Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Favorites 12/19/14

Welcome to another edition of Friday Favorites! Thanks for all the well wishes and healing thoughts last week. I'm still not 100%, maybe at 95%, but after another bowl of my Cure a Cold Green Soup, I think I'll be back to myself again! I had a busy week of work between client work and catching up on everything I didn't do while I was stuck in bed bed. This weekend, I'm headed down to Atlanta for a bridal shower for my best friend, and to teach a nutrition class with the lovely ladies at Pure Barre Virginia Highlands. Hope you all have lots of fun things planned as well!

Here's my weekly roundup of my favorite links from around the web. For more, follow me on twitter, pinterest and instagram

Photo Credit: Kara of The Foodie Dietitian

Holiday Salad with Satsuma and Pomegranate (The Foodie Dietitian) --> Satsumas, which taste similar to clementines but are much, much prettier, are one of my seasonal favorites. Sadly, I can't find them anywhere this year, so this recipe is kind of torture. 

Tahini Hot Chocolate (My Name is Yeh) --> I am intrigued. Tahini certainly isn't a normal hot chocolate addition, after using it in to make raw caramel, I can totally see how it would work. 

Photo Credit: Molly from My Name is Yeh

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cure a Cold Gingery Green Soup

Give your immune system a boost to fight off that cold with a warm bowl of gingery green soup, packed with immune supporting ingredients like ginger, turmeric, green leafy veggies and garlic!

Cure a Cold Gingery Green Soup

Does it seem like everyone is sick right now? We hosted supper club this Sunday and about half the people there were just getting over something, myself included. Of course, now the other half are probably currently sick from being in my germ infested house. Sorry guys. Hope the coq au vin was worth it!

Whenever I catch a cold, it usually runs it's course in a couple days, but this one has lingered almost a week. Yesterday morning I was fed up after I woke up feeling congested and groggy yet again. So, I decided to whip up a soup with all the immune supporting ingredients!

Immune Support Soup with Kale and Spinach

Although I do still believe in the curative powers of chicken noodle soup, I wanted to take this recipe in a different direction. I chose this recipe from 101 Cookbooks as a base, which I've had stashed in a binder for years only to stumble across it again last week. Perfect timing, no?

This soup basically has every food known to enhance immune function packed into each bowl. Okay, so maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but it's definitely has it's fair share of cold and flu fighters! Here's a look at what's inside:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Give the Gift of Health This Holiday Season

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon hosting a Christmas party with the Junior Women's Club for children receiving chemotherapy at our local children's hospital. We brought lunch and Santa, who passed out stuffed animals and gift cards we had donated. As you can imagine, it was a simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking experience.

There was one moment that had a particular impact on me. After one of the kids had met with Santa, his mom jokingly asked if she could go next. Santa laughed, patted his knee and asked "what would you like for Christmas, young lady?"

She smiled a huge smile and replied, "Oh Santa, you know I just want my baby to be healthy again. That's really all. But you know, I wouldn't turn away a new car if it showed up under my tree!"

They laughed. I laughed, partly because of her positive attitude in such a horrible situation, but mostly to prevent myself from breaking down in tears. Suddenly, my Christmas list seemed completely frivolous. I thought I was being "practical" this year, asking for things I supposedly need, rather than my usual list of trendy clothes and jewelry. But having your son cured of cancer is a need, not a new pair of skinny jeans. Living a joyful and fulfilled life is a need, not new photography equipment.

As I drove home and reflected on the experience, I hit me just how lucky I am that I don't need to use a spot on my Christmas list wishing for the health of a loved one. Consider yourself blessed if you can do the same.

Watching someone you love succumb to disease, whether physical or psychological, is horrible, tragic and excruciatingly painful. On the other hand, the pursuit of health and happiness, even if you fall short, can have powerful effects on everyone you come in contact with.

It dawned on me. The most profound and special gift you can give isn't something that can be wrapped up under the tree. It's a personal commitment to pursuing your maximum state of health.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Whole Grain Chex Mix

Use whole grain cereal and crackers for a healthy, and amazingly addictive snack mix. Pack it in mason jars for a DIY stocking stuffer! 

healthy chex mix

As someone who is endlessly fascinated with learning about food traditions, it makes me sad to say this, but we don't really have many traditional Christmas foods at our celebration. Growing up, whenever my dad's side of the family was together, we had a huge German feast, an homage to my grandmother. We had German sausages, real pumpernickel bread, sauerkraut and pickles galore. It was a sweet sentiment, but about 10 years ago we realized few of us actually enjoyed German food, plus, our hands were so swollen from salt it interfered with our ability to unwrap presents!  So, tasked with creating a new tradition, we all settled on steamed lobster from the nearby DC docks.

The only other food that makes a regular appearance at Christmas is my aunts homemade nuts & bolts snack mix. It's an addictive combination of chex cereal, pretzels, cheerios, peanuts, cheez crackers and pumpernickel bagel crisps. Being the whole foodie I am, it may surprise you to learn how much I love this mix, and frankly, I am too! Separately, none of those ingredients tempt me, but when they're drenched in the combination of spices and baked crisp, it's insane!

Whole Grain Nuts and Bolts

When I'm around this mix, I tend to throw away all the mindful eating skills I usually practice. I mindlessly much on it while watching Christmas movies, grab a handful after walking the dogs, and even nosh on it with a glass of champagne while opening presents! I hate to use the word bad in reference to food, but it is sooooo bad!