Welcome to my Blog about Food and Well-being!

I am often asked to share my knowledge of food and recipes. After changing my diet four years ago from a typical "Western" diet to a mostly whole-foods and plant-based diet, I have seen incredible changes in my health and well-being. I have spent countless hours researching and love helping those who are ready to feel better. The underlying theme? YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Read on to find out more.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Healthy Lunches for Kids or On-the-Go

I can hardly believe summer is already over and school is starting. Among other things, this means packing lunches every day (ugh). My kids don't like the food at school (who can blame them), so that means approximately 150 lunches I will need to make. Times two kids. It's not so much the packing of the lunches that wears me out, it's coming up with what to pack that is exhausting. Even if you don't have kids to pack lunches for, you may need some new ideas for your own lunches. I hope this blog entry will inspire all of you!

Every lunch should have protein (beans, meats, eggs), vegetables, carbs (cooked grains, breads, tortillas, chips) and maybe a high-quality sweet treat. Fruits are considered sweets, as well as cookies, muffins, scones, etc made with unrefined, natural sweeteners and no preservatives/food coloring. Skip the packaged snacks as these are LOADED with processed ingredients. Start getting your kids (and yourself) used to eating WHOLE foods.

Here are some ideas for lunches that don't include boring sandwiches. I divided it up by type of food and then "Sides." Mix and match to make it interesting. You can make most of these the night before and refrigerate or even freeze. Kids usually love to manipulate their food, so you will see several items that give them that opportunity. If you have young kids, you may want to pull out your cookie-cutters as they tend to love fun shapes. 

Remember to use organic ingredients when possible! Unless organic, all corn and soy products are genetically modified (yuck). I only buy organic refried and whole beans, corn and tortilla chips, breads, nut butters, meats, edamame and tofu, veggie burgers, eggs, dairy, and most fruits and veggies . 

Please check out my "RECIPES" page to find how to make some of these items that have an asterisk (*) next to them. Share YOUR ideas by commenting on this blog! 

American (with other cultural influences)
Veggie burger (homemade or frozen store-bought) with bun or wrapped in collard greens*
Hummus* wraps with red peppers, cucumbers, romaine, kalamata olives, goat feta & balsamic
White bean and Avocado Wraps with purple cabbage, carrots and cilantro*
Homemade chicken tenders (make a batch and freeze)
Blackeyed peas with carrots, served with homemade sweet cornbread*
Quinoa Tabbouleh*
Plain goat milk yogurt, granola and fresh fruit
Frito pie made with leftover chili and corn chips
Soups (lentil, vegetable, black bean, butternut, miso, etc.)
Lentils, quinoa and sauteed veggies with crackers
Pizza quesadillas (buy preservative-free pepperoni with NO nitrates and sulfites)
Caesar salad with chicken strips
Garbanzo Bean Salad on pita*
Hummus* with organic crackers and veggies 
Almond butter and honey with apple slices
Almond butter, Granny Smith apple and honey sandwiches

Build-Your-Own Nachos with tortilla chips
Bean, veggie and cheese burrito (if in a hurry, buy frozen Amy's burritos)
5-layer dip (refried beans, organic corn, guacamole, salsa & cheese) with corn/tortilla chips
Bean, veggie and cheese quesadilla
Organic tamales (I buy these frozen at Whole Foods)
Empanadas (I make a batch of these on a weekend and freeze them)
Black beans and rice with  corn tortillas, diced avocado covered with lime, and salsa
Tortilla soup

Homemade sushi rolls with cucumber, carrot, avocado, cilantro and tofu or smoked salmon
Asian Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing* (also try this in a wrap or spring roll)
Spring rolls with noodles, cucumber, carrot, mint/cilantro, tofu or chicken and peanut sauce
Cold sesame noodles with veggies*
Vegetable fried rice with peas, carrots and scrambled egg

Leftover spaghetti with marinara
Pasta salad with white beans, basil and red bell pepper with lemon vinaigrette
Pasta salad with white beans and homemade basil pesto*
Organic leftover pizza (or bake the night before and refrigerate)
Build-Your-Own Bruschetta with baquette slices and tomato basil tapenade

Fresh fruit (mango, melon, apples, kiwi, oranges, plums, grapes, berries)
Raw veggies (carrots, radishes, sugar snap/snow peas, red/yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, cucumbers) with hummus, tzatziki, or other healthy dip (um, not Ranch dressing)
Cooked veggies (peas, lima beans, edamame, corn, sweet potatoes, sauteed greens, broccoli, asparagus)
Raw kale salad*
Roasted new potatoes
Roasted sweet potatoes
Roasted Brussel Sprouts*
Unsweetened apple sauce
Cooked fruits (baked apples/pears/plums/peaches with cinnamon and agave)
Wheat berries and butter and lemon*
Brown rice
Coconut-Cilantro-Lime rice*
Beanito chips (you can buy these at HEB, Whole Foods or Central Market)
Organic corn or tortilla chips
Sweet Cornbread*
Homemade chocolate chip cookies (or cranberry oat)*
Homemade muffin (pumpkin, banana, carrot, spice, corn, etc)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What's Coming Up!

The past 6 weeks has been a blur. I haven't updated the blog as often as I'd like because there just hasn't been time. But, I wanted to let my readers know that in the coming weeks, I plan to cover the following:

  • Whole-food lunches for anyone on the go
  • Healthy snacks and the best time of day to eat them
  • Whole-food school lunches for kids
  • Healthy snacks for kids
  • My favorite products and where to find them
  • Entertaining with a beautiful whole foods menu
I am hoping you will give me other ideas and ask questions so I know what you want to read, so MAKE COMMENTS! 

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer and check back often! Starting September, I plan on continuing to update the blog weekly. In the meantime, read through the archives if you haven't been able to read each weekly blog. Try the recipes on my recipes page and take inventory of your kitchens using the Kitchen Staples page as a guide.

Let me hear from you!