Out with the old, in with the new! 2014 was an amazing and productive year, but if yours was anything like mine, there were a fair share of bumps in the road. And as we arrive at its close, I am so excited to start this trip around the sun anew. Welcome, 2015! And I formly resolve to make this the most delicious year yet!
Resolutions have always been a challenge for me, and I think that it is primarily because they are an opportunity to focus on the self, whereas my nature tends to direct me to put the needs of others first. From the first time I heard the Golden Rule as a child, it resonated deeply within my soul. Of COURSE we should treat others the way we would wish to be treated! Isn’t that common sense? This belief has truly served me well throughout my life in a million different ways – it feels good to be kind. It lifts one’s own spirits and immune system when you make and deliver soup to a sick friend. I enjoy nurturing my family, friends, and clients with healthy, wholesome, organic food seasoned with heaps of love and intention. And it makes my heart sing to be able to offer support in many forms to others, sometimes even when they have not asked. All of these are great things.
However, if we’re being honest, sometimes all of this is done with neglect to the self, and I think it’s time to be reminded that while we should treat others the way we would like to be treated, we must also take the time to treat ourselves the way we wish others would treat us. As a chef, I might spend all day making the most beautiful balanced meals but neglect to eat myself, and then fill up on whatever is fast and moderately satisfying when I get home. (I’m ashamed to admit this, but – tortillas with mayonnaise, anyone?!) I am always ready to help another figure out an eating plan that will heal, nourish, help them achieve certain goals, what have you – but never take the time to do the same for myself!
One of my favorite sayings is “Physician, heal thyself.”, and starting NOW, with the close of 2014, I am rewriting that for my own situation and saying “Chef, feed thyself!” Usually, I take this whole month off from cooking – but this year, I am going to try something new – and hopefully share a healthy, delicious, organic and beautiful recipe at least five times a week that I have made for MYSELF. Lucky are they who live near me this month – you’re in for dinner invitations to be sure!
Following is an amazingly delicious and healthy recipe that I ate this for dinner with some steamed quinoa last night, but then gave it an even finer chop, threw it back into a ceramic frying pan to warm it up, and ate it with poached eggs and a side of citrus salad this morning! Pretty much every vitamin covered, plenty of fiber, and even mood-lifting and metabolism boosting properties in both the scents of the citrus as well as in each of the other ingredients, as well. You couldn’t beat this breakfast if you tried, and there’s more about each ingredient after the recipe.
- 3 c broccoli florets, cut into bite size
- 2 c chopped red cabbage, bite size dice/shreds
- 1 c butterbut squash, 1” cubes
- ¼ c extra virgin olive oil**
- 1 ½ – 2 teaspoons salt
- cracked black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 F/~200 Celsius.
- Line a baking tray or dish with parchment paper (only if you dislike dishwashing as much as I do!) and toss all fo the ingredients together directly in the pan.
- Pop into the oven and roast for 20 – 25 minutes, until the butternut squash is soft.
**This may seem like a lot of olive oil, but when factored in to an overall healthy diet, the benefits are immense. Extra virgin olive oil and its MUFA (mono-unsaturated fatty acids) content make it nearly magical! It is anti-inflammatory, enhances visual memory and cognitive function, promotes better blood levels of calcium, and has about a zillion other health benefits.
Broccoli has been shown to prevent osteoarthritis, strengthen heart blood vessels by promoting enzyme production that protects them while reducing the molecules that damage them, and also promotes excretion of inhlaed air poluttants such as benzene from the body. A current study is also showing that the chemical sulforaphane naturally occurring in broccoli may improve some of the behavioral symptoms of autism.
Red cabbage is a lesser known superfood with as many anthocyanins as its fruity cousin, the very healthy blueberry! With the high concentrations of vitamins K, C, and A, it helps every system in your body run optimally, and wards off dementia, Alzheimer’s, and nerve damage. It keeps the blood pressure regulates, is a natural anti-inflammatory, and has been used as a hangover cure since Roman times. I could go on and on, but you need to hear about
Butternut squash. It’s loaded with carotenoids, which we hear about as beta carotene all the time. Beta carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, which helps our eyes by staving off macular degeneration, supports lung function and keeps us breathing deeper for longer in our lives (a challenge with those who face age-related COPD). As if that weren’t enough, the vitamin B-6 helps not only support our immune and nervous systems, but elevates our moods! YAY!
What are some of YOUR resolutions for the upcoming year?