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

The Daily Beet / Recreational Classes & New Wellness Programs

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Not to rush into fall, but today IS a rainy day, and thoughts turn to September. Around here that means Back to School!

For those of us who aren’t IN school, what is September all about? I tend to think that summer places are best in September, that we’ll stay on the shore, or enjoy the pool, but things just get busy. We tend to trade in those blissful thoughts for routines and sweaters. Maybe it’s living in the northeast, where the weather, seasonal activities, clothes, and foods are so much a part of what defines our year. Sometimes it seems that all we do is organize our closets! Today I’ll tell you about what’s happening here in September, then I’m getting back to my knitting and August in general!

This year I will be traveling in the late fall, so I am preparing for classes and signing up clients now- I’m ready for the “back to school” season so feel free to contact me by email at pamlillis.health@gmail.com Until then you can find me at the farmstand or the beach, remembering that this weather should be enjoyed…everyday of it!

To register for my evening classes at Wilton High School’s culinary arts room : https://www.wiltoncontinuinged.org/CourseCatalog/categoryView.asp?ID=459

The next session of ‘Navigating Nutrition’ Health and Wellness Program (4 or 6 week option) starts the week of September 1st. Get back to basics and reach your goals by Halloween!

  • Please note: *New offering- The “One and Done Session”.  See CLASSES on pamlillis.com for details
  • Food Lit Book Group meets Tuesday, September 1st 11am-12pm at Wilton Library. To register: http://www.libraryinsight.com/eventSignUpW.asp?jx=si&lmx=700076&bpx=&rea=

Help! I need a Health Coach!

Yes, I’m eating in my car! Graduations, celebrations, travel… you know the drill. This time of year is a challenge for everyone! What does a Health Coach do when he/she needs a Health Coach?

IMG_1582I get back to basics. I remember the changes that I’ve made, and the things that I’ve tried, and I calm down. I think of myself first, and make sure that the things that are important to my well being don’t get overlooked. College kids back? Do they really mind if I go to the gym? I mean- are they even awake?  Visitors? Don’t they want to feel good too? What’s the worst they could say about you if you keep the food simple, real, and good? Time crunch? I like to make a list…then take at least one thing out of the equation.It’s a gift!

I’m a routine oriented person. Maybe you’re not. Just know yourself, and when you are feeling off balance think like an integrative health coach…..and start your day knowing that you will do the best you can, make the choices that are right for your unique circumstances, and feel good doing it.

The Daily Beet / The CSA

Do you have a CSA share?  Mine starts on June 3rd! This year I will get both the vegetables from Stoneledge Farm (www.stoneledgefarmny.com), and the fruit that they deliver from surrounding farms in upstate New York. A CSA is short for “community supported agriculture” and who doesn’t want to get on board with that?

I’m pretty busy teaching my canning and preserving classes AND I’m usually cooking for an ever-changing number of people at home. My CSA farm makes it  convenient for me to have the freshest produce available and support the farmers that grow it.  I agree that sometimes it can be  challenging to use the random combinations of veggies at pick up each week, but the contents of my basket with their beautiful colors and earthy goodness seem to beg to be used right away! Sometimes it can feel like pressure…and we don’t want that! If you think that a CSA share may be too much for you, be aware that most farms offer half shares .

To start, I wash everything for the refrigerator very well  under cold running water (especially the lettuces) and store  in produce bags (or a pillowcase) in the crisper drawer. I have  read articles that recommend the reverse (wash just before eating) but judging from the various members of  the natural world that have ended up in my rinse water, I have come to  prefer my method. In addition, there is no hassle with last minute veggie creativity. Even the  kids can join right in if the prewash has already taken place.A washed raw carrot is a beautiful thing.Don’t worry about root veggies and sensitive vine produce, they’ll do great without refrigeration.
I have found that the best technique for CSA survival has been to roast a combination of veggies, sometimes slicing the heartier ones (rutabagas,I’m talking about you) into thin round chips,brushing with olive oil ,and baking in a 400 degree oven until browned and crispy. ANY combination is great, and you’ll them up right away. Make some grains, grill some chicken, and eat your veggies! Oh yes- roasted veggies can be frozen flat in a ziplock bag and used for frittatas,soups,and ratatouille.

Dehydrating is another way to preserve  both fruits AND veggies. There are wonderful recipes for making fruit leathers….and even savory tomato leather . Heres a recipe to try: http://wholefedhomestead.com/preserving-the-harvest-tomato-leather/.Enjoy!