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Suzanne’s Blog

Thursday
Sep222016

Zucchini Bread with Hazelnuts, Currents, and Olive Oil: A Total Treat

I recently posted this zucchini bread photo on Facebook, and recieved tons of requests for the recipe, & so decided to share it here.  

I want to emphasize This bread is a total treat, and not an everyday indulgence, even though it has plenty of zucchini.

White flour and sugar definitely light up the pleasure centers in our brains, and may make make us happy in the short term.  This bread, eaten with a cup of coffee, fuels us up, seemingly, for running non-stop.  

BUT, there are big drawbacks to always reaching for energy from those enticing breads, scones, and bagels. Simple sugars from white flour and sugar are absorbed quickly by the body, and our blood sugar rises, but an hour or two later we’re hungry again.  Knowing this, my approach has been to stick with whole grains, vegtables, and fruits for everyday, and make foods like this occasional treats. I find I’m happier and more productive, in the long run, with foods that keep my energy steady all day.

When you do eat treats like this, it’s especially healthful to bake them yourself; you’ll know exactly what ingredients go in, and enjoy the delicious smell of it baking.

This recipe is slightly adapted from Homemade Summer by Yvette Van Boven.  

For the bread:

2 cups (150g) self-rising flour

pinch of salt

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

2/3 cup (150g) packed light brown sugar (use a bit less, if you’d like)

1 large zucchini grated

1 cup (150g) currents

1 cup (150g) raisins

3/4 cup (100g) hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

2 large eggs

1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil, plus more for greasing

For the glaze

finely grated zest of one lemon

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

make the bread:  

Preheat the ovan to 350 degrees F (170 degrees C).  Grease a 1 and a half quart pan (1 l) with oil.  

In a large bowl, mix the flour with the salt and cinnamon.  Add the brown sugar, zucchini, raisins, currents, and hazelnuts and toss well.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla  and oil, pour into all the other ingredients while stirring.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 60 to 75 min, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for 15 min.  Carefully slide a knife around the edges, then invert on a rack, and cool completely.

make the lemon glaze:

combine the lemon zest and the lemon juice with the confectioners sugar.  It will not be very thick.  You can add a lot more confectioners sugar to thicken it, but I don’t.

Pour the cooled glaze over the cooked bread and let set.

This bread will keep, stored in an airtight container, for up to one week.

Tuesday
Sep202016

Hate Diets? You're in Luck!

Depravation and restriction never work!  That’s why most people who go on diets, even if they lose weight, gain it back, or gain even more.  

The depressing truth:

—Right now 100 million Americans are on a diet, and the average dieter makes 4 or 5 attempts to lose weight per year. And yet, less than one percent of these attempts are successful, even in the short term.

—Our current situation is that two-thirds of Americans are obese.

Come on: our cultural approach to dieting is not working.

I suggest you take a radical step and refrain from “dieting” entirely—because, face it, it hasn’t worked.

Instead, I want you to start thinking about what foods truly nourish you and help you feel fantastic. Loving yourself though better nourishment is a whole different approach than a dry, restrictive, limiting, or even punishing “diet”.  I want you to enter into an utterly fresh, supportive new relationship with food. 

IMAGINE…

You listen to your body, honor it’s wisdom, and eat in a way that is satisfying, and delicious.  You eat in a way that gives you plenty of non-stop energy AND makes you feel more vibrant and alive than you have in years.  

It’s totally possible!

BUT, you’ll have to learn a new framework. And, you’ll need to dance dynamically with this new framework as you learn to actually live your new approach to nourishing yourself.  

THE THREE MOST USEFUL TIPS TO STOP DIETING:

If you, or someone you love, are struggling with health issues related to being overweight, try my three most important tips to stop “dieting” and begin to create the framework needed to support your nourishment:

1) Concentrate on eating fresh, seasonal and local foods.  Right now, in September, we’ve got an abundance of delicious options to choose from, there’s almost no better time in the northeast.

2) Eat your main meal at mid-day, and eat an earlier, lighter, dinner.  Just lighten your evening meal up a little!  I tell clients, if you are usually eating two desserts, eat one.  This slowly begins to create a shift.

3) Start noticing that when you do manage to eat earlier, and a bit lighter, you have much more energy in the morning, and are more likely to bound out of bed, ready to start your day.

It’s hard to believe, but starting small, with these three tips, can lead to big changes in your health, and in your life. Life is too short not to feel nourished!

(PS the lobster soup above, with lots of veggies and basil is one of the most nourishing things I made all last summer!)

Wednesday
Sep142016

The Green Smoothie: A Delicious Quick Fix for More Nutrition

A green smoothie made in the blender is one of the easiest ways to add micronutrients from plants to your diet. It’s a great breakfast. You can use whatever is on hand, and it will keep a day or so in the fridge. I’ve heard from clients that these smoothies give them so much energy they have not needed coffee, and are even helping them sleep better at night.  My family drinks this, even if they are having eggs for breakfast, instead of organge juice.

 

 

 

 

 Here’s my favorite for fall right now:

3-4 Kale leaves
1 handful of lettuce
1 handful of spinach 
1 banana 
1 pear or 2 plums, or whatever looks good.
1 Tablespoon Maca (A “superfood”, that bolsters the immune system.)
1/2 teaspoon spirulina (Also found in bulk in health stores.)

In winter add some fresh ginger, and use warm water

Put all ingrediants in the blender, add about a cup and a half of water, or more, blend, and enjoy.  It’s fast, delicious, and starts your day in a way that will give you lots of energy, and a jump on getting the fruits and veggies you need for good nutrition.


Friday
Sep092016

September, the New January? Three Tips for Moving Into Fall Beautifully!

I’ve always loved the “back to school” energy of September.  Remember new school shoes?   Sharpened pencils, and the smell of a new pack of crayons?   The nervousness and excitement about the beginning of the school year?  I feel some of that excitement every fall.

As an adult I recognize September as a powerful time to get organized and settled.  Fall is a great time to re-organize and re-fresh work routines, re-order your kitchen, or initiate a new and more regular exercise routine. The cooler air and longer nights support this shift naturally.

Here’s three tips to help you move through September beautifully:

1)  Consciously Create a Fall Routine

It can be helpful in this transitional time of year to make a schedule for yourself and stick to it, but be REALISTIC.  Take a small step toward your goal. Reflect on what is truly possible to add into your (most likely) very full life.  Put your your plan into your calendar. (You might notice you feel more calm and relaxed just having it in place.)  If, or when, you go off schedule, go back and see what needs to be shifted to have a fall routine that truly nourishes you.

2) Develop the Habit of Having an Earlier Lighter Dinner

Studies show that our health and happiness improve when we eat earlier.  If you want to lose weight, it’s the easiest way to do it, and one of the best ways of keeping the weight off.  Here’s a great article from the New York Times supporting the science behind this tip.  It’s not just it’s not just “how much you eat, but when you eat it, that influences weight gain.”

3)  Get More Sleep

As we move into the darker times of the year you will naturally slow down, and may feel more tired.  If you do, don’t panic, instead, listen to your body, and go to bed earlier.  In 2009, researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that people who get less than an average of seven hours of sleep nightly were three times more likely to catch a cold than those who regularly got eight or more hours of sleep.

 

 

Tuesday
Jun142016

Summer Dinners: How Easy Can They Be?  

I’m using the mantra “How easy can it be”  for summertime dinners.

Assembled salads are delicious, easy, nutritious, and take about 10 min to put together. It’s a meal my family loves. 

Use what you have on hand.  Here’s one example using what I had in my fridge: tomatoes, mixed greens, shredded red cabbage, fennel, red onion, roast chicken, and peaches.  Add olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and it’s a meal.

There are all kinds of possibilities for this dinner: sprouts, grated beets or carrots, arugula, radicchio, radishes, cukes, dill, spring onions, roasted veggies, peppers. goat cheese cheese, or humus or some lentil salad.  Variations  are endless!  

Try a dinner like this one night a week, and see how fast and easy a delicious dinner can come together. 

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