Saturday, August 19, 2017

Get SOMETHING Green on Your Plate!

You know green veggies are good for you, but do you find you keep telling yourself you'll be better about eating them - in the future?  Does it seem like too much to deal with today? When it all seems too much, I seek SIMPLE solutions. 

Why eat green veggies?  Green veggies help avoid acid reflux and indigestion.  The chlorophyll in your green veggies is said to improve anemic conditions, the action of the heart, reduce high blood pressure normal blood count and platelet levels; to contribute to healing of hepatitis and other liver diseases, asthma and hay-fever, pyorrhea, varicose veins, ulcers - internal and external, high and low blood sugar, offensive body odors, sore throat; to shield the brain from antioxidant damage; and to add power to an anti-aging program. My article on chlorophyll details all kinds of the amazing benefits of green stuff.

{You can find chlorophyll here}

Despite all this goodness, it is so easy to find your meals have little or no green!

A little bit of lettuce (what I call "green water") a slice of insipid tomato, a few bits of shredded carrot are of little help.  Remember the more veggies you eat, the easier it is for your body to process your meal - leading to weight loss, better digestion, blood sugar balance, and all around real nourishment and health improvement.

It may seem that getting around to creating a routine of eating plenty of green veggies is impossible.  It just isn't happening.  I have been through stages like this - I found myself thinking:
- Oh my gosh HOW do I get something GREEN on this PLATE??  I can barely manage to get myself fed in the first place!
Well, the first thing is to commit to making the habit of veggie.  Start with the idea of it,  like "Okay I am okay with eating more green veggies. I can make it happen. I just have to keep it really simple to start."  I realize that even my super simple Perfect Green Veggie Sautee and Kale Salad can seem to be too much if you are living life in overwhelm. So for this post I brought it way down to basics. I found that when it was all too much, the minimum was all I could do - maybe you feel like that too.  So let's break it down - what is the one, minimum thing you can do - one thing you can manage to get yourself to do? Start with veggies that need little or not preparation.

Super Basic Minimum:
(this is all I could manage for a couple of weeks!)
Just slice some celery, cucumber, and/or decent tomatoes.  A handful of sugar peas also work well (remove the strings). Baby carrots are better than nothing.

Now you have something green on your plate.  (Okay, okay...tomatoes aren't green, but they are delicious, hydrating, and I feel better if I have tomatoes with a meal than if I have no veggies at all)

I found that if I could get one or more of those vegetables on my lunch or dinner plate, I felt better.
If I felt better, I found I was able to do it again -- if by no other means than by remembering feeling better.

Basic (Next level up from Minimum):
  • Simple Basic #1: Chunky salad -- For one serving, cut 1 Persian cucumber or half of a regular cucumber in half lengthwise, and then cut these halves the long way again, then cut these long quarters into bite sized chunks; toss in a medium bowl with virgin olive oil, Himalayan or other quality salt, and similarly sized chunks of tomatoes.  

  • Variation #1:  Add more green veggies to your chunky salad. celery, sugar peas, leftover steamed asparagus, with your cukes, tomatoes, and
    herbs.  Hey, it's summer, so grab some decent tomatoes at the farmers' market or if you can't get there, you can get organic Del Cabo Cherry tomatoes at the grocery store.
  • Variation #2: Add fresh herbs, such as chopped basil, Italian parsley, mint, or dill. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Good-For-You Foods That Are Bad For You?


Have you ever found out that something that was supposedly good for you is now bad for you?  And vice-versa?  Remember the egg saga?
With eggs it was on again off again like a bad romance.  

Well, Pop-eye may have been wrong about spinach.  
What!? Isn’t spinach high in vitamins A and C and folate? A good source of riboflavin, vitamin B-6, calcium, iron and magnesium?  
Well--Perhaps not!  There is some controversy regarding its super high oxalic acid content (about 50 times higher than other leafy green veggies) 

What is an oxalate, you ask? 
Wikipedia explains:
Oxalate (IUPAC: ethanedioate) is the dianion with the formula C
2
O2−
4
2O2−
4
4, also written (COO)2−
2
2. Either name is often used for derivatives, such as salts of oxalic acid, for example sodium oxalateNa2C2O4, or dimethyl oxalate ((CH3)2C2O4). Oxalate also forms coordination compounds where it is sometimes abbreviated as ox.

Many metal ions form insoluble precipitates with oxalate, a prominent example being calcium oxalate, the primary constituent of the most common kind of kidney stones.
Oxalates are common in many vegetable products, though they play a much worse role in some. Soy, for example, also contains the “anti-nutrient” called oxalate that binds to calcium and prevents its absorption in the human body.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Don't Hold On To Toxins! How To Do An Easy and Cheap Daily Detox


Accumulated toxins will get you down! Age you! Cause health problems!
Get rid of them! Give your digestive tract a loving massage. Give your body some help.

Digestive difficulties are common.  A seemingly endless supply of supplements and medicines exist to combat them.  The most effective treatment I have ever come across, however, costs very little - WATER.

Water is the mildest, least invasive way to hydrate and to aid in flushing out accumulated toxins and debris in the digestive tract.

This is not to say that I gave up my probiotics or roughage.   But when I read that Mae West and Kim Basinger, among others, tout weekly colonics for health, anti-aging, and beauty, I asked myself - why not look for an inexpensive way to do a similar practice.   For me, I won't go to the trouble and expense of doing the colonics.  So doing a morning cleanse is a lot more than the alternative, which is Doing Nothing!

GOOD MORNING CLEANSE: You simply drink 3 glasses of WARM water right after you wake up. The reason this works so well is that the water can do its work when it is not inhibited by the presence of digesting food.  The WARM temperature is key:  it soothes all the digestive organs on its uninhibited path downward. The warm water goes straight out of the stomach because of the warmth and washes you right through.  Another key: Don’t sip! Drink it down.  The water should not be so warm that you can’t drink it straight down.

If you don’t have the budget or desire to engage in weekly colonics, you can still do your body a favor by helping it flush out the colon using this simply good morning warm water technique. Leave yourself time afterwards before you have to shower and leave the house, to allow the water to do its work. How about a 15 minute stretching routine? Sun Salutation?  Healthy breakfast before your shower?  Try it out first on a weekend.  The first few mornings may be a little uncomfortable as accumulated waste becomes unstuck - but I haven’t met anyone who isn’t glad to get rid of  it at such a small cost!

You can heat your water in an electric thermos, bpa free plastic or glass electric kettle, or regular tea kettle.  You don't need to boil it.  175˚ to 190˚ water (you can hear it sizzling, before boing point) is fine for mixing with room temp water to get your preferred temperature.  Fill your glass about 1/4 full with room temp water and then add the warm water.  Taste for temperature. You might need to add a little warm or a little cool water to adjust as needed.

Cleansing is an important practice to add into life’s routines, because our bodies can only do so much without a little help. It is kind of like cleaning house. Give your body/home some love.



LINKS FOR ELECTRIC KETTLES:
Electric thermos - Choice of 3 temperatures
BPA free plastic electric kettle
Glass electric kettle
Stove-top kettle

Saturday, May 20, 2017

EAT MORE - WEIGH LESS!

 
I learned a fantastic lesson a while back.  I found that by eating more veggies with every meal, I lost weight. I didn't eat less food overall - just more veggies.  The key is to make them yummy.

What happens is that by eating more veggies at meals, I was not so hungry for the other heavier foods or even for sweet desserts.  I truly believe that this is because when the body is getting better nourishment (via veggies), it isn't continuing to trigger a hunger action in the brain.  In other words - when you don't get certain nourishment you think you are still hungry.  I believe it may be impossible to overeat vegetables! The more veggies you eat with your meal, the less you will eat the stuff that keeps weight on.  When you go for seconds - go for veggies!

By my mid-20s I had normally been a little chunky.  I experienced an epiphany after a long bout of flu -- I decided to try to eat more veggies for my general health.  I realized the reason I didn't eat enough vegetables was because either 1) there weren't many veggie options on the menus at restaurants where I ate; and 2) they usually weren't delicious.

I realized that the first priority is to make veggies at home and make them delicious. Later tackle the restaurant question.

For emergencies keep some celery, cucumbers, and tomatoes on hand. In a pinch you can simply slice cucumbers into big chunks and drizzle with virgin olive oil and a little good quality salt. Or make a quick salad with any combination of the 3 (cucumbers, celery, tomatoes) tossed with your olive oil and salt, adding fresh herbs like parsley, mint, tarragon, oregano.  For cooked green goodness, I will start in this post with a recipe for green veggies that has won fabulous feedback from family and friends.  (Look for additional veggie recipes in posts coming soon) One way to make quick, edible green veggies is to cook them quickly on high heat in a cast iron skillet.
At every family holiday I make broccoli or kale. My young niece requested "Stefanie's Signature Kale" for her birthday dinner.   Wow, that is a compliment. Okay - This is how I do it.

Some cooks like to use a steamer - broccoli and kale only need a minute or two - but I prefer the following method:  I use a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet (mine is a 12 inch) with a lid. These are perfect for some kinds of high heat cooking, quick cooking, and beginner cooks, because they are very durable in high heat. I keep the following recipe simple for starters.  You can get fancy with garlic, onions, or other variations once you get the hang of the basic method.

RECIPE

Monday, January 30, 2017

Green is Gorgeous

One Christmas at dinner, my brother's girlfriend began telling my family about a fabulous kale salad recipe she had found.  As she described the recipe, my family began to smile - everyone recognized my recipe.  She looked around and asked why we were all smiling - my brother broke it to her: "My sister published that recipe years ago."

I began sharing delicious super healthy recipes - some raw, some not - in 2006 and 2007. I knew how healthy kale is, but I am a lazy, impatient cook.  Therefore I came up with a simple and easy kale salad Sometimes, depending on its season, the leaves can be more hard and bitter.  I faced just such an adverse salad at another family dinner for about 20 people.  My kale salad that just wasn't perfect and yummy.  I came up with back up plan.  If you can't get the salad to taste delicious, just throw it in a very hot cast iron skillet with a tablespoon of water and quickly close the lid for 1 minute.  A failed salad can still make a great sautee.

Since I can't say enough about how much better my health and weight have been since I added green veggies to my regular eating habits -- here it is again - My favorite way to prepare kale salad.

RECIPE:
Use the softest kale you can find at the market.  If it is a small bunch or if you are entertaining several guests, use 2 or 3. Sometimes dinosaur kale is softer than curly kale, and sometimes vice-versa. If you can find "siberian kale" it is usually super tender.

Cut any thick portions of stem out of the leaves and rinse them well (more mature kale will have fatter stems than younger plants)  Chop the kale into fairly small pieces. 

Friday, May 29, 2009

Green is Good


Why should you take chlorophyll when you are already taking tons of supplements? 

“It could be said that the source of all life on earth depends on a special process that only the green plants possess. This process is called photosynthesis. All green plants absorb energy from the sun, take water and minerals through their roots and air through through leaves en route to maturity. Using the energy from the sun, plants utilize water, minerals and carbon dioxide to make starches, fats, proteins, vitamins and everything they require to grow.
….The chlorophyll molecule bears a striking resemblance to hemoglobin, the red pigment in human blood. The red blood pigment is a web of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen atoms grouped around a single atom of iron. Nature’s green pigment is a similar web of the same atoms, except that its centerpiece is a single atom of magnesium.” (Read the entire article at: http://proliberty.com/observer/20011010.htm)

I just don't feel right if I don't eat green stuff.  I guess it turns out there is a reason for this.  

Chlorophyll is said to improve various anemic conditions, improve the action of the heart, reduce high blood pressure and improve overall health. The writer of the above mentioned article cites examples of chlorophyll normalizing blood count and platelet levels. 
{Buy Chlorophyll here}
Further benefits attributed to chlorophyll include improvement or healing of:
Hepatitis and other liver diseases, asthma and hay-fever, pyorrhea, varicose veins, hemorrhoids,
ulcers - internal and external, high and low blood sugar, offensive body odors, sore throat.
“While we always hear that eating more fruits and vegetables enhances our health, new research shows that eating green foods adds extra power to an anti-aging program.