QUINOA, APRICOT, AND NUT CLUSTERS

Tags

, , , , , ,

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a highly nutritious gluten-free seed, originally from the Andean region of South America.  It’s mild flavor allows for a variety of uses. Quinoa comes from the seeds of a plant related to chard and spinach.  Praised for its excellent nutritional profile, it is rich in protein, containing all eight amino acids. A good source of dietary fiber and also contains B Vitamins and Iron.

Done with The Clean Program 21 Day Detox and I feel amazing!  My energy has increased and the bad habits I picked up over last year have no power over my dietary choices… amazing really.  Gone from my diet is; morning coffee time, I now drink Green Tea, afternoon Wine, no Alcohol (maybe a special event), and Pizza, Pasta, and Breads must be whole wheat using only cheese and butter substitutes.  I work like this until November when the lure of delicious holiday foods declare their worth.  So far they have been memorable, fattening with a tendency to induce a stupor, but memorable, and I won’t give them up completely.

Along the way we discovered a wonderful substitute for brown rice called QUINOA.  I confess prior to this years Detox, Quinoa was not to be found in my pantry.  The recipes for Quinoa are as varied as are the benefits from this ancient seed.  Surprisingly delicious… Enjoy!

 QUINOA COOKIE

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees

1 1/2 CUP WATER

3/4 CUP WHITE QUINOA, RINSED AND DRAINED

1 1/2 CUP OLD FASHIONED ROLLED OATS (not instant)

1/2 CUP RAW SHELLED SUNFLOWER SEEDS

1/2 CUP RAW SHELLED PISTACHIOS, COARSELY CHOPPED

1 CUP DRIED APRICOTS, PREFERABLY UNSULFURED, THINLY SLICED

1/4 CUP ORGANIC SUGAR

1/2 TEASPOON COARSE SALT

1/4 CUP ORGANIC HONEY

2 TABLESPOONS NEUTRAL-TASTING OIL, SUCH AS CANOLA OR SAFFLOWER

1 1/2 TEASPOON PURE VANILLA EXTRACT

2 LARGE EGGS PLUS 1 LARGE EGG WHITE, LIGHTLY BEATEN

VEGETABLE OIL COOKING SPRAY

*

Bring the water to boil in a small saucepan.  Add Quinoa; return to a boil.  Stir once; cover, and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook until Quinoa is slightly underdone (it will finish in the oven) and has absorbed most of the liquid, about 12 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the quinoa to a rimmed baking shet.  Bake, fluffing with a fork occasionally, until lightly gold, 30 to 35 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl, cool.

Spread oats evenly on the baking sheet; bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 12 to 15 minutes.  Add oats to bowl with quinoa.  Spread seeds on baking sheet; bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 7 minutes.  Add Quinoa mixture, cool.  Reduce oven temperature to 300 Degrees.

Toss nuts, apricots, sugar, and salt with quinoa mixture.  Mix honey, oil, and vanilla into eggs; stir into quinoa mixture.

Line an unrimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; lightly coat with cooking spray.  Place 1/4 cup mixture onto sheet for each cluster, spacing them 3 inches apart.  Flatten to 1/4 inch thick.  Bake, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until crisp, about 25 minutes.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.  Store covered for up to 2 days, at room temperature.

Makes 20 Clusters

By the numbers per serving (2 clusters):  320 calories;  3.4g saturated fat; 7.2g unsaturated fat; 42.3mg cholesterol; 49g carbohydrates; 10g protein; 139mg sodium; 5g fiber

“Be like the bird, who halting in his flight on limb too slight, yet sings–knowing he has wings.”

~Victor Hugo 

 

SPICED NUTS AND SEEDS

Tags

, ,

Nuts and Seeds

Evolution takes time, and the outcome can be difficult to define as we haven’t yet familiarized ourselves with the cascade of differences parading before us.  I have evolved.  The signs are subtle and seem to have been there all along just waiting patiently for my attention, and acceptance.

Coming to my senses, for me, means restoring the body to the natural performance level I had taken for granted.  Taste and smell along with feeling energized greatly impacts quality of life.  In addition, loss of these can lead to the use of unhealthy food choices.  Salt and sugar in excess – caffeine to combat fatigue… so many ways to self-sabotage!

Taste and smell acuity lessen with age, occurring in those over 70. (I have a way to go.)  However, neurologists observed taste and smell dysfunctions can be adverse effects from commonly prescribed medications, ranging from antibiotics and antihistamines to blood pressure and cholesterol lowering drugs.  Pharmaceutical drugs to control seizures and treat Parkinson’s disease, as well as chemotherapy agents, can also cause losses.  Taste and smell are often restored when the culprit is identified and eliminated.

Coming to your senses requires mindful eating and living.  For more information on sensory-loss visit https://nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tasteandsmelldisorders.html

 

 

SPICED NUTS AND SEEDS

Makes 4 Cups

Preheat oven to 325 Degrees

3 CUPS RAW NUTS, SUCH AS WALNUTS AND ALMONDS

1/4 CUP FLAXSEED

1/4 CUP RAW HULLED SUNFLOWER SEEDS

1/4 CUP QUINOA

2 LARGE EGG WHITES

COARSE SALT

1/4 TEASPOON CAYENNE PEPPER (I prefer more heat – 1/2 tsp for me)

1/4 TEASPOON GROUND CUMIN

1/4 TEASPOON GROUND CINNAMON

2 TABLESPOONS HONEY

Mix nuts, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, and quinoa in a bowl.  In another bowl, whisk together egg whites and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt with the cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, and honey.  Pour over nut mixture, and toss to combine.

Spread evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake until dry and darkened, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.  Season with more salt, if desired.  Remove mixture from parchment while cooling so it does not stick.  Nuts can be stored for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature.

By the numbers – per 1/4 cup serving; 169 calories; 1.2g saturated fat; 11.3 g unsaturated fat; O mg cholesterol; 8.4 g carbohydrates; 5.5 g protein; 113 mg sodium; 2.6 g fiber

“Spice it up to punch up flavor and stimulate your taste recepeptors without adding unhealthy elements to your diet.”

 Enjoy your snack!

It’s Been Awhile…

The imagination should be allowed a certain amount of time to browse around.

~Thomas Merton

The first worlds position towards women’s rights are firmly secured. It has been that way for awhile… legally we have tools to navigate the most harrowing circumstances, not without scars perhaps, but with non negotiable legal ramifications to employ if need be. This is a luxury not afforded to women from second and third world communities. The question for me today is does my first world position have enough information, enough momentum, enough authenticity to fuel the needs of the future? What do we not get?

Women around the world look to us as we utilize freedoms they can’t imagine. They look at us and probably haven’t decided if the cost of personal authenticity is too dangerous. Men at home live in both a mans world ideology and a personal relationship ideology that has benefited from the growth of women moving into all aspects of life. Authentic communication is not always easy, but is the basis for successful relationships at home and real effectiveness at work.–wrote Sheryl Sandberg

Truth is the most patient virtue… Truth stands firmly in place. Planted deeply in our understanding of the needs and duties required to successfully move forward. Check your perceptions. They have real power to build or to harm. Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.–Henry Ford. The answers for us seems to be more assessable from the questions. Be honest at work and at home. Don’t look for answers without first exploring the vast library of questions floating for both men and women… acknowledge the questions that defy answers. One day the will catch your attention and fall into place. Be brave enough to face the truth.

It’s been awhile that we have lived in the world with the same opportunities promised us as men. Evolution takes time. Patience is more than a virtue it is the foundational stone of success. The future is bright and there is enough light for all worlds.

Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.  ~Maya Angelou

Eve… All About The Apple

Tags

, , , , ,

No one picks these apples. This story has captured our imagination since we were babies.  The question of why a forbidden apple tree has always intrigued me.  The power invested in one fruit!  Who among us could resist?  With temptation, forever?  Really?  No, this is a set up.  Remember, God knows us.  He may be making sure we don’t neglect this beautiful fruit.  But why… Eve may have had inside information!  And not from the opposing team.

The Uttwiler Spatlauber Apple, not to be found at Central Market just yet, was nearly extinct, down to three (THREE!) trees.  And then someone noticed the apples outlasted months longer than other apples.  Hmm… somehow this miracle caught the attention of scientist at Mibelle, a Swiss bio-chem lab.  They discovered the apples secret.  Stem cells, unusual stem cells.  The apples skin repaired itself when punctured.  They call this ingredient PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica.

In the lab, the PhytoCell ingredients looked to be protecting human stem cells!  Human stem cells have a limited life span, and, as we live and age their regenerative properties continue to decrease, until…  Oh Eve, with all that skin showing protection was paramount.  Nourishing the skin, protecting from UV radiation and delaying the aging of the skin cell.   The fountain of youth is an Apple Tree!

The Swiss government has placed the endangered Uttwiler Spatlauber Tree under the protection of the European environmental group ProSpecieRara.  The Swiss have even placed the tree on a postage stamp.  Eve may, in the end, lead us back to the garden, protecting our planet where the secrets of life continue to unfold… For now, I’m eating my apple every day. Prayers are meant to be answered.

CLEAN… remove * restore * rejuvenate

Tags

, , ,

Dr. Alejandro Junger MD created The Clean Program during his cardiology fellowship in New York.  The foundation behind the Clean Program is,  given the optimal conditions, our body will naturally heal itself. Provide the right tools to reactivate your detoxification system, nutritionally support the detox process, and enhance elimination.

As a scientist who seeks proof of theories, but also, a keen observer with an open-mind who needs no scientific proof of the obvious, I became aware of Another Inconvenient Truth: the toxicity of our planet.  Toxins in our air, water, and food have become obstacles to the proper functioning of our body processes and system. Dr. Junger

I do love good foods and an evening without a good wine was just uncivilized.  I noticed my morning energy was low and I was feeling old. No, not yet, no time for slacking.  Time to readjust my approach, to food, to alcohol, to our environment in general.

The holidays, that time between Thanksgiving and New Years, has always been an undisciplined food time for me, and this year it was my good fortune that the scale broke – I took this as a gift!  My holiday weight gain remains a mystery.  Historically, I gain fifteen pounds during this glorious season.  Not a worry, as I love to exercise, and I’m becoming better and better at discerning the mechanics of healthy foods.  My educated guess (from the school of tight jeans) was that I started close, on either side, of one hundred forty pounds and after completing 21 days of the detox program, my lowest was one hundred twenty-three pounds.  A good thing, but weight loss wasn’t the only goal.  Feeling and looking healthy was now a mission!

Dr. Wayne D. Hey, Urologist and my son-in-law, doesn’t miss much.  He did the math, ( wine over time) and suggested that the wine, we so happily consumed, effects on the liver, not to mention the brain, are negative. We all know this.  Unfortunately, symptoms of liver disease are vague.  For some, genetics comes into play.  Hispanics, Native Americans and African-Americans are especially susceptible to liver disease.  A routine blood test can measure liver enzymes.  I added this blood test to my yearly wellness exam, and for me, no more wine!  I find not craving wine to be a direct result of detoxing my body… I look and feel healthy.

The liver is the body’s gatekeeper.  Processing everything you eat, breathe, or absorb through your skin.  Now we bring into play everything! The liver has more than 500 responsibilities, maintaining blood glucose levels, ridding the body of toxins, and breaking down fats.  Watch your diet.  Reduce toxin exposure.  Supplement responsibly.

The Clean Programs results, for me, exceeded my expectations, that being said, I was nearly giddy to be done with the regime, and next year I’ll have more techniques to pass the time. (Thinking about fastest “shake” time awards.)

This is a dietary program based on removing all the foods from our diet that are known to cause food allergies, food sensitivities, and cause disruptions in the digestive process.  When we generate allergic responses to foods, our body is consuming energy that could be used to detox and repair functions, or simply contribute to our sense of alertness and physical strength.

Those for whom this is a radical change in habits will respond in many different ways.  While in the long term most people experience profound benefits, the first few days may be the hardest.  Breaking a habit is difficult at all levels. The Clean Program ~ www.cleanprogram.com

Note:  Remember to detox your medicines. Six common medications that can harm the liver.

  1. Acetaminophen, Tylenol (with alcohol especially)
  2. Statins, Lipitor or Zocor
  3. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin or ibuprofen
  4. Antidepressants, SSRIs
  5. Anti-fungal antibiotics, Sporanox and Lamisil
  6. Anti-hypertensives, Ace Inhibitors and Diuretics

Here’s to a healthier happier life…

“Never eat more than you can lift.”  ~Miss Piggy


Savory Bread Pudding… Bread and Custard!

Tags

,

Savory Bread Pudding

Bread and Custard… Brilliant!

A good bread pudding should have a restrained amount of filling, with a few additional components chosen to accent the bread and custard.

Megan Wycoff


Savory Bread Pudding

NOT A DIET FOOD!

1 ( 18- TO 20-INCH ) FRENCH BAGUETTE, TORN INTO 1-INCH PIECES ( ABOUT 10 CUPS )I found a wonderful fresh baguette at Sprouts.

1  TABLESPOON UNSALTED BUTTER

8 LARGE EGGS – This is not a typo:)

3 CUPS HEAVY CREAM

2 CUPS WHOLE MILK

2 OUNCES PARMESAN CHEESE, GRATED ( ABOUT 1 CUP )

2 TEASPOONS MINCED FRESH THYME

2 GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED

1 TEASPOON SALT

3/4 TEASPOON PEPPER

*

Oven temperature for toasting the bread 425 Degrees.

Arrange the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until toasted, about 10- to 12 minutes, turning the pieces over halfway through the baking time.  Remove the bread from the oven and let cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 Degrees.  Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with butter.

Whisk the yolks, cream, milk, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, the thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl.  Add the toasted bread and toss until evenly coated.  Let the mixture stand until the bread softens and begins to absorb the custard, about 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.  Make sure your bread has absorbed the liquid.

Pour half of the bread mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with 1/4 cup more Parmesan  Pour remaining bread mixture into the dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Bake until the custard is just set, about 60 minutes, rotating the dish halfway through the baking time.

Remove the bread pudding from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Perfect with a soup and salad… back to the gym!

VARIATION – Savory Bread Pudding with Spinach and Feta

Follow the recipe Savory Bread Pudding omitting the Parmesan cheese.  Stir 1 ( 10 ounce ) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, and 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled ( about 1 cup ), into the yolk mixture.

Enjoy!

Mmmm…


ASPARAGUS SOUP

Tags

, , , , ,

“Here’s to going back to basics and doing what works!”   ~ CLEAN

ASPARAGUS SOUP

ASPARAGUS SOUP

From the Kitchen of Susan Jones

2T Unsalted Butter

1 Large Leek, thinly sliced

4 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth

2LBS Medium Asparagus, 1 Inch Pieces

1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil

Kosher Salt and Black Pepper

In a large pan, heat butter, add leeks and saute until soft. 3 – 4 minutes. Add broth to mixture, asparagus and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a soft boil. Reduce heat and simmer until asparagus is tender. 15 minutes. Blend mixture in 1/3 batches until smooth. Check seasoning. Garnish with a dash of Lime and Cholula Hot Sauce. Prepare to GLOW!

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”  ~Leonardo da Vinci

 

 

 

 

 

 

October… Chicken Soup!

Tags

, , , , , ,

Crazy schedules, after school activities and the threat of a new influenza – what do we do – nutrition, nutrition, nutrition, our grandparents had the answer for keeping the family up and running;  Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat for breakfast, Chicken Soup and a sandwich for lunch and an evening meal with fresh vegetables, a small portion of protein, bread, and in their day – a small dessert.

The base of a number of easy meals is always the Chicken Soup… use the stock in canned soup recipes, mac-n-cheese, rice, pasta or mashed potatoes – to name a few.

Here is my first recipe of the season… enjoy!

CHICKEN SOUP



OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE CURE-ALL

INGREDIENTS:

1 WHOLE ORGANIC CHICKEN   – Sprouts has a wonderful organic chicken
USE YOUR LARGE SOUP-POT

CHICKEN, CLEANED AND SUBMERGED WITH PURE HO2-COVERED 3/4″
ADD CELERY (1/2 STALK W/LEAF PARTS)
2 OR 3 CARROTS
1 ONION (WHITE, SWEET) CUT IN HALF
SALT – PEPPER (2 tsp EACH) ADJUST SEASONING WHEN SOUP IS ASSEMBLED

SIMMER – NEVER BOIL 3 TO 4 HOURS


COOL AND REMOVE BIRD – DISCARD CARROT,CELERY, AND ONION
STRAIN LIQUID
TAKE CHICKEN SECTIONS DESIRED – I ONLY USE THE BREAST
CHOP CHICKEN MEAT UP TO DESIRED BITS (SEE SALT AND PEPPER BELOW)

IN YOUR STRAINED BROTH ADD CHICKEN
ADD PINTO BEANS (USED 1 CAN – STRAINED)

SAUTE YOUR TRINITY: A LITTLE OLIVE OIL
ONE WHOLE ONION (DICED), CARROT (2 OR 3 CHOPPED SMALL), AND CELERY (1/2 STALK – WITH GREENS)
SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE (I WILL ADD SALT-PEPPER TO CHICKEN-BEFORE I PUT THE SOUP TOGETHER)

THIS IS THE BASIC RECIPE – YOU CAN BE AS CREATIVE AS YOU WISH…
MUSHROOMS

CILANTRO

GARLIC

ETC…

ENJOY!

STAY HEALTHY –  STAY WELL!

You’ve got things to do…

A September Celebration…

Tags

, , , ,

The American Vogue

By mid-August, after a summer of scantily clad people watching, I look forward to, with great appreciation, simply not having to look at the constant barrage of  T-shirts, shorts and of course the ever-present flip-flop.  The horror of the American diet all to evident wherever people gather.  Living in the southwest does lengthen the seasonal fashion assault with temperatures often still reaching 90 degrees, until who knows when… the remedy arrives on time, although never too soon, easily reassuring us that civilization does exist in a more desirable, easy on the eyes form.

I approach the seasons offerings carefully.  Like other over-indulged fellow Americans I recognize my craving  for refined clothing,  sensational shoes,  purses,  fragrances and the most expensive, Bling, to be as addictive as the ever-present giant burger and fries (off days must be for pizza and taco’s) consumed week in and week out. —  Starting with the top publications, Vogue being the top, I immediately turn to the letter from the editor.  Anna Wintour has worked tirelessly for me all year to “Keep fashion in the worlds of dreams and impossibilities.” she continues “It felt perfect, precisely because the current trend is toward the pragmatic and accessible.  Vogue has a responsibility to fly a visionary flag, now more than ever. The vision has always inspired me… with such potential to approach life on deliberate terms, I look at every design element necessary to get it right.

I seek expert opinion for hair and make-up.  I ride my road bike 20 miles a day while picturing the last unfit poor soul trying to walk up a flight of stairs.  I eat healthy, seeing food as a potentially deadly drug addiction… at last I’m ready to simply, dress properly!  Ms. Wintour adds ” Fashion is so often presented in the culture as a thing of froth, which, of course, it partly is;  But the bubbles are blown with care and a sense of values.  Likewise Fashion’s Night OutFrivolity must have its foundations

Fashion exists quite expertly in both, the pragmatic and the dream world.  Pragmatically we should pursue our dreams with respect to the framework of our budgets, and as the summer always displays  Americans need to take better care of their appearance, and treat health as a precious commodity.  The dream world displayed inspires me to go for the size 4 and feel the drape of beautiful fabrics ruffle against the Autumn breeze…  Froth is always on the top.

 

Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism… Religions of China

Tags

, , , , ,

“Listen to all, plucking a feather from every passing goose, but, follow no one absolutely.”

~Chinese Proverb

Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism make up the spiritual traditions of China.  Chinese religions are family or folk oriented and refer more to a cultural practice or thought system.

Confucius lived from 551B.C .to 479B.C.  His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships with justice and sincerity.  Confucius was a philosopher, teacher and low-level government official in the sixth century B.C.  He emphasized the principles of duty, virtue, order and stability.

Confucianism was introduced to Europe by the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci, who was the first to Latinised the name Confucius.  The literal translation means Master Kong.

Today there are 350 million followers of Confucius with 3 million known descendants.  The impact of his teachings, which suggest 3 ways to learn wisdom: reflection, imitation and experience, have been imprinted on China’s modern political and spiritual life.

“To see what is right, and not do it, is want of courage, or of principal.”

~Confucius

Taoism literally translated means the path.  Learning to balance the yin and yang of life.  The opposite energies found in our universe. I have thought of these energies as opposing.  The correct attitude is to think of them as complimentary.  From ancient Chinese texts, the teachings refer to three jewels:  compassion, moderation and humility.  Tao’s philosophical principles have affected East Asian culture for more than two millennia.

Today there are 20 million adherents in China and East Asia.  Taoism has 8 Patron Saints who grant good fortune, according to Taoist tradition.  Taoism engages physical and meditative disciplines, designed to awaken the energy within.  A beautiful custom.

“All wrong-doing arises because of the mind.  If the mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?”

~Buddha

Buddhism is today, the most popular religion of China.  465 million Buddhist live around the world,  making Buddhism the fourth largest religion. Buddhism is also developing as a spiritual practice  for those of other religions. The Potala Palace in Lhasa has been home to every Dalai Lama from the 17th century until fifty years ago, when the Dalai Lama, disguised as a soldier escaped into India.  Since, Buddhism has been brutally suppressed.  The reason for their suppression as stated by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu described the Tibetan leader as being “engaged in activities aimed at splitting China.”

The Dalai Lama intends to transfer his political authority over the Tibetan government, in exile, to an elected leader, in a move to promote democratic development… “We have been able to implement democracy in exile that is in keeping with the standards of an open society.”

Buddha was born near Lumbini, Nepal.  His teachings have been compared to Jesus of Nazareth, following a path toward selflessness, nirvana, and an end to suffering.  Today we find a Zen Buddhist temple in Mendocino County, California.  The teachings are of peace, both inner and for our surrounding world.

“In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves”

~Buddha

Note: The China Internet Network Information Center reported Jan 19, China’s population of Internet users grew 19 percent in 2010, to 457 million, a group larger than the population of the United States.

The number of people using the Internet by mobile phone rose 29.6 percent to 303 million.

The government of China is Communist and promotes Internet use for education and business. Censorship is extensively enforced.

Welcome to the Internet!  You may not get this…