From the category archives:

Women’s Health

“The earth is what we all have in common.”

- Wendell Berry Author, farmer, cultural critic.  

It doesn’t get more plain than that, does it?  As our lives become busier, more complex, and more stressful, it’s more critical than ever to remember that there is a way to slow things down. You can start with food. Slow food. I have seen incredible things happen, first hand,  time and again when people change what they eat, how they eat and why they eat.

It’s nothing short of miraculous, beautiful and remarkably simple.

The best way to start is to find and identify a clean source of food. What do I mean by clean? 

Clean Food: Fresh, bright, delicious foods raised in healthy soil, free from pesticides and chemical treatments. With heirloom and/or organic standard seeds (that -gasp!- get saved and replanted year after year). With animals that roam free and eat grasses and bugs and get plenty of sunshine – I might call this frolicking if I were feeling it –which I am – so frolicking animals, living in as close to a natural habitat as possible. Raised by happy, devoted – free from tyranny -farmers.

Dirty Food: Laden with a toxic and unknowable cocktail of chemicals, pesticides, synthetic hormones, antibiotics, weed killers, and genetically engineered seeds. Unfortunately, this is what you will find in conventional supermarkets, grocery stores, pit stops and gas stations.

Or

Franken Food: Most food that comes in a package or from a fast food restaurant (chick- fil-a counts) containing pink slime, wood pulp, chemical food colorants (affecting ADD and ADHD) plastics and other bizarre additives.

These last two categories are part of the SAD diet — Standard American Diet. Yes, it is sad. If you are suffering from ANY health challenges (I mean ANY), then your food source is the first place you can affect enormous amounts of change. 

In this multi-part blog post, I’m going to help define all the new labels and code words so you can better understand what the heck is going on. Because as the organic food industry has grown, so have the greedy industrialists noticed and have put their hand in for a big piece of pie – affecting the “standards, ” creating loopholes, and blurring lines all over the place.

STEP 1. CSA

The first, most powerful step you can make that will change your health, stress, finances and the health and stress of your family and the planet (yes there is an enormous amount of stress on the planet form conventional agriculture) is to join a CSA.

CSA – Community Supported Agriculture

This is literally taking back your health and supporting small local farms that can provide you with fresh, clean, delicious food throughout the growing season. Individuals and families pay an upfront fee which supports the farm, and then receive a box or boxes of fresh harvest weekly or bi monthly (lots of choices here). If you don’t know what you would make with some of these “new” and strange foods from the ground, have no fear – you have a trusty holistic health coach right here (just email me with  your questions).

Here are a few benefits:

  • The closer you are to your food source (i.e. the soil it is pulled from) the more nutrient dense it because of less travel time.
  • You are supporting farmers who are repairing the earth for us (yes) by using sustainable methods and caring for the health of the soil.
  • You are taking back the right to clean, fresh food and water for our planet and her people – starting with you -  great benefit! (Water will take longer but reducing pesticides, chemicals, animal excrement and anti-biotic runoff into our water is a good start in the right direction)
  • Many CSAs offer fresh eggs, and some offer butchered meats or animal shares.
  • You are taking a stand against big corporate behemoths who only see profit and feed each others pockets (and that’s always fun to do). Here’s a thought for you: Big Ag keeps plants and animals sickly, which keeps us sickly, which gets us to take more pharmaceuticals from Big Pharma, which based on our excretions, puts these chemicals, anti-biotics (which literally translates to “against life”), hormones, and all else into the waste stream, making our sea life sickly, we’re too tired, not feeling well, drugged out, so we don’t want to be bothered with riding a bicycle or recycling because who has time? So we stay hooked on oil and of course Big Oil loves that… hmm.. so if you’re still reading – join a CSA, feel better and rejoice!

Find a local CSA near you – it’s this easy: localharvest.org/csa/

Step 2: Find a Food Cooperative near you.

This is a great money saver. We used to belong to the Park Slope Food Coop (my grandparents belonged since the early 70′s) and by my estimates we saved about $3000 per year in groceries and sundries.

Not all food coop’s are alike (the Park slope Food Coop is infamous with over 14,000 members and lots of politics, it gets in the papers often). We have a food coop here in Asheville called the French Broad Food Coop, where working is optional, the discounts are a bit less but way more than a Whole Foods (also known as Whole Paycheck). And by the way the holistic, organic food community is now officially snubbing them as they have joined Big AG in support of Genetically Modified foods (I’ll get to GMOs in the next installment).

Find a Food Coop near you: Food Co-op’s often get food in bulk and for much better prices localharvest.org/food-coops/

Step 3: Shop the Farmer’s Market

You may do this already, so you’ll know the benefits of obtaining your food this way. Besides, using a cute bag or basket and bopping around feeling romantic what with your fresh Artisnal bread poking out and your bright greens and fresh cut flowers… farmer’s markets allow you to:

  • Speak directly to farmers
  • Buy Local
  • Practice asking questions, that feel pushy or nosey like, “What are your spraying methods” – the solid answer would be low or no spray, the ones to walk away from are ”I don’t know” or  “Conventional Spray, duh.”
  • Take time and enjoy shopping for your food instead of rushing through the aisles with yapping kids – let them run around the farmers market and smell stuff.

Farmers’ markets are on the rise (yay!) and depending on your area may have some fiddle music, grape crushing when in season, herbs for sale, and even food to eat – yummy brunch at the Sunday Farmer’s Market anyone?

Find a Farmer’s Market near you: http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/

You may have noticed that Local Harvest has been doing a terrific job of helping us all find access to clean, fresh food and giving us a tangible and powerful way to help heal the earth. Cause she’s all we got.

Stay tuned for my next installment where I will help define the meanings of green-washing, local, seasonal, organic, and other terms that are out there in the cultural flow.

Have a beautiful Earth Day. I’ll be at our local farmer’s market celebrating. Where will you be?

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EARLY SPRING is an opportune time to take advantage of some of the most cleansing, beautifying and healing foods around. Here’s a detailed list from my Spring Cleanse that you can review now so you a can be on the lookout in your local farmer’s market and health food stores. Consider how you might make use of their unique cleansing and healing properties. (Pay special attention to Stinging Nettles!) 

Note: Some of my workshop and VIP clients might find this list familiar… use it as a review and a reminder of the powerful beautifying properties of these special foods.

Asparagus

  • High in Folic acid
  • Diuretic cleanser = flushes out the kidneys
  • Reduces blood pressure 
  • Reduces Water retention

Dark Leafy Greens

Green is associated with spring, the time of renewal, refreshment and vital energy. In Asian medicine, green is related to the liver, emotional stability and creativity. 

  • Very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. 
  • High in fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phyto-chemicals.
  • Blood purification
  • Cancer prevention
  • Improved circulation
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Promotion of healthy intestinal flora
  • Promotion of subtle, light and flexible energy
  • Lifted spirit and elimination of depression
  • Improved liver, gall bladder and kidney function
  • Cleared congestion, especially in lungs, by reducing mucus

Broccoli, bok choy, Napa cabbage, kale, collards, watercress, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, dandelion, green cabbage, arugula, endive, chicory, lettuce, mesclun, wild greens.

Stinging Nettles

Nettles are one of the most nutritious greens on the planet. Cooked, blanched or dried they lose their sting.

The entire plant can be used. 

  • Highest levels of beauty producing silicon in any food.
  • Vitamins A, C, beta-carotene
  • Chlorophyll
  • Immune system builder.
  • High Iron content 
  • They’re unusually high in protein (40%) for a plant
  • Nutrient-dense, they make a good overall tonic for strengthening the body. 
  • Useful in treating anemia, high vitamin C content ensures that the iron is properly absorbed by the body.

Uses:

The juice of roots and leaves, mixed with honey or sugar, relieves both bronchitis and asthma. 

Weight Loss:

  • Increase the function of the thyroid gland: 
  • Increase metabolism—helps burn away fat while increasing energy.
  • Relieves mucus in the colon allowing for the release of excess waste. 
  • Mineral rich, which helps satisfy hunger. Overeating often is a search for minerals.

 Blood Purification:

  • High caliber blood purifier.
  • Diuretic properties help flush the blood and cleanse thru the action of the kidneys. 

 Other known uses:

  • Combat and relieve allergy symptoms (especially hay fever)
  • Anti-arthritis or anti-rheumatic agent,
  • Used as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory,
  • Used as a lung tonic for ex-smokers
  • Helps skin heal from eczema, or hives
  • Bursitis,
  • Tendonitis,
  • Laryngitis,
  • Kidney stones,
  • Lowers blood sugar naturally
  • Relieves the symptoms of sciatica and PMS

EXCELLENT FOR:  toxicity, poor skin quality, weak nails loss of overall luster. 

Use Nettles Greens, as a juice, tea, or in powder forms

I love to make Nettles into a pesto, which I freeze for use the whole year. Here’s my recipe (scroll down you’ll see I post about Nettles every year – yes, I’m a nettles super-fan).

Beets and Beet Greens

(while detoxifying limit beets but use the greens- as they have a high sugar content)

  • Loaded with nutrients 
  • Blood purifier
  • Used for centuries as folk remedies for Anemia, Menstrual problems/imbalances, Kidney disorders
  • Antioxidant
  • Detoxify the liver
  • Protect against cancers of  skin, lung, colon
  • Evens the ratio of HDL: LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
  • Beet greens are loaded with iron and beta-carotene

Fennel

Fennel is great all year round and full of beneficial nutrients including

  • Vitamin C – helps protect your body from free radical damage
  • Fiber – helps to reduce cholesterol levels and remove cancer-causing toxins from your colon
  • Antimicrobial and helps immune system function
  • Potassium
  • Folate
  • Niacin
  • Calcium, magnesium, iron, and copper.

It also provides these other good-for-you benefits:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Helps prevent cancer
  • Protects liver from damage caused by chemicals
  • Folate: Fennel is also a good source of folate, a B vitamin that helps convert the dangerous homocysteine molecule (which can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke) into a harmless compound.

Ramps

Ramps are an early spring wild onion/wild leek. They possess a powerfully pungent, spicy aroma and flavor very similar to that of garlic or shallots. Many chefs consider ramps to be the best-tasting member of the entire onion family

  • The foliage, stems, and bulbs can be used raw or cooked 
  • Member of leeks, garlic and chive family:
  • High in Vitamin C, helpful for Hypertension, and high cholesterol

Radishes

  • One of the highest veggie sources of Vitamin C 
  • Play a role in connective tissue formation. 
  • The mineral silicon and sulfur work with vitamin C to create glowing skin 
  • Also High in Folic Acid.
  • They cut and dissolve mucus in the digestive tract formed from eating starchy carbs.
  • Stimulate the liver
  • Expel and prevent gallstones
  • Increase digestive fires. 
  • Used in Russia for both hyper and hypothyroidism. 
  • Great kidney cleansers
  • Decrease water retention

Beans

A very nourishing vegetable food. 

  • High fiber= blood sugar levels don’t rise rapidly – keeps insulin from shooting up.
  • Low-fat, low-cal, dense source of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals
  • They resonate with the paired organs of the body: brain and heart, lungs, kidneys, ovaries and testicles.

 Reduce wind by soaking them overnight before cooking.

Strawberries

(usually late spring/early summer)

  • Just 5 Strawberries can give you half the RDA of Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K rich – for healthy bones and blood clotting
  • Antioxidant
  • Curbs inflammation in eczema-asthma-arthritis
  • Helps protect the brain form age-related decline

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Pastured soft boiled eggs on gluten free toast. Bright yolks.

At a recent workshop I was asked,”So, what do you eat for breakfast?”

I paused. 

Why? Because sometimes my breakfast choices are things like soup. Not the sort of thing you want to just blurt out in public. And becasue we all need to discover what is the best breakfast for us.

We’ve all heard it’s the most important meal of the day – but then what do we think our choices are? Yogurt ? (Watch this it’s hilarious — I actually worked on one of those commercials back in the day – talk about karma. ) Or Toast, eggs, oatmeal, cold cereal, just coffee, a lara bar, or simply nothing. 

Why is breakfast so important?

I’ll give you a few simple reasons in bullet point:

  • Breakfast literally breaks the fast. While we are sleeping, our body is detoxifying and fasting. When we wake, our blood sugar is low.  Morning is an important time to eat something and balance your blood sugar out.
  • Our breakfast sets the tone for our day. Our choices effect our energy, mood and focus.
  • Metabolism. Eating a breakfast that works for you energetically will support your metabolism.

So, what’s the best thing for breakfast?

That depends. Every Body is Different.  Here’s how you can test it out:
Download The Breakfast Experiment. I give this exact form out to my clients– it will help you figure out what really works for you. It’s deceptively simple and the results are life-changing.
Give it a go and let me know what you find out.  If you feel you need more support, you can always schedule a breakthrough session.
So, what’s for my breakfast today? Homemade Broccoli soup. Well, it’s what works for me (today).

Fresh, organic broccoli soup, it's what's for breakfast.

 

 

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Fresh, organic broccoli soup.

Here’s a simple recipe to warm you up. It’s packed with protein and calcium. 

Ingredients

  • 1 head of Broccoli -chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of Garlic – diced loosely
  • 2 TBS Ghee
  • 1 Onion
  • 1-3 cups of vegetable stock (make it at home ahead of time by sautéing onions, celery, carrots and turnips, add water (3-6 cups) bringing water to a boil, and simmering for an hour. Refrigerate and/or freeze. Use as a base for soups like this)
  • 1 cup beans (choose, black-eyed peas, white navy beans, butter beans, etc.)
Directions
  1. In a corning ware dish, add chopped and rinsed broccoli, garlic, 1 – 1/2 TBS ghee, and a tsp or two of filtered water.
  2. Put in oven or toaster oven (my preferred method) on 350˚ until roasted to desired brightness
  3. Meanwhile, sauté or sweat onion in 1/2-1 TBS of ghee until medium soft (smelling great) 
  4. Add in beans and cook through till hot
  5. Heat up stock on stove top
  6. Add all ingredients to high speed blender (broccoli + garlic, Onions and beans, and stock) and blend until smooth and creamy
  7. While blending squeeze in 1/3 of lemon, add salt to taste.
Serve with fresh lemon and a sprinkle of Celtic sea salt. 

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This morning I woke up at 3:30 and could not get back to sleep. My jaw was tense, I felt a general feeling of unease, and so after 30 minutes of tossing and sighing, I just simply got up and started my day. In fact, I’m writing to you now form my meditation spot in an effort to stay focused and clear.

The turning of the seasons naturally hold a lot of change. And recently, all over the world change, movement, and shifting is what’s on the menu. In just one week on the east coast we’ve had an earthquake and a hurricane, and of course we see what’s happening elsewhere around our country and the globe.

This got me thinking about how we soothe ourselves. If we look at children and how they seek soothing through breastfeeding, thumbsucking, pacifiers, temper tantrums (release), we can perhaps reflect on how we choose to (consciously or unconsciously) soothe ourselves. Some are temporary foxes that end up exacerbating our tension and stress, and there are others that really help us leap to the next level. Here are a few that some to mind:

These habits keep us stuck in stress and tension:

  • Tuning out and getting lost in Television
  • Watching the news
  • Drinking, drugs
  • Eating comfort foods (childhood foods, sugar, heavy foods for grounding like pasta, meats, cheeses)
  • Caffeine and Coffee (also a drug – “America runs on…”)
  • Creating drama and arguing with loved ones 
  • Pavlovian attention to smart phones, email, Facebook (this takes us out of the present moment)

Here are a few habits that while sometimes challenging to start, help to ACTUALLY SOOTHE:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga, or simple gentle morning/evening stretches
  • Deep, belly breathing
  • Qi Gong (this is very slow Thai Chi)
  • Wandering in nature or for a walk with no particular destination
  • Cultivating an herbal tea connoisseurship
  • Dancing
  • Drinking water (we are approximately 70% water)
  • Sitting and watching anything that has life force: birds, trees, wind, people
  • New earth comfort foods (dark leafy greens (life force energy), green drinks like Green Magma barley grass powder (my current favorite), E3live (amazing microalgaes), root vegetables for grounding (sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, burdock root)
  • Gentle cleansing with foods
  • Spending quality time with loved ones
  • Making more love (literally – both physically and emotionally)

The concept here is to be in your body, be present in the moment as much as you can. We are really just very tall children who desperately need some free play. There’s this odd thing going on in our culture which takes us not only out of the present moment – into the future or past – but into a virtual world – a playground of the mind (Facebook, email, etc). This keeps us disconnected from our bodies — our first house.

Yes, you read that correctly. This is similar to the concept of Body as Temple, but different in that I hope this metaphor helps you connect more deeply back to your Self. Our first house is our body. We literally inhabit it. And yet we forget how to care for it properly. Or rather, we weren’t given the maintenance manual that many ancients had. We tossed that information out around the time of the industrial revolution.

Here’s the thing, as you come back into your body and remember/ relearn how to listen to what it has to tell you, how to care for it, how to love and appreciate it NOW, you will find that life is completely different. When you know how to soothe yourself in a deep and intuitive way, you will actually become soothed.

I know that when I wake up early with tension and stress that I actually need to spend some time soothing myself. This morning, I understood that something was creating tension, something in my body or mind was overstimulated. I decided to soothe myself. I did some yoga, some meditation and deep breathing, drank my green barley grass, cultivated a state of gratitude for choosing those things, and then this topic came to me. I try to keep my posts short and sweet, but apparently this one needed some space to breathe.

So, the questions I have for you are:

  • Where do you need to breathe space into your life? 
  • Where do you need to breathe? (what is weighing down on you?)
  • What is your default soothing mechanism? 
  • What is one new soothing habit would you like to cultivate?

Email me back or post to the blog, I’d really like to know.

Personally, I am recommitting to meditation. I’d like to show up and sit every morning for 10 minutes or so. I do guided meditations – which are easier for me, they allow me to shut off my brain chatter. I’m a much better person with daily meditation practice, more intuitive, connected, less reactive to stress, in general – more happy.

Off to enjoy my morning tea…

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Harvest season is upon us – the time when our foods need the least amount of effort to prepare and bring us the most taste and delight. I’m talking, lightly steamed or raw, a little bit of olive oil, some herbs, a dash of salt – yum. Check out my mid-summer bean salad recipe.

We’re only a few short weeks until September and the journey into the colder, darker months begins. As the seasons turn, our bodies begin to crave different foods. If we’re listening, we can keep step and stay healthy, fit and emotionally balanced through the coming months.

There are a few simple techniques you can use to tune in, slim down, and stay healthy.

1. Understand how to eat with the seasons

2. Cleanse at the turn of each season

1. Seasonal Eating At-a-glance

The most simple way to understand this is to visit Farmer’s Markets, farms, and farm stands. Take a look at what’s for sale and you’ll know what is being harvested at the moment. Right now in the northeast, we’re beginning to see the heartier summer vegetables, corn, beans, and summer squash.  We’ve got tomatoes, herbs galore, and delicious peaches and plums. Check out this mid-summer bean salad recipe.

As the grasses change from green to gold, we’ll be seeing even more squash, potatoes, and starchier vegetables. As the weather turns colder our bodies crave more fat, we like to eat it and then hang on to it for the colder seasons. Which brings me to number 2.

2. Seasonal Cleansing

As we pass from the sweet fruits and watery vegetables of summer in to the more dense, heartier vegetables of fall, our bodies benefit greatly from seasonal cleansing.

It’s a way to create a pause and reset, to shed the heat of summer and prepare it for fall. It’s a way to cycle down the sweet and the heat and ready ourselves for the fattier heartier foods that bring us comfort and satisfaction in fall and winter.

It helps build our immune system and readies us for a healthy winter season. We shed excess weight and are ready to take on the new season.

If you’re feeling like a reset is in order, and want to stay slim and healthy through winter, join me for a fall cleanse. I’ll be writing more about it in the coming weeks, but just wanted to plant the seed with you.

About Cleanses

There are many different cleanses and detoxes on the market. The programs I’ve created are food centered — that means you can get the health benefits and weight loss while eating.  I made these two cleanses for busy busy people, and everyone finds them fairly simple and gets great results.

This September I’ll be offering a 10-day reset and a 4-week body changer. They both rock. Think about what resonates with you and send me an email.

Noticing What Your Body Craves

Until then, take notice of what you are craving. What are your default foods? What is your go-to meal? How are you feeling in your body? Are you ready for fall? What is your diet abundant in? What seasonal foods are you enjoying?

Enjoy the Harvest and Get Creative

Mid-Summer Bean Salad Recipe

 

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With all the picnics and outdoor bar-b-ques and joyful summer happenings abound, I thought I’d share this quick and tasty salad.

I made up the other day when meeting a friend for a picnic in Prospect Park (Brooklyn).

On a side note about BBQs and parties and keeping your summer figure, I employ a method I like to call:

“I’ma bring what I’m gonna eat. I’ll gladly share it with you.”

This way, I know if I show up and my only options are pulled pork, pig candy (please don’t ask), garlic bread, and a paltry salad, I’ve got myself covered with something that I know I want to eat, I know I enjoy, and I can share it with others. (You may recall my super bowl Sexy Pie post).

So here’s a refreshing summer salad for you to share with friends!

Oh! I almost forgot — the best part of this salad is that it is s u p e r quick to pull together. To recap, it’s the best becasue, it’s tasty, it’s easy to make, it appeals to many, and it’s good for your looks. I’m open to names for this one. Post below.

Best picnic salad. Ever.

Ingredients:

1 carrot

1 beet

1 cucumber

1/3 white onion (or bunch of scallions)

1 apple

1/2 -1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar (raw)

1-2 tsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Celtic sea salt (most mineralizing salt) to tatse

Optional Fancy Stuff:

Chopped up fresh mint

Chopped up spinach

 

Directions:

1. Wash and peel all vegetables .

2. Grate all vegetables with cheese grater – use the larger holes

3. Also grate the onion. Don;t grate the green onions if that’s your onion source. Chop those.

4. Mix together.

5. Add vinegar, olive oil, and salt to taste.

6. Putt on a snazzy sun hat and waltz out the door.

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Over here in the northeast, you wouldn’t know it was spring, what with all the rain and jacket weather we’ve been having, except… All the early spring foods are making their appearance. Big time.

The Mighty Asparagus

The Mighty Asparagus!

Taken from a food-grown-in-the-ground perspective, this is the time of year all of the fresh foods come “springing” forth. I’m going to let you in on some inside secrets. What all the seasonal eaters know, is that this is the season of some seriously good eats!

Right now, asparagus is fresh, sweet and delicious. This is very different from the asparagus sent around the country year-round from California. This is the asparagus local to your area, grown from soil rich with microbes, that inhabit the same places as you do. (Umm, okay – nerd alert – pumping the breaks.)

The bottom line is that this food is not only super-fresh but packed with the vitamins and minerals that your body needs this time of year, the food that mother nature intended us to eat right NOW.

Years ago, a friend of mine who worked at the Union Square Green Market in New York, started celebrating “ramps and fiddleheads!” I had absolutely no clue what he was talking about – but I was intrigued. Then a few years later I came across nettles, and my seasonal life changed. People! These foods are incredible for so many reasons.

  1. They are seasonal and they make their appearance relatively short — giving them the status of precious gem of the plant world
  2. Many of them grow wild, making them entirely more nutrient abundant
  3. They help us clear the gunk out from the winter and they hint to us which direction to take our consumption in (hint: green)

Today, I will focus only on Asparagus (so you might go out and consume it with gusto).

Portrait of Asparagus on Rainy Spring Day

Asparagus is a highly alkalizing vegetable. In fact, it is one of the most powerful alkalizers known in the vegetable world. Asparagus is believed to help with fertility and is used around the world in some form for this purpose. In each region it bursts forth from the ground and is up for about two weeks. Barbara Kingsolver writes a beautiful story around foraging for asparagus with her father in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

The “unique” smell that accompanies your urine is the quick flushing of acid waste from your blood and kidneys. This is a great alkalizing cleanse for your bladder and kidneys.

Here are a few quick ways to prepare fresh, seasonal asparagus.

To prepare, rinse and slice off the woody ends of the stems on the bias (they may be 1-2 inches only).

Simple Roasted Asparagus:

  • Slice asparagus in to bite size pieces
  • Put in a cooking dish
  • Add 1 TBS Ghee (clarified butter) or Olive Oil
  • Heat tosater oven 300˚ if using ghee, 200˚ if using olive oil
  • Add pinch of celtic sea salt to taste
  • Roast it for 10-20 minutes (this means walk away and do other things while checking back occasionally) the asparagus would be bright green.

This was so delicious, I don’t even have a photo becasue I ate it right out of the baking dish.

Simple Stir Fried Asparagus:

  • Try a stir fry with ginger, garlic and sea salt

Have either of these by themselves (I eat a whole bunch at one sitting), over millet or quinoa, or with some brown rice pasta.

You can also check this fresh, easy Asparagus Salad recipe I posted last year (it’s below the roasted asparagus recipe). Yes, I realize keep posting about Asparagus. Maybe there’s a reason.

Enjoy!

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I am thrilled to welcome guest blogger, Natalie Rado. She’s an amazingly talented Fitness Trainer here in NYC. I asked her to give us some practical tips for getting fit without a gym membership and to share some moves that fit into busy lives. She came up with a fabulous 30 minute workout that we can do outside practically anywhere. Please enjoy.

Ah, Spring. It’s such a wonderful time of renewal and rejuvenation, isn’t it? It feels so great to walk around the city streets sans heavy jacket and clunky boots.  It makes you want to get outside all the time to smell the freshness of the flowers blooming; feel the sun beating down on your neck; and embrace the joy that not being cooped up in your apartment brings. It’s also a time to move your workouts outside and out of the gym to mix things up and gear up for summer.  Let’s renew and rejuvenate your exercise routine to take you out of a workout rut or just spice things up to get you feeling amazing by the time bathing suit season is here.

Here are 4 exercises you can do in a park, in your back yard, on a jogging trail, or even in your apartment on a rainy day. It will take you about 30 minutes to do on your own, and with this high intensity training, that’s all you need to get results! You’ll perform these exercises using the ladder technique. That is, you’ll start with high reps and slowly work your way down to lower reps. In this particular workout, you’ll perform each exercise in a circuit (do each exercise one after the other without rest), starting with 16 reps, and then going down the “ladder” to 14 reps, 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, and ending with 6 reps. Between each circuit, take a 60 second rest to jog in place or march in place. If you’re outside, you can take those 60 seconds to run to another spot in the park or down the running trail. Switch up your scenery!

 

1)   Squat-thrusts: Start standing with your arms over-head; then put your hands down on the ground to kick your feet back into a push-up position; perform one push-up; jump your feet back into your hands; stand up; repeat.

2)   Walking Lunges: Sink your weight centrally and make sure that both knees are bent at 90 degrees while walking forward. Watch that your knees don’t jut forward in front of your toes.

3)   Mountain Climbers: While in a push-up position, bring one knee into your chest at a time and alternate legs. This is a fast action exercise so try to keep up the pace!

4)   Walking squats: Just like the lunges but in a squat. You’ll step one foot out to the side in a squat and then bring the feet together. Stay down in the squat the whole time, and make sure that you’re weight is pushing into your heels, not your toes.

This April I started this kind of workout myself as a Spring Shape-Up and I’m feeling better than I have in a long while. Also, these are the kind of exercises you can experience in my new boot camp that I’m starting this Spring to get your body toned in places you never thought possible.  Check out my website for details on how you can get started with my boot camp and Be Well!

Natalie is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the leading Personal Training Certification program in more than 80 countries. She specialized in the courses Optimum Performance Training for the Pre-Natal Client, Sports Performance, Neuromuscular Stretching, Neuromuscular Physiology, and Kinetic Chain Dysfunction.  In addition, she is CPR Certified by the American Red Cross and a graduate of Western Michigan University.

Natalie trained clients with Method Fitness in Manhattan and Body by Mike in Brooklyn before starting Be Well, personal training for anyone looking to feel great in their own skin and accomplish fitness goals they never thought possible.

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This is the stuff that shows up in our everyday life and although we may find it comforting/delicious/deserving  - it is sabotaging our best efforts to break out of “what we don’t want anymore” and keeping us from liberating ourselves into a “life that we love.”

Sometimes it can creep up on us. For instance, it might magically dawn on us 3 months into a pad thai binge,  that perhaps this might not be the best thing for our ultimate goal ( ahem. purely hypothetical of course).

What food or habit is keeping you stuck?

I invite you to think seriously on this one for a minute. It’s most probably something you do or consume everyday. You may find it in your ‘comfort food’ moments. Or maybe it’s lurking on your to-do list. It could be a behavior that triggers stuck-ness, like working late too often, facebooking all day, sitting in front of the computer, eating a pound of cashews, or finishing off of your kid’s lunches.

Here are a few hints for identifying that lurking Stuckiteer (new term, made it up):

1. you probably do it, eat it, drink it, or think about it daily

2. you probably love it. a lot.

3. you probably know what it is before finishing this list

4. you are probably right now saying, “hey, no way, not that! But I love that!”

“Great. So now what do I do?”

I’m glad you asked. If you’re feeling any resistance or annoyance that’s a really good sign that you’re on the right track.  So now, you wait. Okay, well,  you observe.

This is where we enter into Awareness. Awareness is observation without judgement, shame or guilt. It is about being an impartial observer and identifying what is holding you back or throwing you off course. When you can see your ‘blind spots’ more clearly, you are in deeper awareness. And when you are in greater awareness, you are in your power. You now have the ability to shift, make changes, choose something. Your Stuckiteer is no longer running the show. You are.

Post your responses to these questions below and let’s coach it up:

1. First Step: Awareness – what is your stuckiteer?

2. Second Step: Are you ready to shift?

Ask yourself if you are ready to make a shift. Are you really ready to release the sticky stuckness?

3.  List the benefits of releasing habits and liberating yourself.

4.  List the benefits of staying stuck.

Post your responses below and we will have a blogged-out free stuckiteer power coaching sesison!

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