Dios Ti Agngina

Thank you in Ilocano

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Filtering by Tag: food is powerful medicine

Best Burgers

I got the best compliment not too long ago.  It was really sweet and it warmed my heart.  We had our very good friends over for dinner.  I decided to serve something delicious and kid-friendly because I knew that our friends' youngest is a picky eater.  

After dinner our friends' youngest came up to me and softly whispered, "That was my favorite dinner."  I was so surprised but very touched.

Just a couple of weeks ago my husband and I packed lunch for my parents who were returning back to Virginia.  They spent almost two wonderful weeks with us visiting and exploring our area in Central New York. 

Midway through their trip I got a call from my mom.  She said that they were about to board again and that my dad asked her, "Why do Elaine's burgers taste better than mine?"

So good old fashioned burgers it was but with a healthy twist!

What makes these burgers are the local, organic ingredients that I put in them.  Fresh and local is really best!    

It's important to find top quality, premium ground beef.  I get my ground beef from our CSA in Cazenovia, New York.  Greyrock Farm sells grass fed meats sourced from local farmers.  I've tasted grass fed meats from the grocery store and sincerely they cannot compare to the grass fed and pasture raised meats I buy from Greyrock Farm.

 Another important ingredient in making the best homemade burgers is to use pasture raised eggs.  Pasture raised eggs are not the same as organic eggs, cage free eggs, or vegetarian fed eggs.  Pasture raised eggs have incredibly deep orange colored yolks and have more vitamins than all the other eggs out there.  So look for pasture raised eggs at the grocery.  Better yet find a CSA or local farmer who raises chickens out in the open pastures.  Happy chickens will lay the healthiest, most nutrient dense eggs.

Herbs give this burger recipe nice flavor and added health benefits.  Many people overlook culinary herbs but they can actually help with certain ailments.  I love using a variety of herbs for this recipe.  You can get organic herbs in the grocery store but I especially like growing my own in my vintage herb planter.

So here you go!  Try my favorite healthy burger recipe.  It's perfect for summer cookouts or just whenever you're craving a delicious homemade burger.    

 

Best Burgers

Ingredients

1/8 to 1/4 cup organic onion, minced

1 pasture raised egg

1 lb local grass fed ground beef

1 tsp Himalayan pink sea salt or to taste

About 3 tbsp organic herbs like parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary, etc., chopped finely

Condiments like organic ketchup, local mustard, avocado oil mayo, organic lettuce, organic tomato, organic bun (wheat or gluten free)

 

Directions

Place all the ingredients except the condiments in a large mixing bowl and mix well.  Shape your burgers into 4 equally sized burgers.  Grill or pan fry your burgers.  Place on toasted hamburger buns and add condiments. Enjoy!

Central New York Local Favorite

MacDonald Farms Mom's Zesty Brown Mustard.  I've never really been a mustard fan until I tasted this brand.  If you live in Central New York you need to pick up this mustard.  It is so good in burgers and any kind of sandwich or recipe that calls for mustard.  Look for raw local mustard in your area!

Resources for Clean Eating

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What makes these burgers are the local, organic ingredients that I put in them.  Fresh and local is really best!

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Local, Local, Local

When I was still in a fast-paced corporate life, I often heard the mantra location, location, location.  Fast forward ten years later and the world as I know it has changed.  Now my favorite phrase is local, local, local.

I have gladly changed gears and careers.  I got out of the corporate rat race and competing with the Joneses mentality for a kinder, slower paced and relaxed lifestyle much better suited to who and where I am today.   I'm so glad I did because at the rate I was going I was headed towards a heart attack.  Plus I like myself a hundred times better now.

So why have I adopted local, local, local?  Why do I live by it as much as possible and I promote it to everyone I know and meet?  It's simple.  Follow a seasonal, local diet and you will notice a difference in your physical and emotional state and your health will improve greatly.

I used to think that as long as I ate organic I would be getting the very best in nutrition.  Well, that's not necessarily true.  Many people do not consider that grocery stores source food from all over.  You will find produce from different regions of the US and even other countries.  By the time that produce hits the stores there's practically nothing left in nutrients and vitamins.  

And this was one of the reasons that got me sick in the first place.  Even though I was eating organic at the time, I was severely nutrient deficient because my body was unable to absorb nutrients. 

While I'm a proponent of eating organic I am very much in support of patronizing local produce and local farmers who grow without unnecessary chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.  God bless them because who knows how hard they are working to produce good, honest, organic local food!   

Fresh local, organic food is medicine.  I'm willing to spend on high quality, freshly picked, local and organic produce in order to avoid antibiotics and maintenance meds now and in the future.  I am thankful every day that my family and I have been able to steer clear of antibiotics, pharmaceutical drugs, and prescription medicine.  I believe that eating clean, local, and organic food has boosted our immunity.  My four year old son has never been on antibiotics and I'd like to keep it that way for as long as possible.

You might be wondering how to find locally grown organic produce.  One solution would be to have your own organic garden.  Research biodynamic farming and learn how to do organic gardening the right way.  Imagine the convenience of walking out into your backyard to harvest your favorite vegetables and herbs!

If growing your own produce isn't your thing, farmers markets is an alternative.  They are an outstanding place to find local produce and products.  There's a large one in Syracuse called the CNY Regional Market (which is on my list of places to visit).  Cazenovia and Skaneateles have farmers markets as well.     

Finally, consider joining a CSA (community supported agriculture).  Start with  www.localharvest.org to find a local CSA.  CSAs are the solution to the concern that organic is too pricey.  CSAs are great value for what you are getting.  There just is no better deal in town.  Not sure which CSA to join?  Talk to local farmers (especially farmers who grow organic) near you and visit their farms.  They are more than happy to answer questions and many times they will give you a tour of their farm.

Know your farmer.  Eat local and seasonally.  Listen to your body.  To your health and happiness!

Favorites in Central New York

Visit www.localharvest.org to learn about local CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture).

Go see my friend Emily at Greyrock Farm in Cazenovia.  She gives the best customer service and the best ideas for how to prepare the delicious organic food the farm offers.  Greyrock sells grass-fed meats and bones, raw grass-fed milk and many other local dry goods.

Black Brook Organic Farm in Skaneateles has been a certified organic farm for 20 years.  Kendra and Paul grow the best looking organic produce I've ever seen.  Every time we buy the food is super fresh and delectable.  They are also the owners of our favorite farm to food truck in CNY called Potatoes & Molasses.  

Looking to grow your very own herb garden?  Go to Lee's Feed Store in Syracuse.  They sell organic potting soil called Vermont Ag Moo Grow and Moo Doo (cow manure).  Kendra at Black Brook Organic has been using these for years.

The Yard in Manlius is a fun, unique outdoor market open on Sundays.  You can find Black Brook Organic Farm there as well as other local talented vendors.  They have live music, local beer, Ironwood pizza, and more!  

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Interested in working with a health coach who can help navigate you in this confusing world of nutrition and wellness? Click on Learn More below.

Know your farmer. Eat local and seasonally. Listen to your body.

     

Dandelion

Here's sort of a funny story.  When we were still living in Central PA, my husband was standing in line at the local Wegman's to checkout.  The woman just ahead of him  noticed that he had also picked up a bunch of dandelion leaves.  She said, "I feed my pet rabbit dandelion.  What do you do with yours?" He smiled and replied, "My wife cooks it."  She was quite surprised with that answer!

Spring is the season for dandelions.  I think everyone is familiar with the invasive dandelion that grows in people's yards.  Normally people can't stand them so they pull out the weed killer.  But dandelion leaves and roots are medicinal and are among the healthiest herbs to eat. So when you start seeing dandelions popping up in early spring it's Mother Nature's way of saying that it's time to add it to our diet.  

Dandelion is a wonderful food to eat for everyone because it supports all of your organ systems.  Anyone who has heart conditions, liver issues, as well as digestive, kidney, or lung problems will benefit from adding dandelion to their diet.  I highly recommend it to all of my health coaching clients.  

In the old days, dandelion was known as a cure all for so many diseases because of its bitter flavor.  Even today in Greece, dandelion is cooked with olive oil and a bit of lemon.  Consider adding dandelion to your diet.  Now is the time to eat this healthy and nourishing herb!

This sardines and dandelion recipe is a synch to put together and it always tastes delicious.  The sweetness from the onions with the bitterness from the dandelion, though polar opposites, is like a match made in heaven.  When you add the meaty sardines with the olive oil and garlic, this meal really comes together and becomes a complete meal.  If you don't like to eat it with rice, have it with some nice organic bread.

Another important point to make is that this is serious brain food!  For those who feel like you have brain fog or are getting more forgetful, oily and fatty fish is your answer.  So this dish is for you.  

Please note that I only use Wild Planet sardines in extra virgin olive oil.  Wild Planet has the very best sardines.  It's meaty and it's sustainably caught.  Quality makes all the difference.  

Take it from a four year old little boy.  My son loves this!  Make this for your youngsters, children in school, loved ones, and yourself.  If you've never had sardines or dandelion before, now is the time.  Like I've said this food is so good for the brain as well as all organ systems in the body.

Just like the bunny rabbit that eats dandelion, soon enough you'll have the same type of energy.  Enjoy!

 

Sardines and Dandelion

 

Ingredients

Half a bunch of dandelion leaves chopped into small pieces (I get mine from Wegman's)

2 garlic cloves minced

1 onion roughly chopped

2 cans Wild Planet sardines in extra virgin olive oil (Wild Planet brand is the best sardines; if you're still getting Ligo sardines you are missing out!)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of Himalayan pink sea salt

 

Directions

Heat the oil in a cast iron pan.  Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.  Stir in the onions, a pinch of sea salt, and sauté until translucent.  Add in the oil from the cans of sardines.  I like to gently place the sardines in one corner of the pan to avoid mashing them up.  Next, add the dandelion and sauté until the leaves are wilted.  Serve with hot white organic rice or organic bread.  Enjoy!

 

Dandelion is a wonderful food to eat for everyone because it supports all of your organ systems.

The Kitchen

Magic happens in the kitchen every day.  It's where I have my creative space -- my space to dream up good things to eat for my family.

In my youth I was fascinated by world class cuisine and the very best restaurants in the top, most exciting cities, and to some degree I still am.  I remember my dad talking about eating the most delicious Australian lobster he had ever eaten in Japan when he was in the Navy in the 1960s.  I dreamt of delightfully partaking from course to course and even experienced some delicious meals at well known restaurants.

Many things have changed for me and my family.  We are at a stage in which we listen to our bodies.  For us food is information and it is powerful medicine.  We have totally embraced a clean diet for life.  (I don't buy ketchup or salad dressings.  I prefer to prep and mix them myself.)

Though I am satisfied with most meals that I make I sometimes fumble and am disappointed.  But that's the journey that takes place in the kitchen when you're a newbie like me.  I'm grateful for every moment good and not so good because I get to learn and get better at my place in the kitchen.

It has been a long road for me.  I remember the days when I would buy boxed meals and pretty much eat anything at my favorite places.  Back then my stove top was almost always so spotless.  In my first two months of being a newlywed, I never stepped foot in the kitchen to cook.  My poor worried husband cooked all the meals for two months.  I couldn't even cook an egg then.  Those days are long gone.

Eating clean has so many benefits.  It fuels our bodies with wonderful needed nutrients to keep us healthy and enjoy the food that we partake.  Best of all I get to spend time with my family in the kitchen and always we give thanks for all His blessings.

If you are interested in making the switch to clean eating for weight or health reasons, I recommend taking small steps or else I think it becomes too overwhelming.  If you currently eat out a lot, I suggest choosing one day of the week or weekend to prepare a home cooked meal.  Then, gradually add more cooking days to your weekly plan.  When you have extra freeze the leftovers.  Eventually you'll have home cooked meals every day of the week.  It takes time but patience is key and at the end it's all worth it!

My Top Three Tips In Eating Clean

  1. Always choose organic apples and green beans.  Years ago when I was interested in healthy living I was dining at my favorite restaurant in Northern Virginia called The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm.  I asked the owner Beverly Morton Billand which kinds of produce she would recommend eating organic.  She said it's important to always purchase organic apples and green beans because of all produce these two have the most sensitive skins that absorb everything.
  2. Get the recipe book Clean Eats by Dr. Alejandro Junger.  Learn more about the book here.  I've tried many different diets but I've found clean eating the best for me and my family.  Many recipes in the book are very simple to prepare as well as delicious and nutritious.  Since eating clean I've been able to lose at least fifteen pounds and get my energy back.  The book offers recipes for almost every diet out there so there's something for everyone.
  3. Try a free month's membership with Thrive Market.  Thrive Market is a great place to shop online because the website lists all the ingredients for each product.  Though we buy mostly organic, non-GMO pantry staples from Thrive Market, I still review the labels because even though the packaging says "organic" or "non-GMO" it may still contain undesirable ingredients.  See some of the ingredients I avoid in my Be A Label Reader article.  We enjoy membership with Thrive Market for the savings and convenience.  I highly recommend.

Eating clean does not need to be complicated; instead it can be simple and delicious.  Eating clean is like giving yourself a massage.  In fact, you give your body an internal massage.  By eating clean, slowly chewing food, and consuming lots of alkaline water with lemon (this is my favorite water brand), it is possible to transition to a clean diet to maintain good health for you and your loved ones.  It is about carefully making healthy choices one step at a time.  

For us food is information and it is powerful medicine. We have totally embraced a clean diet for life.