Immunity Boosting Nutrition
The basic premise for my lifestyle change came from my desire to lose weight and be in the best shape of my life. That lead me on a path to changing my nutrition. Eventually all of it changed my life. I encourage you to look at where you are and where you want to be. The right path will soon appear.
In honor of the women in my life who have gone through breast cancer, I have embraced and support immunity boosting, anti cancer nutrition. By learning about and practicing this in solidarity with them, I inadvertently received a gift back by enjoying the rewards of a clean diet.
I would like to pass that forward and will from time to time share some of those practices here to pay that forward.
Although mostly plant based seems to be what the experts point to as ideal, the rule of thumb is to eat fresh, whole, unprocessed foods, avoid sugars and cook more than you eat out. Another key component is to check with your doctor if foods are not agreeing with you. Food sensitivites are everywhere these days!
I am very fond of immunity boosting, anticancer nutrition. Research shows that a clean diet consistently high in certain foods, can help boost the immune system and fight disease. I really like that so don't be surprised when you see a lot of nutrient dense greens, legumes, onions / garlic, mushrooms and berries in my recipes. Consuming these daily has been shown to be very beneficial and also part of an anticancer diet. I am very passionate about doing what we can to help tip the scales in our favor. It's hard to know how much we are exactly helping because it varies from person to person. But something I CAN do is so much better than the alternative.
If you choose to eat meat, I say minimize it and keep it to low fat cuts. Think of it as being on the top of the pyramid with the greens at the bottom in the large area, followed by veggies, whole grains, fruits and healthy fats. This dietary choice will significantly improve your weight loss experience and improve energy and overall health. The best part? It is so adaptable and flexible and you will feel satisfied and full of energy!
Some Featured Recipes from Every Day Cooking
I just love to cook but I do not like long complicated recipes unless the food makes for a great leftover. I often post about foods we enjoy at home as well as restaurants or while traveling abroad. Some are featured here to give you an idea of what I eat and also to share recipes.
Most of my meals are cooked in under 30 minutes unless they require baking or the slow cooker. Cleanup needs to be minimal too, though I avoid aluminum and non stick pans. For grease I use EVOO and coconut oil primarily and most of my seasoning is with individual spices as opposed to packets and condiments that require fillers and preservatives.
Using whole, unprocessed ingredients is key. If you are afraid of cooking, don't be. With a few basic recipes and some understanding you can be well on your way to whipping up meals in no time. The same insight will help you choose wisely when you are away from home!
Figure out what it is you like to do. Some people prefer to meal prep and others like to wing it. I like a little bit of both. I cook enough for leftovers and prep veggies for quick and easy access. The truth is that the greatest meal prepping happens when making the supermarket list. The rest is a piece of kale, Ha!
Some Tips: * Keep plenty of frozen veggies and fruit in the freezer for emergencies and smoothies.
* Make a legume, beet, or a green bean salad that you can keep in a large glass container in the fridge. The glass container will make it stay fresh tasting longer and you can use this as a topper or a side dish for any meal.
* Cook a pot of soup/stew/legumes or a slow cooker special that keeps well every week.
* Sautee onions and mushrooms and keep in the fridge for add ons or toppers
* always have fresh veggie (kale, microgreens, broccoli), fruit, and nuts / nut butter on hand
* eggs, avocados, garlic and onion
* Flax and chia
* protein pasta
* lean protein / meat and Ezekiel wraps
* non dairy milk
* Ezekiel or other sprouted whole grain or gluten free bread
* coconut oil / spread, EVOO, balsamic
* quinoa, sweet potatos, brown rice
* favorite spices
Below I have some sample recipes of everyday types of meals we enjoy at home so you get an idea. Food has to be relatable, delicious, and fun. I find a lot of people shy away from cooking. I cook every single day and share real photos from my phone to inspire others to cook as well.
I post what I eat pretty often on Facebook and Instagram. Feel free to connect there for ideas.
This quick and nutrient dense omelette is a meal. enjoy with a slice of toast or in a sprouted wrap.
1 egg + 1/3 cup egg whites
1/4 medium onion
4 white mushrooms
1/2 cup diced tomato and green pepper
1 small pinch of shredded cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp EVOO
In preheated skillet with sautee veggies over medium heat for about 5 minutes. In a bowl mix eggs. Add eggs to pan and lower heat allowing to cook for about 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook until desired dryness. Add pinch of cheese if using, salt and pepper to taste and serve. Enjoy!
Gluten Free Banana Muffins - Fixate
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas
1 tsp organic butter
1 1/2 cups almond flour
3/4 baking soda
1 dash sea salt
1/2 cup copped apple
Preheat oven to 350 and line your muffin tin.
Combine wet ingredients: eggs and butter, mix in banana
In a separate bowl combine almond flour, baking soda and salt. Then add to wet mixture while mixing, until well blended.
Divide batter evenly into muffin tin.
Bake 18-22 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool as desired and enjoy :-)
Lobster Tail Quick Dinner
This dinner takes very little prep time as it is all in the oven. Preheat oven to 400 F and cook sweet potato fries for about 15 minutes. (cooking time 25 minutes)
Add the lobster tails in an oven safe dish. Check cooking times online based on size. Cover for steaming or uncover for roasting. (approx. 20 minutes)
In another pan add a bag of frozen broccoli and pop into oven. (cooking time 10 minutes)
Drizzle 1/2 tsp EVOO over fresh asparagus spears, and add dash of salt before adding to oven. Cooking time (10 minutes)
Enjoy this relatively hands off nutrient dense gourmet dinner that can even be prepped during family game night!
Kale and Fruit Salad Delight
My Favorite Creation.
5 Leaves Dino Kale chopped finely
1 apple chopped
1/4 cup raisins
Chia or flax (grind them up a bit before adding to salad)
Dressing: 1 tsp EVOO, 1/2 tsp jam, 1 tsp balsamic, dash of salt
Combine dressing ingredients separately and toss in salad.
Texture is important here so don't be afraid to mix and match!
3/4 cup Sprouted Grain Flour
1/3 cup non dairy milk
1 egg + 1/4 cup egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinammon
1 tsp flax or chia
coconut oil to grease the pan
Combine ingredients and add flour or milk to get desired thickness for batter. Batter should ideally be like pudding in terms of thickness.
Heat skillet on medium heat and add 1/2 tsp coconut oil for grease. Pour about 1/4 cup mixture and wait for bottom side to cook - approximately 2 minutes. Flip to cook other side 2 minutes.
Remove from pan and cover with fruit and drizzle 1 tsp of maple syrup. Enjoy!
Chocolate Sesame Tahini
1 cup sesame tahini
1 cup baking cocoa
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
In a blender combine ingredients until smooth. If tahini is hard, soften it with a knife first and do include the oil. You may add more honey, up to 1/2 cup, until desired sweetness.
Enjoy on a spoon for a healthy treat or try on a rice cracker.
Greek Giant Beans
1 bag Giant Beans or Lima beans
4 stalks celery
1 large onion (fine chop)
6 large carrots
1 tsp celery seed
1 large can tomato sauce
1 bag frozen spinach (optional)
1 tsp tomato paste (optional)
1/3 cup EVOO
Soak beans overnight. Dump water and rinse.
Boil and simmer on low heat until softened.
Add beans with water to large pan with chopped carrots, celery, and onion, celery seed and tomato sauce, tomato paste and spinach if using.
Cover and cook @ 400F in oven for 45 minutes. Finish cooking uncovered to caramelize.
After desired consistency has been reached, add salt to taste and EVOO. These keep very well and are a great source of vegetarian protein!
Greek Coffee Style Cocoa
Pictured is Cocoa heated in a Greek Briki which is smaller than a saucepan, and used for coffee. You may use a saucepan. Add 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa for 16 oz of water. Stir over a low heat but do not allow it to reach a boil. Let it come close 2-3 times by raising the pan away from the heat to stop the boil. This process will make a nice and thick frothy top, that is rich in flavor. Notice I don't add sugar. Serve and enjoy!
Dark chocolate lover's delight!
Chamomile Honey Lozenges
3/4 cup chamomile tea
1 1/2 cups honey
1/2 lemon - juiced (approx 1/4 cup)
1 tblsp Confectioner's sugar
*ice water in a bowl or candy thermometer
*Wax paper or silicone baking sheet/ silicone candy molds
*a full pot of boiling hot water for quick cleanup
In a saucepan bring tea, honey, and lemon to a boil and keep at an active summer on a medium heat, stirring as needed around 40 minutes.
Notice the consistency changes photographed below. When it is full and thick and frothy it is likely ready. The candy thermometer should be at 300F. If you are using ice water method drop a small amount from the tip of your spoon into the ice water. It should immediately solidify. Wait about 15 seconds and Taste it.
Consistency gets harder as it cools but it should be relatively hard- not a gummy candy though do not worry if it sticks to your teeth. It won't once it has had proper time to cool.
Once your mixture is ready pour into molds or make little drops on wax paper. Let them cool for at least 15-20 minutes before peeling. Plac in a bowl or directly in a jar.
Place confectioners sugar in a strainer and tap to coat lozenges lightly. This will prevent them from sticking to each other.
Store in a jar, in a cool, dry place. Ours lasted about a month! yum!
Roasted Eggplant with Feta
2-3 Medium sized Eggplants
1 medium onion chopped thinly
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 16 oz can of tomato sauce / chopped / crushed depending on preference
3/4 lb feta or crumbles
extra virgin olive oil
Turn on oven to start preheating at 400 degrees.
Grease a large roasting pan generously with 2 tblspoons EVOO.
Take rinsed eggplant and slice at around 1/4 inch thickness lengthwise.
After cutting EACH slice rub it with your hands with some salt. Rubbing the salt in keeps it from turing colors and helps dry out excess fluid. Go easy on the salt, just a dash per slice. Place each slice along the pan trying not to layer them so each one caramelizes.
Once the entire base of the pan is covered with eggplant, sprinkle basil over entire pan ensuring an even spread over eggplant. Do the same with the chopped onion. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons worth of olive oil for entire pan.
Cover with canned tomatoes of choice. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of water throughout the pan. This will keep the tomato from burning off and help the caramelization process.
Cook in oven for about 45 minutes checking occasionally for moisture.
Different ovens provide different times, and you might want to put it on convection for a few minutes or finish with brief roasting. You will know the eggplant is ready when you can easy cut it with the side of a fork.
At this time, pull pan out, add the feta and cook for another 10 minutes or less if roasting.
This food takes some time in the oven but prep time is about 10 minutes and the leftovers reheat easily and can be added to salads, wraps, on toasted bread, over protein pasta for a savory, rich taste. It keeps about 6 days in the fridge. Definitely worth it!
1/4 cup Bulgur Cracked Wheat
1 bunch fresh parsely
1 bunch fresh mint
1 bunch scallions
2 medium tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste
balsamic vinegar - to taste
This is a great salad to cook ahead and allow to marinate.
Cook bulgur according to package instructions and rinse to cool or let it get to room temperature.
Using a food processor, chop parsely until it is fine but not liquefied. Add to the salad bowl. Repeat this with mint and scallions. Dice tomatoes and add to the bowl. (Note, I used less tomato here and it's not very clear in the photo. Tomato is great here so feel free to add more!) Juice the lemons and add the juice along with the olive oil, salt and drizzle of balsamic. Mix and taste to adjust. Cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
This is a great side dish or addition to wraps and is fresh tasting for about 4 days. Enjoy with olives, feta, or with a protein of choice.
Vegan Tacos Bursting with Flavor
Portabello Mushrooms or Soy/ Meat alternative
1/2 medium onion chopped or diced
5 white mushrooms (optional)
2 small sweet peppers (optional)
1 diced mango
Ezekiel sprouted wraps
In a skillet saute onion, mushrooms, peppers, and quorn with a tsp of extra virgin olive oil. Add 1/4 cup of water as it dries and keep moving it around. Sprinkle a dash of coriander seed and add the juice of one lime as you continue to sauté for about 10 minutes or until desired consistency.
In a toaster oven or panini grill heat your wraps just until warm. Add cooked medley and top with spinach, mango, salsa, cilantro, and jalapeños, fold up and enjoy. This amount takes about 15-20 minutes to prep and makes about 6-8 tacos.
Spinach Riced Cauliflower
2 bags frozen riced cauliflower
1 medium onion or 1 leek chopped
1 bag frozen spinach (organic)
1 tblsp chopped dill (fresh or dry)
1 tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt and pepper - to taste
Greek yogurt (optional)
Feta Crumbles (optional)
Sautée a chopped onion or leek for about 5 minutes, then add the riced cauliflower (2 bags frozen) for another 5 minutes, sprinkle some dill or use fresh if you have, add salt and pepper. After it caramelizes add a bag of frozen spinach and cook for about another 10 minutes. Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt or some feta and you have a low carb, Greek spanakopita inspired alternative.
You can enjoy as a main or as pictured here with some sprouted baked falafel.