Real Food … the Easy Way to Health

This is one of my favorite bits of real food inspiration … because it has the potential to stop us in our well-worn tracks of thinking of food – particuarly healthy food – as time-consuming and complicated.

Real Food

REAL FOOD

– Real food is a beautiful apple, sliced with love, and eaten one gorgeous slice at a time.

– Real food is a couple of farmer’s market carrots sliced into dimes and sizzled in a bit of olive oil until they caramelize.

– Real food is broccoli roasted until it’s crisp and brown, with simple sprinkle of salt.

– Real food is a half of an avocado, maybe with a squeeze of lime and a twist of black pepper … or not.

– Real food is parsley and mint, tossed with quinoa.

– Real food is a tomato, freshly picked from the vine and eaten while still warm with the summer sun.

– Real food is a mash of warm white beans, with a bit of roasted garlic.

Real food is simple, beautiful, and soul-warming. It can be mixed with other foods, but it is also complete unto itself. It demands to be eaten artfully and with attention, and returns this favor with flavor and health. Big thanks to the great Jamie Oliver for the reminder!

Less food – more satisfaction!

If your meals leave you unsatisfied, it’s may not be insufficient food … it may be insufficient attention and time given to the overall process. Every aspect of the meal is part of the full cycle of satisfaction, and rushing through any of it can leave you dissatisfied and full of cravings for more. Maybe the secret to the slimming, healthy Mediterranean diet is less about the food itself, and more about the complete lack of rushing around the meal. Worth trying!

Satisfaction

On food as ART … and eating as ART

Eating as art

I’m recently home from a vacation trip to Italy and have SO much to share about the food (recipes coming as soon as I recover from jet lag and a backlog of work!).

But the most meaningful thing I can share isn’t a recipe for a meal, but the overall Italian approach to eating/ food as art. In two weeks of meals, I never got one plate that wasn’t photo-worthy. The foods were all beautiful, vibrant, simple, whole foods presented beautifully. There were no distracting sauces or over-salting … rather, each food was an invitation to enjoy one clean flavor at at time. The crunch of fresh lettuce. The bite of basil. A sweet, ripe tomato. Soft eggplant, a spoonful of creamy ricotta.

With this sort of attention coming from the kitchen, I found that my attention to the food – and my enjoyment of it – were naturally heightened as well. And as a result, I was MORE than satisfied with a bit less food than usual.

Which left room for a bite of tiramisu :-) (recipe coming soon, I promise!).

REAL Fruit Doesn’t Come “by the Foot.”

Real fruit rots, bruises, has odors and attracts flies. It also is full of healthy vitamins, minerals, living enzymes, fiber, and all sorts of things we don’t even understand yet! To hold onto its sweet goodness, you can freeze it, cook it, dehydrate it, ferment it into delicious kombuchas, or more … but for goodness sake (literally), don’t buy it in packages laced with chemicals, added sugars and fats, and natural/artificial flavors and colors! That’s not fruit, it’s frankenfruit, and your body deserves better.

Real Fruit

7 Tips in 7 Days: Eating Consciously, Day 1

One of the first steps to healthier eating is to become more aware of what and when you’re eating.

For most of us (me included), mealtimes can devolve into a handful here, a handful there … and before you know it, you’re full and you don’t even really remember enjoying food at all! One simple step to help break this pattern is to commit to lighting a candle before taking a bite, any time you have a meal or snack. This one small change has helped lead many people to seemingly effortless changes in their habits … simply by bringing awareness and focus to the food in front of them.

7 Days of Eating Consciously, Day 1

This is Day 1 of 7 Days of Eating Consciously tip … don’t miss the next one – use the button in the upper right of this page to subscribe to the blog!

NOTE: If you love the sea glass candle shown in the graphic, click here to see how to make one.

Healthy Resolution: 2015

For me, resolutions about what not to do have never really worked. Likewise when I’ve focused on “what” I will or won’t do, as opposed to “why.” However, the healthy resolution below, made to myself many years ago, has brought vibrant health, sustained energy, and incredibly positive ripple effects into other parts of my life. Set aside the time to thoughtfully prepare your food (it takes less than you think, particularly once you get going), and consciously consume it. Your health and your life will change.

Commitment CandlesWant a reminder? I’m happy to send you a set of 6 of the small votive candles I light each time I start a meal at home or at work – a gentle push that reminds me to slow down and create and consume the food consciously. $15 includes free shipping within the continental US: Set of 6 Commitment Candles. Happy 2015, everyone!

Healthy Resolution 2015 - Jennifer Silverberg

For Lasting Health: Change “Default” Eating Behavior the Easy Way

Article reposted with the permission of the author.

Jennifer Silverberg, Eat Yourself WellJennifer Silverberg, owner of the popular Facebook page and healthy eating blog, Eat Yourself Well, has spent years inspiring others to make healthy lifestyle changes. As our guest today, she identifies the biggest barrier to change, and the key to breaking through the barrier and creating successful, stress-free long-term health.

“Our culture makes unhealthy decisions the easy, ‘default’ choice, virtually 24/7,” she says. “That means that most people, when they’re hungry, have to navigate around at least a dozen junk food opportunities before they get to a good choice. That is a tremendous strain on your willpower, at the times where you are most vulnerable. Food marketers take full advantage of this.”

Jennifer says that the key to successfully building new, healthy habits is deliberately creating a space where you make healthy habits the “default,” easy choices. “I like to think of it as an arms-reach life preserver floating around my clients, made up of real food choices that support their health,” she says.

This requires a little pre-planning, and offers the following three top tips.

1. “Think of the places where you spend the most time, particularly the spots where you are when you become hungry, or bored: your desk, your bedroom, your car. Make sure that the easiest foods for you to get to in these places are the ones that you want yourself to choose.”

2. “If meals are a hassle, and you find yourself ‘making do’ with last-minute pizza delivery or similar, consider meal services that deliver fully-cooked, healthy meals to your home. For one to three weeks, put the ‘what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner’ choice in the hands of an expert. But don’t compromise with fake packaged foods, insist on real food beautifully prepared,” she says. She recommends services like Real Food Works, a healthy meal delivery service out of Philadelphia.

3. Use the marketer’s trick in reverse: Make it least convenient to get the foods you least want yourself to choose. Rather than making foods “off-limits” and thereby turning them into obsessions (yes, we’ve all done that), Jennifer recommends “leaving the ice cream at the grocery store, so it’s always a car ride away.” You may find yourself “settling up” for a little plain yogurt with some fruit instead.

Think about the 4-6 “life preserver” changes you can make this week, to make healthy eating easier than making poor choices. Let us know what changes made the biggest difference, in the comments below.

Jennifer Silverberg, Eat Yourself Well

Jennifer has over 20 years experience as a Marketing executive, consultant and entrepreneur across multiple industries including adult and child nutrition, packaged foods, and much more. Her experience has given her unique insights into the methods used by food marketers and other influencers to erode the very meaning of the word “food” … resulting in blind consumer acceptance of what constitutes an “acceptable,” or “normal” diet, and “acceptable” or “normal” health. Today, she turns those principles on their heads to help clients regain vibrant health as easily and naturally as they once gained weight. Jennifer’s dream: that one day it will be as socially unacceptable to give a child lab-created-sugar-and-chemically-filled-junk-food as it is today to hand them a cigarette.

Don’t let candy marketers in your Easter basket! :-)

EasterHey … just to let you know … someone else, someone without your best interest at heart, is trying to grab hold of your Easter and make it all a little crazy.

Somehow, a celebration of rebirth has gotten stuffed into a gooey, mass-produced, junky mess of chocolate-flavored waxy substance.  Or sugar-coated marshmallows, dyed pink.  Or blue or yellow.  Marketers make it, and we buy into it, somewhat mindlessly throwing these pastel-colored sugar bombs into our shopping cart without really thinking:  is there a good reason to feed this to my kids?  Is it feeding their health or stealing their health?

And if it’s stealing their health … (it is) … how on earth is that a reasonable celebration of the rebirth of a holy life? I mentioned this to a friend the other day, and she said (thankfully not in front of her child), “seriously, Jennifer, can’t we just let them have a little fun every now and then?”  And then she stopped and said, “wow, did I really just say that?”

Yes, you just bought into what every food marketer wants you to internalize:  Sugar=Fun. Taking away sugar=punishment, or at the least, loss of fun.  And what parent wants to steal fun from their kids?

What if, instead, we spoke the truth?  The junky candy that is sold at Easter = junk in kids’ bodies.  Skipping it = showing love.  There are thousands of ways to have fun that have nothing to do with junky foods!  And there are definitely better ways to celebrate rebirth!

Here are just a few, to get you started:

  1. My favorite:  Plant a garden together.  If it’s not time in your area, start seeds indoors.  Seriously, what is more rebirth-affirming than watching seeds turn into food?
  2. Make a clean sweep of a room that really needs it.  Playrooms would be great.  Where would these toys have a “new life” with kids who need them?  Same with clothing, or books!
  3. Get a tree guidebook and look up the trees in your neighborhood.  Give your favorites names, and watch them grow throughout the year.
  4. Adopt a dog or cat from a shelter – give them a new life!  Note:  please do NOT get a baby chick or bunny, unless you have experience with these animals and know how to give them a good, long life.  Most die within a few weeks of being purchased for Easter.
  5. Sprout your own seeds, for eating!  This is a great quick project – you can sprout things that grow within just a few days!  Watch the seeds “come to life” together, and then add them to salads or sandwiches.
  6. Start a family “Rebirth” journal.  Use this as your own personal new year, and have every family member write in what talent, hobby, or habit they want to be “born” in them this year.  Every year, review the prior year’s commitment, and discuss how it has blossomed in your life.

That’s just a few, but they all have much longer-lasting, positive impact than anything that comes in a Pez dispenser or plastic packaging!

Happy, Healthy Easter!