A Secret Ingredient for Health

Bone Broth reasons
Courtesy of revivalistkitchen.com

One has probably heard about bone broth (made from beef, pork, chicken, fish) and veggie broth, but Heather Dane really explained well why we need bone broth, especially after age 40!  The star in bone broth – collagen – supports, strengthens, cushions, provides structure, and holds the body together like glue, according to Heather.  If your body starts to lose collagen, no wonder you can feel more aches and pains, have wrinkles, thinner hair, and eye problems, experience loss of muscle tone, have digestive issues, etc.  Bone broth is also the key ingredient to many tasty Chinese soups such as this wonton soup (Hong Kong-style) and this 5-minute veggie soup (add animal protein if you like).  I have personally experienced really really tasty Shanghainese wonton soup in the streets of Shanghai – the secret is no doubt their long and well-simmered bone broth!

What is a Great Salad Meal to Make?

Brenda Davis Super Salad.jpg

There is an online food revolution summit going on currently which contains life-changing health information.  The experts all seem to agree that a plant-based diet is better for human’s health.  Given everyone’s body is built differently, there is no one formula that fits all.  However, there is enough science about the higher benefits of plant protein vs. animal protein and why a vegetarian diet helps.  Risks of Diabetes are 62% lower with a healthy plant-based vegan diet from a recent study.  Heme iron from red meat, as opposed to non-heme iron from plant food, leads to increased risks of heart disease.  Experts warn that one needs to supplement with Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Iodine if one eats a vegan diet.  In general, many of us do not eat enough fibre.

What might be a great vegetarian dish – like a perfect salad?

Here is a great recommendation from Brenda Davis, a registered dietitian.  I have never enjoyed salad quite as much as I am now. A salad is not boring and is completely fulfilling and tasty.  To kickstart a vegan diet, try this 21day program free: 21DayKickstart.org

Source: http://www.brendadavisrd.com/my-favorite-supper-salad/

My Favorite Supper Salad (Brenda Davis)

My favorite meal is salad. Seriously.  To me, a beautiful salad is a masterpiece of colour, texture and flavor.  Of course, we are not talking iceberg lettuce with a few tomatoes and cucumbers sprinkle on top; we are talking about a full, satisfying meal.  I make a giant salad that lasts up to 4 days.  Greens are torn and dressing is always on the side so the salad does not brown or wilt. Nutritionally, it doesn’t get much better than this!

This salad is a full meal deal. It provides a rainbow of color and a feast of phytochemicals. Choose organic produce, if possible. By eating it with some fat-containing food such as a seed-based salad dressing, nutrient absorption is maximized.

 

The Greens

Choose any dark greens you have on hand. Throw in some red or purple leafy vegetable for variety and color. Use about 8 cups in total – mix and match as you like. Here is a suggested combination:

 

4 cups wild, mixed greens

2 cups kale, stem removed and sliced matchstick thin

2 cups chopped radicchio or thinly sliced red or purple cabbage

 

The Veggies and Fruits

The key is to cover the rainbow in your selection. Aim for 5 color families – green, yellow-orange, pink- red, purple- blue and white-beige. Use a total of about 5 cups veggies (1 cup from each color family). Mix and match as you like or simply select 1-2 options from each color category. Here are a few suggestions:

 

Green

1 cup broccolini or broccoli florets and stems, sliced diagonally

1 cup asparagus (raw or steamed), sliced diagonally

1 cup zucchini, sliced

2 stalks celery, sliced diagonally

1 cup snow peas or sugar snap peas

1 cup sprouts, tightly packed (e.g. sunflower, pea or other)

1 cup fresh herbs, tightly packed (e.g. mint, basil or dill)

2 kiwi fruit, chopped

 

Yellow-Orange

1-2 yellow or orange carrots, sliced or grated

1 yellow or orange pepper, chopped in thin 1″ strips

1 pint heirloom colored grape or other tomatoes

1 cup golden cauliflower florets

1 cup yellow beets (steamed or boiled), cubed

1-2 oranges or 1 grapefruit, bite sized pieces

1 mango, chopped

 

Pink-Red

1 cup watermelon radish, cut into small cubes

1 red pepper, chopped in thin 1″ strips

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 small red onion, sliced thinly

1 cup beets (steamed or boiled), cubed

1 cup pomegranate seeds (or seeds from one pomegranate)

1-2 cups strawberries, sliced or raspberries

1/2 cup gogi berries

 

Purple-Blue

1 purple pepper, chopped in thin 1″ strips

1-2 purple carrots, sliced or grated

1 cup purple cauliflower florets

1 cup roasted eggplant

1 cup blueberries or blackberries

 

White-Beige

1 cup cauliflower florets

1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced

2 salad turnips, sliced

1 small kohlrabi, cut in thin strips

1 small jicama, cut in thin strips

 

Plant Protein

Choose at least 1-2 protein sources for your salad. Some great options are:

6-8 oz. smoked tofu, cubed

6-8 oz. tofu, cubed and sautéed with tamari, turmeric, herbs and spices

6-8 oz tempeh, cooked

1-2 cups chickpeas or other beans

1-2 cups lentils

1 cup hummus

4-8 falafel balls or other veggie balls

 

Healthy Fats

Choose one or two healthy fat sources to help enhance nutrient absorption from your meal.

1/4 cup peanuts

1/4 cup tree nuts (e.g. pecans, walnuts, almonds)

1/4 cup seeds (e.g. pumpkin, sunflower or hemp)

1 avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 cup olives, whole pitted or sliced

 

Great Starches

Choose one starchy vegetable or grain to add calories and make the meal more satisfying.

1 sweet potato, steamed and cubed

1 purple or white potato, steamed and cubed

1 cup butternut squash (or other winter squash), steamed and cubed

1 cup corn

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 cup cooked kamut or spelt

1 cup cooked wild rice

 

Herbs

Add herbs for a boost of flavor and phytochemicals.

1/4 to 1/2 cup dill, parsley, basil or other fresh herbs

 

Directions

  1. Wash and prepare the vegetables as outlined above.
  2. Place the leafy vegetables in a large bowl.
  3. Top with other colorful vegetables.
  4. Add the plant protein source and starchy choices if eating the whole salad. If saving some of the salad for another day, keep the protein source, starchy choice and avocado separate and add just before serving.
  5. Serve with a nut or seed-based dressing.

 

 

 

Arranging Flowers Like a Pro

To all flowers lovers including yours truly, here is a short and sweet video to how to arrange flowers like a pro from Food52 for your parties and just pure bliss at home.  Play around with your glass containers, bud vase, egg vase, canning jars, etc. for beautiful arrangements on your tabletops, shelves, and fireplaces!

Courtesy of Food52.com

The colour of Autumn

It is no wonder that Autumn is the favorite season for many people. It is filled with colour, vibrancy, thanks, health, warmth, and preparation for the holidays!

Images from the farmer’s market and a new video about making sauerkraut yourself at home (to get your daily dose of live probiotics!)

  
  

AND a video from Summer Bock, the fermentationist, on making your own sauerkraut on your kitchen counter top at a fraction of the cost of the supplements (never knew it would be this easy!)

A Formula for Success – Depends on What You Do After Work

I went to my usual beauty parlour last week and was lucky to have the owner, a friend, to do the facial for me.  What she then told and showed me really amazed and inspired me.  Her story reminded me of yet another inspiring blog who quoted Anthony Robbins, saying that:

If you spend 1 hour a day learning about a particular topic, you’d know more about that subject than 99.999% of the world within a year.

None better manifested than by my beauty parlour friend.  She came from China, studied cosmetology there, practiced in San Francisco, and eventually opened her own beauty salon.  What I did not know is that at night after work, she would be designing and remodelling homes for friends to prep them before sales. Her best friends are at Home Depot.  A knack for beauty and details certainly helps – whether faces or homes.  Here is one of her recent remodelling work, turning a home into a beauty and made the seller very happy.  Now, she is contemplating making this a real business. But she is still going to keep her beauty salon, which according to her, is a relaxing place for her to recouperate – good for the clients.

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So it is not what you do at work determines your future success but what you do after work (i.e. self-learning, reading, volunteering, building up networks, working on real-life projects, realizing your passion) – often things other than your day-time work – that determines your future path.