Saturday, December 29, 2012

What's in your fridge?

Looking in someone's refrigerator is like looking in their medicine cabinet - it's very revealing. You can learn some pretty important information. Not only can you tell what kind of foods they're into (which indicates how much they care about nutrition and their health), you can also tell if they cook or not, consume soft drinks or commercial juices, and eat animal products. 

Regardless of the contents, it's always sort of fun to look inside.

I took the photos included in this post recently, when I came back from the Open Farmer's Market called the Swap Shop, in Sunrise, FL.  We've been shopping there for about 20 years now and have sustained a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle for our family of 5 on a modest but substantial budget, with a feeling of incredible abundance because of the amounts of fruits and vegetables that are stocked in our fridge used for meals, fresh juices, shakes, and snacks.

As you can see, most of what's in there is fresh produce.  Other things kept in our fridge on a regular basis include homemade hummus, fresh peanut butter, tofu, homemade sprouts, unsalted butter, whole wheat flour & yeast for baking in the bread machine, homemade salad dressing, dates, raisins, walnuts, almonds, leftover quinoa and rice & lentils. 

In our freezer you'll usually find a few bags of frozen bananas and chopped frozen fruit for smoothies and homemade ice cream, frozen slices of home baked (salt free, sugar free, additive free) and ice.

We do indulge and splurge on pizza, ice cream, chips and baked goods occasionally, since moderation of 'special treats' is key in a balanced lifestyle, but healthy choices are available for our daily consumption. 

As the New Year approaches, let's take stock of what we are putting into our bodies, and whether  the food we are eating is alive (contains water, like fruits and veggies) or dead (cooked or packaged). We only have one body, and we should take the best care of it for ourselves and for our loved ones, who count on us to be healthy and strong, with energy to work and enjoy our lives in excellent health.

If somebody took a look inside your fridge today, what would they see?   

Wishing you an incredible New Year, filled with 
the best of health, fulfillment, joy and love.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Easy Sprouts!

If you love sprouts and want to have them available all the time, make them yourself easily, with very little space needed, in your very own kitchen!

When you purchase sprouts in the store they are usually overpriced, packaged, and after a day or two often get slimy or go bad very quickly.

We've been using the Sprout Garden 3 Tray Family Sprouting Kit (approx. $28 on Amazon) for the last 6 months and it has truly been a blessing to enjoy homemade sprouts daily and in abundance.

The sprouts we've been growing are Mung Bean, Alfalfa and Broccoli sprouts (seeds were also purchased on Amazon) and having them on hand to add to our daily salads has been a luxury...the best thing about homemade sprouts is that you know exactly where they came from and what went into them - just fresh water!

Sprouts are one of the most alkalizing, nutritious and easily accessible foods known to man, rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes.  A sprout possesses all of the energy, vitamins, nutrients and power that enables it to be transformed from a small seed into a strong plant.  At this stage its nutritional value is at its highest, and due to their size and taste you are able to eat hundreds of sprouted seeds at a time. In so many sprouts, you are eating the equivalent of hundreds of fully grown plants all at once!  Studies have shown that broccoli and other types of sprouts contain exceptionally high levels of a natural cancer fighting compound called sulforaphane (20-50 times more than in mature broccoli) which helps support antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin E.

There's a lot of information available on the internet on sprouts and how to grow them, with plenty of methods and techniques, but after trying several other ways I found the Sprout Garden to be the easiest, quickest, most fun and rewarding. Kids can also help, it's so just have to water and drain them first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and within just a few days your sprouts are ready!  

Below are recent photos of ours...hope this inspires you to start sprouting!

Mung Bean Sprouts

Alfalfa Sprouts

Broccoli Sprouts

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Got Juice?

As I write this post I'm drinking a delicious juice made with celery, apple, carrot, a slice of lemon, a piece of ginger, parsley and cucumber...I have been drinking this kind of juice every day for almost 90 days now, and I feel amazing, with boundless energy and great health! A very exciting result has been losing a few 'pesky pounds' I've been meaning to for some time now, and I've been told my skin feels softer and is glowing...

If you have a juicer and are not using it, take it out, dust it off, and get ready to rock!...I promise you it will be worth your while...most people get excited about juicing and do it for a little while, and then they get lazy, especially about cleaning the juicer afterwards. (You know who you are!) It only takes a few minutes, and if you 'whistle while you work' and know that if you take the time to treat yourself to this magical and healthful drink, it will become a habit, second nature, and your body will actually begin to crave the juice on a daily basis and you will start realizing all kinds of amazing results!

I was inspired by a documentary I saw several months ago called "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" by Joe Cross. It's an amazing documentary (reserved it at my local library) about a man's journey through JUICE FASTING, and how he and other people along the way achieve a healthy lifestyle using the power of fruits and vegetables. Its primary focus is on shedding weight, but even for people who have no weight issues but perhaps some health issues, it's well worth watching and being's a great way to change up your lifestyle and get some great extra energy!

No doubt, the healthiest juices are the ones that contain greens.  Green leafy vegetables contain the most vitamins and nutrients, and you'll feel almost instantly better after drinking a green juice. Typically, the guidelines for making Green Juice is 60% green and leafy vegetables and 40% other vegetables/fruits.

The juice floods your body with enzymes, vitamins and minerals for quick absorption and greatly benefits your immune system.

If you are making a whole day's worth of juice at one time, keep the juice in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for later.

A basic recipe to get you started...
Cucumber, celery, green leaves (lettuce, kale, collard greens), 1 apple.

You can add carrots, beets, red and green peppers, broccoli, zucchini, pineapple, add spice with some fresh ginger, add a zesty tang with a slice of lemon or lime (skin is okay to include), give your juice a fresh taste with a few sprigs of mint.

There are many dozens of wonderful recipes on the internet so google away and find the best and tastiest juice that works for you, and start today!

Obviously fresh vegetable juice is much more concentrated than the amount of vegetables you can possibly eat in one sitting, so the nutritional benefits of the vegetables are made available to the body much faster, helping your body to remove the step required to extract the juice from the vegetable. But in doing so, you also lose the all important fiber which helps maintain regularity, so make sure to continue eating plenty of fresh veggies as well!

Happy Juicing...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Easy Potato Knishes

This is by far the easiest and quickest way to make potato knishes! They were such a big hit the first time I made them that I had to share this recipe with you...the filling in these is a mixture of steamed potato, fried onions and all kinds of spices, but you can add your favorite ingredients such as sweet potato, spinach and mushrooms.

The photos below tell the story...use any kind of tortilla you like, regular or whole wheat (healthier), mayonnaise (I prefer homemade) mustard or your favorite spread.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees while preparing your knishes. When ready, bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tortilla is firm but not crisp. Let cool before eating. Serve them whole or slice for hors d'oeuvoures. 

Hope you enjoy!