Eat More Veggies With These Simple Life Hacks

salad-bowlFor as long as I can remember I have tried to get more vegetables into my diet but I just hadn’t been able to. . . until recently that is.  By adding a few simple steps into my routine 75% of the food I eat per day is now vegetables.

The only way I could achieve this ratio is by making eating vegetables as simple as possible.

I cheat.  A lot.  Try these basic ideas to see if they work for you:

  • Chop all the veggies you’ll need for the week at one time.  That way when it comes to tossing a salad or sauteing for veggie hash you are already done.  There are many veggies I don’t peel just wash really well like carrots.  All the good for you minerals are in the peel.  Don’t believe me?  Google it!
  • If you don’t like to chop (like me) buy the already chopped veggies at your grocery store.  They cost a a bit more but is worth it to me as I find myself eating more veggies this way.  The thought of having to chop vegetables will keep me from eating them.  Nuf said!
  • Vegetable hash is my go to side or main dish for almost every meal.  I make this by sauteing some onions or shallots then adding what ever veggies I want.  I’ll add some garlic and ginger and Bragg’s Aminos to taste.  I will then throw this over some greens with some dressing.  I add a protein on top and I’ve got a complete meal in a bowl (see photo).  Sometimes I’ll add some gluten free noodles or quinoa into the mix too.
  • Juicing:  Chopping your veggies and cleaning your juicer every day is a pain. in. the. you guessed it!  What I do to reduce chopping and cleaning is I make a big batch of juice that will last me a couple of days.  The nay sayers will tell you that by not drinking your juice right away it will lose some of its nutrient value.  Though this is true I say better some day old juice than no juice at all.
  • Roasted veggies:  One of my favorite foods is roasted veggies.  I buy bags of frozen sweet potatoes and roast them in a 425 degree preheated oven, toss in olive oil and add some smoked salt.  Roast for about 30 minutes and you have a delicious side veggie or toss them on to a salad.  I have also added roasted veggies to stews and it is delish!

I hope you find these ideas helpful.  To find out more about me click here.

Pecan Nut Butter

pecan butterThis yummy nut butter is both nutritious and delicious.  It takes all of 5 minutes to make.

Ingredients:

1 – 8 oz. bag of unsalted dry toasted pecan pieces (I used Trader Joe’s brand)

3 drops liquid vanilla flavored stevia

coarse sea salt

In food processor place nuts and stevia into processor bowl and process until smooth and creamy.  As the pecan pieces are small it only takes a minute or two.  Once the nut butter is creamy add a small amount of coarse sea salt to taste.

I want to give a shout out to my friend Maureen who taught me how to make this.  🙂

Mindful Eating: Setting Sacred Space

FullSizeRenderI have begun eating in a new way these past few weeks.  You see, over the years, I have gotten into some bad habits.  I would eat while reading, messing around on the computer, standing up in my kitchen, etc.

It’s not so much that I don’t like to eat.  Quite the opposite, in fact, I love to eat!   What I don’t like is taking the time to eat.  I would quickly shove food into my mouth which would cause me to over eat, have digestive upset, stomach bloat and weight gain.

I decided I needed to make a change.  I needed to set sacred space around my meals.  I am talking all meals, breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  First off, I needed a dedicated space to take my meals.  You would think that my dining room table would be the most logical space for this.  How boring is that!  I decided to try something different.

As you can see from the photo I’ve set up a breakfast tray on my yoga mat looking out at my spectacular view of down town Saint Paul.  When I took my yoga training many years ago we would eat our meals on our mats and I loved the practice of sitting in easy pose while I ate.  My sit bones are connected and grounded to the Earth this way.  For me, it is easier to be mindful when I’m grounded.

Coming to my mat for a meal is very similar to how I approach my yoga practice.  My whole body and mind prepares for my yoga practice with the simple act of approaching my mat.  The same goes for my meals.  Once I began to do this I found it easy to continue.  I like the idea of setting up my space, which prepares me on an emotional level to eat.  Once my space is prepared I place my hands above my meal and I chant OM Yum Yum.  Silly, but an effective prayer.  When I finish my meal I say thank you.  I than place my hands over my tummy and take a few breaths to end my meal.

This does take time and effort.  Yet, the commitment to the practice keeps me from mindless eating.   I’m not going to nosh on food unconcsiously if I have to set up my space to do it.  The key is commitment.  I can eat what ever I want as long as I take it to my sacred space.  This makes me think before I put it in my mouth.

This practice may not be ideal for everyone.  I live alone and am self-employed so my time is more flexible than some people’s.  My purpose in writing this is to give you food for thought.  How can you bring the sacred to your own meals and thus bring mindfulness into your life?

Della is a yogi, psychic and healer.  You can find out more about her and her services here.

Fad Diets Don’t Work

Disclaimer:  I am not a nutritionist nor do I play
one on t.v.

When I was pregnant with my son 22 years ago I started having issues with low blood sugar.  Considering all this baby wanted to eat was Dove Ice Cream Bars its no wonder!  Up until that time I could eat anything I wanted with no ill effect.  Pregnancy changed me forever in many ways.  My feet got bigger and stayed that way.  My belly looks like I’ve had a baby and my hips are no longer the boy hips I once had before I had a 10 lb baby.

The low blood sugar started me on a path of study to find the perfect “diet” to balance my blood sugars and my hormones.  Over the next 20 years I would become vegetarian, vegan and even a raw foodist.  Later,  I realized I felt better if I ate meat so I tried the Adkins diet.  When that didn’t work I moved on to low-fat, gluten-free and then paleo.  And that’s not even the whole list.

black-girl-sign-copy

What I’ve learned from all of this experimentation is that there is not one diet for every body.  And if we use our intuition our body will tell us how to feed it properly.  I am continually asking my body what it needs to experience optimal health so I am consistently fine tuning what I eat.

Today I am eat mostly low carb, gluten free with moderate protein.  I am feeling more and more healthy the older I get and I’ll be 50 this year.  I do treat myself to a naughty day once in a while and that helps me be more honoring of my body’s wisdom the rest of the time.   Exploring what diet works and what doesn’t has been a valuable resource.  I have learned a lot about nutrition over the years and have become a better cook as a result.

I invite you to research any diet you feel “guided” to explore.    I also recommend two books about learning to be present and thus intuitive while eating.  The Slow Down Diet by Marc David and Savor by Thich Nhat Hanh.

May all your future meals be deliciously savored and enjoyed!

Find out more about Della here.

Quinoa Porridge

Quinoa Porridge_FotorI love a warm yummy bowl of porridge in the morning even when its warm outside.  Oatmeal use to be my go to breakfast meal but at this time in my life my body doesn’t digest oats very well.  I came up with this recipe as an alternative to gluten based porridge.

RECIPE:

Serves One

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 – 2 tsp. ghee

1/2 cup coconut milk (or any nut or dairy milk will do)

2 tbsp of nut butter (I use almond butter for its sweetness and creaminess)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cloves

1/8 tsp cardamom

dash of sea salt

sweetener of choice.  I use coconut palm sugar for its low glycemic index

DIRECTIONS:

Add all ingredients into a small saucepan and heat to desired temperature.

ADD INS:

Nuts, berries, shredded coconut, etc.

NOTES:

How thick you want your porridge will determine if you use less or more of the milk. The spices can be increased or decreased depending on your taste.  Cinnamon helps lower blood sugar levels and makes digestion easier.  Cloves also helps digestion, the liver and has anti-bacterial properties.  Cardamom is good for cardiovascular health and is an anti-carcinogen.

Enjoy!