Monday, March 31, 2014

Meatless Monday: Vegan Sources of Protein

Seeking vegan, plant-based sources of protein for Meatless Monday or everyday? Check out Greatist's awesome guide of 7 Proteins for Meatless Monday. It features protein in grams, storage, preparation, and go-to recipes for each vegetarian protein source.

I love quinoa, so it was awesome to see it included in the guide and to read that there are 4g protein in a 1/2 cup cooked serving. The guide points out quinoa is one of the only grains and seeds providing the nine essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce on their own. It’s also full of fiber, iron, magnesium, and manganese. I love getting my morning protein with a bowl of warm cereal I call Quinoa Parading as Blueberry Pancakes. It gets an extra protein boost because it's cooked in almond milk.

Quinoa: It's what's for breakfast.

As much as I adore quinoa, lentils are my favorite plant-based protein on the list. Lentils come in so many varieties and all of them are so good. Plus can be prepared so many ways. Try my easy lentil soup recipe. 1/2 cup of cooked lentils contains 9g of protein!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Do You Chew Your Food?

Holistic health and thyroid expert (and Institute for Integrative Nutrition lecturer) Andrea Beaman writes:
To heal any digestive troubles we absolutely NEED to CHEW our food... When people begin chewing food they naturally eat less, feel more satisfied, digest food better, lose weight (if needed) and heal their body.
Read Take Human Bites on her blog to get the full story of the benefits of slowing down and really chewing.

This was two bites, I swear!

How many times do you chew your food before swallowing?

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Morning Ritual

I spend about 3 hours getting ready every morning. I know it sounds crazy, but I think starting the day by taking care of my body and spirit is what's keeps me sane, centered, and happy no matter what else happens later in the day.

Journaling in layers. This old house is cold in the morning!

 Here's my daily morning ritual:

  1. Drink Powerchug 2 pints of water.
  2. Read daily encouragement.
  3. Chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. This is the most important thing I do all day!
  4. Drink warm water with apple cider vinegar.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I am WOWed by The Seasonal Diet!

My friends Sarah and Peter at Cooking with CSA have created The Seasonal Diet, an awesome new membership product to inspire and guide folks through seasonal plant-based, gluten-free eating. I just downloaded The Seasonal Diet book onto my iPad on Friday and it is fandiggitytastic!

The Seasonal Diet includes:
  • Over 150 pages of resources, shopping tips, recipe conversions, cooking equipment and more
  • A 30-Day Meal Plan
  • 180 All-Season Recipes (all plant-based, gluten-free and allergy friendly)
  • Online Community of members
  • Seasonal Challenges - to keep you cooking and maintaining your health
  • Our personal transitions and how we maintain this whole-food lifestyle
  • Weekly Tastemaker Tuesday Emails
  • Plus a few surprises

I'm recommending it to all my clients who wanna:
  • learn to cook
  • begin eating flavorful, healthy meals but don't have a lot of time or money
  • bust out of the rotation of the same five recipes they've been eating for years

Check out the Seasonal Diet here.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Reluctant Person's Guide to Eco-friendly Spring Cleaning

Psyched about spring cleaning? Not really, but gonna do it anyway? Here are some awesome resources I created to help you get it done without going bonkers.

Make a Personalized Spring Cleaning Checklist
My list of 15 questions will help you brainstorm and create your own checklist for cleaning, organizing, and downsizing this spring. Get started!

7 Tips for Spring Cleaning Success
These tips will motivate you and help you stay on track to meet your spring cleaning goals. Tip #1: Treat Yo' Self! Read all the tips here.

Get a Quick Start on Green Cleaning
Still using regular ol' cleaning products? No bigs. You can easily make this spring the season begin your transition to healthier, eco-friendly products. Check out the resources page on my blog to find posts that will teach you the basics of green cleaning. Grab my eBook to learn even more!

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Let's stay connected: Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin' // YouTube
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Illustrated Guide to Seed Starting for Real People

"For budget-smart gardeners like you and me, the expense of buying new plants can be the biggest deterrent to establishing a new green space or adding to an existing vegetable or flowerbed. Fortunately there’s a solution that’s less difficult than it might seem: seed starting."



Last year Richard and I grew our first vegetable garden. With the exception of a couple of bean plants, we began with plants we picked up at a community garden sale. This year I'm thinking about doing it all from seeds. The beans we grew from seed were so tasty and didn't require too much care.

I'm excited to dig into this awesome guide to Seed Starting for Real People.

Do you garden? Do you start plants from seed or prefer to begin with baby plants? 

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Let's stay connected: Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin' // YouTube
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Green Smoothies or Green Juice?

I love both green smoothies and green juice! Both are really easy ways to get nutritious food into my body. Juice is easy drinkin'. I like it as an energy boosting snack between meals. Smoothies have the whole plant- fiber and all- so sometimes I enjoy them as a light meal.

Taking my homemade green smoothie to go.

Learn to Make Green Juice Not War with this video featuring Kris Carr, author of Crazy Sexy Kitchen. This is the best juice recipe! Don't be lazy and not make this. You can clean your juicer. It's no big deal.

Don't have a juicer? Make the Perfect Green Smoothie. And if you wanna keep it going, try this popular and free 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge.

Are you a smoothie enthusiast or a juice fanatic?

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Let's stay connected: Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin' // YouTube
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Consider supporting this blog by shopping via my Amazon shop or buying my green cleaning eBook. Thanks. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

3 Ways to Stop Dieting & Start Feeling Fabulous

I've got three words for you: "Diets don't work!" In fact, the most surefire way to predict if someone is going to gain weight in a year is to see if they're on a diet now.

Lucy is not on a diet.

Restrictive eating (dieting) causes stress. Stress causes your body to go into survival mode. Survival mode means your metabolism slows and your body stores more of the food you eat as fat.

Read more about Why Diets Don't Work in The Huffington Post.

Unfortunately, the reality is a lot of us are eating chemicalized, processed junk food. This crap is killing us so of course we need to keep it out of our bodies if we wanna stay healthy.

So how does one stop eating crap without dieting? I've got three tips for kicking your diet to the curb while achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and attitude. Trick is you need to do all of these things together. It's a trifecta.

Don't refrain.
Eat as much as you want of whatever you want for as long as you want. You may gain weight. You may feel like crap. You might not. The big thing is it's impossible to keep eating tons of junk forever. Eventually, knowing that you can eat anything, your mind- which is what makes you eat junk- will stop feeling the need to rebel because really there's nothing to rebel against. You aren't being deprived. There are no rules to rally against. There's no holy standard to judge yourself against. The struggle dissipates and peace enters the picture.

What do you eat when you're at peace with yourself, when you're feeling happy and loved exactly as you are right now? Good food that makes you feel good! Will you ever eat junk food again? Yes, probably some on occasion, but it will come from a place of choice.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

When You Walk Into a Room Everyone is Blessed

I recently attended IIN Live and listened two days of lectures from a dozen or so amazing leaders in the health and happiness movement. I studiously took notes on the good guidance I received, with optimism that at some point I'll review them so what I heard will sink in better, but one message was instantly engraved in my heart.

"Become the person that when you walk into a room everyone is blessed." -Tosha Silver, author of Outrageous Openness: Letting the Divine Take the Lead.

I love this quote because it demands us to be big, confident, and put ourselves out there. It requires using muscles I feel I wasn't encouraged, raised, or educated to buff up. I think a lot of other women reading this can relate. (Holler if you hear me!)

I also love the Tosha Silver quote because it engages the imagination and spirit. It's not a "do blank and be awesome" command. We need advice and more things to do like we need a hole in the head! Instead Tosha invokes the questions, How can I do this? How can I be a blessing to everyone I encounter? And trust me, you know the answer.

Since I can't turn into a cat, for me becoming the person that walks into a room and everyone is blessed means...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What Rich Dad Poor Dad Taught Me About Health: Lesson One

I'm currently reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, a financial literacy book for beginners. I'm learning a lot about how money works from this simple book. What's surprising is I'm also seeing lots of connections between building wealth and maintaining health.

Rich Dad Poor Dad Lesson 1: The rich don't work for money. They make money work for them.

Health Connection: The healthy don't work for food. They make food work for them.

Healthy people choose to eat food that nourishes them and gives them the energy, focus, and vibrancy to live long, happy, and healthy lives. They don't chow down on junk food filled with empty calories that make them feel sluggish and sad.

In Lesson 1, author Robert T. Kiyosaki also points out that rich people use their intellect to make choices about money. They don't let emotions like fear and greed govern them.

I can think of many times in the past where I let fear and greed govern me. I wanted clear skin and to get rid of my muffin top but I also felt anxious, hell-bent on self-sabotage through procrastination, and, honestly, a little mad at myself for feeling this way so I found myself drinking greyhounds and shoving frosted cupcakes into my face. Argh!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How to Cook Dried Beans

If you're trying to save money and reduce your exposure to BPA, buying organic bulk beans instead of canned is a good idea. Unless you're making lentils, dried beans require some planning and lots of (passive) cooking time but making them isn't hard. Here's how:

  1. Before bed, decide you want to eat beans tomorrow night.
  2. Measure out how much dry beans you want to prepare, keeping in mind you'll have about 3 times the volume of beans once they are cooked.
  3. Pour beans on a plate. Pick out stones, funky looking beans, and whatever other debris might be in there.
  4. Rinse beans in a colander.
  5. Put beans in the pot you'll cook them in and cover with lots of water (about 4 times as much water as you have beans). Soak overnight.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Can Probiotics Curb Sugar Cravings?

Did you know that the ratio of healthy bacteria to bad bacteria in your digestive system can be the issue behind your sugar cravings and difficulty losing weight?

I just watched a video and read an article, both by eProbiotics, that claim probiotics can curb sugar cravings.

Watch the video to see the relationship between sugar cravings and probiotics. (It's long but you really only need to see the first 4.5 minutes. The rest is an advertisement.)

In short, probiotics are good bacteria that live in and support the digestive system which is where 80% of our immune functions begin. One awesome thing our GI tract does- and probiotics support this- is create hormones that curb sugar cravings. When probiotics flourish, and crowd out sugar craving bad bacteria (ideally by 9:1), so does our health.

(If you wanna know the long version of how this works, continue reading after the signature.)

I'm curious to see what consuming more probiotics would do for me. I'm not into supplements so I'll pass on the pills in the video. I generally think we need to eat more food grown and prepared with love rather than popping pills- even healthy hippie pills.

Studies show you get more probiotic bang for your buck from fermented foods. One cultured food enthusiast writes that ancient Chinese medicine has taken note that the unique flavor of cultured foods actually has a balancing effect that neutralizes our cravings for sugar.

I'm ready to experiment with some homemade kefir and kraut. How about you?

Check out these 56 Awesome Fermented Food & Drink Recipes. 

Thanks so much for reading this blog entry! I hope it was helpful. Let's stay connected: Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin' // YouTube
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Wanna nerd out and get extra credit? Keep reading for longer, detailed story of how probiotics support health and weight loss.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

5 Spices That Tame a Sweet Tooth

Did you know that some spices can help reduce sugar cravings and make foods taste sweeter?  It's true. The best part is, these spices are fairly common. You probably already have them in your cabinet.

  1. Cinnamon
  2. Cloves
  3. Cardamom
  4. Coriander
  5. Nutmeg

Sprinkle on these spices to boost the natural sweetness in the fruits and veggies in your drinks and dishes. Look for herbal tea blends that include these spices too.

If you're not quite off of sugar, that's okay. Experiment with using some of these spices in baked goods, beverages (including coffee and tea), cereals, and other dishes. You may find you need to use less sweetener. 

I'm a big fan of cinnamon. I shake some into everything from oatmeal and chai to green smoothies and salad dressings!

Which of these spices do you like best? 

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why Not Sleeping Enough is Making You Fat

Don't think getting 8 hours of sleep each night is important? Consider this. Lack of sleep is the first domino to fall in a series of bad self-care choices which impact your health. Here's an example from my own life, and maybe from yours too.

You start out the day waking up 20 minutes late. This is despite the fact you'd already set the alarm a full 30 minutes later because you were up a hour late the night before trying to fit in one more email, which of course led to about a dozen more tiny tasks for your start up business.

Tired and already feeling guilty about hitting snooze twice and anxious because you've fallen behind, you skip breakfast and don't even think about packing lunch. On the way to your day job, you grab coffee and summon all your willpower to successfully skip the pastries because you're trying to be healthy. After a rushed and stressful commute full of self-condemnation for waking up late, you get to work on time (just barely), but you're not performing well. All you can think about is eating and you're tired.

The coffee kicks in eventually. It keeps you awake and seems to appease your appetite. However by lunchtime, you're just plain hangry. You can't bare to wait the few extra moments for your office mate to wrap up her phone call, so you head off to lunch alone. You drop into the closest deli. The food there isn't particularly healthy but you've used up all your willpower for the day dodging donuts and resisting the urge to sleep in. You just need something, anything, and FAST!


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