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?”

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Week 4 March Makeover 28-Day Challenge

Week Four (March 21 - March 28)

We're at the home stretch. Now that you've locked in a new healthy lifestyle doing the Challenge, what do you do when you’re on vacation and eating out? Good news! Over the last 10 years, I’ve seen lots of changes in restaurant menus that accommodate vegan diets.

Besides avoiding fast food, here are 10 Survival Tips to make eating out work for your Healthy Lifestyle:

  1. Plan ahead. Where will you be eating? Consider what meal options are available.
  2. Go online and explore the menu to discover possible selections. Look for a section of healthier choices.
  3. Ask for smaller portions. Restaurant portions are typically too large.
  4. Split your order. Share with a friend or spouse or take half home for another meal.
  5. For a lighter meal, check out the appetizers. I find many a yummy, healthy meal in the appetizer section. Warning! That's where all the fried stuff can be, so be wise.
  6. Order toppings and dressings on the side. Most dressings have added sugar, so drizzle on sparingly.
  7. Don't be afraid to make special requests. Keep them simple. At a 5-star restaurant I asked the waiter to have the chef lightly steam whatever veggies they had. They brought me a huge plate of lovely, assorted veggies.
  8. Tell the waiter to nix the bread or just take one piece and have the rest removed from the table. Remember! Bread is like sugar, especially white bread, and it ends up around your middle in the long run.
  9. If you've eaten healthy for the day (sticking to plant-based, non-processed foods) then don't fret too much over your meal out. It's not the amount of calories you consume, but the KIND of calories that matter. All calories are not equal.
  10. Limit any alcohol to one drink. It's empty calories and tends to increase your appetite.
It's not the amount of calories you consume, but the KIND of calories that matter.
For vacations and other occasions, bring your own food:
  • Bring homemade Trail Mix and healthy plant-based meal bars (e.g. Epic, GoMacro, Amazing Grass) on trips.
  • For potlucks, bring a dish that fits your eating needs so you have at least one thing you can eat.
  • Eat something before going to events so you’re not hungry. You can pick and choose appetizers and plate items that fit your diet.
Do a search for vegan restaurants in your area. You may be surprised to find a few you never knew existed. Then go out and support them.

This is the last step in the March Makeover 28-Day Challenge. If you stuck with the plan, CONGRATULATIONS! If you did this Challenge to make health changes (heal a chronic disease or lower your cholesterol or blood pressure), you might want to make an appointment with your doctor and have your "numbers" checked. The results could make your doctor a believer—Food is Medicine

For further reading and education, you might want to pick up Dr. Greger's book How Not To Die and his cookbook by the same name. Also, watch movies and videos on the subject on NetFlicks, Amazon Prime Video and iTunes. Watch movies like Eating You Alive, Plant Pure Nation, Chow Down and if you have not seen it, the classic Forks One Knives.

And with that, I hereby claim you are now plant-based certified. Go and spread the word.

Tell me what did you find most difficult during the challenge and what did you find was easy?

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Week 3 March Makeover 28-Day Challenge

By now in the challenge, you should be feeling pretty good. You may have lost some weight. No longer have headaches. Your foggy thinking is gone. That's what happens when you clean up your diet.

If you feel you’ve been bad, don’t beat yourself up. Keep going. Change happens with baby steps and persistence.

If you haven’t already downloaded Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen app on the App Store or Google Play, get it now to help you add more plant-based foods to your meals and snacks. Add one or two more vegetables to your meal and only fruit for dessert. Steam, stir-fry, or roast veggies or use raw in a salad or smoothie.

If you like avocado, toast a whole grain sprouted or sour dough slice and spread with avocado. Don’t stop there. Add cucumber, tomatoes, greens, sprouts, onion and top with a sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Mmmmmm!

Have you made a Buddah Bowl? Start with a grain/seed (e.g., quinoa, farro, freeka, teff, barley, millet, etc.), add toppings (grated carrots, beans, chopped peppers, pepperoncini, sauerkraut, anything goes). Drizzle with apple cider vinegar and oil.

What About Smoothies?
Everyone loves smoothies, but do you drink veggie smoothies? Start by adding a handful of spinach to your fruit smoothie. BE CREATIVE. Build up to adding more and different veggies to acclimate your taste buds to more green. Here’s a basic recipe to start with:

Basic Green Smoothie
1 Banana
1 C Berries (frozen or fresh)
Lemon wedge (skin and seeds included)
Spinach (big handful)
1 Tbsp Fresh mint
1 C of ice, cold water or coconut water
Blend all ingredients. Optional: Add 1/2 Tbsp fresh ground flaxseed to thicken.

A note about the detox effect. You may feel pretty bad during the initial phase of your lifestyle change. Headaches, diarrhea, achy muscles—these are all symptoms of your body releasing toxins that have built-up in your tissues. Keep going. You really need this Makeover. You'll begin to feel so good, you'll never look back.

So let's review.

Week 1:
Clean-out your pantry and fridge. Eliminate unhealthy, processed foods. Begin a clean diet by eliminating dairy and meat. Dump household chemicals.

Week 2:
Restock your pantry with organic, healthy basics. Stock your refrigerator with organic plant-based food. Begin adding healthy recipes to your daily eating that include plenty of veggies, beans, nuts and seeds, and whole intact grains.

Keep it going! Your body will thank you with great health.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Week 2 March Makeover 28-Day Challenge

Welcome to Week Two (March 7 - March 14)

Did you have fun throwing out all that bad food. I would not even use the word "food" to describe anything with artificial ingredients that interfere with your body's metabolism and function plus cause inflammation and weight gain. 

Now that you've cleaned out your pantry, time to shop. Here is a list of items to restock it:

Stocking a Healthy Pantry
Buy organic, no sulfites, non-gmo’s as much as possible.
Artichoke hearts (jarred or frozen)
Beans (dried and canned) black beans, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, kidney beans, navy beans, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, lentils, split peas, and cannellini beans (When buying canned beans look for products without preservatives, such as calcium disodium EDTA, use low-sodium, and without added sugar)
Chipotle chilies in adobo (if you like spicy)
Cocoa powder/cacao (unsweetened)
Dried fruits: dates, raisins, apricots, goji berries, figs, papaya
Flour: chickpea, coconut, almond, sprouted wheat, spelt
Grains: red, brown, or black rice, red or black quinoa, old-fashioned rolled oats/steel cut, millet, barley, bulgar
Miso paste (white)
Nut butters and tahini
Nutritional yeast
Nuts and seeds: raw almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, hulled hemp seeds (hemp hearts), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds 
Organic veggie broth (low sodium)
Pasta and noodles: 100% whole-grain or bean-based spaghetti, linguine, lasagna, soba
Roasted red peppers (jarred)
Spices and dried herbs
Sauces and Condiments: hot sauce, coconut aminos, tamari, mustard, olives, pickles, sauerkraut
Sweeteners: Pure maple syrup, dates, raw honey
Tomato products: salt-free jarred, BPA-free canned, or Tetra Pak tomato products (diced, whole, puree’, paste, marinara sauce)
Tortillas: 100% whole-grain and corn, sprouted wheat
Vanilla beans/vanilla
Vinegars (apple cider, balsamic, rice)
Superfoods: hemp seeds, maca powder, flax seeds, chia seeds, spirulina

Stock your refrigerator with plant-based food:
  • Use Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides and Produce from EWG to pick healthy produce.
  • If you eat meat (I recommend that you go 100% plant-based for at least a month), buy meats that are 100% organic and grass-fed. Buy fish that is wild-caught (not farm-raised).
  • Buy ingredients for basic juice: 
    • Carrots
    • Kale, Cabbage or Broccoli
    • Celery
    • Apple
    • Ginger (optional)
  • Buy veggies for making healthy, chunky salad:
    • Cucumber
    • Zucchini
    • Beans (black or garbanzo)
    • Red onion
    • Cilantro
Healthy Chunky Salad

Black or garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)

Cut veggies into bite-size pieces. Add beans. Dress with Apple Cider Vinegar and Olive Oil and your choice of spices—optional: add lemon juice and/or Balsamic Vinegar. Mix together and ENJOY!

Add walnuts, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, apple or pear chunks for variation. BE CREATIVE!

Make a healthy Super Food Green Smoothie. Click here for the recipe.

Prepare juice drinks, big veggie (Healthy Chunky) salad and Super Food Green Smoothie to eat/drink as you adjust to a plant-based, clean eating routine. Note: do not juice fruit—it concentrates the sugars. Juice vegetables then add to blender and add fruit if you find the taste too green. This will help you adjust your palate as you eat more veggies.

There are plenty of recipes to explore on this site for your new healthy lifestyle. So start exploring.

Continue your healthy makeover and see you here next week.