Saturday, April 27, 2013

Any more news?

March: Husband's big birthday....

Life is exciting around here. There have been important birthdays and still our house is filled with family, my in-laws visiting from overseas, the sweetest folks imaginable.

My darling parent-in-law

I am working on some  new ideas and I have been approached by Diana Stobo's team to film a segment on juicing. That unfortunately has been put on hold again and again, and here I am, half waiting and half giving up on the idea to spread the word on her site to regularly eat lots of raw food and drink freshly made juices and smoothies. 


Such is TV business. They need some, they use some, they drop the rest.
There are, of course, many more sites out there, promoting their own approach to healthier living habits. But not all of them are good, some are very extreme and many feel a little one track minded or simply concentrating on selling supplements.

I haven't found too many places online simply dedicated to share experiences without making any money and to incorporate raw food habits into our widespread, typical Standard American Diet. SAD!

Slow cooked oat meal: Here still with soy milk. Jan. 2012

Something I see as more and more important, since I have realized over the last year of my own journey into healthy living, how hard it can be to be rigorous, disciplined and sticking to this lifestyle. Many of my friends, which have witnessed my transformation almost in disbelief, simply feel not able to do the same, or they do not want to. No matter how wonderful the results, for them it seems too extreme, to far away from the common, many might try a little, but give up after a few days. Or do not even give it a try.
And yet, wherever I look, I see such a tremendous need to improve the All American Diet.

Our go to breakfast for a year now: Smoothies, fruity, rich and satisfying. Non dairy!

Overweight children, unhealthy adults, everywhere. Surly, I am not alone with the thought that change is needed.

Baked Acorn squash with maple sirup

So here is my idea: To help people, who want to give it a try, to incorporate healthier food options into their more regular choices. I want to help you to exchange the pre-prepared with the fresh, some cooked with raw. This instead of that! And I will do my best to keep it simple and manageable. I'll teach a few tricks and some easy ways to "raw cook".
Making some small changes can add up to great improvements. Not all needs to be eliminated, many things just need a little tweaking and some big changes might be easier to manage, if you only do these and keep everything else. I often have experienced, that people, who start slow, are more ready in the long term to keep up with healthier choices and even might go for more.

Flax milk papaya smoothie

I am not an extremist. I like to enjoy different cuisines, love to enjoy parties and the food which is prepared by my friends or family. I do not want the special treatment, I adjust, try a little of this and that, after all it won't kill me to have some of the foods I normally do not eat. I do make exceptions.
 Only my lactose intolerance needs to be observed by me  and I need to stick to a dairy free diet. Otherwise I hurt.

A book after my own taste....

I have that theory that most people like to stick to diets they are familiar with, the ones they have been growing up with, what their parents, grandparents of wives (husbands) prepare. I like it too. We live in a country with so many culinary influences, it is actually impossible to come up with a generalized eating plan. This is one of the points I always stress when being critically towards all these "diets" out there. I feel they simply do not work, while they only for a short time reduce your caloric intake and later folks go back to their old eating habits. This is the reason for so many failed attempts.
What I suggest is a permanent change of habits, some of which need to be radically followed and some, which can be tweaked to your lifestyle and heritage.

April: our daughter's sweet 16 cake!

But is supposed to be fun and easier then you think.

There are a few simple guide lines, which I follow and for more then a year now the results are lasting, I can only see improvements and no sacrifices.
But again, this is my life and my own ways of finding the best possible for me, you need to find your own equilibrium.
But I would love to help, make suggestions and share my knowledge I am daily gathering.

A few things:

Less is more. Do not fall into the trap of the American serving sizes. If you eat out, take half home. Right away. Split meals, share the deserts. Or skip it!

Do not drink sodas, period! It's not good for you, neither the regular, nor the diet options.
Drink water, water, water and water thinned juices ( or full strength fresh if you can get)
Or, (over 21 year old) once in a while a glass of wine for dinner.
Avoid other alcohol. It's loaded with calories, nothing really good for you. If you like the taste, make it a weekly special occasion and then enjoy it!

Avoid pre-cooked super market or frozen meals. Unless home made.... ; )
They are loaded with preservatives and other chemicals.

A wonderful walking path near our home

Walk a lot. Even if you never set foot into a gym, walking and bicycling are the best available options for the exercise phobic. Like me. I walk, I do a little yoga. I mean it. A little, but I walk a lot. Every day. 

Begin your day with a glass of lukewarm water with 1/2 a fresh squeezed lemon. Every day! It turns alkaline in your stomach and conditions you away from acidity!
Eat  at least two fresh fruits a day, best in the morning, before anything else.
Eat at least 4 large servings of vegetables. Fresh and cooked. Green juices help with the amounts you should consume. You can mix them with apples for taste.
Eat legumes and beans.
Eat sweet potatoes instead of white ones.
Eat brown rice instead of white.
Eat quinoa instead of couscous.
If you eat meat, not daily. Twice a week is plenty. Count the cold cuts as meat too. 
Eat fish. But watch out for the ones which are loaded with heavy metals. No swordfish, less tuna. More white fish and wild salmon.
Reduce your dairy intake. Fermented is best. Kefir and yogurt. No milk shakes.....and less ice cream. Try the almond based ones, they are super delicious and much better for you.

Drink flax, almond or coconut milk. Make smoothies with these, not dairy milk.

Eat less refined sugar. Agave or Stevia are better choices.

Make fresh juices. 

Eat plenty of mixed salads. Add seeds, seaweeds, veggies.

Use olive oil and lemon juice for salads.

Use coconut oil for cooking and frying.

Avoid soy products, unless fermented. I do not use soy milk other then in my occasional soy latte. But I make miso soups with tofu and seaweeds.

The better choice: Sprouted spelt bread.

Avoid wheat as much as you can! It has been changed over the last 50 years or so from the original wheat our grandparents knew. So much so, new protein strands developed and many people are allergic to them without being aware. Many avoidable health risks are connected today to wheat, but guess what: The grain lobby is strong, it will take long to become mainstream knowledge. That means also whole wheat!!! 
Reduce, reduce, reduce your consumption. Read the labels. 
Wheat is everywhere, from cereal to cooked soups, breads and cakes. Gluten free is the better option. And many alternative grains. 

Raw breakfast cereal, really yummy

You need less protein then you are made believe. But plant based protein is better for your body then animal based.

Recipe here

Pick your choices, try out what tastes good to you, go slow and avoid too much at once.
Soon I will begin a completely new blog, dedicated to these new ways of eating healthy and to living fulfilled, happy and hopefully long. 
If you want to join me there, I will be happy to share my experiences! There will be recipes, a daily food log, options for special needs, things to learn and things to discover!
And links to like minded chefs for you to discover!

Last night's dinner. Check out my FB page.

Have a happy Sunday, relax and enjoy life! No matter where you are, some beauty can be found, just look!


Life is an adventure!

All images by V.Zlotkowski unless indicated.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

In the driver's seat

Yesterday our daughter turned 16. A wonderful day, filled with reminiscence and my sometimes wistful thoughts on time, growth and the speed of it all.

Talking of speed, this morning she is taking her test to receive her learner's permit and she has been waiting and looking forward to this day for years.
As this  day approached, my heart sunk a little, some of my motherly fears and apprehensions collided with my pride and conviction that she will be a good and safe driver. My little girl out there on the roads, where I witness almost daily the fast and the fury? Where often the laws of the road are overlooked, overturned and ignored? How will she manage the maze of possibilities and all the lurking danger?
As with all new challenges in my children's lives, I will let them lead and I will support.
I will try not to scare her off with too much advise, I will trust she will manage just fine as we all did and hope - hope - her sound judgement, attention and her guardian angel will always be with her!
She will practice safe driving with us and I cannot think of a better guide then her father, a safe and careful driver and myself, without major accidents and a spotless record otherwise. Our example hopefully has given her the base layer, the subconscious code of behavior, something she might recall in moments of danger. 

I am happy for her, my lovely girl, to master yet another skill for living in the adult world.
May she always be safe out there! 

PS: She just passed the test successfully! 

All images private. Do not use unless my permission is given.

Monday, April 8, 2013



Sixteen years ago a little girl was born into our family. She was special from the first moment, her alertness and open faced attention to the world has never left her and today we celebrate a young woman which has captured many hearts since the day she was born. 
Our daughter grew into a lovely young woman, independent, thoughtful and beautiful, a girl with a big heart and truly a rose by another name.


                                      SWEET 16!

             May your star always shine as bright as now 
                         and all your dreams come true!
                              Happy Birthday, darling!
                                       We love you...
                            the moon and back!

All images private.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring flowers

So far spring has shown up here only sparse and in small amounts and in my desperation for a little color I planted for Easter all around my tree.....

No magnolia blossoms, hardly any narcissus in my garden yet!
I am impatient!

How about you?

Image by me.
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