A Healthy And Delicious Breakfast

Someone recently asked for our granola recipe to enjoy a healthy breakfast. So here it is. It uses no fats or oils and is truly delicious.

Granola with Nuts and Fruit

This granola request got me thinking about what is a healthy breakfast? A healthy breakfast for us includes what we always recommend: a wide variety of organic whole foods. At our house that can be a bowl of cooked whole grains with fruit, nuts and seeds. Or I’ll have an apple cut open and spread with nut butter and a smaller serving of whole grains or granola on the side. The whole foods part of our healthy breakfast formula can take more time to prepare than we have some mornings and granola is the way we get around that.

Connie’s Breakfast

Ideally though, I recommend cooking enough whole grain like rice, millet, quinoa or whole oat groats to make 3-4 breakfasts. Store it in the fridge and just reheat the amount you want for breakfast each day. But when we don’t have the precooked grain, and we’re in a hurry, we opt for our granola.

Pureed Squash, Sweet Potato & Yams with Nuts & Seeds

When not doing grain with fruit, my husband Bill often has unusual but delicious healthy breakfast by enjoying Kabocha or another Winter squash, baked with yams and sweet potatoes.  He loves Kabocha for its deep flavor and sweetness. And if he can’t find it, he’ll choose Buttercup or Butternut. He purees these with yams and sweet potato in the food processor to become a thick pudding. On the side he has steamed greens and veggies with a nut and seed dressing. This is such a great healthy choice. He calls this his “pumpkin pie” breakfast because he adds cinnamon.

Below are the recipes for our homemade granola, and Bill’s recipe for his all-veggie, “pumpkin pie” breakfast. Try them both and see what you like.

The key is to choose breakfast foods that are whole, organic and give a variety of nutrients and tastes. Notice no processed foods like bread or muffins, dairy, coffee, or animal foods are included. These standard breakfast foods that most people eat are inflammatory and take extra energy for the body to process.

To Your Amazing Health,

Connie

Homemade Granola

Granola

5 cups regular rolled oats
5 cups rolled rye flakes
1/2 500 g jar of brown rice syrup
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Turn oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl mix the above ingredients with a large spoon or with your well-oiled hands until the grains are well coated. Put in 1 or 2 large baking dishes so mixture is 1 inch high for even cooking. Bake for 20 minutes, then stir and bake an additional 20 minutes until lightly brown.

When cooked, cool, then add to a large Ziploc bag for easy use. We don’t go through ours very fast, so we keep it in the freezer to keep it fresher. When serving, add nuts, seeds, raisins and/or fresh fruit. Also yummy if you pour hot water over granola, cover with a plate and let steep 5 minutes so water is absorbed, and you have a moist, delicious serving.

Squash Puree, Greens with Nut & Seed Dressing

Squash and Sweet Potato Puree

1 squash, Kabocha, Delicata, Buttercup, or Butternut squash, cut open and seed
3 Garnet yams, washed and cut in large cubes
3 sweet potatoes, washed and cut in large cubes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place squash and potatoes in large covered pan for baking. Cook until tender (generally this is 1 1/2 hours.)

If using Butternut squash, after cooking, scoop squash out of skin and discard the skin. All other squash can be pureed with their skin. Add squash, yams and sweet potatoes to food processor and blend until pureed. Add some ground cinnamon if you wish. This dish is great served for breakfast with a side of steamed kale, cabbage, and veggie leftovers from last night’s dinner. Daily we cook extra greens and veggies to give Bill a breakfast serving the next morning.

 

 

Join me?

We’ve talked lots about improving health and losing weight naturally by eating high nutrient whole foods. I’m profoundly grateful that these foods have delivered great health and natural weight loss to my life and to the lives of so many others.

I’ve also mentioned my many years of searching for how people can become self-sufficient and maintain great health and weight loss on their own. And recently I’ve discovered an amazing approach I want to share with you.

Dr. Amy Johnson, a psychologist and life coach, explains how she became free of binge eating. Watching her in a number of YouTube videos, I realized she was showing people how to be free of limiting habits by walking through the door of that habit or perceived problem. This got my attention.

After learning more, I began sharing her approach with some of my current weight loss clients, and I see great possibility. I’m considering studying with Dr. Amy to become a life-coach using her approach and I’d like your help.

I’m offering my services free to work with 3 or 4 people who haven’t been successful maintaining healthy eating or keeping their weight off. If you are interested in discussing this, please let me know by emailing me through the “Contact Me” tab above, or the “Leave a Reply” section below.  I’ll get back to you right away and we can chat.

In her book, The Little Book of Big Change, Dr. Amy points out that we create limiting habits and perpetuate them with our thoughts. Our natural state is fundamentally habit free. She says, “We create habits that may look crazy, but they’re here as the best way we could see to feel better when we needed it.”

Her precept is that thinking creates habits, and insight into the nature of one’s thinking can free them from those habits. Dr. Amy says, “Our habits are built upon, experienced, and maintained by the thoughts that arise within when we view them as truth.”

When we begin to understand how our thinking creates habits, often insights arise that can unravel those habits. And the best part is that it isn’t complex

If something in this brief description interests you, take a look at this YouTube video with Dr. Amy or read her book. And if you want to explore my free offer to work together, let me know and we can chat. I’m so excited about the possibilities this work offers.

Mexican Casserole

Today’s recipe is a Mexican casserole that is totally delicious. It uses Amy’s canned organic refried beans and chili, which have very clean ingredients and are totally yummy. They are the only canned beans we use. I always like making beans from scratch, and I must say that these beans and chili taste so amazing, we use them in this dish. See what you think.

To Your Amazing Health,

Connie

Mexican Casserole

Great Mix of Many Flavors

12 corn tortillas
1 can Amy’s organic Refried Beans
1 can Amy’s organic Chili
2 packets of La Frontera Enchilada Sauce
1/2 bag frozen corn
1 onion, diced
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 jar of medium heat tomato salsa
1 200 ml can sliced black olives, drained
1 4 oz. can diced Ortega chilis
2 jalepeno peppers, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped in pieces
1 lime, juiced

Assembly:

  • Pre-heat oven to 425º
  • Lightly sauté the diced onion in a small pan with the coconut oil while prepping the other veggies.
  • In a bowl mix beans, Ortega chilis (with the liquid), salsa, lime juice, 1/2 the black olives, 1/2 the corn, 1/2 the red pepper, 1/2 the onion, 1/2 the cilantro, and 1/2 the jalapeño.
  • In an 9” x 13” baking dish, pour one of the packets of enchilada sauce.
  • Place 6 tortillas over the sauce.
  • Cover the tortillas with the above bean and veggie mixture.
  • Cover this with 6 more tortillas.
  • Pour the other packet of enchilada sauce over the tortillas.
  • Cover the top with the remaining onion, red pepper, cilantro, jalapeño, corn and olives.

Cover with foil and bake at 425º for 40 minutes, then turn down to 375º for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 20 minutes. Then serve. The cooling makes it easy to cut into pieces and serve. Also, leftovers reheat well in a frying pan.

This size casserole gives the two of us three meals. So delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

Nutrient Dense Food Pyramid

I’m often asked if it’s possible to eat in a way that improves health and also provides natural weight loss. Yes, and it’s simple actually; and literally hundreds of people I’ve worked with have experienced this.

Eating high nutrient foods may be a change for some, it was a big shift for me many years back, but the secret is making foods with the highest nutritional value the largest part of your meal. The high nutrient foods that give us the most vitamins and minerals and also take away cravings are vegetables, especially dark, leafy greens.

As mentioned in my last blog, I love Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s approach to healthy eating. His Visual for Healthy Eating looks like this:

Dr. Fuhrman’s Food Pyramid

How we personally eat is 50 to 60% high nutrient vegetables each day. Then 10% fruits, 10% to 20% beans and lentils, 10% nuts, seeds and avocado, and 10% whole grains and potatoes.

Dr. Fuhrman encourages you to make a Big Salad as the main part of your meal. Bill and I eat a large serving of steamed greens and vegetables for lunch each day and then a big salad with lots of veggies for dinner. We add some  bean or lentil protein and oil, in the form of whole foods, by making sauces and dressings from nuts and seeds. We enjoy fruit for breakfast and sometimes as a snack.

Notice that commercially raised meat, sweets, cheese and processed foods in this pyramid are used rarely, if at all. And what about other animal foods, many ask? Dr. Fuhrman suggests using them as flavoring in a dish in tiny amounts, and using only wild, or naturally raised and organic.

Cabbage Salad with Cashews and Sesame Seeds

Give up free oils, oil you can pour from a bottle, and instead enjoy the nut and seed dressings that have fiber. Bill and I recently made this change and we love it. My elimination is better and the flavor of the dressing on the veggies and salad is fabulous. I gave a recipe in my past blog for a great almond and sunflower seed dressing, and below is an orange, cashew and sesame seed dressing that we used last night on cabbage salad. So good.

So how can you incorporate this way of eating to achieve great health and natural weight loss? It’s really quite easy. Having worked with hundreds of people, I’ve found some simple steps to follow. Start by making one change a week and notice how it’s benefiting you. For example, let go of free oils and instead use dressings and sauces made from nuts and seeds on your veggies and salads. It’s easy to make this delicious shift and love it.

Then the following week, up your veggies to 50% of each meal, including breakfast. Try a green smoothie in the morning, steamed dark greens and cabbage with other veggies for lunch, and a yummy salad with radish, avocado, peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots and raw onion for dinner. Add your beans or lentils as protein at any meal, or enjoy whole grains or a small red skin potato filled with raw sauerkraut. With these few steps you’re already most of the way there.

Then the following week, all that is left to add is the fruit — 2 to 3 fruits a day. Easy and yummy.

Give it a go and let me know what you experience. I’m always here to answer any of you questions. Just post them in the “Leave A Reply” box at the bottom of this post.

To Your Amazing Health,

Connie

Orange Cashew Dressing Ingredients

Orange, Cashew, Sesame Dressing
(Adapted from Dr. Joel Fuhrman)

2 large navel oranges, peeled and broken into large sections
1/2 cup purified water
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup brown sesame seeds
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Blend all ingredients until creamy. Start blending on medium for 1 to 2 minutes, then blend on high for 2 minutes. If dressing is too thick, add another 1/4 cup of water and blend again. Try this dressing on the Cabbage Salad below.

 

Raw Cabbage Salad

1/2 raw cabbage cut in small, fine pieces
1 cucumber, peeled and cut in half rounds
5 carrots, cut in matchsticks
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, fine dice
1 watermelon radish, peeled and cut into pieces
1/4 cup raw cashews for garnish

Put cashews on a plate and roast in oven until golden brown. Set aside for garnish. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss. Mix 1 cup or more of the Orange, Cashew, Sesame Seed Dressing from recipe above into the salad. Top with roasted cashews. Enjoy.

 

 

A Life Lesson

Tapping, as explained in my previous blog post: Listen To Your Bodyis a very simple technique where you use the first two fingers of your right hand to gently tap on your heart when you want to connect with your body’s intuitive wisdom. Many people I’m working with find Tapping is great to answer questions about what foods to choose when they’re wanting to lose weight. Just tap, ask, “Is this food good for me to eat right now?” and the response is quick and clear.

I believe the body has such profound wisdom to guide me, if I only listen. I want to share an important learning I had with this Tapping technique.

When Bill and I go to a movie we often take an apple and some air popped popcorn from home. At a recent movie, I just brought apples to enjoy. We arrived early so, before the movie started, I walked down to the nearby health food store and saw an organic popcorn. I used the Tapping technique to see if I should buy some. There was a clear “No” to eating popcorn, so I went back to the movie without it.

When I got back, Bill wanted popcorn so I went to the concession stand and bought some for us to share. I could have easily told him I didn’t want any and would be happy to get it for him, but I didn’t.

I ate the popcorn and apple and couldn’t believe how I felt. It had nothing to do with the food I ate but everything to do with over-riding my body’s wisdom of “No” for that food. I felt terrible. It was a feeling of violation. I know that sounds strong, but that’s how I felt. I had violated myself by choosing something that was a clear “No”. It was deeply impactful and saddened me.

These simple circumstances offered a profound lesson. I realized this may be how others feel when they make a commitment and then over-ride it for some momentary pleasure. Wow. This was really painful. I felt immediate compassion for all of us who have this experience. And I was concerned, especially for those who repeat this again and again, deciding one thing and going against ourselves to choose something different.

So, I suggest you try Tapping for food answers and follow the quick response that comes. Notice how you feel. When I follow my body’s wisdom, I feel confident, energized and a deep sense of trust for what is guiding my life.

I encourage you to pay particular attention to how you feel when over-riding a decision you know is good for you. I’d love to hear your experience of following your body’s wisdom as well as when you go against what you know is good.  Let’s learn from one another. You can share in the Leave A Reply section below.On another note, this is apple season here in the Okanagan. I wanted to share an applesauce recipe that we make and enjoy over cooked whole grains or homemade granola.  It makes a great breakfast. Enjoy.

To Your Amazing Health,

Connie

Applesauce

6 Apples, cut in cubes
1/4 cup Raisins
2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 droppers of Sweet Drops Vanilla Stevia
1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground Ginger
3 tablespoons of water to start the apples cooking

Add the water to a saucepan, then add remaining ingredients. Cook on medium low heat and stir often to keep apples from sticking to the pan. Cook for 20 minutes or until apples are soft. Then mash with a potato masher. When cool, store in refrigerator.