Fresh Basil Pesto

Basil and Cauliflower PizzaAre you trying to get more vegetables in your diet? Love pizza? I am constantly looking for creative ways to incorporate more vegetables into the comfort foods we already love as a family.

Friday Night Pizza will never be the same. While shopping at the store today I saw some beautiful fresh basil. The aroma was phenomenal and in that moment I decided to make homemade pesto tonight. In addition to the fresh basil I also found a ready made cauliflower pizza crust in the freezer section of the store. Jackpot! Dinner solved.

Complete transparency and total confession – I have never made fresh pesto until tonight. It was a home-run. Half the family wanted pizza and the other half wanted pasta so I made both. My husband loved his cauliflower pizza crust with the basil pesto as the sauce base and piled high with sausage, mushrooms and cheese. The rest of us had fettuccine covered in basil pesto and topped with perfectly fried crispy bacon. It was a total win for me because I felt like I was cheating by only making the basil pesto that was used in two ways. The crust was already done thanks to the marketing genius who took the labor out of making homemade cauliflower crust and I just boiled water for the pasta.

I used a food processor but a high powered blender would do the same thing. I also substituted a few of the ingredients the recipe called for due to food allergies. I left out the pine nuts completely and used Follow-Your-Heart brand vegan cheese as a substitute. It was simply delicious. I hope you will try this recipe and be sure to let me know how you altered the recipe to make it your own!



Why are Fermented Foods Important?

Fermented Food

Fermented foods are actually probiotic foods. People have been eating them for centuries. Our ancestors consumed them on a regular basis. They grew their own food and one very effective method of storing the harvest was to ferment it. It is a very cost effective and a great barrier against microbial infection.

Not ready to make your own fermented food? No problem! Main stream grocery stores now stock these healthy additions to your diet. Look for a Korean staple called Kimchi in the refrigerator section. While there, check out Kefir right next to the yogurt section. Kefir is a fermented milk that is usually sourced from goat, cow or sheep. It is high in vitamins B12 and K2, magnesium, calcium, folate, biotin, and great enzymes and of course the probiotics we are discussing. Another great sources of probiotics come from sauerkraut. If you like soybean try Tempeh and Miso. In my opinion, they have a stronger flavor and might take a bit to get used to. If you love Oriental Take Out you will love these additions.

If this is all new to you, you are in great company! Many health care providers are now starting to suggest the addition of fermented foods to many of their patients. Most likely, you are seeing more articles and hearing more about fermenting via news sources.

The picture above was taken in my kitchen today! I served brown rice with chia seed, mild Kimchi, and jumbo shrimp with chop sticks of course!

I encourage you to branch out and try adding a new fermented food to your regimen. Experiment until you find one you really like. Your gut health will thank you. Remember, your gut is your second brain and controls the lion’s share of your immune system.

If you are feeling industrious and want to try fermenting for yourself then check this out:

Sleep Well

Sleeping dogWhat if you could wake up every morning feeling refreshed, focused, and excited about the day ahead?

One of the key foundations of maintaining optimal health is adequate amounts of good quality sleep. Sleep deprivation can have a heavy toll. Some of the negative effects are: increased risk of chronic disease, can lead to weight gain, increased risk of accidents and injuries, decline in cognitive function, and increased anxiety. If you are feeling run-down, irritable for no specific reason, struggling to focus, or experience brain fog the culprit could be poor sleep and lack of good sleep hygiene practices. Don’t despair, there are some simple habits that will get you sleeping well again in no time!

Let’s review a few things to get you back on track.

  • How much sleep should you get? Ages 11-17 need between 8.5-9.5 hours and 18 years old and above need 7-9 hours of quality sleep.
  • Turn the temperature down. You sleep better in a cooler room.
  • Remove ambient light and have the room as dark as possible. This may mean investing in a black out curtain.
  • Shut down all electronics at least one hour before bed. This includes TV, scrolling through FB, checking Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and checking emails one last time.
  • Think about installing an ap on your electronic devises called f.lux to help reset your natural Circadian rhythm.
  • Try incorporating light stretches or develop a yoga stretching routine one hour before bed.
  • Put electronics on airplane mode and if possible, don’t have them charging right next to the bed.

For more information check out:

Fear of Failure

The Magic is in YouI’d like you to consider for a moment what it is that you are striving for. Are you trying to get a promotion at work, secure a loan to buy a new home, spend more time with your kids, or work on your health? Regardless of the goal, we all face obstacles that we must overcome in order to reach that goal. Obstacles can often be accompanied by fear. Fear comes in the form of thoughts like: I work harder than anyone on my team but my boss doesn’t recognize my contributions, I have great credit but I’m still not sure I will get this loan, I want to spend more time with the kids but what if I’m not “the cool parent”, I want to go to the gym but what if I trip on the treadmill. Some fears are founded while others are things we simply build up in our mind. I challenge you to ask yourself two questions today. First, am I paralyzed by fear of failure? Secondly, am I spending time on things that really matter both now and in my long-term future. Whatever your goals, dreams, hopes or aspirations are remember to spend time on things that really matter. Don’t let the fear of failure prevent you from accomplishing all that you were meant to do!

I want to leave you with a quote I came across that prompted me to in this same way…

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”

― Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

Water, what’s the BIG deal?

theme-calm-water-drop-splashing-71549Water has been essential from the beginning of time. Actually, about 70% of the Earth is covered with water. If I recall 5th grade Science, our bodies are also made up of approximately 70% water. Is this a coincidence, just an odd fact, a random statistic? No, I think it is a parallel by design. Have you ever stopped to consider what water does for you? What is the relationship between water and the human body?

“Water is involved in every single body process, including digestion, absorption, circulation, and elimination. It is the primary transporter of nutrient through the body and it is essential for carrying poisons out of the body – without water, none of these things could happen. With too little water these processes are very inefficient. Water helps to regulate all the body processes and body temperature. Next to oxygen, water is the most important element for staying alive. Nothing living can survive without it. Even the oxygen you breathe cannot be absorbed by your lungs if you don’t have moisture in them. If too much water passes from the system it can result in dehydration.”+

There is a delicate balance between the amount of water we need and the amount we actually get. I encourage you to participate in a simple quiz. Take note of how many (8 ounce glasses) of water you have every day. Do you get 1, 3, 5 or maybe 6 (8 ounce glasses) in a day? Have you noticed a correlation between how you feel when you are well-hydrated verses when you are dehydrated? When you are dehydrated, do you feel tired, sluggish, is it hard to concentrate, are you constipated, do you crave sweets? Start making a conscious decision to become aware of how water, or the lack of, affect your body, mind and mood. It all starts with an awareness and being intentional. Your body does so many amazing things for you all day, every day….now is your chance to do something BIG for your body!

+Stormie Omartiam, Greater Health God’s Way 7 Steps to Inner and Outer Beauty

Sitting is the New Smoking

Walking at lunchSitting all day is really hard on your body. We were made to move. Sitting could have such a detrimental impact that it is now considered by many to be the new smoking! There are many health-related problems linked and associated with prolonged sitting.  Here are just a few: Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, impaired memory function, varicose veins and metabolic syndrome.

When adding up how much time you spend sitting consider this – time in the car during your commute to and from work, the time you are at work, eating meals – sitting at the table, the time you may spend trying to unwind at the end of the day by watching TV or going to a movie, and let’s not forget the computer work you may be taking home. It really does add up! So, what is the solution? Add in small changes throughout your day. For example, set a timer on your phone to get up from your desk and stretch every hour if possible or maybe every hour and a half. Walk to the water fountain, restroom or even go to the stairwell and walk up one flight of stairs and take the elevator back down to your floor. Start small. Pack a comfy pair of tennis shoes and walk 10 or 15 minutes during your lunch break. Your body will thank you! It is a great way to incorporate movement and clear your head. You will be amazed with the results!

For more information on health problems related to prolonged sitting please follow this link at the British Journal of General Practice

The Mediterranean Diet

Bow tie pasta with cheeries lettuce and pesto sauceThe Mediterranean Diet is a very popular diet because of the great health benefits it provides. It is prevalent in countries like Italy and Greece where heart disease, obesity and cancer are lower than those in the United Stated. Healthy fats play a vital role in our overall health. The reality is that not all fat in our diet is bad.

Try adding olive oil to your diet. Some benefits are: lower blood pressure, reduced risk of cardiovascular events, keeps arteries flexible, high in polyphenols and vitamin E (antioxidants) and fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K are better absorbed.

Some great ways to incorporate olive oil into your diet are: use in place of salad dressing, or use in place of canola oil when cooking items in a skillet over low or medium heat. PRO TIP – when purchasing olive oil don’t use the best by date but use the “harvest” date.

Good fat almost sounds like an oxymoron. However, I assure you it is not. Experiment this week by adding in other good fats to your diet. Curious? Try some of these: Real butter, Tallow (rendered form of mutton or beef fat stored at room temperature), Ghee (look for grass fed), Palm Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Fish Oil, Eggs.

Try a few Mediterranean Diet recipes this week. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. They are quick, easy, and delicious.

The First Step

sand-reprint-feet-sole-59876In the 6th Century B.C. Lao Tzu is credited with coining the phrase, “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” This is so very true especially in the area of health and wellness. You might find the idea of “getting started” challenging or well, let’s be totally honest, maybe even overwhelming. That is perfectly ok. As long as we are being honest, most  find a journey is much easier with a friend. Everyone needs extra help along the way.

Have you ever found yourself driving on a new road or walking a new trail in the woods without a map? At first, the sheer excitement of the journey was enough to carry you. Then, as time passed, it became increasingly difficult because, although you were up for the challenge, you had no idea where you were really going. After a while, you grow weary and now, the thrill and excitement are gone and you are quite frankly…lost. If you are searching for a different outcome, you may introduce a plan, map, compos or better yet a guide! Would this journey have ended differently with the extra help? The answer is a resounding YES!

As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I take a holistic approach to support the whole person. Together, we tackle the difficult things and make adjustments to bring balance back into your life. You deserve to be happy and healthy. I have made it my personal mission to transform the world, one life at a time! You don’t need one more self-help book, more will-power, or desire. You need a trusted guide to help you help you make your hopes and dreams a reality. Schedule your free one-hour confidential health consultation with  me today. Let’s start this journey of a thousand miles together, one single step at a time!

Take the next step in your journey to health and wellness.

IMG_5256Hello, I’m an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. As a supportive mentor and wellness authority I help clients to achieve optimal health and well-being through food and lifestyle changes. I help you achieve your goals or those set by your doctor in a wellness programs that fit your lifestyle and meet your needs. Lifestyle changes require support, accountability, mindset shifts and attention to Primary Foods. What are Primary Foods? Primary Foods are things like relationships, exercise, career and spirituality just to name a few. They are as important to your health as the food you eat and significantly impact your overall health and well-being.

Ready to take the next step by taking control of your health? Have you been looking for a transformation with a sustainable impact? Manage stress and bring balance back to your life. Contact me today and let’s start a conversation that will revolutionize your life!

©2005 Integrative Nutrition Inc. (used with permission)