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 digestion and help you feel satisfied with less likelihood of overeating. They can 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."

Now, I realize that even my super simple Perfect Green Veggie Sautee and Kale Salad can seem a little daunting 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 snap peas also work well (remove the strings). Baby carrots are better than nothing. (Okay, okay...tomatoes and carrots aren't green, but I feel better if I have them with a meal than if I have no veggies at all!) In my experience, if I could get one or more of those vegetables on my lunch or dinner (or breakfast!) 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.

Get the green on your plate! They aren't taking anything away from you.  You are just adding to what you are already eating, whatever that is.




A Little More Prep:
  • Super Simple 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, any savory dried spices that are handy (oregano, basil, thyme, sage, rosemary (don't get me started) ) 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 Inexpensive 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.   I read that Mae West and other diva super stars tout weekly colonics for health, anti-aging, and beauty,  For me, I would rarely go to the trouble and expense of colonics. But clearly, one should do something.  I found this morning cleanse, and subsequently discovered several friends were doing it.  So now it is part of my daily morning routine.

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 to allow the water to do its work.  Try it out first on a weekend.  The first few mornings may be a little uncomfortable as accumulated waste becomes unstuck!  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 - more of what I ate was veggies.  The key is to make them yummy.

What happened was 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 and more various 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 available. 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 have included below a recipe for green veggies that has won fabulous feedback from family and friends.

At every family holiday I make broccoli or kale. My young niece once requested "Stefanie's Signature Kale" for her birthday dinner.   Wow, that is a compliment. Okay - This is how I do it.

Some folks like to use a steamer - broccoli and kale only need a minute or two - I prefer to cook quick, edible green veggies quickly, using fairly high heat in a skillet with a lid. I often use a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet (mine is a 12 inch).  These are perfect for some kinds of high heat cooking, quick cooking. They are durable, difficult to damage.

I have kept the following recipe simple, in case you are a beginner.  You can get fancy with garlic, onions, spices, or other variations once you get the hang of the basic method.

RECIPE
For quick and tasty kale, broccoli, green beans, sweet peas, snow peas, asparagus, etc.
1 skillet (this can be done in cast iron, ceramic or pretty much any other type of skillet)
Green veggie of choice (broccoli, snow peas, sugar snap peas, green beans, kale, rapini, etc.)
High quality salt (i.e. Himalayan or other mineral salt)
1 Tbsp of water

Put your veggies in the pan, but don't add water or oil at first. Let the pan heat up, and then add

Monday, January 30, 2017

Green is Gorgeous - Delicious Kale Salad

One Christmas at dinner, a dear friend 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.