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Archive for February, 2011

Comfort Salad

February 21st, 2011

The past week has been an emotional roller coaster for me. I’ve had people permanently leave my personal orbit at the same time others unexpectedly Asian Ginger Dressingentered it. I had a surprise reunion with a dear old friend, and held the hand of another as she faces some painful choices. I’ve made changes to my home, said goodbye to a colleague who is moving out of state, and had to deal with a squirrel in my attic who was not fooled by a myriad of traps and bait.

In the midst of all this personal drama, one of my clients emailed to ask if I had a good recipe for a “Ginger/Sesame/Soy Dressing.” I didn’t have a ready made answer to send her, and for some reason her request sounded good and tasty to me too, so I went into the kitchen and made something up that I am posting below. The recipe uses three different oils which may sound excessive, but I am really happy with the balance of flavors I got. If you wanted to streamline you could probably use just the (untoasted) sesame oil: but the result would be less layered.  I like the mix of salty/sweet/savory…I call it a healthier version of “comfort food,” it really tickled my tastebuds and helped me shake off that roller coaster week!

ASIAN GINGER DRESSING
Yield: 1-1/4 cups
Equipment: Blender

3-4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh ginger root
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/3 cup coconut vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
3 tablespoons honey
3 chopped green onions, green part only

Combine all ingredients except green onions in a blender. Stir in onions and serve.

I have a hunch that this would make a nice marinade for chicken or salmon, but because I am vegan, I’m not going to be able to say for sure. If you use it on something other than salad, drop me a note: I love hearing your feedback and suggestions.

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Off the Wagon…So Soon?

February 14th, 2011

Yep, I ate the whole container in four days.

It isn’t too hard to understand why a majority of Americans don’t uphold their New Year’s resolutions. As soon as some life distraction (crisis) occurs the resolution—if it’s not already ingrained—takes a back seat. Then the cycle of “I’ll restart tomorrow” begins. UGH! Yes, this already has happened to me. I was doing great: juicing daily, avoiding the microwave and eating almost 100% healthy foods at every meal.

I’ll spare you the details of my life distractions, but it began with me taking a day off—sometimes called a “cheat” day—on my birthday. That turned out to be a big mistake: I never got back on the wagon. I’m still struggling to regain my footing. I juiced yesterday but “snacked” on a box of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Today I ate apples, yams and a hot porridge Sheree gave me a recipe for…but then I finished off the chocolates. Oops.

The positive outcome of my slip up is that I can honestly say that juicing every day significantly impacts the way I feel. At first, I didn’t really attribute the improvement in my mood and energy to working with Sheree. The first week she visited I got my Hurom slow juicer and I also resolved an issue that was causing my newborn to cry for 12 or more hours a day (not exaggerating). That initial time Sheree came over lead to a wonderful week for my whole family. The glow continued right up until my birthday. Thus, I now attribute a great deal of my improved health (mental and physical) to the dietary changes Sheree has helped me to implement. I had faith at the onset—but proof is always good.

So, now what!?!? The key here is not to beat myself up, and I know that.  I also need to stop putting my “restart” off AND to stop thinking of it as a restart. Sheree really wants her clients to make a life change. I can’t become vegan over night and I can’t eliminate all my favorite foods in one big swoop or else I will just crave them more. A transition period is necessary to ensure long-term success.

As I said in my very first blog, a resolution is almost always a giant goal that needs to be broken down into small, manageable steps. In hindsight, I know that I really didn’t set myself up for success in that way. Sheree did attempt to give me small steps—first, juice daily. I know she gave me a second step, but I was too excited about things to listen…instead I just sort of dove in head-first!

Now that I have the chocolates out of the house I think I can reestablish my juicing routine starting tomorrow, armed with renewed resolve and a bin of amazing fruits and veggies from Prudent Produce!

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What’s Your Story?

February 4th, 2011

There are times that it is socially challenging to dispense nutritional advice for a living.  Not only do folks feel compelled to justify their dietary behavior to me at random —“I haven’t had a donut in years, except for this one”— some people seem to assume that I can just pop off an answer to their complex health or diet question while I’m plugging the parking meter (yes, it really happened).

There is an older gentleman who works out at the gym I go to. Mark somehow found out what I do for a living. This morning he climbed onto the treadmill next to me and started talking about his 35-year struggle with type 2 diabetes. I listened to Mark’s disclosure for a while and then I asked him if he ever tried to go off his meds.  “Yep, in 1984,” he said.  “It didn’t work,” he added with finality.  It was then that I realized that Mark was not going to be asking me for advice. Mark was hooked into Mark’s Story, and that story is too intertwined with type 2 diabetes for him to be motivated to change.  Mark’s diabetic condition has become a part of his very identity and how he defines himself. As odd as it might sound, I sensed that if he suddenly were not diabetic, Mark would not know who he was.  At the very least he’d have less to talk about.

So here’s a question for you, if you dare to ask it of yourself: What part of your story has you stuck somewhere in your life right now? What are you telling yourself that has made you into your own jailer? And what—if anything—are you willing to do to change?

Feel free to email me your answer if you’d rather not post it here. I’m really interested to hear your insights.

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