Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Food and Mood

Cross posted in The Daily Yay!

I've known for awhile that I'm lactose intolerant but continued to eat dairy anyway. A few days ago I finally decided to forbid myself completely from eating dairy because I knew it was wreaking havoc with my digestive system.

An added benefit of going dairy-free is that, after just a few days, I noticed that I was in a better mood today than I have been lately. I'd originally attributed my feeling down to things like the shortening days and rainy weather, but the improvement in my mood was unmistakable. Just to be sure, I googled "dairy mood" and found this article from

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hubby asked for fourths of tonight's easy, delicious salad with just five ingredients...

...Though he's a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. He'd asked for salad because he said he needed raw greens! I'd already made him an omelette containing chard for breakfast but I guess my unofficial health coaching is working! :)

Here's the salad that I threw together in a large mixing bowl:

All ingredients were organic. (See this post and the one it links to for why organic is better.)

Four slices Ezekiel cinnamon-raisin bread (you could probably use any other cinnamon-raisin bread, or even plain bread plus raisins, but Ezekiel bread is a complete protein)
Walnuts (maybe about a cupful or more)
One bunch lettuce (not a head of iceberg; I think it was green leaf)
A few small carrots
A little bit of cilantro (you could probably leave that out if you don't have it)

I just broke up the bread into small pieces, tossed in pieces of walnuts, tore up the lettuce into small pieces, attempted to Julienne the carrots, and tore up the cilantro.

What are your favorite random (or not-so-random) salad ingredients?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Heathy food=lots of energy! :)

Cross posted in The Daily Yay!

After taking an unusual route yesterday from Meadowbrook Playfield and having to go out of our way due to lack of sidewalks, Rena and I "somehow just randomly" ended up at Whole Foods just before lunchtime. (Hubby said it was typical Pie.) So I bought us some food that we could take and eat at one of the benches outside. Our healthy fare consisted of a Jamba Juice apple and greens smoothie; organic minestrone soup with veggies, beans, peas, etc.; and herb Mary's Gone Crackers.

Rena not only perked up (she had napped in her stroller on the way there from the playground) but walked herself almost the entire way home without even being very worn out by the end.

Cute compliment from hubby! :)

Cross posted in The Daily Yay!

Hubby called me a "hot chocolate." It made me chuckle as I mixed water, organic skim milk, organic vanilla extract, organic and fair trade unsweetened cocoa, and organic maple syrup in a pot to make my healthier version of this favorite drink. ;)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Post-Party Excursion

Cross posted in The Daily Yay!

When we got home from the party, hubby decided he needed some root beer so I headed to Whole Foods to get a healthier version than diet or regular, Oogave made with agave. I bought that and also picked out a treat for myself: A Theo milk chocolate bar- organic, fair trade, and with a Jane Goodall seal. (Yes, it does have sugar but I rarely eat a treat with sugar in it!)

I headed for a bench outside the store, purchases in hand. After enjoying my chocolate bar, I finished my blog post about the night before. Then I relaxed on Facebook and listened to someone singing and playing ukelele in the background. Ukelele seems to be a popular instrument around here.

When I started to get chilly and the hour was getting late, I headed home to hang out with hubby and give him his promised root beer. :)

"Slumber Party" with Hubby! :)

Cross posted in The Daily Yay!

To celebrate my new job, hubby and I decided to have a special chicken dinner. I gave Rena an early, simple dinner of crepes (I make them with coconut oil instead of butter or margarine to cut down on my dairy intake, as I might be slightly lactose intolerant, and to avoid using a product with soy) with some raw tomato and some raw avocado on the the side (she loves them; I don't always have to cook side dishes for her) and then put her to bed. I headed to QFC at the University Village Shopping Center to get kosher chicken, as Whole Foods around here doesn't carry it.

I decided to call my parents on the way. They're three hours earlier, as they live in Cincinnati, but it's ok for me to call them late. They had actually just walked in the door: They'd been out late at the wedding of a local Chabad rabbi's daughter. They reported that there must have been 600 people there and that a bunch of them asked about me. It made me happy to know that so many people in my hometown still think and care about me. Even someone who wasn't at the wedding asked my mom about me recently when she ran into her at a grocery store.

At QFC, I headed to the kosher poultry section. I hadn't seen Empire Organic chicken in ages, but lo and behold, it was there last night! I bought all the drumsticks and left the whole chickens and boneless skinless breasts for others.

Back at home, I preheated the oven to 400 degrees and made a one-dish dinner out of a dozen drumsticks, a couple big bagsful of cremini mushrooms, and a pile of raw cashews; seasoned with salt, red pepper flakes, and a little turmeric; with coconut oil mixed in. Forty minutes later.... Yum! :) Hubby and I ate up all the drumsticks -- we each ate half a dozen and saved some of the other stuff for today.

Then we had fun singing, dancing, joking, and playing around. We do that part of a slumber party most nights, really, but this was special because we were celebrating my new job! :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Foodiscovery Restart

I'm going to restart this blog not with berry picking but something else because we might be going berry picking again on Monday.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


This and all my blogs are suspended until further notice (hopefully not forever) due to a number of things going on in my life currently. (Update 08/30/11: I have restarted one of my blogs and will be restarting this one soon, too, with a post about berry picking.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

My ever-increasing dietary restrictions. Or, why is it so hard to find kosher organic food?

Cross posted in Kosher Cuisine

Finally, after almost two months, here's the promised story of my transition to buying organic. I have this post that I saw posted on this Facebook Page to thank for motivating me to finally write this. It's going to be long so I'm going to divide it into sections. Here goes:

My first shopping trip upon going organic

I was already going to Whole Foods for most of my grocery shopping, so I continued there. I thankfully live within walking distance of the Whole Foods at Roosevelt Square. The only difference was I had to look for that "USDA Organic" symbol, besides looking for a kosher symbol. Basically, I'd apparently made my food life twice as complicated....Or so I thought. See, several items I'd been getting for their other health benefits, such as Rena's juice-sweetened puffs, my favorite vegetable broth, and these yummy tortilla chips were already organic. Other items, such as milk, eggs, and salsa, were easily found in organic versions.


My main struggle that trip was finding crackers that would be acceptable to my husband but also healthy and organic. He had been used to eating a specific variety of Triscuits but unfortunately they are not organic. To complicate matters, there were for some reason two sections with crackers, which I didn't know at first. In the first, small section I found exactly one brand that was kosher and organic....but otherwise not up to my dietary standards. I thought, these can't possibly be the only crackers in the store! I asked an employee where I could find crackers, and she directed me to another aisle. Phew! Here I had some trouble as well. I found so many organic crackers but they weren't kosher. Finally I found one called Mary's Gone Crackers that was labeled both organic and kosher. Fun name, but were they healthy? Yes, whole grains and no sugar. I brought them home to hubby....Yum! :) 

P.S. The next day I found other crackers called Two Moms in the Raw that Rena and I liked better.


Organic versions of my usual fruits and vegetables are readily available at Whole Foods. However, I decided to join an organic CSA that would deliver to my door, just for convenience. Full Circle Farm packs up a box for us every week with organic produce from their own farm and partner farms and delivers it to our apartment at some point on Thursday nights or early Friday morning. I love it because I don't have to think about my weekly fruits and vegetables if I don't want to, but if I want to change anything there's a window of opportunity. I could also tell them never to give me something if I don't want it. Customer service is great, always responding to your questions and comments. They'll even give you a credit if you're not completely satisfied with all your received produce, if you ask. They even called a couple weeks to make sure I got my box, since the deliverymen couldn't be buzzed in. All this for $46 a week, for a family order. I always end up buying other fruit because hubby and Rena eat TONS of fruit (and I barely get any!). Also there are a lot of greens, which sometimes spoil before I get to use them all. This is good, though, because I'm encouraged to get used to using more greens.

Also I love that it comes so close to Shabbat so I get fresh produce for Shabbat! :)


I wanted to make a meat dish for Friday night Shabbat dinner right after my organic transition, but I couldn't find any locally. Help! I resorted to making a vegetarian meatloaf in the hopes that hubby wouldn't even realize it was fake. Funny thing was, I realized as I went to serve it that it happened to be April Fool's Day, so even if he figured it out, it would just be an April Fool! Well, he didn't, and not only that but it came out awesome and he said it was deli-quality meatloaf! :) Unfortunately when I made it next time it didn't come out so good -- I think I just got lucky the first time because tofu isn't usually the best thing in the world -- so after that I just got regular kosher ground meat. As for chicken, for the following Shabbat I went online to search for kosher organic meat, as QFC only rarely has Empire Organic chicken. I tried ordering but they wouldn't even process my order for a single chicken because shipping costs would have been exorbitant! I'd promised hubby chicken for Shabbat so I had to run to QFC and get a regular kosher chicken. Hubby also likes when I get the precooked kosher chickens but unfortunately those aren't organic either. I once tried making General Tzo's Tofu in the hopes that hubby wouldn't realize it was tofu not chicken, but he could totally tell the difference because it didn't come out good. My only hope of avoiding non-organic meat of any kind is to make it to QFC right when they've just gotten a shipment of Empire organic chicken. They get so little so rarely that it's snapped up immediately. They supposedly get it every two weeks on Mondays, but last time I was told it was coming on Tuesday and then it was late. I've basically given up on that. In short, I'm resigned to eating non-organic meat, at least while living here in Seattle. If it were just me I might go vegetarian, but I can't do that with my hubby who goes nuts after just a few days without meat.


According to my Internet research, wild-caught is really the best way to go, even better than organic fish. So I called Whole Foods again to find out what wild-caught fish they had and found a recipe accordingly. I've also gotten wild-caught canned tuna and salmon.


I had a big problem with cheese, as there didn't seem to be any available locally that was both kosher and organic. Initially I tried making my own but I could only make a soft cheese which is simple and doesn't need rennet, a thermometer, etc. I made Paneer cheese. Hubby and I liked it for a bit but then he got tired of it. I spent more long hours on the internet, and it turned out that a couple brands, including Tillamook Cheddar that's found at Whole Foods, were actually organic and kosher thought they didn't advertise that on their packaging or website. Though it's a bit annoying that I can only get cheddar but no mozzarella, parmesan, or others, I can't complain too much because I do get to have cheese. There's also kosher organic cream cheese, cottage cheese, etc. I love the brand Nancy's because it tastes good and it's cultured. Also Nancy's sells giant containers of yogurt which is wonderful because my husband is currently on a fruit-and-yogurt kick. (Please note, not all Nancy's products are organic so you have to make sure the package says organic when you buy.)


I had been using Truvia, but it's not organic. Also I'd heard that it can actually make you gain weight because your body is tricked into producing unneeded insulin which is stored as fat. So I experimented with various sweeteners. I'll go into more detail in a separate post, but for now suffice it to say that there's no lack of natural sweeteners, such as honey and maple syrup, in organic versions. 


I bought kosher organic grape juice that I'd finally found at Whole Foods awhile before that. However, my husband requested wine. I could not find a wine that was both kosher and organic so I resigned myself to getting Israeli wine. If it wasn't organic, at least I could support Israel with my wine purchase instead of Kedem.

Whole Foods actually had kosher organic matzah and matzah meal that were also whole wheat, amazingly enough, so that was that.

Hubby requested a couple of things -- horseradish and marshmallows -- that simply did not exist in kosher and organic versions. I complied like a good wife.

Other food wasn't a problem; I just had to make sure everything was up to the strict standards for Passover, i.e. nothing with leavened bread.

Gotta draw the line somewhere

At this point, I still accept food that someone gives me, is provided free at an event, etc. even if it's not organic. I'll eat Noah's Bagels still, for example, if someone else pays. I admit that free food is a weakness of mine, but it's also important to me to not look a gift horse in the mouth. As it is, my husband has local relatives who don't keep kosher, and it's hard enough for them to give us food that's ok, without making them also give us only organic food. I'll also use up non-organic food I had from before my transition, and I'll also use something non-organic that I bought accidentally. It's still food, an it's important to me not to waste.


While organic food has become important to me, and indeed most of the food I eat nowadays is organic, sometimes something else that's important to me trumps my desire to eat organic. I don't want to beat myself up over not eating 100% organic. As much as I can do is good. I don't have to throw in the towel when I encounter a snag.

Monday, May 30, 2011

another way to donate food for free

Go to and play the vocabulary game that's there. Each correct answer contributes 10 grains of rice, paid for by sponsors.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Feed a poor child for free!

Hey -

For every person who takes the World Food Programme's short food prices quiz, a child will be fed. Test your food prices IQ and then spread the word!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oh, no! How can I make the cookies now?!

Cross posted in Kosher Cuisine

These apple-walnut cookies were a big hit for all three of us the first time I made them. I used all organic ingredients, whole wheat flour, and maple sugar instead of regular cane sugar. (I learned recently that Truvia can actually make you gain weight because your body is tricked into thinking you've eaten sugar. It produces insulin which is then stored as fat because it's not used. I learned this from a Facebook friend who's a holistic health coach. The accuracy of that information is a moot point because it's not organic anyway, but if anyone is interested I can request a source.) Also instead of following the directions I just tossed all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mixed them all together. I knew from past experience that you can get certain recipes to come out just as well by taking that shortcut.

So anyway, hubby asked me to make them again a few days later. I began going down the list of ingredients, measuring amounts, and tossing them in the bowl....Oh no! I needed an egg but I was totally out of eggs! I couldn't just run out and buy eggs half a block away here in Seattle, not like we could in New York. But I promised hubby I'd have them ready when he got up! What could I do?! I racked my brain, and suddenly I remembered reading that you can make a natural, vegan egg substitute with flaxseed and water. Yes, I had flaxseed on hand because I'd decided to put flaxseed, among other additions, in these bagels. (I'm officially insane, btw: I made these for the first time right before Passover when I was uber-busy and would have to cease eating unleavened bread shortly. Don't worry; they were all gone before Passover.) I hopped online and, sure enough, I found this simple recipe. Indeed it had an egglike consistency when I moved it around and even felt eggy to the touch! I tossed it in with the other ingredients, finished making the recipe with no other glitches, and hoped for the best. The verdict? Good but not as good as the first batch. I might have baked them a tad longer than the first batch, so the extra substitution might not have been the problem. The taste was the same, in my opinion.

FYI, the cookies were not actually vegan because they still contained butter. ;)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why switch to organic?

I know I gave mostly general reasons already in this post, but I can't resist posting this fun music video that spells it out clearly:

Stay tuned- I'm planning a long (hopefully not boring) post on my recent switch to purchasing only organic food.

Tell the E.P.A.: No more methyl iodide

Cross posted in Environmental Tip of the Week

I did not write this message; it's just the copied and pasted "email your friends" message from after signing a petition of sorts.
Dear Friend,

Methyl iodide is a nasty chemical. It is a known neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor, and scientists in labs handle only small amounts using special protective equipment because it is so toxic. But do you know where else it is used? As a pesticide on strawberries and other food crops.

The battle against methyl iodide is being fought on several fronts. Last summer, Washington state banned the use of the pesticide. Unfortunately, the pendulum swung the other way in California, when despite more than 53,000 public comments submitted by CREDO activists and our allies, the state's Department of Pesticide Regulation approved the chemical for agricultural use last December.

But the ultimate power to regulate pesticides lies with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has just decided to reconsider its approval of methyl iodide -- approval that was granted during George W. Bush's administration.

I just submitted a public comment to the EPA, demanding that they ban the agricultural use of methyl iodide. If you care about keeping our food safe, you should do the same. Click below to take action.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I didn't go grocery shopping yesterday because I was low on time...

Cross posted in Kosher Cuisine

...due to yesterday's sudden recurrence of my obsession with organic food. What did I do for dinner? The only animal protein I had available was a can of sardines -- which I didn't dare use because hubby says he doesn't like sardines -- milk, cheddar and mozzarella cheese (already used lots of cheese for breakfast and hubby's lunch), and a single egg. I did have plenty of plant protein in the form of blackeye peas (which I didn't want to use because I prefer overnight soaking), soymilk (not much left), walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and some lentils. Help!

Google to the rescue! I think I searched for "recipe lentils nuts" and came up with this useful page. I decided to tweak the following recipe from that page, even though I was a little confused because some of the words were replaced with this weird "s&bp" or "s&gp" thing. I'll write next to each ingredient and step how I tweaked it. The original recipe will be bolded.

Lentil and Nut Cakes--or loaf

fresh white bread, 2 slices, crumbed (more volume than dried) ->I used instead a container full of crumbs of Delicious Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread that were in the fridge just waiting to be used in a recipe that called for bread crumbs.
1 C lentils (for this I prefer brown) ->I just used whatever I had left, which may or have not been a full cup.
2¼ C of slightly reduced veg stock OR water ->I used water to boil the lentils. I always use water if a recipe says stock or water because when I use stock, I use this expensive vegetable broth that's basically the only thing I can find that's both kosher and not full of icky stuff like sugar and lots of salt. I looked up how to make my own stock but I don't have a strainer as of yet.
1 med yellow onion, chopped ->I found about 3/4 of a large white onion in the fridge and sauteed that. I added a tomato and sauteed further for extra veg and extra flavor.
1 can black olives, coarsely chopped ->I was going to use instead a can of green olives that I thought I'd gotten, but they were nowhere to be found! So I just used what was left of a can of capers instead.
2 sprigs rosemary (around 8 inches each), minced ->I took a random number of leaves off of our rosemary from our brand-new garden! :) I forgot to mince them. I used some whole in sauteing the lentils, the onion and tomato, and threw some more into the final concoction for extra flavor.
nut of choice, at volume of choice, only partially toasted (a couple minutes at 300°) ->I used some walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds. I didn't bother to toast them at all, as I knew they would be baked with the final dish and I didn't want them to get burnt.
salt ->I sprinkled a little in the sauteing onion and tomato.
ground black peppercorns ->I have only ground pepper but I couldn't find it until well after dinner was made. Good thing, because it came out delicious without the pepper!
ground green peppercorns ->I didn't have any of those.
white wine ->I didn't have that either but I figured the vinegar from the capers would be a good substitute. (I'm no expert, but I guess that was ok.)
butter ->I was low on butter, but I did have some Earth Balance Buttery Spread (I usually use butter but I have that on hand to use with meat) so I used that instead. I only put some into the final concoction.
ev olive oil ->I use canola oil, as it's considered to be a healthy oil and it's cheaper than olive oil.
1 lg egg, whisked ->I didn't bother to whisk the egg; I just tossed it into the mixture.
Melinda’s Extra Hot Habanero Sauce or store or home hot sauce of choice ->I used instead some 365 Everyday Value Mild Salsa that I had on hand.
cooking spray ->I never use cooking spray anymore -- it's expensive and I don't think it's natural -- and I didn't even grease the pan at all because there was already a lot of oil and buttery spread in it.

In a saucepan, saute lentils over high heat in oil with s&bp until some brown and the aroma increases. Turn heat to low, add stock or water, s&bp. Simmer uncovered (not a low boil, so 1 bubble roughly 5-10 seconds) around 1¼ hr. S&BP again around ½ hour into it. Finish with a little butter, s&bp.
->I sauteed the lentils with rosemary, added water, and let it boil before turning it down to a simmer. I think I let it simmer for approximately the time stated.

Sweat the onion in oil, s& bp. Add ¾ C white wine, s&bp&gp and a little butter. Cook around 5 minutes. Finish with s&gp.
->I heated the oil in a skillet, added onion, sauteed for bit, then decided to chop up a tomato and add it. I sauteed it for a bit longer, then added a little salt and rosemary.

Crumb bread in food processor. Pulse nuts a few times if you wish.

Whisk egg with s&bp. Add butter (about 1 inch of a quarter pound stick). Add hot sauce to taste. Combine everything. Stir. S&GP to taste. Check seasonings ->I don't currently have a food processor but my bread was basically already in crumbs. I just left my nuts and seeds whole. I began mixing everything together, without whisking the egg, and with the buttery spread instead of butter and salsa instead of hot sauce. I added more fresh rosemary to the whole mixture. I tasted it. It tasted slightly strange because of the raw egg (not recommended if you're concerned about salmonella from raw eggs) but otherwise good.

Spray and fill the ramekins (I have 1 C ones). Put into a 350° oven around 20 minutes.
->It was still kind of soft after that amount of time, but it tasted delicious!

Tons of variations/omissions/additions possible. But I think green peppercorns are pretty important. They make things so round and supple.
->I'm so glad I made it anyway, even without the green peppercorns!

This post was written in response to a comment on Facebook.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Buy organic food!

Cross posted on Environmental Tip of the Week

Yes, it tends to be more expensive but organic growing practices are much better for the environment, and for health as well. Of course, the environment and health are connected. Folks, I just learned that workers at non-organic ("conventional") farms have died due to constant exposure to chemicals!

Where to buy organic food? A lot of regular grocery stores, like my QFC at University Village, now carry some. You can also check out Whole Foods if there's one near you. Don't forget to look around you for small, local organic stores. Google it if you can't find any organic food nearby just from browsing at your regular grocery store or walking (or riding) around outside. Look for specials if you can; sometimes an organic item will be marked down to the same price as a non-organic, or even lower.

What about kosher organic? A lot of packaged items that are marked organic also have kosher certification. Of course, fresh fruits and veggies are kosher in any case, though I know some people are very careful about lettuce and such. You might have trouble finding meat that's both kosher and organic. If there's none available where you live, you can order online. (They seem to be out of stock or almost out of stock for a number of items. People have probably placed their orders already for Passover. Also it's expensive, even before shipping costs are added on. But you don't have to eat meat every day!)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Gratitude to Bliss Project, Day 5

Cross posted in The Daily Yay!

1. I'm grateful that I did not accidentally delete the email draft where I'd saved links to recipes I'll be using for the week.
2. I'm grateful for my father-in-law and step-mother-in-law who took us to the
Children's Museum despite the rain.
3. I'm also grateful that they treated us to kosher Chinese afterward at Bamboo Garden.
4. I'm grateful that the food was good, even though it's a vegan restaurant so the general tso's "chicken" was made with tofu. Rena, who LOVES chicken, appeared to not be able to tell the difference: She scarfed it up the way she would scarf up real chicken.
5. I'm grateful Rena has her own bedroom, where she falls asleep fast usually and often stays asleep until morning.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gratitude to Bliss Project, Day 2

Cross posted in The Daily Yay!

I received a welcome email that requested the following:

It's important to set your intention. Please take a moment to think about and write down what you are hoping to get out of your participation in this project.

My response: I hope to gain a more positive outlook on life by emphasizing the good things in life, and a greater love for G-d for having given me this wonderful gift of life.

Now, on to today's list of five yays:

1. Another day of life. As part of daily Jewish practice, we say a prayer first thing in the morning thanking G-d for returning our soul.
2. Hubby woke up at 5-something in the morning and asked what time it was. We don't have a clock in our bedroom so I reached for my cell phone, which serves as my time piece for the night. I couldn't find it next to the bed, so I used hubby's iPhone to call it and found it in my purse in the closet by the front door of our apartment. Yes, I could have checked the time on the iPhone, but you see, my phone also serves as our morning alarm. I'm grateful that he woke up before we had to get him ready to go to work because without the alarm next to my bed we probably would have overslept. Sure, this happens occasionally, but this is a new job that he started a few weeks ago and it would have made a bad impression.
3. I had the best, healthiest breakfast ever this morning! I started by pouring some Ezekiel 4:9 Almond cereal into a bowl. This was the first time I'd tasted it; I'd found it at Whole Foods yesterday where I'd taken the opportunity to do some shopping because I'd gone to a shoe store nearby to buy hubby new sneakers. I though it tasted kind of like Grape Nuts so it needed something extra. Last night, I'd taken some medjool dates and mixed them with unsweetened cocoa into a doughy ball to make a quick dessert for hubby. (I'd made and enjoyed some for myself for lunch during the day and he said it sounded yummy.) I got the idea from a Yahoo! article I read awhile ago, believe it or not, that suggested rolling dates in cocoa. There was some left over so I broke it into small pieces and mixed it with the cereal, then I poured fat free milk over it. I savored every bite! :)
4. My parents- Even though I'm an adult living far away, they still concern themselves with me, keep me updated on their lives, and take interest in what I've been up to.
5. Lots of healthy snacks from Whole Foods, in addition to the cereal!
 -Raw Revolution Cashew and Agave Nectar (I got a box of ten bars cuz they're so good!)
 -Food Should Taste Good Jalapeno tortilla chips
 -365 Everyday Value Thick & Chunky Salsa to go with the tortilla chips
 -three healthy varieties of Snyder's of Hanover pretzels:
   -whole wheat and oat
   -8 grains and seeds
   -honey whole wheat (we haven't tried these yet but I'm grateful for the opportunity to try a new flavor!)
 -Flamous Organics Falafel Chips (I got the spicy ones this time; another new flavor opportunity!)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dancing: Great Fun and Great Exercise! :)

Cross posted on The Daily Yay!

I recently saw this video of the staff of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the world's largest nutrition school, taking a dance break in the middle of their work day:

Today, while home with Rena and doing some work for my online shop, I felt really energized after eating some quinoa and mushroom skillet for lunch. I decided to take a half hour to turn on some music and dance while playing around with Rena. Sorry, there's no video of us because I can't really video while dancing and hubby is away at work during the day.

What fun I had! It made me really happy; in fact, I could pinpoint the exact moment the endorphins started to kick in. I think I'll be incorporating a half-hour dance break into my regular routine, at least on days I don't walk anywhere; i.e. days I neither go grocery shopping at QFC or Whole Foods, nor to synagogue for Shabbat services. It's much more enjoyable, and I get the chance to express myself freely and work my whole body. You can try it now, if you're alone or at least at home or another place where people won't be bothered: Press play on the above video or your favorite dance music, then get up and DANCE! :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Let's get cooking! :)

This inspirational video encourages cooking for healing.

From: BeamanGarcia  (Andrea Beaman)

It's amazing! When my husband and I first got together, I had no idea, really, how to cook. I knew I had to when we got married. Sure, I helped cook at Midreshet B'erot Bat Ayin when I went there during our long engagement, but since I had no clue what I was doing, I just kind of let whoever I was cooking with take over. She would usually assign me to chop veggies, which I'd done before. I still didn't know what I was doing when it came to the actual cooking part, i.e. how everything fit together; and I was always afraid of ruining food if I tried to cook. When I got back to the US, my then fiance just kind of threw me into the kitchen to cook dinner. Slowly, slowly, I discovered that, with enough practice, I could begin to make things up. That's hit or miss, though, and I've discovered that, for me to have almost guaranteed success, I have to follow a recipe. The bonus of using recipes is that I avoid getting stuck in a rut because I discover recipes online from sites like that have ingredients I would never have thought of on my own. How does all this relate to health? When you cook, you have complete control over what goes into your body, and it's good to experiment with a variety of foods to see what's healthiest for you. When you eat prepared food, there are so many added ingredients that you would never want to use in your own cooking, like high fructose corn syrup.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Yummy vegan veggie bergers!

Cross posted on The Daily Yay!

No, I'm not vegan by any means -- I love chicken too much to be even a
vegetarian -- but there was part of a bag of black beans that I wanted
to use up before our big move to Seattle at the end of the month.
After they'd soaked overnight and for most of the day (eight hours is
the minimum for an overnight soak, but longer is better), I rinsed
them and set them to boil in a pot for about an hour. A tomato and a
big white onion went in the blender. I pureed those first to make
room, then added two cups of cooked black beans. (I decided on that
amount because a veggie berger recipe that I've used before called for
two cups of beens, to my recollection.) Once the beans were pureed, I
pureed oats until the consistency was more mushy and less liquidy.
(I'm not sure how much it was; maybe half a cup's worth to a cup.)
After adding salt and pepper, I ran the blender again for a moment to
mix them in. Meanwhile, a couple of capfuls' worth of canola oil were
heating up in my big skillet. I dropped heaping spoonfuls of the stuff
in the blender onto the skillet and fried them for a few minutes on
each side, about 3-5 minutes or so. Wow, these veggie bergers have
awonderful texture and flavor and hold together incredibly well! I
enjoyed that batch with ketchup. Rena was already asleep but luckily
there's plenty more bean stuff for the Little Bean to enjoy my veggie
bergers tomorrow!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Say no to disposable water bottles!

Cross posted on Environmental Tip of the Week

These reusable water bottles by the FlyLady are expensive but worth
the price. Mine doesn't leak! Think about how much money you'll save
by not buying disposable bottles before you decide these are too
expensive. If you must buy a cheaper one, Bed Bath and Beyond is
ubiquitous and carries water bottles. If you're in New York,
Whole Foods has them, and I got two cheap plastic water bottles from
Modell's for about three or four bucks apiece (though plastic isn't
really the best choice for the environment or your health).
Don't want to drink tapwater? Try a Culligan water filtration system.
I don't own one but I once attempted to do door to door sales for the
company. Though many of their models are for businesses, they do have
smaller machines for use at home. Some other major brands have
similar systems; I recommend shopping around to get the features,
price, and service you want. Just fill your reusable bottle with your filtered
water, and you're good to go!