veggies + yoga = vitality

Let food be your medicine

In Nutrition on February 20, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Your body is designed to prevent and fight disease, maintain health and cellular normalcy. It is even adaptable when you don’t take care of your body or do harmful things to it. When you smoke cigarettes or eat unhealthy food you don’t get a disease the very next day.  Your body adapts, but over time the cellular damage accumulates and chronic disease sets in. The good news is that many chronic disease can be prevented and even reversed when you implement lifestyle and make food choices that fuel your body’s natural mechanisms for health. Let food by your medicine!

health-food-checkup1

TAHINI – What is it?

In INGREDIENT - What is it?, Nutrition on November 19, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Clients often ask me about tahini. This ingredient is very popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, but is quickly gaining popularity due to its flavor and health benefits. Tahini is ground sesame seeds or could be called sesame seed butter. It has a unique flavor and creamy texture that can have a slight (stress slight) similarity in flavor to peanut butter. Tahini is most readily available from toasted or roasted sesame seeds, however you can find raw tahini for a higher price tag.

tahini_16x9HOW TO USE:

  • as a spread
  • to make hummus or baba ganoush
  • in your smoothies for awhile food fat source & flavor
  • whisk with vinegars & juices to make sauces & salad dressings
  • mix into morning oatmeal
  • add to stews for creaminess

NUTRITION DATA:

1 Tablespoon = 86 calories  (71% fat / 18.7% carbohydrate / 10.3% protein
ANDI Score = 60
* Tahini is both nutrient dense & calorically dense, so eat it in smaller amounts to complement vegetables and other foods.

HEALTH BENEFITS:
Tahini is a good whole foods source of health essential fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6). They are called essential because our bodies don’t produce them and it is essential that we get them from our food. Tahini is also rich in phytosterols, helping to lower bad cholesterol levels and prevent high blood pressure.

WHERE TO BUY:
Tahini is available in most asian, indian, or middle eastern grocery stores, health food stores, and sometimes you standard american grocery store as well.  Once opened you should keep closed air-tight and refrigerated.

5 Steps to Keep that Summer ‘High’ Into Winter

In Nutrition, Yoga / Meditation on November 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm
exerise1Now that the days are getting shorter and we move into a sometimes stressful holiday season, we hope that you take some time to continue or start a self-care regime. We often use the shorter days and colder weather as an excuse to avoid exercise, socializing, or preparing fresh foods. While the summer provides us with lots of sunshine, fruits and veggies, and energy, you can still continue to thrive throughout the fall and winter.  What can you do to keep that summer ‘high’ going?
  1. Wake earlier, taking full advantage of the daylight hours. Daylight savings may make it dark and hour earlier, but the flip side is the extra sunlight in the early morning hours. Try waking 30 minutes earlier to start and use that time to do any activity you enjoy such as reading, meditation, exercise or drinking a cup of morning tea.
  2. Consider a Vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is synthesized by your skin from sunlight exposure. In our hemisphere, many people aren’t able to get sufficient sun exposure in the summer months. The only way to truly know if you need to supplement is by having your blood levels tested by a doctor. We offer a vegan D2 and calcium supplement manufactured by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.
  3. Continue to eat fresh produce daily. While many of the summer vegetables and fruits are not in season, there are certainly healthy cool season crops that are bountiful at local farmer’s markets. Carrots, cauliflower, kale, carrots and peas (just to name a few) are plentiful in autumn and are delicious both raw and cooked!
  4. Stay socially active. When it gets dark and cold it is easy to just snuggle up with your television and hibernate for a few months. Do yourself a favor and make time to spend enjoying life with your friends and loved ones. A healthy social life is one of the common attributes of the various longest living societies in this world. Don’t underestimate the power of staying connected to other beings.
  5. Lastly, keep on moving! If you don’t enjoy getting outside in the cold, then do something indoors. Walk on the treadmill, dance to music, practice yoga, or whatever you enjoy. Physical exercise if very beneficial to your mood, aside from the obvious benefits of a healthy body weight and the health of your bones and heart.