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Archive for July, 2013

What’s a better way to give back to the environment than to spend time each day appreciating its beauty?

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View at East Mountain

 

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Sunset in Hawaii

 

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I’m beginning a 6 week blog series on living a more eco-friendly life. Simple changes can make a big difference. The first step in this series is becoming aware and mindful of how we interact with our environment, and where we can begin to make changes.

Take a few minutes to consider things like your shopping habits, the amount of time you spend outside, and your cleaning products. Over the next 6 weeks I will go more deeply into these topics. For today, look around your house. Are you surrounded by plants, try to use recycled paper products, and are mindful of packaging? Or are you using toxic products, buying GMO food items, and wasting paper?

Being “eco-friendly” has become a buzz-word in our culture. But what does it really mean? Is it just buying recycled paper towels and recycling most of the time? In this series I’d like to reflect not only on the products we use, but the way we think about and interact with nature. Do you spend time each day feeling appreciative of the trees and grass that surround you? Do you send positive thoughts and appreciation to the flowers that provide beauty each day?

In addition to looking around your house, take some time to feel grateful for the nature that surrounds you. Earth is such a beautiful place. Let’s spend the next 6 weeks becoming more mindful of our habits, and reflecting on the intense beauty of summer.

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Back at the beginning of April I began a three month cleanse which meant no dairy, sugar (of any kind including honey, maple syrup, agave, etc.), gluten, and many high glycemic fruits such as pineapple and mangoes. I did this with the intention of realigning my system, clearing out stagnation from my body, and getting rid of the overgrowth of candida.

I am so glad that I committed to this cleanse! I now have a much better awareness of how my body processes different foods. I do not feel as addicted to sugar as I once was, and I can exercise more control when confronting cake or cookies. Yes, I let myself eat what I want at special occasions. I was not going to say no to birthday cake last week! However, I am more mindful now of what goes into my body.

Here are two recipes that I’ve developed that are gluten-free and healthy!

 

1. Chickpea Cacciatore

For such a simple meal, this is surprisingly delicious and filling. My husband, who did not participate in this cleanse, and loves to eat, really enjoys this dish. If you like, a little crushed red pepper can be added on top for extra flavor.

Ingredients

1 can organic chickpeas

1 can organic fire roasted tomatoes

1 cup of brown rice (cooked, yields 2 cups)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

Cook the brown rice according to the directions. In a saute pan, add the olive oil and garlic. Saute for a few minutes. Add fire roasted tomatoes and chickpeas. Allow the mixture to bubble, then turn it down and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Some of the juices from the tomatoes will begin to absorb, and the mixture should thicken slightly. Serve over brown rice.

 

2. Chocolate “Frozen Yogurt”

1/3 cup full fat coconut milk (I like Native Forest)

3-4 frozen strawberries

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a blender.Puree for about 30 seconds, or until the strawberries have been mixed completely. The mixture should be the texture of frozen yogurt. This is perfect on these hot days we’ve been having in the Northeast! You will notice that no sugar is needed because the strawberries are sweet, and the coconut adds lots of creamy flavor.

Enjoy!

 

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