9 Ways 90 Days: New to Me: How to Gently Sweat Organic Veggies

By Melanie Albert, Nutrition & Wellness Expert, Author and Speaker, Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition

To further my cooking expertise for myself and my clients in speaking engagements, cooking classes and writing, I’m enrolled in a Professional Plant-based Cooking Certification with the Rouxbe Cooking School. I am definitely learning amazing skills, such as knife skills, and new ways to prepare simple, healthy, beautiful food.

This week, I learned something totally new: Sweating vegetables. Why do we even sweat veggies and how do we do it? I learned that sweating veggies is the first step in preparing the flavor profile of a dish, it’s a dry heat method of cooking and a very gentle way to cook. Patience is key.

EXPERIENCE NUTRITION 9 Ways 90 Days Organic Veggie Sweat Recipe
The recipe I prepared for my class was local organic veggies with quinoa. Within “9 Ways to Enjoy Food & Life” eating real food, cooking simple meals, and eating local, in-season produce are important. So, this recipe is perfect.

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EXPERIENCE NUTRITION 9 Ways 90 Days: Sweating Organic Veggies Recipe

Ingredients
Approximately ½ cup of each of the following organic veggies:
• Onion
• Fresh garlic cloves
• Carrots
• Red pepper
• Celery
• Squash
• Quinoa cooked in a home-made veggie broth
• Plus, Olive oil, sea salt

Simple Steps
• Mince all veggies
• Place olive oil, onion and a pinch of sea salt in sauté pan, turn stove on medium-low and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. It’s important to be very patient, with the gentle slow heat, and do let the pan get hot enough to hear sound (that’s the moisture of the veggies).
• Add in the carrots, celery and fresh garlic, and again cook until the veggies are a little soft.
• Add in the red pepper and cook until soft.
• Add in the squash and cook a little. (I prefer a little crunch in squash, so I only cooked it about a minute).
• Fold the quinoa into the sauté pan
• Enjoy!

Come on over to our 9 Ways 90 Days Facebook page to see more Sweating Veggies photos and to share your sweating veggies photos.

 

9 Ways 90 Days: Why We Need Carbs

By Melanie Albert,  Nutrition & Wellness Expert, Author & Speaker, Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition

Excerpt from book: “Enjoy Food & Life.  9 Ways 90 Days Step-by-step action plan for healthy eating & living.”

9 Ways 90 Days: Eat Whole Grains
9 Ways 90 Days: Eat Whole Grains

Why We Need Carbs

People are confused about carbs and about whole grains. Many diets are no carb or low carb, but in reality our bodies need about 40-50% carbs every day at every meal. The problem is that people eat low quality carbs, like cookies, cakes, crackers and bread. Other carbohydrate-rich foods, such as whole grains, beans, vegetables are good for us.

 

Carbs are:

  •  The body’s main source of fuel
  • Easily used by the body for energy
  • Needed for the central nervous system, kidneys, brain and muscles (including the heart) to function properly
  • Stored in the muscles and liver and later used for energy
  •  Vital to intestinal health and waste elimination

Anatomy of a Grain

Bran: The outer shell of grain which protects the seed. Contains fiber, B vitamins and minerals.

Germ: Nourishment for the seed. Contains B vitamins, minerals, vitamin E, and phytonutrients.

Endosperm: Energy for the seed. Contains carbohydrates, some protein and B vitamins.

 

What Makes a Grain a Whole Grain?

  •  It has not been processed (made into other food products like flour, cookies, bread or crackers)
  •  It is a whole food and includes the germ and bran
  •  It is considered a “good carb”

Refined grains: Grains or grain flours that have been significantly modified from their natural composition. Generally involves mechanical removal of bran and germ. Further refining includes mixing, and bleaching.

 

Enriched grains: Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and iron are often added back to nutritionally enrich the product. Because the added nutrients represent a fraction of the nutrients removed, refined grains are considered nutritionally inferior to whole grains.

ACTION

Go to our Facebook page and share what grains you currently eat and which you will enjoy in the future.

This is Me! I am Creative. Thanks Huffington Post!

By Melanie Albert, Nutrition & Wellness Expert, Author, Speaker, Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition

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9 Ways 90 Days: Live Your Passion

18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently

Recently, I had the pleasure to hear Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, speak at an Institute for Integrative Nutrition Conference and I loved her passion and humor. So glad to see the article on The Huffington Post, “18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently.”  I’ve always believed that one of my key strengths is my creativity and that I think and build ideas in new ways. But, WOW, when I read this article, so many other attributes of my life are in-sync with the umbrella of creativity.

 

I’m sharing this because finding your passion and living the life of your dreams is essential for happiness. Within the Food & Life 9 Ways 90 Days program, in Way #9 “Live Your Passion” we offer powerful exercises to help you live the life of your dreams.

 

Back to The Huffington Post article, the 18 things highly creative people do differently are:

1.      Daydream

2.      Observe anything

3.      Work hours that work for them

4.      Take time for solitude

5.      Turn life’s obstacles around

6.      Seek new experiences

7.      “Fail-up”

8.      Ask the big questions

9.      People watch

10.  Take risks

11.  View life as an opportunity for self expression

12.  Follow true passion

13.  Get out of their own heads

14.  Lose track of time (get into the flow)

15.  Surround selves with beauty

16.  Connect the dots

17.  Constantly shake things up

18.  Make time for mindfulness

To read the entire article, click here.

 

Your Action

Think about your key strengths or passions and notice how they affect your life.

Come on over to Facebook and share!

9 Ways 90 Days: 6 Reasons Why Dark Chocolate is a Good for You Superfood

by Melanie Albert, Nutrition & Food Expert, Author, Speaker, Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition Group

 Excerpt from book, “Enjoy Food & Life. 9 Ways 90 Days Step-by-step action plan for healthy eating & living.”

BOOK PRE-SALE NOW   www.9ways90days.com

9 Way 90 Days: Why Dark Chocolate is Good for You

 Why Dark Chocolate is Good for You

1. Good for Your Heart

  • Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate two or three times each week can help lower your blood pressure.
  • Dark chocolate improves blood flow and may help prevent the formation of blood clots.
  • Eating dark chocolate may prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). 

2. Good for Your Brain

  • Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain, so it can help improve cognitive function. Dark chocolate also helps reduce risk of stroke.
  • Dark chocolate also contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which encourages your brain to release endorphins, as a result eating dark chocolate may make you feel happier.
  • Dark chocolate contains caffeine, a mild stimulant. However, dark chocolate contains much less caffeine than coffee. A 1.5 ounce bar of dark chocolate contains 27 mg of caffeine, compared to the 200 mg found in an eight ounce cup of coffee.

3. Helps Control Blood Sugar

  • Dark chocolate helps keep your blood vessels healthy and your circulation unimpaired to protect against type 2 diabetes.
  • Flavonoids in dark chocolate help reduce insulin resistance by helping your cells to function normally and regain the ability to use your body’s insulin efficiently.
  • Dark chocolate also has a low glycemic index and glycemic load, meaning it won’t cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.

4. Full of Antioxidants

  • Antioxidants help free your body of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells. Free radicals are implicated in the aging process and may be a cause of cancer, so eating antioxidant rich foods like dark chocolate can protect you from many types of cancer and slow the signs of aging.

5. Contains Theobromine

  • Theobromine, which has been shown to harden tooth enamel.
  • That means that dark chocolate, unlike most other sweets, lowers your risk of getting cavities if you practice proper dental hygiene.

6. Dark Chocolate is High in Vitamins and Minerals

  • The copper and potassium in dark chocolate help prevent against stroke and cardiovascular ailments.
  •  Iron in chocolate protects against iron deficiency anemia
  •  Magnesium in chocolate helps prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

ACTION: Eat some good organic dark chocolate with 72% cocao. If dark chocolate is new to you, try it with 55%.

9 Ways 90 Days: Simple Organic Sprouted Spelt Flatbread Recipe

By Melanie Albert, Nutrition and food expert, author, speaker. Founder & CEO, Experience Nutrition Group

 

A few years ago I discovered that I was sensitive to gluten (the protein in grains like wheat, barley and rye). By exploring different grain flours, I’ve found that I’m not sensitive (no hives, no bloating, no headaches) to the Organic Sprouted Spelt Flour by One Degree Organic Foods. During the last few months, I’ve traveled with this flour and have made organic flat bread with 15 pounds of it. Have fun making your own flatbread.

 

Organic Sprouted Spelt Flatbread Recipe

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·         What You Need

o   ¾ cup hot (not boiling) water

o   1 TBS dry yeast

o   ½ TBS honey

o   2 TBS organic olive oil

o   2 cups organic spelt flour

o   ½ tsp sea salt

 

·         Simple Steps

o   Pre-heat oven at 450 degrees

o   Put 1 TBS dry yeast into ¾ cup hot water, add ½ TBS honey and ½ TBS olive oil. Let it sit for about 10 minutes

o   Put 2 cups sprouted spelt flour in bowl with ½ tsp sea salt

o   Add the water with yeast into the flour

o   Blend with a fork a few minutes, then knead with your hands another few minutes. Only knead for about 4-5 minutes total. Otherwise the flatbread will be tough. If the dough is sticky, add more flour. If it’s dry, add more water

o   Split the dough in half. Place 2 balls of dough into a bowl which has coated with organic olive oil, and cover for about 2 hours (to rise)

o   Again, split the dough into 2 sections and spread it onto a pizza brick or silicon sheet with your hands

o   Bake for 5 minutes, check it, bake for another 5 minutes

o   Enjoy your flat bread with olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar, or just plain

 

Come over to Facebook www.facebook.com/9ways90days and post your photos or ask questions.

9 Ways 90 Days: Learn to Eat Local

by Melanie Albert, Nutrition & Wellness Expert, Author, Speaker, Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition

Excerpt from book, “Enjoy Food & Life. 9 Ways 90 Day Step-by-step action plan for healthy eating & living.”

“With farmers’ markets and CSA, I’ve tried new-to-me veggies such as purslane, striped beets, purple carrots and all kinds of leafy greens,” Melanie Albert, Experience Nutrition

9 Ways 90 Days: Farmers' Market Berkeley, CA
9 Ways 90 Days: Farmers’ Market Berkeley, CA

Great Reasons to Eat Local

  • Locally grown produce is fresher, tastes better and lasts longer - It’s farm-fresh, just picked, unlike food in our grocery stores that travels an average of 1,500 miles.
  • Eating local keeps us in touch with the seasons – We eat foods when they are at their peak taste, most abundant and importantly foods that grow where we live are generally what our body needs at time of the year.  For instance, when it’s summer-time, much of the available food, like strawberries and watermelon tends to be light, water-rich and cooling.
  • You can support your local economy.Shop at your local farmers’ market or Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
  • It’s better for environment – Eating local does means your food is not traveling long distances to reach you.

Find a Farmers’ Market Near You

As demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables has increased, so too has the number of farmers’ markets across the nation. After 18 years of steady increases, the number of farmers’ markets across the country now registered with the USDA is 7,864, compared to 1,744 in 1994.

To find a local farmer’s market, visit the Local Harvest site at www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/.

 

Join us on Facebook and post a photo of your favorite farmers’ market.

 

9 Ways 90 Days: Hummus Recipe, Just like the hummus we served at the Super Bowl XLIV in Miami

by Melanie Albert, Nutrition & Wellness Expert, Author, Speaker, Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition

Excerpt from book, “Enjoy Food & Life, 9 Ways 90 Days Step-by-step action plan for healthy eating & living.”

9 Ways 90 Days Organic Hummus Recipe: Just like Super Bowl VIP Party in Miami
9 Ways 90 Days Organic Hummus Recipe: Just like Super Bowl VIP Party in Miami

This is the same recipe we made for the Super Bowl XLIV Tailgate Party for the Super Bowl in Miami. Now, you can make it, too.

 

Blend all ingredients in Vitamix or food processor, until smooth

  • 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 can Eden organic garbanzo beans with kombu
  • Or, If you have time, 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans (soak beans overnight, cook for  about 50 minutes with ½ strip kombu seaweed)
  • 1/3 cup chickpea water
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste or sesame seeds)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp coriander (seeds from cilantro)

After the hummus has been blended, taste and add any more of the ingredients to your taste.

Add any of the following and blend again: Cilantro, dill, sautéed onions and garlic, sun-dried tomatoes or olives. Remember, you can make hummus with any kind of beans. Once you know how to make this basic hummus, try making it with black beans or navy beans.

 

Make your own delicious, simple hummus and enjoy the Super Bowl today!

9 Ways 90 Days: 5 Simple Ways to Eat Kale.

9 Ways 90 Days Eat Kale
9 Ways 90 Days Eat Kale

Pre-order NOW: Get the simple ways to prepare kale in our new book, “Enjoy Food & Life, 9 Ways 90 Days step-by-step action plan for healthy eating & living.”

9 Ways 90 Days: Determine How Much Water You Need to Drink

by Melanie Albert, Nutrition & Wellness Expert, Author, Speaker, Founder & CEO Experience Nutrition

Excerpt from book, “Enjoy Food & Life. 90 Ways 90 Days Step-by-step action plan for healthy eating & life.”

It depends on you. The amount of water you need to drink depends on your size, age, level of physical activity, and where you live. Do you work out a lot? Do you live in a warm, dry climate? Are you older? You should drink more water if you live in a hot dry climate like Arizona or if you work out often. If you are over 65 with medical conditions, it is important to consult your healthcare provider on proper fluid intake, as too much water may be as dangerous as too little.

9 Ways 90 Days: How Much Water do You Need to Drink?
9 Ways 90 Days: How Much Water do You Need to Drink?

 Action

  • Find out how much water you should be drinking. Take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2 to get the number of ounces you should drink daily.
  • Add in extra ounces, if you work out often or live in a hot, dry climate.
  • Come over to Facebook and commit today to drinking the right amount of water for you.

Enjoy Food & Life: Step-by-step Action Plan for Healthy Eating & Living

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