Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wisdom Wednesday

Friday, January 16, 2015

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I must have more recipes for butternut squash than any other food. I love it cooked in so many different ways. This recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup came from a friend who tried it, loved it and passed it on. It's a great soup for a rainy day. But don't wait for a rainy day to try it—it's too good to wait. Besides we seem to be entering another dry spell here in California and you know we need the rain.

The Granny Smith apple provides a wonderful sweetness to this soup. While the fresh sage adds a touch of earthiness.

Friday, January 9, 2015

6 Tips to Lose Weight

6 Tips to Lose Weight
If you're resolved to lose weight, get back energy and feel better, there are several things you should know to help you succeed.

#1 Don't Count Calories
Do yourself a favor and forget the stress of counting calories. It will only make you crazy. Besides not all calories are alike—50 calories of sugar is a whole lot different than 50 calories of veggies. It's not the calories that count—it's the content of the calories.

Instead, take a serious look at the food you want to eat and ask, "Is this something that will give my body good health?" You know you shouldn't be eating a candy bar when you're hungry. It's full of artificial and GMO ingredients and sugar (corn syrup most likely). You might be satisfied, but you won't feel good.

#2 Don't Skip Breakfast

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions
Broken Promises
It happens every year. Lengthy lists are made of promises to ourselves that we will lose weight, save money, join the gym, eat healthy, learn a new skill, and on and on. Gym managers love it! They get new members who sign up, pay up and show up for a time until things go back to normal with only the die-hard regulars coming in. Purveyors of the latest diet fade love it! They sell diet books, recipe books and special food until the next hot fade comes along. What's wrong with the last one? Didn't lose weight? Too hard?

I caught a glimpse of the Hollywood Cookie Diet! Are you serious? I don't even want to know how that's supposed to work. Folks, we make it too hard. We look for the quick fix when what we need is re-education. We have gotten so far off track from what our bodies need to be healthy. Health science continues to identify all these marvelous nutrients that do wonderful things in our body and then they try to bottle it. Where did the nutrient come from? The fruit of the land—fruits, vegetables and grains. Let's get back to basics.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year's Eve ~ More Medical Mishaps

New Year's Eve Medical Mishaps
A routine followup appointment to the ophthalmologist on New Year's Eve turned into a nightmare. Seems I have the knack for experiencing medical problems during the holidays. In 2012 it was the Christmas Crash when a urinary tract infection turned bad. This time it should have a been a simple look at my eye to verify all is well.

Floaters and Tears
It all started early in December when I awakened to a new set of floaters in my left eye. You know... those little blotches and hair-like ghosts that float around in your vision? Those are the result of the eye's vitreous fluid breaking up as we age and are said to be more prevalent in those of us with poor far vision (I'm raising my hand).

Floaters are annoying enough, but these were particularly dark and big. Added to the floaters I already had, made the situation that much more bothersome. Going about my day, I soon noticed something new in my left eye—flashes of light at the left edge. The light appeared as a perfectly rounded sliver like a new moon. Googling what I experienced turned up more frightening issues. The floaters and flashes could be the sign of a retinal tear or detachment—a situation that could lead to blindness if not looked after immediately. Yikes!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wishes for a Merry Christmas and Bright New Year

Merry Christmas Art
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Bright New Year! As I reflect on 2014 and look ahead to next year, first let me say I appreciate each of you. If you learned something and perhaps incorporated a few new things into your lifestyle that made you healthier, I am thankful.

I will be signing off until next year, but it won't mean I'm not thinking about you. Work has begun to redesign and re-orgainze the website. Once completed, you should find it easier to access what you're looking for—whether it's older posts, recipes, a product I've talked about or you're new and want to achieve optimum wellness. You'll discover health tips, information and recipes for your healthy journey.

I'll also be telling you about my children's books and how they fit in to my message for a healthy lifestyle. What? You didn't know I'm an author of children's books? My bad... I've needed to bring together my two identities (health coach/blogger and children's writer) for some time. It will make my life simpler (and you know I like that).

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Blessings of Special Needs Kids

Give a warm welcome to special guest poster, my friend, Nancy Hill—a fellow traveler on the journey of eating clean, traditional foods. She has two of the sweetest boys, which she adopted as wee ones knowing they needed special care. Enjoy reading about her latest diet journey and a blessing. ~Chris

Well, lots of changes going on around here…dietarily speaking! After 6 years, we’re officially no longer vegetarian. We’re now eating Paleo-style (although I dislike the label “Paleo!"), Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) to be exact, recommended by our new functional-pediatrician doc to address Philip’s GI issues. It was not an easy decision, or transition, but based on weeks of research, we feel it’s the best move at this point to help heal Philip’s gut and resolve his dysbiosis/small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), as well as malabsorption and nutritional deficiencies.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Orange Zest Cranberry Sauce Recipe

I love whole cranberry sauce and found some ready-made I really like. Trader Joe's makes a whole cranberry sauce with orange zest, but it's a bit sweeter than I prefer for my no-sugar diet. This year I made my own cranberry sauce following a recipe from PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine).

PCRM promotes a personal responsibility approach to medicine starting with a plant-based diet. Although I don't agree with every detail of the PCRM recommended diet, I am behind their goal of dramatically changing the way doctors treat chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and cancer. PCRM puts prevention over pills and other medical interventions, encouraging doctors to empower their patients to take control of their own health.

With a few tweaks from the original PCRM recipe, I made this cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and will likely repeat it for Christmas dinner. I squeezed juice from the orange I grated for the zest rather than use orange juice concentrate, which I find too processed. It turned out perfect.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

6 Tips to Achieve Christmas Bliss

Do you find yourself in a state of frenzy during the Christmas season, whether it's being bombarded by commercialization or feeling the stress of getting a gift for everyone on your list? Here are some tips for calming your heart and re-adjusting your attitude this season.

#1 Approach the Season With a Sense of Gratitude
Be grateful for what you have—friends and family who love you. They won't stop loving you if you don't get them a gift. The gift of you may be all that's needed.

#2 Give a Gift With Meaning
Make up a coupon to give something of yourself (babysitting for your girlfriend with small kids whose budget has no room for babysitting). The list is endless.