Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to Make a Nutritarian Breakfast

1. Buckwheat Granola 2. Fruit Burrito 3. Breakfast Sprouts

4. Faux Porridge 5. Fruit Soup 6. Cooked Rice with Berries

Veggies, veggies, veggies! Eating like a rabbit works for lunch, but what about breakfast? Aside from the obvious green smoothie, what else is there? LOTS!

Some of my favorites are:
  • Fruit Soup or Fruity Salad - Combine all sorts of fresh fruits and serve atop a big bowl of salad greens or serve in a cup of juice with minced greens.
  • Hot cereal - mix any cooked grain (I like rice and buckwheat as much as oats and cracked wheat) with fruit, cinnamon, and non-dairy milk, then top with chopped nuts, sprouts and seeds.
  • Granola - try a healthy variation made from sprouted then dehydrated grains and seeds. Robyn Openshaw has a great buckwheat recipe in her Twelve Steps to Whole Foods.
  • Faux Porridge - chop apples in a food processor until minced. Add banana and cinnamon, pulse to combine and serve with cinnamon ( offers this recipe).
  • Breakfast Sprouts - puree a soft fruit like banana or mango and top with a mix of sprouted grains and seeds. (see for grain combinations and products)
  • Fruit burrito -spread a large salad leaf with nut butter; add banana slices (cut lengthwise), sprouts, and other fillings such as bell pepper slices. Roll and eat.
To your health and happiness,

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Zucchini Again!

Are you flooded with zucchini? Try these simple ideas:

Roasted Zucchini (left photo)
Toss slices with melted virgin coconut oil. Bake at 500 degrees until browned. Garnish with pico de gallo or pesto or your favorite healthy dressing.

Zucchini Slaw (right photo) Grate raw, peeled zucchini and combine with grated carrot. Toss with your favorite healthy dressing.

To your health and happiness,

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bean Burgers

There are many recipes for garden burgers on the web, but you will not find any that are simpler or tastier.

In a food processor, blend until smooth: one 14-0z. can of chili beans, drained, 1 egg, and 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (more or less to get a consistency that can be formed into patties) until smooth. Add 1/2 tsp. onion powder and 1/4 tsp. garlic powder and pulse until uniformly mixed. Spoon into a heated, oiled skillet and flatten with the back of a spoon into patties. Fry each side on medium heat until browned and set. Serve with lettuce, tomato and jalapeno. Makes 2 -4 patties, depending on size.

Variations: use black beans and a dash of soy sauce, nama shoyu, or Braggs Liquid Aminoes in place of the chili beans (pictured). Add red pepper flakes if you like heat. Replace the egg with 1 Tb. ground flaxseed and 3 Tb. water if you prefer.

To your health and happiness,

Monday, August 22, 2011

Losing Weight is Easy!

When I switched from healthy eating to a nutritarian lifestyle earlier this year, the pounds around my waist just vanished with almost no effort of my own! In 3 months I lost the 30 extra pounds I had carried for 10 years. It wasn't magic. There is a scientific basis for this loss. (Thanks to Healthy Girl's Kitchen blogspot for pointing out the work of Dr. Douglas Lisle to explain it.)

While eating all I could stuff in my mouth, I was still cutting calories, and getting full, yet not overeating. How does this work?

First let's look at calories. Typical American foods, meat, breads and starchy vegetables (i.e. potatoes), register at 1200 calories per pound, 1000 calories per pound and 500 calories per pound respectively. So an 8 oz steak, 2 slices of bread and a baked potato (with butter and sour cream of course), bring the tally to around 1500 calories just for ONE MEAL! And that doesn't count dessert or soft drinks with the meal. Is it any wonder Americans just keep getting fatter and the popular solution is to "cut back."

On the other hand, raw vegetables average 100 calories per pound; cooked vegetables, 200 calories per pound; fruits, 300 calories per pound, and grains 500 calories per pound. Bet you can't get a whole pound of salad down the hatch at one sitting! Yes, stuff yourself every meal, and you'll still lose weight - and be nutritionally richer for all the enzymes, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients you're getting.

But calories is only half of the story. The other half is volume. Take the following food pairs that are roughly equivalent in calories:
  • 1 pint of ice cream versus 5 pounds of cooked carrots
  • 1/4 of a pizza or 2 pounds of cooked broccoli
  • 4 oz. of chocolate or 3 baked potatoes
It's easy to put away a small volume of food that is "calorie-dense" and not feel full because the stretch receptors in the stomach have not been affected. But try to put away a large volume of plant food with the same caloric content, and you will stop long before you clear the plate because no one's stomach can hold that much!

The bottom line is that we are used to eating "ultra" foods, like concentrated detergents - a lot of power in a little amount. Losing weight, then, isn't about sacrificing portions so much as it's about overturning the food pyramid. Eat your vegetables first! Get full on them. When you have eaten all the produce and legumes required by the Fuhrman food pyramid*, there won't be room for steak!

To your health and happiness,

*See "What is Nutritarian?" tab

Lentils with Indian Spices

I've tried lentil "meatloaf," lentil tacos and lentil soup, but Indian Lentils are better than them all! Made with warm spices, the dish leaves you feeling satisfied and comforted. If you do not have the Garam Masala called for in the recipe, you can make your own with the instructions below.

Double, triple or quadruple the recipe if you like!
Simmer 1 cup lentils in 2 cups water with 2 teaspoons Garam Masala and 1/2 onion, chopped, until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. Serve over brown rice.

GARAM MASALA (all spices listed below are ground)
1 Tb. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. coriander
1 1/2 tsp. cardamom
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper OR 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
Mix & store in an airtight container. Makes enough for 4 batches of Indian Lentils.

To your health and happiness,

Friday, August 19, 2011

Too Hard? I think Not

I like to be challenged! You do too, believe it or not. You might think you are happier staying in your comfort zone. But then why do the gym classes that push your limits have higher enrollment than the ones that allow you slack off. Why do children languish when school is easy but thrive when they are at the edge of their abilities? Why do you feel so fulfilled when you have conquered a new skill?

When I talk to people who think a nutritarian diet is too hard, I want to remind them how exhilarated they felt when they climbed a summit and viewed the breathtaking scene below. I want to proclaim, "Take the pain up front! You'll be miserable if you don't make the climb." That's because in the long run, the more difficult path is staying on the standard American diet, which brings obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and auto-immune diseases.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman has an excellent post on his blog, Disease Proof, which reminds us that the challenge of nutritious eating is worth the effort. When someone says, "Oh, I could never do that," he says,
  • I could never have rubber bands put on painful hemorrhoids by a rectal specialist.

  • I could never worry about running to catch a bus, for fear of having a heart attack.

  • I could never have such severe stomach cramps that emergency room personnel would assume it was a heart attack.

Catch the rest of the blog here:

To your health and happiness,

Best Zucchini Soup Ever!

My friend Tracy Ward cooked a delicious pot of soup for me once when I was staying at her house. I have never found a better use for zucchini. You can find the recipe on her site:

To your health and happiness,

Corn and Black Bean Fiesta

This is a really fast and satisfying salad to have when corn-on-the cob is in season.

Fill a skillet with raw corn kernels that have been cut off the cob. Saute lightly in olive or coconut oil, adding black beans and diced red bell pepper the last two minutes of cooking. Sprinkle with lime juice and chopped cilantro. Spoon onto salad greens. Serve with a yogurt dressing if desired.

To your health and happiness,

I Used to Eat Peanut Butter

But now I enjoy Tahini (sesame seed paste) even more! Tahini is less allergenic than nut butters, has a high calcium content, has less fat, and is really inexpensive and easy to make. Here's how:

Pour a single layer of seeds into a dry skillet and heat on a medium low setting, stirring occasionally, until seeds have a golden roasted color.

Pour the seeds into a food processor and add 2 Tb. olive oil for every cup of seeds. Process until smooth. If it seems too dry, add more oil.

Use it like peanut butter - on pitas, toast, celery - or use to make hummus. You can also add lemon juice, garlic and soy sauce to it to make a dressing for salads, noodles, grains or vegetables.

To your health and happiness,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Zucchini Quick Skillet

Lions and Tigers and Zucchini, oh no! It's zucchini harvest time. Neighbors are hiding, teens are loading their airsoft guns, husbands are pleading, and children are whining, "give me broccoli, give me yams, but please, not the zucchini." Well, this recipe has a spicy kick, so it may not be so awful after all.

Fry as much peeled, sliced zucchini as you have available in a heavy skillet primed with olive or coconut oil. Just as the zucchini turns bright green, toss in some cooked black beans* to warm through. Sprinkle in as much red pepper flakes as you like. The last minute of cooking, add cubed tomatoes. Season to taste Serve with brown rice* if desired.
*To save time, cook a huge pot of beans and another of rice on a day when you're cleaning house or doing laundry. Freeze them in portion-size ziplock bags to be pulled out on demand.

VARIATION: use grated parmesan in place of the beans and Italian seasoning instead of red pepper. Toss with whole grain pasta.

Monday, August 15, 2011

This Is Not A Battery Commercial

This is about energy - renewable, bio-available energy. Everyone seems to want more of it these days and many are complaining of a shortage. Metabolic burnout has become so common, it is the new buzzword for being chronically fatigued and mentally dull. Just this morning I was passing by the pharmacy counter and heard a woman not 12 years my senior asking the pharmacist if he had any thing to improve energy since hers was "in the tank."

The pharmacists didn't appear to be very rich in energy himself as he moved methodically about his business. He paused and peered past his protruding paunch at the woman. "That's a hard one," he replied. "I use coffee."

"Coffee?!," I wanted to scream, "Have you ever tried a green smoothie?" Listen to this commentary on metabolic burnout by Dr. Warren Willey:

"Mitochondria are sometimes described as the power houses of the cell because they generate most the the cell's supply of energy, adenosine triphosphate (ATP)....Damaged and beat up and not properly cared for, mitochondria account for a lot of the fatigue you may be suffering from. Taking care of these little energy sources should be at the top of your list in the quest for a solution. Continually elevated insulin levels (as seen in insulin resistance) has been shown to damage and prevent the creation of new mitochondria." [my translation: quick pick-me-ups, especially pop, literally make you more tired!]

Dr. Willey continues, "Following a lower glycemic eating plan is the place to start. Eating a large variety of fruits and vegetable, nuts, seeds, and other whole foods also helps due to the abundance of antioxidants."

Let my validate the doc's advice with my own experience: At 48 1/2 years old, I now have an easier time getting out of bed at 5 a.m. than I did when I was 35. My endurance is better (just ask the spin instructor at the gym), and I am not exhausted at the end of the day, though I'm averaging 6 1/2 to 7 hours of sleep a night. I feel vibrant throughout the day, and I DON'T TAKE NAPS!

What is the difference? Sprouts! And lots of leafy greens. Plenty of fruits. An abundance of vegetables. About a cup of beans and a cup of whole grains per day. Almost no animal products, except for kefir, which I use as a source of vitamin B-12. And a smattering of nuts & seeds daily.

The rules are easy (although counter-intuitive).
  • It takes energy to make energy
  • If you want quick energy, eat slow-release foods
  • If you want endurance, don't endure between meals
Sound like double-speak? Let me explain. You can't make something from nothing. If we want our bodies to be vitalized, we must fuel them with life. How much energy is in a processed hot dog compared to a growing seed? It takes energy to make energy.

Have you ever noticed how an inexperienced athlete tends to drive hard at the beginning of a race only to burnout before it's over. Eating refined flours and sugars gives the bloodstream a hard boost too early in the race, leaving us lethargic later. To be able to sprint at the finish, we must have a constant supply of fuel available to draw from. Fibrous plant foods are the pacing mechanism that allow us to call forth higher output on demand. If you want quick energy, eat slow-release foods.

Somehow, our culture believes that it's better to last without snacking between meals. Therefore, a steak, which leaves you feeling full for 6 hours, is better than a salad that gives you an empty feeling after 2 hours. Never mind how the cholesterol count compares! Fruit, nuts, seeds, and raw vegetables are perfect for snacking on every few hours to energy levels. If you want endurance, don't endure between meals.

To your energy and health and happiness,

Saturday, August 13, 2011

But I Don't Even Like Vegetables!

If you DON’T like vegetables, I wager you DO eat one or more of these regularly:

1. Refined sugars, including high fructose corn syrup

2. Carbonation

3. Artificial sweeteners

4. MSG

5. Caffeine or other stimulants

6. Animal foods (meat & dairy) in quantities higher than 25% of the diet

These six spoilers harm our innate appetite for natural plant foods. If you find the flavors, colors and textures of fruits, vegetables and legumes to be distasteful, challenge yourself to completely cut out one or more of these offenders for 3 days and satisfy your cravings with fresh foods from nature. I feel confident in promising that if you feed yourself nutrient-dense food every time you feel like munching, within a very short time, your tastes will change. The following tips may help:

· Substitute smoothies for sodas

· Trade fruit for desserts and treats

· Try veggie sticks instead of chips

· Load up on lemon water, not energy drinks

· Satisfy protein needs with nuts, seeds, greens and grains.

To your health and happiness,

Lemon-Basil Eggplant

I still had eggplant in my frig from last week's co-op basket, so I decided to make a quick skillet before picking up the new basket. Here's my creation:

1 eggplant
1 tomato, cubed
juice of 1/2 lemon
6 basil leaves, snipped into tiny pieces

Saute eggplant in coconut or olive oil until browned on the outside and tender inside. Stir in tomato, and basil. Drizzle with lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

To your health and happiness,

Friday, August 12, 2011


I was reading some relationship principles in Bonds That Make Us Free by Terry Warner. These principles apply to changing our nutritional lifestyle.

I'm sure everyone who has every tried to make an improvement of diet has at times "fallen off the wagon." No person becomes his ideal overnight without some regression and recommitment.

This is what Warner has to say about relapsing:
1. When we slip, we tend to slip a lot
2. We will return to the old, familiar patterns when we slip
3. After a change of heart, we become agents to decide whether we will indulge in the old habits. Choosing not to indulge doesn't mean our susceptibility will go away. But the less we indulge, the weaker our susceptibility becomes.

Here is what is most instructive from the author. "We activate that susceptibility if we begin to betray ourselves again. A relapse can be a minimal and instructive thing - indeed, part of a normal process of our growth - or else it can plunge us into a condition even worse than before....We determine by our response which it will be."

His final advice is to continue to decide at each and every crossroad to sustain the change.
Adopting a plant-strong nutritional approach is a lifelong commitment!

To your health and happiness,

Don't Say Deprivation!

Scarcity or Abundance?
Do you believe in a world of shortages that is shrivelled, closed, and limited?

Or do you believe in a world of plenty that is inviting, giving, welcoming?

I see the planet yielding ALL to us!

I see nature's God as magnanimous and eager to bless earth's children with all the richness of its resources. Food, minerals, clothing, shelter, wealth - it's all there for the labor of harvesting it.

So it doesn't seem to me that "dieting" - also known as deprivation - is a truth in line with our reality as human beings. We are lords and stewards over the whole planet! Therefore following phrases do not belong in our worldview:
  • It's too much
  • I really shouldn't
  • I can't
  • I'll skip it
Now, I'm NOT advocating gluttony. What I'm saying is that if we partake of wholeness and life as ordained by our maker, we will be satisfied. We won't need to go hungry in order to keep our calorie count in line or need to sacrifice taste and treats in order to be healthy.

We can feel grateful and blessed for all the food we CAN have. We can see a rainbow of options and eat as much as our bodies need to be full and energetic.

For example:
When dieters pass on dessert, we can choose from a myriad of juicy, ripe fruits.
When dieters sacrifice a high-calorie entree, we can have a cyclops-size salad with a generous grain and legume dish.
When dieters go without breakfast, we can feast on sprouts, nuts, smoothies and more.

Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote that the world is no wider than the heart, no higher than the soul. (from the poem, Renascence) If deprivation is the lens through which we look, scarcity is what we'll get. I say, let gratitude be the yardstick of our existence!

To your health & happiness,

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I promise I eat more than just vegetables! It's just that it's summer and there is so much fresh produce available that most of my creations right now are based on the garden harvest. This recipe does include beans, though. Consider it a "jumbo hamburger from nature." (Knives and forks may be required.)

Brown two 6" corn tortillas on medium high heat on a griddle or in a frying pan. Spread one with refried beans and the other with mashed avocado. Add lettuce or leafy greens, tomato and sprouts. Voila! That was faster than driving to McDonald's!

To your health and happiness,

Banana Burrito

I couldn't help it! I planned to do just one recipe each week, but this one was so fun, I just had to share it.

Start with several large green leaves from Romaine or green leaf lettuce. Spread each with a smear of almond butter or sesame tahini. Add bananas, cut lengthwise, then bell pepper slices, and sprouts (my favorite are sunflower). Roll and eat!

To your health and happiness,

Fruit Harvest Salad

Do you like my sideways salad? The photo is oriented correctly in my files, but when I upload it, it rotates. I don't know how to change it on the blog!

Oh well, the recipe is good, no matter how the picture looks. I'm using fresh fruit from my raspberry bushes and from my Bountiful Basket. If you don't know about these wonderful co-op baskets, check it out at

Here's the salad recipe. Make the quantities that are right for you and the crew you are feeding.

Fill a bowl with leafy greens. I used romaine. Top with sliced peaches, pears, apples, plums, or whatever fresh fruit you have. Drizzle with raspberry kefir dressing and garnish with dried cranberries, or cherries.

1/2 c. kefir or plain yogurt
1/2 c. fresh or frozen raspberries or other berries
Blend until smooth

To your health and happiness,

Too Many Greens!

Sometimes it's boom or bust when it comes to gardens. If they grow at all, you soon have so much produce, you don't know what to do with it all.

Well, if you're sick of seeing spinach or crammed full of chard, here's a tip that will save you time and money this winter: dry those leaves!

Once they are dried, leafy greens can be powdered and stirred into juice or a smoothie for a quick boost! The process is simple.

Wash and spin or pat dry your surplus crop. It's okay to mix various greens. If you have a dehydrator, lay leaves flat on screens and dry at 110 degrees for a few hours until the leaves are crumbly. Or, lay leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet and put in the oven on the lowest heat with the door slightly ajar.

When completely dry, crush leaves into your blender and whirl until pieces disappear into a fine powder. Store in an airtight container.

Add 1 teaspoon to a glass of juice or a heaping tablespoon to a quart of smoothie.

To your health and happiness,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cauliflower Celebration Salad

It's time to celebrate the glory of late summer and its rich, hearty vegetables. Here's a salad that is very satisfying as a meal. Amounts have not been specified because quantities depend on your harvest and your family.

Steam cauliflower and toss with a little smidgeon of butter, salt, paprika and parmesan. Spoon onto a bed of dark leafy greens, such as chopped kale or chard. Dress with Sundried tomato dressing and garnish with nuts or pumpkin seeds.

1 c. cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1 Tb. dijon mustard
1/4 c. sundried tomatoes
4 fresh basil leaves

Whirl in your blender until smooth, adding a little water for thinning if necessary.

To your health and happiness,

It's Not About the Scales!

Scale-watching is an easy trap to fall into. When the weight reading is better than we expected, we say to ourselves, "I can have a little treat! I'm so skinny, a doughnut won't matter." But when the weight reading is elevated, the self-talk goes something like this: "I'll have to do better. I'll skip breakfast and have lemon-water for lunch, then I'll be back on target."

But it's not about the scales! The whole point of eating right is to feel right and to function right. What we don't see when we step onto the scales is what's happening on the cellular level. If I've stayed "on program" and have been eating according to the principles you'll see on this site, then I should not be concerned about a pound or two of fluctuation. Life is dynamic! My weight is not going to be static. It responds to food quantities, hormones, activity level, salt intake, and hydration. Sometimes my weight is up for a day or two, but if I continue feeding myself properly, it comes back down and stabilizes at a healthy point.

Consider the other side of the equation as well. If I am "cheating," the scales may not show it, but my body knows! The blood vessels will be scrubbing away plaque or accumulating it; pre-cancerous cells will be shrinking or multiplying; blood sugar levels will spike or level out; joints will bind or be lubricated....I could go on, but you see what I'm saying.

I try to remind myself when I look into the mirror that it's what I don't see that counts.

To your health and happiness,

Green Bean Festival

The farmer's markets and the gardens are sporting green beans now, at least in Idaho. I thought it would be fun to share my latest creation with you! But I have to confess, it looked so yummy, I ate part of it before I remembered to take a picture for the blog. (hee hee)

The recipe is simple. I won't specify amounts because the quantity you make will depend on how many beans you have and how many mouths you are feeding.

Steam or saute your green beans in coconut oil with a little garlic or onion if you like. Scoop onto cooked brown rice or millet or barley. Add some julienned sundried tomatoes and some soaked nuts (I like walnuts for this recipe.) Season to taste. Bon appetite!

To your health and happiness,

Eat Life!

Any fly fisherman knows that when driven by hunger, a trout will gulp flies made of synthetic thread and metal hooks – if they’re appealing enough. Look and smell can be so tempting that hypothetically, a trout could ingest a whole tackle box of flies! In such a case, its stomach would be filled, but it would probably be sick …and it would still be voraciously hungry.

The lesson of this tale is that the fish’s appetite is real; it is only the lures that are bogus. However, a live insect would not only satiate the trout; it would also stop the fish from eating any more because the nutritional need would be satisfied.

On a parallel, when I have a food craving, my nutritional need is real. But if I binge on Twinkies, I cannot be satiated. In fact, I may feel even greater desires to eat more. Yet here is the truth: by feasting on the bounties of nature’s harvest instead, my cravings disappear! The more live, whole food I eat, the less I am drawn to “plastic and cardboard” counterfeits. I loose my desire for fake foods, dressed up as treats, convenient snacks, comfort foods, and appetite pleasers.

When I feel an urge to snitch a tempting sugar-fix or fat-fill-up, my body is telling me it has a real need. I should not ignore it; it should feed it! The key is to nourish it with something nutrient dense that will bring deep satisfaction right down to the cells. Is it a lure, or is it the real thing?

I can cure and prevent cravings by feasting on what truly brings vibrancy to my being. Eat life!

To your health and happiness,


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hello, I'm Hailey!

I created Kitchen of Health to motivate you and me to consistently LIVE what we believe nutritionally. From experience, it seems that the most common response to encouragement in converting from the standard western diet to a plant-based approach is, "Okay, but how do I it!
I hope to give you plenty of encouragement and recipes on your way!
To your health and happiness,