Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Modified Lentil Loaf - An Amazing Vegetarian Alternative

I have used various vegetarian alternatives over the years and while the legume family does not work best for my digestive tract, I still enjoy an occasional treat! As my personal diet has evolved more Paleo/SCD (specific carbohydrate diet), I have been experimenting more in my "lab", the kitchen, in order to create "Julie-Stomach-Friendly" alternatives that often work for the vast group of clients that I see on a day to day basis. Many of my traditional vegetarian patties and loaves call for bread crumbs of some sort. Over the past few years, I used gluten-free, high fiber options, but neither are allowed in the above dietary recommendations. I chose to use fresh flaxseeds, ground, as my alternative, bumped up the eggs for binding and voila, a great Lentil Loaf emerged! Try it with cooked veggies and some sweet potato cubes or on a salad with seeds and roasted red tomatoes or in a coconut wrap with greens and a sprinkle of Daiya cheddar shreds. Lentil Loaf - serves 12 Cook 1 cup lentils as directed on package or in 2 cups water, bring to boil, simmer until water is absorbed Add the following: 1 small onion or shallot, minced 2 carrots, diced 1 clove garlic, minced or 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp each: oregano, sage 1/2 tsp each: basil, thyme 1/4 tsp pepper 2 tbl walnuts, finely chopped 1/2 cup flaxseed, ground 2 eggs Mix well and put into greased 8x4 or 9x5 loaf pan. Bake 350 for 45 minutes. Cover with 1 cup tomato sauce and return to oven for 10-15 minutes. Cool slightly before serving (or it will crumble) or before cutting into slices to freeze for later use. Enjoy! Julie

Friday, April 25, 2014

Happy Birthday Dad and the Famous Chocolate Cake

Tomorrow is my Dad's birthday and his all-time favorite is my chocolate cake with coffee frosting. I've been making this cake since the 6th grade! Today's version is made with gluten-free flour, but I dare not change anything else to this famous recipe! My mom let me loose in the kitchen at a young age and I really enjoyed baking as a youngster. I recall very clearly the time my aunt was visiting from the Philippines. We rarely got to see her because my uncle was stationed there for work. I decided to make my cake for her and had only done it a few times and not usually without some supervision from Mom. Left to my own devices, I was making quite the mess - flour everywhere. I called my Dad from the basement for help before I was about to get into trouble. Mom was a neat-nick! The cake was great and continues to be so to this very day. While I alter many recipes to create healthier versions, there are some recipes that come out only a few times a year and should remain sacred for the purpose. Happy Birthday Dad! Love, Julie Now for the nutrition tip - try fennel, raw or cooked. Fennel is a wonderful vegetable for calming the digestive system. It has a mild licorice flavor to it and is delightful chopped on salads or sauteed in a little coconut oil with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Miss Representation

Over the weekend, my daughters and I watched Ms Representation, a documentary about how women are objectified in our culture. My college daughter, Ashley, was introduced to this from a peer at school and we all enjoy social and philosophical viewings, discussions and issues to ponder. This brings me back to my earlier days when Gloria Steinem, did the first documentary on women's issues and the effects on body image. I have been passionate about this topic because I, too, was a victim of early bullying about my weight and began the diet cycle at age 9 along with my parents. These "flashback" opportunities allow us to see where we have been, what has contributed to shaping our beliefs and habits, while also seeing where we have come in the process. For me, I have always wanted to understand my motives, to peel away the layers, so to speak, of my protective shell, getting at true concerns of basic needs - will I be safe, will I be lovable, am I good enough! I'd be curious to see how others feel about viewing this documentary on Netflix! It is so important to not be taken in by the media and to recognize its role in shaping our thoughts and actions. To counter this, get out in nature - see the sky, hear the birds and breathe in plenty of fresh air! Peace, Julie

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Asparagus - a great Spring recipe

And a great Spring Recipe: Asparagus, ends snipped Oven roast in 1 tbl grapeseed oil at 425 until tender crisp - about 10 minutes Remove from oven and drizzle balsamic vinegar and a little goat cheese Yum!

Love: Just Because It Feels Good

Leading up to this blog, I've written about yoga and heart opening, the 4th chakra called Anahata and just yesterday about recreating/recreation. If one googles Heart Math, NLP, Quantum Physics, yoga, Bruce Lipton and Gregg Braden-both scientists who have and are exploring the Quantum Physics theory - it becomes very clear that the energy from the heart plays a much larger role in our true physical/emotional/spiritual healing than was once believed. I decided to add the tag, "Just because it feels good" in order to separate what can cause disappointment, anger, sadness and dis-ease for many. Often, we love thinking that it is unconditional or no strings attached, but as we look closer and examine the true nature of our actions and choices, there may be a core belief, fear or expectation attached to our choice. This is being human and as human beings, we all have basic needs that must be satisfied in order to free ourselves from the fear of being "OK" in the world. For example, many women my age were taught, "good girls are to be seen and not heard"! This was a very formative belief in my thinking. I learned to be nice, to be helpful, to be supportive and while these are great attributes, they were ingrained as do this or else . . . you are not safe from being punished and taken care of. As a child, we often do not know that this process is even going on. As adults, we have the opportunity to look back on these core beliefs, challenging them and choosing what FEELS good. Again, look at the theories and scientists about to get an idea of how feeling affects every aspect of total health! A fun and quick exercise if to sit comfortably with the spine erect, cross hands over the heart center, one palm on top of the other, close eyes and breathe deeply, imagining warmth and a wonderful setting be it sitting on a beach in the sun or focusing on a candle with quietness all around. Choose your place and relax. The hand position is a reiki position and can hold powerful energy for the heart. With love, Julie

Friday, April 18, 2014

Life Design, Recreate and Recreation

Definition of recreation (n) Bing Dictionary rec·re·a·tion [ rèkree áysh'n ] 1.refreshment: the refreshment of the mind and body after work, especially by engaging in enjoyable activities 2.amusement: an activity that a person takes part in for pleasure or relaxation rather than as work synonyms: regeneration · rebirth · reformation · restoration · restitution · refreshment You may be wondering what this is all about. Today being Good Friday in my spiritual orientation growing up catholic, I have been thinking about these themes. It was brought up during one of my energy/spiritual/reflection sessions about the fact that I have been in this very process - recreating my life from the energizer bunny who became "wounded" that created a need and desire to follow her life's dream. While I am still loving my work as a nutritionist, this is a new beginning and I am ever so watchful of when I am entering the "old self" rather than the "re-created self". The term that came up in discussion during my session was life design and how I am now choosing to enact this. When I ponder recreate or recreation, it is quite interesting to see that both offer a fun side to the equation, as well as restoration. These are newer concepts for me and although I often talk about life balance in my office with clients or with my family and friends, there was a longstanding blindspot right in front of me, not allowing this very balance for myself. Good Friday and Easter offer this very reflection - to re-create oneself. Passover is very similar and while I was brought up in the catholic tradition, I often refer to myself as spiritual rather than demoninational. I wish all peace, happiness and reflection during this season of holiness, rebirth, Spring! Blessings, Julie

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pace, Race and the Tortoise and Hare

So I awoke this morning feeling refreshed, saw the sunlight and looked out to see a crystal blue sky with snow on the cars! It is April 16 and we had 65ish degree temps on Monday with warmth, blooming and many people outside walking. I felt grateful for feeling good today, as this can be a scarce commodity, although more abundant than even three months ago! What immediately came to mind was Pace, not Race. To backup a bit, I have been known to race through things - it became part of my identity to be known as the energizer bunny - also closely associated with the hare that I will talk about. I was known to accomplish so much and it certainly fed my ego as well as my family for the years of single parenthood. When illness struck almost two years ago now, not only did my pace slow down, but I was compelled to look at how the race really had an impact of my physical, emotional and spiritual life. In the back of my mind, I knew that I could not keep up the pace, but I did not know how to get out of the vicious cycle. My daughters, wiser beyond their years, have noted that during this period of healing, when I feel well, I go with all my gusto - starting to put too much back into my life - old ways of being. On this past Sunday, as the sun and warmth crept in, I took a long walk, followed by a bike ride and proceeded to do the same on Monday. I felt great! My energy and stamina are so improved from where they had been, but by Tuesday, I felt lousy - low energy, digestive issues (part of how lyme shows up in me, feeling like this cycle will never end. However, instead of staying the place of "this will never end", I now choose to reflect. My reflection became quite clear - Pace yourself and do not Race. In fact, just last week, one of my esteemed energy workers reminded me of the tortoise and hare story - slow and steady wins the race and also shows the wisdom that we gain with time. Be well and keep a steady pace, Julie

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Move Your Body

As the day began there was a steady rain and bone-chilling coldness to the air. The walk ended a bit shorter than usual, but still felt invigorating. Later in the afternoon, blue skies appeared, wind died down and it felt like a good time to walk Tammie, who never refuses an opportunity for a walk. (Tammie is my almost 10 year old shih-poo, an active sort!) Upon returning from an amazing walk along the shore, noting the waves, the energy of the ocean and beauty all around, I decided to take my bike out for a short spin. Cycling has been a favorite activity since childhood and I just got my 25+ year old bike back from its tune-up, so the timing was great. Cycling through old town and along the water, I decided to take a route that I've never done before in all my years traveling to Marblehead. What a beautiful adventure - houses I've never seen, inlets of water, lots of hills! What amazed me the most was my stamina and core energy. Since I have been ill for almost two years, I have been unable to ride my bike with much vigor. Today felt like a new lease on life or at least a major turn of the corner. I focus on these milestones in my healing process because it is being in the moment, feeling already healed, that will manifest this exact reality. Just for today, I am grateful! Blessings, Julie

Thursday, April 10, 2014

" A Year Without Sugar - Memoir from a Mom"

Daily I seem to talk about the evils of sugar, assisting others in how to alter the taste buds, to tone them down to this addictive substance. I usually start by saying that we all come into the world loving sugar, since mother's milk is pretty darn good tasting! Unfortunately, the food industry puts sugar into almost everything one can imagine - even canned soup and bacon have it! Why is it so hard to break the habit. The ingestion of sugar causes an immediate rise in blood sugar, which then causes the pancreas to secrete insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar or the energy in the blood. With the decline in blood sugar, one may feel tired, weak, even shaky and the next thing that happens is a need and desire for more sugar. The cycle begins and for some, never ends! There are other players in the mix as well - neurotransmitters or brain chemical messengers, that feel good when the blood sugar is on the rise. Serotonin and GABA are the "feel good" neurotransmitters and if one tends to be anxious or depressed, a little boost in these can feel great. However, the cycle keeps going because of the insulin secretion and "gobbling up" of the sugar, hence energy. Suffice it to say, a lower sugar diet is very helpful and of course, we are coming up on a very candy intense celebration - Easter with all the Cadbury eggs, Peeps marshmallow treats and jelly beans! This can be a sugar addict's most difficult season. Read the clip from the article, "A Year Without Sugar" and see my delicious, altered cookie that really satisfies that palate! Happy Spring, Julie Year of No Sugar: A Memoir Posted on April 9, 2014 by Stone Hearth News Most likely everywhere. Sure, it’s in ice cream and cookies, but what scared Eve O. Schaub was the secret world of sugar–hidden in bacon, crackers, salad dressing, pasta sauce, chicken broth, and baby food. With her eyes open by the work of obesity expert Dr. Robert Lustig and others, Eve challenged her husband and two school-age daughters to join her on a quest to eat no added sugar for an entire year. Along the way, Eve uncovered the real costs of our sugar-heavy American diet–including diabetes, obesity, and increased incidences of health problems such as heart disease and cancer. The stories, tips, and recipes she shares throw fresh light on questionable nutritional advice we’ve been following for years and show that it is possible to eat at restaurants and go grocery shopping–with less and even no added sugar. Year of No Sugar is what the conversation about “kicking the sugar addiction” looks like for a real American family–a roller coaster of unexpected discoveries and challenges. “As an outspoken advocate for healthy eating, I found Schaub’s book to shine a much-needed spotlight on an aspect of American culture that is making us sick, fat, and unhappy, and it does so with wit and warmth.”–Suvir Sara, author of Indian Home Cooking “Delicious and compelling, her book is just about the best sugar substitute I’ve ever encountered.”–Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Powers Source: Amazon - See more at: http://www.stonehearthnewsletters.com/year-of-no-sugar-a-memoir/nutrition-food-sugar/#sthash.J3vaWbXt.dpuf Recipe from Julie: Flourless Peanut or Almond Butter Cookies (Best Cookies Ever!) ¼ C Sugar ¼ C Apple Sauce ½ C Benefiber 1 C Natural Peanut Butter, Sunbutter or Almond Butter 1 Egg Makes 1 Dozen 1. Preheat oven 350 degrees 2. Beat sugar, apple sauce, benfiber, peanut or almond butter, egg in medium mixing bowl with electric mixer until blended and smooth 3. Put in greased muffin tins filling them about half way up 4. Bake 15 minutes Makes one dozen cookies Can add 2 tbl Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips to mix

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Yoga and Flow

Today I was at my yoga training all day, month 8 of 10 and loving it! The program that I take is Yoga Of Energy Flow, and ironically, a theme for my own self-work, is learning to "go with the flow!" In this process of transformation - physical, emotional and spiritual healing - there is an unlearning of habits, thoughts and behaviors that takes place and the laying down of new tracks of information for the body and mind to assimilate. It is quite fascinating to be in a space of calm, observing without reacting. Yoga has rekindled this basic awareness that we are all born with. Notice a baby when calm. There is observing, taking in without judgement or blame or self-ridicule. These latter attributes are learned and conditioned behaviors that we take ownership for over time. I often suggest to my clients to be the "outside observer", not a judge. It is in this place of observation that one can gather information to take steps towards transformation, to more easily "go with the flow", because there is no critical self telling one what he or she should or should not do. It is through the practice of observing and choosing that we become our true selves and life goes with the flow. Try it! Blessings, Julie

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Radishes: A forgotten Crucifer

While in Germany for my three week alternative cancer treatment program, we learned so many properties of foods that I had been somewhat unfamiliar with. In the US, we did not usually tout the benefits of radishes, but in Germany, Poland, Russia and China, radishes are used medicinally for their antioxidant capacity and cancer fighting abilities. This pungent root is derived from China and the isothiocyanates are chemicals in the root which are responsible for the tangy bite. The sulphur containing aspect, known as sulforaphane, helps to inhibit tumor growth in the breast, prostate and ovaries by protecting the DNA from damage. I tend to never want to waste parts of the plants, so I decided to google if the greens were safe to eat and up popped multiple ways to enjoy these tender leaves. I also found out that the greens have even higher disease fighting qualities! Go ahead and enjoy your roots and leaves! Tangy Radish Salad One bunch radishes, washed and sliced 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried if no fresh available) 1 tbl yellow mustard 2 tbl organic apple cider vinegar 2 tsp olive, grapeseed or walnut oil Mix the mustard, vinegar and oil together with a whisk Rinse the greens and place on plate Mix the sliced radishes and dressing together and place on top of greens Enjoy this delicious lunch including: Paleo Wrap thinly spread with mayo and dijon mustard with greens, organic chicken strips, peptita seeds, avocado, daiya cheddar. Serve with a few cubes of baked sweet potato cubes and radish salad Bon Appetit! Julie