Author Archives: Grace Benkovitz

3 days of Nutritionist (Halloween) living

Ah, Halloween. The holiday dreaded by those who can’t stop unwrapping candy after candy and stuffing them into their mouth…fun little bits of candy that collectively add up to a very big bag are everywhere – home, work, school, car, drastically on sale Nov 1! I used to be the same way. I loved skittles, jolly ranchers, now & later, reese’s peanut butter cups, kit kat, butterfinger, heath bar, snickers, milky way, oh hell I even ate those bit-o-honey candies… And I had a mouth full of fillings with increasing cavities, several infections each year, too much stored energy (i.e. body fat) and definitely not as much gusto and love for life like I have now.

But once I started reading the list of ingredients on everything I ate, I was able to ditch the candy and processed foods ingredient by ingredient. I cut out high fructose corn syrup (say goodbye to nearly every candy listed above in one fell swoop) and then hydrogenated & partially hydrogenated oils (thankfully the FDA is FINALLY doing this for us…it’s about time…), then msg, food dyes, artificial flavors, processed sugars of all types, and everything else I couldn’t pronounce or identify. I actually don’t restrict myself from eating these foods/ingredients, I do have some of them once in a while. And I make sure it’s totally worth it when I do, hello cow tails?

When I cut foods out that contained ingredients I had decided I didn’t want to put in my body or in my son’s body anymore, that left me with great tasting processed foods (which usually only had a few ingredients) and yummy real foods like fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, raw dairy, teas, dark chocolate, etc. As I ate more real foods and less highly processed foods flavored artificially, my taste buds began to change. And when I went to try some M&M’s after a few months, all I could taste were the dyes used on the candy coating (and M&M’s aer chocked full of them with Blue 1 Lake, Yellow 6, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Red 40 Lake, Blue 2 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake & Blue 2). After eating delicious dark chocolates (cocoa beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, ground vanilla bean) for months, milk chocolate tasted, well like a bunch of crappy ingredients (sugar, chocolate, skim milk, cocoa butter, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, salt, artificial flavor, sugar, cornstarch, corn syrup, dextrin, gum acacia). So it’s no longer a struggle to resist and limit my candy intake on Halloween. I know that the majority of the candies will not taste good to me so I eat the ones that I know will (like laffy taffy and the reese’s peanut butter cups).

Saturday October 29, 2016

Time Item Amount/ Duration  Comments
8am Wake up – no alarm    
  Water coffee w. milk 12 oz. 36 oz.  
  Pleasure reading 2 hours Building habits takes time. Even though I meditate every week day morning, I presently do not meditate on the weekends. I’m usually quick to start doing something pleasurable to make the most out of any time alone I can get and on the weekend mornings – sometimes I can squeeze a few hours of alone time while everyone else is still snoozing!
10a Water 8 oz Another habit I am still building is drinking as much water on the weekends as I do during a week day. Too much alcohol and too little water often leaves me dehydrated on Monday’s with eczema on my face to prove it!
11:15a Water kefir

French toast with butter and maple syrup

4 oz.

¾ piece

The French toast was Sadie’s left overs 🙂
11:30a Outside garden work – cleaned out old plants, added compost, hay and leaves on garden. Raked garden and leaves in lawn 50 mins  
  Water 8 oz.  
12:20p Kombucha 4 oz.  
12:30p Fage yogurt

Maple syrup

Chia seeds

5 oz

2 tbsp.

2.5 tbsp.

 
12:40p Shootin’ hoops 10 mins  
12:50p Water

Fermented pickle juice

4 oz

4 oz

 

For rehydration

1:30p NYS apple

w.peanut butter

Chamomile Lavender tea

w. honey

water

1

3 oz

12 oz ½ tsp

16 oz

It drives me bonkers that NYS is one of the biggest apple producers, yet we consume more apples grown out of state than grown in state! So I do my best to ONLY purchase apples grown in NYS.
  Spent time with a best friend 2 hours  
5:00p Cabernet 8 oz  
  More garden work    
7:00p Kombucha Cosmopolitan    
7:30p Kombucha Cosmopolitan #2    
8:15p More cabernet 4 oz  
8:30p pork chops w. cabbage sautéed in butter, salt & pepper 1.5 6 cups  
10p Ice cream 1 bowl  
11p Ice cream #2 1 bowl  
11:30p Water 8 oz.  
  STAYED UP WAY TOO LATE TENDING A FIRE  

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Time Item Amount/ Duration Comments
8a Wake up    
  Water

Kombucha

Fermented pickle

Coffee with raw milk

12 oz

4 oz

Small

24 oz

 
8:30a – 3p Migraine   Woke up with a headache which turned into an excruciating migraine complete with vomiting
3p Chamomile lavender tea with honey

Fage yogurt

w. maple syrup &

Chia seeds

24 oz.

½ tsp

5 oz

1.5 tbsp

2 tbsp.

 
5p Chicken bone broth

Kombucha

Chamomile Lavender tea w. honey

12 oz.

4 oz

8 oz

½ tsp

 
7p Eggs smothered in butter w. real salt & pepper

Water kefir

water

2

 

 

8 oz

14 oz

 
8:45p Kashi blueberry clusters cereal w. raw milk 1 bowl

Monday, October 31, 2016

Time Item Amount/ Duration Comments
5:10a Wake up    
5:35a Water 12 oz  
  meditate    
6a Coffee with raw milk 24 oz  
8a Water

Ginger tulsi tea w

honey

16 oz

16 oz

½ tsp

 
10a Water

Peppermint Licorice tea w. honey

8 oz

16 oz

½ tsp

 
11:15a Yogurt, berries, maple syrup & chia seeds A few bites I still wasn’t fully recovered from the migraine (this one actually lingered until Thursday) so I had a little bit to eat before I went on my daily walk.
11:30a Walk 2 miles  
12:45p Water

Yogurt, berries, maple syrup & chia seeds

Spicy fermented pickle

Kombucha

8 oz.

3 cups

 

1

12 oz

 
2:30p Water

Chamomile lavender tea w. honey

Theo coconut dark chocolate

8 oz

16 oz

½ tsp

1 square

 
4:15p Water 8 oz  
5:15p Pretzels

Water kefir

Handful

8 oz

 
6:45p Laffy taffy 1 halloween size I would have snagged a reese’s peanut butter cup too, but the kid took it…
7p Cheese tortellini w.

Steamed cauliflower,

Sauerkraut

And butter/olive oil/garlic sauce

Nathan hotdog

water

4 cups

 

 

 

 

½

6 oz

 
  Candy corns handful  
7:50p Water kefir 8 oz  

Keep on reading the list of ingredients as it is the most important information on a food label. Cut out offensive ingredients one by one and

Be well and love the earth!

Grace

 

 

Take the Stress out of Food

A few weeks ago I held a water kefir grain contest with my Optimal Health Warriors email subscription group. I learned from the contest that many of you struggle with changing your eating habits and that your stress is out of control. So over the next few weeks, I will give you a step-by-step guide on how I went from this being the extent of my abilities to bring my lunch to work (or cook for that matter!)

bowl of Kraft macaroni and cheese

To this being the lunch I prepared in exactly 14 minutes this morning!

delicious salad of mixed greens, sweet red peppers, chick peas, red onion, fermented ginger carrots, cheddar cheese and fresh grated ginger

Even though my mother cooked dinner for my family literally every night, no exceptions, she even made pizza from scratch, and as a family we raised about 85% of our food, I had pretty much zero cooking & food preparation skills. I could make pasta and that was about it.

So the first step in my transition from eating mostly processed foods to eating real foods was to always know exactly what I was consuming. And the only way to know this is to ALWAYS read the LIST OF INGREDIENTS. The list of ingredients is the most IMPORTANT information on a food label. Ignore the useless nutrition information, ignore the marketing buzzwords and find the list of ingredients straight away.

I learned about some of the most problematic ingredients in manufactured foods and was quite alarmed when I understood how they were negatively affecting our bodies and why they were being used (to increase profits, no other reason!). So I cut them out one by one. I started with high fructose corn syrup. Thankfully in the past decade many food manufacturers have cut this ingredient out after much consumer concern.

Then I cut out hydrogenated & partially hydrogenated oils and moved on to msg (mono sodium glutamate), artificial dyes, artificial flavors, natural flavors (there is nothing natural about natural flavors except an FDA loophole that allows food manufacturers to slap the word natural in there instead of artificial), dextrose, sucralose, artificial sweeteners and corn syrup (actually any sweetener that was not sugar cane, honey or maple syrup). After all of that crap was out of our lives I then cut out any ingredient that I couldn’t pronounce, I wasn’t familiar with or was something I studied in high school chemistry class.

And believe it or not I found that there were still plenty of pre-packaged foods that I could buy that didn’t contain any of the above mentioned offensive ingredients. It took some extra time in the supermarket, but I could always find an alternative brand if I found that my favorite brand was loaded with crap. AND there are some times when I just say screw it and I knowingly eat the crap, enjoy it and keep it to a minimum.

Take the stress out of food and know what you’re eating by always reading the list of ingredients. The healthiest foods will not have a list of ingredients or will have a list that is just a few ingredients long (produce, meats, dairy, nuts, eggs, seafood…basically the foods that are always found on the outside of the supermarket).

Just cut out one ingredient at a time.

And week by week your food choices will become healthier and tastier.

Beware of the marketing buzz word trap on the rest of the package. Before I started reading the list of ingredients, I made a costly mistake by jumping on the organic band wagon. If the package said organic, it was healthy, right?! When I started reading the list of ingredients I found ORGANIC HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP in the fig newton that I thought was so healthy. Jeez, thanks for going through all of the trouble to make sure the high fructose corn syrup is organic….Newman’s…

If you are already aware that you or a family member is particularly sensitive to an ingredient, start with that first. Or if you are aware that a particular ingredient is beyond horrible, start with that one. I have been pleasantly surprised that many food manufacturers have already begun to clean up their list of ingredients in the past 11 years since I have been diligently reading that portion of the food label first. Not long ago, Cheerios – marketed as an oat product, contained more corn ingredients than oats… But that has changed and the list of ingredients on Cherrios has been cut like in half.

If you have any questions about an ingredient or a particular food brand/product, please feel free to contact me. You can just respond to this email or hit me up at grace@optimalhealthwithgrace.com.

Be Well and Love the Earth,
Grace

 

 

7 days of Nutritionist (April) living

I have improved 7 days of Nutritionist eating and am happy to share with you 7 days of Nutritionist living.

As I teach in Optimal Health with Grace, food is just one of the four foundations of optimal health. Exercise, stress management, sleep and food are all equally important for Optimal Health. Additionally, gut health and skin health are also of utmost importance to attain Optimal Health. I work daily to be balanced in all of these areas.

Instead of just reporting what I ate for a week, I will now include my exercise, stress management and sleeping habits as well as daily gut health and skin health routines.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Time Item Amount/ Duration Area of Health Affected & Comments
Early Morning Shower – Dry brush skin before shower. Wash hair with shampoo, finish with apple cider vinegar hair rinse. Wash & exfoliate whole skin with Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. Skin
I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week and I use corn starch to absorb oil on the days I don’t wash. I no longer use conditioner, instead I rub a SMALL amount of coconut oil on my scalp the night before washing my hair. I currently use Burt’s Bee’s shampoo but I aspire to make my own! I make an apple cider vinegar rinse with 2/3 ACV, 1/3 water and comb it through my hair. ACV is a great hair detangler…kombucha vinegar works even better. I also only wash & exfoliate all of my skin once a week unless I’m really grimy from the garden. The other six days I just wash my “essential bits.”
Meditation 20 mins Stress Management
I practice Transcendental Meditation. This practice suggests two 20 min sessions daily, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. So far I have managed to meditate in the morning every work day for the past few years. I have yet to incorporate the afternoon meditation regularly and I generally don’t meditate on the weekends. Someday my life will include meditation twice daily.

Gut
Meditation puts the body in the rest and digest” state, otherwise known as the parasympathetic nervous system. A good meditation can get digestion going so well that I will need to take a trip to the bathroom when the meditation is over. J

Water coffee w. milk 12 oz. 12-24 oz. Food
I start out every day with a glass of water & I really enjoy a cup or two of coffee with raw milk.
Made lunch for work. Kefir smoothie (raw milk kefir, frozen berries, chia seeds, banana) and left over gnocchi & cheese with fresh avocado. Food
It is much easier for me to eat delicious, nutrient-dense food during the work day when I bring my lunch to work. So I do this most days.

Gut
Kefir is a superstar when it comes to providing a variety of probiotics for the gut microbiome. Prebiotics, or food for the probiotics, is found in the fiber in fruits, vegetables and seeds. Chia seeds & cheese offer great prebiotics for your probiotics to munch on in your belly!

Morning at work Water and herbal teas with honey Many cups! Food
Stand All day Exercise
I have been standing at my desk at work for nearly 16 months now and I LOVE IT! Sitting seems strange to me now. Standing at my desk has increased my productivity and overall energy levels.Gut
I often find myself doing deep belly breaths while I am standing at work in the morning. When I practice belly breathing correctly I can literally feel and hear my intestines digesting.
Lunch Meditation 20 mins Stress Management
It was raining hard and I wasn’t adequately prepared to walk in the rain so I meditated instead.Gut
Ate the lunch I packed and had 1 square of dark chocolate w. coconut. I also had 1 bite of a cookie, but decided it taste good enough to make it worth it to eat the rest!   Food

Gut

Evening at home 5 song dance party with the 4 year old in the kitchen Exercise

Stress Management

Gut
Just like meditation, exercise stimulates digestion and shakes up the gastric juices in your stomach. Colon cancer is associated with separated gastric juices.

Kombucha, water, big salad & apple pie with the crust made from lard (made out of bacon fat) Food Gut
Made salad for Tues work lunch Food Gut
Read ½ hour Sleep
Asleep by 9:00pm

 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Time Item Amount/ Duration Area of Health Affected & Comments
Early Morning Shower – Dry brush skin before shower. Wash essential bits only with Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. Skin
Meditation 20 mins Stress Management Gut
Water coffee w. milk

Kombucha

12 oz. 12-24 oz.

4 oz.

Food
Lately I have been drinking a few ounces of kombucha after my morning coffee.Gut
Kombucha provides probiotics, enzymes and a plethora of healthy acids for our gut.
Morning at work Water and herbal teas with honey Just a few cups Food
I consumed less beverage than usual as this was a very busy work morning.
Stand All day Exercise Gut
Lunch 3 mile walk 50 mins Exercise

Stress Management
I am lucky to work at a company that is located within a village that has sidewalks. I can walk during my lunch break and enjoy hills to climb and a river, stream, grass, trees and birds to look at and listen to. This day I also enjoyed some sunshine and beautiful billowy clouds. Walking in natures has been scientifically proven to reduce stress.

Gut

Skin

Ate the salad I made the night before with some more tea, water and one or two squares of dark coconut chocolate   Food

Gut
Chocolate is a fermented food! Choose a chocolate with the highest percentage of cacoa – like 60% or above. I also add kimchi or sauerkraut to my salads to get some more fermented foods into my diet.

My salads generally are about 6-8 cups and so all the fiber provides a great meal to my gut microbiome!

Evening at home Stretches & planks on my yoga mat in the kitchen Exercise

Stress Management Gut

Kombucha, coconut brittle, rice with sautéed mushrooms & onions, Fage yogurt with maple syrup, chia seeds & frozen raspberries for dessert. Food
When I tracked my food intake for 7 days for Nutritionist eating I realized that I was eating ice cream nearly every day, for months! Since that discovery I ditched the ice cream and instead eat yogurt with berries and chia seeds. I am no longer struggling to fit into my clothes, they actually seem to be getting bigger!Gut
Baked sweet potatoes for Wed lunch at work Food

 

Watched Netflix before bed Sleep
I was not able to fall asleep as quickly as usual and woke up easily several times throughout the night.

 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Time Item Amount/ Duration Area of Health Affected & Comments
Early Morning Shower – Dry brush skin before shower. Wash essential bits only with Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. Skin
I started dry brushing my skin before a shower sometime last year. Dry brushing helps to stimulate the lymphatic system so toxins that this system is draining can be eliminated instead of hanging around in the body. I thought it was going to be a difficult habit to incorporate but it feels so good that it was easy to add to my morning routine.
Meditation 20 mins Stress Management Gut
Water coffee w. milk 12 oz. 12-24 oz. Food
Morning at work Water and herbal teas with honey Many cups Food

 

Stand All day Exercise Gut
Lunch 3 mile walk 50 mins Exercise

Stress Management

Skin Gut

Ate a sweet potato I made the night before with butter, coconut oil and cinnamon. I also drank a kefir smoothie   Food Gut
Evening at home Ravioli with red sauce for dinner. Drank kombucha. Yogurt, berries, maple syrup and chia seeds for dessert. Food

Gut

Rub coconut oil into scalp as hair conditioner. Skin
Computer work and Netflix before bed Sleep
I was asleep by 9:30p but this is not enough sleep for me. I will be working on reading more before bedtime rather than Netflixing…!

 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Time Item Amount/ Duration Area of Health Affected & Comments
Early Morning Shower – Dry brush skin before shower. Wash hair with shampoo, finish with apple cider vinegar hair rinse. Wash essential bits only with Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. Skin
I ran out of facial wash the day before. I did a little research and found that people successfully use castor oil as a facial cleanser. I didn’t have any castor oil on hand and I had been using coconut oil as a facial moisturizer for years so I decided to try using coconut oil as a facial cleanser. It works so great that I don’t even need to exfoliate!
Meditation 20 mins Stress Management Gut
Water coffee w. milk 12 oz. 12-24 oz. Food
Make salad for lunch at work large  
Morning at work Water and herbal teas with honey Many cups Food

 

Stand All day Exercise Gut
Lunch 3 mile walk 50 mins Exercise

Stress Management

Gut

Skin

Ate the large salad of mixed greens, chick peas, red onion, avocado, kimchi and cheddar cheese with my own balsamic turmeric vinaigrette dressing. Dark coconut chocolate squares   Food Gut
Evening at home 2 mile walk up ginormous hills. 20 mins shooting basketball Exercise

Stress Management Gut

Kefir smoothie with frozen berries, banana, chia seeds & raw egg. Apple with peanut butter Food Gut
Made salad for Fri lunch at work. Ate coconut brittle Food
Netflix before bed Sleep
I was asleep by 9:30p.

 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Time Item Amount/ Duration Area of Health Affected & Comments
Early Morning Shower – Dry brush skin before shower. Wash essential bits only with Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. Skin

 

Meditation 20 mins Stress Management Gut
Water coffee w. milk 12 oz. 12-24 oz. Food
Apple coffee cake Small Food
I broke my intermittent fasting and ate a small piece of coffee cake in the AM at work. I knew it would make me feel hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) during my lunch time walk, but it actually started affecting me negatively before I even went on my walk.
Morning at work Water and herbal teas with honey Many cups Food

 

Stand All day Exercise Gut
Lunch 3 mile walk 50 mins Exercise

Stress Management

Gut Skin

My arms and face were bathed with glorious sunshine!

Ate the large salad made the previous night of mixed greens, chick peas, red onion, avocado, kimchi and cheddar cheese with my own balsamic turmeric vinaigrette dressing. Hot ginger tea and water.   Food

Gut

Evening at home 1 hour shooting basketball Exercise

Stress Management Gut

Kombucha, water, dark chocolate and yogurt with chia seeds,   maple syrup and berries Food

Gut

A few spoonful’s of ice cream. A few pieces of coconut brittle Food
Netflix before bed Sleep
I go to bed and rise approximately the same time on the weekend as I do on weekdays.

 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Time Item Amount/ Duration Area of Health Affected & Comments
Early Morning Water, coffee & 2015 taxes! Food

 

Mid-morning Tea, kombucha & water Many cups Food Gut
Outside work – mulching, raking, playing basketball, grounding, put compost on flowers, turning compost pile, 1 on 1 against my 16 year old son – kicked his A%$! 2.5 hours Exercise

Stress Management

Food
For the past several years I have been growing a small portion of our food both in my front lawn and in an extensive garden at my mother’s. I find that the practice of growing my own food improves every area of optimal health. Food – I have full control over how I fertilize and feed the plants and control weeds. Stress Management – Working with the earth and all its glory is very calming and provides relief from that rat race we call civilized living. Exercise – Mulching, raking, weeding, hoeing, planting and harvesting is really great exercise and requires the movement of most of the body.

Sleep – The increased exercise and time spent in the sun really tires me out and makes falling asleep a cinch

Gut Microbiome – The little microbes found in fermented foods originally made their way into fruits and vegetables from the soil! Additionally, working with the soil has been shown to increase happiness from the microbes

Skin – Healthy skin is sun kissed. Our body is designed to obtain vitamin D from the sun.

After- noon

at home

Water, kombucha and kefir smoothie. Apple slices with peanut butter Food

Gut

Evening at home HotCorn, ginger tea and coconut brittle Food

Gut

Made toothpaste from coconut oil and baking soda. Gut
The mouth is the first part of the digestive tract and so healthy bacteria in the mouth is a must for proper gut health. After oil pulling for a while I ditched commercial toothpaste altogether and now I make my own toothpaste by whipping together coconut oil and baking soda. It works fabulously and the best part is that I can consume anything right after brushing my teeth without the food taste being grossly altered.
Rub coconut oil on my scalp Skin
Netflix before bed Sleep

 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Time Item Amount/ Duration Area of Health Affected & Comments
Early Morning Water, coffee Food

 

Mid-morning Tea, kombucha & water Many cups Food Gut
2.5 mile walk up ginormous hills 1 hour Exercise

Stress Management

Food

Shower – Dry brush beforehand. Wash & exfoliate all of my skin. Wash hair and ACV rinse hair. Skin
After- noon

at home

Water, kombucha and yogurt with maple syrup, chia seeds and frozen berries. Food

Gut

Evening at home Taco Salad with mixed greens, grass fed beef with home prepared taco seasoning & cilantro, cheddar cheese, avocado, sour cream & fermented tomatillo sauce Food

Gut

Kombucha cosmopolitans 4 I like to use kombucha instead of a mixer (generally cranberry or pomegranate juice for cosmopolitans) in my cosmopolitans. I squeeze ½ a lime or lemon, 1 shot Cointreau, 2 shots vodka (currently Tito’s is my favorite), mixer and shake well with ice. I find that the kombucha helps my body metabolize the alcohol as long as I’m well hydrated beforehand.
Netflix before bed Sleep
In bed by 9:00 pm.

 

I hope this glimpse of all of my daily healthy habits is more useful to you than when I was recording and reporting only what I consumed.

Until next month,

Be well and love the earth!

Grace

 

 

 

 

My peanut butter jar cleans easy.

This is what my peanut butter jar looks like after soaking in just plain water overnight and then rinsing with plain water.

IMG_3498

Does your peanut butter jar usually have a greasy film that is nearly impossible to wash off with soap? Have you ever thought to yourself This peanut butter jar is so hard to clean so it can be recycled. Is it worth the soap, water and time?

So why does my peanut butter jar clean up with little effort and just plain water? Because of the ingredients, or rather lack thereof. Take a look at the list of ingredient on your peanut butter jar. The most popular brands of regular peanut butter generally contain sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oils. And depending on the brand perhaps some monoglycerides and diglycerides. We are told that we are making a better choice by choosing Reduced Fat Peanut Butter. But the list of ingredients on these products are even worse and can include corn syrup solids, sugar, protein, hydrogenated vegetable oils, monoglycerides and diglycerides with added minerals and synthetic vitamins. The minerals and synthetic vitamins are added back into the peanut butter because the product is stripped of these when the fat is reduced. Also note that more sugar is added when the fat is reduced. The fat in foods adds flavor and texture. monoglycerides and diglycerides are added to give the reduced fat product a similar texture as the full fat product. Eating fat is not what is making us physically fat. Anyway, all of the unnecessary ingredients found in the most popular brands are what causes that greasy film that is nearly impossible to clean off.

Here is the list of ingredients from my peanut butter jar.

IMG_3500

Peanuts and salt. Yes, I have to mix the peanut oil in when I open a new jar. We then refrigerate the peanut butter so that we don’t have to mix it before each use. I’m avoiding suspect ingredients like hydrogenated oils and mono & diglycerides in exchange for having to stir the peanut butter jar for like 30 seconds. Done. Sold. Yes, please.

As you think about your peanut butter jar and how hard it is to remove that greasy film from the jar think about what it might look like on your insides. Our stomach acids will be able to break down that greasy film, but I would much rather my stomach acids concentrate on breaking down nutrients for absorption rather then cleaning up a greasy filmy mess.

Always read the list of ingredients. Know what is in your food. Like GI Joe said “knowing is half the battle.”

ditch the dew and Do The Booch!

I teach Kombucha Brewing Klasses and they have been a smashing success mainly because the klass participants are so fabulous. They bring much good energy and positive vibes into my life and at the end of each klass the world is ten to twenty fermenters richer! Inspired by this energy, I thought I’d write about this lovely fermented tea Kombucha dubbed the immortal health elixir.

Grace making Kombucha

I am a big advocate of consuming several fermented foods daily. Food, sleep, exercise and stress management are the foundations of optimal health. And consuming fermented foods is the roof for these foundations. They provide protection from environmental foes. I don’t believe a human can reach their full optimal health potential without including fermented foods in their diet. Every culture on earth has been fermenting foods for thousands of years.

Kombucha can be one of the most delightful introductions to fermented foods. It is bubbly, perfectly tangy and can be flavored with virtually any fruit, herb or spice. Kombucha has experienced a revival here in the US since the 1990’s and can be found in every health food store, major grocery stores such as Whole Foods or Wegman’s and I hear it is even sold at Wal-Mart. GT’s is the most widely available and popular brand, but there are other exceptional Kombucha brands like Kevita.

Some of the health benefits of Kombucha include:

  1. removes toxins from the body thus reducing the work load of the liver and pancreas
  2. prevents cancer (this is how GT’s Kombucha was born)
  3. prevents and treats arthritis and gout
  4. improves digestion / treats constipation
  5. prevents and treats acid reflux
  6. prevents and treats candida overgrowth
  7. stabilizes mood
  8. treats depression and anxiety
  9. strengthens the immune system
  10. provides a wealth of B vitamins, enzymes, bacteria, yeasts and acids
  11. reduces sugar and alcohol cravings

If you are new to fermented foods and Kombucha I recommend starting out slow by consuming just two ounces followed by a glass of water. Kombucha will get things going that might not have been going for a while and too much, too soon can cause discomfort. When you can easily consume two ounces increase your consumption by another two ounces, followed by a glass of water. Continue increasing the amount until you are drinking 8-16 ounces per day, the exact amount will vary per person.

Be Well and Love the Earth,

Grace

Sources:
kombuchakamp.com
Kombucha Health Benefits
The Benefits Of Kombucha

 

7 days of Nutritionist (January) eating

This is the second edition in my new series, 7 days of Nutritionist eating. I recorded everything I consumed for seven days and I made sure not to change my eating habits during this timeframe. I don’t usually weigh or portion my food but I included amounts to give you a general reference. This is a very honest representation of what I eat. And just as importantly why I choose my food/beverage and when I eat.

As I teach in Optimal Health with Grace, food is just one of the four foundations of optimal health. Exercise, stress management, sleep and food are all equally important for optimal health and I work daily to be balanced in all four areas.

These foods are what work for me. I have access to these foods, I like these foods and my body responds well to these foods. I do best with lots of vegetables, lots of fat and less protein. And I continually work to improve what I eat. For example, I would like to consume more kefir and less yogurt (I make raw milk kefir so it is less expensive & contains more probiotic strains than my favorite yogurt, Fage). I would also like to consume more berries. Years ago when I consumed a colorful variety of raw vegetables and frozen berries most days, my skin color turned from a reddish hue to a peachy brownish hue. Our skin receives a variety of antioxidants from the colors of fruits and vegetables (the same nutrients that the produce uses to protect itself while growing) which protects us from exposure to the elements. I’ve been doing great with the colorful salads. But I have not consistently consumed enough berries for the last several years and parts of my skin are red instead of peachy brown.

January is typically the second coldest month of the year (February being the coldest) where I live in upstate NY. And so my tea consumption increases, bone broths are often simmering on the stove and I tend to make warm, slow cooked dinners for the family.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Time Item Amount Comments
5:10a water 12 oz. I start out every day with a glass of water.
6:00-6:45a Cinnamon coffee with raw milk 24 oz. Last month I neglected to mention that I sprinkle a few pinches of cinnamon on top of the coffee grinds before brewing each pot. Cinnamon is great for the brain and makes for an exceptional cup of coffee!
8:00a Water 8 oz.
Zhena’s Coconut Chia Green Tea w. honey & milk 24 oz. ½ tsp & a splash
9:30a Pukka Three Cinnamon Tea w. honey &

Raw milk

24 oz.

½ tsp

Splash

10:00a Water 8 oz.
Zhena’s Fire Light Chia w. honey & raw milk 24 oz.

½ tsp

Splash

1:00p Water 8 oz.
Pepperoni Pizza 1/3 slice From the lunch catering in the conference room next to my work station.
Salad – mixed greens, chick peas, red bell pepper, red onion, pomegranate perils, raw cheddar cheese w. homemade balsamic vinaigrette (balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt w. minerals, black pepper, turmeric) 6 cups 4 tbsp. My secrets to outstanding salads will be revealed in an upcoming edition of 7 days of Nutritionist eating!
2:00p Fage yogurt w. maple syrup &

pomegranate perils

1 cup 1 tbsp. ½ cup
Zhena’s Coconut Chia Green Tea w. coconut oil, honey & raw milk 24 oz. 1 tbsp. ½ tsp. & a splash
Ginger snap 1 Purchased from the company canteen.
3:00p Water 8 oz.
Traditional Medicinals Chamomile tea w. honey 24 oz. ½ tsp
5:00p Ginger Kombucha 16 oz. Brewed, flavored and bottled it myself!
Pukka Relax iced tea

w. honey

6 oz. ½ tsp.
6:50p Taco Salad – mixed greens, crushed organic corn chips, grass fed beef with onions, garlic and taco seasoning, raw cheddar cheese, avocado & sour cream A lot!

taco salad

I didn’t make tacos for many, many years due to all the crap found in taco seasoning. For example, here is the list of ingredients from Old El Paso taco seasoning:   Maltodextrin, Salt, Chili Pepper, Monosodium Glutamate, Corn Starch, Yellow Corn Flour, Spice, Sugar, Contains Less Than 2% Of: Natural Flavor, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Silicon Dioxide (Anticaking Agent), Yeast Extract, Ethoxyquin (Preservative) – YUCK! And the taco shells and taco sauce list of ingredients are pretty sketchy too. And then one a day a few years ago it dawned on me that I could make taco seasoning myself, I quickly found a recipe that is so easy that my teenage son is capable of making it! Our taco seasoning contains: Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, Dried Oregano, Paprika, Cumin, Sea Salt, Black Pepper. Wow, what a difference! More flavor, more nutrients and no anti-nutrients!
7:45p Turkey Hill Salted Caramel Gelato & Turkey Hill Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato 1 cup 1 cup
8:20p Pukka Relax tea w.

Honey

16 oz. ½ tsp.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Time Item Amount Comments
5:20a Water 12 oz.
6:00a Cinnamon Coffee w. raw milk 18 oz.
8:00a Water 8 oz.
Zhena’s Coconut Chia Green Tea w. honey & milk 24 oz ½ tsp & splash
9:00a Traditional Medicinals Stress Ease iced tea 5 oz.
9:25a Pukka Three Cinnamon tea w. honey & milk 24 oz.

½ tsp & splash

10:30a Zhena’s Fire Light Chia Tea w. honey & milk 24 oz.

½ tsp splash

Peanut butter cookie Again, from the company’s canteen.
12:45p Water 8 oz.
Sweet potato w. butter, coconut oil & cinnamon

Sweet Potatos

1 ½

2 tbsp./1tbsp. 3 pinches

I like to bake a bunch of sweet potatoes at the beginning of the week and stick them in the fridge. When I don’t have time to make a salad for my lunch, I can pack myself a sweet potato with butter, coconut oil and cinnamon in about 90 seconds!

 

Pukka Relax iced tea 10 oz.
Fage yogurt pomegranate perils & maple syrup 1.5 cups ½ cup 2 tbsp.
2:00p Zhena’s Choconut Chia Green Tea w. honey & milk and

Coconut oil

24 oz. ½ tsp & splash 1 tbsp.
Alter Eco dark mint chocolate bar 2 squares
3:00p Water 8 oz.
3:30p Traditional Medicinals Chamomile tea w. honey 24 oz. ½ tsp.
5:30p Kombucha from my continuous brew vessel 5 oz. I love the taste of kombucha and my body loves the nutrients and bacteria and yeast it provides. It is too cost prohibitive to drink only purchased kombucha so I make my own using the batch brew and continuous brew methods.
Banana bread (homemade with Einkorn flour) 2 pieces Einkorn flour is my favorite flour to bake with. Einkorn flour has never been hybridized and many people who are sensitive to modern day wheat are not sensitive to Einkorn wheat.
Pomegranate perils ¼ cup
Fermented pickle 1
Fermented pickle juice 4 oz.
Corn chips 2
Water 12 oz.
7:30p Chicken soup – homemade bone broth, pasture raised chicken, potato, carrots, onion, garlic & CurryCorn 1 big bowl full
Pukka Relax Tea w. honey 16 oz. ½ tsp.
Clementine 2

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Time Item Amount Comments
5:20a water 12 oz.
Fermented pickle juice 2 oz.
6:00a coffee with raw milk 24 oz.
8:15a Water 8 oz.
9:00a Zhena’s Coconut Chia Green Tea w. honey 24 oz ½ tsp
9:45a Pukka Three Cinnamon Tea w. honey & milk 24 oz. ½ tsp & splash
10:45a Zhena’s Fire Light Chia Tea w. honey & milk 24 oz.

½ tsp splash

Winter finally showed up and I found myself increasing my hot tea consumption as it makes me feel warm and fuzzy!
12:30p Water 8 oz.
1:15p Large Salad – mixed greens, one avocado, mushrooms, red pepper, red onion, grated ginger, raw cheddar cheese & my balsamic vinaigrette 8 cups
Pukka Relax iced tea 12 oz.
2:15p Fage yogurt w. maple syrup & pomegranate perils 1 cup 2 tbsp. ¼ cup I stay away from flavored yogurts as they generally contain added sugar (and can also have artificial flavors & colors). Industrial farming has driven the flavor right out of many fruits (especially delicate berries) and so sugar and flavoring has to be added… Instead choose a high quality yogurt that has flavor all on its own and add local or organic fresh berries for the best tasting yogurt of your life!
2:45p Zhena’s Coconut Chia Green Tea w. honey & milk 24 oz. ½ tsp & splash
3:20p Water 8 oz.
5:30p Ginger kombucha 16 oz.
7:15p Pizza Chicken Finger French fries 2 slices 1 10 Take out from the local pizza joint.
8:00p Turkey Hill Chocolate with Peanut Butter Gelato ½ cup Turkey Hill Natural line and Gelato’s contain just a few ingredients and are delicious!
Fermented Pickle Juice 8 oz. I always drink the juice left over in the fermented pickle jar. It is a great way to hydrate and waste not!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Time Item Amount Comments
5:20a Water 12 oz.
6:00a Cinnamon coffee w. raw milk 16 oz.
7:45a Water 8 oz.
8:30a Zhena’s Coconut Chia Green Tea w. honey & milk 24 oz ½ tsp & splash
9:25a Pukka Three Cinnamon Tea w. honey & milk 24 oz ½ tsp & splash
10:20a Water 8 oz.
10:45a Zhena’s Fire Light Chia tea w. honey & milk 24 oz. ½ tsp splash
11:20a Water 8 oz
12:45p Raw Salad – mixed greens, avocado, red onion, mushrooms, raw cheddar, grated ginger & my balsamic vinaigrette 8 cups
4 tbsp.
2:15p Fage yogurt Maple syrup Pomegranate perils 1 cup 2 tbsp. ¼ cup
2:30p Alter Eco Mint Dark Chocolate 2 squares
Traditional Medicinals Stress Ease Tea w. honey & milk 24 oz. ½ tsp. splash
5:30p Ginger kombucha 2 oz.
Boochapolitan – Lemon Cointreau Tito’s Vodka Ginger Kombucha juice of ½

1 shot 2 shots healthy splash

Shake well and serve in a chilled glass!

Boochapolitan cropped

Corn chips &

Sour Cream

A bunch 3 oz.
6:30p Fermented pickle 1
6:45p Scrambled Eggs w. sautéed onions & garlic Butter Bacon 2 ½ ½ cup 2 tbsp. 2 pieces I love to make breakfast for dinner weekly as it is easy, yummy and provides lots of nutrients. Oh, and I’m still using onions and garlic that I grew myself last summer!
Traditional Medicinals Chamomile Tea w. honey 32 oz. 1 tsp,
10:13p Turkey Hill Mint Chocolate Chip Gelato 4 large spoonful’s

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Time Item Amount Comments
8:00a Cinnamon coffee w. raw milk 16 oz Oops I neglected to drink water first and boy did I feel that caffeine. I was a bit shaky and started to sweat on my upper lip!
Water 12 oz.
Coffee w. raw milk 16 oz.
10:00 Traditional Medicinals Chamomile Tea w. honey 32 oz. 1 tsp.
1:00 Water 12 oz.
2:15p Homemade bone broth w. CurryCorn 13 oz. Bone broths are similar to stocks but are made with both bone and meat (stocks are made with just meat). I make chicken bone broth most often and boil for 8+ hours a whole pasture raised chicken with two chicken feet, chopped onion, celery, carrots, and scrap pieces of broccoli/cabbage/asparagus , a few bay leaves, salt and peppercorns.
2:30p Pukka Vanilla Chia tea w.honey 16 oz. ½ tsp.
3:00p Fage yogurt Maple Syrup 1 cup 2 tbsp.
4:00p Stella Artois 1 – 12 oz. bottle TBH I had a Stella Artois chillin’ in the freezer at 11:45a but then decided to take the dog for a nice four mile walk instead!
4:30p Stella Artois #2 TBH, I put a third Stella in the freezer but after drinking two quickly with little food in my belly I realized another one was not such a good idea.
4:45p Stove popped Popcorn in Coconut oil w. Cultured butter &

Real Salt

4 handfuls Take a look at the list of ingredients in your microwave popcorn and you will find hydrogenated oils (a.k.a. trans fats) and “flavoring.”   It is so easy and inexpensive to buy popcorn kernels, pop them on your stove top and dress with real flavorings like butter and salt!
Ginger kombucha 1 oz
5:50p Water 12 oz.
6:30p Grass fed beef meatballs with spaghetti & salad 2 meatballs
7:00p CurryCorn As much as I wanted I make and sell my own popcorn spice, CurryCorn. I add CurryCorn to popcorn that has been popped in coconut oil and dressed with butter. I also add CurryCorn to bone broths and curry chicken dishes.
Turkey Hill Mint Chocolate Chip Gelato 3 large spoonful’s
Zhena’s Fire Light Chia Tea w. honey & milk 16 oz. ½ tsp. splash
Turkey Hill Mint Chocolate Chip Gelato 4 more spoonful’s ….and then I polished off the rest of the container (about two more cups, who knows?!)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Time Item Amount Comments
7:30a Water 12 oz.
8:20a Cinnamon Coffee w. raw milk 32 oz.
10:00a Water 16 oz.
10:30a Zhena’s Coconut Chia Tea w. honey & milk 16 oz. ½ tsp splash
11:45a Einkorn wheat banana bread 2 pieces
Fermented pickle 1
12:00p Pukka Three Cinnamon Tea w. honey & milk 16 oz. ½ tsp. & splash
2:30p Stella Artois 1 – 12 oz. bottle
Einkorn wheat banana bread 2 pieces
4:00p Stella #2
Snyder’s Sour Dough pretzel bites w. sour cream 10 2 oz.
5:00p Stella #3
Blueberry yogurt covered pretzels 2
More Einkorn banana bread 1 piece
6:00p Stella #4 TBH, I had Stella #5 chillin’ in the freezer, but took it out once I realized four had been enough!
Broccoli smothered in garlic sautéed in butter & olive oil with salt & pepper 1 floret
7:00p Gnocchi & cheese w. avocado, Broccoli as above & Red cabbage sautéed in butter w. salt & pepper 3 cups 1 cup 2 cups In the winter I make gnocchi (a potato pasta) and cheese instead of macaroni and cheese. I make my own cheese sauce using cheddar, provolone & parmesan cheeses.
Water 12 oz.
Turkey Hill Vanilla with Salted Caramel Ice Cream 1 cup
Fage yogurt w. Maple syrup Frozen blueberries 1 cup 1 tbsp. ½ cup
Pukka Vanilla Chia Tea with honey 20 oz. ½ tsp. My belly was so full this night that I could only lay down. Sitting or standing was uncomfortable.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Time Item Amount Comments
5:30a Water 12 oz.
Cinnamon coffee w. pasteurized milk 24 oz. Sadly when I run out of raw milk I am forced to lighten my coffee with pasteurized milk.
8:00a Water 2
Pukka Three Cinnamon Tea w. honey 24 oz. ½ tsp.
9:45a Water 8 oz.
Pukka Relax tea w. honey 24 oz. ½ tsp.
1:00p Water 8 oz.
1:15p Gnocchi & cheese w. avocado and Red cabbage 1 cup 1 whole 1.5 cups gnocchi and cheese with broccolli and cabbage
1:45p Pukka Three Cinnamon Iced Tea 7 oz.
Fage yogurt w. Maple Syrup & Frozen Blueberries 1 cup 1 tbsp. ½ cup
2:30p Pukka Star Anise & Cinnamon Tea w. honey 24 oz. ½ tsp.
4:00p Water 8 oz.
5:30p Water 12 oz.
Chocolate chip cookie Apple crisp 1 1 bite Both made by my four year old and the babysitter during a school vacation day.
7:15p Pork Chop Raw salad – mixed greens, avocado, red onion, mushrooms, red bell pepper, grated ginger w. my balsamic vinaigrette 1 medium small bowl We purchase our pig from a local farmer who is also a colleague of mine. We don’t have to purchase large quantities of meat at a time to get properly raised meat with this farmer. I can literally purchase this delicious pig by the pound.
Einkorn flour banana bread 1 piece
Apple crisp 1 bowl
Fermented pickle 1
Pukka Vanilla Chia Tea w. honey & milk 16 oz. ½ tsp splash
Banana bread 1 piece

Keep your eyes open for the next edition of 7 days of Nutritionist eating. I will share with you my February eats!!

Be Well and Love the Earth!

7 days of Nutritionist (holiday) eating

I write and teach health classes but my background is in nutrition and food and the nutrients it provides is my passion. In our label happy society, many people inquire about which food group I identify with. Am I with the organics, the paleo’s, the vegan’s or the vegetarian’s? But much like political parties, I do not box myself into any particular group. I eat food, I eat real food, I eat real unprocessed food, well most of the time. I also live in the US in 2015…and thus I also sometimes consume processed foods (gasp!). I don’t believe in “anything in moderation.” I believe in a balance of a variety of nutrient dense foods based on an individual’s needs along with a very small amount of junk, if you like. I estimate I eat about a 95% real unprocessed food / 5% edible foodlike substances.

Additionally, people are very curious about what I eat. So I bring you this new series, 7 days of Nutritionist eating, with the first edition from the 2015 Christmas week – a time when cookies, cake, chocolates and other goodies that would not normally make their way into my home do; a time when alcohol flows freely; a time when I embrace and encourage (nutrient dense) community feasting!

I recorded everything I consumed for seven days and I made sure not to change my eating habits during this timeframe (like I did when I had to record a food diary and report it to my nutrition classmates while working on my Master’s Degree…). I don’t usually weigh or portion my food but I included amounts to give you a general reference. This is a very honest representation of what I eat.  And just as importantly why I choose my food/beverage and when I eat.

As I teach in my health classes, food is just one of the four foundations of optimal health. Exercise, stress management, sleep and food are all equally important for optimal health and I work daily to be balanced in all four areas.

Lastly, these foods are what work for me. I have access to these foods, I like these foods and my body responds well to these foods. I do best with lots of vegetables, lots of fat and less protein. And I am continually working to improve what I eat. For example, I do believe that liver is a great source of nutrients. However, I have been slow to incorporate it in my diet. I got so far as to purchase liver from a grass fed cow but the liver has remained in my freezer…for nearly a year now. We are all learning.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Time Item Amount Comments
7:30a water 12 oz I start out every day with a glass of water. Last year I found myself so dehydrated that I had eczema patches around my mouth, nose and eyes for months…I never want that again.
8:00 – 9:30a coffee with raw milk 2 – 16 oz cups I choose raw milk from a local, trusted farmer for nutrients and taste over pasteurized milk. But when I do need to use pasteurized milk I stay away from ultra-pasteurized products.
10:00a Water 12 oz.
10:15a Apple ½ I practice intermittent fasting and so on most days I do not eat food (only beverages) before 1:00p, but on weekends I allow for a more flexible schedule
10:30a Pukka 3 Cinnamon Tea w. honey &

Raw milk

16 oz.

½ tsp

Splash

I LOVE tea. I drink several cups of hot tea every day.

 

And I LOVE honey in my tea 🙂

And with some teas I love some raw milk! An Optimal Health student taught me that drinking tea with milk helps to keep the brown teeth stains away!

12:00p Pinot Grigio 7 oz I bought a case of wine for the holidays. Some for gifts but most for my enjoyment. 🙂
Water 12 oz.
Red table wine 5 oz.
Sour Cream w. Corn chips & sourdough pretzels 5 oz. A bunch
Fermented pickle 1 My goal is to eat several fermented foods every day. Real Pickles is one of my staples!
Pukka 3 Ginger Tea w. Honey 16 oz 1/2 tsp
Water 30 oz
5:00p Pot roast, mashed potatoes w.gravy, corn & green beans 5-6 oz? 1 cup ½ cup each
Christmas cookies 7
8:30p Pukka Relax tea w. honey 16 oz ½ tsp

 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Time Item Amount Comments
5:20a Water 12 oz
6:00-7:30a Coffee with raw milk 24 oz
8:00a Water 8 oz.
8:15a Pukka 3 cinnamon tea w.honey 24 oz ½ tsp
9:00a Whole wheat bagel w. cream cheese ½ bagel a generous schmear A colleague brought in bagels for the department to celebrate the holidays. I broke my intermittent fasting that day 🙂
10:00a Water 8 oz
10:15a Zhena’s Fire Light Chia tea w. honey & milk 12 oz.

½ tsp splash

Zhena’s Gypsy Teas are simply…The Best.
2:00p GT’s Cosmic Cranberry Kombucha 16 oz I drink kombucha almost daily. I make both batch and continuous brew at home. My daughter & husband drink it too, so often I have to purchase kombucha in addition to making it. I can buy a case of GT’s at Wegman’s which brings the cost down to about $2.50 per bottle. (cost to make at home is about $0.25 per bottle)
Water 12 oz
Fermented pickle 1
Ithaca Hummus Co chipotle hummus w. Xochitl corn chips 4 oz a bunch Ithaca Hummus Co is the only pre-packaged hummus that I have found that has olive oil instead of canola oil. And it’s exceptional delicious! And local to where I live – YAY!
Water 12 oz
4:30p Pinot Grigio 4 oz
5:00p Mixed greens w. persimmons & a red wine vinegrette 2 cups 2 2 oz This was the first time I ate a persimmon. It was like a sweet tomato. I found some info about persimmon’s in one of my favorite cookbooks, The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.
6:00p Red table wine 6 oz
Water 12 oz
7:30p Wild Sea scallops red cabbage sautéed in butter salad 6 2 cups 3 cups I love sea food but don’t often find very fresh sea food since relocating back to upstate NY 5 years ago. I did find delicious wild sea scallops during my trip to Wegman’s earlier that day though!
8:30p Pukka 3 ginger tea w. honey & coconut oil 16 oz ½ tsp ½ tsp

 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Time Item Amount Comments
5:20a water 12 oz
6:00-7:30a coffee with raw milk 20 oz
8:00a Water 8 oz.
8:15a Zhena’s coconut chia green tea w. honey 24 oz ½ tsp
10:00a Water 8 oz
10:15a Traditional Medicine’s Stress Ease tea w. honey 12 oz.

½ tsp

11:30a Water 8 oz
12:00p Jerk pork roasted red potatoes Brussel sprouts kiwi tart 2 oz 2 cups 2 cups 1 tart We had a department holiday lunch at work this day. Being the assistant to the head of the department, I got to plan the meal for everyone. The best comment I received from a co-worker was that the previous year I selected Brussel sprouts as well and it was the first time as an adult he ate them and he has loved them ever since! He was so happy to see them on the menu again this year!
2:15p Traditional Medicines Ginger Aid tea w. honey 24 oz ½ tsp. My favorite ginger tea!
Ithaca Hummus Co chipotle hummus w. Xochitl corn chips 4 oz a bunch Ithaca Hummus Co is the only pre-packaged hummus that I have found that has olive oil instead of canola oil. And it’s exceptional delicious! And local to where I live – YAY!
Water 8 oz
5:00p Pinot Grigio 2 oz
GT’s Cosmic Cranberry kombucha 2 oz
6:30p Fried Calamari w.sauce Caesar salad 2 small bottles of prosecco water 8 oz 20 oz We went out to a local grill for dinner with friends 🙂
8:30p GT’s Cosmic Cranberry kombucha 4 oz
Ithaca Hummus Co hummus w. Xochitl corn chips 4 oz a bunch
Water 12 oz
Pukka 3 ginger tea w. honey 16 oz ½ tsp

 

Wednesday December 23, 2015

Time Item Amount Comments
5:20a Water 12 oz
6:00-7:30a Coffee w. raw milk 20 oz
8:00a Water 8 oz
Zhena’s Coconut chia green tea w. honey & milk 24 oz ½ tsp & splash
Water 8 oz
Zhena’s Fire Light Chia w. honey & milk 24 oz ½ tsp & splash
1:00p Kefir smoothie – raw milk kefir, cranberries, bananas, raw egg & chia seeds 1 pint
Water 8 oz
2:30p Traditional Medicines Ginger Aid tea w. honey & coconut oil 24 oz ½ tsp 1 tbsp Getting 1 tbsp of coconut oil into my diet every day is a habit that I’m currently working on (I more often forget than not). I eat and wear coconut oil liberally 🙂
Water 8 oz
5:00p Christmas cookies 4
Cheese cake 1 piece Sadie wanted to try some but she wouldn’t eat it and I couldn’t let it go to waste!
Cabernet 8 oz
GT’s Cosmic Cranberry kombucha 4 oz
Grilled cheese sandwich 3 halves We love Heidelberg bread (make in Herkimer NY from NY grains!) and Organic Valley raw cheddar cheese.
Cabernet 8 oz
Mixed nuts coated in Cinnamon & sugar 2 oz From a Christmas gift basket I received.
Fermented pickle 1 large
Christmas candies and cookies Bits and bites here and there
9:00p Pukka 3 Ginger Tea w.honey 16 oz ½ tsp

 

Thursday December 24, 2015

Time Item Amount Comments
7:00 Water 16 oz
8:00-9:00a Coffee w. raw milk 32 oz
Water 16 oz
Zhena’s Fire Light Chia w. honey & milk 16 oz ½ tsp & splash
Pukka Relax tea w. honey 16 oz ½ tsp
VitaCoco coconut water 12 oz Coconut water, fermented pickle juice, cantaloupe & watermelon are my go to sources to replenish electrolytes!
1:00p Kefir smoothie 7 oz Left over from the previous day.
Fermented pickle & onion
Cabernet 8 oz
Salad – mixed greens, avocado, red onion, raw cheddar, sunflower seeds, fresh ginger & my own balsamic vinaigrette 4 cups
GT’s Cosmic Cranberry kombucha 12 oz
5:00p Ham w. pineapple sauce chees potatoes broccoli Christmas cookies 2 oz 2 cups 2 cups 6 Christmas Eve dinner at my mother’s house.
Water 8 oz
Chocolate chip cookies – homemade with Einkorn wheat 3 Einkorn is a grandfather wheat, meaning it has never been hybridized. If you are sensitive to modern wheat, you might do perfectly well with Einkorn. We love it!
Raw milk 10 oz

 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Time Item Amount Comments
6:30a Water 12 oz
6:30-8:00a Coffee w. raw milk 30 oz
Traditional Medicine’s Stress Ease tea w.honey 16 oz ½ tsp
GT’s Cosmic Cranberry kombucha 12 oz
Einkorn wheat chocolate chip cookies 2
Raw milk 10 oz
12:00p – 5:00p Malbec 1 bottle That’s right, while cooking Christmas dinner I found that I polished off a whole bottle of wine by myself! So the recording of the rest of what I ate this day might be a little off…
6:00p Turkey, stuffing cheesy potatoes salad 5 oz an enormous amount
7:00p Cheesecake w. frozen blueberries 1 piece
Water Probably? Hopefully? It’s hard to say!

 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Time Item Amount Comments
7:30a Water 12 oz
8:30a Coffee w. raw milk 12 oz
8:00a Water 8 oz
Zhena’s Coconut chia green tea w. honey & milk 12 oz ½ tsp & splash
Water 8 oz
GT’s Cosmic Cranberry kombucha 16 oz
Water 32 oz
2:30p Fresh mozzarella flat bread pieces pasta w. pesto mini cupcake piece of cake 2 oz a few 1 cup 1 1 Baby shower for one of my BFF’s Kimberly!
3:30p Coffee w. half-n-half 16 oz
Water 20 oz
5:00p Cabernet 12 oz Yes, I was back at it with the wine again! I like to celebrate the holidays!
7:00p Cheese cake w. frozen blueberries 1 piece
8:00p Pukka 3 Ginger Tea w.honey 16 oz ½ tsp

 

Be sure to look out for the next edition of 7 days of Nutritionist eating. I will share with you my winter eating minus the feasts and the wine of the holidays!

Be well and love the earth!

What I am eating right now.

When it comes to salads, fresh is the best.

One of the easiest, healthiest and delicious dietary changes I have made is eating raw salads 4-5 times per week.  During the fall, winter and spring seasons my salads are always mixed greens based.  And I gleefully use a cucumber and tomato base for about two months out of the summer.  Salads are great in so many ways.  The raw veggies are filled to the brim with fiber which keeps you feeling full, cleans out your digestive tract and is a prebiotic, food for the bacteria and yeast that make up your gut microbiome.  A variety of raw veggies will provide you with a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  The more colorful the salad the greater the variety of antioxidants you will receive.  Antioxidants squelch free radicals, cause cancer cells to commit apoptosis (cell suicide) and are key to protecting your skin from overexposure to the sun.

Local, fresh vegetables are going to make the best tasting salads.  I like to purchase local or regional organic vegetables.  Too many times I have eaten mixed greens that taste like the bag they came in…yuck!

This is one of my newest salad creations.  It is so flavorful, fresh and teaming with health that I’m thinking of naming it The Grace.

salad cucumber tomato peach

 

The Grace recipe

Ingredients:
2-3 cucumbers
2 tomatoes
2 peaches
1/2 small red onion
10 basil leaves
1/3 lb fresh mozzarella
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp turmeric

Yields 3-4 servings depending on the size of the vegetables and your appetite.

Chop the cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches and fresh mozzarella into SMALL bite size pieces and put in bowl.  Slice the red onion into very thin rings or pieces.  People tend to make salads with big chunks of vegetables which makes it difficult to eat and chew and thus less appealing to eat.

Mince the basil leaves and add to veggies.

In a small bowl combine the balsamic vinegar and salt.  Mix together to dissolve the salt and dip a finger in to give it a taste.  If it is too sour for you add a bit more salt.  Then add the oil, pepper and turmeric and beat well.  I started adding turmeric to my oil and vinegar dressings lately because turmeric is so full of health and the kids can’t taste it!

Pour the dressing over the vegetables, toss well and enjoy!