Monthly Archives: December 2014

Fitness Articles To Help You Stay In Shape

Below you will find several fitness articles and information that will help you stay in shape and enhance your healthy eating habits.

Even though this web site is mainly about healthy dieting, one of the most important aspects of living a healthy lifestyle is exercise.

Exercise and diet go hand in hand. To supplement your diet it is important that you get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise 3 to 5 times a week.

Exercise is essential because it stimulates your body’s lymph system. Your lymph system cleans up cellular waste in your body and exercise is the only thing that keeps it moving and doing its work properly. It has no pump system. Exercise is the pump of the lymph system

Benefit of Aerobic Exercise
Other than the obvious physical benefit of aerobic exercise there are numerous other benefits.

Benefit Of Weight Training
To get the most benefit of weight training it is important to follow some general principles.

Considerations For Exercise Newbies
Great tips for beginners starting an exercise routine.

Easy Ways To Walk More
Practical advice on how to walk more for exercise.

Effective Resistance Training To Strengthen Your Arms
Lean how to get strong arms through resistance workouts.

Exercising Outdoors
Not all exercise takes place in the gym, try the great outdoors while keeping these things in mind.

Exercises Every Weight Trainer Should Know
Weight training isn’t only for muscleheads.

Fitness Training
Fitness is necessary to achieve the broad goal of improved health and general well-being.

Health Benefit of Exercise
The health benefit of exercise is well documented. People who routinely exercise feel better all over – mind and body.

Health Fitness Tip
Here’s a great health fitness tip to keep you in great overall shape.

How To Overcome Fitness Plateaus
Don’t stay at that same level, learn how to move up and achieve your fitness goals.

Lying Tricep Extension
Lear how to do this exercise that targets your triceps and makes them big.

Preacher Curls
Find out how to do this great exercise that will help you get amazing biceps.

Pure Fitness
Think of pure fitness as pure energy, pure health, pure water and especially pure food sources.

Seated Abdominal Cable Crunch
Find out how to do this exercise that targets your abs.

How Did Monique Lose Her Weight?

Many people are asking how did Monique lose her weight? In addition to being known as a loud, boisterous, amazingly funny comedienne, Monique is now also attracting attention for losing more than 40 pounds. Proud of her plus size figure, she admits to seeing herself as a big, beautiful sex kitten.

However, a few years ago, her husband asked about her weight in such a gentle, loving way that she realized she needed to drop more than a few pounds. At 262, when she started her weight loss journey, she loved her body and the way she looked. However, she realized that this was putting her in a very high risk category for diabetes and high blood pressure.

The mother of a 19 year old and a set of three year old twins, she hosts a plus-size beauty pageant and has made appearances on a variety of reality TV episodes and talk shows. Many people wonder, how did Monique lose her weight in the midst of all of her personal and professional responsibilities? She became serious about weight loss when her husband voiced his concern, stating that he wanted to have her for a lifetime. Monique found a trainer that understands a big woman’s body and how to maximize weight loss for that body type.

She works out, incorporating cardio, stretching and weight training. For her it’s all about being healthy. There are no fad weight loss diet plans, or gimmicks involved. She has changed her eating habits slowly, over a period of time, beginning with cutting out the junk food. Instead of reaching for cakes, cookies and potato chips, she has stocked her refrigerator and pantry with healthier options. Red meat and fried foods have been replaced with fresh fish and salads. To stay hydrated throughout the day, she drinks water and it’s a lot of water. It’s about a gallon a day. With the addition of her trainer, she has also maintained a steady gym routine.

How did Monique lose her weight? If you look closely, you’ll find that not only does she work hard, she plays hard. She told Oprah that she dances to help improve her weight loss. She says that she sweats and moves muscles that she didn’t know she had. The fat is just going away as Monique continues her routine.

Monique is not shy about her weight loss. She believes in being big and beautiful, but she wants to be healthy at the same time. Her goal is to be around to meet her children’s children. With a healthy diet and a weight loss regimen, she has been able to lose more than forty pounds. Monique weight loss is a real success story.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili – Mega Delicious

Unusual recipes occasionally turn out to be some of the best recipes in your food arsenal and this sweet potato black bean chili recipe is certainly at the top of our list.

Being that we were blessed this late summer with a good crop of sweet potatoes from our organic garden, we had to find something to with half a paper bag full of potatoes, thus our new chili recipe was born, with a little help from Eating Well Online.

One of the things I noticed right away after Jean cooked up a pot of this delicious chili was that it actually had a mild sweetness to it, more so that our other easy chili recipe. Of course you will get some sweetness from the added agave, raw sugar or honey, but this flavor is a little different. But don’t worry it’s nothing like candy sweet, it’s just a hint of sweet flavor that gives this dish a very robust and hearty flavor. We’re sure you are going to love it.

Ingredients for Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili:

  • 2 teaspoons cold pressed coconut oil
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 3 to 4 cups diced sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • Dash cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight and cooked until soft
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 2 teaspoon sucanat/honey/raw sugar
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation:

Your first step is to saute the onion, garlic and celery in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Then add cooked beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, sweetener, and spices. Stir together and add salt to taste. Bring to a simmer then lower and cook over low heat until sweet potatoes are cooked through.

You can enjoy your black bean sweet potato chili on its own or serve over freshly cooked brown rice. Alan likes his chili with a liberal sprinkling of Louisiana Hot Sauce.

We hope you enjoy it!

Easy Chili Recipe – Best Chili Ever

This easy chili recipe is also my best chili ever recipe. You can’t beat it for also being a great healthy recipe as well.

Most people love chili, but it can become a very unhealthy dish with all the meat and cheese people put in it and on it. This meatless chili recipe is made from mostly living food and has an ample amount of protein because of the beans. Additionally it is high in fiber. I think you will be surprised at how tasty a meatless chili recipe can be.

This easy Chili recipe is great for raw foodists and vegans alike.

Easy Chili Recipe – Best Chili Ever Recipe

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves 6

Plan ahead preparation:

Soak ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes for approximately 1 hour. Place sun dried tomatoes in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Just cover them with purified water.
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I use dark red kidney beans for my chili, which I sprout ahead of time. (sprouted kidney beans must be cooked before using) A sprouted bean has much more nutrition in it that a dry bean. Once a bean is sprouted it becomes living and growing and no longer in its dormant state.

To sprout the beans, I soak 1 cup of kidney beans in purified water over night (approximately 8 hours) drain and rinse. I rinse and drain 3x’s a day for 2 – 3 more days until I see their little tails start sprouting. Then I slow cook them on the lowest temperature of my crock pot until tender. For more information on sprouting visit Sprout People. One cup of dry beans equals about 2 cups sprouted and/or cooked beans.

Of course you don’t have to sprout your beans, especially if you are in a hurry, canned beans will work fine.

My final “plan ahead” preparation tip is, bring all vegetables to room temperature before assembling your healthy chili recipe.

Vegetable Chili recipe base:

2 ¼ cups chopped fresh tomatoes
¼ cup soaked sun dried tomatoes
2/3 chopped celery
½ cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 jalapeno slice
1 cup fresh cilantro
¾ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon honey

Put all the above ingredients for the chili healthy recipe base, including soaking water for tomatoes, in your food processor and puree.

Pour vegetable chili recipe base into a bowl. Gently stir into chili healthy recipe base approximately 2 cups finely chopped zucchini and ¼ cup finely chopped sweet onion along with 2 cups of dark red kidney beans.

Taste your easy chili recipe and adjust the flavors. You can enjoy your healthy chili recipe as is or you can spoon it over ½ cup brown rice per serving.

To your healthy chili!

Kale Soup Recipe With Tomatoes

We are sure you will love this delicious kale soup recipe because it’s sort of like what’s served at Olive Garden, only it’s a vegan version. Kale is so easy to grow in a Florida garden. It seems to flourish in the cool fall and winter months and has a long growing season. So far, our experience is that it is immune to pests and funguses. These positive growing variables result in plenty of kale for which the gardener has to find uses for.

Besides using kale to make wonderful, nutritional green smoothies and giving it away to your neighbors another nutritious way to use kale is in soup. We love soup, especially in the cooler months – so I developed a vegan kale soup recipe which uses sundried tomatoes and potatoes.

Kale Soup With Tomatoes Recipe

1 medium onion chopped
4 large cloves of garlic minced
4 cups torn kale
4-6 cups miso broth
One 15 ounce can of beans (your choice – navy or cannelloni work well)
1 medium potato chopped
10 sundried tomato halves chopped
1 cup fresh parsley chopped
1 tablespoon each Fresh rosemary, oregano and thyme
sea salt and pepper to taste

Using a large pot lightly sauté the onions, garlic and kale in a small amount of water or high heat oil. Once the kale and onions are softened add the rest of the ingredients. Cook gently on low until the potatoes are softened when you stick a fork into them. As soon as the potatoes are cooked through, your kale and tomato soup recipe is ready to be enjoyed. Just season with sea salt and pepper and serve.

We hope you enjoy this delicious kale recipe.

Tomato Vegetable Soup – The Hearty Kind

Winter time is a great time to make Hearty Tomato Vegetable Soup. Soup is food for the soul. And though it’s satisfying and comforting all year round, it’s especially welcomed on a cold day.

This Hearty Tomato Veggie Soup is one of the most nutritious and delicious vegetarian veggie soups you can make. Alter the vegetables, depending on what you have on hand, and make your own favorite vegetable soup creation.

That makes this soup more nutritious than any other soup you’ve likely had is that it is living. Therefore the colors remain vibrant while the soup is also bursting with real all natural flavors. These flavors are truly all natural, unlike the excitotoxins found in the “natural flavorings” additives found in most processed vegetable soups from your grocer’s shelf.

Hearty Tomato Vegetable Soup

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

Plan ahead preparation: Bring all vegetables used in the soup to room temperature before assembling the soup. Soak ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes and 1 pitted date for 1 hour in ½ cup purified water. Dissolve 1 tablespoon brown rice miso in 1 cup purified water.

The following ingredients are for the soup base:

3 very ripe roma tomatoes chunked
2/3 cup red pepper chunked
½ cup celery chunked
½ cup fresh basil
2 large cloves garlic minced
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 small sweet onion chunked
½ teaspoon herbemare (sea salt and herb product found at health food store)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Place all the above ingredients for soup base in your food processor with the S blade in place. Add the sun dried tomatoes and date with soaking water. Puree, gradually add the miso broth and continue to puree until smooth. Pour into a small pot with lid that will hold 1 ½ quarts. Taste and adjust flavors to your liking.

The following are ingredients to add to the soup broth:

Slice one peeled medium carrot into very thin rounds
½ cup zucchini sliced Julianne style
½ cup yellow squash sliced Julianne style
¼ cup green pepper diced
¼ cup yellow pepper diced

I use my mandolin to slice the carrot as well as the zucchini and yellow squash. The zucchini and squash are cut into approximately 1 to 1 ½ inch slices and have the appearance of noodles.

Gently stir vegetables into the vegetable broth to complete your Hearty Tomato Vegetable Soup.

Enjoy!

Inspired by the Thick & Chunky Vegetable Soup recipe in the Jan/Feb issue of Back To The Garden at hacres.com

California Miso Soup Recipe

I love soup, especially Japanese miso soup – that lovely thin, salty, broth with the distinct miso flavor. On a raw food diet however it never really occurred to me that I could enjoy the best of both worlds – at least until my moment of inspiration. A few weeks ago, I was thinking about what I could make for lunch that would be different than the usual salad or fruit smoothie.

For some reason I had been thinking about miso soup that day. Then my thoughts went to the nori sheets in the pantry I had never used, and next I remembered the sweet potato in the refrigerator that was begging to be eaten and suddenly, through a spark of inspiration, a new recipe was born – California Miso Soup. I went straight to work on it and in about 15 minutes had created this wonderful sort of raw soup creation I call California Miso Soup.

First, for those who are not familiar with miso, let me explain. Miso is a condiment the Japanese use to flavor food. It is a thick paste made from fermenting and aging soybean and/or rice with a mould called koji. For this soup base, I use an organic mellow white miso made by Westbrae. The great thing about this product is that it is unpasteurized – meaning it’s loaded with enzymes.

California Miso Soup Recipe Ingredients (for 2 servings)

Heat 2 cups of filtered water in a sauce pan (Do not boil, It will aggravate the flavor of the nori)
Cut a few slices of nori into the water – like nori noodles or flakes (Nori is an edible seaweed, dried and made into sheets. It is typically used to wrap sushi)
3 heaping tablespoons mellow white miso – make a slurry first by stirring in a little hot water.
Stir the miso slurry into the hot water with the nori noodles.
Remove miso soup base from burner.

Place the following ingredients in a bowl:

Use your spirooli or spiralizer to make sweet potato and zucchini noodles
Use your mandolin to make very thin carrot discs
Slice green onion
Chop celery
Chop ½ Haas avocado
Snipped fresh parsley

Add all the vegetables and herbs from your bowl to the soup base, stir gently, season with herbamare, and eat immediately.

This soup takes 10 minutes to make and is absolutely delicious. You can add as many or as few vegetables as you like. If you don’t have all the ingredients listed here, customize it and make it your own.

This miso soup recipe is even more delicious with sprouted wheat crackers made in the dehydrator.

Eat healthy, be healthy!

Beet Recipe – Beet Salad Recipe

Are you ready to try a truly unique beet recipe? Pickled beets, baked beets, and canned beets – you’ve probably tried them all. Now try our delicious and colorful beet salad recipe. This is a simple, unique and exceptionally nutritious salad.

Before we get to the beet recipe here’s a few beet nutrition facts. Beets have good amounts of iron, vitamin A, folic acid, potassium and calcium. Because beets are rich in alkaline elements like potassium, calcium and magnesium they also help to fight acidosis. Acidosis is a condition that results when too much acid is formed in the body thereby depleting alkaline reserves. Acidosis is a sign of underlying disease in one’s body.

You can fight disease by making raw vegetables like leafy greens, carrots, bell peppers, broccoli and even beets a part of the mainstay of your daily diet.

Beet Recipe for Beet Salad

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves 6

3– 4 cups freshly shredded beets (approximately 2 medium beets)

Vinaigrette Dressing for Beet Salad Recipe
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil
1 tablespoon raw honey
Dash herbemare (sea salt and herb concoction found in whole food store)
Dash freshly ground pepper

Peel the fresh beets and cut them into thick slices that will easily fit into the feeding tube of your food processor. After shredding, you should have 3 – 4 cups of shredded beet for your beet salad recipe. Place shredded beets into a large bowl.

Next, whisk the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking. The beet is quite sweet so keep that in mind when adjusting the flavors of the vinaigrette dressing. Pour the vinaigrette dressing over the beet recipe and toss gently. Put in a covered dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To your good health!

The Whole Food Diet Transition

What’s In Our Kitchen

Making the transition to a whole food diet or raw food lifestyle might mean you have to make some major changes. When you are in transition this is a critical time. If the transition you are making becomes to difficult, frustrating or confusing, you tend to give up more easily, to drop out of the game so to speak. Don’t let this happen.

We want to help you be successful at making the transition to a healthier lifestyle. Getting your kitchen reorganized and stocked properly will greatly aid you in your transition and reduce frustration. Below we have listed the staple foods, tools and storage containers we have equipped our kitchen with. These are things that we use every week if not every day in some cases.

First, the whole food staples we keep on hand are the following:

Pure Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil for salad dressings
Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil for cooking (what little I do)
Bragg’s Amino Acid – cold pressed soy beans – flavor enhancer and salt substitute
Bragg’s Cold Pressed Apple Cider Vinegar
Cold Pressed Flax Seed Oil
Flax seed
Tahini (Raw not roasted)
Sea salt – unrefined
Almonds
Walnuts
Raisins
Dates
Fresh garlic
Fresh lemons
Brown Rice
Whole grain pasta
Whole grain raw cereal
Seeds for sprouting
Raw unrefined honey
Rice milk

These staples are used in a variety of common whole food/raw food recipes. So, if you outfit your pantry with the above ingredients, you will be off to a good start in making the transition to a whole food diet lifestyle.

Next, the food preparation tools we have on hand include:

Garlic Press
Food processor
Blender
Champion Juicer
Grain mill
Coffee Grinder (for grinding flax seed)
Mandoline for slicing veggies
Sprouting containers

If you acquire these tools you will be well on your way to making a commitment to a whole food lifestyle. Additionally, you will be able to whip up just about any recipe you come across. Having the right tools available when you find a recipe you want to try is as important as having the right ingredients. It will make your transition smoother and limit your frustration.

Finally, let’s talk about food storage containers. Our favorite food storage containers are glass canning jars with the wide mouth. I like the look of the small mouthed ones, but my recommendation is, stick with the large mouth containers. They are stackable and easier to pour dry ingredients into. Also, they are easier to clean because you can fit your hand inside to wash (I do dishes by hand). We use all three sizes – half pint, pint and quart. Because they are clear you can easily see what’s running low. The small ones are perfect for soaking nuts and beans. The large ones are fantastic for storing dry goods and the medium are great for storing sauces and left overs.

Another advantage to glass is you never need worry about plastic leeching into your foods. Additionally, you can see over time that the plastic storage containers become stained and pitted. This does not happen with glass, suggesting that glass is a much more stable material to use for storage. If your lids begin to rust, simply purchase new lids. If you loose a plastic lid or it gets damaged, it’s difficult to find a replacement. With canning jars, new lids are readily available. Overall, glass canning jars are in our opinion, the most economical and practical choice when you practice a whole food/raw food lifestyle.

There you have it. These are the staples we use every day that will help you transition to a whole food diet.

Beet Nutrition

Beets are delightful for their color and flavor as well as for their beet nutrition. Their juice is wonderful mixed with carrot juice and can also be used as a dye. Is there any more beautiful color than the rich fuchsia and red tones of the beet? In some countries the beet juice, betanin, is processed commercially for coloration in various products.

Marian Morash author of the Victory Garden Cookbook said this about beets, “Have you ever enjoyed the sweet pungent flavor of a baked fresh beet? Or experienced the subtle but earthy aftertaste and delicious crunch pf raw beets grated into a salad? These are two of the lesser-known ways of preparing fresh beets, which don’t enjoy the popularity they deserve.”

Most people have experienced canned or pickled beets, but few people have had fresh beet experiences. Of course nutritionally fresh raw beets will always be superior to canned or even fresh cooked beets. Speaking of beet nutrition, here are some of the facts: they are high in folic acid (great for pregnant women), potassium, calcium and antioxidants (betacyanin, which is what gives beets their rich red color.).

Now the beets we are talking about so far are the beet roots, the portion that grows below the ground. However, leafy beet greens are also very nutritious and can be used for juicing, or cooking as you would any other green. In fact the beet tops are more nutritious than the roots. The greens contain significantly more iron, vitamin A, potassium and calcium than the roots.

Ok, here’s some more about beet nutrition. Beet juice is rich in natural sugar, sodium, sulphur, chlorine, iodine, copper and vitamin B1, B2, C and bioflavonoids. Some holistic practitioners believe that beet juice combined with other juices like carrot and cucumber are excellent for cleansing the kidneys and gallbladder and for restoring health to these organs. Additionally, beet, being a fibrous root, is excellent for aiding in and eliminating constipation. The fiber adds bulk to the diet and therefore helps to improve peristalsis activity in the large intestine.

So not only is beet nutrition good for you, they are also delicious baked, shredded in salads, or even as their own salad. If we have peaked your interest in beets, give our beet salad recipe a try.