Friday, January 29, 2010

Eating Energy


Tired all the time? I know I am. So much to accomplish everyday (even on my days off) and never enough time to finish. For me, no-sleep is not an option. I am the kind of being that needs and enjoys resting, but when I wake up feeling like Eeyore, I know something is out of balance. If you know me, you would know that I solve almost all of my problems with food! Maximizing one's energy can be as simple as increasing vitamin C to boast metabolism, & vitamin B's, which help the adrenal glands function properly, staving off energy lulls. Even more, here are just a few different energy foods that will help with that extra needed lift.

Some suggestions from Dr. Gillian McKeith's Book: You Are What You Eat http://www.gillianmckeith.info/

Oats- packed with energy nutrients and help regulate blood glucose levels, helping concentration and alertness.
Parsley- Chalked full of nutrients. Parsley has more vitamin C than citric fruits, very high levels of vitamin B12 and the list goes on!
Grapes- Very high levels of Magnesium, helps in the process of converting energy to glucose; a very therapeutic value of grapes.
Yams- Loaded with Vit. C, they detoxify & balance hormones & blood glucose levels, leading your energy levels to be constant.
Squash- Helpful in strengthening the digestive functions by motivating the circulation of energy meridians.
Sunflower Seeds- Packed with Magnesium, vitamins, protein, Iron, copper, EFA's, B complex and more! They give instant energy. The flowers are beautiful to look at & the seeds are even better to eat!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dreaming Beaches




I love the winter...really I do. But, as I walked Ballou this morning (drinking my hot lemon water) I really had a deep longing to be back on the beach. Back on the beaches of Lake Michigan....That is why four seasons are so important. They make you appreciate beautiful days.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Upstream Thougths


"What you think and what you believe is what will come true for you. Your thoughts create your life." - Louise Hay

If everyone took the time to really digest this simple thought, and use it everyday, all day, the World as we know it would be so very different. Beauty would shine from every corner and every crack of human life.

Upstream thoughts... lets have more upstream thoughts... What if you had a thought that you wanted to share, but you had to wait a couple minutes before you actually said it... Would you still want to say what you thought? Are those words worth speaking, and will they represent you and your thought process? Sometimes it is OK to have upstream thoughts... sometimes we have something that comes into our mind, and should be washed away. It came for a reason and it was noted, but that does not mean it should be said. So many times I walk out of a situation and think "wow, I talked too much" or "why in the world did I have to say that?". Now that I have another location for these thoughts to go (upstream), I am a lot more conscious of what I say. Words hold so much power... lets try to be careful with the gift of language.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Carrot Cookin



A College friend of mine gave me a cookbook for my birthday that was from her home town of Seattle. The Pacific Northwest is known for supple land and fresh, simple and amazing food. This particular cookbook focuses on three main ideas, eating fresh, eating local, and eating in season. Fabulous. Unfortunately, for us living in the Midwest, eating what is local, fresh, or what is in season may not be an option. I have joined different co-op programs and signed on with grocery deliveries from local farmers, but a problem has always risen; finding myself back at the local grocery store, searching for the "organic" options. Farmers markets are wonderful in Summer and Fall, but Winter and most of Spring always get the shaft. Further, it is true that I could actually buy everything I eat from local farmers and producers, but the fact of the matter is I do not have enough hours in the day to take this project on whole heartedly and I would not really be eating a balanced diet....

That being said, I do buy as much as I possibly can from local farmers, bakers, and artisans. I believe in the power of quality food, because I have seen this power come alive in my body, energizing my body and igniting my soul.

So my gift to everybody on this winter day, is the best darn carrot recipe I have ever found. Every time I make these carrots, they seem to disappear like a plate of chocolate chip cookies. This is such a simple recipe, where the real flavors from the food are on display for all to enjoy. They taste as though they are honored to be together in the same dish. Let me know what you think...

Pan-Roasted Orange-Paprika Carrots


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 large carrots, cut diagonally into 1/4 inch-think slices
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 teaspoon turbinado sugar or light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Heat skillet on medium/high heat and let the butter melt. Cook untill the butter browns (about 3 minutes). Next add the carrots and stir. Season with salt and peper, and let brown for 2 minutes without stirring. Now stir and let the carrots cook for about 2 more minutes, or untill they just start to soften.
Add orange juice, sugar, paprika, and stir. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the carrots have a brown glaze and are easily pierced with a fork. Turn off the heat, cover and set aside until ready to serve. Serve them warm!

- This portion ment for a side-dish for 4
- The carrots keep for 2 to 3 days in refrigerator, so this dish can be made ahead if needed
- From the cookbook, "Pure Flavor" by, Kurt Beecher Dammeier & Laura Holmes Haddad

Monday, January 25, 2010

Macro way



A couple years ago, I became interested in the eating philosophy known as Macrobiotics. Michio Kushi is the founder of a macrobiotic institute and author of the book "The Macrobiotic Way". In it, she explains "the foods we eat do not merely satisfy hunger; they have a profound effect upon our health as well. Macrobiotics is the art of understanding these effects and using them to create balance and harmony".
As I have learned and tried more, I believe this philosophy and lifestyle has a lot of great knowledge, ideas and insight. With that said, I do not feel a strict Macrobiotic diet is meant for me. However, I do incorporate a lot and I want to share one of Michio Kushi's recipe.

Umeboshi is a Japanese salted plum that helps to alkaline the blood and aids in digestion. I now buy both the plums and Umebushi vinegar, and use them with so many different foods! Salad dressing is an easy way to incorporate Umeboshi, and here is a recipe for you to try at home!

Umeboshi- Scallion Dressing

3 umeboshi plums, pitted
4 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1&1/4 cups water

-Place umeboshi in a suribachi ( or a mortal and pestle) because you want the plums to become smooth and paste like in consistency.
-Add tahini and grind again. add in the scallions and the water next. Mix together into a smooth consistency and enjoy on your favorite salad!
- If you need to use a food processor to get everything smooth, you can use that too. Suribachi is a macrobiotic kitchen tool that is a serated glazed clay bowl and a pestle.

(image: http://blog.jagaimo.com - also a really awesome blog to check out)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lace up life



Mauve..wonderful color...mmmmm... really just wonderful.


Recently, I have fallen in love with lace...beautiful, fabulous lace...

Word to the wise...a little goes a long way...I had some light coral colored lace that I turned into a clumpy bow, sewed an antique button in the middle and added a clip..waallaah a new head piece for me.

Lace is fascinating to me..Why? well let me tell you! Lace came to being in the later 15th and early 16th century. Adding to the riches of the Catholic Church, lace was used by the clergy to line vestments for ceremonies...The Catholic Church sure knows how to do some things really well... ingrain large amounts of guilt in children, that follows them around for a lifetime, sit, stand, kneel, then sit, stand, kneel again, and, last but not least, they do know how to spend money on decorations.... adding lace makes those vestments that much more fabulous..so it must make the Lord even happier with us............( Do I sound cynical?).


I don't know if it's my Catholic upbringing or my love for detail, but lace has pulled me into it's web of linear, floral beauty. No matter how one uses lace, I think it can be an easy way to bring simplistic, interwoven dimension to anything..

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Graffiti




This is the difference between natures graffiti and human graffiti. Fabulous.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sitting in Silence


"The Bee never gathers for tomorrow: today is enough unto itself." - Gautam Buddah

OOOOOOOHHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMM...Meditation is something I practice on a regular basis. Believe me when I say it is not just for the enlightened hippity dippity beings. For me, it calms my mind and balances my energy. My sister always tells me that she needs to start meditating, but cannot find the time to/ does not really know how. I have tried to guide her, but she is set in her brain that her life does not have the space for meditation. I understand this very well, because this used to be me..In the western world, life moves at such a rapid pace, and we humans make it to the end of the day completely exhausted. A half of an hour meditation (let alone cooking a healthy meal) is the last thing most feel like doing... until they feel the unbelievable power and clarity a meditation can bring. I know that someday soon, meditation will be in her blackberry planner, and part of her everyday life...well, here's to hoping anyways...

A place to start? Sit....sit in a calm, quite location. Sometimes when I am really wired, I first make myself a cup of fabulous herbal tea, sit in an extraordinarily comfortable location, and read a book aimed around something I love (sometimes I read through cook books, health/alternative healing books, travel books, etc.)...When I find myself in a bit of a calmer mindset, I start my meditation.
- sitting with your legs cross, in half lotus, or just in sitting position, make sure you are upright- want to keep your back straight and also be comfortable so that you won't fidget.
- shut your eyes and put hands on lap. Now, pay attention to your breathing, but do not in any way attempt to change it. Simple notice it coming and leaving the body, Focus on the sensation starting at the tip of your nostrils, & the rising and falling of the abdomen area.
- your mind will start to wander, but gently and without judgement, bring your attention back to the breath.

Now, there are many different variations of meditation, and activities one can do and think about with in the practice, but my suggestion is to start here..see where this takes you. Let in the peace.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Health, what's it to you?


Health. What does it mean to you? I seem to be obsessed with the concept, and how I can make others understand the importance/implications healthy living has on ones quality of life and longevity on Earth.
First, I need to take an inventory of what my reality of health is. For me, health is the overall condition and well being of one's body, spirit and mind. Innately, I am a nurturer. But for so long, much of my energy was spent attempting to nurture others, and, by default, I ignored parts of my own health. Over the past few years, my path has been focused on becoming the best version of me..body, mind and spirit. I realize now that I am no use to any other being unless I am strong, confidant, and above all, healthy.
New years resolution for 2010:to become healthy:....body....mind...spirit.
What can you do for your health?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lemon Water




We have all heard the saying, "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade". Great theoretic concept, but if we were to take this literally, drinking sugary lemonade every day is defiantly not good for you either... Eventually your teeth would start to rot, and what about all of the diabetics in the world? we are leaving their needs out...also, If life was always sweet, we would not have room for the savory. So my point you ask, well it is really very simple...just drink lemon water-no sugar needed! Every morning and every night I drink a glass of hot lemon water. Why? Because hot lemon water actually aids one's digestive system, and helps the elimination process, while preventing constipation and diarrhea. Cool right?...even better, lemons are packed with vitamin C, which has therapeutic properties, helps protect immune systems, and rejuvenates skin! Further, Drinking it hot (or warm) makes the body work to cool it down, thus burning calories as well. In the morning, I usually wake up to Ballou's kisses...next step, I stretch..... heat up water..... get dressed......pour hot water in a travel mug and squeeze some juice from a lemon (I always have a couple in the fridge at all times)...I drink my lemon water on my morning walk with Ballou. Just by drinking hot lemon water and walking in the morning is enough to energize me for the rest of the day.
Mentally I am at peace, and physically I am satisfied. If only the rest of life's problems could be solved this simply.
Thanks to both of my parents having a horrendously strong sweet tooth, I too battle with sugary cravings. My fix? I make my hot lemon water and add a little honey or agave to sweeten the deal..just remember, as with everything in life, to use moderation for this too!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Growing Old



This was a picture I took in 2007, while I was in Paris with a very good friend. I fell in love with this couple. I want to be this couple.. someday.

As I age, I would like to live by this motto:

"God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference" -unknown

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Headbands




This morning I woke up...feeling horrible. I do not know what happened in my sleep that made me so upset, but today has just been really hard. Last night I went to see the movie, A SERIOUS MAN, with a friend, and left confused (will have to see it again to make a fair judgement). I came home happy, let my dog out, came in happy, and went to bed. I have no real reason to wake up sad, but it is what happened, so I will now spend my day trying to change it! First thing on my happy list is to talk to my sister, Bri....no answer. Next on my happy list is to talk to my best friend Cae....she is having an even worse day than me.....now i am starting to panic. What if I am doomed to have the worst day of my life today and it is totally out of control and the happy world as I know it is coming to a sinister end??? Next idea is to take a shower..all goes well..phew. Next step is getting dresses and styling hair...Cannot find and outfit and hair looks like absolute craplatte...want to get back in the shower where I was feeling happy. As I am about to get back into the tub, I look down and see my fabulous silver headband. Yes, I can so this! I can put my hair back into a headband, put on some simple makeup, wear all black with a small splash of color in a scarf, and I can make it through this day alive. It is only noon now, so most of the day is still yet to happen, but I know that I can make it better. You see, it is as simple as a headband. I put it on and my hair was taken care of. All of a sudden, my face didn't look as tired and worn...and yes, I know enough to not get too carried away.. I am still going to wear all black. But looking in the mirror with my headband on, I realize that, in order to appreciate the good days, you have to have some bad days. As I take a deep breathe, I will try to remember how I feel in this moment, and when I have a good day (hopefully tomorrow) I will be that much more thankful for the the day and all of the wonderful feelings that come with it.
Right now, I am going to take Ballou for a long walk...just because I am having a crappy day, doesn't mean she has to..She is sleeping on my chair next to me...She makes me happy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Flax Seed is my Friend




Flax Seed...Is there anything better in this world?
What is the beauty of Flax you ask? Well, for one, it's chalked full of your much needed EFA's, or essential fatty acids. We humans need fatty acids for so many things such as energy level, weight loss, and oxygen transfer through the body. According to webmd.com,
"Flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC, according to the Flax Council of Canada. By the 8th century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it. Fast-forward 13 centuries, and some experts would say we have preliminary research to back up what Charlemagne suspected all those years ago. " http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed

Now,
Some may call this foresight on Charlemagne's part, but I believe he was only reacting to how he felt after flax did it's magic work in the body.
In my own life, I put flax seeds on everything I possibly can. Further, I take flax seed oil capsules for an extra boost! The best way to start (I would suggest) is to sprinkle some ground seeds on your cereal, yogurt or salad. The nutty taste works really well & once you get used to them, try experimenting even more. Frequently, I make fruit shakes in the morning, and always add in a healthy amount of my favorite seeds. Word to the wise, always buy ground seeds or grind them yourself before you eat them, because the human body cannot break them down when they are in tacked as a seed.
When I started on Flax, I needed them for energy. I never expected they were going to make me feel so fabulous! Now, Flax Seeds have been said to help autoimmune disease's, heart disease, cancer, and so much more. I promise you, once you go flax, you never back!

Julianna's Fruit N' Flax Shake
- 1 banana
- 1 cup or 1/2 cup (depending on the size you want the shake) organic fruit juice( Mango, Pineapple, Orange, or Pomegranate.)
- about two tablespoons (see if you like more or less) of organic ground Flax Seeds
- ice if you like (depending on the season, this changes for me)

1. Place banana and ice (if wanted) in blender. Next put everything else in.
2. Start to blend and finish blending when shake is smooth.
3. drink immediately, and enjoy!

Here is another recipe that I will be trying soon! Just thought I would share incase anyone is interested!
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/brown-rice-crispy-bar-recipe/index.html


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