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...)

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.

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.

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
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.

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

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


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.

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!

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 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!

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!!!