Monday Morning Beginning

oatmeal

If you are like most people, you probably have great intentions for healthy eating and drinking each Monday morning. Have you tried the idea of starting a new routine late day? Mornings are easy- we’re well rested & busy, and some of us cook at home and bring our lunch to work …but as the day goes on…you know what happens!

I have the secret (and it’s not very complicated).Eat more food! If you are “starting” to be “good” each morning you may be having a light breakfast, then a salad, then a coffee(is this you?) and by 4pm you are so HUNGRY!!! And so, something with sugar, something with caffeine, something to make it to the dinner hour.

So instead, think of a fresh start @ 4pm! Think fruit, herbal tea or green tea if you need the boost. Love oatmeal? Have that. Egg wrap? It’s high protein.A piece of toast? Yes, toast…trending in cool places everywhere!

Be happy knowing that you’ve started and finished your day feeling satisfied.

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Overnight Chia Pudding Recipe

Many have you asked me for this recipe. If you have ten minutes you can make your own pudding!I have a pretty big family and everyone likes to bring these to work- Packed full of important nutrients and fiber, these are vegan& lactose free! What’s not to like? Let me know if you make some…I love to hear what my friends are doing!

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2 cups coconut milk (I use So Delicious organic)

2 cups almond milk  (I use Califa Farms unsweetened)

1/4 cup (or less) real maple syrup -“to taste”

1 Banana

1 cup chia seeds

small (4 ounce) Ball mason jars may be purchased in any hardware store, but you can use any brand with a lid

Directions:

Combine milks,maple syrup,and banana in blender .Blend smooth.

Transfer to a pitcher and whisk in chia seeds

Fill jars ,cover, and refrigerate overnight to thicken

Serve with fruit or grab n’go!

* recipe will yield 8 or 9 small (4 oz)  mason jars of pudding. Too much? You may ‘half ‘the recipe with no consequences!

 

Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

14039-househouse_jane-beiles-14826-cc-3a7c470bphoto credit Jane Beiles for Wilton Magazine

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes, puréed (include the juice) or you may use freshly canned summer tomatoes 1- 8 ounce jar roasted red peppers (drained)
  • ¼ cup crème fraiche or Half and Half
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

  • Garnish a drizzle of pumpkin oil & fresh chives, or diced grilled cheese croutons

 

In a 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat the onion and garlic.

Add the broth, red peppers, tomatoes, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat while stirring the mixture to make sure that the flour is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.

Let cool briefly. For a creamier soup use the optional cream. Using an immersion blender, purée in two or three batches. If using a traditional blender or food processor fill container no more than halfway and leave top slightly ajar for safety. Cover with dishtowel to prevent splashes.

Return the soup to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with chives or croutons.

 

* Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine Issue 91

Why Preserve?

IMG_1840Yes, it’s a little messy. Yes, it takes a lot of fruit and veggies, but no, it doesn’t really take much time.And it’s fun if you don’t  make it overwhelming by making too much.

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I call my jams, compotes, and sauces the ultimate convenience foods! Unexpected guests? Grab a jar of one of these… it’s homemade and will never fail to impress!

Jam with cheeses and bread

Compotes served warm with a dollop of cream or yogurt for dessert or on oatmeal at breakfast

Pureed Roasted August Tomatoes tossed with pasta

These are the foods that  I’m talking about! I know that it’s “the end of the season” here in the northeast…but don’t forget apples, figs, persimmon, citrus, cranberry, ginger, just too many to name here..are delicious now, and even more delicious during a snowstorm, when you, yes- YOU serve them , because you already made something yummy when they were here and fresh. You’ll close your eyes and imagine that it’s fall….while the rest of your family looks on in awe. Sounds great, doesn’t it? 

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Grasping For Straws

IMG_4773.JPGSeptember feels like new beginnings. It all started with school clothes and classroom supplies, pencils and glue….

That feeling has stayed with most of us throughout the years, and as exciting as it is, I suspect that I’m not the only one who is kind of glad that I have never had to actually go to school with my kids!

Kids or no kids, September starts for all of us nonetheless. It brings with it a desire to get back to our routines, and especially to feel good about ourselves.

Yoga, cycling, walking the dog, golf, tennis, swimming.Watching the sun go down. Stargazing.

Ice cream, cocktails, seafood, farm stands, home baked berry pie, cheese and crackers, lobsters & butter, s’mores….

And now…grasping for straws

I think that we all want to enjoy the tastes of summer. I think that most of us should feel blessed that we have.

Almost ten years ago I stopped “dieting”.  I will share that I have never looked back. I have never been so free in terms of what I eat.Thinking about food 24/7 was a burden!  Lighten your load…Maybe this is the year that you make those small changes and stop trying the latest trend. Invest the time in figuring out what’s right for you and you alone.

We change with the seasons.You haven’t done anything wrong.  Be your best self and get back to what you love to do and eat now…keep it real, watch your portions…

(and maybe skip the ice cream)

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Travel Sized

IMG_3842A thirty day Sabbatical. Thirty days of travel to the West Coast and on to New Zealand and Australia with a little time in L.A. on the way back.

Thirty days with three meals a day out = ninety squares plus coffees, snacks and desserts. As a home cook, and a little bit of a homebody, I was skeptical- could I do it? In the past, even a five day vacation had left me wanting oatmeal in my own kitchen. But that was usually in the U.S. This time here is what saved me…portion size!

I was immediately reminded of the two years our family spent in Tokyo. A city where the smallest people get a coffee, a sandwich,and a dessert at Starbucks. Then they walk, eat small portions of salads, fish, and anything else they want to try. It is this way everywhere in the world but the good old USA. We just eat too much food.Our portions are  crazy & ridiculous.It’s embarrassing to defend. I say this because if you have traveled to another country, you know that strangers from other countries love to mention it.

One of the best weight loss programs I know of starts with food measurement. It’s an eye opener to learn just how much we’ve gotten used to. We classify our foods as “good” and “bad” and plan portions accordingly. We agonize about overeating. And then we serve portions that we overeat. Unfortunately, it is then that we go to no food. Are juices and shakes dinner? Is that what our children will do?

I remember ordering a beautiful seafood stew at a local restaurant on a first trip back from Japan. My meal was enough for our entire table. How much happier and lighter we all would have felt if we had shared. In New Zealand my Kiwi friends delighted in beautiful foods eaten in small portions. We, in turn, were treated to so many different tastes and treats because of the lack of obsession on their part. I wanted to scream out loud to my country – Free yourself and go small !

We restrict foods because we can’t handle them. How often have you said “I don’t keep (fill in the blank) in the house- I’d eat the whole box!” Have you asked yourself “Why?”. Why are we afraid of our foods? I want to be calm about food – and we can. Eat a variety of real foods that will satisfy you. Love what you eat. Love yourself.

It’s not hard to eat beautifully around the world. Maybe the next American food movement should be to be a culture that eats what it hungers for. And leaves it at that.

G & I came back relaxed, fit, and a little lighter. 30 days. Awesome.image

Love and Food

So, we went to a perfect wedding! And what does that mean? IMG_3282These two did it their way.

As the Beatles sang- “all you need is love”. Which you do… and food.

Integrative health encompasses the body & mind. All of the things that make us what we are. We can’t succeed in health goals without first taking into account all the things that support and defeat us as human beings each day. Food,fitness,  family, work,  learning, pets(which are family), jobs, challenges both physical  and emotional make us who we are. I say look at all of those influences and live life the fullest YOUR WAY….. all you need is love . And food.IMG_3254