Friday, June 28, 2013


Recently I was asked about detoxing especially after a major surgery. Here's my advice for anyone trying to detox their body of unwanted toxins, or in this case, after strong pain medications.

"A diet focused on probiotic containing foods, fruits and vegetables is always safe, effective way to help your body take a break from harder to digest foods. 

Start by drinking 60 oz of water every day, then include two servings of probiotic containing foods like kombucha, kefir and yogurt. Try eating vegan as much as possible (if so desired, adding clean and lean meats) and increasing healthy fat intake from avocado and extra virgin olive oil (or equally clean fats.) 

Really, the most benefit is derived from LOTS of greens, not just in salads or raw but sautéed or in smoothies or juicing. You can't go wrong with it unless you are on blood thinners. Other foods like cabbage, celery, many asian vegetables would be beneficial as well for detoxifying the liver. These foods have also high amounts of fiber which can help relieve the constipation related to higher doses of pain medication. They are rich in iron, calcium as well as B vitamins.

Adding in lots of spices such as cinnamon and fresh ginger to your food choices as well as lemon or grapefruit into your drinks can really 'flush' your body with anti-inflammatory antioxidants and reduce stiffness or muscle soreness.

Lastly I highly recommend yoga or therapeutic stretching (if your doctor okays it) to get all that muscle stiffness associated with surgery or stress out of your body. I did that this spring when I was trying to recover from writing our book and needed to rejuvenate my system. 

As always consult with a dietitian or doctor to confirm what would be best for your body.

As always, choose to do something worth it--even if its just cutting back on sugar and eating two vegetables for dinner, you will still be making strides towards a healthier, stronger body.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The 2nd time I fell in love...

A blogger I love to read asked if it was normal to feel sentimental about loving your first baby as you prepare for the second.


Not that I'm not totally in love with my little guy, and his sweet golden curls, but the first moment I saw her, I knew I would love her as fiercely as I ever could.

Where did this fierce and beautiful creature come from? She is, as her name implies, 'each of the two'-- a powerful combination of two firstborn children all wrapped up into one empathetic, curious, creative, people-loving powerhouse.
Five years ago today (on a equally hot day) in Phoenix, I met her. We kept it a surprise but, o, how had I wished for a girl! And now that I know her a little better I am even more excited to see what kind of woman she becomes.

Happy Birthday dear girl-- who else would I make a five layered, strawberry blueberry rainbow cake for but you?

Pantry basics

There are those moments we all have, when we open up the fridge door or the cupboard and we just stare.

No, the Pioneer Woman is not in your back field, and Ina Garten has not invited you over for dinner. It's just you and the fridge and the pantry. You need an edible meal and fast. 

So what do you do, when you haven't planned a thing and you are looking at a bunch of random ingredients and the kids are screaming and you're about to fall over from hunger yourself? This is when you need a secret weapon. And no, it is not take-out {although I do recommend saving a good two of those on speed dial for those nights when cooking would equal more yelling than eating.} 

You need a good pantry.

Here's a new handout I posted on Pinterest
to show you what I keep around on hand in my pantry and fridge to solve the dinner crisis hour.

What am I making this week?

 Roasted Organic Chicken Drumsticks with Steamed Cauliflower and Garlic Sautéed Rainbow Chard
 Steak Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Homemade Buttermilk Ranch (leftovers from party)
 Tomato and Garlic Shrimp over Linguine (Kate's birthday) and Salad
 Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado Sandwiches and Sliced Watermelon
 Thai Quinoa Salad with Peanut Dressing
 Beef and Black Bean Tacos with Salsa

See! I don't make complicated dinners and I don't have a huge pantry. We just try to incorporate at least two vegetable servings into every dinner and mix in kid friendly food nights with more adventurous nights as well.

Happy pantry digging! Cleaning out your pantry is a great way to restart your diet into a healthier path.

Monday, June 24, 2013

"I'm Hungry"

If you're kids are like mine, they are hungry. "I'm hungry, Mom," or "Mommy, I need a 'nack," and "I'm starving." My friend and I always say that the sunshine makes them grow. Summer heat is here and the fridge cannot stay open any longer or my precious butter will melt. 

But what to feed them?  I'm with you. I definitely don't have it figured out. So, take this as a {public} brainstorming session. And don't think I came up with all of these myself; intelligence is often found in copying smarter people than yourself.

First of all, some education. You don't need as many calories as a kid does. What?!? You might be confused, but by weight little kids need more calories than adults. Basic nutrition science has determined that little kids need more calories and protein than adults, because they are physically adding mass to their body every minute until they are eighteen to twenty-two. Which would explain why they want to eat every. single. minute. of. the. day.

Let's start with MORE. My philosophy is that we all need to see nutrition through the MORE googles, not the LESS goggle. If adults don't take this approach, then the kids will imitate the bad habits, including negative attitudes about food.

What should you eat more?
More vegetables.
More nuts.
More seeds.
More dairy.
More vegetarian.

The science is there. Study after study after study show us that we should eat more of these foods, yet we continue to offer, buy and shop for prepared foods for our children. Now, don't get me wrong, I feed my children the occasional Cheezits. I don't want them growing up with a neurosis because their mother is a dietitian. And I want to help them learn to be inwardly motivated to be healthy.

Take the peanut-butter and Nutella phenomenon at my house as a case study. When I moved from Arizona to Virginia, I couldn't make and take my spring batch of strawberry jam. So we got a little overly attached to Nutella and peanut butter sandwiches all winter long. 

The other day my daughter comes to me and say, "O, Mom, I have such a tummy ache. I ate too much peanut butter and chocolate, and now my body hurts." I told her it was her fault for scooping out and eating a 1/2 cup of each of them as a snack and told her that too much of a good thing is just too much. 

So we parents, and I'm including myself in this, need to manage our children's appetites. Not that we deny them when they are hungry or thirsty, but, we should be teaching them which foods are better choices. Don't buy it if you don't want them to eat too much of it. Neither should we keep 90% snack foods in our pantries and then expect them to choose the withered apple in the fridge. 

We have to be more strategic. I always tell my friends and clients that we don't let our children choose whether or not they brush their teeth, so neither should we make healthy foods optional.

Here's a list of some snacks we keep around and I try to encourage:

Hope you pull out a snack out of the back of your pantry, sit down and enjoy a summer snack with your kids!