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Mindful Nutrition Solutions
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Helping people appreciate & experience the healing power of food.
Helping people appreciate & experience the healing power of food.

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“Tis the Season” to enjoy Cranberry Salsa. This beautifully-colored variation on holiday cranberry sauce has become a tradition in my family served throughout the winter holidays. The surprising mixture of hot, sweet, and sour combines into a refreshingly delicious mixture of flavors that will delight your taste buds, while providing a plentiful array of plant protectors! Talk about BIG color and STRONG FLAVOR, you can serve this “Go for the BOLD” salsa as a side dish or as an appetizer with chevre cheese and crackers. Enjoy!
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Focused on gratitude during this week, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, I am reminded of Nimo Patel’s heart-lifting song “Grateful.” Enjoy the video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO2o98Zpzg8 – and you might even find yourself singing along … and even dancing!
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While preparing a new presentation on the gut microbiome, I came across this humorous and informative TED Talk by Guilia Enders. You’re likely to laugh out loud at her practical insights into the functioning of the colon, and be surprised to learn that we each have not one, but two, anal sphincter muscles – and why that’s important. You will also learn why our stomach is shaped the way it is, as well as how our gut so profoundly affects our mood. Enjoy!
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As we move into cooler Fall weather, enjoy this hearty and nourishing lamb stew. The colorful vegetables and protein-rich legumes provide plentiful fiber and “plant protectors” – antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. The fiber not only promotes the growth of “friendly” gut bacteria for a healthy gut microbiome, but also supports regular bowel movements. While lamb is a “red meat” with saturated fat, this recipe uses lamb more as a flavoring agent than a main ingredient. Each serving contains only an ounce of cooked lamb, so the saturated fat content is very low. Sheep (lamb) are also “grass-finished,” which means that sheep are pasture-raised (fed on grass until slaughter). Sheep do not tolerate the feedlot chow mixtures of corn and soy that are fed to cattle (beef) to fatten them for market. I enjoy lamb as an occasional treat, especially when my local farmer’s market has lamb for sale from local organic farms. I like to serve this stew over a small portion (about ½ cup) of cooked Basmati or black/Imperial rice for a nourishing gluten-free meal.
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Enjoy this colorful vegan “meal in a bowl” -- rich in plant protectors and warming curry spices. The peas and lentils are rich in protein, and along with the carrots and raisins provide plenty of fiber – almost 20 g fiber in a 2-cup serving! The carrots, tomato paste, and cilantro add antioxidant carotenoids. And this soup is extremely rich in potassium, and alkaline mineral that helps guard against high blood pressure.
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Satisfy your sweet tooth with this low-sugar, gluten-free Apple Blueberry Cobbler. Like a fine wine, this colorful fruit-rich dessert “boasts” hints of almond, citrus, & spice. You can enjoy a taste treat, while also nourishing yourself with protective flavonoids from the blueberries and apples. Be sure to use unpeeled apples, as the flavonoids are located right under the apple skin. And the blueberries and apples are both rich in soluble fiber, which supports a healthy gut microbiome by providing food to nourish the healthy gut bacteria. Each serving provides the equivalent of a half-cup of fruit (one fruit serving), and while this recipe does contain sugar, each serving provides only 2 tsp. of “added sugar.” The rest of the sugar is from the fruit, which also provides fiber to slow blood sugar rise.
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Lately an increasing number of my clients and friends have described symptoms that sound like they could be caused by B12 deficiency. These include fatigue, dizziness, numbness or tingling in hands and feet, muscle weakness, nervousness/anxiety, personality changes, unsteady gait, and/or mental confusion or forgetfulness (“fuzzy thinking” often attributed to normal aging). The risk of deficiency is increased if your diet contains little or no food sources of B-12 (animal protein), if you have intestinal problems that interfere with B12 absorption, or take antacids or metformin for diabetes (as both interfere with B12 absorption). And just being over age 60 years adds to risk, not only because a low intake or poor absorption over many years could deplete liver stores, but also because stomach acidity tends to decrease with age, and this can lead to poor absorption of dietary and supplemental B-12.
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Such a special treat for me to teach at Rancho La Puerta Spa http://www.rancholapuerta.com/ this week. “The Ranch” has provided a supportive environment for guests to learn and practice new health behaviors for more than 75 years, while nurturing body, mind, and spirit. Located in the rolling hill country of Tecate, Baja California, Rancho La Puerta’s 3,000 acres include 32 acres of gardens, hiking trails, and an organic farm, along with extensive spa and fitness facilities. The early morning hikes and mindfulness practices are some of my favorites, along with the healthy & delicious food. And each day as we walk to/from classes, we find new “thoughts for the day” posted. Here are a couple from this week.
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9/15/17
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As we move toward the “Great American Solar Eclipse”on August 21, we are reminded by those who study astrology that solar eclipses signal endings and beginnings, and tend to be accompanied by significant world events. In these challenging times, with the news so filled with fear, dissent, and violence, it’s good to remember that we each can play a role in promoting peace … both within ourselves and also around us with small gestures of gratitude.
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The anti-inflammatory benefits of fresh ginger and turmeric add extra flavor and color to this gluten-free, fiber-rich granola. One batch makes enough for two weeks of quick and nourishing low-carb breakfasts. Along with plentiful amounts of healthy fats from nuts and seeds, the ground flaxseed provides heart-protective omega-3 fats. Pumpkin seeds are especially rich in protein and zinc, both important for maintenance and repair of body tissues, as well as a strong immune system. The oat bran adds extra soluble fiber, and dried cherries (or raisins) provide natural sweetness, along with more soluble fiber to help support healthy gut function.
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