Saturday, July 16, 2011

Kick-lines and Kimchi


The L train is down which means that I can either walk 15min to the next closest train line to enjoy a Saturday night social life, or stay stranded here in Brooklyn and lock myself away in the kitchen while I belt the comforting sounds of the Mamma Mia soundtrack. 

I'm blogging so obviously I chose the later. 

So far I've whipped up my first ever batch of kimchi and a loaf of zucchini bread.  The bread tastes good, but is a little flat.  I'm going to blame it on the scuba diver kick line that took place in front of the oven.  My favorite scene!  http://youtu.be/AQKk1nkDa8U (I've included the karaoke version for your convenience)

If you're also stuck at home and feeling Broadway happy, here are the two recipes to keep you entertained.  Just wait for the kick line until after your bread is out of the oven. 

*Mamma Mia soundtrack not included.  :) 


Napa Cabbage Kimchi
Prep: 15min         Fermenting Time: 2 days      Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:
  • 1 head Napa cabbage
  • 3/4 cups sea salt
Seasoning:
  • 2 scallions, chopped to one inch strips
  • 1/2 small white onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 5 tablespoons red pepper flakes
Directions:
  1. Coarsely chop the cabbage into 1-inch pieces. Place in a container. Dissolve 3/4 cup of salt in 2 cups of water and pour over the cabbage. Use your hand to mix it in evenly. Cover and let it pickle for 3 hours. Toss and turn over and pickle it for 3 more hours. Strain the cabbage and discard the salt water.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all the seasonings and mix. Add the scallion last. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Distribute the seasoning on the cabbage and blend in using your hands.
  3. Tightly pack the cabbage in a gallon-size jar. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and press down to get rid of air pockets. Store at 70 degrees for 24 hours to ferment. Chill before serving.
 
 
 
Zucchini Bread
Prep: 15min                           Cooking Time: 60-80min             Yields: 2 loaves

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour 
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup ground raw cacao
  • ¼ cup ground walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.
  2. Beat together eggs, maple syrup, and applesauce. Blend in the grated zucchini, and then the Greek yogurt.
  3. Mix in the flour, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon. Stir in cacao and walnuts. Pour batter into 
  4. prepared pans.
  5. Bake for 60-80 minutes, until a fork comes out clear. Cool on wire rack. 
 
 
Ummmm...I just discovered ABBA: The Movie streaming on Netflix.  Watch out!  The night is still young. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Herbal Medicine Making Workshop


Summer Herbal Medicine Making Workshop
 
Hey NY'ers! If you are looking for a beautiful escape out to of the city this weekend, a fellow health coach and friend is having an herbal medicine making workshop in her new upstate home! It would be a perfect Sunday adventure.  I attended her last workshop and learned so much about herbs!  I even got to bring home some delicious, self made, rose honey.  Mmmmm!  Make a day of it and check out some of the other beautiful Beacon sites while you are there!


Summer Herbal Medicine Making Workshop
July 3rd, 2011 (1PM-3PM)
Beacon, NY (please call for address and directions)

Summer is here--and now is the time to work with herbs! Learn to make tinctures, honeys, vinegars, and oils with herbs! This workshop is tailored to the sultry months of summer and will feature Lorin's favorite local herb (it's a surprise!).

$25 (SUPER affordable!)

Please call Lorin at 718-419-6588 to register.  (Let me know too!  joanie@motivatednutrition.net or 814-442-5311)


About Beacon, NY
Beacon is on the Hudson line from Grand Central.  Take the  Poughkeepsie train from NYC, and Beacon is the third to last stop. 
Here's a few links to some of Beacon's attractions:
http://www.mountaintopsonline.com/   Kayak rentals and tours
http://www.beaconcycles.com/  Bike rentals
http://www.diabeacon.org/ Dia Beacon Museum
http://www.schoolofjellyfish.com/ School of Jelyfish Cafe and Sustainable Building Center


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Aminoethanesulfonic acid- It's holistic!


While on tour with my dance company in Tampa a few months ago, we came across an unfortunate encounter.  One that left me fuming and subsequently our costumes missing.  More on that later...

My company was in charge of warming up all of the student and community performers in that evenings show.  5 min before warm-up, 2 perky, and undoubtedly over-caffeinated students rolled into the dressing rooms with free energy drinks in hand and an endless stash off this liquid cocaine in their clever, cylinder shaped backpacks.

When my friend and fellow colleague refused to accept their generous offering, she told them that I (the holistic health coach of the group) wouldn't think it was healthy.  They turned their perky wrath on me to argue that their product was in FACT holistic and full of natural ingredients.  They defensively claimed that they ("unlike other energy drink girls") knew exactly what is in their product and began to spout off chemical compounds that probably took them 6 months of training to memorize.

I was in such awe of their lemming-like following that I wasn't fast enough to counter with the fact that ingredients like sodium citrate (a preservative), and taurine (an aminoethanesulfonic acid originally isolated from bull bile, but now made synthetically) are not ingredients commonly found in the "holistic" nutrition category. 

Me, being the non-confrontational person that I am, rolled my eyes (mature, I know) and then went to the stage to announce to everyone to toss out their liquid cocaine.  I explained that yes, they will get temporary wings, and feel high as a kite, but they were guaranteed to crash right before show time.  I took note of the 2 girls fuming by the stage door as I made my announcement with the college dance director backing me up.

Do you think it's a coincidence that one piece from all of our company costumes was discovered missing that evening, which included 2 pairs of my pants!   Hmmm...  Coincidence, perhaps.  But since energy drink corporations are now sending out blond, bouncy marketeers to claim that their products are holistic,  I'm going to go ahead and make the claim that they will hype you up and make angry enough to steal things. :) 

Have you had any energetic interactions with these people? 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Healthy Homemade Popcorn


Popcorn is a healthy snack, right?  Yes. If you are popping it from the kernel yourself.    No.  If you are reaching for those convenient, but oh so aromatic, microwavable bags. 

Why?   I'll tell you.

That eyeglass steaming mist that washes over your face when you pull open those opposing corners contains over 4 dozen chemicals.  Before you even take a bite, you inhale all that goodness into your lungs.  Microwave Popcorn plant workers are at risk of  developing what is known as "popcorn lung".  It's a result of inhaling Diacetyl which is used to give it that movie theatre, buttery taste.  This should make you think twice before lingering and deeply inhaling over that warm, freshly popped bag.  There is actually a confirmed case of a diehard popcorn lover developing bronchiolitis obliterans, aka "popcorn lung", from doing that twice a day/365.  Extreme-yes, but something to be aware of regardless.  Luckily, major producers have started to eliminate Diacetyl in their products. 

There are still all of those other chemicals to worry about.  Whole foods are always best.  If the list of ingredients is either a mile long or contains stuff that you can't pronounce, it's not real food. 

Besides, popping up your own, the old fashioned way is more fun anyway!  Give it a try tonight and let me know how it goes.

Home Popped Popcorn

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernals
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a 2 to 3 quart saucepan or pot with a lid set over medium-high heat. 
  2. Test one-two kernels to see if the temperature is ready.
  3. Pour in popcorn kernels and sprinkle salt to lightly cover the layer of kernels. Remember, you can always add more salt later. Add the butter to the pot and cover with the lid.
  4. As soon as the kernels start to pop, shake the pan back and forth across the burner constantly until the popping slows down. As soon as the pops are about 2 seconds apart, remove from the heat and pour into a serving bowl. 
  5. Taste, and season with additional salt if desired.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How to be smarter than the average eater

You have NO idea what to eat and are feeling frustrated (not to mention confused) with all of the "scientific" studies and health claims that you are bombarded with everyday.  I know this because you've all told me.  Fear not, if you are a devoted fan of Motivated Nutrition, you are smarter than the average eater.  There are, however, many consumers who believe everything they read and hear when it comes to the latest food fad.

Chances are, you have a few "crash diet" devoted friends who often recite nutritional facts that they've heard on the latest Kashi commercial or a billboard statement about why they need to be drinking 2-3 glasses of milk everyday.   It's not their fault. We are all being "fed" misinformation.  The government regulations on food are politically motivated in favor of certain industries. (Ah hem!  Dairy, Beef, and Corn. ) We are bombarded daily with studies and advertisements claiming to help us lose weight and eat healthy.  Meanwhile, they are promoting processed, packaged foods that put money into their pockets and an extra inch of fat around our waists.  It's infuriating that we live in a society that is obsessed with being thin while all of the "health" food sources being promoted are making us fat.  

Learn to read the ingredients in your food and think about what you are putting into your body.  If a package or commercial is blasting you with the health benefits, chances are they are hiding something.  (Read more here about how that will hopefully change soon)

Think about it, do your fruits and veggies come with bold face health claims on them?   There's a reason they don't have to.  They are REAL foods!

Get out there and eat something real today!  No health claims needed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Put a little spring on your table- Apple cilantro salsa


It's a beautiful spring day!  Whip up this easy recipe to add a little warm weather flavor to your table.

Apple-Cilantro Salsa

Prep Time: 15 min
Serves: 4
1 Apple, chopped
2 tbs chopped green onions
2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp mild flavored oil, such as peanut, walnut or grapeseed
1 large pinch of red pepper flakes (or minced fresh jalapeno

  • Combine  ingredients in a small bowl
  • Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Refrigerate to chill before serving.

Friday, April 8, 2011

How to show Love to your Local Farmer


It's here, it's here!  CSA ("Community Supported Agriculture") sign up season!  We've made it through a long winter of being disappointed by the produce section in the grocery store and we're ready to once again support our local farmers. 

A CSA is a great way to buy local, organic produce.  Farmers will offer a certain number of "shares" to the public and a membership will get you a weekly portion of the harvest for the duration of the season.  Each week you receive a bundle of organic, home grown, often harvested that very day produce.  You will think that you are tasting veggies like radishes, beets, bok choy and field greens for the first time!  Not only is the experience delicious, you also gain the benefits of camaraderie and support from your fellow community members volunteering their time, love, and energy.  It gives you a great, "down home" feeling.  (Not always easy to find in NYC.)

I can't stress enough how wonderful the experience of joining a local food share is.  You'll be receiving loads of nutritional benefits and know exactly where your food is coming from.  Grocery stores and packaged goods disconnect us from the food we eat and through a CSA, we play a bigger part in keeping our body, mind and spirit healthy.

To find a CSA near you, check out this site!  localharvest.org. Don't wait to sign up.  Sign ups will close soon and CSA's often sell out quickly.  Some even have a waiting list. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What to look for in a vitamin

In an ideal world, none of us would eat any processed food and we would get everything needed for survival from our whole, nutritious eating habits.  Before the invention of processed food, our ancestors survived sans supplements.
 
But, the typical American diet is far from ideal so multivitamins tend to be of great benefit for people lacking in nutrients.  The problem is that big companies have all decided they want in on the profit, meaning that cheap, easy, and synthetic processing comes into play.  The other problem is that people often use vitamins as a substitute for whole nutritional food.  Getting nutrition through a vitamin can't begin to compare to the real deal.  Taking a vitamin is fine but be fully aware that a healthy diet is the only way to gain the full nutritional benefits.

In order to make sure that you are getting a good multiV, check into the following:

Is your vitamin natural or synthetic?  Don't make the mistake of shopping for the discount or chain brand.  They primarily use cheap and synthetic supplements to keep the cost down.  You think a vitamin is a vitamin so it doesn't matter?  It does.  Synthetic isolates, which are alternatives to whole foods, are only partially absorbed into your system, if at all, and may produce side effects. 

Is your vitamin ISO and NSF Certified?  Why does this matter?  And what do those crazy letters mean?  ISO stands for the "Internal Organization for Standardization" and NSF is the "National Sanitation Foundation".  You want to make sure that your multivitamin meets the highest industry standards and that it is living up to it's health claims and not wasting your money.  You also want to be sure that no pesticides, chemicals, dirty equipment, or untrained workers have slipped through the cracks.  When you think about it, there is a lot that can go wrong.   

If your multivitamin is living up to both of these standards, it will be easy to spot.  Meeting the listed requirements is not cheap or easy so they are sure to boast about it on their labeling. 

And I'm going to repeat myself because it's important- the best nutrients come from whole foods so be sure you are getting enough of those as well!   

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Probing probiotics


This is a follow up to yesterdays post that suggested taking a probiotic to support your digestive health.  Many of you came back with the question, "Which one do I choose?". 

Use these probing questions when you are shopping:

How many bacteria strains should it have?
This varies from brand to brand.  I have seen them with as few as 1 strain and as many as 16. I have read that multi strains are best to support general digestive health and I've also read that single strains are better.  When research conflicts itself, I take the middle road.  (Mine has 9 strains)

Does is matter how many live bacteria cells it has? 
This number tends to range from 1-50 billion cells in most brands.  Anything within this number is fine.

Why are some refrigerated and others aren't?
Follow the label on this one.  Refrigerated brands are kept cold to keep the cells more stable.  The ones that are sold at room temperature claim the temperature has no adverse affect on the cells.  Personally, I find that not taking a brand that requires refrigeration is more convenient, especially when on the road. 

Check the "other ingredients"
Always check to make sure it doesn't contain anything that you have an allergy or diet discrepancy with (i.e. gelatin for kosher diets).  You also don't want to be putting a lot of processed or artificial ingredients into your system. 

I started taking a daily supplement 2 yrs ago when I was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer and found that a probiotic helps.  But, whenever possible, real food is best.  In addition to being found in your system naturally, probiotics are abundant in Miso, Yogurt, Kefir and indirectly through dandelion, Spiruina, Chorella, and blue-green algae.  I recommend always using them after being on an antibiotic.  Antibiotics kill all bacteria, the good and the bad.  Taking a probiotic during and after treatment will help restore your system to it's natural levels and help prevent post antibiotic yeast and urinary tract infections.  If you are dealing with digestive distress, try it out and see if offers any relief.  Everyone's body is different so it may or may not be the right choice for you.  

Monday, March 28, 2011

Digestive Woes

You probably agree with me in saying that most of our day-to-day ailments stem from problems within the digestive system: "tummy aches", ulcers, indigestion, food poisoning, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn are just a few.  These maladies are incredibly uncomfortable and debilitating to our active lives.  Who has the time and energy for that?

Before you go reaching for an antacid, take a moment to stop and consider your daily diet, exercise and lifestyle habits.  Why haven't you thought to take a more proactive approach instead of the easy (and expensive) solution of slapping on a pharmaceutical band-aid? 

Here are a few proactive diet additions to help with the inconvenience of digestive ailments. 

  • Apple cider vinegar - (Read this previous post for the health benefits)
  • Cayenne Pepper- Cayenne aids in the assimilation and elimination of foods and actually helps rebuild the lining in the stomach, making it a great herbal medicine for ulcer sufferers. 
  • Garlic- A daily dose improves digestion. Garlic assists in normal functioning of the intestines and also has antibacterial properties that make it hard for pathogens to live in the body.  Try to incorporate more garlic into your diet when you are traveling to deter acute intestinal infections. 
  •  Probiotics- Probiotics are live microbial bacteria aka "good bacteria" that are naturally present in the digestive tract.  In addition to taking a supplement, you can also find them in foods like: yogurt, miso, some soy products, and milk.  Just look for the words, "live active cultures".  They help treat digestive ailments like diarrhea, constipation, IBS, Crohn's and also aid in fighting other ailments such as yeast infections, and urinary tract infections.  They are most commonly recommended by health practitioners during and after antibiotic use. 
When we are in digestive distress, it's hard to enjoy anything else going on around you.  On a personal note, I had a stomach ulcer a few years back and was prescribed pharmaceutical..  I took it for 4 days and abandoned it because of the horrific side effects.  That's when I started doing research on food and natural remedies.  It's actually part of what led me to health coaching, as I was in need of a complete diet and lifestyle overhaul.  Don't always go for the easy fix.  Your body may be telling you to take a step back and take a look at your diet and lifestyle.  If you think you are in need of a "health makeover", sign up for a consult here.  It's free and you've only got your health to lose.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Air"fare"- What to eat when you are traveling



Eating on the go is something that I’ve started to consider my specialty.  I’m on the run for 12 hrs and I’ve mastered what my body needs for a day full of subway riding, NYC tourist dodging, dancing, rehearsing and teaching!  So what do you do when you are off your normal routine or traveling away from home when you can’t carry a full artillery of energizing munchies?
Here are some guidelines for keeping your body healthy, energized and running at full speed while you are away. 
  • Pack a stainless steel water bottle.  You can fill it up as soon as you get through airport security and won’t have to waste a ton of money on overpriced (not to mention environmentally harming) bottled water.  Keep it full and on you at all times to stay hydrated and to help flush potential pathogens quickly from your system.  Hydrate!  Hydrate!  Hydrate!
  • While we’re talking H2O, be careful if you are traveling to a country where the water isn’t as filtered as we’re used to.  Residents in that country are used to it but our bodies don’t always find it “agreeable”.  If this is the case, purchase bottled water for drinking and teeth brushing and make sure that it is sealed.  You can try to limit your water intake and eat more fresh fruit to hydrate instead.
  •  Pack raw nuts and dried fruits in your carry-on.  I always throw in a few protein bars (although I’m not a huge advocate) in case I find myself starving on the plane or in between meals. 
  • Make a grocery store run as soon as you get to your destination.  I always stock up on things that don’t need refrigerated like baby carrots, natural nut butters, raw nuts, natural trail mixes, bananas, apples, oranges, etc.
  • By now you know that I’m not a fan of processed food but canned tuna and instant oatmeal packets (with some fresh food added) are good in a pinch.
  • If you have access to a mini fridge, stock up on leafy green lettuce, humus (I use this as a dip and dressing on my salads when traveling), mushrooms, yogurt, hard boiled eggs-most grocery stores sell them, cheese for a protein punch and 100% whole wheat pita.  It’s amazing how many different meals this combination will get you.  You just have to be creative!  
  • Always pack a spill proof bowl with a lid, a Ziploc bag or two and a set of utensils.   I promise they will come in handy for all your mixing and concocting!
  • This isn’t necessarily a health tip but I always pack a wine opener!  It’s the one item I end up always having to buy when I’m away.  I’m on vacation.  I like to indulge!

Of course this isn’t the end all to eating while traveling.  I’ve just found that it works pretty well for me.  What are some of your go-to’s when you are away from home?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Got Lactase? Didn't think so.


 
Did you know that a whopping 60% of adults don't produce lactase?  Lactase is the enzyme needed to break up the sugar, lactose, in dairy. 

Humans are the only species on earth that continue to consume milk beyond childhood.  A majority of our bodies stop producing lactase between the ages of 2 and 5 yrs. This means that lactose doesn't get digested, travels straight to the colon and starts to ferment.  In other words, that delicious pint of Ben and Jerry's just became the gas that's causing cramping, bloating, nausea, flatulence and diarrhea.  Yikes!  

Scientists and researches actually find it a phenomenon when people can digest dairy.  They call it lactase persistence.  If you are part of this minority group, you are the result of a genetic mutation that allows humans to consume milk into adulthood.  I'm a mutant myself.  The mutated gene generally shows up in people of Northern European decent.  

This is all bona fide proven research.  So why is it that the government is putting so much funding into the "Got Milk" campaign and trying to scare the bejeebers out of us for not getting enough calcium and vitamin D?  Hmmm?

So you think you may be lactose intolerant?  Now what?  Try cutting dairy products out of your diet for a few days and see how you feel.  If your symptoms improve you may have your answer. Try out some other options such as soy, almond and coconut milk.  The switch can take some getting used to but you can't help but love them once the bloating and cramping is gone!  
Join us for Tai Cheese on Wed, March 16 for a workout and then stay to learn some yummy recipes and non dairy cheese alternatives!