21 Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Veggie Recipes

Sweet potatoe fries

21 Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Veggie Recipes

Why the number 21? Dunno. It’s arbitrary. But these recipes are not!
We often get asked for simple vegetable recipes: things that are
quick, easy, and delicious. I am a firm believer that food should be
delicious  and healthy at the same time. And it is my mission to share
this with you all! 🙂

RAW

1) Salad (duh). Throw in lots of spinach, diced veggies (the more
colorful the better) eggs or meat, nuts and seeds. Drizzle with oil
and vinegar. Share with your kids – yes, they can eat salads too!

2) Carrot sticks (or zucchini, broccoli, etc) dipped in mashed
avocado. Add a squeeze of lemon juice for a little pop!

3) Celery sticks with almond butter

4) Cabbage and Beet Slaw – here’s a great recipe:
http://paleospirit.com/2011/beet-and-cabbage-slaw/

5) Smoothies: In blender, throw in coconut/almond milk, frozen fruit,
honey, almond butter, cinnamon, spinach, and/or kale. Blend until
smooth. If fruit is not frozen you may need to add ice.

6) Tomato Basil Salad: Toss fresh tomatoes and chopped basil with
olive oil, s&p. So delicious in the summer!

7) Beets: slice thinly and drizzle with olive oil, a little apple
cider vinegar, s&p.

8) Raw Kale Salad:
I love lemon or lime juice on dark leafy greens. Not only is it yummy,
but the citrus also helps with the absorption of iron from these
superfoods. Here’s an example:
http://www.elanaspantry.com/raw-kale-salad/

COOKED

9) Roasted asparagus:
spread asparagus out on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, s&p,
garlic powder, and cook for 7min at 450 degrees.

10) Roasted Veggies:
cut up veggies into large chunks (carrots, parsnips, any kind of
squash and zucchini work well), drizzle with olive oil and s&p, cook
for 20min at 400degrees.

11) Sautéed Bacon Greens:
heat up 1 Tbsp or so of bacon grease in the largest skillet or pot you
have. Throw in as much spinach/kale/chard as will fit and cook until
wilted. Eat as much as possible for each meal! Opt: sauté onions and
garlic before adding spinach.

12) Steamed veggies

13) Crockpot Roots:
chop up any and all root veggies (I’m talking beets, sweet potatoes,
carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, radishes…) an throw into
crockpot. Cover with water or broth. Add any herbs or seasonings you
like and set on low for 4 hours.

14) Veggie soup:
chop veggies, add herbs and seasonings, and cover with broth in
stockpot or crockpot.

15) Sweet Potato Fries:
http://nomnompaleo.com/post/6172268400/oven-baked-sweet-potato-fries.
With ketchup!: civilizedcavemancooking

16) Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with Ginger Turmeric Sauce: amazing!!
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12622/ginger-turmeric-glazed-carrots-parsnips.html

17) “Pasta”:
use vegetable peeler to peel sweet potato or zucchini into thin
strips. Sauté in olive oil until soft and tender. Season to taste!

18) “Rice”:
run cauliflower florets through food processor (shredding attachment)
to rice it. Steam the rice.

19) Kale Chips (I’m still working on perfecting a recipe for this, but
there are lots out there!)

20) Bacon Wrapped Asparagus:
wrap each asparagus spear with a half slice of bacon. Lay spears out
on baking sheet. Sprinkle with s&p and paprika. Cook at 400 for
20-25min, until bacon is done.

21) Maple Carrots:
slice 6 carrots into discs and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add 3T maple
syrup to pan and continue cooking until carrots are tender and
caramelized.

As always, feedback is welcome! Enjoy!

-Suzanne

To Om or not to Om

om

To Om or not to Om

You walk into your first yoga class, a little apprehensive, a little
intimidated by the other – probably more flexible – students sitting
quietly on their mats, eerily at peace. You sit on your mat wondering
what you’re supposed to be doing, and decide to cross your legs and
close your eyes like the woman next to you is doing. You wonder if
this is for you. Clearly you missed some memo about what yoga is, when
do we stretch out our hamstrings? Then the teacher speaks in a calm,
easy tone, something about the beauty of spring and listening to our
bodies, not pushing too hard. Ha! She obviously doesn’t know you. Then
she asks everyone to bring hands together in a prayer position and she
begins to Om. All of the students quickly chime in. Ommmmmmmmm. You’re
not sure what to do. Is this a religious tradition? A manipulation of
the mind? A sort of cult? To Om or not to Om, you are unsure, and a
little uncomfortable.

Om is steeped in yoga tradition and is often heard at the beginning
and the end of a yoga class. The symbols and sounds of Om are rich in
meaning and depth, and nearly impossible to succinctly define. It can
be linked to ancient Hindu beliefs and yogic texts, as well as
Buddhist systems and chakras. It represents interconnectivity within
ourselves and to others, and a link between past, present, and future.
For many of us though, it’s simply a sound and vibration that we are
drawn to because it is calming and invigorating, soft and strong. As
is yoga’s intention, it shifts us from our external world into a more
contemplative and focused state.

We started Omming to our daughter when she was a newborn. Actually
before that, during pregnancy and labor. She responded immediately and
undeniably. When she was a baby she would literally go from crying
incessantly to a deep sleep once Japheth starting Omming. We used it
to calm her through night terrors, separation anxiety, even teething.
We still Om to her even now each night when we put her to bed, and she
often Oms with us. It’s been a way to reinforce our connection to each
other, to ground us and remind us to be present, that these moments
are precious.

Om is powerful, in meaning, in tradition, and in its sound. It can be
intimidating and a little disconcerting to an unsuspecting new yogi.
But before you dismiss it or turn away from it or from yoga, consider
what that sound feels like to you. Maybe it reminds you of the beach,
or your baby’s noise machine, or your favorite song, and that makes
you smile. Maybe you notice your shoulders relaxing a little as those
around you Om confidently. Maybe it makes you feel grounded in a way
that you haven’t felt in a long time. To Om or not to Om? I say let go
of what’s holding you back and enjoy THIS moment, and if Omming feels
right in this moment, go for it! And if not, be okay with that too.

Om Om.

-Suzanne

21 Healthy (and Japheth-approved) Snack Ideas!

nf_bacon_longevity_0508

21 Healthy (and Japheth-approved) Snack Ideas!

Snacks can be challenging when you’re gluten-free, paleo, battling
newly discovered food allergies, and/or busy. I am a snacker myself,
and my daughter eats constantly, so having healthy and easy foods
around the house is a necessity. Crunchy, sweet, savory, we love them
all!
Here are 21 ideas that we’ve discovered and endorse 🙂 They’re quick
and easy. Let me know what your go-to snacks are!

-Nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies
-Carrot sticks dipped in mashed avocado
-Almond Butter Ants on a Log
-Homemade Trail Mix (nuts, dried fruit, even dark chocolate)
-Paleo granola (see FB post)
-Maple-glazed walnuts (add 2c walnuts and 1/3c maple syrup to pan on
medium-high heat. Cook and stir about 3 minutes, until syrup is
caremalized).
-Dark chocolate covered nuts
-Nut butters (make your own!)
-Dried Fruit (with no added sugar or sulfur)
-Dates stuffed with almond butter
-Frozen bananas
-Dark chocolate covered frozen bananas
-Lara bars (or better yet, homemade! i.e.
http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/grain-free-goodies/holiday-lara-bar-2/)
-Homemade fruit leathers:
http://www.fitsugar.com/How-Make-Fruit-Leather-27230117?image_nid=27230117
-Homemade
 Smoothies
-Homemade Popsicles
-Boiled Eggs (sprinkle with favorite seasoning)
-Deviled eggs (yolks mixed with avocado and stuffed into whites)
-BACON
-Bacon Avocado sandwiches (avocado between two slices of bacon)
-Anything wrapped in bacon

-Suzanne

Paleo? No, I love bread too much.

no_sourdough_bread

Paleo? No, I love bread too much.

Going paleo was difficult for me. I loved bread. And pasta. And
cereal. And you get the picture. I was one of those people who
responded to the mere idea of a grain-free diet with “No, I like bread
too much.” Can any of you relate? And I always considered myself a
“healthy eater”. You know, cereal for breakfast, salad for lunch, some
yogurt or crackers and hummus for snacks, whole wheat pasta for
dinner. Healthy, right?

I discovered a gluten-free lifestyle a few years ago, after I had
struggled with severe GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) for
years and was on loads of medication (don’t get me started on the
addictive qualities of proton-pump inhibitors and the pill pushing
doctors) and was still suffering. I had heard that gluten could be a
culprit of many digestive issues and resulting diseases, including
GERD. So I tried a gluten-free diet for a little while. And you know
what? It actually helped! So I told my GI doctor and do you know what
he did? Smirked! And recommended more medication and yet another
endoscopy. Really? Now at this point my body was so addicted to the
meds that even going GF for a few weeks couldn’t relieve my symptoms
enough to quit, but it relieved some of my symptoms. Of course then I
didn’t know that it can take 6 months for your body to purge gluten
from its system. So, weak as I was, I gave up and went back to eating
gluten, though less frequently. I tried paleo eating soon after that,
but wasn’t completely committed, because let’s face it – it’s hard to
completely change your eating habits that have been your life for
decades. But that’s an excuse. I knew I was stronger than that.

After becoming pregnant with my second baby I decided that I owe it
not only to me but also to my children to be as healthy as possible,
inside and out. It’s important to me that my children have their mom
around as long as possible, and that they see and learn about the
importance of eating real, whole foods, as well as exercising,
meditating, and conserving resources. But I digress. I admit that I
started paleo because Japheth was doing it and it made sense to cook
the same things for all of us, rather than making different meals for
everyone. But once I started cooking and baking paleo I quickly began
to feel better and have more energy. If any of you have tried paleo,
you know what I’m talking about. No more feeling bloated, no more
getting so full you feel sick (such a after a pizza binge). No more
feeling fat and sluggish all weekend. I discovered that cooking paleo
was easy, and ridiculously delicious. It still fascinates me and as
someone who loves to cook but doesn’t have a lot of time, it just
fits.

We recommend Paleo to our clients because of the tremendous health
benefits. Paleo foods are anti inflammatory and easy to digest. They
help increase energy. By avoiding processed carbs and focusing on good
quality, whole foods, Paleo eating promotes a healthy gut, and
increases your intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In
addition, Paleo combats autoimmune disease, diabetes, and a host of
other medical and health conditions.  Not to mention it can help you
lose body fat and optimize athletic performance.

Paleo to me isn’t about eating like a caveman, literally. And I
definitely don’t consider it to be a fad diet, like some will say.
It’s about eating real, not processed, foods. It’s about being aware
of what foods are made of and where they come from and choosing for
ourselves the foods that we want to consume. It’s about enjoying our
food both in its taste and in knowing that it’s making our bodies
nourished and strong. That’s not a “diet” to me, and it’s not a fad
either.

So bread? Yes, I miss it a little. And one day if I’m out and
encounter some amazing looking garlic knot or Philly pretzel I may
have a moment of weakness. But it’s not a necessity in my life
anymore. It’s just not worth the detriment to my body. And have you
tried paleo banana bread?

If you need advice on paleo eating or recipes, we’re happy to share.
Do your bodies a favor and try it! Take it from me, a former
bread-a-holic 🙂

-Suzanne

Homemade Bone Broth…really?

Bone Broth

Homemade Bone Broth…really?

Let me tell you about my latest endeavor. Making my own bone broth. I’ve read about the health benefits and have been curious, but I don’t do well with bones. As a child my parents never gave me meat on a bone. Seriously. It was always boneless meat. Even when we went to KFC (I’m from the south – don’t judge) they would make sure I got boneless chicken. So the idea of using chicken bones or a whole chicken to make something didn’t really appeal to me. Besides, my beloved Whole Foods sells bone broth, so there.

Then my husband got sick. Flu sick. And he never takes a day off. He had to work while feeling awful, which made me feel awful. And do you know what is great for colds/flus? Bone broth. So what better time to suck it up and face my aversion to bones? So I did.

Here’s the thing. Homemade bone broth has tremendous health benefits. It literally heals the lining of your gut. It aids in nutrient digestion, helps your body fight infection, and even contains glucosamine, which reduces inflammation and joint pain. Additionally it contains calcium and magnesium to help bones repair. What about store bought broth? Well, the stuff in stores typically contains MSG or other chemicals, and even if it doesn’t, the nutritional value doesn’t even compare to homemade. While you can use it in cooking, it lacks many of the health boosting benefits. Also, it’s ridiculously yummy, it’s cheaper to make your own, and it’s EASY. Take it from me, the bone hater.

Here’s how I make it:

Ingredients:

-Whole raw chicken, insides removed.

-2 celery stalks, cut in quarters

-2 large carrots, cut in quarters

-1 head of garlic, cut in half

-1 onion, peeled and cut in quarters

-1 bunch of parsley

-water

What to do:

Throw everything in crockpot. Fill pot with water, up to within 1 inch of top of pot. Cook on low 7-8 hours. Take chicken out and remove meat (if you don’t know how, there are awesome videos on YouTube. It’s very easy!). Save meat for later (maybe a chicken and veggie soup!). Put bones back in pot and cook on low for 12 or more hours. Strain broth through sieve or coffee filter. Can freeze to use in future recipes or use right away, if, for example, your husband is sick!

Enjoy making and using homemade bone broth, and let me know your experiences!

 

108 Sun Salutations

IMG_0863

108 Sun Salutations

The Spring Equinox, or the first day of spring, has always marked the transition to my favorite time of year. Not only does springtime conjure up images of blossoming flowers and trees, birds singing, and maybe even a little Julie Andrews spinning on top of a mountain, but it also represents a time of renewal, and reenergizing. Of letting go of the layers (both literally and figuratively) that weighed us down for months and starting fresh with new goals and hopefully a positive outlook on what is to come.

108 Sun Salutations is steeped in yoga tradition as a way to honor the changing of seasons.  There are several interpretations of the significance of the number 108. Here are a couple of resources if you’d like to read more. http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/2579
http://yogainsideout.com/2013/05/02/108-reasons-why-you-should-do-108-sun-salutations/

We hope you will join us in welcoming spring, shedding your winter baggage, while getting an amazing workout at the same time! Come out to Water and Rock Studio on Saturday, March 22nd! Come for part or stay for all! We will guide you through this active and energetic practice, and you can make it as challenging or relaxing as you like!
This event is open to the public, so please bring friends or family! The practice will take approximately 2 hours, but you are welcome to come for part or all – it’s up to you! Space is limited, though, so contact us to reserve your spot!

What: 108 Sun Salutations

When: Saturday March 22, 
10am-12pm

Cost: FREE for current clients; 
$15 for anyone who is 
not a client.

How: Contact us to reserve 
your spot; drop-ins 
welcome but space 
cannot be guaranteed!

Muay Thai

IMG_0781

So I left the globo gym environment for a martial arts academy and was having a blast. Before my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, there was a class of men and women who did a kickboxing class. But this was no ordinary kickboxing class. This was Muay Thai: equal parts sport fighting, self-defense, and incredible workout. I remember being so impressed by the striking skills and fluidity these practitioners had. They would punch, kick, elbow, and knee the pads so much that I remember them being drenched in sweat. But no matter how hard the class, they always left looking like they enjoyed themselves.

So I decided to give it a try. I remember having difficulty remembering all the different combinations. I remember being repeatedly reminded by the instructor to use my hips more and keep my hands up. Again, it was equal parts physical and mental. This was fantastic, it engaged body and mind in a way that few other things could.

I was very fortunate to be able to train with Kru Sean Douglas, and other high level Muay Thai coaches. These instructors had such an incredible skill themselves, and were also able to simplify it and make it accessible to everyone. I was hooked, and spent years learning as much as I could about this incredible art.

I never would have thought that years later, I would have led many classes full of dozens of Muay Thai students and instructors and judged Muay Thai tournaments. I’ve had children, pregnant women, senior citizens, and fighters in my classes. And even after all this time, I am still amazed by how my student’s eyes light up after a Muay Thai session. They punch, kick, elbow, and knee so much they are dripping with sweat. And their stress melts away, and they always leave looking like they enjoyed themselves.

Please contact me if you are interested in using Muay Thai to melt away your stress, get a great workout, improve your self-defense, or compete in a fight or tournament.

-Japheth

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)

IMG_0844

I had been working out at gyms for a long time and was getting bored. Hmmm, the gym offered some cool classes maybe I should try those. I’d always wanted to try some martial arts classes, but the gym didn’t have many of those.

A friend of mine decided on a whim to try a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? What was that? My friend told me about what he knew: it was similar to wrestling but you could use submission holds. He also told me about some guy named Royce Gracie who used BJJ to beat bigger stronger opponents in some famous fighting venue called the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). I didn’t know it at the time, but I would later receive my purple belt from Royce Gracie. It sounded interesting but I was nervous. Was this a safe place to train? Who were the instructors? I checked the place out online and it looked good so I decided to give it a shot.

When I arrived, the place didn’t look like much, just some old garage, but when I met the instructors and saw my first class I was amazed. I had spent my whole life being active, playing sports, and working out, and I had never seen anything like this. It was more complicated than any sport I had ever played, and equally physically demanding. It was like playing physical chess. You had to be both smart, quick, and strong to do well.

This was my first class so of course I didn’t do well at all. In fact, I spent the first year of my training having large people sit on me and small people tie me up like a pretzel. But I  loved it and wanted to learn more and do better. I didn’t know it at the time and in fact would have never thought it possible, but I would later win multiple medals at high level BJJ and submission wrestling tournaments and spend years teaching what I had learned from others.

Some of the people I trained with competed, but most people were like me at the beginning: people who had little to no experience, who just wanted a fun and mentally stimulating way to improve their health and fitness. Over the years I have trained with and taught a wide range of people: kids with emotional challenges, women interested in self-defense, senior citizens, law enforcement and military officers, and amateur and professional athletes.

Something that began as just a cool hobby has turned into a true passion of mine, and my career. Wow, I never would have thought that would be possible.

Are you ready to see what’s possible for you? Please contact me.

-Japheth

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

IMG_0782

Have you trained in MMA before?

No but I watch it on TV!

Watching sport fighting is fun and a fantastic way to appreciate the amazing skills displayed by those professionals. But to truly appreciate the subtlety of their skill, we need to practice it ourselves. We need to challenge our bodies and minds and be active.

But I don’t want to be a fighter. Good. Most people train to improve:

  • health
  • fitness
  • confidence

Tired of boring workouts? Why not get better health and fitness benefits while doing something fun and mentally and physically engaging? And very few things are better at building self confidence in children and adults.

I got involved in mixed martial arts after I got bored of my gym workouts. A friend of mine invited me to class, and as soon as I saw it, I was in awe of what the human body was capable of and the skill these practitioners have. After that moment, I dedicated myself to years of studying under experts in various martial arts forms and am excited to be able to give this back to the public. I’ve taught a wide range of people: kids, pregnant women, senior citizens, law enforcement and military officers, and amateur and professional fighters and athletes.

It is important to experience as many forms as possible to see what you enjoy and what works for you. Based on my experience and training, my MMA classes are an integrated style of:

  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Muay Thai
  • Judo
  • Wrestling

One of my instructors is Royce Gracie, one of the first MMA champions in the United States. His victories in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), showed us that a smaller weaker fighter can defeat a larger stronger one, if they have the right skills. Through him and many others, I learned many different fighting techniques. But one of the the most important things that I learned in my training, is not how to fight, but how to live and do, rather than just sit and watch TV.

If you would like to do, please contact me for a professional demonstration.

-Japheth

Self-Defense

IMG_0771

If you were ever in a self-defense situation, what would you do?

I sincerely hope you never need to find out. But the truth is that most of us don’t know what to do. I’m amazed to see how unaware most of us are of our physical surroundings. We are buried in our cell phones, distracted by our kids, or letting our minds wander. Or even if we are fully aware, we could be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Practicing self-defense means taking positive control of our minds, bodies, and surroundings through:

  • awareness
  • avoidance
  • de-escalation
  • escape

Meditation and yoga all help to handle the mental and psychological aspects of a self-defense situation. Functional fitness and martial arts help to handle the physical aspects.

I have dedicated myself to years of learning from experts of multiple self-defense systems.  And for years I have given this training back to the general public including civilian, law enforcement, and military populations. I have worked with people of a wide range of experiences, from families sending their daughters off to school, to those who have experienced trauma or assault in the past and are seeking empowerment, to Marines, Secret Service, and SWAT Officers.

There are many systems of self-defense. It is important to train in as many different systems as possible to find what works best for you. Based on my experience and training, I teach an integrated system of:

  • Krav Maga
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Muay Thai
  • Mixed Martial Arts

If you don’t know what you would do in a self-defense situation, please contact me, I can help.

If you work in law enforcement, the military, or are experienced in self-defense systems, please contact me also. I can guide you through new techniques, refine your existing skills, or integrate multiple systems with you.

-Japheth