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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Get What You Want!

What do you really really want? Not the practical stuff like today I am going looking for warm boots that fit because there is a foot of snow outside and I want my feet to be cozy not cold. Not the things someone else tells you should want, like teeth whitening the dentist is pushing because it's one more thing he can charge you for, or the latest fashion trend.

What do you really really want in your heart that will make you feel great about yourself and your life? Have you always wanted to go to Africa or an exclusive resort on a tropical island? Have you struggled with your weight and would like to feel sleek, sexy and slender but not skinny and scrawny? Have you always felt badly that you never got to _____________?

Then what stands in your way? Is it money, time or determination? Those are often the big three. Only it isn't any of those really. Those are what you make up as excuses because you are not committed to having the thing you want yet. I see people over and over use money and time as an excuse. It's convenient. I've used those myself. If you really really want the thing, you'll take an extra job or you'll hire someone to take care of things to have more time, you'll get the support you need when you get committed.

I've seen people wait until they get a death sentence from a doctor to finally let go of putting the obstacles in their way. The money always comes and works out, the time rearranges itself when someone gets committed. Being committed to a dream often takes support. Encouragement from a friend, loved one, coach or hired help all are ways that different people launch themselves into their dreams. One young woman I was coaching came to see me to lose a few pounds so she could become the actress she wanted to be. We worked in part on her food but a lot of it was really me supporting her dream. I believed she could make a nice living as an actress and I knew she could be what ever size she wanted to be and stay there. She just needed to know that and start practicing. She stayed with coaching for longer than she wanted to originally, but she did get what she wanted. I just got a nice Christmas email from her telling me so, and thanking me for being a big part of her success.

What is it that you want? Get specific and start taking actions. Make an action plan for yourself and your life and get support to keep going!!!

www.SusanMarque.com

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wow another 15% off! Today Only - Get some last minute gifts for you and your family

http://stores.lulu.com/susanmarque just got another bonus code for today only. Get 15% off your order by entering DEC21 at checkout.

Enjoy delicious healthy recipes all year long. I am going to make some Christmas lace cookies myself. The women of Step Up dubbed them the break-up cookies since eating the whole batch would probably be less caloric wise than a couple of Oreo cookies. Plus they are festive, fun and delicious.

Looking at the preview index of the Stories, Tips, and Recipes book my mouth is watering for some popovers, Mom's kind of sole and some fun betwixed bars that would also be perfect for Christmas. Oooh so would making the ever easy tofu cheese I just noticed in volume two. I love spreading that into celery as part of an appetizer try or just eating while watching a movie. After all of the festivities I am sure to make a simple soup and perhaps a grilled sandwich like the one I have a video of on SusanMarque.com

Enjoy the 15% off today and enjoy the wonderful creations you come up with. Let me know your favorites.

www.SusanMarque.com
http://stores.lulu.com/susanmarque

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Language of Food

I'm munching on some sauteed kale right now, while trying to memorize the imperative forms of avoir and etre for French class. Learning the language of food gave me freedom in the same way that learning a language allows you to express yourself and have greater interactions with others. Food speaks it's language and you can choose to ignore it like the foriegners sitting next to you on the subway, or you can try out a few words and make some new friends. Eat in a way that gives you more energy, less mass, and feeling terrific.

There are rules just like grammar. Don't mix sweets and beans or you will get terrible gas. Do mix salt with oil to create balance. Do eat cooling summer foods in warm weather and warming winter foods in the cooler months. The vocabulary of food would be all of the different grains, beans, vegetables, etc. and then knowing how to string them together to make wonderful meals that suit your needs. The high energy meal, the clarity meal, the relaxation meal, etc.

If you don't learn how the foods work in the body then you'll be guessing and things that you thought "worked for you" might stop working and you won't understand why or you'll keep looking for that magic diet to stick to that can solve all of your problems. I suppose that would equate to looking for that one book to read over and over. But the fun of reading is the adventure of seeing how it works out. I wouldn't want someone to eat a static diet of only a few foods all plain and boring. Learn the language of food and find where it takes you.

www.susanmarque.com

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Little things make a difference - How you can start having more success right now!

Little things make a difference. I'm currently living in a dormitory where I just watched a young woman cook herself pancakes from a mix. It took a lot of restraint not to say something as I watched her flip the flapjacks back and forth and press them down with her spatula. "Wait, stop, that will make them tough." I wanted to say. Just let them brown on one side, flip and then brown on the other.

I often see students in my classes also make their baked goods tough or dry from adding more flour than the recipe calls for by tamping, shaking, and scooping flour straight from the bag. Or over-mixing which really causes the dough to rather die because we are working without yeast. Yeasted breads are kneaded and then rest letting the enzymes in the yeast to go to work and cause rising.

On Thursday night I was having the most wonderful conversation with a man who was drinking a drink make from vodka and lime and I'm not sure if there was anything else in the drink. I mentioned to him how the lime is alkalizing and helps to mitigate the acidic effects of the alcohol. He told me that he always felt better from this particular cocktail rather than others.

It is the little choices we choose to do in each moment that are the building blocks for the results we have. You can not continually say "Fuck it" and make choices you know are not good for you without having some sort of consequence. What is it that you would really really like for yourself? If you want to be thinner or healthier are you willing to eat a little less of some things and more veggies and whole grains? Are you willing to make different choices about food? If you eat all of your meals out, would you be willing to start making a few? Would you be willing to order differently and let go of some pleasurable patterns? Would you risk making relationships more satisfying or taking time for exercise you enjoy instead of looking for food to be the pleasure moments in the day?

Be consistent with your new actions by keeping track and seeing yourself build new life muscles. That is what my success journal/calendar http://stores.lulu.com/susanmarque is all about. I've marked down the price 20% to offset the shipping costs and it makes a terrific stocking stuffer for anyone who would like to boost their life to the next level. Take 5 minutes a day to track your progress and you'll stay motivated to making lasting changes.

www.susanmarque.com

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Get in that Current

So how was your Thanksgiving? Did you get stuffed? Eat too many sweets or more alcohol than you intended? Someone please pass the umeboshi jar...

Did anyone read the feature length story in the December O magazine on John of God? I've been saying for some time that energy medicine will be the next wave. Acupuncture has finally gone from voodoo to being taught at UCLA's medical school. Acupuncture is one way to get energy moving in a better direction but there are plenty of healers who do not need needles and can be quite powerful.

Food is just one tool. It's a good tool. I think with many powerful healers it can be an ignored tool because they believe it is insignificant. Medical doctors understand so little about how foods effect us they lump things into allergies and write off how what we eat is chemically altering us enough to have reactions both emotional and physical. Or maybe they have their own food issues so they don't want to look. I've also met western MD's who do look at diet and know that it can be powerful.

How we hold, block, drop, lift and flow our energy is intertwined with our memories, fears, how we walk, talk, do things, in short, the whole of who we are is energy. Everything is made up of energy and so it makes sense to me to facilitate healing this way. Certainly there are charlatans out there but there are many dedicated and beautiful healers as well.

I know I like concrete evidence like medical tests. I had one client who had blood work done before she started eating what I suggested and after two weeks. By incorporating her greens, grains, beans and sea veggies, her blood work showed significant improvement and she could visibly see the difference with dropping weight and looking better. And there is more. There are many levels to living. You do not need to wait for a wake up call like cancer to start having more, being more and living more. Begin with chewing more.

One experiment never ceases to blow me away. Chew every mouthful of food 100 times even if you are basically chewing nothing before you take the next bite. After three days you will find your energy soaring and you won't need much sleep at all. (I've only known grain/veggie based eaters to do this experiment so let me know if you try it with just any 'ol food...and if your results are the same...) It will help with immunity so much that one man I met had his own anti cold/flu remedy. As soon as he felt something coming on he would sit down with a bowl of brown rice and chew each mouthful 1000 times. I don't know how he did it but he claimed it worked every time and the next day he felt just fine. What an easy way to shift some energy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

For those who don't like pie - Pumpkin Mousse

How could anyone not like pumpkin pie?? There are a few. For those who love it as much as I do, please scroll down in the blog to get my version you can share with friends who want a healthier pie or don't eat eggs, milk or sugar! For folks like my mom, who don't want a crust, or the traditional sort of dessert, here is an easy to do pumpkin mousse that again is wonderfully mild for the body plus with the addition of agar, it's even beneficial.

Pumpkin Mousse

This is a very healthy dessert that Meredith McCarty got from Harriet Mcnear. Both excellent whole foods cooks. You might like to add crunchy toasted nuts on top or even candy the nuts in brown rice syrup to add crunch. You might like to take one of my cookie recipes and make cut outs with a leaf cookie cutter but of course that all takes more time and this recipe is so quick you can easily whip it up the morning of your feast.

2 1/2 C. Soy, rice or almond milk

2/3 C. Maple Syrup

3 T. Agar flakes

3 T. Arrowroot powder

2 tsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp. Powdered ginger

1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

1/2 tsp. Cloves

1/2 tsp. Sea salt

1 C. pumpkin puree

Place 2 C. soy milk with the syrup and agar flakes in a 3-4 qt. Saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Turn down and simmer until agar is dissolved, about 5 minutes, continuing to stir every once in awhile.

Mix remaining 1/2 C. soy milk with arrowroot, seasonings, and pumpkin puree. Whisk into soy milk.

When simmering resumes, transfer to a heatproof bowl to chill.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Up to 40% off - Susan Marque Books make great gifts!

http://www.lulu.com/static/111910_DONE305wv.html/?cid=111910_en_email_DONE305

is giving 20% off and I've marked several titles down 20% so have fun at: http://stores.lulu.com/susanmarque and pass this on to your friends and tweets!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Input needed for article idea

Hey everyone,

Let me know what your favorite Holiday food is and why. Yes, you can have more than one.

I'm thinking of a new article I would like to write and I need your help!

Susan

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quick and Elegant Starter Soup with Butternut squash

Okay quick plug to sign up for free to Goldstar and we get entered into a contest for free travel. I am always in need of more travel so please sign up!

Join Goldstar: https://www.goldstar.com/?p=f1361367ff35


And since you might be traveling for Turkey Day or making a fast feast at home - here's a lovely starter soup I'm sure you will keep using all winter long...

Butternut Squash Soup

Pick the darkest looking squash you can find so that when you cut into it the color is deep orange. That is when they are the sweetest.

1 large red onion, sliced

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks with seeds removed

1 Tablespoon dried basil (optional)

1-3 Tablespoons olive oil

White miso paste

Good water

Nutmeg (optional)

In a good sized pot, sauté the onion for several minutes in the olive oil and add the basil.

Add the squash and enough water to cover the vegetables with approximately 1 tsp. Sea salt. Simmer for 15 minutes. Process in a food processor or blender into a smooth creamy soup.

Adjust the salt/miso to taste and garnish with nutmeg.

Variation: For an even richer and festive soup, blend in cooked chestnuts. Soak a cup of dried chestnuts overnight removing any of the red skins that might be there. Place the chestnuts and their soaking water into a pressure cooker with a small 1-2 inch strip of Kombu (sea vegetable) and then pressure cook for 45 minutes. Blend into soup, pie or their own puree if you can keep yourself from just eating them or putting them in your morning cereal....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Delicious but not Turkey... A Tempeh Dish for Thanksgiving and beyond

Tempeh will not pass for turkey or faux anything. This is a great dish and has a nice gravy making it a good substitute for people who don't want to eat turkey. It also cooks quickly unlike real turkey...

Tempeh “Turkey”

The gravy in this recipe is so wonderful you can use it with beans or top millet mash… I learned it from a wonderful whole foods cook named Michelle Plum.

1 package Tempeh cut into triangles

1 Cup Safflower oil for frying

1-2 Cups button mushrooms

1 onion diced

2-3 Cups water

2 Tablespoons miso (country barley is a good one)

1 Tablespoon prepared mustard

1/2 tsp. Sage

1/4 tsp. Rosemary

1/2 tsp. Thyme

1/2 tsp. Marjoram

2 Tablespoons Kudzu

Heat the oil in a heavy fry pan and fry the Tempeh until golden brown. Drain on brown paper bags. Place the fried tempeh, mushrooms and onions in a saucepan. Mix the other gravy ingredients, except the kudzu, and pour over the Tempeh and veggies. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Dissolve the Kudzu in a small amount of cool water and then Stir into the Tempeh mixture until sauce thickens. Serve hot.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Don't forget the Maple and Orange scented Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

1 1/2 lbs. Fresh cranberries, rinsed

1 cup sweetener. ( use all maple syrup or some maple and some rice syrup)

Pinch of sea salt

Zest of one orange (optional)

Simply stir the cranberries and salt over low heat for approx. 30 minutes. The cranberries will soften and the liquid will form a syrup. Add the sweetener and orange zest and keep stirring until desired consistency is achieved. Cool completely and then chill before serving.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bread Dressing For All - so simple and so good

What is Thanksgiving without bread dressing? Well okay, it could just be all about the pumpkin pie, but why not toss in a few more simple carbs into the mix because this is just sooo good and it can be the stuffing you use in the bird and/or vegan in a casserole dish for those who don't want to play foul...

Bread Dressing

1 loaf stale cubed bread (Pacific Bakery’s Kamut White is a good one)

1 1/4 Cups Celery Chopped

3/4 Cup Onion Chopped

1 Cup broth (use the “chicken” style broth you can find in natural food stores or your own veggie broth)

1 egg or 1 Tablespoon kudzu dissolved in a small amount of water

Oil

Dash of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.

Sauté the Celery and Onion in a Tablespoon or so of oil. Mix all ingredients together and transfer to a baking dish with a lid. Bake for 20-60 minutes depending on your oven and how dark you like the outside of your dressing.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Special Holiday Salad - save this dressing recipe though for all year long

I don't often eat beets because of the high sugar and oxalic acid content. I personally would rather have a slice of pumpkin pie if I have to choose the acid contributor I'm about to indulge in....but hey - Thanksgiving is just once a year so why not enjoy all of the pretty colors...

Holiday Salad

This beautiful kale and beet salad can be for anytime. It just looks like Christmas.

Kale rinsed and chopped

Beets, peeled and boiled

To boil the beets I like to slice them into wedges and then simmer in 1/2 inch of water for about 20 minutes until soft and the water has all simmered away. I peel them ahead of time or you can simply take the peel off after they are cooked.

Water fry the kale in a small amount of water with a few grains of sea salt in a fry pan for 2-3 minutes. Stirring to make sure all the kale turns dark bright green.

Assemble the salad by placing some of the cooked kale on a salad plate with several beet wedges on top and then add some Creamy Tofu Dressing.

Creamy Tofu Dressing:

1/2 cake of Trader Joe’s organic firm tofu, boiled or steamed for 5 minutes

(approx. 8oz of tofu)

4 Tbsp. Olive oil

1 tsp. Sea salt

2 tsp. Maple syrup

2 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar

1 clove garlic pressed or a little granulated garlic

2 tsp. red onion, chopped fine

a little white pepper

Mix all the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. You might like to add water for a thinner dressing. Add herbs and spices of your choosing to create different dressings.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

For the love of Quinoa

Here is an article that didn't get published when ever it was I wrote it so I thought I'd put it up here for you to enjoy....

What Color is Your Quinoa?

This ought to be a common question. Not so much for the actual color of the grain. You can get regular tan sort of quinoa or red or black varieties, but I was really referring to how you like yours cooked. I like mine with dried cranberries and extra water for breakfast, cooked until the bottom browns. This creamy, sweet and sour mix is very satisfying with a nice cup of hot tea or grain drink. For lunch, I’m partial to quinoa salads. The complete protein in this little seed keeps me satisfied for hours.

Quinoa is power packed with fuel for us. Along with its high protein content for a cereal grass, quinoa is a great source of calcium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, Vitamin E, B vitamins and more. It is reported a wonderful grain for those that run long distances for the energy that it provides. I think that is great for every day!

Quinoa ought to be one of the tops for being “green” as it is easy to grow and can thrive in adverse conditions. You could even toss some of the seeds around your home and grow them just for color.

This super seed has been cultivated in South America since about 3,000 B.C. that we know of. It was sacred in some Indian tribes such as the Aztecs but suppressed by the Spanish and even today it can be thought of by some as “Indian food” and less than Elite. The refining of foods used to be more costly and difficult to obtain. It was therefore revered as inferior in status to processed grain products. I personally would rather be superior in health. Ironically, quinoa is making a comeback in gourmet circles, as it is a fun versatile whole food.

It’s so easy to cook up some quinoa and it can be used in soups, salads, timbales, burgers, breakfasts and desserts. In fact there are few places that quinoa wouldn’t go in the course of planning out your menu. Sauté it with garlic and then add broth and green onions for a fun dinner dish. Cook it up and then add carrots, red onion and celery while still hot. Cool and serve with dressing for a wonderful salad. Try it with beets, green onions and mint with some toasted almonds tossed in. Try the following spreadable quinoa wrapped in a crepe with your favorite roasted veggies. With it’s innumerable uses, you are sure to find a quinoa dish or two that are your personal favorites. What color is your quinoa? I really would like to know.

Easy Chequinoa

Here is a recipe for those who would like a cheesy spreadable grain dish, high in protein, and great for most any condition. You may need to adjust the amounts of water to quinoa for your particular pans to get the right consistency. It should be moist and stick together pretty well. You can eat it plain, spread on a cracker, a slice of carrot or celery stick or use in a wrap sandwich.

1 Cup Quinoa, sorted and rinsed

3 ½ Cups water

6 – 8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

2 T. parsley, chopped

Mirin (optional)

1 + tsp. white miso paste

Sesame oil

Lemon juice

Place the quinoa, water and garlic in a pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Add the miso paste now or later it doesn’t matter. Turn the heat to low and put a lid on the pot simmering for about 20-30 minutes until the water is absorbed and the consistency somewhat sticky. Stir in the parsley and a sprinkle of mirin. Add just a small amount of sesame oil and lemon juice to get a taste that you enjoy. I just drizzle a little of each in and stir well.

Quinoa Cauliflower Casserole

This casserole is a lovely blend, being light and satisfying at the same time.

1 Cup Quinoa, rinsed and sorted

2 Cups Water

1/2 Large onion, chopped

1/2 head of Cauliflower, broken up

1 tsp. fresh sage (or use dried)

1 tsp. fresh oregano (or use dried)

2 cups broth (homemade vegetable broth or any broth you like)

2 T. safflower oil

2-4 T. flour (most flours work well)

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/4 – 1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs

Pre-heat your oven to 350° Place the quinoa, water, onion, cauliflower and chopped herbs into a pot and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of sea salt. Cover the pot and turn the heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Stir well, breaking the cauliflower up even more. Add salt and pepper and any other seasoning you would like.

While that is cooking, heat the oil in another pot and the flour to make a paste. Allow this mixture to bubble and start adding in broth 1/2 Cup at a time, stirring with a small whisk to make a creamy sauce. Keep adding in broth until the sauce will not thicken anymore. Stir this into the quinoa mixture and place in a casserole pan. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Bigger then Feng Shui

I just got an email from a Feng Shui specialist. While she is excellent at what she does and I have completely seen two restaurants I know very well, go from doing so so, to doing outstandingly excellent once they implemented some feng shui into their business'...there is something bigger.

This something could use a name - call it energy or mind set or what have you, but the energy you carry from what you believe and literally hold true. You hold to yourself and you create it everywhere. Moving from place to place like I have lately, has not made my life magically different. I highly doubt each place I stay has the same feng shui so shouldn't I be doing better in one place, get more dates in another or something like that? No, sorry, it's still me as the common denominator and as much as I would love to wake up Cinderella style one day with some seriously golden slippers - it hasn't happened yet. My progress is slow going, whittle away the old to let the new shine through kind of stuff.

The problem is it is just so easy to fall into those well worn patterns and habits that keep you being the you you are. If you want something new you get to start practicing new thinking, new actions and keep at it until that new you is the default. It's work. There the magical times of falling in love, getting married, having a baby, having someone close to you die, etc...that do jump start that energy into a totally different mode and things shift. Sometimes dramatically but more along the lines of what they see in lottery winners - you have to work at the change or you end up right back where you are comfortable being you.

Get committed to what you want and get the support you need to keep yourself there until you don't need the supports anymore.... Let me know what it is you would like? What do you imagine would make you happier, more fulfilled and excited about your life??? Begin being that person right now!!!

www.SusanMarque.com

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fabulous Non Dairy Pumpkin Pie

Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving? I'll be posting the entire menu every couple of days so keep checking back...

My oh my - delicious pumpkin pie. I love pie. I love simplicity. Here you have both. You could make it even more simple using a pre-made crust but in all of the taste tests I've done with the recipe over the years, the original still stands out as the best! Even beats out other versions of pumpkin pie with more traditional ingredients. So give it a whirl and let me know what you think!

Pumpkin Pie

Crust:

3/4 C. unbleached white flour

3/4 C. whole wheat pastry flour

1/8 tsp. Sea salt

1/4 C. safflower oil

1/4 C. brown rice syrup

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix the flours and salt in a mixing bowl and then add the oil using a fork to mix until you have beads of dough. Add the rice syrup and mix using your hand just until mixed. Please do not over mix the dough. Gather the dough and form into a ball. You may refrigerate to make it easier to roll out. Roll out thin between pieces of wax paper. Peel off the top layer of wax paper and flip it into a pie plate. Trim the excess with your hands and save the dough to make cut outs. Using a fork put a few pricks in the bottom of the crust. Flute the edges of the crust with your fingers or make tracks with the fork.

Roll the crust trimmings into a ball and then roll out just like the pie crust. This time use a small heart or star shaped cookie cutter to make small crust cut outs. Transfer to a baking sheet with a parchment paper on it. Keep rolling up excess dough to form a ball and then roll out in the same manner to keep making cut-outs until all the dough is used. You will get about 21 small cutouts. Bake for 15-20 minutes until just golden brown.

Filling:

2 cups Pumpkin puree or 1 can of organic pumpkin

3/4 lb. Tofu

1 tsp. Salt

1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Ginger

1/2 tsp. Nutmeg

3/4 C. Brown Rice Syrup

1/4 plus 1 Tablespoon maple syrup

1 tsp. Vanilla

1/3 C. light vegetable oil

Blend all filling ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Pour into unbaked pie shell and bake for 1 hour. (Note: you may need foil so as not to burn the outside crust, just apply to crust about ½ way through cooking or start with foil and take off after 30 minutes.) Top with the cookie cutouts if desired. Let cool and chill in refrigerator. Use Tofu whip topping to decorate.

Monday, October 25, 2010

What's the rush?? Slow down and give some Thanks...

I've seen so many articles, postings, even decorations and ads for Thanksgiving already and we haven't even had Halloween yet. I'm guilty as anyone though of rushing things. I do look forward to fun stuff, can't wait, plan and ponder and enjoy the anticipation but then often rush through events instead of savor....

Ahhh, what a recipe for missing out on so much - that rush rush rush right over the pleasure to conquer the next obstacle, handle things and keep rushing towards....what??

If we eat in a rush, it's easy to eat too much and not even really have the experience. Same with life. So why are we rushing through the Holidays? Probably because Thanksgiving is bigger business than Halloween and Christmas is certainly a far bigger profit maker than other holidays. It's become a cultural addiction to rush and try to fit more in instead of being happy with what is in front of us on our plate. It's such an addiction we created all sorts of fast food to open and pop in our mouths as quickly as possible so that we can fit more in. More what? More texting, talking, watching youtube videos or rushing to the next thing? Has life gotten better or have folks just gotten fatter and sicker? I see the latter. Fatter and sicker with more entertainment to distract them. Is that what you want? Is that what you aspire for your kids?

I didn't think so. So how about learning to slow down, smile and enjoy more? I remember being a kid I was only allowed small amounts of cookies and candies and treats so I would make them last as long as I could. I had fun with my food and I ate less than when I grew up and started gulping, buying into the American bigger and more is better theory. I got plump and sick like the rest of America and had to start over again. I still could learn to slow down and savor even more. It's a process. Let's begin right where we are and add a few drops of gratitude in as well. After all that is what Thanksgiving is about more than stuffing!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What You're Missing

When you don't know, you don't know there is that blissful innocence, or is it frustration trying to deal with things in the dark? Once you do you know there is no going back. You can not take away what something looks like once you've seen it and you can't completely forget an experience. You can transform how you relate to it, but sometimes this just baffles me.

I have met people who sought out healthy eating and found it to be fantastic. They felt terrific, looked fantastic, had more energy and clarity than ever before, only to go back to old ways of interfering with themselves to have more problems instead of just adopting a regime that works for them.

I think part of the problem is that these folks saw it as an all or nothing type of thing. Either you were in or you were out. They would rather be in the coffee club and miss out on clarity for false drug induced energy. They would rather just eat in any restaurant and deal with the crappy ingredients because of the convenience and miss out on feeling vivacious and alive.

Our schools do not teach what foods do for you so our kids are missing out on basic instructional tools for living. We teach math to get ahead but not how to nourish thinking. Just getting a right answer on a test doesn't mean learning happened, it means we are teaching people to get by, do as little as it takes and steal pleasure where you can no matter the cost. It costs us all a great deal.

Food is a basic start. If you haven't learned how individual foods work for you, your missing out on a fundamental. Begin now and start living a higher quality life!

www.SusanMarque.com

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

3 steps to Having What You Want - Make that Weight Loss Easier

Have you ever noticed a friend, colleague, relative or maybe someone you just met who is telling you about themselves and you wonder why they are making simple things so tough? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I watch in awe how we all can weave intricate threads to keep ourselves feeling safe. Even the bravest people I know have their tough spots. Weight loss, relationships, money, etc. do not have to be filled with landmines of obstacles.

So how do we let go of where we stumble time and time again?

1. Awareness
2. Commitment
3. Letting go

Not that any of this is easy until it is. Hey, writing letters with a pencil wasn't easy the first time you tried either, but all those big people could do it and you were aware they could read and write and you wanted to be like them so you got committed to learning and you kept at it until you didn't have to think about it, and you could let go. Now picking up a pencil and writing probably seems easy compared with when you were 3 or 4 years old. Eating less or different items has a similar edge to it.

First you get to get real with the problem and stop hiding, blaming, defending or being defeated. Just notice when your defenses arise and take an action against them instead of reinforcing them. Sheesh, it's one thing to say you want to lose pounds but go running to the snacks at the first twinge of hunger or allow those two bites to be the whole pint as you stand in front of the freezer.

Get committed to something. Give yourself some reasons to make it more than a pipe dream. What will you have if you attain the desire? What will those good feelings do for you? How might your life be different? For example if a woman who wants to be a mother gets pregnant and starts eating much better she might not only have a healthy baby but also be giving that baby top quality nourishment for a fantastic start on life for the whole first year of its life that could mean a healthier human for it's entire life and she might look and feel fantastic on top of it. What if you are not a Mom to be? What if you get committed to eating well so that you can be more powerful in your relationships, more creative and centered and get your work done with greater ease? You might start making more money and attracting more good things to you as you feel so much more alive and aware?

Ahhh then there is that letting go point. The letting go to allow for things to flow. And the letting go of the problem. Problems can keep us buffered from something we are afraid of. Fat is a layer of protection, being preoccupied with food keeps you from having to deal with other issues. Health issues are wonderful for that. No one expects much from a sick person, they are exempt from needing to be a success or a provider - they can't, their sick right? What ever you might be using to stay safe - be willing to let it go and move into a richer, happier, fuller life.

And getting assistance with this is highly recommended - pick your coaches, healers, therapists, even friends, and get to work.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Size Matters

Our culture seems to constantly tell us bigger is better, but too much of a good thing can be painful. It all depends on you and what you would like. Obviously body parts are elastic and can accommodate, but what will make you happy in the long run?

I just came back from a pilates class absolutely ravenous. I had a lighter dinner last night and boy oh boy did I want to eat about three breakfasts as I stepped into the kitchen just now. The problem with that is I will feel overfull, my body will have to work hard to digest all the extra food and I might feel tired, sluggish or unfocused for hours. That isn't what I want. I need to be on top of my game for my clients and all I am doing, so I chose to eat a normal bowl of rye flakes and a pear. I would rather let my system adjust and if I need a little extra at lunch or dinner, it will only be a slight bit more food.

What I notice is that many people would choose to eat double and tell themselves they need it or they deserve it or that store up now because I might not get enough later type of thing. Then wonder why they are gaining inches? Now if you want to gain weight a better way is to do exactly the reverse of weight loss. Add in just a little bit more each meal. Not to feeling stuffed like at Thanksgiving but just a little more than you are used to and you will comfortably gain some weight the way you can comfortably do that in reverse and let go of pounds.

Don't make choices that are going to make you feel bad! There is sometimes pressure to get a bigger house or a bigger car or have the biggest desert because then you are a winner. If all that does is cause you pain and distress from having to decorate and clean more square footage or risk more accidents and dings in the parking lot or what have you - bigger is not better and you lose. Put the time, money and energy into things that turn you on and excite you. I personally would rather be traveling, discovering and exploring than stressing over a big home. I would also rather enjoy each meal and feel good after, than the frustrations and havoc of poor choices. What makes you happy?

www.SusanMarque.com

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Whole Ideal

I am a little tired this morning. It's to be expected after enjoying a wonderful dessert with dinner last night and a nice amount of exercise and work all week. A body has only so much energy. Sure, I've fooled myself at times into thinking I'll just drink some caffeine or take some energy vitamins or make some alkalizing beverage and keep going feeling fine. You can't trick energy. You can mask it, force it, deny it, etc. but it is still there telling the truth all of the time. Nature is perfect that way.

Ideally I would have this whole eating thing down to such an exact science that I never had consequences right? Wrong. Perfect eating just doesn't happen in modern living. We were never designed to eat pastries. We were designed to eat fruit. We were never designed to consume all sorts of things most people take as normal fuel day after day. We were designed to be wonderfully adaptable but there is a price. Dry skin, oily skin, upset stomachs, fatigue, runny nose, cough, weight gain, these are all small signs that perhaps your eating is off. I'm happy for the small signs because they keep me from hurting myself too badly. The fatigue reminds me that as much as I enjoyed my treat, it's not something to eat all the time. It sets me back on a path of satisfying whole grains instead of bread products and lots of lighter cooked veggies instead of filling up on greasy, oil rich concoctions!

I was witness to one woman who thinks she is a teacher of whole foods who thought the answer to her diet was starve, then eat all sorts of fun foods and then drink kudzu tea (a highly alkalizing remedy) every morning. While she said she felt okay, the woman had mood swings like you wouldn't believe, made things up, screamed at people she loves because they didn't do things her way and was generally nuts. Since many emotional outbursts stem from disturbed intestinal tracts, I would lay bets hers was ill from her supposed macrobiotic regime of rice cakes, nut butters, and wacky eating.

There is no perfect absolute answer to diet but if you listen to the small signs and eat predominately whole foods, you can look and feel pretty great, avoid illness and stay a normal size consistently. I'm still enjoying my desserts, just not every single day.

www.SusanMarque.com

Monday, October 11, 2010

What Drum are You Listening To?

We all have an internal drum. It's our heartbeat. It is there pumping the blood, getting things flowing to all the cells of your body. Then there is a more subtle beat that you listen to, the beat of something deeper inside of you, you could call it the beat of your soul. This drum beat pushes you towards things that would be of benefit and away from things that are not but it is so subtle that the impulses get stifled. They get drowned out as you listen to sources outside of yourself.

I know a woman who thinks that just about everything is a sign from God or that everyone is made of God so if someone tells her something that sounds reasonable, she things she ought to believe it. She is always looking outside of herself for directions and validations and has dismissed her inner guides for so long that she mistakes what her senses tell her and makes mistakes that validate her need to look outside of herself. It's actually common but most people don't have that strong God link in a way that makes it difficult to get back to what is inside.

I asked her to just start small and got her to start thinking of her inner voice as the true voice of God and stop making things up that kept her safe. (I also recommended she work with therapist.) Her cookies and cocoa made her feel safe and while she wanted to eat healthy, she had so many tugs from so many people that she couldn't let go of her habits of boxed cereal, salads or turkey sandwiches, and meat and potatoes. She felt these were right things to eat because so many people do. Only if everything she was eating acid and her habits were only easier for her because they were well practiced.

This woman's breakthrough came when we did a little visualization exercise going deep deep deep to find the inner drummer. She became more willing to try some new things and see how they worked. Fortunately they worked beautifully and she lost the excess weight and cleared her arthritis easily once she started to listen to her body and how it responded to whole foods and not a diet that didn't really work for her. She told me recently that even though she has learned to go and ask her inner drummer for direction she still messes up on occasion. I assured her that is part of being human and not to worry. One missed beat won't mess everything up. Just keep listening to the true beat and not a false one.

www.susanmarque.com

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Clean Eating (Continued)

Back to the idea of Eating Clean and what does that mean. I would have to say there are degrees of clean. The more clean we eat, the easier it is for our bodies to function well. A well functioning body has more energy and can tap into the subtle energies of the layers we live in so that means more insights and less just functioning on auto pilot.

For example, coffee might seem innocuous and useful, but it creates a disturbance and imbalance being acid forming and stimulating. A little can sometimes correct certain problems for the moment, but in the long run it can alter cortisol levels (watch that belly fat rise...) deplete kidney function and disrupt your own senses making you work harder than you need to, like putting a filter over or under yourself or walking around in a cloud only it seems quite normal if the cloud is always there. We adapt incredibly fast. If you walk into a room that has an odor, most people will adjust and not even smell it after just 20 minutes.

So what do you want your normal to be? How clean do you want to live? I've noticed that many people like to experiment with their diets only to go back to what feels comfortable or fun. Dessert every night might seem like a reasonable thing since many of us grow up learning that dinner ends with dessert. Only in other countries that might mean a little fruit and not a cake, cookie or pie. If you think that evaporated cane juice isn't like giving yourself a hard knock with a 2x4 - think again. You'll wake up tired the next day and wonder where the coffee is. Seriously.
We don't escape the consequences of what we ingest. Some people are stronger than others so they might recover quicker or notice the effects less but eventually your eating with catch up with you good or bad.

You get to choose how you want your diet to be. Sometimes it might be super clean where you'll eat only foods that grow such as whole grains, vegetables, sea vegetables, beans and fruits. Other times you'll want to add in good quality breads (look for no sugar or additives - not easy outside of health food places.) or baked goods. In good health you might play more and enjoy the occasional clogging foods like pizza for example and then have a few clean days. Cleanses do not make up for eating poorly. They can certainly help to clean up but I wouldn't recommend extreme to extreme types of eating.

Being aware of your options and how far you can stray before the tell tale signs of imbalance begin: runny nose, slight aches, itch, cough, flatulence, etc. Some people will want that energized tapped in feeling of clean eating and some just won't care and everything in between. The only way to really know though is to give super clean eating a go for long enough to get yourself on a high level of well being where happiness and energy are the defaults and take it from there. You will find your compass, your north star and just where you want to be on the subject of clean. I've grown accustomed to clean eating like taking a shower every day or brushing my teeth. It won't hurt once in a while to skip it, but it feels so much better being clean.

www.SusanMarque.com

October in Print

October appears to be interview month for me: I've got the last word: http://view.vcab.com/?vcabid=cgaSncecSchhnap and http://www.brooklynrail.org/2010/10/books/susan-jane-gilman-with-susan-marque
check em out - leave comments!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Healthy Halloween - Get started now with these fun cookies

White and Blacks – Sandwich cookies

For Halloween, call these Ghosts and Goblins. The Ghosts do not have chocolate and the Goblins do.

Simply take a cookie (see recipe below)

Spread almond butter (or cashew butter or peanut butter, etc.) on the cookie.

Spread a layer of Marshmallow crème (Suzanne’s is made with rice syrup and can be found in health food stores and online.) on top of the butter.

Top with another cookie.

For the blacks:

Heat Sunspire grain sweetened chocolate chips in a pan over a flame tamer or double boiler or keep a close watch and stir over the heat to make sure the chips melt but do not burn.

When good and melty, pour over each cookie sandwich and allow to cool completely. If you need the chocolate to be thinner, add a little oil. It will take longer to cool and harden but it will.

For the Cookies:

1 C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 C unbleached white flour

1 C. Brown rice flour

1 tsp. Aluminum-free baking powder

1/2 tsp. Sea salt

1/2 C. light vegetable oil

1/3 C maple syrup

1/3 C Brown rice syrup

2 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix dry ingredients in a med. Sized bowl and mix the wet ingredients in another bowl.

Add the wet to the dry and mix.

Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper until about 1/4” thick.

Cut out using cookie cutters. A small round one is great for these cookies but any shape will work. Transfer the cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You may use a small spatula or knife to assist you in the transfer. Bake for 15-20 minutes and allow to cool before assembling into Whites and Blacks. Keep re-rolling out the scraps of dough, cutting out the shapes and baking until you have used up all of your dough. Makes about 1 dozen larger or 2 dozen small sandwich cookies.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What is Clean Eating?

I often talk about eating clean, so what is that exactly? Clean Eating is a magazine I really like a lot because it embodies what I mean, most of the time. Eating clean is using the freshest whole organic ingredients and that have the most benefit and least distress for our bodies.

Sugar is not a whole food, organic or not. Sugar cane would be. It takes 3 feet of cane to make 1 teaspoon of sugar and that little bit is like taking a hit of a drug. It depresses the immune system for up to 6 hours, creates havoc on the blood sugar and gives your organs a punch like a neighborhood bully.

Eating clean means that we feel great from what we eat because it isn't making that kind of sugar impact or polluting impact like eating chemical laden fast foods, dressings, sauces, etc. When you are eating clean you feel great and look great naturally, have fantastic energy and clarity.

Many people come to me saying they eat healthy and do not realize how their desserts are slowing them down or the little things they are not paying attention to like how many chemicals were in the sauce the restaurant uses or what's in that jar of fat free mayo? I'm aghast at how many young women I meet who are so polluted from what they eat they look ten years older than their age. As soon as you start eating clean, that reverses itself. I've even had male clients who had their hair grow back all from getting clean!!

(to be continued...)

www.SusanMarque.com

Thursday, September 23, 2010

How Do You Feel About the Size of Your Thighs?

I just saw a video on Facebook that is getting sent around about women and body image. I liked it and agreed with it and I also see it as an excuse. We know advertising is false. So what. You can't blame ads for your overweight and feeling poorly about your body. Queen Latifa might be an exception to the stereotypical beauty, but so are all of those models who are extreme. There will always be exceptions to look at. I have yet to see a video saying it's horrible that people at the top have money. They are just like the models. A little less visible but they are a select group of people that we can look at and ignore, strive to be like, envy or what ever we choose. Do thin people who can't gain weight go around and say there shouldn't be any images of those round people, it makes them feel bad?

You have the power to choose. Do you choose to be unhappy about your body? Then do something about it. Start loving it for what it truly is or stop lying to yourself that you don't want to look like someone else and stop eating the cupcakes, coffee and snickers or stop starving yourself silly. I love the people who think they are immune to a few calories here or a giant frappachino there and then start sniffling from the dairy and sugar overload saying it must be the weather.

Perhaps we could blame advertising for perpetuating the myth that you never have to grow up and take responsibility for yourself and your actions. What if we were all trained to go the extra mile instead of to "get-a-way" with? What if we were trained to take care instead of blame or fight?

What are you saying when you point fingers and say "..see I feel bad because I can never look like that?" You are saying I am keeping my problem. Drop the blame, the shame and start being who you want to be. It takes effort. Of course no model is perfect in real life and I used to always think I needed to be thinner in order to be loved, liked, picked, etc. It has nothing to do with the size of my thighs and everything to do with what's in my head. I now love my body and I love feeling good in it. I feed it well and exercise a little and that seems to be a good recipe for good moods, good energy and a well life.

Decide what you want and how you want to live and get to it. Then you might enjoy those ads for being a specific type of art and not an excuse for what you don't have.
www.susanmarque.com

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Little Things Do Make a Difference!

I was just in the kitchen here in this International place I am currently living in. One girl eats cookies for breakfast, Another pours her cornflakes. They eat out of plastic bowls and don't want to invest in a single nice plate or spoon for their stay. I was probably the same when I was young. Doing what seemed easiest, used to Mom taking care of us and not caring if things were all that clean or nice. These girls are suffering though. Excess weight and wrinkles at 22 that make them appear older. They have no idea.

To take care and do little things like cook a good meal and eat it out of a proper bowl does make a difference. Each meal is a gift to your cells or a burden. When we say someone has lived a hard life it is often because we can see what they are wearing beneath the skin. How you treat yourself oozes out.

A couple of years ago I wrote about a man I met who loved God with all his heart and would have cleaned a temple with a toothbrush if he felt it would make a difference, only he desecrated his own body, the original temple of God. He abused himself with bad food and said horrible things to himself when he looked in the mirror, forgetting somehow that this image was part of what he loved most.

Who we are being shows up in our bodies. It shows up in our actions. It shows up in our voice, our walk, our choices. Who do you want to be? Treat yourself well and let it reflect and inspire others. I'm definitely no Saint on this. I need reminders like everyone else. I just do remember to make the meal look pretty and taste good.

www.SusanMarque.com

Friday, September 17, 2010

Why Presentation Matters

I went to help a friend today and thought it would just be a quick trip and I would be back to make my lunch. Silly me, while I could have certainly made something when I got back, I got hungry and just wanted to pick up a sandwich, so I did. The place I chose is somewhat of a fast food restaurant of healthy things. They use organic meats and produce and you get to choose from a limited list of what you want them to put together for you. I had a wrap that was served in foil paper without even a paper plate, just a few napkins.

The place is clean, bright and pleasant so I opted to eat there but I soon found out how messy my meal was and the absence of a plate made me feel terrible as I dripped onto the napkins. It took away greatly from the fresh taste of the ingredients. I was glad I had not walked to the park to eat because then I would probably have had it all over me. The lack of ease or presentation makes me never want to eat there again. It took something tasty and turned it sour. I was full but not satisfied.

Then I got to thinking how often people feed themselves in this way. They do not sit down to a nice looking meal but cheat themselves by eating on the run, opening a bag of something or just slapping something together and not making it nice. This creates dissatisfaction and dissatisfaction can create binging on other things or looking for treats like an ice cream or cupcake to satisfy the visual and aesthetic appetite. Take the moment to put your food on a plate and have it look appealing. Sit down to eat and try to have a nice setting to sit in. It does make a difference and often you will find you are eating less quantity too.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mochi Magic

Mochi is such a magical food. Not the ice cream, but simple pounded sweet rice that you can buy in blocks that have been dried. It's one of those gems from times gone by that has survived. I would guess because it's tasty and fun to use.

I recently met a young woman who is rather addicted to cheese. Instead of taking everything out of her diet, I'm suggesting she add in a whole lot of other things that don't leave much room for those old foods. They are not off limits, just getting edged out a bit. Mochi can melt in hot liquids and become gooey and cheesy. I grate it into my French onion soup or cut blocks of it and create mochi melts. I've done lamb mochi melts, tempeh mochi melts, breakfast mochi melts. I love how fast and easy they are to do while making a hearty complete meal that really satisfies.

On the packages of mochi that you can find usually near the tofu in the refridgerated section of the health food market, (Yes, they have it at Whole Foods.) there are directions for baking mochi in the oven. Cutting the larger block into smaller squares that will puff up to be crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside can be fun for kids to watch. Sort of the opposite of shrink art and you get to eat it.

Got any favorite mochi stories??? Let me know, I'd love to hear them!

Onion Soup
2 Onions sliced in half
1-2 tsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
2-3 Dried Shitake Mushrooms
Water
Shoyu (high quality soy sauce)
Pinch of Basil
Grated Mochi (optional)
Heat oil in saucepan and add the Onion. Stir to coat with oil and turn to heat down to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally over low heat for 45-60 minutes. Meanwhile, soak and slice the Mushrooms. Add to the Onions and add 2-3 cups good Water. Simmer for another 1-15 minutes and add the Shoyu to taste. Simmer 5 more minutes. Add the grated Mochi until it melts and serve.

www.SusanMarque.com

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Take a look at 3 articles I have in The Resident's Special Healthy Issue

For those that didn't see it yet - be sure and check out the 3 articles I have in http://view.vcab.com/?vcabid=cgaSncecScgealn

Friday, September 10, 2010

2 Fast and Easy Recipes for something new

I was just looking through my recipes to get some inspiration for what to create in the next few days.

Quick Spinach Dip


2 10oz packages of frozen chopped Spinach
1 Cup Wild Wood Plain Soy Yogurt
4 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 15 oz can organic baby lima beans
2-3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor add the garlic, beans and chives and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.


This popped out as not just a fun dip but a nice topping for a sandwich or to mix in with grain. It's fun to combine things you might not have thought of before for something new. I think that was how the plantain sandwich was born as well:

Plantain Sandwich

You could think of this sandwich as a grown up version of the banana and peanut butter ones you might have enjoyed as a kid. Feel free to add black beans, greens, steamed veggies or any number of variations.

For EACH sandwich:

1 Spelt tortilla

1/2 large plantain, sliced and fried

Approx. 2T herbed tofu spread

For the HERBED TOFU SPREAD:

7oz, firm organic tofu, drained

1/3 cup white miso paste

1/4 cup Tahini

2 T. olive oil

2 large cloves garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons both of dried basil and oregano

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/3 cup water

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

To fry plantains, peel the outer skin away and slice into about 1/4 “ thick slices. (I like to slice it somewhat diagonally rather than into rounds but that is up to you.) Place enough rice bran oil in a fry pan to cover the bottom and place over a fairly low heat. Put the slices in a single layer in the pan and fry until browned on each side.

It’s nice to soften the tortilla by placing over the flame of a burner, turning continuously until soft and even slightly toasted. (If you keep the tortilla’s in the freezer this is a fast way to defrost and use as well.)

Spread a layer of tofu spread on the tortilla and then fried plantains along one half of the bread. Roll up and enjoy.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Joining in the Party - When Whole Foods isn't all Rosy

Once upon a time, a long time ago, it was rare to get sick with diseases like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, especially at an early age. We had vaccines for things like polio and antibiotics became a way to wipe out a wealth of disease causing bacterias. Science was king and people believed in Wheaties, corn flakes and pasteurized milk to make them healthy.

I was one of those marvelous success stories where I cured myself of illness after illness. I cured things that were not supposed to have cures. We were told by our doctors to live with the illness. I didn't find that acceptable and I worked hard to find solutions. 25 years later and everyone has at least someone in their family with something awful and many with a cure. Food was my cure so I meet people who also cured themselves with diet. There are energy medicine cures, cures from shifting what a person believes to be true, all sorts of ways to let go of ailments.

The world has not quite caught up with the predominant whole foods diet and less refined stuff just yet but it's definitely been swinging in that direction as more people find themselves in similar situations to my own.

The down side of living well is that there is no going back without having consequences. I don't like the consequences of feeling lousy, run down, tired or start to have symptoms so I have to pass on the sugary stuff, the corn flakes or the crinkles. I don't get to partake in the pizza or savor an ice cream cone from a truck. I can get a cupcake from Babycakes or some Coconut Bliss ice cream from Whole Foods but it just isn't the same as joining in with everyone else.

Someone asked me how to deal with this. You just wrestle with your personal demons and there will be times when you choose to suffer for a sweet or feel knocked out for days because you wanted to join in the party. Sometimes it is easier than other times to tell yourself you'll have something you can feel better about at a health food place tomorrow. Sometimes it's downright depressing. That's the reality. It's not all rosy and fun all of the time. But quite a lot of the time it is.

It is nice to have simple home cooked food you can enjoy day after day and night after night. It's fun to experiment with new foods and make discoveries. You learn to let go of focusing on what's missing and take a look at the incredible abundance before you. Just like not every day is super spectacular and magical. Not every meal is going to be sparkling either and there are a few disappointments. Don't let that deter you or start tossing in any towels. It's just a meal or a dessert or a drink, and there are plenty more moments of fun to enjoy.

Jicama with Dulse and Lime

I cut up some Jicama the other day and squeezed in lime and added some Dulse. You couldn't ask for a better snack. Light, refreshing, aids in digestion, full of minerals and vitamin C. A great side dish that doubles as something to nosh on guilt free. It lasts for days in the fridge as well.

If you are happy with your weight or want to lose a few pounds and need a snack now and again, veggie snacks are great! In the winter I love a slice of steamed kabocha squash. If you pick out a nice dark one with the orange color from inside practically oozing out through the green skin, they can be as sweet as candy. The will start to be coming into season very shortly now.

What's your favorite veggie snack? Let me know.

www.SusanMarque.com

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Have More - Eat Less

One of life's fun paradoxes is that when we have, we rarely want. I had a teacher once who had us get abundant with food so that we would eat less of it. When everything is allowable and there is abundance, it calms the hording instincts.

I just moved to a place where I have a little room but the kitchen is shared and it's down the hall. It's a very uninviting kitchen and storage space is limited. It isn't as easy to just make myself a quick snack or grab something as it is when I am living in my own apartment. It also isn't there for me to look at all day long either. I'm spending far less time in the kitchen and eating is pleasurable but it's more functional than it was before. My time is focused on what I am studying and writing, and less on food experiments.

As soon as I moved in though and I didn't have much in the way of edibles, I found myself worried about where to get food and looking forward to the next meal. Once I got my groceries and got settled and had plenty of food for myself, there was peace and I didn't need to eat much. I just needed to know I could eat when I wanted to.

Notice what drives your eating. Do you keep foods on your desk so you never go hungry or look for the nearest coffee shop at every interval in your day? Or do you focus so much on work that you forget to eat and then overeat when you finally do get something in front of you? Knowing you have healthy choices for when you want them can normalize the amounts you consume so have more, eat less and enjoy your life!

www.susanmarque.com

Friday, September 3, 2010

Drop the Plain and Top Your Grain

It's moving day again for me in NYC. I just used the last tea bag I had for some lovely twig tea and made most of the bits left in the fridge into a tofu scramble with sweet potato, onion and zucchini for breakfast. A nice light but hearty meal to help me do the heavy lifting. I was thinking if I had a man with me, how I would have made him some whole grain to go with this meal. My next thought was how when I advocate whole grain eating I bet many people just try to eat it plain day after day.

Even I, a lover of plain stuff, like something on my grain. So what are some good things to have to make a bowl of brown rice or millet and all have a little zip? Me, I'm a fan of the flax oil and especially the Whole Foods or Barleans brands. Too much doesn't taste great but a nice drizzle in gives the grain a buttery flavor and also gives me that lovely toned look without having to go to the gym.

In Japan there is a condiment common on many tables called Gomasio. It is sesame seeds and sea salt, roasted and ground together. Very easy to make and will keep in the fridge for a month. On the table or traveling about a week.

For a mineral rich, no cooking involved condiment, mix equal parts of onion powder, Nori flakes and Dulse flakes. You can easily purchase the small bags of the flakes from your health food shop or the mail order places. (see links at susanmarque.com) Roast your favorite nuts or seeds for a nice crunchy topping. Use a little organic Tamari to balance the oil at the end of cooking.

If you prefer creamy to crunch you can make endless butters such as carrot butter, sweet potato butter, squash butter, etc. Mix pureed vegetables with your favorite nutbutter and a little salt. Try carrots with cashew butter for example or almond butter mixed with butternut squash puree. You can always spice them up with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, etc. Far more grounding and satisfying than fruit toppings and can be just as sweet.

See what you come up with and let me know your favorites!
www.SusanMarque.com

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Keep the Bagel - Let Go of the Guilt!

I walked into the office to help a woman find her way and another woman I know, one of the directors, walked through, let's call her Claire. Claire is tall, beautiful, graceful and kind. I would want to hang out with her any day of the week, but she is busy with work, kids and commuting. She came out holding her half eaten bagel and cream cheese in it's white paper wrapper in the palm of her hand. Her first reaction was happiness to see me, and her second reaction, she looked at the food in her upturned open palm and winced, saying "And look what I'm eating..."

I personally hate that. My presence in a room should not make anyone feel guilty about what they are eating or not eating. I've learned it's not my problem because I don't really care what others are eating. I do care that if they are interested and want my help. Then I care a lot and I will help as much as I can.

Life ought to be more about fun and enjoyment then guilt and feeling bad and yet so many people are trained to spend more time feeling bad. Let that go. Learn to make life easier and more fun. Work with coaches and healers to let go of the past programming that drives you in directions that you have outgrown. Like guilt. You can let it go. You can unravel those threads that keep pulling you this way or that and cut them. Sometimes it's instant and sometimes it takes a little work. I've worked with coaches myself that was how I learned to coach. I don't believe in done. We are never done with life or learning or finding more, going deeper into the mysteries and discovering answers. I keep working with people, and keep learning all of the time.

What are you interested in? Stop feeling guilty or ashamed for anything you are doing or being and just take some action. NOW!!!
www.susanmarque.com

Monday, August 30, 2010

Which Sweetener do You Choose?

Sweets are fun, delicious and often have good memories attached to them. There are plenty of reasons to enjoy them just like anything else, not to over indulge. I get questions all the time about which sweeteners are the best ones and basically many people trying to have their cake and eat it too.

Well you can of course (enjoy some cake.), and the most natural sweeteners are going to be my top choice. First off, you have to understand that if you are used to consuming strong tastes than at first milder, more natural things, are going to seem bland. Give your taste buds time to adjust rather than go looking for a chemical substitute. Sugar is a drug. We forget that since it is completely ubiquitous and added to many products to get you hooked. Natural sugar cane is sweet, just not the same as when it is juiced, reduced to powder and sold by the pound. Each little teaspoon is like eating three feet of cane, only without the fiber or minerals to slow down the absorption of the sugar, so it lands with quite a punch.

I have one friend who is diligently looking at the grams of sugar on packages to make sure she doesn't overindulge, but grams of sugar is not the same as actual sugar content. Different sweeteners are going to impact you differently. I do well with Agave myself and it doesn't seem to spike the blood sugar the way other sugars do. I was asked about coconut crystals made from the coconut palm tree. Now in theory it sounds great. I've eaten dark rich palm sugar in Indonesia and it was wonderful and felt about like the Agave. Crystals sounds like it has been further processed and probably has more of an adverse affect on the body.

You could look at the G.I. index and see that Maple syrup is a 54 where Agave is only 11-30. Coconut crystals are 35. But then again, how are they assigning these numbers and which brands? What are the mineral contents of each? Agave is so sweet that you will use less of it than brown rice syrup (20 G.I.) making it again an attractive alternative.

Fruits can be deceiving as well. That watermelon that seems so sweet has very little sugar in it as compared to a date that has plenty. Fruit is always a nice choice for a sweet because it is a whole food and the body gets so much more than just the sugars.

Parents if you keep to natural sugars at home and set a good example than your kids will try things like birthday cake or donuts at a friends house, but they will most likely not even like it if they are used to natural sweeteners. Watch and see how foods effect you and your kids and point it out to them. If they do eat the cookies at school and then are moody the next day you can talk about the direct links of what we eat and how it effects us. Weight is just one issue with sugar, it also has a huge impact on mental clarity, focus, energy levels, and health. Choose your sweets according to your condition and how you want to feel.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Food - When Your Friends Don't Agree

I remember when I began to heal myself with food. It was so dramatic and life changing and I wanted to tell everyone I knew and get them to switch with me. It was tough to realize that people do not want to change their food. Who wants to wake up from a pleasurable dream? I probably wouldn't either if I had felt there was a choice.

Recently I had a question from a woman who is so frustrated watching her friends eat typical American fare and then run to their doctors. She was saying it was becoming a friend buster because she couldn't watch anymore. My advice, just let go and love them. Be a shining example of what you enjoy and that it makes you feel great, look great and don't worry about them unless they ask. Once they ask, then its fair game to tell them what you have found to be true. Keep your friends and if you want to say something like "You know, I discovered (fill in the blank), and I'm having this great experience from it, you might want to try it too... than it's like giving them the scoop, as in a where a good sample sale is, or a new restaurant to try, that sort of thing. Then let it go.

Friends are important and letting everyone live the way they choose with their diet is important too. It's almost like religion or background, we have different experiences and beliefs and diet is going to be different for each person. Even if you eat the same sort of diet, it has to be different for each person because we are all made up just a little bit differently. Not everyone wants to be conscious or healthy or have magic happen in their lives. If you choose that, fantastic! Enjoy and love the others just as they are. They just might be curious one of these days...

Monday, August 23, 2010

To Cleanse...

Spring and Fall are those transitional times when I hear from many people wanting to cleanse. Everyone has their reasons, such as doing a cleanse first and then creating some new healthy habits. Some people just want to see results right away and want to do something drastic to motivate them into healthier eating. Some want to go deep and get out toxins and impurities that show up as cellulite or blemishes or fatigue. Some want to feel more connected to Spirit. I have done many cleanses myself for healing. I was sure that if I could get the stubborn offenders out of my system I would finally achieve the health I was looking for. It worked, but I had to do a lot of trial and error to figure out what was the best cleanse for what was going on.

Remember ladies - men have a much easier time cleansing. Please do not go overboard and try to do a cleanse marathon. I realize there will be some who do their own cleansing routines and think perhaps 40 days would be reasonable. It's not. It's a whole lot, and probably too much without some kind of medical supervision. 5 days is reasonable and can feel like you did a marathon.

The ever popular master cleanse is really just a rest from eating. It doesn't go in deep and sweep anything out but it can alkalize the system to some degree (provided you don't go overboard with the maple syrup...) so you will feel better and obviously lose a few pounds because you are not eating anything. If you go back to how you were eating before - voila, the pounds will pounce back quite quickly as well. By not taxing your system with digestion you can go deeper into meditation practices and this simple cleanse became popular in many yoga circles.

Digestion does take a lot of energy and can slow down the benefits of certain herbs. There are herbal cleanses such as Dr. Shulze's that go much deeper and clear out impurities from your liver, kidney's and digestive tract than other cleanses. His formula are all organic and very potent. The combinations of herbs he is using are not his own formula and I'm sure you can find very similar systems to his as they have been passed down and refined since ancient times. I have found these cleanses to be fantastic for cleaning out. With each round I did, I felt better and better. (and the cleansing process got easier.) Medications and pollution can get lodged deep in the tissues and the liver/kidney cleanses can pull them out layer by layer. Your body doesn't release everything all at once. Be patient and do take the intestinal formulas along with his other cleanses so toxins don't sit around for long. Superfood is super.

Short simple home fasts of just brown rice for example are not something I have done first hand but have had people tell me are wonderful for deepening their Spiritual practice as well as giving the body a rest from so many different foods. Brown rice is full of nutrients, protein and complex carbs so it will sustain you better than a juice fast. Plus brown rice bonds to toxins and carries them out of the body and the fiber is mildly cleansing for the digestive tract. Chewing your rice until there is really nothing left but air in your mouth (somewhere between 100 and 1000 chews - not kidding....) will give you outrageous energy and stimulate your immune system. Pair it with a brothy soup like miso and you have a great recipe for a Spiritual retreat. Probably why Monks ate this sort of thing with vegetables as an almost daily practice. They also use tofu to cool sexual desires.

Speaking of tofu, it is a damp promoting food. In Chinese medicine foods can create dampness or dryness or be neutral. If you have a damp condition than damp foods can create symptoms. (yeast, runny nose, cough, etc.) One of the most life giving foods are the mineral rich sea vegetables. They also contain trace minerals, protein and what science is now calling co-factors of certain foods that enhance our ability to utilize the big groups like vitamins. I love sea vegetables and some like Dulse, Nori, Arame and Hiziki are more suitable for helping eliminate dampness while Kombu, Wakame, or Sea Palm contribute to dampness. Sea vegetables are somewhat cleansing on their own and great to include in a simple diet of whole grains and vegetables for a cleansing that you can do for much longer than a fast.

Be well!!
www.SusanMarque.com

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oh Cocoa!

Yes, I still must go see the Coco Chanel movies and maybe have some cocoa truffles to go with them?? Have you seen http://www.ulimana.com/raw-chocolate-truffles.php yet? Great ingredients and an easy gift for yourself or others. Of course if you want to make some simple cocoa treats at home - start with the best cocoa powder you can get. It makes such a difference when you are using so few ingredients.

Here is a recipe that is pretty much assembly so it will keep you house cool and can be a great project for you and the kids. Just be willing to have sticky fingers!

Nuggets

Many years ago my friend Darcy Marta and I used to make different nuggets as a fun and healthy treat. Experiment and find what you like best. She and I used Honey. Here I use Brown Rice syrup because it will spike your blood sugar less and gives a great flavor. Use any nut butter you like, Cashew butter, hazelnut butter, peanut butter, sesame butter to name a few. Use any cereals you like, and/or add seeds and nuts.

Brown Rice Syrup
Almond Butter
Crisped Rice cereal (Erwhon makes them with grain sweetener)
Corn flakes
Cocoa powder or grain sweetened chocolate chips (Sunspire is one brand)

Mix approximately equal amounts of rice syrup and nut/seed butter. Mix cereals in well. You may even mash up with your hands. Add any seeds/nuts or even dried fruits and mix well. Roll up small balls with your hands and either roll in cocoa powder or dip into melted chocolate. For melted chocolate place chocolate chips into a double boiler or a saucepan with a flame tamer underneath. Turn the heat to low and stir as the chocolate melts. Add just a touch of olive oil to thin and be able to dip your nuggets and get a light coating of chocolate. Place on wax paper or a plate to cool.

Friday, August 20, 2010

End of Summer Treat - Make Healthy Sherbet

Remember "Push Ups"? I wanted to create that orange milky sherbet type of treat when I created this recipe. It's a healthy match. If you don't feel like orange just substitute another strong juice.

Sugar Free Orange Sherbet

2 C. fresh orange juice
1 C. plain amasake
1 C. brown rice syrup (or 1/2 cup agave)
2 T. agar flakes
1T. Vanilla
Orange zest (optional)

In a saucepan heat the amasake with the agar until the agar is dissolved. (3-5minutes) Place all ingredients in a blender and blend. Transfer to a freezerproof container and freeze overnight. Process in a food processor until smooth and then re-freeze for 6-8hrs before serving.

For a richer sherbet, add a little oil(rice bran, coconut, etc...) and a small pinch of sea salt to the final blending.