Easy Homemade Hummus

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Maybe its from my years living in the Middle East, but I love hummus and I eat a ton of it, especially when I'm cleansing. Sure, it's easy to grab a tub of pre-made, but look closely at the ingredient list; those plastic tubs often contain things we probably don't want to be eating such as soybean oil, sugar and preservatives. It's super easy to make your own, and even easier if you have a food processor. Here's one of my favorite recipes – naturally vegan, gluten-free and cleanse friendly! 

INGREDIENTS

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed. (It’s easy and inexpensive to cook chickpeas from dried –  if you do this, save the cooking liquid)

1 clove garlic

¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon paprika

PREPARATION 

  •  In a food processor, puree the chickpeas and garlic with the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, cumin and salt until smooth and creamy. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water (or cooking water if you’ve cooked your own chickpeas) as necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Add a bit more salt if needed.

  • Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika.

·     

Cleanses, drug trips and how to save $50

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Wow, it’s nearly the summer solstice. Who else is invigorated by the longer days and warmer temps? 

I’m particularly energized because I’ve just completed both a personal work retreat and my spring cleanse. 

Let me tell you – I can highly recommend both experiences! (More on how to plan and execute your very own work or personal retreat in an upcoming blog; message me if this is something you’d like to hear more about.) 

About that cleanse 

There are tons of cleanses out there: juice cleanses, water fasts, and so-called liver cleanses, just to name a few. 

My 14-day Reset Cleanse is a little bit different. For me, it’s a way to step back from my habits, patterns and preferences. When we step back, we can create some space. And from this clearer vantage, we can make more conscious decisions about what we’re putting into our bodies and how we’re living. 

Sure, many other cleanses may offer the same promise, but I’m not into drinking only juice or water for two weeks – talk about a blood sugar roller coaster – and I don’t think there’s much, if any, science behind the so-called liver cleanses.  

In my 14-day Reset Cleanse there’s no juicing, no weird supplements and no deprivation. Think of it as getting back to the basics of good health. We eat real, good food.

Why do a cleanse and how to save $50 

There are loads of reasons. Here are a few:

  • Reduce or eliminate dependency on caffeine, sugar or alcohol – or all three

  • Enjoy more energy

  • Stabilize blood sugar

  • Clear your mind – no more brain fog

  • Eliminate food cravings

  • Drop a few pounds

  • Improve sleep

  • Reduce inflammation

Do I have to give up my morning coffee, pasta for dinner and my nightly glass (or three) of red?

Yes. But only if you want to.

Three important principles for success

What I love about this reset cleanse, is that it operates on three important principles that will set you up for success:

1.   Bio-individuality, meaning there is no one-size fits all diet for anyone, and this holds true for cleanses. If you want to drink coffee on your cleanse – go for it! Instead of thinking in strict terms of do’s and don’ts, we’ll explore, experiment and have an experience.

2.   Simplicity: This ain’t rocket science. It’s just food. We’ll keep things doable and simple. As Michael Pollan says, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

3.   Fun!  We’ll have fun. If it’s not fun, there’s no point. Period. 

Trippin’ out

I’ve never taken a hallucinogenic but my understanding is people do so to in part to gain some sort of mystical insight. For me, this cleanse is like a nerdy drug trip. Every time I cleanse, I discover a ton about myself that I didn’t know existed. A few of the mind-blowing realizations:

  • I was eating too much vegan junk food with my vegan boyfriend. Vegan pizza, vegan burgers and fries. Hell, even potato chips are vegan, but that doesn’t mean one should eat them regularly, in large quantities. Just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s good food.

  • I was munching after dinner, and then I wasn’t hungry in the mornings. 

  • I was drinking wine regularly, and a little too much of it, which disrupts my sleep and makes me groggy in the mornings. 

  • Sugar had snuck back into my life, making me crave more sugar, which makes me want more wine, which makes me want coffee the next morning.

  • Gluten makes me puffy and makes my joints achy.

Some of the awesome resultsI got fromtaking a break from the above:

  • Eating clean feels good. 

  • When I stop eating and drinking by 9pm, I get into bed with a book. I read more.

  • I am a much more relaxed person, especially first thing in the morning.

  • I was energized without coffee. (No sugar, no wine; no coffee needed.)

  • I saved a ton of money from not picking up almond milk lattés on the run. Nearly all non-dairy milk served in coffee shops is sweetened. Yuck.

I believe it comes down to awareness, and awareness equals freedom. When we step back, we can pay attention to how sugar/alcohol/gluten makes us think and feel. And then, armed with this information, we empower ourselves to make better choices. 

You in?

Great!  Here are the details:

My 14-day Reset Cleanse is a one-on-one, mini-coaching program to help you do just that, reset. You pick two weeks and I’ll lead you through a detailed, step-by-step, clean eatin’ cleanse which includes:

  • All cleanse materials (except food)

  • Cleanse handbook (what’s “in” and what’s “out”)

  • Self-care ideas

  • Schedule and checklists

  • Shopping lists

  • Recipe ideas

  • Three, 30-minute, one-on-one phone or video coaching sessions with me

Save $50 

Spring is one of the best times to cleanse. Take advantage of my procrastinator’s special: Register by Friday, June 21, the first day of summer, and save $50.

Register by June 21: $247

After June 21: $297

Email me with questions or use this link to schedule your first 14-day Reset Cleanse coaching call.

Prevent and Reverse Lifestyle Disease

The four-legged love of my life, Oscar, on his 14th birthday. Our relationship is mutually beneficial: I receive healing love and companionship from Oscar, and in return, I provide him with each of Dr. Ornish's four pillars: healthy food, daily walks, a stress-free life and as many pets and cuddles as he'll put up with.

The four-legged love of my life, Oscar, on his 14th birthday. Our relationship is mutually beneficial: I receive healing love and companionship from Oscar, and in return, I provide him with each of Dr. Ornish's four pillars: healthy food, daily walks, a stress-free life and as many pets and cuddles as he'll put up with.

with love and connection.

Eating more—not less, moving more and stressing less were the first three topics covered in my current four-part series based on UnDo It!, the new book by Dr. Dean Ornish, M.D., and Anne Ornish. This science-based resource shows how simple it can be to prevent or even reverse chronic lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and some cancers. (Missed any of the first articles? Catch up here.)

Good news:

We’ve heard that if our mothers, fathers or grandparents have high cholesterol or clogged arteries, we likely will too, yet the newest medical data shows that only about 25% of our health condition is a result of our family tree. That leaves a whopping 75% that we can do something about. Enter Dr. Ornish and his four-part plan for healthy living

Eat well, move more, stress less and love more.

This week, we’re talking about love — not the swiping left or right kind of love, but the kind of love and intimacy that helps us feel connected, seen and heard, as opposed to depressed, isolated and lonely. It turns out that feelings of love and connection are as important to our health as is what we eat and how much we exercise.  And no, Facebook doesn’t count. It seems the more I use social media, the worse I feel. Can anyone else relate? 

I’m divorced/single/widowed/alone. Is good health only for people in a relationship?

Nooooo! Personally, I’ve been single for six years now, and there are many ways I get love and connection that don’t involve a screen or device: 

  • The constant companionship of my 14-year old standard poodle, Oscar

  • Chats with my girlfriends

  • The love and support of my boyfriend 

  • Visits to photography exhibitions with my father

  • Gardening with my mother

  • Hanging out on my front porch with my neighbors

  • Laughing with my yoga students after class

  • Solo walks on the beach or in the woods

  • Watching the sunrise, in silence

  • Sitting with my breath in meditation 

These last three may surprise you as they’re solitary activities; however, spending time in nature and being on your own are both excellent ways to connect with something greater than ourselves. And at the end of the day, it’s connection with The Universe, God, or our own higher self that truly feeds us. Which brings me to…

Self-Love

I know it sounds cliché, but the reality is until we love ourselves, how can we possibly receive love from another? Once we are able to accept and love ourselves, warts and all, everything else will feel much easier, because let’s face it – we can be our own worst enemies. 

“Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” — Rumi

A practice for cultivating love

  • Go to a mirror.

  • Look at yourself in the mirror. 

  • Tell yourself, “I love you,” until you mean it. 

  • Repeat daily.

Loving ourselves, managing the effects of stress, moving our bodies and eating good food are all simple, powerful ways to live a healthy, meaningful life. But sometimes knowing what to do and actually doing it can be tough. This is where health coaching comes in. 

As your health coach I provide:

  • system for transformation

  • Firm accountabilitywhen needed

  • And limitless loving support.

Let me know when you’re ready to take the next step towards feeling your best. 

Click here to schedule a free 45-minute discovery call to find out more about Feeling your very best at any age, particularly after 50.

 

 

Straight talk about stress

Oscar’s got relaxing down pat

Oscar’s got relaxing down pat

In my recent articles on how to prevent and reverse (yes, reverse!) lifestyle disease, we’ve explored how eating more, not less, can be a good thing, and that moving our bodies is vital for good health. (Missed the scoop? Catch up on my previous blog posts here).

This series is based on the book UnDo It!, by Dean Ornish, M.D., and Anne Ornish. It lays out a no nonsense 4-step plan that showcases simple science-backed habit changes to help prevent, or even eliminate, chronic lifestyle diseases. Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and certain types of cancer are all called lifestyle diseases because, quite simply, they’re a result of how we live our lives. 

Big drug companies would like us to believe that the only fix for our high cholesterol is to take their drugs, but the truth is, we CAN regain control: “Even if a condition like heart disease runs in your family, you can do a lot to break that pattern. Your choices and lifestyle make a big difference. Some genes lead to disease. But for most people, a healthy lifestyle trumps inherited risk," says cardiologist Donald Lloyd-Jones.” (https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/genes-or-lifestyle)

Four important lifestyle categories that have an affect on our health:

  • Diet

  • Exercise

  • Stress 

  • Love

This week, we’re tackling stress head on. 

Stress is killing us

It might sound dramatic, but it’s true. Unmanaged stress is killing us. According to Dr. Ornish, unchecked stress:

  • Increases inflammation in our brain

  • Shortens telomeres (the ends of our chromosomes that regulate the aging of our cells) which shortens our lives

  • Increases oxidative stress which may play a role in development of: cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, high blood pressure and other illness 

  • Causes blockages in our arteries to get bigger, faster, regardless of our diet

Stress also makes us fat

Out of control stress can also be responsible for that extra belly fat. You may have heard of fight or flightWhen we’re amped up, our nervous system is out of whack and tells our brain that a tiger is chasing us. The brain takes this message very seriously, and sends stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline to our body to help us fight the tiger or flee from it. Smart as our brains are, they can’t distinguish between real life-threatening stress (such as that imaginary tiger) and perceived life-threatening stress, such as worry over making a deadline.  

Now for the good news

While we may not be able to eliminate the causes of stress in our lives, it turns out we don’t need to. It’s not the actual stress that matters, but how we react to that stress. I hope this is empowering! While we can’t always change our situation, we are at the helm of our reaction to it.

But how? 

The list of ways stress adversely affects our health is long, but the possibilities of how we can lessen the impact are also plentiful. Some simple ideas:

  • Yoga

  • Breathing exercises

  • Meditation

  • Exercise

  • Ritual

  • Self-care

Biggest bang for your buck

If you don’t have time to work all of the above stress-busters into your day, I suggest incorporating a three-minute breathing practice into your routine.

I don’t have time

I’d say that’s BS! Everyone has three short minutes to dedicate to their health. If not for yourself, consider doing it for your kids, your partner or your co-workers. If you’re stressed out, trust me, you’re also stressing out those around you.

The practice and how it works

  • Sit comfortably. Silence your phone and set a timer for three minutes. 

  • Close your eyes. Notice that you’re breathing. 

  • Notice the breath coming in through your nose and going out of your nose.

  • Notice the rise and fall of your chest. Notice your rib cage expanding and your belly moving in and out.

  • If your mind wanders, or if you get sleepy, simply bring your awareness back to the sensation of breath in your body.

Voilà! This simple, short practice will do wonders towards balancing your nervous system. Even if your stress still exists, you’ve actually changed your physiology; you’ve tricked your mind into believing that you’re not as stressed as it thinks you are. 

Possible side affects may include:

  • A feeling of calmness

  • Greater sense of peace

  • Improved mood

  • Alertness without caffeine

  • Relaxation without booze

Three minutes. That’s all it takes to help make a shift. 

Still stressed out? Overwhelmed? Let me know. I can help. Click here to schedule a free 45-minute discovery call to find out more about managing your stress.

Move it baby, move it!

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Hey! I’m curious– did you try shaking up your diet yet? If you read my last newsletter, you’ll know food was the hot topic. (Missed it? Catch up here). I’ve been inspired by the book UnDo It! by Dean Ornish, and Anne Ornish, which pinpoints simple science-backed changes that we can make to help prevent, or even eradicate, chronic lifestyle diseases. 

In the book, Dr. Ornish highlights four main components, which I’m tackling in my newsletter series each week:  

  • A whole-foods, plant-based diet

  • Moderate exercise

  • Stress management

  • Love, social support and intimacy

This week, it’s movement

Just move it, baby!

Let’s face it. We all know we should exercise but often we find it difficult to just get moving. The thought of a regime can feel overwhelming, too tough, too time consuming, or all three. As a health coach, it’s my job to help my clients find creative and enjoyable ways to work movement into their lives. For some, it’s easy, for others, not so much. 

Maybe one of these excuses sounds familiar:

  • I don’t have time

  • I don’t like to sweat

  • I feel too self-conscious 

  • I can’t possibly take the time away from my family

  • I can’t afford a gym membership

  • I don’t have tennis shoes . . . a yoga mat . . . a $5,000 bike

  • I haven’t got the energy

  • I don’t know where to start 

The list goes on. On any given day, we can justify why we’re not out there shakin’ our booty. But here’s the truth: 

You have to move your body to be healthy. Period. 

Why?

Glad you asked. Here are a few of the many reasons to exercise:

  • It helps us maintain a healthy weight

  • It protects against lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and obesity

  • It’s imperative for a healthy heart

  • When we exercise, we look, feel and act sexier

  • It helps us age healthily

  • To feel better, physically and mentally

  • Exercise reduces our risk of dementia and improves cognitive function

  • It gives us more energy

This list continues. For those of us who have made exercise a regular part of our lives, we can’t imagine living without it. I find that all habits are hard to break, good ones and bad.So get out there and make some good habits! 

I’m too self-conscious about where to begin. Besides, aren’t I too old to start exercising now?

Starting something new can be daunting at any age. But even if we haven’t developed a consistent practice around movement,it’s never too late to make a change. Starting small, and with something we enjoy is a great way to set ourselves up for success. Forget one hour on the treadmill—if exercise is new to you, start with 5 minutes of activity. Just five minutes. That’s all it takes to get those feel good endorphins going. 

Hate to run? No problem! Just take a stroll. No gym membership? Dance around your living room! Walk your dog, play with your kids or grandchildren, or join a yoga class with friends. It doesn’t matter what you do, just make a commitment to move it!  

A personal challenge

  • If you’re not exercising at all, don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking that you have to work out 6 times a week. Start with just one, simple, 5 to 20-minute session of any kindof moment. Right now, decide what, when and where, and put it on your calendar.

  • If you’re a step counter, increase your weekly count by 1,000 steps.

  • If you’re already working out three times per week, shoot for four.

  • And if you’re a seasoned mover, try shaking up your routine with a new kind of exercise this week: If you normally lift weights, try Pilates or a Barre class; if you stroll around your ‘hood, get on your bike for a fresh perspective; if you’re already running 80 miles a week, stretch yourself with a yoga class. 

Just do it! Even a small shift can make a big difference

If you’re stuck, physically or mentally, let me know. I’ll get you moving!

Learn more about how to feel your best, particularly after the age of 50, by scheduling a free discovery call with me. Click here to schedule a free 45-minute discovery call.

Here’s to feeling your very best!

 

 

 

Eat more! Lessons from India

Fresh papaya, appam, egg curry and strong Keralan coffee

Fresh papaya, appam, egg curry and strong Keralan coffee

Currently, I’m talking up a book I love: UnDo It!, by Dean Ornish, M.D., and Anne Ornish. It gets right to the point about how simple lifestyle changes can prevent, and even reverse, chronic lifestyle diseases. (If you missed the original post, read it here.)

It’s a science-backed program that focuses on four major components:

  • A whole-foods, plant-based diet

  • Moderate exercise

  • Stress management

  • Love, social support and intimacy

Over the next four weeks, I’ll be highlighting one of the components of Dr. Ornish’s program, to show how easy it can be to incorporate these doable, sustainable practices into your own life, for optimal health.

This week, we’ll focus on food

So often, when we want to make a change in our health, maybe lose a few pounds, lower cholesterol or stabalize blood pressure, we focus on reducing or cutting back on certain foods. “Don’t eat this, eat less of that…” Does this sound familiar? For me, I can be strong for a while, but eventually, I feel deprived and give up, which creates a cycle of guilt that all too often leaves me feeling totally deflated. 

What if, instead eating less, we could actually eat more?

I know this may sound crazy, but I believe part of the solution to our western health woes is not to eat less, but instead to eat more – more plant-based, whole foods like fresh fruit and veg, whole grains, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds, all as close to their natural state as possible.

Hold on. Are you saying I have to become a vegan?

Not at all, unless you want to! In fact, many vegans I know could benefit from eating more real foods. I’m simply suggesting that we eat more plant-based, whole foods, instead of processed junk. Michael Pollan puts it simply: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

On my recent trip to southern India, I discovered a cool way to incorporate more real food into our lives: 

Eat regular food for breakfast.

Southern India states are renowned for their delicious breakfasts. Instead of eating special, often packaged, processed and sugar-laden “breakfast foods,” such as cereal, pastries and breakfast bars, breakfast-eaters in southern India enjoy real food for breakfast: puttu with black chickpeas; egg curry with appam (a thin pancake made from rice); or something called ven pongal, a savory dish of rice and lentils, cooked and tempered with cumin and a dollop of ghee (clarified butter) or coconut butter.

You might be thinking: “That’s fine, but I live in mid-America, about as far away from southern India as you can get!” 

Me too. But our south Indian friends can inspire us. Instead of pouring a bowl of cereal, we can heat up a bowl of soup. Rather than grabbing a muffin from the neighborhood coffee shop, why not slather almond butter on hearty whole grain or gluten-free bread and top with apple slices? A leftover baked sweet potato from last night can be transformed with a drizzle of maple syrup and chopped walnuts. All of this is a lot more satisfying (and economical) than a cold, hard breakfast bar. 

Have more fun!

Instead of focusing on what we can’t eat – which let’s face it, is such a drag – it’s much more fun to focus on what we can eat, and that gets easier when we open up our minds and our options.  

If you want to make a south Indian breakfast for yourself – go for it, and I’ll be right over! But if you purely want to eat more to feel better, try shaking up your morning routine and let me know how it goes.

Learn more about how to feel your best, particularly after the age of 50, by scheduling a free discovery call with me. I’ve got lots of fun and delicious tricks up my sleeve. 

Click here to schedule a free 45-minute discovery call to find out more about Feeling Your Best After 50.

Here’s to feeling your very best!

Undo It! How to prevent and reverse chronic lifestyle disease.

Eat Well.png

I love the new book, UnDo It!by Dean Ornish, M.D., and Anne Ornish. It gets right to the point about how simple lifestyle changes can prevent, and even reverse, chronic lifestyle diseases. It’s a science-backed, love-based program that focuses on four major components:

·      A whole-foods, plant-based diet

·      Moderate exercise

·      Stress management

·      Love, social support and intimacy

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Maybe. But the truth is, we often know what to do, we just need help doing it, and that’s what I do every day for my clients.

I’m curious: Do you know how to eat to feel your best? Is moderate, enjoyable movement a part of your world? Do you need to chill the heck out? Would you like to know how to live a happier, healthier life?

I ask out of curiosity, never judgment because I know making change can be a challenge, especially without the right support.  

If you’re curious about how to feel your best, particularly after the age of 50, then I am excited to share with you my next program:

Feel Your Best After 50!

This 12-week, one-on-one, phone or video coaching program is designed to help you feel your very best into your 50’s, 60’s and beyond. Believe me, I know that some things just get harder as we get older. But I’m here to tell you that we canfeel our best, starting right now! 

Maybe you would like to:

·      Lose some weight

·      Lower your cholesterol without drugs

·      Reduce stress and sleep better

·      Boost your mood and let go of anxiety

·      Have more energy

Many of my clients tell me they want to learn how to age healthily, so they can travel, be as active as ever and enjoy their families. 

Where in your life would you like to feel better? As your Personal Health Coach, I’m here to help.

If you’re ready to feel your best regardless of your age, click here to schedule a free 45-minute discovery call to find out more about how this program can help you Feel Your Best After 50! 

Here’s to feeling your very best!