4 Roots of Optimum Wellness

There are four essential parts to being healthy: Diet, Exercise, Sleep & Attitude.

Vitae Elixxir Healing Herbs

A proprietary combination of ten disease-fighting herbs used for more than 40 years and helping thousands of people with serious health issues.

The Prisoner of Carrot Castle Book App

Help your kids discover the fun of eating vegetables with the help of a whimsical interactive story (over 40,000 downloaded).

Books by Author & Health Coach Chris Pedersen

In a world of adventure and imagination, kids’ books in print and digital that encourage a healthy lifestyle.

6 Tips to Lose Weight

Don’t count calories—take a serious look at the food you want to eat, then ask, ”Is this something that will give my body good health?”

Friday, January 30, 2015

Juice Pulp Veggie Burgers

Juice Pulp Veggie Burgers Recipe
Often the complaint about juicers is that the fiber from the veggies and fruit goes to waste. You can put it in your composter to create future soil for your garden, but a better more immediate repurposing would be to turn it into veggie burgers.

When making juice I use a minimal amount of fruit. Given all the goodness in the veggie pulp, I decided to come up with a way to make vegan burgers from it. The fact that it has a bit of fruit makes the finished burger that much more tasty.

Juice Pulp Veggie Burgers
Add organic corn and beans. I used garbanzo beans for the batch above—I usually use black beans.

Juice Pulp Veggie Burgers
Add quinoa flour to the veggie pulp mixture and combine. Then add hummus, BBQ sauce, tapenade or your choice to add flavor and moisture. Add sea salt, fresh ground pepper and a seasoning combo. I like to use Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute.

Juice Pulp Veggie Burgers
Press the mixture to a desired thickness (<1/2") on a flat surface or in a shallow flat bowl.

Juice Pulp Veggie Burgers
Use a cookie cutter or glass to cut out the burgers.

Juice Pulp Veggie Burgers
Brown the burgers in a small amount of olive oil. Cool, wrap in plastic and freeze. Of course you can bake a few burgers to eat immediately.

Juice Pulp Veggie Burgers

from Chris Pedersen
yield Varies

category Main Course
cuisine Healthy, Vegan

ingredients
- Juicer pulp
- Quinoa flour
- Organic corn (frozen or fresh cut off the cob)
- Black beans (rinsed and drained), substitute another type of bean if desired
- BBQ sauce, hummus or tapanade (for moisture and flavor)
- Seasonings
- Olive oil

directions
1. Add pulp from juicer to large bowl with flat bottom. Mix enought quinoa flour through pulp to make the mixture start to stick together.
2. Mix in corn and beans.
3. Add your choice of flavor/moistening ingredient.
4. Heat skillet on medium-low heat with small amount of coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.
5. Press pulp mixture into the bottom of the bowl and use cookie cutter or glass to cut out burgers.
6. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan over medium heat to brown the burgers on both sides. Remove to cool.
7. Wrap cooled burgers individually in plastic wrap. Place in sealed bag or container and freeze.
8. To cook burgers, remove from freezer and heat in toaster oven at 350° for 15-20 minutes. Adjust time if necessary.
9. Make the burgers up with your favorite condiments and enjoy.

Hurom Slow Juicer
What kind of juicer do I have? Glad you asked. I love my Hurom Slow Juicer. As the name implies, it's a masticating juicer, which does a great job of squeezing the juice out of the veggies, expelling very dry pulp.

For a breakdown of the different kinds of juicers and a recommended brand for each type, visit What is the Best Juicer to Buy?

What do you do with the pulp from your juicer?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Exercise—Why Do It?

6 Reasons Why You Should Exercise
Exercise is not just to look and feel good. And it's certainly not the widely accepted wrong reason to exercise—to eat more bad food.

The rationale for exercise might not be clear. Here are six straight-forward, simple reasons why you should exercise:

#1 Exercise to Feel Good
This is not just a suck-it-up and smile type of feel good. This is real. Natural. Body created. Hormone related. Truly feel good—like all day good. Exercise creates endorphins in the body that are like morphine and opiates. Obviously wildly better than those drugs. Endorphins create a euphoric feeling that is healthier than any drug fix. Yes—even better than caffeine.

#2 Exercise to Burn Cortisol
Cortisol is a stress-induced hormone produced by the body when situations provoke emotions like anger, anxiety and fear. This stress hormone contributes to weight gain by causing the body to hold on to fat and increase cravings for sweets. Not a good combination. Not only does your body not burn fat, but it urges you to eat more sugar, which turns to fat. Ugh! And as you might imagine, with all that going on, cortisol creates inflammation which damages your organs.

#3 Exercise to Burn Fat
Be a better butter burner. I love that phrase coined by exercise guru from the late 70's Covert Bailey. Regular exercise produces lean muscle mass, which burns fat by increasing your metabolism. You can lose fat while you're relaxing in an easy chair if you have lean muscle. What more could you ask for? That's a big payoff for the little time it takes to get regular exercise.

Just a side note: don't get on the scales to measure your results because you may actually gain weight as you develop lean muscle. Size for size muscle weighs much more than fat. Instead check how your clothes fit. That will tell you when you've lost fat.

#4 Exercise to Lower Insulin
Insulin increases the body's storage of fat while at the same time preventing fat cells from releasing fat for energy. A real show stopper. Exercise to the rescue! Exercise reduces the body's insulin resistance, which is the body failing to utilize insulin and subsequently making more insulin. Yikes! The result is more fat storage. It's the road to Type 2 Diabetes.

Of course insulin is increased when we take in sugar—only one of numerous reasons why sugar is deadly. Reduce or eliminate your sugar intake and you'll reduce your insulin levels. It's that simple and exercise can help.

#5 Exercise to Fight Cancer
...as well as diabetes, heart disease, etc. Exercise discourages the growth and spread of cancer and encourages cancer cell death called apoptosis—a programmed cell death wherein cells will "commit suicide" when they go awry. Cancer cells escape the normal apoptosis process and thus cancer grows.

A recent study showed that exercise also alters immune cells helping them fight cancer and disease. So if cancer cells won't die through apoptosis (don't you love that word?), the immune system will launch an attack. Exercise becomes your front-line army against the development, growth and spread of cancer.

#6 Exercise is Fun!
Even if you don't find it fun, you can make it fun. Some love to exercise. True confession: I don't love it, but I do want the benefits it provides. Plus, I exercise outside and I love that.

Many find the idea of community makes exercise fun. Join a club or meet-up for your activity of choice—bicycling (road and mountain), running, walking, tennis, etc—and enjoy the added community it brings.

With a list this rich, is there any reason why you shouldn't exercise? The benefits achieved toward optimum wellness are too good to miss.

What is (would be) your exercise activity of choice?

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!