Monday, August 17, 2009

LifeShine: Summer Dinner

Inspiration: Vegetarian Curious?

If you are interested in eating more vegetarian-based meals here is a great new blog, North Shore Veggie, to check out for more recipes. It's created by my dear friend, Melanie, a vegetarian for most of her life and beautiful person. Share the love...

Recipes of the Month: Summer Dinner

During college I worked with an artist painting murals for businesses and private homes. He was from Italy and prided himself almost as much for his cooking as he did his painting. One day, in the middle of painting the woman of the house came home in a panic because she wanted some special food for guests visiting that evening. My boss, known to say, "Hey, I'm a genius!" decided we would stop painting and cook an authentic Italian feast the rest of the day. Here is the bruschetta recipe he taught me. An easy delicious way to use up some garden-fresh tomatoes.

Authentic Bruschetta
1 loaf Italian bread (baked fresh that day)
6 medium garden-fresh tomatoes
1 bunch fresh basil
3-4 garlic cloves
4 tbsp olive oil
2 medium fresh mozzarella balls (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Cut the loaf of bread in half through the middle (the long way). Wash and chop tomatoes into medium chunks (about 1/2 inch cubes). Fill a bowl with water and wash basil, then chop finely. Crush, peel and mince garlic. Mix all veggies together in a large bowl. Add olive oil. Pour tomato mixture over the bread halves, cut side up. Bake 15 min, until tomatoes are soft. While bread is baking, slice mozzarella into 1/4" thick medallions. Place mozzarella across top of breads. Bake 5 more minutes, until cheese has melted.

Try the bruschetta without the mozzarella, it's delicious and less calories. Or if you just gotta have the cheese, but want to cut back, sprinkle a little grated parmesan over the top and toast just a minute. Then use the parmesan rinds in your soup
Serve with a bean soup or salmon and a green salad.

Too hot to cook?

Drizzle bread with olive oil and minced garlic, throw under the broiler for 2 minutes to toast. Top with raw tomato mixture (minus the garlic). Serve with cold green salad with salmon or beans on top straight from the can!

Bean Soup with Parmesan Rinds
1 large Onion, chopped
2 Garlic cloves, minced
6 Carrots, chopped
3 Celery stalks, chopped
6 cups Water
1 can Cannellini or Butter Beans, drained
1 can Kidney Beans, drained
A few pieces Parmesan rinds
3 tbsp Olive oil

Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic, carrots, celery, sauté until softened. Add water, bring to boil. Add beans, reduce heat, simmer 20 min. Add parmesan rinds, simmer 5 more minutes. Remove rinds. Enjoy any month of the year.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

LifeShine: Making Healthy Taste Good

New Testamonial: "a full, happy, healthy, binge-free life"

Thanks to my work with Kelly and LifeShine Holistic Health Counseling, I have a completely new outlook on life. Before Kelly, I first suffered from anorexia which then developed into binge-eating. She skillfully, lovingly, and patiently taught me how to build a new life and relationship with food. She equipped me with the tools that I use today to live a full, happy, healthy, binge-free life.

All along the way, Kelly has helped me with nutrition, of course. She first taught me how to eat in response to my hunger and to stop eating when I was full. She then helped me learn to eat more protein, healthy fats/oils and square meals.

Kelly helps with so much more, rather than just nutrition. It is her rare combination of detailed and in-depth knowledge of nutrition and her intuitiveness and infectious optimism that makes her program a success. She radiates a can-do spirit that makes working with her much more than mere consultation - rather, it is inspiration to move towards attaining ways of eating healthfully, being fit, and taking pleasure in the benefits of a sustainable, balanced truce with food. She is able to do this because she is both compassionate and determined to assist people like me along this journey. I undoubtedly recommend her to anyone who has found it difficult to set and maintain healthy eating goals.

- Alexandra

Inspiration: Local Luxury

Recently, I had the privilege of meeting a few local entrepreneurs who are not only super nice people but produce delicious, decadent and environmentally-friendly delights. I had to share!

Pure Sweets, a new local female owned business featuring all organic, no sugar, naturally sweetened, wheat-free, vegan treats. Pure Sweets is not only sweet tasting, it's sweet-hearted, donating 5% of sales to animal welfare organizations. A great gift idea that can be delivered to your door.

Green Pad Living, a family owned business with charm and heart. Green Pad Living creates handmade treasures ranging from organic soaps that smell like an aromatherapy spa treatment to eco-restored furniture that re-finishes and restores old wooden furniture with eco-friendly materials giving pieces a new birth and lovely beauty. Email Darren's blog featuring the furniture restoration process to your wood-work-loving Dad, so cool.

Recipe of the Month: Sweet Greens

Sweet Greens
1 bunch beet greens, swiss chard or kale
1 small bunch dandelion leaves
1 tsp butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Fill a large bowl with water. Wash all greens. May need to rinse a few times to remove all sand. Chop beet greens, swiss chard or kale into 1/2 inch strips. Chop dandelion greens into 1/4 inch pieces. Fill a saute pan with a half inch of water. Add greens. Water saute for 5-7 minutes, mixing a few times, until all greens are wilted. Drain water (save for drinking or cooking broth). Add butter to pan and melt. Add cinnamon. Mix with greens.... Delicious, easy and power-packed!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Breakfasts June 2009

New Testimonial: "...I've accomplished more than I thought I would."

" Kelly makes it easy and exciting to change your diet with realistic goals, small steps, and delicious recipes. She is a great listener and she caters her vast knowledge of healthy eating to fit your own specific individual needs. I did not think I would be able to improve my diet and enjoy doing it as much as I have working with Kelly. She taught me how to cook new healthy foods while making the process simple and surprisingly delicious! I've accomplished more than I thought I would and I owe it all to Kelly's Lifeshine program."

David W, Artist

Inspiration: Laughter Brings People Together

This YouTube video was sent to me from a women who attended one of my Laughter Yoga classes. Watch for a smile, a laugh, and a new idea when riding the subway. Thanks for spreading the joy, Lorelie!

Bodhisattva in Metro

Recipes of the Month: Summer Breakfasts

June is a funny month. Here on the Northeastern Coast, June can bring us everything from cheerful sunny, to sticky sweltering, to chilly gray days. Here are a few breakfast ideas to work with the weather.

Overnight Muesli

1/2 c rolled oats (not instant)
1 c almond or rice milk
1/2 c chopped dates
1/4 c sunflower seeds
dash of cinnamon

Soak all ingredients together covered in the fridge overnight . In the morning add your choice of chopped berries or fruit.

Light Veggie Soup

1/2 med. onion
3 carrots
1/2 sm. head kale
1 in. piece kombu
4 c water or veggie broth

Chop veggies add to broth. Rinse and add kombu. Boil all until carrots are softened, about 20 min. Remove kombu, mince and add back into soup.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spring Inspirations

Spring is a time to cleanse the body and mind from heavy winter foods and long dark days. I've so been enjoying the blossoms coming out on the trees! Just taking a moment to enjoy the pink, yellow and white colors of the blooms against an azure sky gives me a sense of calm happiness. Earlier this week we had a huge vibant rainbow in the sky! It's small things but, after a long winter, I just love to see the signs of spring.

New Testimonial: "...treating myself with more love."

"I met Kelly at a pivotal point of my life; emotionally and physically I was feeling very off-kilter. One of the things she said that resonated with me the most was learning the enormous impact of what we put into our bodies. She said "what you eat becomes your thoughts, your emotions, your cells." I had never thought of nutrition in this way before and treated my meals as more of an afterthought. I now see my meals as a gift to my body, an opportunity to nourish my body, mind and spirit. We demand so much from our bodies in these modern, fast-paced times and I feel blessed to have met someone who communicated with her words and presence the value to treating myself with more love".

- Fatima A., Urban Planner, Artist

Inspiration: Local Artist, Fatima Adamu

If you like her paintings, wait till you hear her sing! Fatima will perform live this Saturday, April 11th at the Saturn Club Salon and Coffee shop (3426 Sansom Street) from 6pm to 9pm. She will be accompanied by Deirdre Loughridge on cello and Elliott Levin on flute and saxophone. For a sneak peak of her voice acapella check her out here:

Fatima Adamu was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1981 and grew up in Nigeria, West Africa with her American mother and Nigerian father. She began writing poetry and drawing when she was 10 years old and is a self-trained painter, costume and fashion stylist, poet, model, actress, singer and dancer with a B.A in Geography and Urban Studies from Temple University.
"The lines, shapes and emotions invoked by the dancing body as it responds to music have had a strong influence on me. Thus, I am more influenced by musicians than by visual artists."

Recipes of the Month: Spring Inspirations
Dandelions, contrary to popular belief, are not bothersome weeds but actually highly nutritious plants. They are very cleansing for the blood and liver and can be eaten raw or cooked. Try it, you just might like it.

Dandelion Over Polenta
1 tube premade polenta
2 c water
4 c chopped dandelion greens
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 c pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
lemon wedges

Thinly coat a skillet with olive oil. Cut polenta into 1/2 inch slices. Cook 3-4 minutes each side until golden and crisp. Fill a large bowl with water. Chop roots off dandelion greens. Dunk and rinse greens until all sand is washed away. Boil 2 c water. Add greens to water, boil 3-4 minutes. Drain greens, set aside. Save cooking water for stock or just drink plain for nutrients. In a skillet, heat oil, add garlic, sizzle 30 seconds, add dandelion greens and salt and pepper. Cook 1 min. Put on top polenta. Sprinkle with cheese. serve with lemon wedges.
Adapted from: Greens Glorious Greens by, Johnna Albi and Catherine Walthers

Apricots are another seasonal Spring food. Here's a simple salad.

Apricot Salad
2 c mixed baby salad greens
4 washed and chopped dandelion leaves
1-2 chopped fresh apricots
1/4 c pumpkin seeds Mix all.
Dress with flaxseed oil and rice vinegar.

Friday, March 13, 2009

March 2009: Slough Off Your Winter Muck

March 20th marks the first day of Spring, yahoo! Are you as ready as I am for some warm sunny days? This newsletter will introduce some ideas on how to lighten up after a long heavy winter.

Slough Off Your Winter Muck

Tired of your winter muck? That's the dreary feelings of being cooped up and fighting the cold gray weather. The full sticky feelings of too much winter comfort foods. The lethargic feelings of laying around in winter hibernating the last four months. Or the exhausted feelings of trying to keep up with daily stress and holiday obligations when really all you wanted to do was hibernate.

Sloughing off that slothful feeling:
Spring is here and it's a time of new life! There is so much beauty in life and we're all so busy, it's sometimes easy to miss.

1. Go for a walk. Celebrate the budding trees and earth. Take off your sunglasses and let some sunshine into your eyes. Soak in 15-20 minutes of Vit D from the sun everyday on your hands and face (essential in preventing osteoporosis, plus it just feels good).

2. Sell your leaf blower on EBay and rake the lawn. Get some good old fashioned exercise and fresh air.

3. Sing loudly in the car, shower or wherever you can get away with it. In Chinese medicine, Spring is a time of energy rising that includes old emotions rising to the surface. Let out what you've been holding in.

4. Plant some herbs and discover the delight of eating your own fresh, alive, homegrown food while getting some relaxing nature time.

Spring food tips:
Eating in harmony with the seasons keep us feeling healthier and more balanced. Most of us naturally eat heavier in the winter. Our bodies crave foods that keep us warm and feeling cozy. My personal favorite cold weather indulgence is lasagna! In the Spring, we may feel a weight gain and congestion built up from those heavy foods, but we might not know what to do about it.

1. Spring is the season for green! Eat dark leafy green veggies every day. Try them steamed or simply in salads. Experiment with different lettuces, wild greens and fresh herbs.

2. Sprouts are for Spring! What are the animals eating this time of year? Sprouts! Nature provides the exact foods we need at the right time of year. Sprouts can be put into salads, sandwiches, even a little pile on top of a light soup. Not only are sprouts very cleansing, many are complete proteins!

3. Try a juice cleanse. Dedicate one day or more to your health. I've done a few kinds of detox cleanses and always feel great after. I lose weight, my skin glows, and I learn more about my inner self. My favorite book on cleansing is 3 Days to Vitality by, Pamela Serure. It walks you through how to give yourself a weekend spa treatment right in your own home. Feel free to email me if you want to try this or any other cleanse and need a little more help figuring it out.

4. Simply juice. If you are not up for a full-on cleanse, simply adding a vegetable juice to your diet will do wonders. You'll need a juicer and it can feel like a bothersome project at first, but once you get the hang of it and see how powerful these concoctions are, it's all worth it. With a bit of practice, it becomes easy and delicious. Remember, if you want to feel alive, eat live food!

Recipes of the Month: Green on Green

Super Cleansing Concoction
1/2 a cucumber
4 stocks celery
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
1 granny smith apple, cored
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger (opt)

Juice all in a juicer. Add ice or blend with ice in a blender to create a smoothie. Drink immediately.

Asian Bean Sprout Salad
4 cups fresh bean sprouts
1 red or green bell pepper
2 scallions
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp sea salt

Place sprouts in a large bowl. Use a glass or ceramic bowl, if available. Cut pepper into matchsticks. Chop scallions thinly.
Heat oil in a saucepan on medium. Add garlic and pepper flakes. Saute 30 seconds while stirring. Pour hot over sprout mix.
Whisk together vinegar, agave and salt. Pour over sprout mix. Toss well. Serve immediately. Crunchy, spicy, sweet!

* For bonus healthy Spring points: Serve the sprout salad over lettuce and top with fresh chopped cilantro!
Adaped from Moosewood Cookbook

February 2009 Chocolate is Love!

More than any other holiday, Valentine's Day makes me think of chocolate. I love chocolate! Here are some reasons why you might feel the same.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Food News: Chocolate is Love!

Chocolate. We love it, we need it, we give it, we give into it... There are nutritional chemical reasons for our "love affair" with chocolate.

Chocolate contains:

B-phenethylamine, the same chemical your brain produces when you are in love!

Anandamide, a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) synthesized enzymatically in the brain. It is known as "the bliss chemical" because it is released when we are feeling good. The name is taken from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means "bliss" or "delight." Chocolate also contains two other ingredients that inhibit the natural breakdown of anandamide, which could lead to heightened levels of anandamide in the brain.

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that makes us feel relaxed.

Dopamine, another "feel good" brain chemical. Cocoa contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO Inhibitors) which help improve our mood because they allow serotonin and dopamine to remain in the bloodstream longer without being broken down.

Tryptophan, an anti-depressant amino acid.

Magnesium, a mineral that helps balance brain chemistry (as well as essential to heart and bone health).

Are you craving chocolate yet? But wait, there's more! Chocolate is high in antioxidants which gobble up free radicals, destructive molecules that are implicated in heart disease, cancer and acceleration of the aging process.

Now before you go out and decide to eat chocolate breakfast, lunch and dinner, of course, there are some cons to chocolate: Milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate, so milk chocolate is out as well as eating dark chocolate with milk.

Chocolate is high in fat, calories and usually sugar (which depletes the body of nutrients, taxes the immune system and adds empty calories).

Chocolate is a stimulant and if you are already stressed out, chocolate will intensify your jitters. Theobromine comprises between 1% and 2% of the cocoa bean. It stimulates the central nervous system similarly to caffeine, but on a smaller scale. Chocolate also contains caffeine. A 50 gram piece of dark chocolate (the size of an average chocolate bar) will yield between 10 and 60 milligrams of caffeine; an average 5-ounce cup of coffee can yield up to 175 milligrams of caffeine. (But what goes better with coffee than chocolate?)

If health is your excuse for eating chocolate, moderation is the best medicine in this case. Also, if you really want the benefits of the antioxidants, you have to eat the real thing. Highly processed chocolate has lost its nutritional value. The healthiest form of chocolate is raw, organic, unprocessed cacao beans (called "nibs") or cocoa mass. Here is a link to one source of excellent, high quality raw cocoa products.

Your next best choice would be organic dark chocolate with the highest percentage of cocoa liquor or cocoa powder and the lowest percentage of refined sugar (bitter or semi-sweet dark chocolate). There are lots of great bars like this on the market. Here is one example of a US brand dedicated to high quality chocolate, fair trade and environmental consciousness. Try different brands to see which flavor you like most and which aggravates your nervous system least.

One last comment, all the health benefits in chocolate can be found in other whole natural foods with much greater benefits, like an actual meal. If you constantly crave chocolate, your body is missing something more than just chocolate. Use your common sense, get a good health counselor, indulge in some quality chocolate once in a while... savor and enjoy!

Recipes of the Month: Chocolate Chicken and Cookies

Crock Pot Chicken Mole

1.5 lbs organic free-range boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 15oz can tomato puree
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp aniseed
3 tbs chili powder
1/2 tbs maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs creamy natural peanut butter
1 canned chipotle pepper, minced
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Turn the crock pot on high, and add the tomato sauce and peanut butter. Add all other ingredients accept chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the chicken breasts and immediately turn down to low. Cook for 6 hours. To serve, remove the chicken from the crock pot, shred with a fork, and put back into the sauce. Serve in warm corn tortillas with dark leafy salad greens and brown rice.
(Adapted from: Spark Recipes)

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. agave nectar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 c. whole wheat or oat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips

Cream together first 4 ingredients. Sift in next 2 ingredients. Add nuts and chocolate chips; mix well. Drop a tablespoon of batter for each cookie onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Yields 1 dozen.

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.