• sprinkles, reinvented

    May 28, 2013


    When I was living in London, I became obsessed with Munchy Seeds.  I’d always have tubs and tubs of these roasted seed mixes on hand (in the freezer, to prevent the fat in the seeds from going rancid) to toss in salads, tuck in sandwiches, and sprinkle over steamed veggies.  They’re also awesome in tacos.  So, what’s a girl to do Stateside?  Answer:

    Scatter a handful of sunflower seeds in a pan
    Add several spritzes of Bragg Liquid Aminos or a few teaspoons of tamari

    Shake or stir over medium heat for a few minutes until the liquid is absorbed but before the seeds get too brown.  Transfer to a plate to cool and store in an airtight container.

    Of course you could also follow Munchy Seeds’ lead and vary the seeds, which I plan to do.  But this is the very lazy, happy version that still delivers the necessary munch.

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  • milkshake hacking

    May 20, 2013


    It’s 4pm.  You want something sweet and creamy.  Slurped through a straw.  Without the guilt trip.

    Enter the milkshake hack.  Here’s all it is:

    • almond milk to fill 3/4 of a glass
    • frozen banana (I keep a bunch in the freezer — always remove the peel first)
    • fixings

    Ah, the fixings.  In this case, I’ve used two tablespoons of lucuma powder, several shakes of cinnamon powder, and a splash of vanilla extract.  Blend everything until smooth, and smirk at yourself for being so smart.


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  • quick cooking tip: easy peeled tomatoes

    May 17, 2013


    To easily peel tomatoes, make a small x on the bottom with the point of a knife and plunge into a pan of boiling water for one minute. Skins slip off easily when cool, and your sauces are silky smooth.  Happy Friday!

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  • it’s getting warmer…

    May 13, 2013


    Which means one of many delicious things:

    It’s time for the ultra-flexible, always refreshing, lovely-to-look-at watermelon cooler!

    Originally inspired by this post I saw on In the Raw, this is easy-peasy:

    • 1/4 watermelon
    • Handful frozen raspberries
    • Juice of half a lime

    Blend in VitaMix until smooth, and that’s it.  You can use this as a base and vary the berries, or add a peeled kiwi for kick.

    By the way, I buy a whole watermelon, cut it into quarters, wrap in plastic, and keep in the fridge.  That’s after I let it hang out on my counter for a few days — to me, the watermelon is one of the most stunning things nature has made.  It also happens to be packed with pure water, slimming fiber, and succulent sweetness.  I like to make this for guests — pour into glasses and pop into the freezer a few minutes before they arrive, then put one in their hand and watch for the smile.


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  • get featured on green appetite

    May 1, 2013

    Are you a:

    • health coach?
    • recipe creator?
    • fitness pro?
    • green-living expert?

    If you have a green-centered business that Green Appetite readers would adore, I want to hear from you!  I’m relaunching this blog as a go-to hub that will feature the latest info and the best products for eco-conscious food lovers.  Want in?  Get in touch with me by clicking on the “contact” link above, and we’ll chat soon.

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  • free guide

    May 1, 2013

    get your free quick-start guide & shopping list

    I know there’s a whole lot of information to eat up here, so I’ve put together an easy-to-digest (puns intended) 10-page guide that will give you the pep talk you need and put a real spring in your step.  Just pop in your details below, and I’ll get it right over to you!


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  • bite-sized challenge: eat inside the box

    August 29, 2010

    It’s time for another challenge for VK, and this time we’ll backtrack to the successful outcome we previously skipped on her list:

    I know a lot about nutrition, and I make choices about what I eat that reflect my knowledge.

    I know of no better way to up your nutrition education and your nutrients (while benefiting the environment to boot!) than signing up for a weekly produce box from your local organic farm. In the US, these are called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), in the UK (where VK lives), they’re known as veg-box schemes.

    Many of these farms deliver; in some areas you’ll need to drive to a collection point to pick up your goodies. Either way, the outcome is the same: local, organic food that’s in season. And that means you’re forced to come up with some creative solutions when something like celery root (celeriac) shows up in your box. You’ll find yourself reading that dirt-covered little newsletter that comes with your box for inspiration or finally thumbing through those dust-covered cookbooks you haven’t opened in years.

    When I first signed up for a weekly box back in 2006, I was so thrilled with it and what it taught me that I started a small catering business. Every week, I made two vegetarian lunches for two guys at my office. These guys were omnivores, yet they absolutely loved this. I’d make two dishes based on whatever came in the box that week, and I wrote up a little newsletter of my own that explained what was in their lunch and why it was good for them.

    I came out of that enterprise learning a whole lot about nutrition…and that catering is a hell of a tough job!

    So, VK, your challenge is to sign up for an organic vegetable box and come up with a unique recipe that uses at least half of the contents. Then send me your recipe and photo so I can put it up for all to see. Happy cooking (and learning!)

    Search for a CSA in your area in the USA at Local Harvest
    If you’re in the UK, try Riverford Organics or Abel & Cole

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  • bite-sized challenge: get naked

    July 22, 2010

    I’ve let an extra week go to give VK time to settle into her new running routine, and I’m going to skip ahead two of her successful outcomes to present the next bite-sized challenge.  But don’t worry, we’ll cover them all.

    Here’s the one I want to target next:

    My body is almost always in great shape.

    Why this now?  Because while I was relaxing at a Turkish bath (Hamam) this morning, it occurred to me that this was a perfect challenge for VK.  My first brush with one of these was in Paris in 2004, and quite a brush it was – beginning with the tub of gomage (body scrub) they planted in my hand as I walked in, completely befuddled.  Not only was I a Hamam virgin, but the little French I spoke completely eluded me as I tried to come to grips with stripping down in front of everyone and finding my way through the labyrinthine layout of the place.  I couldn’t believe all the women were going about completely nude without a care in the world, and my newness was evident by the towel I kept wrapped around my waist.

    Fast forward to this morning at Porchester Spa, the oldest Victorian Turkish baths in London where being stark naked has become routine for me.  Spending a couple of hours at one of these places is enough to develop a newfound love of your body – not just because you’re indulging in nothing but cleansing and relaxation, but because every body in there is different, and none of them is perfect.  And because of that, they are.

    This being London, it was particularly interesting to see a pair of women completely comfortable in their full, naked bodies before covering themselves head-to-toe in burkas and heading outside.

    So VK’s challenge – and yours, if you choose to accept it – is to get completely naked at one of these places.  If you don’t have access to Turkish baths, then spend some time in the steam room and sauna at your gym, or look around for a nearby day spa.

    And here’s the drill: the normal procedure is to spend about 15 minutes in the steam room or as long as comfort allows, then take a quick cold shower or dip in the “plunge pool”, then return to the steam room for another 5-10 minutes.  Finally, bring the body temperature back to normal by relaxing on one of the long beach-type reclining chairs.  Aside from the ahhh factor, the real reason I’ve made this VK’s next challenge is that the Hamam experience will almost instantly make you see that your body is almost always in great shape.

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  • bite-sized challenge: belly blasting

    July 1, 2010

    So V.K. has mastered the green smoothie kick start, fruit-bowl sugar fix, daily body meditation with aplomb…what now?  Here’s the next successful outcome on her wish list:

    My stomach is flat and muscular.

    Ooh.  Wouldn’t we all like that?  Well, as someone who has always had a bit of a belly even when I was the skinniest kid in the class, I definitely know the desire for a smooth midriff.  When I used to take yoga classes in gym studios, 3/4 of my time was spent looking in the mirror marvelling at how other women managed to have such perfectly toned abs while mine were in need of atonement.

    I also know that the only time I’ve ever felt incredibly proud of my abs (aside from when I was fasting in Thailand) was when I was training for the London marathon in 2005.  I remember bending over just for the hell of it so I could see (once again) that no squishy rolls would ensue.  And this despite that I was chowing down entire pizzas from Strada in one sitting!

    So here’s what I learned for free (if you don’t count sweat): when it comes to targeting that mid-section, nothing beats the combination of running and yoga.  For the running part, slow distance runs are the key in order to burn fat.  That’s exactly what happened after those 2-3 hour long runs I was doing in the build-up to race day.  And the yoga?  Core strengthening as a nice bonus to the stretching/relaxation/meditation.

    Here’s the other thing I’ve learned: fat around the middle is very often due to high cortisol levels from too much stress.  That’s where yoga also comes into play.  See where the running/yoga combo kicks butt (and ab flab)?

    So what’s V.K.’s challenge for the next two weeks?  Well, I know she’s already a runner, so her task is to start increasing her weekly long run by 10 minutes each week while lowering her speed slightly.  We’ll focus on yoga in another challenge.

    If you’re following along and have not already discovered the cheap yet incredibly effective and satisfying exercise that running is, you have to take it very, very slow and start off with a walk/run program.  That’s how I went from not being able to run more than three minutes straight in Central Park back in 1999 to sprinting (okay, crying) past Big Ben at mile 25 five years ago.

    And you need a plan.  My favorite is The Complete Book of Running For Women.  Also check out Brendan Brazier’s new Thrive FitnessI’ve written about this professional Ironman triathlete before and how he gets his fuel entirely from plant-based food.

    Oh, and here’s yet another thing I’ve learned: all the iconic women in Renaissance art – including Venus herself – display quite generous bellies as a sign of fertility and are very in your face about them.  Bellies back then were beautiful.

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  • another day, another fruit bowl

    June 18, 2010

    Aside from doing a fine job with her bite-sized challenges, V.K. has also been a great ambassador for the project and has recruited several of her friends to play along.  This one is from Julie, who was very cool to send a rendition of her bowl along with her caption:

    I make fruit salad for breakfast every day – this is our fruit bowl today.  The green grapes had just been washed and weren’t quite dry so they have reflected the flash which makes them look a bit dodgy!  Honestly they are nice!

    AJD 001

    Thanks, Julie, and this is most nice of you!  Beautiful work.

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