Friday, March 22, 2013

3-2-1 Rice!

One pot of rice could be endless different meals.  Rice pudding, rice pilaf, fried rice, Lemon chicken over rice, rice tossed into soup, sweet rice crunchies, rice burgers are just a few ideas.  3-2-1 is a combination of grains that I find works very well.  The above combination of 3/4 cup black rice, with 2/4 cup Jobs tears (Hato Mugi) barley with 1/4 cup of sweet rice could be used for all of those things.  I met a woman who combines the black with quinoa and cooks it in coconut milk for a sweet rice that she eats as a side dish, and I imagine she fries some of the leftovers up with vegetables and protein later in the week.

Use what ever grains you like and see how it comes out.

3‑2‑1 Rice

3/4 C. Short grain brown rice
2/4 C. Sweet rice
1/4 C. Soft wheat berries
3 C. water, plus  a little  extra if pot boiling
(or 2 1/4 C. water, plus a little  extra if pressure cooking.)
pinch of sea salt.

Come up with your own grain combinations. Here is another one that I liked.  Wash the grain and bring water to boil.  Add the grain  and when the water returns to a boil add the salt. Cook for 45min ‑ 1 hr until  all the water is absorbed.  Also nice soaked overnight‑before cooking.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Get yourself a sign for spring.  Yes, that's right.  This silly doodle was my own little reminder that I want to feel good in my body, and eating a tad lighter always does that since my tendency is to consume more than my body really needs.  I like that full feeling of quantity, and sometimes I just like to keep eating for the pleasurable sensations of sweet, savory, crunch or creamy, when I really should have stopped spoonfuls before I do. 

Use a doodle app, or grab your kids Crayola's and make something, or several little reminder signs you can hang on the cupboard, mirror, wall, desk or anywhere you will see it many times a day to remind yourself. (post-it index cards are good to have all over....)

Lightening up can feel frightening even if it's two pounds or twenty or more.  When you are used to a certain fullness, taking away some quantity often brings out emotions or just feels differently and even good feelings are change.  Change is an adjustment only until the new feeling becomes the norm.  Let it.  Start living as the person you want to be even if that means you have to put down the cookie and wait to have it, or in my case, put that bag of Monukka raisins back on the shelf. (why are those so addictive - something about the sweet, chewy and extra crunch in the middle maybe?) What is your weakness?  Crackers, eating until the plate is empty, too many after work beers or finishing what the kids didn't eat?  Teach yourself (and teach those who love you just by being an example) to let go and love your healthy and physical self more than any particular food item. 

Come up with your slogan, your word, what you want to have this spring and beyond, and then spring ahead and take action.  (remember to keep going for 30+ days to make this your new habit) Summer will be here before you know it and you'll be feeling fabulous.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What is Healthy?

Just posting the photo I took above makes me envision kiwi prints replacing leopard prints in fashion, as fruits and vegetables are finding greater notoriety.  Look at Kale - the eat more kale guy is doing a whole film in defense of his slogan and favorite green.  Quinoa is popping up in so many places that my friend Aurorae took me to a wonderful restaurant one afternoon in NYC where the very American menu sported a delicious red quinoa burger on a potato bun.  (Thank you gluten free craze 'cuz some of what is getting made now I really like...)  More people are discovering whole foods, as I did, to experience better health.

Then there is always that question - What is healthy?  Is it just the absence of detectable disease?  Are we all really in a state of some decay from birth to death?  I just read that preschool age kids laugh about 400 times a day (yeah, your money paid for that study...) and adults only laugh at the most about 17 times a day.  Is that a clue as to why kids are more resilient?

Is the person downing their green juice and omitting red meat really doing that much towards their vitality as they rush to their next meeting?

I think the answer lies in a combo pack of good foods, releasing stress, a little exercise and finding things that bring smiles to your face often.  Joy is healthy, and the rabbit hole of depression drags you down.  Interestingly, eating well usually lifts ones mood as your internal milieu is vitally connected to your emotional state.

When you are healthy and happy things usually just go better in other areas of life as well.  In coaching circles there is the ubiquitous wheel.

I have a worksheet I offer to students where they can fill in the wheel with colors and decide where they are on a scale of 1-10 right now in each area.  10 being fantastic and 0 being not having that area at all in their life.   Then they can decide where they would like to be, and what steps could facilitate getting there.

Health then is not just about what you eat.  It's about your life.  Your life affects your choices.  If you have an incredible constitution and attitude, you will have a lot of power that can override the abuse of what you ingest.  Most people though, will create a cascading acidic condition until they start having too many symptoms to ignore.  The weight gain, fatigue, sniffles, headaches, mood swings, aches, etc can all be rectified with a change in diet.  The overall health is more interdependent on the entire scope of the persons life.

So what is healthy?  It's a conversation.  It's as much or as little as you decide to dedicate to it.  It isn't hours in the gym.  It's a commitment to make choices in the direction of health instead of the opposite.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mochi Melts for all - vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, gluten free recipes

Make these vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian as you wish.  The basic recipes are just guides.  Mochi is an energizing fun food you can find in your health food store.  See the recipe I did a few posts ago 

I find that in Spring when the weather is bouncing back and forth from cold to warmer and back to cold, mochi helps me feel satiated and ready for anything.

Have fun with your food and enjoy!

Mochi Melt with Lamb
Make as much or as little as you like. 

Plain mochi, cut into small squares about ½”
Lamb, cut into chunks with all bones removed
Carrots, chopped
Onion, chopped
Burdock, chopped
Chinese cabbage, chopped
Olive oil
Shoyu (good quality soy sauce)

Simply place a small amount of oil in the bottom of a pan over medium heat.  Add the vegetables and sauté for several minutes.  Add the Rosemary and water to half way cover the vegetables.  Sprinkle with Shoyu.  Add the lamp chunks, and the mochi.  Place a lid on your pan and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to low and simmer for ten minutes or until the lamb chunks are cooked and the mochi is melted.  Take the lid off the pan and boil away any remaining liquid.

Breakfast Mochi Melt

Sweet, creamy and full of energy, this dish is very satisfying.
Use veggies that you enjoy and mix it up each time.  Add beans and herbs for an even heartier meal.

Onion, sliced
Carrot, chopped
Sweet potato or winter squash (or both) chopped
Cabbage, chopped
Sweet corn
Mochi cut into small pieces
Olive oil
Sea Salt

Make as much as you need for each person.  Heat the olive oil in a pan or skillet. 
Sauté the veggies for several minutes.  The onions will become translucent.  Add a pinch of sea salt. Add about 1/4" to 1/2" of good quality water and add the mochi.  Put a lid on the pan and turn the heat to low.  Cook for 10 or 15 more minutes to soften the veggies and melt the mochi.  Take the lid off and stir.  If there is too much extra liquid simply simmer without a lid until you have the desired consistency.

Monday, March 4, 2013

What Do You Allow Yourself - Get Successful With Your Health

I was just thinking of how we make the choices we do.  What do we allow ourselves to think is possible?  If you know that Kudzu tea (recipe here: will cure a hangover (food or alcohol) or combat a cold, it gives you more freedom than if you didn't have that as a possibility.

I don't ponder flying to the moon.  I'm not interested in being an astronaught, the journey seems longer than a flight to Africa, and definitely not as interesting once you got there.  Hotel service would be nonexistent, and the bathrobe wouldn't stay on well in zero gravity.  Flying to the moon is outside of my rehlm of possibility so I don't consider it.

What we do consider for ourselves is based on what we think is possible.  If others have done it, then it seems logical that we might be able to do a thing as well.  You only know what others have done or what could be by finding out or dreaming it up yourself.  The internet has endless access to the world but it's how you do your search that brings you the results you find.

For some people what is possible to eat is limited to a few items because that is all they allow themselves.  It might be growing up believing that pizza and beer is right, and the vegetarians are nuts, or it might be a belief in certain foods for religious purposes are eliminated.  What do you dismiss as not possible for you?

Do you resist eating healthy but want to feel better in your own body?
Do you say you don't have time to cook?  Don't have the resources to get what you need?
What is your reasoning for keeping yourself out of greater possibilities?  Are you willing to let that go and have more?

Letting go of what the culture is doing has not been easy for me at times, but now the culture is catching up with what I've been doing for more than 20 years.  Society is embracing new foods like quinoa or kale, making them mainstream and a possibility for more people just by the awareness.

See where you keep yourself safe and small and dismissing greater possibilities for your life.  What could make your life sweeter than honey and brighter than the moon?  Your life is simply a reflection of what you allow in your mind.  Expand what's possible for you.