Thursday, January 15, 2009

January 2009: What do you want in your life this year?

A new year! What do you want in your life this year? How can you start to move in the direction of your hearts desires? Here are some thoughts that will hopefully inspire.
May you follow your bliss,

New Testimonial: " education that I will continue to utilize every day."

"Kelly is a wonderful listener. It was a pleasure to work with someone who had so much food knowledge and was able in every instance to provide healthy and nutritious alternatives to my every day foods, which allowed me to become so much more educated in the foods I now choose. I'm no longer intimidated by what I don't know about organic and healthy foods, through our talks and the books she suggested I became a lot more confident in what to eat, what I should look for and how to find a suitable alternative. Working with Kelly provided a condensed nutritional course that has given me an education that I will continue to utilize every day. "
- Margaret, Administrative Director

Food News: "New" Zero Calorie Sweetener - Stevia!

After many years of keeping the herb stevia only distributable as a supplement, the FDA has approved its use in foods. Well, colas seem to be the food. Stevia is a native plant of South America. Its leaves are very sweet and zero calories. When working with clients who are in the habit of using artificial sweeteners, switching to stevia is my first suggestion. Many health issues have been attributed to aspartame as well as other artificial sweeteners. Stevia has the benefits of artificial sweeteners without any known health risks. It has been used in South America and Asia for ages. This is the whole, dried stevia leaf or the green or brown powder or liquid, we're talking about, not what is about to be mixed into Coke and Pepsi.

The present concern is the highly refined version of the original plant that will be used in diet sodas presently coming into the market. When you refine and process a plant to the extent that these food companies plan, a whole new substance is created. What this refined version of stevia's effect on the body will be long-term, we're not sure. In my humble opinion, at the moment, if you are someone trying to quit diet sodas a first step, if you must, may be trying one of the new stevia-based sodas as a way to start weaning yourself off. There are lots of other, better, tricks and tips to wean off artificial diet drinks. If you'd like support in this mission, let me know, I'd love to help! Here is an excellent short article on the subject of stevia and its new FDA approval, if you are interested in learning more.

Inspiration: New Year, New Perspective

Start the new year by letting go of the past. In the Jewish religion there is a custom of asking for and granting forgiveness as part of bringing in the new year. The holiday Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the most important of all Jewish holidays. Traditionally, Jews fast and pray for forgiveness from God on this day. They also ask for forgiveness from other people whom they feel they have "wronged" over the course of the year. It is custom to terminate all feuds and disputes on the eve of the fast day. Even the souls of the dead are said to be included in the community of those pardoned on the Day of Atonement. At the end of Yom Kippur, one considers himself absolved by God and starts the new year with a clean slate.

If you wish for greater happiness and health this year, peace of mind will help take you there. Is there someone you feel remorse for hurting? You may want to finally give up those terrible feelings and ask for their forgiveness. Or is there someone you have been holding a grudge against? Maybe you can start the year off by lightening your load and letting them off the hook in your heart. Maybe the person you want to forgive most is yourself. Accepting that we are all human and make mistakes, sometimes big mistakes, can be more healing than any prescription on the market.

Recipes of the Month: New Year Paella Feast

Usually, I try to include fast, easy, nutritious recipes. Paella isn't necessarily known to be any of those. This is more a celebration dish and requires some time (and possibly some digestive enzymes, ha!). But if you are in the mood to play in the kitchen, try this or make up your own version. It's fun to listen to some Gypsy Kings while you cook this meal! I made this New Years night and really liked it. You can make it healthier, easier and vegetarian by omitting the shrimp and sausage, using vegetable broth and adding more beans. You can also bake plantain rather than fry them.

Kelly's Paella
1 lb. Shrimp
2 Sausage (chorizo, turkey or soy sausage)
2 tbsp Butter (or soy butter)
2 cloves chopped Garlic
¼ c Olive Oil
1 Onion
1 Green pepper
1 Red pepper
1 Bunch Asparagus
2 Roma Tomatoes
4 t Parsley
1 t Paprika
½ t Thyme
¼ t Cumin
2 c Short Grain Brown Rice
4 ½ c Chicken broth
1 can Pigeon peas
2-4 T Capers
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon wedges and parsley twigs to garnish

Start by preparing the sausage and shrimp. In a frying pan, add ½ inch water and sausage. Boil sausage until all water evaporates, cut sausage down the middle, pan fry until cooked all the way through (may need to add a bit of oil to pan). In a large soup pot, boil enough water to cover over shrimp. Boil shrimp until pink and float to surface. Start chopping veggies while shrimp and sausage cook. Dump shrimp cooking water, dowse shrimp in cold water, remove shells. Add butter and garlic to the now empty soup pot. Sauté shrimp 1 min. Remove from pot and set aside.

Add olive oil to soup pot, sauté peppers, onion and tomato. Add spices, sauté another minute. Add chicken broth and rice. Boil 35 minutes, add sausage and asparagus. Cook until all broth is absorbed. Add pigeon peas, parsley, capers and shrimp. Salt and pepper to taste. Let all ingredients rest together 5 min. Serve with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs garnish.
Serve with fried plantain and a simple salad.

Fried Plantains
3 yellow-brown plantains
olive oil
coconut oil
sea salt

Cut ends off plantains, slice through skin in 3 places, peel skins off. Cut plantain on a diagonal into chips no more than 1/4 inch thick. Fry in oil until soft and just starting to crisp. Remove to plate layed with paper towels to soak up excess oil. Lightly salt, if desired. Like a dessert with your meal.

Simple Salad
Chop: cucumber, red pepper, fresh parsley. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix n serve.