Sunday, August 28, 2016

                                                          Week one - Health

The nutrition company that I have teamed up with has the most amazing values. For the next 12 weeks I am going to focus our blog around one of them until I get through all 12. 

Health is key. How can we go about making our world a healthier world? When I think about health I think about physical and emotional health. Everyone has a "quick fix". Take this supplement, take this medicine, eat this, drink this and the list goes on and on. Health and fitness is 80% about nutrition and 20% is exercise.

So how do you make this part of your process, your reality? Baby steps folks. Focus on things in your  personal environment that you can change. Maybe something as simple as changing your water bottle  from plastic to glass. Maybe start buying a few more items organic than you normally would. Maybe try spending more time living and being around people with similar values/views. Maybe trying loving more and judging others less. Everyone is going through something so try and be kind.

How about a money saving recipe. Instead of spending money on bacon, try making a healthy version that costs at least half and you won't feel guilty eating the entire batch.

Disclaimer - we are by no means vegetarians and love bacon, however this is a great way to get crunch and flavor without the fat. Added bonus is that you are getting your dark green veggies.

Kale Bacon

Preheat oven to 225F degrees

1 large bunch of lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur or tuscan kale)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt to taste

Using a sharp knife, slide the knife along the stalk of each rib of kale. Try to keep the leaves as long as possible so they resemble bacon. Discard the stems. Repeat this process with each piece of kale.  Toss the kale once cut into a large bowl. Add all ingredients above EXCEPT salt to the bowl and toss well to coat. Gently lay the kale bacon strips onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (you may have to work in batches as you don't want to over crowd your sheet pan). Once on the sheet pan, sprinkle the kale with salt. Bake for an hour and 10 min or until kale is dried out and crispy to the touch.

Remove the kale from the oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. This will ensure the kale finishes drying out. Consume and repeat recipe as needed. This is great to serve along side morning eggs or just a snack. Our 4 year old and her friend consumed approximately half our batch today so it is kid friendly as well. See you next week!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Last summer trip - Seattle

Summer is coming to a close and the last trip has been taken. Scott recently returned from a work trip to Seattle. The point of the trip was to soak in the Farm to Table movement and explore the local food trends/scenes. This trip also led to Scott discovering where we are going to retire, Bainbridge Island. I would be ok with getting out of the Texas summer heat so I am not arguing with his discovery.

Back to the food...Since we lived in California prior to moving to Texas, we are very familiar with the Farm to Table movement. We were actively participating in this as we shopped our local farmers markets every weekend. Recognize the brunette (with the green circle around her head)? Me at the Pacific Palisades farmers market with my good friend Jennifer Garner. LOL!

That was the amazing thing about living in California. Every week we would buy fresh, local produce from small farmers. Scott being in Seattle reawakened our love of buying local. 

A note on our preference - there are a lot of debates on organic vs. conventional farming and we are not looking to debate but we prefer organic 100% of the time when available. We tend to skip produce all together when it is not organic and supplement other ways. 

No matter where you live try and get out to a local farmers market and check out what the farmers have. San Antonio has a great one at the Pearl Brewery on Saturdays. It changes from season to season and some seasons are more abundant than others but most is grown sustainably, if not organically. 

So to leave you, if you were to walk into your local grocery store (say it is an HEB) you would be able to find some fantastic organic peaches - tis the season. Some of the organic ones are coming from Texas and some from the San Joaquin Valley, CA. Here is a recipe until next time:

Fresh Organic Peaches with Feta and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 semi hard peaches - you do not want them super soft
6 ounces crumbled Feta cheese 
1-2 Tablespoons high quality extra virgin olive oil

Slice peaches thinly and place them in a bowl. Gently toss the feta cheese and olive oil together with the peaches. Garnish with some chopped fresh mint. 

One of our favorite recipes for a hot summer day and even better with a glass of Chardonnay.

*Picture of peaches is from Pike's Place Market in Seattle.  

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The "Aha" Moment

I have been taking some time trying to figure out how to speak to what I experienced over the course of the past week. 

Let's go back 1 year ago. We teamed up with a health/nutrition company. Scott and I were pretty health conscious already but Scott was looking for an easy breakfast option to take with him to work so we teamed up with this company. We really were expecting nothing more than a healthy breakfast option to start our day.

Fast forward 8 months...Drs find a spot on my mom's lung (a non-smoker). This spot turned out to be a very aggressive form of cancer but in the early stages so she was one of the lucky ones. This event really got us thinking about health and nutrition and what role it really does play in long term effects on health. We decided that it was time to be serious. To change our lives and focus on everything that goes in and on our bodies.

Back to that nutritional company...Prior to the big "C" we had never thought about talking to people about nutrition, athletic performance, healthy aging and weight loss. We had this amazing little secret and we were keeping for just us. Plus I had fear. Now we know it is our duty to share this.

I attended a conference this past week with this company and everything changed. I had that "aha" moment and finally realized what my true purpose is. Sometimes we walk through life with our eyes closed and there are certain moments that wake us up. THIS WAS MINE! The 12 core principles that this company built its foundation on speaks to my soul. There really are no words.

Fear - we are born with only 2 fears. The fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. Any other fear is learned. So no more excuses. It is time to get real.

And so begins our journey. Our journey to serve others and make the world a healthier place to live, thrive and raise our families. 

Scott & I are not Drs and do not claim to cure anything. We are just here to share our journey, experiences and knowledge to help as many people attain their goals and find confidence in themselves once again.

I am not sure what each day/week/month may bring but I sincerely hope you will join us on our ride.

To end, here is a recipe from Scott. He is a chef and top recipe developer for one of the largest food retailers in America. Enjoy and have a blessed week.

Organic Roasted Green Beans with Turmeric and Almond Viniagrette 

1/2 cup raw almonds
2 Tablespoons Tahini
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup water
2 teaspoons ground turmeric or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
Kosher salt to tast

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 2 pounds of organic green beans in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and liberal amounts of kosher salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Place on a sheet pan and roast until the ends of the green beans are slightly charred (approximately 25-35 min).

Blender - combine the above ingredients. Puree 3-4 minutes until dressing starts to thicken. Season to taste with salt & pepper.