Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Planting Seeds

It's spring time..time for planting!!! Want to plant something different than what you'll find at Home Depot? Check out this website: www.rareseeds.com

I ordered a catalog, didn't know I would get this beautiful colored catalog with many different and rare seeds from all over the world. The catalog has fruits, veggies, flowers and herbs. I haven't heard or seen a lot of the items listed. Interesting stuff. Their seed bank location is in Petaluma, CA. Cost for the seeds are from $1-$3. Order a catalog for your home (doesn't cost anything) and start planting.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

First Steps To Eating Better

Reflecting the progress of my family down a healthier lifestyle reminds me that it didn't happen overnight. I thought about a few easy steps that can be incorporated immediately and would like to share this with you.

1. No more sodas. It's been about 5 years since my daughter stopped drinking this. She'll have one now and then as a treat. That's what sodas should be, a treat. She started to have lemonade instead, but even that's been eliminated. She just drinks water, even at restaurants. For school lunch, she fills her BPA free water bottle every morning and now it's habit.

2. From white to wheat--again, another easy one to change. You know the benefits from making this change.

3. The tracking of 5 fruits and veggies a day. This has been a really good visual trick. Our names are posted on the refrigerator with a ticker of our day. It's a reminder for all of us as a family to make sure we have at least 5 a day. My daughter makes sure I'm tracking all of her fruits and veggies everyday. Nice, huh? Now when we go out for dinner and she indulged, she feels sick and wants to go home and have an apple.

It's a start. It's a good start.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Protein Salad...Edamame

I made this as a side dish, but on top of any salad mix, it's just as good!

Trader Joe's frozen out of pod edamame. Cook as indicated.
Corn (can or fresh. If fresh (2), cook and cut kernels).
1/2 red onion, diced
Avocado (1) diced.
Mango (1) diced.
Cilantro, a small handful, cut.
Pico de Gallo or 1-2 tomato (plum or any kind) diced.
Olive oil and lemon.

Such a good cold salad. You get all these veggies, some fruit and protein.

Monday, April 19, 2010


An interesting article in Nutrition Action about salt and the impact, especially with high blood pressure. "Over time, 90% of people in this country develop hypertension," according to physician Stephen Havas, former VP of Science, Quality and Public Health at the American Medical Associaton. If you don't have high blood pressure, odds are you will in time. So what can you do? Reduce your salt intake for starters. The average American woman consumes about 3000 milligrams of sodium a day. Average man about 4000 milligrams. Recommended levels are 1500 mg a day.

I've noticed the last 4 times I've gone out for sushi, I feel kinda bloated or not quite right feeling afterwards. I feel like I've had way too much sodium. All that rice, soy sauce, sodium. Now I'm taking notice of how much sodium I'm having in a day. It's hard when you eat out. Here's some examples of sodium levels:

McDonald's Big Mac 1040
Panera French Onion Soup 1560 (10 oz)
California Pizza Kitchen Chinese Chicken Salad 2460
PF Chang's Sesame Chicken and Rice 3060

The sodium levels add up, huh?? Try and take notice and keep the 1500 a day in mind. Stay healthy.

Friday, April 16, 2010

5 A Day

So I'm trying to make sure my family has their 5 fruits/veggies a day. I've posted on the fridge our names and day of the week and track each meal with a check mark if it has a fruit/veggie. It's a fast easy way to monitor our daily intake and it seems to work. My daughter makes sure I give her credit for her meals that contain a fruit &/or veggie. I think having this visually on the fridge for all of us to see has put us all in check. Try it out.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Leptin and Sugar

I read this interesting article about leptin resistance similar to insulin resistance. Here's the link http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/15/shocking-sugar-content-of-common-food-products.aspx

A few points in Dr. Mercola's article:

Sugar consumption has caused people’s appetite regulation system to go awry. Leptin, the hormone responsible for satiety, isn’t working properly anymore in a majority of people.

Leptin appears to reduce cravings for sweet foods by targeting taste receptors on the tongue. Therefore, it is possible that a lack of leptin, or your body's failure to respond to the hormone due to leptin-resistance or defects in your leptin receptors, may contribute to the so-called 'sweet tooth' that affects so many people.

Leptin, which is produced by your fat cells, is an integral part of your weight regulation. When fat cells are “full,” leptin sends signals to your brain to reduce hunger so you can stop eating.

However, once you become leptin-resistant, your brain can no longer hear these signals, and so the sensation of hunger is not shut down. This typically leads to overeating and gaining excessive amounts of weight.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Family Pizza Night

Here's a thought on making pizza night a bit healthier. Make your own pita pizzas. Let the family create their own pizzas. Have on the side mushroom sauce or marinara. Try having grilled veggies (zucchini, mushrooms, etc). Serve on the side some steamed broccoli florets with sea salt and a salad. Even better, have some sliced organic apples or fruit along with this dinner. It's finger food night with the pizza, veggies and fruit.

I do like the Sneaky Chef recipe for the spaghetti sauce. You add puree sweet potato and carrots. The color won't appear in the sauce and you've just added some veggies into your kids meal. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Coconut French Toast

I love this for breakfast, brunch, dinner. You don't need a lot of coconut, so buy it in the bulk section and get about 1/4 cup. Let's kick it up a notch by making it a tab bit healthier.

Bread: get multi-grain or some kind of bread better than white.
Mix: same like other recipe --eggs(organic plz), cinnamon, milk, coconut.
Fruit: Fresh fruit slices such as bananas, mangoes, strawberries.
Syrup: Pure maple syrup.

So dip bread in egg batter, fry in olive oil. After you do all your slices, top it off with your fresh fruit and sprinkle some powdered sugar for presentation.

I know pure maple syrup is expensive and it's thinner than the syrups we're all used to, but have you read the ingredients of the commercial syrups? Corn syrup. Not good. One trick to try and get the kids used to pure syrup is to do 1/2 and 1/2. As they become more used to the real syrup, scale back on the cheap, commercial, bad for you brand.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fish....Fresh or Wild???

It would sound like fresh is better after all it's fresh, right? Nope. Wild is better. Fresh is underwater factory farming. As noted in Eating Animals book, "A major source of suffering for salmon and other farmed fish is the abundant presence of sea lice, which thrive in the filthy water. These lice create open lesions and sometimes eat down to the bones on a fish's face--a phenomenon common enough that it is known as the "death crown" in the industry. A single salmon farm generates swarming clouds of sea lice in numbers thirty thousand times higher than naturally occur".

One thing that I noticed is the color difference between farm salmon and wild salmon. The farm is pink while the wild salmon is a rich red color. Start looking at the quality of seafood at your next purchase.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

This is my sister eggplant parmesan recipe. It's a hit and I want to share.

Trader Joe’s pasta sauce (green can) and added garlic. 2 green cans with one TJ marinara (chopped tomatoes/basil).

TJ’s Quattro cheese package. (Asiago, parmesan…???).

Slice the eggplant thin. Bread with egg wash and Italian bread crumbs. Fry each slice in olive oil (I mix olive and canola) Layer with eggplant, sauce, cheese, then repeat. Baked at 325 for about 20-30 minutes. For a short cut, you can add frozen breaded eggplant from TJ.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Oil of Oregano

I'm a big fan of this little capsule. When the family is getting sick, my regime of Vit C, echinacea w/golden seal and oregano oil is our routine. It's great for your respiratory and sinuses. I do this to prevent the lingering cough that goes deep in your chest. The liquid will burn going down. It's strong. I buy Solaray brand. It's under $8 and the capsule is small, easy to take.

Here's a quick memo from Dr. Perricone:

Oregano: Aromatic Mediterranean Herb

Many culinary spices and herbs have long been recognized for their health-promot­ing properties. For example, turmeric (a source of curcumin) is important for a healthy liver, ginger (with gingeroles) supports digestion, cayenne offers cardiovas­cular support, and rosemary is a potent cleansing herb.

Origanum vulgare, an aromatic Mediterranean herb, has historically been used as a natural protective compound. The Greeks named this hardy perennial oregano (joy-of-the-mountains). Their health practitioners relied on it for lung support and tissue repair. Over the cen­turies, oregano gained widespread use for respiratory health.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

How Many Fruits and Veggies

Check this easy site to show how many fruits and veggies you should have based on age, sex and activity level.


Friday, April 2, 2010

TJ Parfait

This is so good together!! This yogurt is truly good - smooth and creamy, together with the crunchy granola..Can you say yum-yum?? Make it even better by adding some fresh fruit. I like blueberries, mangoes, blackberries, bananas or whatever your preference is. These are Trader Joe's products (my favorite store).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

21 Years Ago Today

If you're a vegetarian or doing the Meatless Mondays or maybe trying to get more veggies in your meal, this might be helpful. Allrecipes.com has the 20 ingredients to have to make 20 vegetarian meals along with the recipes.


This blog is dedicated to my baby boy. He's the big 21 today. Today is his day. As he becomes an official adult, hopefully he'll continue to be conscious of his diet and have a healthy and happy future.

School Lunch Program

So yesterday I went to Oceanside to meet up with my good friend Kathy. She's teaching the cooks for the San Diego pre-k on making some changes to their breakfast/lunch menus. They had 15 cooks representing all over San Diego. Her presentation was great, like always. She wanted some food samples. I made multi-grain coconut french toast cooked with olive oil and topped off with fresh mangoes and banana slices. For lunch I did whole wheat pita bread pizza with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese. Since it's a govt assisted program, they do have to follow certain guidelines. So my pita pizza needs some kind of meat. I suggested ground turkey. They liked it. I got a round of applause, which made my day. All and all, Kathy was successful. So the cooks/director has committed to some changes:

wheat instead of white, incorporate white & brown rice together until the kids get used to brown and eventually switching to brown, olive oil instead of canola, butter instead of margarine. Small changes add up and we're talking about 1000+ kids.

My pita pizza didn't make it on the menu :(, but I'm happy to say the french toast did!!!

Great Books To Read

  • Eating Animals
  • Food Matters
  • Omnivore's Dilemma
  • Sneaky Chef
  • The China Study

What I Enjoy Watching

  • Current Channel (Vanguard)
  • Food Inc. Movie
  • Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

My Medicine Cabinet

  • Calcium and Magnesium
  • Echinacea with Golden Seal
  • Fish Oil
  • Multivitamin
  • Oregano Oil (respiratory & sinus)
  • Oscillococcinum (flu)
  • Vitamin C