Rigid

At one point in my life I was rigid…no sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine, no meat, no this, no that, no nothing. Recently, I was at a dinner party when a friend asked me what my new health regime was. I wondered for a second if I should make something up but the truth is I haven’t had one. So that’s what I told her. She kind of stared at me in shock. I guess I’ve always been somewhat of a health nut. Starting at 12, I gave up meat and was vegetarian for 32 years (up until 2 years ago when I ate a big fat grass fed steak). I’ve tried all sorts of health regimes from vegetarian, to micro-biotic, to Ayurvedic, to giving up gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol. I’ve juiced, i’ve grown wheat grass, I’ve explored all the super foods. But what I’ve finally come to the conclusion after all these years, especially the last couple ones, is being rigid, isn’t great either and potentially has the opposite affect of what I was trying to achieve…an overall healthy lifestyle.

While I still do believe in drinking lots of water, and limiting your sugar intake, and eating lots of organic vegetables, what it comes down for me now, is moderation and variety. I went years eating the same lunch every day. While it was healthy, I think eating the same thing over and over again isn’t good for you either. Actually some say that eating the same foods day in day out can make you allergic to that particular food. These days when it comes to eating, you can get totally paranoid about every food out there. Rice has arsenic, GMO’s galore, gluten is going to kill you, fish is contaminated, tuna has mercury, and what’s up with farm raised fish? The list goes on and on. Even the water you drink. Start researching water filtration systems and it makes your eyes cross. You can find any evidence out there to support any argument or scare tactic about our food these days. It can make you crazy!

I am completely supportive and can more than relate to people who eliminate foods from their diet due to a health issue or illness. But from my experience, being a relatively healthy person, questioning everything I put in my mouth wasn’t great for my mental health either. I was working myself up into a frenzy…not enjoying life because I was too busy being rigid. Can’t have this, can’t have that, that has gluten, that has potential toxins. In the last couple years I’ve loosened the reigns a bit. Like I said, I ate my first steak in 32 years. Damn that was good. I have a glass of wine occasionally after an almost 10 year hiatus. I deprived myself of coffee for 6 years. Now I indulge in a cup of joe every morning with half and half. I eat goat cheese, seafood, the occasional wild salmon, meat from time to time. I try to mix it up. The one thing I will still preach and stand by is veggies and lots of them…after all it is part of my blog name 🙂

For shock value, here’s what I had for lunch today…a BLT (with avocado).

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Love and sprouts in Puerto Rico

Lance and I are eating a lot of sprouts in Puerto Rico at the moment. We are at the Ann Wigmore Institute: a grass roots, super intimate, wheat grass juicing, live foods type of place (based on the much fancier Hippocrates Institute near Palm Beach). I considered Puerto Rico fairly close until it ended up taking 3 planes and 14 hours to get here, ending in a beautiful flight across the island on a tiny 8 person plane. I had to make sure to get to know every one of the passengers before take off in case we were all going to die together. They thought I was being funny but I was actually serious. They turned out to be some groovy Puerto Ricans and we laughed the whole way to the west of the island. We landed safely 🙂 and I was thrilled to be in this luscious, humid place.

What has really drawn me to this place, is not only does it remind both Lance and I of our travels pre-kids (in India and other parts of Asia) but the people are so incredibly genuine, nurturing, loving, supportive and so extremely passionate about what they are doing!! Between the live foods diet (meaning nothing is cooked and everything is either sprouted, soaked, blended, or fermented), and the juicing, it is super educational as we attend classes on everything from wheat grass, to sprouting, to digestion, food combining, fermenting, composting, sugars, starches, dry skin brushing to more than I ever wanted to know about the colon. Every single thing we eat is grown right here.

82 year old Leola. Lance's new girlfriend.

What I love about this place, is even though they are teaching this “live foods” diet, they are constantly reminding you of the importance of taking care of yourself: body, mind and spirit. That is right up my alley! In all these classes they are always genuinely mentioning that more important than even the food (which is what they are all about) is love: loving yourself, loving each other, love, love, love. These people are all heart. There is the sweetest and smiliest woman here who is 82 and has been apart of the institute since 1990 and says she is “having more fun than she has ever had in her life.”

Energy Soup. 80% sprouts..breakfast, lunch, dinner

We are doing a cleanse for the next 3 days (“energy soup”). I confess I have never done a cleanse. In fact I am thinking I am horrible at it and we haven’t even started. I don’t like to be hungry and so all day today I have been sneaking extra food every chance I get. It’s like I wanted to store up before the big hibernation. (I know it’s not that long of a cleanse but it is to me!).

I am going to post one or two more times this week with more pics and stories in case you want to check out the blog again this week. I won’t send out a mass email. Oh and please comment on the blog instead of replying to my email. Lance doesn’t like me to crowd his inbox with emails but loves reading your comments.

Oh and forget HBT, we are HBE here in P.R. (that would be eight not eleven).

Love, love, love,
Nancy

My morning cocktail

I haven’t started drinking vodka in the morning…yet…but I have added this new cocktail to our repertoire and its my favorite new thing.

I make this drink before my meditation and before our green juice. It’s amazing and I’ll let you discover for yourself what comes out the other end…

Lemon/Chlorophyll/Aloe Vera juice

First of all Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a powerful blood builder. Chlorophyll has the power to regenerate our bodies at the molecular and cellular level and is known to help cleanse the body, fight infection, help heal wounds, and promote the health of the circulatory, digestive, immune, and detoxification systems and it’s an anti-carcongenic. It’s also extremely alkalinizing.

We are WAY into Chlorophyll.

Now for Aloe Vera…It is a great boost for your overall immune system. It’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral. Aloe helps promote the production of new healthy cells. You will be more energized and lots of people have actually claimed that since they started drinking Aloe Vera juice, they hardly get sick. Some studies have actually confirmed that Aloe can destroy cancer tumors. The polysaccharides in the plant are found to have anti-tumor properties.

We LOVE Aloe Vera..

So we combine them all together like this…(double this is you are making this for 2 people)
6 OZ of water
1 organic lemon (cut off ends, scrub lemon and then cut into 6-8 pieces (with the rind)
1 OZ Chlorophyll
1 OZ Aloe Vera Juice

Throw lemon and water in a blender (or vitamix if you have one) and blend it until it’s liquified.
Strain through a strainer.
Pour remaining lemon juice back into blender and then add the Chlorophyll and Aloe Vera Juice and mix them all together.

DRINK UP! (give yourself about 30-45 minutes before eating anything else).

You will feel amazing and energized and doing lots of wonderful things for your body!

Raw? No way!

We wanted to thank you for all your wonderful messages you left on our last post. We kept it up for the past couple weeks as we were relishing in your comments. We appreciated them so much and wanted to reply to each and every one but were worried unless you went back to the replies you wouldn’t see them. I realized that another reason for not sharing Lance’s MRI results initially besides the reasons I wrote (jinxing, needing it to sink in and relish it) was that I was worried about diffusing this healing energy that seems to be working. Then I realized,”Wait! They are our healing energy!!” You have completely supported us in so many ways and your love and continued caring has been a big part of all this process. So this is a BIG THANK YOU TO ALL. The cheers all around us makes us feel like we’re Madonna at the Super Bowl!

It’s been awhile since I posted a veggie recipe and I want to make sure you are all eating up your veggies since to me there is no food more important.

Ever since I was in NY last fall, I can’t stop thinking about the Italian man who asked me to be his lover….I mean my raw brussels sprouts salad(!) that I had at a restaurant in the West Village called Frankies. Actually, the Italian guy stopped me on my the way to the restaurant, but he was quickly forgotten when I was served my brussels sprouts! They were delicious and I couldn’t believe I was eating raw brussels sprouts. So when I returned to Boulder, I called the restaurant and did some research and found quite a few raw brussels sprout recipes and since I have been on a brussels sprouts binge all winter, I wanted to get this recipe out before they go out of season. This is combination of several recipes including Frankies in NY.

Shaved Raw Brussels Sprouts with grated cheese, toasted walnuts, lemon and olive oil

This is a quick 10 min preparation recipe that is simply delicious.

  • 1lb brussels sprouts (washed and ends cut off), put in food processor or chop finely
  • 1 cup walnuts (lightly toasted on 300 for about 10-15 min)..oh wait, i guess that makes preparing this a little longer.
  • 1/3 cup finely grated hard cheese like a pecorino, parmigiano-reggiano, castelrosso, or manchego (my preference since it’s a sheep cheese).
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil, potentially more if it seems like it needs it
  • Lemon zest (use a lemon zester)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Himilayan salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir it all up. Voila.
  • YUM

Here is a few facts about the nutritional qualities of Brussels Sprouts:

  • They have a high glucosinolate content which means they have special cancer-preventitive components.
  • Brussels sprouts (especially raw) can lower your cholesterol.
  • Brussels sprouts may have unique health benefits in protecting your DNA!

Sending you veggie love,
Nancy

 

 

 

My two big ahh haas

Over the last year my life has basically completely changed. Among a host of things, I’m trying every day to approach my life from a place of love, laughter (not taking things too seriously), and something I didn’t used to have, discipline. Especially around what I put in my body. I have to approach my eating with the utmost discipline or my next stop could be Good Times Burgers.

Two of my most disciplined practices with what I put in my body, that I believe have added the most to my healing  may sound weird but:

1. Alkalinity: When I started on this adventure my saliva and pee were extremely acidic. How do I know? I bought a roll of this pH tape and I encourage all of you to buy one.

When I licked this tape it was bright yellow 4.5 (bad) now it’s dark green to purple 6.5-7 (good!).

There are many books on alkalinity and my favorite is “Alkalize or Die.” It’s pretty extreme but what it does have is a 30-day diet on how to get alkaline.

There is a reason why almost every single cancer diet is vegetarian. Meat is extremely acidic. The amount of alkaline food you have to eat (kale!) to offset the pH imbalance of a steak is overwhelming. In order to offset a can of Coke you have to drink something like 23 glasses of 9.5 alkalized water or a few shots of wheat grass.

Why are all the diets meat/acid free? The theory is that disease of any kind cannot live in an alkaline environment (pH over 6 or 7). Only acid systems (pH under 6) nurture the right conditions for disease to flourish.

Another book from a completely different discipline that highlights this is The China Study. It’s a huge study done in China of cancer victims and what differentiates them. Basically the study showed that cancer only occurs in regions of China where people eat meat. Scary.

When Nan and I started all of this I would crave meat. I almost never do now (unless its steak tartar). Recently I’ve been craving meat and my nutritionist, Jim, says it’s because I’m too alkaline. I never thought that would happen.

Go get some Enzymedica Tape at Whole Foods (it’s expensive). Start slow. Here is a list of things to avoid and a list of things to load up on. Coffee is a real killer. Please let me know if you try and if you start feeling differently. It’s pretty amazing.

Link to complete alkaline food list

2. Hydration: I was probably one of the most dehydrated people around. I would go a whole day without a single glass of water. At night after dinner I would suddenly get thirsty and down a huge glass of water right before bed. The only water I had that day. It was very strange to Nan that I could do this and not get up at night. How could I? My cells were being starved they wouldn’t let go of a single drop.

The worst was I’d go on long runs (10-12 miles was long for me) and didn’t like carrying a bottle or camel back, so I’d just create massive cell death in my body out of convenience. Nice.

Sorry to talk about pee again, but if your pee is anything but clear or close to clear than you are dehydrated.

Most Americans are in a constant state of dehydration. Dehydration is linked to a number of diseases:  Muscular Dystrophy, Colitis, Diabetes, Depression, Arthritis, Cancer and more.

It contributes to a host of others. Picture a neglected potted plant. That could be you. The only thing I ask you to do is try and drink a glass of water every hour. I can’t do it and I try every day. If you’re lucky you’ll get 8 glasses in you and that’s the minimum you need. In the summer, with exercise, in dry climate, it’s more.

Every morning I wake up and drink a huge glass of water. I don’t like doing it sometimes but it gets my pump primed. Of course Nancy has always been a big water drinker so I just try to take after her on this as I do on most things.

Again I’d love to hear your experiences with dehydration and any attempts to rehydrate. It’s changed my life.

Big Love, Lance

What am I?

Am I vegan? Am I raw? Am I vegetarian? Am I macrobiotic? Am I ayruvedic? Do I do cleanses or colonics? Actually what I am is just healthy.

People ask me, “What do you think of The China Study? What about Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions? But you were so into Ayruveda! But when our year turned upside down and I was reading all these opposing theories, I threw all dogmatism out the window and said, we are just going to be healthy. I am going with my gut. We are going to eat what feels right. Take onions and garlic for example. Big anti-inflammatory. Ayurveda is not big on them. Tomatoes are key for lycopene but Ayurveda in general is against night shades. Nourishing Traditions thinks organic meat broth (chicken, turkey, beef) is like liquid gold but The China Study is pretty much entirely against meat and says it’s the culprit for many cancers. ARGHHH!! All this can make a person insane! I totally get the arguments for a raw diet but in the winter I want warming foods.

My philosophy basically boils down to this: I try to eat nutrient dense food (meaning, I like every bite to count and have all sorts of healing properties), and I eat seasonally. I love soups in the winter, and I go wild for salads in the summer. I am digging brussels sprouts right now and pomegranates, acorn and butternut squash. In the summer, I crave raw kale salads, arugula, yummy mixed lettuces from the farmers market, sprouts, fresh berries, peaches and cherries. Smoothies are way more appealing to me in the summer. Miso soup and dahl in the winter. Certain foods, I am pretty much eat all year round: broccoli, kale, chard, avocados and green and black mint dark chocolate. 🙂

The one thing we have 365 days a year is a big fat green juice. Frankly I crave it more in the summer but it’s still delicious, even on a snowy day.

I would love to hear what you think of all these different food theories. I am always interested in learning and hearing other people’s views.

So I am leaving you with my power breakfast. This breakfast rocks! These are also my new beautiful wooden bowls from Pieces of Vermont. I love them! Thanks Barb!

Bob’s Red Mill MIghty Tasty Hot Cereal: 1 Tbs. Nutiva coconut oil,1/3 cup ground flax seeds, 1 tsp cinnamon (stir up 3 ingredients in cooked hot cereal)
Top with: A low sugar granola….I am addicted to GF/Dairy Free Boulder Granola, plain goat milk kifer, pomegranate seeds or blueberries
(this recipe was inspired by my sister Lynn) 

Love, Laugh and be Healthy,
Nancy

Sugar!!

I confess. I am and always have been severely addicted to sugar. I can’t stop thinking about it. When I was in elementary school, I used to take my lunch money across the street (leaving school grounds in the 3rd grade was not allowed) to Dan’s Bait Shop which also sold a lot of goodies like Now ‘n Laters and Bubble Yum. I would stock up for the day and chow at lunch and recess. My packed lunches from home already had red vines and hostess cherry pies (every single day!). Yep, I was the kid everyone wanted to be friends with during lunch.

It went on and on into my adulthood. For Halloween, I loved that my kids didn’t like sweets, cause they would happily give me all their candy which I would eat up. (I know, bizarre, kids not liking sweets…has nothing to do with me or Nan). I loved picking up the kids from birthday parties cause I would eat all the left over cake. If I had a coffee it had to be a mocha latte (I don’t even like coffee). Cocktails…The Big Lebowski’s “Caucasian” – Kahlúa and milk (sweet and sugary). So you get the picture.

This has been one of my biggest changes in the past year. I’ve still battled the cravings and denied them almost completely. Then last week our controller at work, Pam, made everyone cookies. Justin and I sat in our office and ate them all in 30 seconds (I had two and they were small, Nan). Justin and I looked at each other like guilty kids with the proverbial hand in the cookie jar. I told Justin, “I’m addicted to sugar.” The first time I ever admitted it. Justin said the same and I quietly, at that moment, swore to eradicate sugar from my life. Now I’m making snacks like this.

Gluten-Free Avo Bruscetta
Sami’s Bakery Millet and Flax Bread
Teaspoon of Nutiva Coconut Oil
1/2 an Organic Avocado
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1/2 a Organic tomato diced
2 tbs Olive Oil
1 tbs White Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh Basil

Toast bread. Shmear with Coconut Oil. Shmear with Avo. Pinch of salt. Mix diced tomato, olive oil, balsamic and basil in bowl. Pour over Avo. Eat. Yum!

My other favorite is not a plug for Justin’s but hey:

Seduction Almond Coco Toast
Slice of Seduction Bread from WFM
1 Tsp of Nutiva Coconut Oil
3 tsp of Justin’s Classic Almond (or with a little sugar Maple Almond) Butter
Cinnamon on top

So here are my two recipes that I have created all on my own. It may not be gourmet but it’s a lot better than my handful of M&M’s or cookies in the past.

I’d love to hear any snack ideas you might have ’cause Nancy and I are always looking for new ideas.

Lots of Love in 2012,
Lance

 

 

Competition eating at its best!

Since veggies is in our blog name, I figured I better start writing about them! I believe there is nothing more important than vegetables and everyone should be eating 3 big whopping helpings a day (this is a big HINT as to my challenge to you below).

I prepare veggies a lot of different ways: steam, bake, saute, raw. I personally think lightly steaming or raw has absolutely the best nutritional value when eating veggies but since that can get boring, I try to steam once a day, usually eat raw veggies at lunch (like a highly nutritional salad) and get more creative for dinner. My latest obsession is brussels sprouts!!

First I have to preface this to say that I really disliked brussels sprouts as a child and didn’t start embracing them until about 5 years ago. Now the way I prepare them, I can eat them cold, warm and raw! In fact, Amélie and I compete over eating them. I realize I am shoveling them in my mouth (not the best way to eat) because I am afraid she will eat them all. She will say, “But Mom you got a whole one and I only got a half!” I stopped sharing a plate with her because I was feeling threatened!! So now we divvy them up and then we jokingly argue about how many she got on her plate vs me.

So here is a simple but easy way to prepare them:

  • Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  • Cut the ends off brussels sprouts (1lb), and then cut them in 1/2. Put in bowl.
  • Cover them in extra virgin olive oil…not too much, not too little.
  • Juice of a 1/4 of a lemon or more if you like that lemony flavor.
  • Add 2 chopped shallots, 5-6 garlic cloves cut in 1/4’s (so kind of large garlic chunks), sea salt and pepper (you can also add red pepper flakes if you like a little kick).
  • Stir all ingredients up in bowl then spread out in large baking pan.
  • Cook 45 min to 1 hour until they start to slightly brown.
  • Voila! Super simple and easy and delicious!

I will be posting a raw shaved brussels sprouts recipe that I had last month when I was in NY that is to die for. I even called the restaurant for the recipe!

I have a challenge and a question…
Do yourself a favor and up your veggie intake. I could (and probably will) write a whole piece on just how important veggies are (above all else) but try and add veggies to every meal. If you skip your vegetables for one meal, eat extra at your next meal. Lance never ate veggies as a child and in fact many people across the country consider french fries as a vegetable!

Lastly, I would love to hear what your favorite vegetables are and how you prepare them. I always love new ideas!

Love, Laughter and Veggies!
Nancy

Tip of the week #1…Inflammation

Inflammation is the source of so many diseases from cancer to heart disease to arthritis and a TON of diseases in between. There are 2 things you can all do on a daily basis, to help control inflammation in your body NOW! And they are so easy!!

1) Cinnamon! Cinnamon actually has a lot of health benefits but so as not to overwhelm you, decreasing inflammation is a big one! Put it on your toast with your Justin’s Nut Butter (sorry I can’t help myself) or add it to your granola, oatmeal or yogurt. So easy!

2) Turmeric! Since the flavor is mild, I add it to everything!  I am a little nuts with turmeric. I add it to all my soups, I sprinkle it or grate it on my salads, I juice it, and use it in my grains and some lentils. You can find it in the spice section or as an actual root (see pic).

This is what the root looks like…it does stain as you can see from my chopping board…

Red lentil curry coconut soup

I know this has nothing to do with the red lentil curry coconut recipe you have been asking for but I just couldn’t resist! Who knew that psychedelics came in the form of cauliflower?Also for anyone who doesn’t think cauliflower is nutritious, it is a cruciferous vegetable which includes broccoli, kale, collard greens, brussel sprouts and cabbage…full of health-promoting nutrients! So eat up people!

Okay now for the red lentil curry coconut recipe but first I have to credit my incredible foody friend Julia Hellerman for this recipe. Here is her blog: http://adaba.wordpress.com.

 RECIPE:

  • Chop and saute 1 onion, 1-2 stalks of celery, 1 large carrot, chopped kale stems in extra virgin olive oil on low heat.
  • Add 6-8 cups water or that homemade veggie broth you made 🙂 and 2 Cups Red Lentils (rinse lentils first).
  • Add fresh grated ginger and turmeric (1-2tsps), any kind of curry blend or if you have any of the following spices (coriander, curry powder, graham masala) or all of them.
  • Bring to a boil, simmer for 30-45 min, or to desired tenderness of lentils, add a can of coconut, and some fresh lime juice.
  • Saute separately some cabbage and spinach in garlic and add to soup. Salt to taste.
  • Make some brown rice on the side and combine.

Last day of the juicing challenge! Thank you for those of you who let me know you were inspired. Here was our juice today.

Also this is not going to be just a food blog…Lance is posting later on this week.

And after…