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Simple Old Fashioned Corn Bread Recipe

Get ready to kiss that Jiffy cake goodbye! You will not believe how easy this is to make. Of course it’s only slightly sweet, which I think brings more of the corn flavor out. I double this recipe and use it for my cornbread crab dressing for Thanksgiving. Or, make this a weeknight side by premixing ziplock bags of the dry ingredients and store in the freezer so you can whip it out, add the wet ingredients and voila!

Ingredients:20141111_173132

  • 7/8 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
  • 3/8 white whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
  2. Add egg, oil and milk and stir to incorporate (only a couple of minutes)
  3. Pour mix into an 8×8″ square baking pan (I prefer glass)
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and firm on top.

Spices 101: Make your Healthy Meals Pop!

spices2When I talk about eating whole real food people think about bland, styrofoam chicken breasts and water flavored broccoli. Ewwww. But when you know your way around the kitchen your options are endless. Those boring chicken breasts can take on so many exciting personas: jerk, lemon pepper, curry, herbed, masala, tajine, balsamic, citrus, teriyaki, barbecue, parmesan crusted, panang, southwestern…and that’s only what I could shake off the top of my head in 10 seconds. I’m sure there are more.

But no matter what your skill level is, you can hook up some seriously fantastic dishes, even on the fly. What creates all kinds of variation in dishes is spices. Since antiquity, spices have been just as aggressively sought after, if not more than silk and gold. Spice trade played a very important part of history, and today are still greatly valued.

Selecting

Getting the freshest spices available is key to enhancing dishes from good to OMG Terrific! The freshest and best spices are not usually found in a supermarket. Supermarket varieties don’t specialize in supplying the highest quality and often those spices have been sitting on a store shelf for YEARS. You can find them at [Read more…]

Veggefied Chili

Chili is one of those dishes that is hard for to get wrong.  You can do whatever you want with it and usually it will turn out okay.  Besides, even though I can be a foodie purist, in this case I don’t really believe that there is such a thing as authentic chili.  Chili is whatever you want with it and I don’t care what the Texans say.

So, I decided to make my chili today with more nutrition, more fiber, and no meat better quality meat.  (The fam wasn’t feeling the vegan thing today) I sometimes use ground turkey in the chili.  But generally (whole) meat is better than ground meat because ground meat poses all kinds of food safety problems because one package can contain product from multiple animals, perhaps from multiple countries, and the meat is very easily contaminated.  Not to mention, the ground turkey is not free range or organic so who knows what’s in it.  I used organic chicken breasts that I cooked in a pressure cooker with a little (organic) chicken broth.  I use organic to avoid the antibiotics that factory farms inject or feed to animals to ward off disease–disease that is caused by living crowded together in squalid little coops and for artificial growth enhancement.

Organic chickens don’t need antibiotics because they don’t live in such tight quarters. U.S. Department of Agriculture organic standards prohibit the use of any medical treatment for animals unless they are sick, including antibiotics and synthetic parasiticides. Read more about organic vs. conventional chicken

Now back to the vegetable part.  Note- I hate the word veggies, so other than this sentence you won’t see it here.  I added carrots, corn, and cauliflower to the usual beans, tomatoes, peppers and onions.  The carrots and cauliflower take on the flavor of the chili in

[Read more…]

Calories Shmalories

It’s ingrained in our minds that the moral of all our weight issues is calories in, calories out. A calorie is a calorie so count them like you count your dollars. So we take that regimented, clinical approach, and it may work for a while but eventually the results taper off and come to a screeching halt. So we fiddle with the numbers some more and get teeny-tiny or no results. It’s frustrating! What gives?

First, calories DO matter. But they are not the ONLY thing that matters, because if that were the case, very calmemefew people would be fat. Generally, you do have to be mindful of those calories because ultimately, unburned calories get stored as fat. However, the NUMBER of calories is not the whole story, or even the main idea.

We all know people who eat like a billion calories a day and aren’t overweight. If calories in calories out were the answer, these people would eat and eat and then explode because there is only so many calories that can be burned off. Any person could run at top speed all day long and still not burn off every calorie that they ate on Thanksgiving, or example. But why don’t they blow up?

Calories matter not only because of how many you eat, but how many of them your body decides to store. Bodies decide to store fat for a multitude of reasons, which is not necessarily a bad thing because many of those reasons come from the body’s natural instinct to survive. Your body has a built in system to keep you alive by rationing your stored fat reserves in hard times. Hard times like famine, illness, stress, inflammation, etc. It was meant to be a good thing. But somewhere the good thing went awry. [Read more…]

Women, Weight Loss, and Reversing Lifestyle Illnesses

Oh boy! I’m working something so fabulous, so delicious you will want to be a part of this! But my first step is to get some valuable information to get this thing going. This program to help women learn to eat to lose weight and reverse the risk of lifestyle induced illnesses (prediabetes, obesity, heart disease, hypertension) will be:

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It’s not a bootcamp, a diet, or a bunch of supplements. I’ve done tons of research and I fully understand how our bodies work and I’ll share it with you in a simple, common sense format that you’ll be able to use forever.

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The Problem with Clean Eating

When people ask me what Nutrilicious Living is, sometimes I tell them that it’s basically this:

clean eating + incidental exercise + fun movement boosters.

eating soapHow else can I quickly describe it? But what I’ve been noticing is that clean eating is not a static or fixed term. People are running around like banshees chastising and finger-wagging at the masses about what’s good, pious, pure and pristine as opposed to bad, evil, nasty and squalid. What the hayell…it’s not like that!!

I was reading some magazine that described clean eating like this: it means joylessness, piety, self-regard, self-delusion and staggering pomposity. Gwyneth Paltrow “eats clean”, which tells you all you need to know. What she’s doing has also been described as a crackpot diet.

All this time I thought clean eating was meant to be non-dogmatic, not extremist, and certainly not a diet! Yet I’m seeing stuff like this as clean eating requirements: [Read more…]

Letting Go of Little “Isms” to Start Fresh

Every now and then I’m talking to someone and they ask what I do. But after I barely get the words food and lifestyle coach out, they frown and launch into this loud

UMPH!!

Followed by:

Ah can’t be (fill in the blank with some random healthy lifestyle behavior)

Ah can’t be…

Ah can’t be…

Now I usually just shrug it off and keep it moving but this time I just zoned out thinking about this while they went on and on about why they can’t be living a healthy lifestyle. And btw, I wasn’t trying to recruit or sell anything to this person.

So then I thought about something I learned back in the day in tantra training. It was about holding on to stories (isms). It’s a function of the ego to protect us from pain. The side effect of this protection is that it forces us to always play a part in that story, even if it means living a lie. [Read more…]

8 Colossal Mistakes that Sabotage Healthy Eating Efforts

Even for the savvy, it’s a jungle out there when it comes to eating for health. Most of the confusion is because of the foodlabelsmultimillion dollar health and weight loss product industries like it that way, so that they can continue to successfully peddle their wares. But knowing a few key tips will help with the journey.

1. Not having any goal

So you’re gonna “eat healthy”. That’s fantastic! What are you trying to accomplish? *crickets* There are so many vastly different ways of healthy eating. And the definition of healthy, based on the individual, varies just as much.

I see this sometimes in my office kitchen when I’m heating up my lunch. Sometimes a coworker comes in and sees what I’m eating (btw, I’m not a nutriligious attention whore, seeking comments and questions about the food I’m eating) and immediately launches into some unprovoked apologetic soliloquy about how they’re trying to “eat better”, while I stand there with a blank stare on my face. Then I say something mildly supportive as I walk away wondering what the hell that was about.

I never say it but I walk away wondering what exactly they meant by “eating better”?

Do you want to eat more nutritious food? Less salty? Less sugary? More plant based? Less processed? All of the above? For weight loss? Reversing diabetes? Lowering high blood pressure? Reducing heart disease danger? Eliminating inflammation? What? If you know what you’re trying to do, it would be much, much easier.

2. Taking seriously what “they” say (not knowing who the source is)

The other day I was talking to a relative who doesn’t keep up with food and health issues as intensely as I do. He kept starting his sentences with “They say,…” When I couldn’t take it any more I broke down and questioned about who “they”is (not they are, “they is considered a single entity here). He could never tell me who the “they” was who said that (across the board, even my homemade whole grain vegetable loaded) pizza is bad for you (everybody in the whole world).

Now I was playing around but I really know vaguely who “they” is. It’s some half-baked, out of context study conducted by some alarmist quack or a corporation with economic interests and presented on a dumbed-down news program. Not only are the studies often too limited or flawed, (yes I am such a geek, I actually dig them up and read them myself) but the reporters delivering the information don’t understand it themselves, or else they’d never let that nonsense come out of their mouths.

“They” is not a reliable authority. Seriously, any old body can do a “scientific” experiment and then have it published for you to read on the innanets or for the Morning News for Dummies to fixate on. [Read more…]

Vegan, Vegetarian, or Flextarian: Choosing an Eating Style

What you should knowbalancedomni

I am going to break it on down for you and dispel some crazy myths.

These days there are all kinds of ways to eat for all kinds of reasons:

  • vegan

  • vegetarian

  • flexitarian (omnivore, I only call it that for grammatical reasons)

There are myriad more ways of eating such as fruititarian, pescatarian, raw vegan, paleo, gluten free but I’m not covering them here.

Get Ready!

  • The first thing to do is to get out of your feelings. That means don’t judge (people), just stick with the facts because there are healthy, unhealthy and in-between ways of eating no matter whether you choose to go vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian.

  • Forget about who else doing what because this is a highly personal decision. Most importantly, reject blanket statements and approach with an open mind and light heart.

  • Don’t go around prothelesizing your chosen nutriligion because what’s good for you may not be good to someone else, and vice versa.

  • Don’t assume that all vegans are always scrawny and have perfectly smooth skin or that all omnivores are unhealthy and obese because neither is true.

  • Consider other aspects of your lifestyle. Are you on the go, will food restriction be too challenging for you? Will restrictive eating disrupt your social life?

  • Don’t self identify with your eating style, you are much more than your -ism. [Read more…]

Summer Solstice Homemade Barbecue Sauce UPDATE

bbq skewerHappy Summer Solstice! Do you know what that means? Yeah, yeah the earth tilts the Northern Hemisphere towards the sun and it’s the longest day of the year and all that, but also, cookout time is in full swing! And with that I’m bringing you an update to my homemade barbecue sauce post. I got lots of requests for a real recipe that non-foodies can more easily follow. So you got it!

I made another batch today and carefully noted the amounts of ingredients that I used, however, this is just the base, once you get this you can tweak the spices or add your fruit or alcohol specialty. This is for a big batch but this recipe is easy to cut in half. Once you try this I guarantee you’ll leave that jankified high fructose corn syrup and caramel coloring laden store bought sauce behind forever! [Read more…]