Saturday, December 31, 2011

Is Your Family Coming "On Board"?

Have you made the switch to a healthier lifestyle without your loved ones? Are you hoping that they will join you in 2012? Want some help getting them to change?

Golly gee, you've come to the wrong place! There is nothing I can do to get your family on board. I can't make them change... and neither can you. I'm an expert at trying though. When my children were little, I invented many way for sneaking healthy foods into everyday dishes. Soon, everyone became suspicious of everything I cooked, and wouldn't eat without asking, "What's in this?" (Reminiscent of Kid History's Episode Six, "Healthy Food Will Make You Strong")

But don't despair. There are 3 simple things you CAN do:
  1. Be a happy example of a smart lifestyle. Let your vitality speak for itself. My 16-year-old athlete has an eye on my eating habits and my work-outs. Recently, he asked how long it would take his tastes to change if he started eating like me. He agreed to give nutritarianism a 21-day trial.
  2. Serve wholesome, nutritious, delicious meals that look, taste and smell inviting. Give them options. I usually put two or three vegetable dishes on the table, then ask, "Would you like the salad, cooked vegetables, or fresh veggie sticks?"
  3. Educate them about their choices and the consequences (positive or negative) of each decision. If the only criteria for food is whether it tastes good, Brussels sprouts won't stand a chance against pizza! Once they understand the "physiology of food" they will want to incorporate those dishes that make them feel great and perform better.
When circumstances are right, they will choose what's best for them. Just like you did. Remember what made you decide to become plant strong? Chances are you were motivated by something that evoked a strong emotion. And now you feel passionate about your new direction. Your family is no different. Nagging only builds resentment and resistance. "Effort follows desire."

In the meantime, you may feel pressure from them to return to your old lifestyle.Case in point: My husband took me on a date; he wanted to buy me an appetizer. He saw Fried Zucchini with Cilantro Lime Dressing on the menu. I declined. He insisted: "I know you! Cilantro and Lime and Zucchini...It's a winner!"

I felt stuck. If I didn't eat it, he would feel like I was ungrateful, wasting his money and being picky. I should have asked the waiter to just bring me the zucchini sticks, unbreaded and unfried, without the creamy dressing.

I learned that waffling makes others push harder. In an article titled Food Bullies posted on Disease Proof, Emily Boller points out that when you exhibit a “defeated attitude” in response to pushiness, then bullying is likely to continue. However, if you respond with a clear attitude of self-confidence and a strong boundary line, the attempts to dominate will quickly diminish.

Picture yourself as a lighthouse, beckoning to your family. If you are bright, they will come without compulsion...perhaps, even this year.
To your health and happiness,
(and your family's, too)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pizza Fondue For New Year's

Whether you're inviting guests, attending a party, or enjoying the evening alone, fondue is versatile and fun. Just be sure to have plenty of sauce and several trays of dippers.

Raw Marinara Sauce (From Jennifer Cornbleet, Raw Food Made Easy)
1/2 c. chopped tomato
1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 c. red bell pepper
2 Tb. olive oil (optional)
1 Tb. fresh basil, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
dash cayenne, optional

Process in a food processor or high-powered blender until smooth. Serve at room temperature or warm slightly. Makes about 1 cup.

Raw bell pepper strips
Roasted red pepper
Olives, green and black
Mushrooms (several varieties)
Tomatoes, fresh and sundried
Pineapple chunks
Zucchini sticks
Pita squares
Artichoke hearts
Grilled eggplant
Grilled tofu (extra firm)
Asparagus spears
Tempeh strips
Rolled collard leaves (use a toothpick to keep them rolled)

To your health and happiness in 2012!

One-Day DeTox from Gillian McKeith

From You Are What You Eat,  here's a one-day detox you can use to get back on track and ready for the new year. Don't forget to leave your comment in order to be entered into the drawing to receive this helpful book by Dr. McKeith.

  • 7 a.m. - Drink warm water with fresh lemon juice
  • 7:30 a.m.-  Drink water and 1 Tb.ground  flaxseeds
  • 8 a.m. -  Sip miso soup
  • 9:30 a.m. - Enjoy herbal tea: nettle, dandelion, chamomile, sage or echinacea
  • 10 a.m. - Make yourself fresh-squeezed fruit juice
  • 12:30 - Savor this Raw Mint Cucumber Soup: juice of 3 cucumbers and 2 celery stalks, 1 chopped cucumber, 1/4 c. each fresh chopped mint leaves and fresh chopped parsley, 1/4 chopped leek
  • 2 p.m.-  Sip more herbal tea: nettle, dandelion, chamomile, sage or echinacea
  • 2:30 p.m.- Juice your own fresh vegetables: carrots, celery and apple; or beet, carrot, celery; or parsley, kale, carrot and ginger
  • 3 p.m. - Pour yourself more herbal tea
  • 3:30 p.m. - Snack on raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • 4 p.m. - Indulge in a veggie smoothie: 6 juiced carrots, 1 juiced apple, 1 avocado, 10 basil leaves, few drops lemon juice
  • 5:30 p.m. - Eat a hearty raw salad with a handful of raw sprouts
  • 6:30 p.m. - Wind down with Potassium Broth made from 2 potatoes, 2 carrots, 1 cup beets, 4 celery stalks, 1 c. parsley and 1 c. turnips simmered for 2 hours then strained.
  • 7:30 p.m. - Drink warm water with fresh lemon juice
  • 8:30 p.m. - Soak in a mineral bath with 2 tsp. flax oil, 1 tsp. liquid silica, 2 tsp. aloe vera and 3-4 drops frankincense or myrrh essential oil
  • 9 p.m. - Munch on lettuce and celery
  • 9:30 or 10 a.m. - Go to bed
To your health and happiness,

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    FREE Book Give Away!

    Dr. Gillian McKeith's beautiful full-color book, You Are What You Eat, is a treasure-trove of food and herb formulas to help you beautify hair and nails, get rid of those bags under your eyes, rev up your libido, safely de-tox, resolve leg cramps, and much more! To be entered in a drawing for your own free copy please comment on:
    • What you like (or don't like) about Kitchen of Health
    • What you types of articles and recipes you would like to see on Kitchen of Health
    A winner will be chosen at random on Monday, Jan. 2, 2012.

    Dr. McKeith is known for her ability to turn around even the very worst eaters. Her book includes a food IQ test and a 7-day Jumpstart Plan. In addition, you can learn from her:
    • Which proteins, carbs and fats are bad and why
    • How the appearance of your tongue identifies problem areas in your diet
    • What dandruff, chipped nails, dark circles under the eyes, pimply arms, varicose veins, cracked heels, and oozing earwax reveal about what you are eating
    • How to identify problems with food by looking at your stools
    • What pimples are telling you about your organs and how diet can  affect them
    • How to switch to a diet of abundance
    • Which foods are "Nasties" and how to get rid of them
    • What to do about the top 5 "Bummers:" weight problems, tiredness, digestive disorders, PMS & hormonal issues, and stress.
    • How to boost your immune system
    Don't delay! Comment today for your chance to win!
    To your health and happiness,

    Monday, December 26, 2011

    Success or Failure?

    Christmas Day is over. The gifts are opened, the meal is eaten, the company has gone...and some of the goodies have been snitched.

    Are you looking at the remaining treats on the counter, and muttering, "I blew it!"?

    If you did not indulge - even once - in a food that you planned to avoid, stop reading right now. But if the tempting "gotcha" really did get you, I have some encouraging words.

    Every supposed failure is really a success because it is an opportunity to learn and to grow. Look behind you! How far have you come? By comparison, where were you last year? Are you on a path that is at least pointed in the direction of your dreams? If you are even one step closer to your goal, congratulate yourself. Take a deep breath, let the holiday go, and start where you are today.

    One year ago, I was on a total sugar binge. I snitched from every cookie plate that came in the house, I snarfed dozens of gluten-y soft white rolls, I loaded up on sweet breads galore, and more chocolates disappeared behind my back than I'm willing to admit. I fudged on fudge, the divinity was divine...and then there was the Christmas dinner: eggnog, mashed potatoes, and a full plate of prime rib, followed by pie.

    I felt drugged. I was heavy and sluggish, sick of myself. But I chose to change! I started with a green smoothie de-tox, and from there quickly move into nutritarianism. Today I am back to my college weight, off of blood-pressure medication and working out regularly. I feel sharp!

    Was I perfect this Christmas? No! For about 3 days, I succumbed. I nibbled Amish Friendship Bread and Almond Roca. I enjoyed popcorn with M&M's and a few cookies made it to my mouth. (Maybe I'll even confess to a piece of fudge if you won't tell). But I had a big green salad every day. Roasted beets replaced rolls. I served poached pears for dessert, and I really did eat Wild Rice, Mushroom and Lentil Timbales instead of Prime Rib on December 25.

    So what's my point? I'm still committed to a plant-strong lifestyle! I'm giving myself credit for doing better than last year, and I'm promising to keep improving. These pep tips help me rally when the food demons appear:
    • Ask, "How do I feel physically?" If I am perky now, will I still be perky if I eat what I'm contemplating? If I am beginning to feel "foggy," which food choices are contributing?
    • Ask, "How do I feel emotionally?" Am I eating to be social, or am I feeling pressured, lonely, frustrated, sad, angry, etc.? Can I meet my need in some other way besides eating? Have I communicated to others what I am feeling?
    • Tell myself, "I have options." I do not HAVE to eat something just because it's there or because everyone else is eating it. At a restaurant, I can ask for steamed vegetables, if nothing else. At a party, I can carry around a glass of ice water. I can fix something healthy at home or stop at a health food store when I'm on the road.
    • Remember, "Better to stumble and move on than lie in the road and get run over." If I make a choice I regret, a quick assessment and return to commitments is better than giving up.
    • Repeat, "I am not alone." I have a community of supporters who have the same challenges I do. They are ready to share their recipes, their struggles, their triumphs...and their smoothies! Together we can keep trying.
    • Know that the effort is worth it. All things of value take work. Ease is not the answer.
    May your new year bring vitality and hope.
    To your health and happiness,

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    Faster than the Drive-Thru Line

    One of the big frustrations many nutritarian wanna-be's have is time in the kitchen. After all, you can't microwave a salad into existence, or create cooked whole grains with a can opener. Making your own salad dressings hardly seems instant, and vegetable soup is not available from the pizza delivery man.

    Yet, here are 10 ideas that are practically immediate:
    1. Yam-It: Mash canned yams onto a whole wheat tortilla. Spoon on chili, bean soup or cooked beans - whatever you have in the cupboard or freezer. Top with salsa. Warm in microwave, then add  greens and/or sprouts. Roll!
    2. Salad Bar Soup: Heat vegetable broth to a boil. Remove from heat and drop in as many leftover cut vegetables as you can find in the frig.Let steep just a few minutes. Beans are also a nice addition.
    3. Racy Lentils: Dump a can of lentil soup onto a bowl of cooked rice (I keep bags of cooked brown rice in the freezer.) Mix in some finely chopped greens. Sprinkle with cayenne. Microwave.
    4. Thai Paradise: Steam some frozen mixed vegetables and serve over cooked rice (from the freezer). For the sauce, mix Thai chili-garlic sauce with coconut milk. (or use a purchased peanut sauce)
    5. Lettuce Wraps: Set bowls of pea pods, water chestnuts, rice, tofu, mung bean sprouts, cashews, mushrooms, carrot shreds and green onion, and bottled stir-fry sauce on the table, along with a head of butter lettuce. Let each person fill and roll their own leaves.
    6. Burrito Soup: Mix equal parts vegetable broth and refried beans. Add frozen cooked rice, canned green chilies, and salsa. Fun extras would be canned olives, fresh tomatoes and bell peppers, frozen corn and cabbage shreds.
    7. Stand-by Salad: Bagged lettuce can be topped with any of the following "instant" foods: seeds, nuts, sprouts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, canned mushrooms and artichoke hearts, canned beans, frozen or dried fruits, and frozen vegetables. Many homemade dressings are quick, but possibly none as convenient as Jane Esseltyn's 3-2-1 dressing: 3 parts vinegar (she uses balsamic; I think apple cider vinegar would be yummy), 2 parts mustard (any kind), 1 part maple syrup.
    8. Beet-Pear Salad: Toss canned beets and canned pears with balsamic vinegar and herbs. Serve over  greens with a garnish of slivered almonds. A warmed pita helps round out the meal.
    9. Farmhouse fare: Saute bagged shredded cabbage in orange juice with sliced onion and sliced apple, just until soft, 3-5 minutes. Drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with nutmeg. Pairs well with canned baked beans.
    10. Breakfast time Soup: Dump fresh vegetables, Mrs. Dash, and vegetable broth into a crock pot in the morning. Barley is a nice addition. Set to low and eat 8 hours later.
     As James Simmons says, vegetables and fruits are the original fast foods!
    To your health and happiness,

    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    Holiday Menu

    If you don't have "roast beast" on Christmas Day, what do you have?

    I think this year I would like to try Timbales. I found a great recipe from Fat Free Vegan.

    Instead of rolls and mashed potatoes, I'm going to make a lovely Jewelled Salad:
    • lettuce
    • cabbage
    • cilantro
    • water chestnuts
    • red, yellow and orange bell pepper
    • carrots
    • mandarin oranges

    Should I serve roasted beets, or broccoli with orange-ginger sauce?

    Eggnog from the Happy Herbivore is definitely in.

    And for dessert, I can't wait to try Dr. Furhman's Pomegranate Poached Pears with Chocolate and Raspberry Sauces.

    I hope your holiday is cheery and vibrant!
    To your health and happiness,

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    An Interview with Happy Herbivore, Lindsay Nixon

    We are honored to have Lindsay Nixon, author of the Happy Herbivore Cookbook, stop at Kitchen of Health on her blog tour. As a bonus below, you can sample one of the recipes from her newly-released cookbook Everyday Happy Herbivore.

    Lindsay has been praised for her ability to use everyday ingredients to create healthy, low fat recipes that taste just as delicious as they are nutritious.Her recipes have been featured in Vegetarian Times, Women's Health Magazine and on The Huffington Post. Lindsay is also a consulting chef at La Samanna, a luxury resort and four-star restaurant in the French West Indies. You can learn more about her and sample more of her recipes at

    Here's the interview between Kitchen of Health and Happy Herbivore: 

    KOH: For someone just starting on a plant-strong path, what would be the most important foods to
    stock up on?
    HH: I actually have a great shopping list at the front of both books (and I think it's on my website too)! If you have those items, you can make any of my recipes without a special trip to the grocery store.

    KOH:  How would you recommend that a person go about getting off the Standard American Diet?
    HH: Just do it. Take it one meal at a time. Eating one healthy meal will get the ball rolling. It'll encourage you to make more good choices. Make the next meal a healthy choice. 

    KOH Is it ever tempting to return to your old lifestyle?
    HH: Never. My stomach clenches when I see people eating food I used to eat. I feel bad for them, and their colons! I can't believe I ever ate any other way. I'm thankful I made the switch every day.

    KOH: Has eating plant-strong improved your health and vitality?
    HH: Absolutely. Within months of adopting a plant-based diet I went on to run a marathon when I'd never so much as ran a 5k before. I rock climb, snowboard and mountain bike -- activities that seemed impossible and out to sight before. I lost 30 lbs -- going from a 12 to a 4. My stomach issued cleared, my acne went away. I pretty much eradicated my migraines. My skin and hair is healthy. My teeth are healthier. I have so much energy. I sleep better, I recover faster. I never get sick and I'm just generally a happier person. Less stress, anger and anxiety.
    KOH What do you eat in place of fast food?
    HH: A PB&J, bean burrito, hummus and pita, pasta, frozen veggie stir-fry, canned soups, all those foods take less time than going through the drive thru and are so much better for you. I wrote a post about healthy meals that are faster than fast food:

    KOH: How do you handle eating out?
    HH: When possible, I try to support vegan and vegetarian restaurants... though all of last year I lived on a small island in the Caribbean so there weren't any... and now I'm in a tiny ski town and none are here. I tend to go to restaurants that I know will have veg options -- such as Thai restaurants, Italian restaurants, Indian, Ethiopian, American Grills, that sort of thing... but I have yet to go anywhere in the WORLD where I couldn't find something on the menu to eat. Sure it takes a little patience and creativity sometimes, but I always find something -- even in Africa :) I also wrote a post about eating plant0based while traveling, etc -- this helps:

    KOH: Is it difficult to eat at group functions that are not plant-strong? How do you handle these kinds of social settings?
    HH: I'm very open about my diet, and always make sure to tell the host well in advance of my dietary restrictions, and offer to bring something. When I go to conferences where I know there probably won't be anything for me, I pack food and snacks in my purse.

    KOH: How can a plant-strong individual be sure he is getting enough vitamin B-12?
    HH: I'm not a doctor or dietician, so this isn't medical advice. If you're concerned with B-12, take a supplement or buy ingredients that are fortified with B-12 like nutritional yeast, soy milk, almond milk, cereals, etc. Everyone, plant-strong or not, should get their B-12 checked annually. While I don't know anyone that is plant-based and B-12 deficient, two of my rather carnivorous friends had B-12 deficiencies.
    KOH: Should individuals eating plant-strong be concerned about calories?
    HH: Again, I'm not a doctor or dietician, but I was a personal trainer so I'll answer with that experience and training in mind. If you need or want to lose weight, then yes. I find a lot of people operate on the notion that plant-based calories are magic calories -- that they don't count or something. Excess is still excess. Sure a bag of carrots is better than a bag of potato chips, but at the end of the day, even if you're eating carrots, an extra 1000 calories will cause you to gain if you don't need all those calories. I was lucky that once I switched to a whole foods, plant-based diet, I lost weight even without counting calories... and that is true for a lot of people, but not for everyone so you may or may not need to be concerned. As a trainer, my number one concern was that my clients ate real food. The numbers were secondary but I found once my clients started eating right, they generally stuck within their calorie range. It just worked out.

    KOH: Would you share a recipe with us that might make eating vegetables at little more appealing?
    HH: Here's one from my newest cookbook:
    Spicy Orange Greens | serves 2

    The slightly spicy orange sauce in this dish is one of my favorites. You can serve it with any greens you like or have on hand, but collard greens are my favorite to use. For a complete meal, serve over or tossed with noodles.

    1/3 cup water
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    1 tbsp orange marmalade or jam
    4 cups greens (any)

    Pour water, soy sauce, ginger and red pepper flakes into a skillet. Turn heat to high and saute until the ginger is fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in marmalade and then add chopped greens. Reduce heat to medium and using tongs, turn greens into the sauce. This will help cook the greens down; stop when your greens are bright green and have softened. Serve.

    Chef's Note: Cooked broccoli florets may be substituted for the greens. Toss cooked broccoli with the sauce once it's been warmed and serve.

    Per Serving: 156 Calories, 1.5g Fat, 32g Carbohydrates, 8.8g Fiber, 11.6g Sugars, 10.1g Protein 

    Thank you, Lindsay Nixon, for visiting Kitchen of Health. Readers, you can now order your own copy of Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Low Fat and Fat-Free Vegan Recipes. Buy on Amazon.

    In this much-anticipated follow-up cookbook readers will see, once again, that just because plant-based eating is optimal for health, it doesn't have to also be expensive or time-consuming.

    Everyday Happy Herbivore includes more than 175 do-able recipes--recipes that are so quick and easy, you could cook three healthy meals from scratch every day like Lindsay does.

    Each of the recipes are made with wholesome, easy-to-find, fresh ingredients and include no added fats. With additional notes indicating recipes that are ideal for preparing ahead of time and those you can whip up with just a few dollars.

    To your healthy and happiness,

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Spinach Salad with Red Pepper Hummus Dressing

    Like Hummus? Why not put it on a salad instead of in a pita?

    For the salad:
    16 oz. bag baby spinach
    1 c. baby portabello mushrooms, sliced
    1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
    1/2 yellow bell pepper, julienned
    1 can black olives
    1/2 purple onion, chopped

    For the dressing:
    1 c. roasted red pepper hummus*
    1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
    water for thinning

    *Buy or make your own by blending:
    1 c. cooked chickpeas
    1/4 c. tahini
    juice of 1 lemon
    1 clove garlic
    1/2 tsp. cumin
    1 red bell pepper, roasted & peeled
    salt to taste

    To your health and happiness,

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Thai Pumpkin Soup

    You'll love this amazing combination of flavors!

    For the base, blend:
    2 c. cooked pumpkin
    2 c. vegetable broth (more or less for desired thickness)
    2 Tb.creamy  peanut butter
    1 c. coconut milk
    Roasted red chili paste to taste*

    1 c. black beans
    2 c. bok choy, chopped
    3/4 c. mushrooms, sliced

    Heat through. Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as an entree.
    *If you don't like hot and spicy, substitute curry powder.

    To your health and happiness,

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    Waldorf Salad with Cranberry-Orange Dressing

    Cranberries aren't just for holidays. Serve this refreshing salad any time of year!

    For the Salad:
    16 oz. bag baby spinach
    4 apples, chopped
    6 stalks celery, diced
    1/4 c. walnuts or pecans, chopped

    For the Dressing:
    12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
    1 orange, unpeeled
    honey or maple syrup to taste
    juice for blending: apple, cranberry, pomegranate, or orange

    Blend cranberries, orange and sweetener until uniform. Add juice to desired consistency.

    To your health and happiness,

    Saturday, December 3, 2011

    Island Grill

    Rumbi's is a restaurant franchise in my neck of the woods which features a paradise of Asian flavors. A nutritarian version would be perfect for a buffet party this month. Guest can build a salad or rice bowl from the selections below. The secret is having several intense sauces. I've included recipes for my favorites: Sweet Orange Ginger, Teriyaki, Coconut Chili, and Creamy Peanut. The amounts are easily doubled or halved.

    Build the meal with these choices:
    Leafy Greens
    Brown Rice
    Grilled Tofu
    Black Beans
    Mandarin Oranges
    Pea Pods
    Tomatoes Slices
    Bell Pepper Strips
    Mango chunks
    Carrot shreds
    Pineapple tidbits

    Sweet Orange Ginger Sauce
    2 c. orange-peach-mango juice
    1/2 c. Nama Shoyu, Tamari or Braggs Liquid Aminoes
    1/4 c. rice vinegar
    2 Tb.cornstarch
    1 Tb. fresh ginger, grated
    1 mango, peeled and cubed
    In a small saucepan, whisk together all ingredients except mango. Heat just to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in mango.

    Teriyaki Sauce
    1 c. Braggs Liquid Aminoes, Nama Shoyu, or Tamari
    1 c. water
    1/4 c honey, agave nectar, maple syrup or coconut sugar
    2 Tb. minced garlic
    1 c. pineapple juice
    3 Tb. grated ginger
    2 Tb. cornstarch
    Whisk together ingredients in a small sauce pan. Heat just to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

    Coconut Chili Sauce
    1 can (14 oz.) thick coconut milk
    1 Tb. Roasted Red Chili Paste (or to taste)
    Combine and serve.

    Creamy Peanut Sauce
    1 c. orange juice
    2 Tb. lime juice
    1/4 c. rice vinegar
    1/4 c. peanut butter
    1/4 c. tahini
    1 Tb. Braggs Liquid Aminos, Tamari, or Nama Shoyu
    1 clove garlic
    1" of fresh ginger
    Blend until smooth.

    To your health and happiness,