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.

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?”

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year & Blackeyed Peas

Wishing you all a Happy New Year as we ring in 2014. I'm looking forward to a better year than 2013.  How about you?

Since so many of you have a tradition of eating blackened peas on New Years, I wanted to add the Healthy Journey Cafe favorite, Parsnip, Broccoli & Blackeyed Pea Soup.

This great soup recipe is a hearty veggie soup with broccoli and parsnips that's easy and quick to make. Parsnips add a sweetness to the soup that will convert any skeptics.

Families love this soup originally posted in January 2011 and again October 26, 2012.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Vegan Minestrone Soup Recipe

Vegan Minestrone Soup Recipe
I'm still enjoying this scrumptious, hearty soup because it makes enough to freeze for leftovers. This recipe comes from Summer Tomato by contributing blogger Eylse Kopecky of FresHabits. Elyse used meat sausages, but I made it vegan with Tofurky sausages.* I also used a gluten-free quinoa and corn rotelle (available in the bulk bins at Nugget Markets in the greater Sacramento area). The quinoa/corn pasta really made the flavor of the soup shine through.
Quinoa/Corn Rotelle pasta

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday

Wisdom Wednesday
Bring the air of Christmas into your home with aromatic potpourri simmering on your stove. Try this tip from my dear friend, Joanne Kraft, who always makes her home a welcoming sweetness to all who enter.
Christmas Potpourri

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mashed Red Potatoes with Shallots & Manchego Cheese

Mashed Red Potatoes with Shallots & Manchego Cheese
As I promised, here's the recipe for the mashed potatoes that my husband made for Thanksgiving. It's easy and delicious. You'll never miss the cream and butter typically lavished on mashed potatoes.

I eat very few potatoes because of the high-starch (translation: it quickly becomes sugar in your body). Avoiding those types of foods keeps my body a mean cancer-fighting machine.

Notice the gravy on the potatoes in the picture? That is not an animal product—not your usual gravy. This one is vegan and quite yummy. The rest of the food in the photo is what we had for Thanksgiving. And it was all a huge hit! Never missed the gobbler.

A word about the cheese in this recipe. I do not eat dairy except goat or sheep cheese. Three reasons:
  • More nutritious
  • Contains very little casein, which many are sensitive to
  • They don't do to goats and sheep what they do to cows (pump them with antibiotics, hormones and GMO feed)
Mashed Red Potatoes with Shallots & Manchego Cheese

From Bob Pedersen
Yield 8 servings

Category Side Dish
Cuisine Healthy, Vegetarian

2 1/2 lbs. red potatoes
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp coconut oil
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 C grated Manchego (sheep) cheese
Fresh ground pepper

1. Wash and quarter potatoes. Put in large pot and cover with cold water. Add 1/2 tsp of sea salt. Bring to boil and cook for 10 - 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
2. While potatoes cook, add coconut oil to sauce pan and saute shallots. Cook, stiring, until shallots are golden brown, about 6 minutes.
3. Drain the potatoes and transfer to large bowl. Add the grated cheese and mash with the potatoes.
4. Add 1/2 tsp of salt, fresh ground pepper and the cooked shallots. Taste and adjust seasonings.
5. Tranfer to serving bowl.

Try the mashed potatoes for Christmas and let me know how everyone liked them.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

5 Tips for Christmas Bliss

Do you find yourself in a state of frenzy during the Christmas season, whether its from 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.
  3. Take time to serve the less fortunate. There are plenty of homeless and hungry during the Christmas season. Take time to schedule several hours on a service project to help those in need. You'll never feel more blessed than when you serve others.
  4. Keep your expectations in check. Don't assume anything. Inquire, plan and be ready to grant grace at every turn. Slow down and let the frantic pass you by. Be gracious when you get the gift you think is… you fill-in here.
  5. Remember what this time of year is REALLY about.
Christmas Nativity
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you—he is Christ the LORD.
Luke 2:11
I wish you all a blessed Christmas always remembering that our gracious and merciful heavenly Father sent His only Son Jesus to be born a baby and then perish on a cross to redeem me and you from the penalty of our sins. And for that we celebrate Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Spaghetti Squash & Kale

Spaghetti Squash & Kale
Spaghetti Squash is very nutritious. However, like all winter squash, it's best to purchase it organic because its frequently grown as an intercrop for remediation of contaminated soils. Meaning that contaminants are effectively pulled up out of the soil by winter squash plants. Is organic worth a few extra pennies? I think so!

This is the most delicious recipe. And if you follow my simple instructions for removing the cooked squash, you'll get perfect strands instead of mush. Get ready for the most yummy side dish (or main dish) with the perfect spaghetti-like strands.

Did you ever try using spaghetti squash to replace the starchy grain-based pasta only to experience a pile of mush when you removed the squash after baking? That was my experience. Well… there is a bit of a technique to removing the squash so the strands remain intact.

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

Here's an idea for a quick dessert to take to a casual Christmas gathering. Make the Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake and cut-up a section of the cake into bite-size pieces and then in half so they aren't so tall.

Then cut a tiny (~ 1/8 inch) corner off a sandwich bag and add some of the coconut topping. Squeeze the bag so you force the topping into the corner with the hole and… Viola! you have a quick and easy cake decorator. Swirl some topping onto each little piece and place them in the freezer.

I did this with my leftover Pumpkin Cheesecake from Thanksgiving and put the easy-to-handle frozen pieces on a pretty platter that I took to the Christmas mixer for the Sacramento area SCBWI. Don't forget to make a little sign that identifies the dessert as Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake. Everyone loved the guilt-free dessert bites.

What have you done to make your Christmas time easy?