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When I started my new diet people kept wondering where I was getting protein from and if I was eating enough of it. What our culture doesn’t understand is that we are getting TOO much protein and our bodies don’t need so much to survive. Eating protein at every meal is not necessarily a great idea. What happens when we eat protein is that all of our digestive organs are working really hard at digesting this food – if they are working so hard to digest then they are not helping the body to heal.

In my case, my ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and it’s very important to have my organs working to help heal my inflamed colon. I’ve cut down the amount of animal protein that I consume because it’s known that it causes mucus and it’s not an easily digested form of food. I try to take it easy on my digestive system by eating foods such as whole grains, starches, and vegetarian proteins. Occasionally I eat fish and chicken but only if they are organic and raised humanely.

It’s interesting to see how much emphasis our society puts on eating protein – I’ve been guilty of it for many years and have just slowly started realizing that I get plenty of it by eating quinoa, tofu, tempeh, rice and beans and many other forms of vegetarian protein.

Try paying attention to how much protein you eat and think about possibly cutting down. I’m not saying not to eat any protein at all because we need it for energy but you can try cutting back a little bit. Most importantly try to be aware of what you’re putting into your body and understand the effects that it has on your digestive system.

Have a nice day.

rockinraw pics

Last night I happened to be in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and stumbled upon a hidden gem. The restaurant was called Rockin’ Raw and serves “live-vegan-raw-organic-peruvian-new-orleanian-creole-cuisine-with-soul.” The owners are both graduates from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (the school that I’m enrolled in) and everything we ordered from the menu was simply fantastic. The flavors were bursting in my mouth and I was SO impressed. This was my first adventure with raw food and it was a great experience.

I will definitely return and suggest that you give raw food a try – you may be pleasantly surprised!

I wish I could explain more – but the thought of the outside garden where we sat and the smells coming from the kitchen make me so hungry that I think I’ll just tell you to check it out for yourself and leave it at that.

Don’t forget to be adventurous in your day today. Life is too short to live monotonously. Bring some color into your workspace whether it’s with interesting food, flowers, or anything else you like.

Last night I made it a point to head to the gym. As I was on the elliptical I thought back to the last time that I’d been to the gym and realized it was more then a few weeks ago! Recently I’ve had a lot going on in my life but I need to remind myself that it’s no excuse.

Taking care of my body is SO important – especially when I’m going through a hard time. I need to let my feelings and emotions out through sweating – not just through a yoga class but also through cardio exercise.

I’m a bit mad that I let myself go for this long but I decided to use that anger and write about it. I hope you can all relate to this and remember that there’s nothing more important then taking care of yourself – even if your grandmother is on so much pain medication that she doesn’t recognize you and your family – you STILL need to take care of yourself.

Clearly that last line pertains to myself and it’s been a difficult few weeks watching my grandmother go through a really hard time. As we all know, life is just like a roller coaster and if you don’t take the ride, you’ll never learn, feel or grow.

Please try your hardest to make time for yourself today – whether that means taking a jog through the park or laughing with friends.

Enjoy!

51VM0VRYMXL._SL160_I’m reading a book called Spontaneous Healing by Dr. Andrew Weil. I’ve been so enthralled by this book that I haven’t blogged in a few days but am just now realizing that I want to share the effect that I’ve had from reading it.

Dr. Weil shares people’s stories of survival using alternative ways of medicine. It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are – these stories happened to real people. He focuses on learning how to heal yourself and he explains that our bodies are healing beings – we were meant to heal ourselves – it’s just a matter of learning how and changing certain routines that we’ve gotten so deeply used to.

He talks about the importance of loving your disease. Whether you have IBS, cancer, ulcerative colitis or any other disease – he says that accepting what you have is the first step and learning to heal yourself is your next step.

This year my life has gone through a huge transformation just by changing the way I thought from being a victim to actually taking control of my situation and reminding myself that my body needs a little bit more help then the average person – and I can’t ignore that. I’ve been ignoring it for so long that my body began yelling at me by having lots of flare-ups from my ulcerative colitis. Now that I’ve learned to accept myself for who I am, I feel so much better! My belly has calmed down and I’ve learned the act of deep belly breathing that I practice throughout each day.

I’m sharing this with you because I feel that you can learn from my “AHA” moment! I get it now… I have to take care of myself now because this is the one chance I get to live in this life and I want to be here for a long time.

I hope you can take a moment to take some deep breaths and enjoy yourself for who you are.

Have a wonderful evening. I definitely recommend this book so pick it up if you can – read the summary and see if you’re interested – It never hurts to think/read outside of the box.

Last night we created a sensational dinner and it was completely on a whim since we were rushing to a birthday party. We made salmon with mango blueberry salsa, steamed kale with tahini sauce and quinoa with onions.

Let me just say that I was shocked at all the flavors bursting in my mouth and I will be happy to leave the recipes below. ENJOY!

For two people I bought just under one pound of organic salmon fillet.

1/3 cup organic blueberries

1/3 cup peeled, diced organic mango

3 tbls diced organic yellow onion

2 tbls minced fresh organic cilantro

1 tbls fresh organic lime juice (cut one lime in half and use the juice)

½ tsp organic extra virgin olive oil

pinch of black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Combine the blueberries, mango, onion, cilantro and lime juice in a small bowl and crush lightly with a fork to release all the juices.

Use a baking pan (I like the glass Pyrex) and lightly coat it with the olive oil so the fish doesn’t stick. I flipped the salmon over when I put it in the pan so that it gets coated with the remaining oil from the pan. Sprinkle the pepper on each fillet before adding the salsa. Then, continue to add the salsa on top of the fillets before putting it into the oven. When the oven is hot stick them in for 20-25 minutes and bake until the consistency is just how you like it.

While your making the salmon you can dice some more onion, which will be put into the quinoa. Since I have a tiny little kitchenette I like to use only one pan for the quinoa, which makes for a much easier clean up.
Follow the directions on the back of the quiona box but make sure to rinse it thoroughly first. I like to add a combination of organic vegetable broth mixed with water instead of only water.
First sauté the onions (amount is up to your liking – you can never really have too many sautéed onions.) Once the onions are soft add the broth-water mixture and the quinoa. Cover the pan and let it sit until all the liquid is evaporated make sure to mix well so the quinoa doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Kale with tahini sauce:

1 bunch of kale with the ends chopped off and the rest cut up.
Steam the kale for about 5-7 minutes check to make sure it doesn’t start to wilt – you want it to be a bright green, vibrant color.

Tahini sauce:
3 cloves of chopped garlic

6 tsp olive oil

½ cup tahini

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

½ tsp salt

1 lemon, juiced

pinch of black pepper

¼ cup of cilantro

½ cup cold water

Sauté the garlic with olive oil in a small pan until it starts to turn brown – about 2 minutes. Pour the garlic and oil into a food processor or blender and then add all other ingredients besides the cilantro. Mix everything until smooth and then add the cilantro and mix until finely chopped.
Pour the sauce into a bowl and dip the kale piece by piece. It’s SO tasty – ENJOY it.

P.S. I forgot to take pictures of this amazing meal so I will have to post them when I make this again.

Have a fantastic dinner filled with flavor and lots of love

P.P.S. These recipes are always adaptable to your liking. If you don’t like mango and blueberry try something else that seems appealing to you – although I know this recipe won’t fail to taste amazing. Good luck!

Genepas cracked open revealing the delicious inside

Genepas cracked open revealing the delicious inside

While in Puerto Rico I discovered a fruit that they call genepas. These were the most amazing, sweet and tangy fruit to ever hit my mouth. It was an interesting experience as they are sold by people who pick them straight off the tree and stand on the side of the highway waiting for drivers to stop and buy a whole bunch for a dollar. The fruit resembles a green grape but are slightly bigger and more round. The way it’s eaten is by cracking open the shell and sucking out the slimy inside that surrounds the pit although you don’t eat the pit, just the slime that’s surrounding it. It may sound strange but it’s SO delicious!

If you ever happen to walk into a specialty store and see these genepas I highly suggest that you try one – you definitely won’t be disappointed.

I will continue exploring new and exciting foods and you should do the same! Enjoy the experience of not knowing and dive in – you will most likely be pleased.

I will write more about my trip in a different post – stay tuned.

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