Health

April is the month of Green!

Happy April blog land!  I tried really, really hard to come up with a funny April Fool’s prank for my blog, but no luck. No pranks here. In lieu of some witty prank to kick April off with a bang, I’ve decided to dedicate the month of blogging to all things green.

Don’t let Kermit fool you, it’s EASY being green once you learn how. This month I’ll be talking about green foods and recipes, green living and eco-friendly tips, and even Green heart chakra!  If there’s something green you want me to get into, drop a comment and let me know. I’ll see if I can squeeze it in!

Environmentalism, Food, Health, Spirituality

Crazy, Sexy, Change

It’s that time of year again… Vegan Challenge, 21 Day Jumpstart, whatever you want to call it….30 days meat, egg and dairy free. April 1st is V day!

As I mentioned in my earlier post, this time around I’m taking a different approach.

I think I may have even talked the Hubs into doing it with me! I know, pick your jaw up off the floor. My former junk food vegetarian turned insatiable carnivore husband has tentatively agreed to do this year’s Vegan challenge with me. I am beyond shocked and completely ecstatic. Do you have any idea how hard it is to be vegan with someone who demands meat and cheese not only daily, but with practically every meal?!? Don’t get me started. I am simply grateful and counting my blessings that he’s choosing to join me.

This isn’t my first time in the vegan rodeo, I’ve dabbled and experimented here and there. However this is the first time I am taking a spiritual approach rather than a health coach approach. I have begun to feel more and more that meat is inhibiting not only my yoga practice, but my spiritual growth in general. I have been told by friends that eliminating meat from my diet will improve my meditation practice. I’d like to explore that.

I just reread Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carr (side note, I have an uber girl-crush on her from her infectious energy to the hot pink streak in her hair) I plan on watching Vegucate and sneaking in one more Jivamukti master class to amp myself up for spiritual veganism.

In addition to cutting out meat and dairy I am committing to a daily meditation practice and continued affirmations. I’m going to need support in this

Here are other things I will be doing:

  • Looking to friends and wish-they-were-more-than-facebook-friends for support.
  • Taking it one day at a time.
  • Juicing!
  • Upping my orders from Suburban Organics. Large Fruit and Large Veggie boxes here I come!

While I am approaching this challenge from a spiritual perspective, here are some things I will NOT be doing:

  • Getting all PETA crazy. As time goes by I am developing more and more compassion and trying not to turn a blind eye to the way animals are raised for food in this country. I’ve eaten organic, grass-fed, free-range for many years. I know that its not really enough and I AM getting there. In my own way, in my own time.
  • Turning into a proselytizing vegan. Who knows how I will come out on the other end, vegan or 90/10 (I’m currently about 80/20). I will promise you, and all my IIN alum that I will never turn into a militant vegan. What works for one may not work for another….and it may not work forever, only time will tell. I DO know, this ADK Jersey Girl don’t play dogmatic!

I have day dreams of going raw. I am hoping that timing this challenge and the change of season will conveniently lead me to a high raw diet for the summer. I just need a new dehydrator for that one!

On a side note, I’m running the NJ Rebel Race on April 14th and I’m curious to see how my vegan diet will affect my energy during the race and in post race recovery. Any vegan endurance/obstacle race junkies out there??

Signing off from my IPhone (and in bed!)
Peace and INspiration,
Terra

Food, Health

Snack Attack – Staying on Track

There’s no denying that everyone, at one time or another, has had a snack attack. Views on snacking differ. Some of us feel that snacking is bad and that eating between meals leads to weight gain. Others believe that eating many small meals and snacks throughout the day is healthy for maintaining energy levels and optimal weight. If there were one way of snacking that was right for everyone, we would all be doing it!

To alleviate snack attack guilt, try to understand why you are snacking and what snacks work best for your body. Perhaps you snack because your daily diet is missing nutrition, or because you are eating too little at meals. You might be snacking to soothe jangled nerves when you are emotional, or to entertain yourself when you are bored. Whatever your reason, acknowledge it and start thinking about how to create a life that is nourishing and truly satisfying.


Although snacks are no substitute for loving your life, they can be great energy boosters. Many convenient snack foods are highly processed and full of chemicals, additives, damaging fats and refined sugars. When a snack attack hits you, try foods that are filling and satisfying, but also nutritious. Snack on things that don’t come in a plastic wrapper or a box, like fresh fruit, leftover vegetables or rice cakes with almond butter and fruit spread. Make your own signature trail mix, organic hot chocolate made with almond milk sweetened with agave nectar, or blue corn chips with hummus. One of my favorites is a MacIntosh apple with almond butter!

You can also try “upgrading”. If you are craving something crunchy, upgrade from potato chips to raw carrots, apples or whole grain crackers; if you are craving a candy bar, upgrade to a handful of nuts and dried fruit; instead of a cup of coffee, upgrade to green tea; instead of ice cream, upgrade to applesauce with cinnamon. Upgraded snacks are high in nutrition and give you a greater sense of satiety and satisfaction; you won’t feel physically or psychologically deprived, and you’ll have plenty of energy to sustain your activities for hours.

Snacking is enjoyable and there is a wide variety of healthful goodies for whatever you’re craving, be it sweet, crunchy, salty, creamy or spicy. Dive in, be creative and enjoy your snack attack.

Food, Health

Spring (GREEN) Fever!

Kale, Strawberry, mango smoothie

Spring is in the air and I am craving all things GREEN! This morning I had a delicious green smoothie. It was packed with kale, strawberries mango and coconut water.  Smoothies give you a nutritional power punch, the veggies are easier to digest and nutrients are absorbed more efficiently.  Drinking a smoothie a day can help to shed belly fat and it’s INSTANT energy.

I toss kale into pretty much every smoothie (or juice) I make. It’s one of the most amazing veggies out there.  Kale is an amazing green veggie. It’s packed with goodness like vitamin A, Calcium and folic acid.  The strawberries and mango gave my smoothie a sweet, tangy kick.  A lot of people add water to their smoothies, but I like to go big on nutrition, so I use coconut water. Coconut water is a high in potassium super-hydrator that is said to lower blood pressure.  The smoothie was pure morning green goodness.

Today’s green pièce de résistance was dinner, a beautiful spring veggie pesto pasta.  The pesto made it delightfully green. It was a co-cook; Hubby made the pesto and I sauteed and tossed.  I didn’t think about blogging the recipe until it was finished, sorry about the lack of pictures!

Green Veggie Pesto!

The basil pesto recipe came from simplyrecipes.com:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese (we used Parmesan-Reggiano)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine pine nuts and garlic in the food processor, pulse a few times, then add basil, pulse a little more and then slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream with the food processor on. Add grated cheese and pulse again until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.  This is a large recipe, you’ll only need 2-3 tablespoons for the pasta. Save the rest in the fridge. It should keep for up to 4 days. Set the pesto aside, you’ll add it last.

Then I sauteed organic cherry tomatoes (cut in half) and fresh organic green beans with a little EVOO, sea salt and pepper while the pasta was boiling.  I try to use gluten free pasta whenever I can sneak it by my husband. Tonight I was successful with quinoa rotini. You should use whatever pasts you love most (though whole wheat, quinoa or rice is definitely healthier than standard white semolina pasta!)

When the pasta was tender (al-dente, not mushy!) I drained and added the pasta to the veggie sauté. Then I spooned in 2-3 tablespoons of the fresh pesto and stirred to coat. You can add more or less, depends on how pesto-ey you like your pasta.  We topped it with more Parmesan (a pinch for me a fist-full for Hubby).

This pasta was so green, zesty and delicious! I think I might call it Zesty-Pesty Pasta!  You can use just about any veggies that are in season. I just happened to have the cherry tomatoes and green beans in the fridge (and Hubby wouldn’t let me add kale!).  Experiment and see what makes your taste buds sing!

Health, Yoga

Keeping Motivated

When I was doing my Soul Sweat vinyasa training, one of the required readings was Effortless Prosperity by Bijan. It’s a good little book about living life, it has daily affirmations meant to guide you towards that good life. I sort of likened it to a dumbed down, modern day version of Book 1 of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

To remind you of your daily affirmations, Bijan suggests you write them on the palm of your hand so you have a reminder throughout the day. This was totally my speed. Before my iPhone, blackberry, file-o-fax, I was a notorious blue bic pen appointment setter on my palm. Naturally I followed Bijan’s suggestion and wrote my little daily affirmations on my palm each morning:

I am peace

I am light

And so on. It was a wonderful excuse for me to get artsy on my palm. When the 30 days of affirmations were up so was my palm artistry. I haven’t written notes on my hands since!

My question now is why?!? it was a fabulous daily reminder and I’ve just decided I’m going to do it again. Not Effortless Prosperity, but my own daily affirmations and mantras on the palm of my hand to keep my goals and intentions fresh in my thoughts. Maybe I’ll blog the pictures.

I wonder if it’s going to be a helpful change catalyst. Only time will tell. I’ll keep you posted!

Food, Health

Beer is Healthy, but GREENS are Better

Happy St. Patricks Day!! If you go on a bender today in celebration, try to make up for it tomorrow with a delicious green smoothie or freshly squeezed green juice!

Greens are everywhere – power greens, supergreens, fresh greens, wheatgrass shots …but what are you supposed to do with them? Greens can be a little bit overwhelming when you’re first trying to incorporate them into your diet. People always ask me how to add them and what to do to make them taste good. The first thing I look to when answering this question is myBlendtech!

Adding greens to your favorite fruit smoothie is a fabulous way to get the power packed nutrients that greens offer. If you didn’t read Lauren’s post, 10 Reasons to Eat Your Greens, go dot it now! Now I know, the color that greens turn smoothies can be a bit off putting. Most of us aren’t used to drinking something that looks like toxic sludge or worse, something bright green *gasp!* – it looks like slime, not food!! Well, it is food…and it’s food that’s great for you. My simple advice, get over it! And if you just can’t get over it, do what my boyfriend Stephen does, drink it with your eyes closed.

Ok, so now you’re going to take the green smoothie plunge, but you’re not sure how. Well, it’s super easy! You can start by adding fresh greens to your smoothie or a super greens supplement. If you’re adding fresh greens, the ratio for a green smoothie should be 60% fruit and 40% greens (collard, spinach, mustard, kale, or swiss, green or red chard). You really can’t make a mistake, more fruit, less greens and add your favorite liquid and blend. I often use coconut water or just plain water. Sometimes I use fruit juice, but this does up the calorie content of the smoothie. I also like to add my own nutritional boosts to the smoothie like maca powder, acai (pronounced ah-sa-eeee, which is available in the freezer section at Whole Foods or your local health foods store. I usually choose the sugar free acai), flax oil, hemp seeds or almonds. You can add a little honey or agave for sweetness.

You can find a number of fabulous supergreens in Whole Foods or your favorite health foods store. They range from froze wheatgrass shots to powdered supplements. When buying supergreens supplements it’s important to choose organic. Supergreens are super concentrated which means, if they’re not organic, you’re also going to get super concentrated pesticides- yuck!! I use Green Magma Barley Grass Juice Powder or Pure Synergy.

There really isn’t a specific green smoothie recipe to follow, it’s kind of like a stew, a little of this and a little of that to suit your tastes. Just experiment and see what works for you!.

Terra’s Favorite Green Smoothie

1/2 c. Diced Mango

1/2 c. Diced pineapple

Handful of fresh baby spinach

Coconut water

1 Frozen Wheatgrass Shot

1 tbsp of Green Magma Barley Grass Juice Powder

Put it all in the blender and blend! This smoothie will come out electric green with a sweet tang because of the mango and pineapple. It’s my favorite!!

Health, Inspiration

It’s OFFICIAL, Oprah Loves ME!

Remember back in January when I said I had BIG NEWS? Well, it’s officially official. I can say it out loud in public.

I WAS FEATURED IN THE MARCH ISSUE OF O MAGAZINE!

I think I just peed a little when I typed that, I am still in shock.  Run straight out to your local newsstand, Barns & Nobles, CVS, Walgreens, whatever, and pick up the March issue of O Magazine. Then flip to page 120.   I am there! I am one of 5 Health Coaches featured in “In Your Corner: A new breed of coach can help put you at the top of your health game.

Holy Crapola batman! I still can’t really believe it. It’s all very surreal.  The Universe has an amazing way of telling you you’r life is on the right path.

It’s so important to listen to the clues the Universe gives you. You see, my MOH (with a little bit of my loving encouragement) recently started her own business as a professional organizer, The Organizta (you can follow her blog here). Like all solopreneurs she’s totally scared and questioning the decision to go out on her own. It’s really hard leaving the corporate world!  Never in a million years would she have bought O Magazine just to read, but she knew I was in it so she picked it up. And smack dab on the front cover: “De-Clutter Your Life”  It’s the universe at play again, gently reminding her that she is indeed on the right path. And that same day, a really big organizing opportunity came her way. It’s synchronicity and I LOVE IT!  How lucky am I to have a professional organizer as my Maid of Honor?

*happy dance*

Health, More Life...

Video Killed the Health Coach Star….

Radio Star, Health Coach Star. either works 😉 what it boils down to is this…. I think the television is making me lazy and stupid. If not lazy and stupid, it’s simply zapping my inspiration, creativity and motivation!

Source

Before I started living with Stephen, I never watched television. Now I find my ass on the couch at a minimum of 4 hours per day. Holy crap, that is sickening! Granted, I am not necessarily watching TV during those hours (usually obsessing over sites like WeddingBee, StylemePretty and OnceWed…but I am on my computer for at least that amount…while sitting on the couch, in front of a television that is ON.
How the hell did this happen? And why did it take me over a year to realize this? Who knows. The important thing is I realize that the television is making me lazy and stupid. Add that to the challenge – less tv. I am going to have to actually work in my office or at the dining room table. Sirius or NPR will be more stimulating. And maybe I’ll find my voice and ability to blog and write again and let my creative juices flow again…
One can only hope.
Food, Health

Root Down…Veggies!

The roots of any plant are its anchor and foundation; they are the essential parts that support and nourish the plant. Root vegetables lend these properties to us when we eat them, making us feel physically and mentally grounded and rooted, increasing our stability, stamina and endurance. Roots are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates, providing a steady source of necessary sugars to the body. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods, they regulate them. Since they absorb, assimilate and supply plants with vital nutrients, roots likewise increase absorption and assimilation in our digestive tracts.

Long roots, like burdock, carrots, parsnips and daikon radish, are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body and increase mental clarity. Round roots, like turnips, radishes, beets and rutabagas, are nourishing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and can help regulate blood sugar and moods, and alleviate cravings. Some.

Recipe of the Month: Roasted Root Vegetables

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25-35 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato

2 parsnips

2 carrots

2 turnips or 1 large rutabaga

1 daikon radish (or substitute/add in your favorites, like squash)

olive oil

salt and pepper

herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (fresh if possible)


Directions
:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Wash and chop all vegetables into large bite-sized pieces.

3. Place in a large baking dish with sides.

4. Drizzle with olive oil; mix well to coat each vegetable lightly with oil.

5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.

6. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, check every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking.

Enjoy!


Health, Inspiration

Play More, Eat Less


Remember when you were a child and you got so wrapped up in playing, imagining or creating that you didn’t want to stop when it was time to eat? Do you remember leaving your meal half-finshed to run off and continue playing? Children innately understand that food is secondary to what is most nutritious and primary in life: fun and play.

As adults we seem to have lost our instinct to prioritize play. In our busy world, with its emphasis on work and responsibility, to be healthy and balanced we must work on more than just our bodies; we must feed our hearts, minds and spirits.

Have you noticed that when your body, mind and spirit are engaged in a creative project or happy relationship, your reliance on food seems to decrease? Likewise, when you are unsatisfied with your relationship, your job or other areas of your life, you may depend on food to cheer, soothe or numb you. When your life is out of balance, no amount of food can feed you where you truly need nourishment. The food that we eat is very important for health and balance, but what really feeds us—a full and fulfilling life –doesn’t come on a plate.

What is fun for you? What makes you light up? What excites you? Make time for it this week. Even if you don’t have much free time for fun, try approaching a “serious” activity with an attitude of play. This can greatly reduce stress and anxiety and bring more pleasure to your day. Take your focus off food, try adding more fun into your life and watch the magic unfold!!