwheat flour. ¬†Energizing and nutritious, it can be a great substitute for people sensitive to wheat and other grains that contain the protein gluten because it is gluten free. ¬†Flavonoid phytonutrients found in buckwheat provide powerful antioxidant protection against damage from free radicals. ¬†Yeah baby…thats what I like to hear! ¬†It is also a very good source of manganese, that awesome trace mineral that helps protect our precious mitochondria… the energy production factories in our cells. ¬† True soba noodles are made from 100% buckwheat flour so make sure to check the label ingredients as some brands also mix it with wheat flour. Here is a delicious recipe I make very often. ¬† It is from Feeding The Whole Family cookbook written by our culinary director from Bastyr, Cynthia Lair.

Thai Steak Salad Over Soba

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb. flank steak, 1 inch thick
  • 1 8 oz. package of soba noodles
  • 3 to 4 cups salad greens torn into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 small red onion cut into half moons
  • 1/2 cucumber cut in half lengthwise, then sliced 1/4″ thick, half moons

Instructions:

  1. Combine lime juice, oil, cilantro, garlic, hot pepper sauce, honey, salt, and pepper to taste in a small bowl.  Whisk together and set aside.
  2. Place steak between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound on both sides to tenderize.  Remove wrap and place sirloin in a shallow pan.  Pour half of the marinade over the meat.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   Heat a cast iron or over safe skillet with a teaspoon or so of oil.  Place marinated steak in skillet, season with salt and pepper on both sides, and brown for a few minutes on each side.   Transfer steak to the oven for 7-10 minutes.  Check center for doneness (red for medium rare, pink for medium) and remove from oven when it is redder than you desire; the meat will continue to cook once it is out of the oven.
  4. While meat is cooking, prepare the soba noodles as instructed on the package.  They will cook a lot faster than regular pasta so keep your eye on them and then rinse with cold water when done.
  5. Transfer meat to carving board and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into thin slices on a diagonal against the grain of the meat.
  6. Toss the salad greens, onion, and cucumber with the rest of the remaining marinade.
  7. To assemble, place a small bed of noodles on each plate, then top with salad and an equal portion of steak slices.   Or you can just mix it all together in a big bowl and serve.  I usually prefer to do it the latter way, especially with kids.

Enjoy! ¬†It’s delicious and super nutritious.

Almond Butter Cups

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These almond butter cups are super delicious and super nutritious. ¬†They are so rich as well that they could replace a craving for ice cream. ¬†I make them in a mini muffin pan so it’s a perfect size for a treat when you need one. ¬†I keep them in the freezer because they do get soft when left out. ¬†The coconut oil in them gets soft. ¬†But if you make them for a party, just leave them in the freezer till you are going to serve and then put them on ice or on something that will keep them somewhat cool.

They are super easy to make. ¬†Here we go….

For the bottom layer:

  • 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl until very smooth. ¬†These should make about a dozen so place 12 mini muffin cups in a mini muffin pan and put about 1 tablespoon of the mixture in each cup. ¬†Be clean about it and try not to get any on the sides so it shows a clean line from the outside. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Then place on a flat surface in the freezer and let set for about 15 minutes.

For the top layer:

  • 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl until very smooth. ¬† Remove the bottom layers from the freezer and fill each cup to the top with the top layer. ¬†Place back into the freezer for at least 15 minutes until the chocolate top player sets.

Enjoy!

Spring-time Lemon Fettucine with Shrimp

Spring time Fettucine!

I absolutely love Spring and all the fresh produce and herbs that come along with it.¬†¬† I saw Giada make this pasta dish on tv and I just had to try it.¬† It looked so simple with¬†just a few ingredients but looked delicious.¬†¬†She adds in lemon zest so I knew it would have a fresh lemony flavor which got my mouth watering.¬† She then adds in¬†fried capers.¬† I’ve never had fried capers and was actually going to skip that part but I had a jar so I thought I would try it.¬†¬†Oh…my….goodness!¬† They added so much flavor and were a fun little crunchy addition so don’t skip that part!¬† ¬†And if you can, make your own pasta.¬† You can not get the same fresh pasta texture and flavor with boxed pasta.¬† It’s so easy to do especially if you have a pasta attachment to a stand mixer.¬† Okay…lets get cookin!

Ingredients:

For the shrimp-

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • About 30 shrimp, peeled, cleaned, and patted dry
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

For the pasta-

  • 1 pound of your favorite pasta
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fried capers

Preparation:

In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat.  Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper.  In a single layer, add the shrimp to the pan.  Cook for 3 minutes per side or until pink and cooked through.  (shrimp does not take long to cook and will get too chewy if over cooked so no longer than 6 minutes)  Set aside.

 
To fry the capers, drain, rinse, and dry them well.  Heat 1/4 inch vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium high heat until it shimmers when you swirl it.  Make sure the oil is hot enough by adding in one caper.  If it immediately starts to sizzle and pop, the oil is hot enough.  Add the capers to the hot oil and fry for about 15 seconds or until they have popped open and are golden brown and crispy.  Then set aside.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water.  If you are cooking homemade pasta, it cooks a lot faster so just cook about 3-4 minutes.  If boxed pasta, then about 8 minutes.  Meanwhile, whisk the oil, Parmesan and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Drain pasta but reserve 1 cup of the water.  Add the pasta, shrimp, and basil to the lemon sauce and toss.  Add 1/4 cup at a time of the pasta water to moisten if needed.   Garnish with lemon zest and fried capers.

Yum yum yum….enjoy!

Julie

 

 

A bowl full of goodness..

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A nice nourishing bowl of 1 cup of kefir, 1.5 cups coconut water, 1 banana, 1 avocado, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 cup strawberries, and 1 cup of blueberries all blended together.  Add more or less coconut water to your liking.   Then top off with homemade granola and some dried fruit.  I used dried cranberries and blueberries.

Granola:
‚ÄĘ1 cup oats
‚ÄĘ1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
‚ÄĘ1/2 cup pecans
‚ÄĘ1/4 cup almond butter
‚ÄĘ1/4 cup maple syrup
‚ÄĘ1/4 teaspoon salt
‚ÄĘ 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
‚ÄĘ1 tablespoon dried blueberries

*Preheat oven to 300¬į.
*Combine oats, pumpkin seeds, and pecans in a bowl and set aside.
*Mix almond butter, maple syrup, and salt in a small bowl and heat in microwave for 20 seconds.¬† Or mix together in a sauce pan on the stove over med – high heat until it’s heated all the way through and starts to get thinner and easily pourable.
*Once almond butter mixture is done, pour over oat mixture and mix till everything is coated.
*Spread mixture into a thin layer on a rimmed cookie sheet and bake stirring every 10 minutes for about 30 minutes.

**30 minutes makes it soft and not too hard and crunchy. I like it crunchy but a soft crunch.  So cook it as short or as long as you want until you get the crunch you want.  Just be careful not to burn it.

Servings: 4 small bowls with some extra granola

Time: 45 min

Eat2nourish always,

Julie

Spicy Miso Cucumber Noodles

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I am having so much fun with my new spiralizer.  I bought this one on Amazon for $25.  It slices cucumbers, zucchinis, potatoes and more into fun noodles!  Great way to get your kids to eat more vegetables too.

20140424_190737 I sliced up some cucumber noodles and thought I’d make it into a fun Thai dish with peanut sauce.¬† This peanut sauce includes white miso which is fermented soybeans.¬† This is a good way for vegetarians to get in their dose of vitamin B12 if you want¬†to omit the chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 chicken breasts sliced into 1 inch slivers
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup smooth organic peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup white miso
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or more for a spicier sauce
  • 1/4 cup hot water

1.  Put the cucumbers into the vegetables slicer and slice into noodles.  Put into a bowl and set aside.

2.  Add coconut oil into a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the chicken slices and sauté for about 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes, oregano, and salt to saucepan, cover, and cook for about 5 more minutes.  Add the cucumber noodles into the chicken mixture and cover again for about 3 minutes.  Move away from the heat and let sit, covered, while you make the peanut sauce.

3.  In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter, miso, honey, apple cider vinegar, ginger, garlic, cayenne, and hot water until the mixture takes on a nice shiny shimmer.

4.  Add the chicken mixture and cucumber noodles into the peanut sauce and mix until all is coated.

5.  Place a heaping mixture onto a plate and enjoy eating to nourish!

To your health~

Julie

 

 

Take the guesswork out of your diet

Diets are confusing. Processed foods are confusing. Weight loss is confusing.

I wanted to share this article because it talks about not listening to all the diet hypes and why you should eat natural whole foods and includes studies that prove it! Bastyr teaches this and that’s why I chose to go there. They taught us a holistic approach to nutrition…to eat the whole food, to eat the yolk and not just the egg white, to eat butter, to eat olive oil….simply eat real food! So many diet pills have on the label “Includes CLA To Help Speed Weight Loss!” CLA…Conjugated Linoleic Acid…is found in meat and dairy products. People buy fat free dairy for weight control but then they miss out on the CLA found in whole milk. It’s backwards thinking. Please eat food closest to it’s most natural form as you can. Make it easy on your body. Feed it whole natural food. Don’t make it work overtime trying to figure out how to digest processed foods riddled with chemicals, and at the same time try to keep your body in good working order!

The greatest power each of us has is to choose! Choose wisely…eat to nourish.

Here’s to a Happy, Healthy, Holistic 2014!

Are you B12 deficient?

b12 imageWhen was the last time you had your B12 levels checked?  B12 deficiency affect people of every age, ranging from babies to senior citizens.  The different ways it can afflict are:

  • Can cause Depression or Psychotic behavior
  • Agonizing leg and arm pains or Paralysis
  • Mimics Alzheimer’s disease, MS, early Parkinson’s disease, Diabetic neuropathy, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Can cause men and women to be infertile
  • Can cause developmental disabilities in children

It is considered an “old people’s disease” but it can strike at any age.¬† But it is easy to spot, easy to treat, and easy to cure…but only if it’s caught early enough.¬† All of the following cases had the same medical condition and were misdiagnosed…a B12 deficiency:

  • An 8 mo old baby who loses her speech, stops responding to her parents, and eventually can’t even sit up by herself.
  • A 20 yr old woman who becomes severely depressed and who attempts to kill herself.
  • A 65 yr old man, who in 3 months went from a healthy jogger into a depressed, confused man, diagnosed with senile dementia.
  • A 54 yr old woman accused by her doctors of being an alcoholic and a drug seeker when she complains of intense, chronic back and leg pain.

To get B12 from your diet, you need to eat meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, or foods fortified with B12.  You can also take a sublingual (under the tongue) supplement.  It is remarkably easy to become deficient in this nutrient. 

Toxins, poor diet, and other environmental factors over time affect the lining of the stomach and lose its ability to produce Hydrochloric Acid (HCL).¬† HCL plays a key role in releasing vitamin B12 from food and is an easily attained food supplement.¬† You can buy some at Whole Foods, PCC, GNC…or your local vitamin store.¬†¬† But also regularly consuming active probiotics such as fermented soy products (miso, tempeh), kefir, sauerkraut, or kim chee, will help to not damage the gut wall but also allow the body to transform the microflora into B vitamins.¬† How cool is that?!?!¬†

Now I’m not saying B12 is the cure all…but the brief amount of time and money required to identify a B12 deficiency is a small investment to make and may be one of the most important investments you’ll ever make!

To your health~

Chinese Cabbage Salad

Ck Cabbage Salad

Scientific studies now show that cruciferous vegetables, like Cabbage, are included among the vegetables that contain the largest concentrations of healthy-promoting sulfur compounds, such as sulforaphane and isothiocynates, which increase the liver’s ability to produce enzymes that neutralize potentially toxic substances.¬† Cabbage is also an excellent source of powerful antioxidants which help to protect against harmful free radials.¬† So let’s make sure to get this vegetable in our diets often!¬† Here is a great summer salad because there is no cooking required, except if you want to add chicken.

Chinese Cabbage Salad

  • 4 cups sliced cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

* you can add some diced or shredded chicken for a great protein boost

  1. Add all ingredients into a big bowl and stir.  Cabbage will soften after about 10 minutes of sitting.

Serves: 2

Time: 20 minutes

Sleep to nourish

Diet, exercise, and sleep all coincide together.¬† They are all equally important.¬† Your body repairs itself on so many levels during sleep that it is really important to get good, deep sleep.¬† But when it comes to sleep, I haven’t always had the greatest.¬† I tried sleeping pills like Ambien and other ones but I just never felt truly rested the next day, so I had to find out the natural way.¬† I think everyone has to learn how and what they personally need to do to get a good nights sleep.¬† One size does not fit all when it comes to sleep mode.¬† Here is what has helped me:

Diet – There was a time when I would fall asleep just fine, but I would keep waking up throughout the night.¬† I started looking at my diet because people would keep saying maybe I was stressed, but I just wasn’t.¬† So I started looking at my diet and what I was eating.¬† I was eating well, but I wasn’t eating enough.¬† I decided to add an extra snack into my daily diet, which gave me an extra 300 calories a day.¬† Well after about a week, I was finally sleeping throughout the night!¬† My body just didn’t have enough to stay asleep and get into the REM cycle.

Length of time – We are always told we need at least 8 hours of sleep.¬† Well for me, I need just 6-7 hours of sleep.¬† I found this out because there was a time when I was starting to have daily headaches.¬† Just felt groggy.¬† And when I would take tylenol or something to help with them, they just weren’t working.¬† Well I realized I was sleeping too much.¬† I decided to make sure to fall asleep around 11pm and wake up at 6am every morning.¬†¬† The headaches instantly went away!¬† If I sleep longer, I am groggy and achy all day.

Falling asleep – I think the hardest part is falling asleep.¬† I go to bed at least 30 minutes before I want to fall asleep.¬† I read a book or a magazine.¬† That always helps…well it didn’t when I was reading the Twilight series…Edward kept me up…but I didn’t mind!¬† ūüėȬ† But it really helps to turn off the tv, computer, or anything else bright.¬† The only light I will have on is my bedside lamp.

Room scene – I also realized I ALWAYS slept well in hotels.¬† And it was because the room would be really dark because hotels always have those heavy curtains that don’t let any light in.¬† But also because I would turn on the AC and so the room would be cold.¬† I guess the heavy blankets and the room being chilled and dark made me sleep like a baby.¬† But also the humming of the ac I think also helped.¬† So now I put a fan in my room and keep my window open.¬† Its a perfect setting for me!

Your bed – I love a firm mattress.¬† My back always hurt on a soft mattress.¬† But then I bought a foam topper to put on my mattress and it is awesome!¬† It is so comfortable and my back or hips don’t hurt.¬† I highly suggest one!

Well those are what have helped me.¬† And those didn’t just happen over night.¬† But I figured it out and now sleep like a baby…or maybe more like my dog…

Here’s to a good nights sleep~

Julie

Asian Lettuce Tacos

Asian Lettuce Tacos

Here is a simple and quick recipe for some yummy Asian Lettuce Tacos.¬† I love using lettuce as taco shells because it gets more greens into my diet and less simple carbs.¬†¬† Plus you can make the filling ahead of time and put in fridge and just heat up what ever night you choose to have these tacos!¬†¬† I bought the shells at Costco.¬† They are the Artisan Romaine.¬† They are littler than a butter leaf but I actually like it that way.¬† Great for portion control and I don’t like it when it’s all lettuce in my bite.¬† I also used Wok Mei brand for the Hoisin sauce.¬† It says it’s all natural but I don’t like the caramel color they add in there so I’m going to make it from scratch next time, but this was the only brand that I found that didn’t have a whole bunch of extra stuff (crap) in there where I was at.

Ingredients:

  • 20 lettuce leaves (but remember I used the small ones so might need less if you use the bigger ones)
  • 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil (it has a high flashpoint so I use this for cooking)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts (I love the crunchy factor it gives these tacos and you can just grind up some peanuts)
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil (I use the toasted sesame oil, love the flavor)
  • 1 pound of cooked chicken, diced

Directions:

  • Rinse and dry the leaves, becareful not to tear them.
  • Add the grapeseed oil and the chopped onion into a medium skillet over medium-high heat and stir frequently, about 1 minute.
  • Add the garlic, tamari, hoisin sauce, ginger, and rice vinegar to the onions and stir, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in the peanuts, onions, sesame oil, and cooked chicken and continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and put into a bowl and spoon portions into each shell.

Servings: 4

Time: 20 minutes

 

 

Let’s celebrate National Breakfast Week with some Refrigerator Oatmeal!

Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack kicked off an exciting National Nutrition Month by marking the start of¬† National School Breakfast Week¬†(March 4-8), a time that highlights the importance of promoting healthy choices for our nation’s children throughout the school day.

I know my mornings are so busy and trying to fit in a good healthy filling breakfast is hard on most days.¬† I prepare most stuff on Sunday nights for the week or the night before.¬† For instance, I’ll make a little tofu scramble on Sunday night and then put it in to small containers so that I can just heat it up real quick and go!¬† Or make egg burritos and wrap each one up so they can heat up quickly as well.¬† It’s very easy to eat all those sugary cereals in the morning but why start your morning with all that sugar?¬† But people do it because it’s quick and easy.¬† I know, because that is what I used to eat.

But look how cute this breakfast idea is that I found on the site The Yummy Life!

Refrigerator oatmeal

These are so easy to put together and you can be creative and make your own Refrigerator Oatmeal mixtures!  Here is another great photo they had that shows how to start adding in the ingredients:

making refrigerator oatmeal

The ingredients you’ll need are:

  • Old fashioned rolled oats.
  • Greek yogurt – I use Fage yogurt which is a greek yogurt and pretty easy to find in your local store.
  • Milk – I used unsweetened almond milk.¬† But any nut milk or coconut milk is fine.
  • Chia seeds or Flax seeds – I tend to use either one, depending on what I have.
  • Half pint mason jar – You can get a case of these for pretty cheap.¬† I love using these for lots of things actually.

So that is how you start the process.  Now is the point where you add in whatever else you like.  I made the Raspberry Vanilla Oatmeal but here is the whole recipe:

  • 1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup raspberries (cut the berries in half) or enough to fill jar

The Yummy Life also added a tablespoon of raspberry jam or preserves, I didn’t just because that added a lot of sugar that I didn’t want in there.¬† But if it’s not sweet enough for you, you can add in some Stevia, like a 1/4 teaspoon depending on how sweet you need it for your liking.¬† Just please becareful to not to put in lots of sugary items.¬† ūüėČ

Put all items into the mason jar except for the raspberries.  Put the lid on and shake it good baby!  Shake until well mixed.  Then remove lid and add raspberries by slowly stirring them in.  Put lid back on and refrigerate overnight!

So easy and yummy.  That will start you off on a well nourished day ahead of you.

Thanks for stopping by and loving that you’re eating to nourish~

Julie

Did someone say “Flywheel”?!?!

spinning

There is a new spin studio that opened up in Seattle called Flywheel.¬†¬† Spin classes are indoor cycling classes…just in case you didn’t know.¬† ūüėȬ† I absolutely love these classes!¬† They are only 45 minutes long which is good for me because at that 46th minute I guarantee I would fall off the bike!¬† When¬† I tell people they should come and try a class out, the first one is free by the way, they always ask how much it is.¬† I tell them $25…and that’s when I brace for the look and the squeal…”$25???¬† That is crazy expensive girl!!”¬†¬† Yep, I get that alllll the time.¬† Well let me tell you, girl, what you’ll get for $25!

  • 45 minutes of pure sweat…which is awesome by the way.
  • Fun, pumped up music, DJ style.
  • The numbers on the bike are digital, so you can be at the exact RPM and Torq the instructor wants you to be at instead of just guessing…I was never sure in a regular spin class that’s why I love being able to see exactly what number I’m on.
  • Free click in shoes which makes you get more out of the workout.
  • You choose your torque name, mine is Nascar just in case you were wondering ;), and during the class they have races and display the names on the leaderboards, which are 2 flat screen tv’s above the spin instructor for everyone to see so it will make you go faster and push harder if you’re competitive at all…but that doesn’t really get me going at all (yeah right)!
  • They dim the lights in the room so it feels more private I guess you could say.¬† I don’t feel like everyone is staring at each other which makes you more apt to ride hard and not care if anyone else is watching!
  • Sometimes the classes are themed to the likings of Beyonce or Rihanna or The music at the Grammys.¬† Super fun!
  • They provide towels and water.
  • They have lockers, dressing rooms, and showers with all the amenities a girl needs (or guy!).
  • They always have food and fruit after class.
  • And the best part, they provide your results from class online under your personal account you create.¬† It looks like this: (click to open larger)

Flywheel results 2

So I take a spin class once a week, aka my ‘Sunday Ride’.¬† Yes it may seem like a lot of money but I budget elsewhere to afford these classes.¬† One dinner out costs $25, or two lousy cocktails will run you $25, or five lattes will cost you $25…but I never hear anyone complaining of those.¬† Trust me, these classes will love you back a whole lot more than those things will.¬† When you sit down to pay your bills, see where you can cut some crap out and replace it with a nice ‘Sunday Ride’!

Look forward to ridin’ with you soon~

Julie

Coffee creamer? But where’s the cream?

pic of coffeemate

Hmmmmm…the name actually is fitting “Coffee-mate” because there is no cream in there.¬† But they do put ‘coffee creamer’ in little print next to it.¬† But really, this shouldn’t be a mate to your coffee, I actually don’t know what this should be a mate to!¬† LOL!¬† Here is a picture of the ingredients:

coffeemate ing cropOkay so we have water, sugar, corn syrup solids, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, natural and artificial flavors, dipotassium phosphate, disodium phosphate, sodium caseinate, color added,…I can’t read the rest!¬† But where is the cream?¬† Or milk?¬† Isn’t that what we usually ask for in our coffees?¬† Well not to worry, here is a product that does have it in there for you:

pic of darigoldWow and it actually is labeled as a ‘creamer’ and not a ‘mate’!¬† Here is a pic of their ingredients:

darigold ingMilk, cream, sugar, natural and artificial flavors.¬† Yes it does have artificial flavors in there but it’s a whole lot less ingredients than the one up above!¬† It is best in a whole food diet to just sweeten it with straight cream and sugar, but I know it’s hard for me to not have that nice vanilla flavor in mine.¬† I choose to use this creamer.¬†

What do you put in your coffee??

Mindful Cooking

Mindful cooking, mindful eating, being mindful of everything around you.¬† Living in the present moment.¬† Have you tried it lately?¬† I love cooking.¬† It’s very therapeutic for me but I think I did learn this in school.¬† Cynthia Lair, the speaker in this video, was a teacher of mine at Bastyr and she talks about how she teaches her students to be mindful while cooking.¬† And yes it’s true, she did make us cook in silence one time…silence!¬† I have never been good at that and I believe she did come over a couple times to remind me what we were focusing on that day.¬† Hahahah…whoops.¬† But I do always think of that class and be mindful while cooking, but just everything actually.¬† It’s amazing how it takes you away….no calgon necessary!

 

 

 

Mushrooms have an impressive array of antioxidant minerals!

Why mushrooms need to be a part of your daily/weekly diet:

  • High in Selenium:¬† Selenium helps with DNA repair, which with adequate intake of this mineral will help with a reduced risk for cancer.
  • High in Riboflavin (B2):¬† Riboflavin is necessary for the recycling of glutathione, an antioxidant that protects energy-producing mitochondria from oxidative damage.
  • Contains Zinc, Copper, and Manganese:¬† Free radical scavengers.
  • Tryptophan:¬† Sleep promoting.
  • Fiber, Magnesium, and Potassium:¬† All for a healthy heart.

Make sure to store in a paper bag so they can breathe in the refrigerator.  Never wash them in water, just wipe with a wet paper towel.  And just slice or chop and eat as a side dish or add to any dish/salad!

Saute:

I love to slice the mushrooms and saute them in a little bit of broth for about 5-7 minutes, not too long so you keep them as nutrient dense as possible.  I then like to add a little toasted sesame oil to the pan and mix it in with the slices.  Or you can just add some olive oil, lemon, and sea salt for a lighter flare.

Enjoy and always eat to nourish!

To your health,

Julie