Become a Conscious Consumer
The key to longevity is to eat to live not live to eat! Whether you eat 3 square meals a day, 5 plus small meals or fast one or more days per week the transformational power of food is “good medicine” as you learn how to eat healthy and become a conscious consumer.
Each of us has a unique genetic make-up and metabolic cycle and the balance of nutrients which are appropriate for one person may be inappropriate for a second and detrimental for a third. There are people who are lactose intolerant, gluten/grain intolerant, peanut and corn intolerant, etc. while others can freely enjoy these foods. Heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol level, oxygen saturation, glucose level and electrolytes are unique to each ‘body’ and require different nutritional support.
Cultural identity, socioeconomic status, attitude and belief also present interesting health variables. And, these are just a few of the factors that make us unique as snowflakes!
I do not agree that there is one diet that is beneficial for everyone. If we were truly all the same then everyone would die at the same time from the same natural cause/disease. We need to recognize the relationship between food and body response. Are you feeling energized or lethargic? Are you bloated, gassy and experiencing heartburn? Or, is your body readily using food as fuel? In this mindful way we become our own best nutritionist.
That being said, when we awaken, the body arises from fasting and we need sustenance; so, eat a good, healthy breakfast. The metabolic cycle peaks about midday making lunch the most important meal of the day. Resting for 20 to 30 minutes afterwards is regenerating. And finally, as metabolism slows down in the afternoon eat a light evening meal and ideally go to bed empty!
Note: If your body requires snacks at regular intervals there are plenty of smart choices that include complex carbohydrates or simple proteins such as eggs, whole grain breads, yogurt, fruits, nuts and seeds that will support optimum health and wellness throughout the day/evening.
Variety is the Spice of Life
Leah and I eat a non-traditional variety of life enhancing breakfasts. Standard fare is a bowl of diced avocado with cherry tomatoes and sliced cucumber. We season the dish with fresh squeezed lemon juice, a little olive oil, dill and sea salt. Another healthy and delicious breakfast for us is a chiffonade kale salad tossed overnight with Leah’s Essential Salad dressing (see recipe below) and in the morning topped with fresh blueberries!
Then, there are many mornings when we will simply eat a beautiful spinach, arugula or mâche salad with the Essential Salad dressing made with fresh orange juice and topped with either fresh strawberries or with blueberries and cherry tomatoes. Delicious!
Lunch and dinner almost always feature a variety of salads with different combinations of Essential Dressing and; depending on the season, we also love raw soups like Heirloom Gazpacho, Summer Beet Soup or, especially in winter, a wonderfully spiced Carrot Ginger Soup.
Eating organic foods that are free of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and grown in ground free of chemical fertilizers is the next step. Creating simple, wholesome meals with plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains will ensure a vital, healthy diet rich in all things essential.
Clean food, clean water, and clean air: I think that those are the biggest keys to health.
Certainly, if you eat cooked food you will need to drink pure water, bottled or filtered — never tap water. Coffee, alcohol, tea, soda and even juice do not replace the need for water.
Water keeps you more alert, prevents dehydration, helps maintain proper muscle tone, and helps you perform better both mentally and physically. Water helps rid the body of waste, can help relieve constipation, and is the best treatment for fluid retention. Water will also help you lose weight by naturally suppressing the appetite and helping the body to metabolize stored fat.
Juice it Up!
Delicious, fresh-squeezed juices are the unequivocal nectar of a longer, healthier life. Fruit and especially vegetable drinks can enrich and enliven your eating and diet habits. The health properties found in fresh fruit and vegetable juices can help combat aging, arthritis, cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, kidney stones, ulcers, and other health conditions. Whole, fresh juices are one of the richest sources and fastest methods for getting essential vitamins, minerals, and enzymes into our bodies. A daily intake of juices will provide an extraordinary boost to your immune system.
See Healthy Drinks for additional resources …
Studies have shown that coffee, alcohol and smoking inhibit the effective utilization of vitamins by our bodies. After all, we really are what we eat, and an imbalanced diet is going to lead to an imbalanced body. Taking vitamins and minerals is not going to make up for our indulgences. Vitamins are not a replacement for eating either a well balanced diet or an unhealthy diet, but serve to fulfill deficiencies.
As you continue to smoothly upgrade your diet, begin to add more and more raw foods. No animal on the planet except man eats cooked food. Cooking food destroys vitamins, minerals, enzymes, nucleic acids, chlorophyll, and fats. Eating cooked food suppresses the immune system, inhibits the healing process and literally exhausts the body. Incorporating more raw foods into your diet will provide a more perfect balance of living water, nutrients, and fiber.
CHOOSE WISELY and LIVE LONG!
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Essential Salad Dressing
© Naturally Living Recipes and Leah Lamm
This dressing is a wonderful and creative foundation for many meals! Use as a salad dressing or thicken with more lemon and oil for an elegant sauce or aioli. This dressing can also be used as a great overnight marinade for raw asparagus, cucumbers or kale.
4-6 cloves garlic
Thumb size piece of fresh ginger
1-2 Thai chili peppers or red jalapeno if desired
1 and 1/2 cups olive oil
3/4 cup sesame oil (omit if using as a marinade)
Juice of 2-3 limes, lemons, oranges, grapefruits or any combination!
Scant 1/4 cup pure maple syrup to taste (dressing is delicious w/o any sweetener)
Sea salt or Sweet White Miso to taste.
DIRECTIONS: In a blender, combine garlic, ginger, chili peppers, oils, citrus juice, maple syrup, sea salt and blend. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
VARIATIONS: Add 2 bunches fresh dill or add 1 bunch cilantro or add 3-4 Mediterranean Organic’s sundried tomatoes or add different combinations of oils – grapeseed, flax, hemp or infused olive oils.
Cook Book References and Resources
Conscious Cuisine by Cary Neff
Living Raw Food by Sarma Melngailis
Raw by Juliano
150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden
The Joy of Cooking Tips and Techniques