Archive for January, 2012

Pot roast is one of those things I always hated. Bleck.

When the vegetables turned to mush, meat became gelatinous and potatoes turned to something close to paste.

Then I got serious about creating a better way, and this is what happened!

Perfect Pot Roast

Roast 4-6 lb.
Carrots 4-6  (1-2 per person) chunked
Onion  1 medium chopped
Fennel  1 small sliced
Crimini mushrooms 6-8 quartered
Shiitake mushrooms 5-6 sliced
Red wine 1/2 – 3/4 c
Sea salt 2 t
Pepper 1-2 t
Rosemary 1-2 t
Crushed red pepper 1 t
Garlic 4-5 cloves smashed or minced
Olive oil 2-3 T

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Season the meat with salt, pepper, red pepper and rosemary making a thick base to crust.

In a heavy bottom pot (I use a cast iron dutch oven). Heat the oil over medium heat. Sear the meat on all sides. Remove the roast to a plate.

Add a bit more oil to the pan. Add veggies and garlic. Saute 2-.3 minutes. You don’t want to cook them through! Just sear the outsides a bit.
Now, add the wine and scrape the bits off the bottom.

Add the meat back to the pot. Place the pot, covered, in the oven and cook for 3 1/2 – 4 hours.

And, you have this…..

Notice, I do not, repeat, do NOT add potatoes. There is something just wrong about potatoes soaking for hours in warm liquid.

Recipe blog fail… I over cooked the veggies in the “on the stove top” stage this time. As you can see. While trying to write blogs, wrangle dogs who have been cooped up too long and chat with just home from school teenagers who love to chatter. They were soft. Too soft. But they don’t have to be. If you hate soft though, you might add the fennel later. About half way through cooking. They tend to get soft. Along with the onions. And don’t add too much wine. The meat will add juice. Too much and you have soup.

If you choose a lean meat you have a delightfully healthy meal. There are no added sugars or fats. No starchy potatoes. Serve it with some healthy greens and feel good about dinner!


 Live Well!

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Last night we attended services for a friend. He was only 44. As I sat in the church, viewing the photo slide show I began, again, contemplating all that has been, is, and will be my life. And with that sorrow, I found joy.

With the many twists and turns my life has taken, especially those recently, I have found something. A profound sense of now! Life is about now.  It’s about doing what makes you happy NOW. Being healthy NOW. Enjoying your life NOW. Celebrating NOW.

For many years I have been writing about my passing. I know that sounds ridiculous and morbid. Perhaps it is. But I am somehow at peace with it. Somehow, it makes me appreciate my life more.

My journals are filled with letters, stories, ideas and dreams. But there is one that I will soon hand off to my family. Not because I think they will need it anytime soon. I plan to sit in rockers with the mister on the big covered porch watching the great grand children play in the field and orchard.

I will hand it off so that they know what to look for when the time does come. So that they can be comforted in knowing that I am at peace. And most importantly so that they too can be given the opportunity to live in the NOW. To write letters they would have wished to as well. To tell people how they feel about them. To know to take the time to experience life every day.

Someday soon I will tell you of the letters to my children, but for today I want to focus on living and remembering.

I have been to far too many services for those I love. Have watched the tears and the sorrow. Felt the remorse cling like wet linen. Sticky and heavy. And every time it has brought me closer to this dream, this vision.

Perhaps the loss of my father at such a young age has been a blessing in ways hard to explain. There wasn’t anything left. He was just… gone. No artifacts. No words. Just a few photos and fewer stories. But my father taught me my very greatest lesson. To appreciate life and those in it. To never take any of it for granted and never, NEVER leave anything unsaid. To be mindful of what you leave behind.

I want my family and friends to celebrate my life. To cry tears of joy and laughter as they remember all that we did, all that we were. I don’t want regrets. I want them all to be comforted in knowing just how much I love them. And that I know just how much they love me too.

I want women to wear flowers in their hair. I want those I love to strap on their guitars and beat on drums. I hope it is a warm Summer day so they may dance barefoot in the grass. I want wine to flow and the sweet scent of herbs to linger. Stories to be told under the stars. A fire and candles. Songs to be sung.

I want my words to be read. One final chance to tell everyone how much I appreciated them. How they filled my life with hope, comfort, laughter and happiness. I want them to tell tales of our adventures through life. Some perhaps when the youngest of the grandchildren aren’t listening.

And above all, I want those I leave behind to hear ME say “I will always love you. I will always be with you. I will be the wind in your hair. I will be the tickle behind your ear. And I will always, always be proud of who you are……

Now drink!

To a life well lived


Live Well!

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Don’t let eating healthy be bland and boring!!

Boring, bland food will only lead to feeling un-satiated and you turning to all those unhealthy cravings. I was speaking with a client today and she had this question… “What keeps you from eating all those comfort foods you are craving?”

The answer is two fold –

1. I believe in mind over matter!! You have to train your brain to like the healthier options better. It happens to us every day. We see commercials full of shiny, cheesy macaroni and sizzling steaks next to heaping piles of mashed potatoes. And some guy telling us how much we want it. Your brain is being tricked into wanting that food over the leaner options, not because it WILL actually taste better, but because you are made to BELIEVE it will. You have to take active control over your thoughts! You have to become in tune to your body and realize how you feel after the heaping potatoes versus the grilled chicken and sautéed veggies. I always feel lighter, healthier, cleaner and more focused when eating lean. And I know it. So I do it! And there is no battle over cravings.

2. Don’t let your food be boring! Because it doesn’t have to be. If it is, you will hate it and succumb to the cravings. Take the fish I made today… if I had left it as it were and simply cooked it, it would have been just ok. I would have eaten it but not been very excited over it. By adding pepper, sea salt, rosemary, kelp flakes, garlic and lemon juice it became something I wanted to go back for seconds on!

Zest up your food with some of my favorite seasonings –

kelp, seaweed, season healthy food

Kelp and seaweed are two of my favorites! I love spices and herbs… as you can certainly tell… and I use a LOT of them. But sometimes even I get bored of the same 15 (20-something?). These add a depth of flavor that you don’t get anywhere else. And kelp is a great substitute for salt and high in iodine.

My Must Have list of seasonings (in order of most used/loved. sort of.) –

  • garlic
  • rosemary
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • lemon juice and lemon zest
  • lavender
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • mustard
  • ginger
  • sage
  • lime juice and zest
  • chives
  • red pepper
  • celery seed
  • sesame seed
  • fennel seed
  • balsamic vinegar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • chili powder
  • cilantro

There are tons more that I love, but these are ones I use all the time. Everyday. With every. single. meal. I make. Nothing is ever left unseasoned. I could actually keep going. Grapefruit juice and zest is wonderful. Toasted ground flax seed gives a warm, nutty flavor to salads and sautéed veggies. Have you ever had warm sweet potato with tarragon greek yogurt sauce?

You can make your food totally decadent and still just as healthy as if it were plain raw spinach, plain steamed sweet potato and plain baked chicken. I see this quite a bit with people who are training for big things like competitions. But why? Add some flavor and stop torturing yourself.

PLUS, there are incredible healing properties in herbs. So shake it on and spice it up! And get excited about healthy food!

Live Well!

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Killing Time

….and starting over.

Because it’s the best ever. And because “The Scottish Prisoner” was sold out.


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I don’t care who you are. I don’t care how much you have been training. We all want and deserve a treat now and then. I have for you the easiest Blackberry Cobbler ever AND a few ways you can make it a bit healthier!!

Hold on to your hats friends. This is going to be one EASY delicious dessert!

blackberry cobbler, healthy dessert

BlackBerry Cobbler

1 c self rising flour
1 c sugar
1 c milk
1/2 stick butter
1-2 pints blackberries

Preheat oven to 350*
Mix the flour, milk, butter and 3/4 c sugar in a large bowl. Pour into a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with blackberries then remaining 1/4 c sugar. Bake for 1 hour.

That’s it! Easy as that. You can top it with fresh whipped cream. Yum.

blackberry cobbler, healthy dessert

Coconut milk works great!

Cleaned Up Blackberry Cobbler

1 c unbleached self rising flour (King Arthur)
1 c flour of your choice – gluten free, almond(very dense), buckwheat, spelt, millet, quinoa, brown rice, sorghum, oat or a combination of these
1 1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

3/4 c stevia
1 c almond milk
2 T unsweetened applesauce
1-2 pints organic blackberries

Follow the same directions as above. Except, rather than buttering the dish use a healthy oil. You can use a variety of berries and other fruits too.

blackberry cobbler, healthy dessert

Want to make them even better and protein packed?

Substitute a 1/4 c of the flour with vanilla protein powder!
You may want to lessen the stevia a bit if you don’t like things too sweet.
The protein powder is sweetened after all.

Did I also mention this one is cheap?
Frozen berries are fairly inexpensive. And they are flash frozen at the peak of freshness so there is no worry about them lacking nutrients. You can even find them along rivers and streams (and other places too) growing wild in many areas in late summer. I forage berries every year!

What is your favorite cobbler?

Live Well!

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The idea of sports drinks is pretty simple –

Replace lost electrolytes and re-hydrate after exercise and provide a good balance of carbohydrates and electrolytes to maintain extended physical activity.

Carbohydrates actually allow water to be absorbed more easily and quickly than plain water. Most researchers agree that this ratio is 6% for optimal absorption. Gatorade, the worlds leading sports drink maker gives this ratio –

14 grams Carbohydrates
110 mg Sodium
30 mg Potassium
52 Calories

Many sports drinks however, are full of High Fructose Corn Syrup. Ew.
FYI – Gatorade does NOT contain HFCS

Making your own sports drink can help eliminate HFCS and preservatives and save you money.

Basic Sports Drink

5 T Sugar
1/3t Light Salt or “half salt” a salt substitute containing Potassium like Mortons Lite
1 Liter Water
*This is often flavored with dry Koolaid mixes. These are full of dyes and are not whole foods!

I like this one better…..

All Natural Sports Drink

1t Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
1t Local Honey
1 Pinch of Salt
8 Ounces Water

Mix the honey with the vinegar first to dissolve. Then mix the rest of the ingredients.

You can flavor your drink with real juice. Not the bottles of stuff they call “juice” but real, fresh, nothing added fruit juices. I like lemon, orange or pomegranate.

What is your favorite sports drink flavor?

Live Well!

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Chicken, turkey burgers, steak…. bacon.protein,

It’s addicting. It’s comforting. It has been drilled into us that meat is simply a must. We have also been convinced that without it we will never get enough protein to sustain us. Having spent quite a bit of time in the world of body building where chicken and protein shakes abound, I know just how convinced so many are of this.

Although I’m not strictly vegetarian, nor thoroughly convinced that eating meat is a death warrant, I do eat little of it. In comparison to many. And I do enjoy it when I do!

There is much contradiction in the world of “to eat meat or not to eat meat”.

Many of the worlds most prolific minds have been vegetarians. Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, Leonardo Da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, Diogenes, Nikola Tesla, Plato, Socrates, Thomas Edison, Aristotle and Thoreau. Even body builders like Bill Pearl (4 time Mr. Universe!), Jim Morris (Mr. America), and Billy Simmonds. And athletes like Carl Lewis, Joe Namath, Chris Evert, Fiona Oakes and Robert Parish. Even heavyweight arm wrestler Rob Bigwood and strongman Joni Purmonen are vegetarians.

There is also much research that shows diets that include meat, such as Paleo, have many benefits and are completely “healthy”. I mean come on, how many of you have grandparents that lived into ripe old age and ate meat everyday?

I am not going to argue whether you should or should not eat meat here. What I am going to say is that you CAN get plenty of protein in vegetables. And that the majority of your diet should come from vegetables and fruits!

Here is the protein content of many wonderful vegetables –protein in vegetables

  • Alfalfa sprouts – 1.32 grams in 1 cup
  • Amaranth leaves – 2.79g in 1 cup
  • Artichoke – 3.47g in 1 medium
  • Asparagus – 2.16g in 1/2 c
  • Bamboo shoots – 1.84g in 1c
  • Beets – 1.43g in 1/2c
  • Bok Choy – 2.65g in 1c
  • Broccoli – 4g in 1/2c
  • Brussel Sprouts – 3.98g in 1c
  • Butternut squash – 1.84g in 1c
  • Cabbage – .95g in 1/2c
  • Carrots – .59g in 1/2c
  • Cauliflower – 1.14g in 1/2c
  • Celeriac – 1.49g in 1c
  • Celery – 1.25g in 1c
  • Corn – 4.02g in 1 ear
  • Cucumber – .34g in 1/2c
  • Eggplant – .82g in 1c
  • Fennel – 1.08g in 1c
  • French beans – 12.48g in 1c
  • Green pepper – .64g in 1 small
  • Kale – 2.47g in 1c
  • Lima beans – 14.66g in 1c
  • Mushroom – 1.08g in 1/2c
  • Okra – 3g in 1c
  • Onion – .82g in 1 small
  • Parsnip – 2.06g in 1c
  • Peas – 8.58g in 1c
  • Potatoes – 4.33g in 1 medium
  • Pumpkin – 1.76g in 1c
  • Radish – .39g in 1/2c
  • Soybeans – 29g in 1c
  • Spinach – 5g in 1c
  • Spirulina (seaweed) – 64.37g in 1c !!!!
  • Spaghetti squash – 1.02g in 1c
  • Summer squash (+zucchini) – 1.87g in 1c
  • Sweet potato – 2.29g in 1 medium
  • Swiss Chard – 3.29g in 1c
  • Turnip – 1.11g in 1c

I know what you are thinking….. that’s not very much.

But look at it this way, you ARE getting protein every time you eat them. Even fruits contain protein. And many are not even considering these as sources when trying to determine ratios. I didn’t even get into nuts, seeds and beans.

And check out the heavy hitters in red!

The average person requires between one-third (0.33) and one-half (0.50) of a gram of protein per day for each pound of body weight.

150 pounds x 0.33g = 49.5g per day
150 pounds x 0.50g = 75g per day

200 x 0.33 = 66g per day
200 x 0.50 = 100g per day

When trying to lose weight, increase muscle mass, are extremely active, pregnant, recovering from surgery or when suffering from severe illness such as cancer these ratios tend to increase to 0.65g to 0.80g.

Check out this article about the protein myth on bodybuilding.com

Why does all this matter?

Because many people are consuming vast amounts of animal protein simply because they have been told that they need to! They believe that in order to lose weight, stay healthy and put on muscle they need MORE. But that isn’t the whole truth.

Also, because there are proven negative effects to too much protein intake. And we can only digest 25-30 grams of protein per meal. So if you are packing on the protein thinking you are doing better, you are wasting your time and money. And potentially your health.

Protein is an essential part of our diet that is vital to proper body function and good health! However, it is often very misunderstood. Be sure you are getting enough. And if you have questions seek help.

Live Well!

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