“Sage it Ain’t So”

dipping sauce1

dipping sauce 2

Dipping sauce 3

Recently I discovered this amazing herb while experimenting with one of the recipes from my FAVORITE blog. If you haven’t visited her website yet you need to stop reading this and go to her website RIGHT NOW!! You can find all her recipes at detoxinista.com and everything she makes is beyond delicious!!

Sharply flavored, Sage is one of the popular pot herbs known since ancient Roman times. This legendary herb with numerous virtues, has been in use in various traditional European and Chinese medicines for its health promoting and disease preventing properties.

Sage is a The botanical name Salvia is from the Latin for “to save or to heal,” as in the word “salvation.” The praise for sage is not unfounded: It is often used as an herbal remedy for afflictions including gas, bloating, and excessive sweating (Sage reduces gas in the intestine and is antispasmodic so it relieves cramps).
Sage has a cooling action that has been shown to reduce sweating by as much as half and stop-breast milk production (if you are breastfeeding avoid consuming sage in large amounts unless you are weaning a child from breast-feeding). This same cooling action may be of value for menopausal hot flashes accompanied by profuse perspiration.
And the best thing about it is that it makes any ordinary sauce extraordinary!!

*Sage herb when used in large amounts causes nervous irritation, convulsions and death. Hence its use is prohibited in known epileptic conditions. The herb should not be used in pregnancy as chemical compounds like thujone in it may cause uterine stimulation resulting in abortion*

 

Roasted Red Pepper Pumpkin Sage Dipping Sauce
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
Coconut oil
1 c. Milk (I used homemade almond milk but you could use any milk)
½ c. Roasted Red Peppers
½ c. Pumpkin puree
¼ c. Nutritional Yeast
1 0z Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I use Goat Cheddar)
2-3 sprigs Sage (I use extra but I LOVE the flavor. I recommend starting on the lower end and tasting as you go)
Dash Cayenne (use more if you like it spicy)
Dash Turmeric
Sea Salt + Pepper to taste

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and sautee onion and garlic in coconut oil. It should take about 10 minutes or so for the onion to soften.

While the onion and garlic are cooking add the rest of the ingredients to a blender or food processor. Add onion-garlic mixture to blender/food processor and blend until smooth.

You can eat this hot or cold. I like to use it to dip steamed broccoli in or use as a sauce for spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. This sauce will keep in the fridge for 4-6 days but never last that long in my house.

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A Month In Review

You may say I’m Lazy but I’m a beginner blogger so I’m still trying to get the hang of this. I always have great ideas for post but get busy and never put time aside to post them. So this post is a recap of everything that I wanted to post since my last post. YES, I know that was over a month ago.

My 30 Day Challenge – well this didn’t go as well as I had planned but you always learn something about yourself when you challenge yourself and fail.
“A young apprentice applied to a master carpenter for a job. The older man asked him, “Do you know your trade?” “Yes, sir!” the young man replied proudly. “Have you ever made a mistake?” the older man inquired. “No sir!” the young man answered feeling certain he would get the job. “Then there’s no way I’m going to hire you,” said the master carpenter, “because when you make one, you won’t know how to fix it.” I try to look at ever situation as an opportunity to learn and grow and not to be so hard on myself when I make a mistake.

Giving up coffee – I just couldn’t do it. I did not partake in any coffee for 2 ½ weeks. I did not have any physical withdrawal symptoms so I feel confident that I don’t need coffee to get through the day. I just really love coffee and it makes me happy so I’m not giving it up at this time!!

This is how I felt about giving up coffee...

This is how I felt about giving up coffee…

I love ice coffee in a mason jar!!

I love ice coffee in a mason jar!!

Sand, Mud, Snow – We live a pretty busy life going from one event to the next and sometimes I wonder if it’s ever going to slow down? Last month we did the Warrior Dash race (ended up covered in mud), had a BBQ at the beach and flew out that night on a red eye straight to the snow. I love our crazy busy life!!

From the mud, to the sand, to the snow

From the mud, to the sand, to the snow

Aquaponics – My birthday present last year was an aquaponics system that my husband built. It’s taken a couple months to get it going and we are finally starting to see the fruits of our labor. Growing vegetables/fruits/herbs with no soil and instead of watering your plants you feed your fish is a new concept to us so we are continually learning how this works…

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

This is our raft where we grow mixed greens and manoa lettuce

This is our raft where we grow mixed greens and manoa lettuce

Peeling eggs – I don’t know about you but peeling boiled eggs can be such a task for me sometimes. One day I can peel a dozen eggs in 3 minutes and the next day it takes me 5 minutes to peel 2 and in the process half the white of the egg is lost. FRUSTRATION at its finest. Peeling organic eggs was nearly impossible. I read that the fresher the egg is the harder it will be to peel. This made sense since my costco eggs usually peeled much easier than local organic eggs. However, there still was no consistency until a friend of mine told me her little secret and I’m going to share it with you because it’s changed my life. The secret to perfect boiled eggs is to bring a pot of water to a boil. Add eggs to the pot of boiling water and set the kitchen timer to 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove the pot from the stove to the sink and run cold water over your eggs. Peel without any trouble. Done 

Do you ever have problems peeling eggs?

Do you ever have problems peeling eggs?

Beach day – Going to the beach used to be a daily affair for me. As I was saying earlier we have a crazy busy life and getting to the beach is a rare event for me. I’m working on changing that…

Beach day with London cousins!!

Beach day with London cousins!!

Got a job – After months of searching I will finally be joining the “9 to 5” world. I’m excited, anxious, nervous, scared, etc…

Lemon water – I still have gift certificates from our wedding (which made 2 years ago just the other day) and finally got around to using them. Picked up this gigantic mason jar jug which I fill with filtered water, lemon, mint, and sometimes strawberries. We drink a lot of water so it’s nice to change it up sometimes and our garden is overflowing with mint so I needed to figure out how to use it.
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Favorite Trees are blooming – I’m in love with Jacaranda trees and can’t get over just how beautiful they are!!
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Jalapeno Nachos – When we go to the UH basketball or volleyball games my husband can’t resist the nachos. He always gets extra jalapenos just for me!! I love spicy food but can’t stand nacho cheese.

Jalapeno overload!!

Jalapeno overload!!

Green Tea – Loving this Super Green Tea with Matcha, Sencha, & Orange from Good Earth!!

Mason-jar + purple straw = standard beverage container

Mason-jar + purple straw = standard beverage container

Reading Books – I’m not much of a shopper so most of my money is spent on books. A friend of mine told me that she recently got a library card and I thought what a great idea to save money. So thank you to my friend Jaymee I will now be spending less money on books and maybe I’ll be half as fashionable as she is now that I will have money to spend on clothes.

Almond Milk – I’ve decided that I should start making my own almond milk again. I read an article on carrageenan. Carrageenan is derived from red seaweed and is used as a thickener, stabilizer, and/or emulsifier in many dairy (sour cream, yogurt, icecream) and non-dairy alternatives. Research links carrageenan to gastrointestinal inflammation, lesions and even colon cancer in animals. You should look into this ingredient and make your own informed opinion.
I’ll be posting my recipe for homemade almond milk as it’s so simple to make and doesn’t contain any preservatives or harmful substances, so you can drink it without fear.

The first step in making almond milk is soaking your almonds...

The first step in making almond milk is soaking your almonds…

I’m in Love with Sage! – One herb I can’t get enough of right now is sage. It’s so delicious that I want to put it in everything. Look for my recipe tomorrow for Roasted Red Pepper Sage Dipping Sauce!!

Now if I can just get in to the habit of posting all my ideas and recipes…

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Line in the sand

Line in the sand

I’m acknowledging my decision to ignore the social norms and I’m allowing truth to guide my choices instead. I’m drawing a line in the sand from my former ways of thinking about health and a more real acceptance of what my body is telling me.

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30 Day Challenge: Exercising My Discipline Muscle

March 6, 2013 started my 30 day self challenge. I’m not going on a diet. I don’t believe in diets. I say “it’s the way I eat” and we all and for the most part we all choose what we want to eat. I choose to eat the way I do because of the way it makes me feel. I plan to discuss the difference between diets and life style in another post.

The 30 day challenge is going to be learning more about how certain foods make me feel. When I first became interested in my health one author who’s books I stumbled upon were that of clinical nutritionist Natalia Rose (she is author of Raw Food Detox Diet, and Detox 4 Women). The principles I will be using during the next 30 days are from her Detox 4 Women book but I’m not following the program strictly as I’m adding my own twist on it.

With enormous amounts of conflicting diet advice one tends to get lost in a sea of overwhelming information and it’s hard to know what to believe is true. Weight watchers, atkins, dukan, paleo, jenny craig, eat right for your blood type, raw food, juice fast, gluten free, and the list goes on… Its time to turn our backs to the social norm and our internal programming and allow truth to guide our choices instead. Listen to what your body is telling you.

The Principles of the 30 Day Challenge
1. Vegetable Juice every morning
2. Proper food combining – “Quick Exit Combinations” (I will discuss this further in another blog post)
3. Avoid – grains, nuts, mainstream meat and poultry, beans, white flour, processed and packaged foods, and soy products.
4. Only low sugar fruit – berries, granny smith apples
5. Sun warrior protein post workouts
6. Drink 1 gallon of water a day

I will also be refraining from:
Coffee
Chewing gum
Dairy (with goat cheese being the exception)
*I will be explaining in later post why I’m choosing to avoid these 3 things as well.

While I plan to exercise my discipline muscles I will also be including daily physical exercise routines.

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments” – Jim Rohn

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Spicy Cinnamon Vanilla Roasted “Chickies”

Roasted chickpeas final

Have you ever had roasted “chickies” (AKA Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans)? If you haven’t I suggest you make this recipe ASAP!! If you are like me and love to snack this recipe is for you. Full of flavor, fiber, and low in fat, you can’t go wrong with this tasty little snack. Since I try to avoid processed foods, sugar, and salt finding a healthy alternative at times can be tough. This snack is cheap, tasty, and simple to make!!

Spicy Cinnamon Vanilla Chickies
1 15 oz. can of Garbanzo beans
1 tbs. Coconut Oil, melted
2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Vanilla powder (I used Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder which you can purchase at whole foods)
½ tsp. Cayenne pepper (if you don’t want it spicy add ¼ tsp)
½ tsp. Sea Salt
Stevia to taste: 2-3 full droppers is what I usually use. You may also add 2 packets of stevia if you do not have liquid stevia.
Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 375F degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Drain and rinse the Garbanzo beans. After you have rinsed them several times place the entire can on top of 2 paper towels. Then place another 2 sheets of paper towels on top of the beans and roll the around. You may do this several times to dry the beans. Be careful not to squish them. You want to get them as dry as you can or you may end up with soggy chickies.
Once the chickies are dried place them in a medium sized bowl and add pour the coconut oil in and stir until all the beans are coated. Then add the rest of the ingredients and make sure that everything is evenly distributed. This is also a good time to check the taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.
Pour the beans on to the prepared cookie sheet and place in the pre-heated over to bake for 40 minutes. Half way through baking open the oven and give the cookie sheet a good shake to stir the beans around. I also recommend taste testing after 40 minutes to make sure beans are crunchy enough for you. I sometimes leave them in longer so they get really crunchy.
Once cooled you can eat them all right off the pan or store them in an airtight container.

Here are photos of the step by step process.

Ingredients

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The Beginning

cupofcoffeeThe day has finally come. Like all people do at the beginning of the year, I sat down and wrote a list of my New Years Resolutions, one of them being to start a blog. Since I am a very goal oriented person I set out to start crossing things off my list, so I started a BLOG. However, one piece I forgot to add to that list was the part about posting. WHOOPS!! Well, it’s a good thing that when it’s your list of resolutions you can always add to it (or take things off, like exercise everyday or drink less coffee, HA! Who would every think such a thing?). So here I am, adding to that list to post at least twice a week for the month of February and March.

Why am I starting a blog? Good question. There really isn’t one answer to that question. At times I think it will be a waste of my time. It’s not like the web needs another blogger or what do I have to say that someone else hasn’t already shared? The answer is, I don’t know if what I share will be any different from someone else or that anyone will ever even read my post, but I’m doing it in hopes that I may inspire even just one person to live a better, happier, healthier life!!

I guess I should start at the beginning and tell you a little bit about myself (I will eventually post my story in about me once I figure that out. This blogging thing is a lot harder than I thought). I’ll give you the short version as I know you will get to know me better through other post. I was born in raised in Hawaii. I know what you’re thinking “tough life”. My father was a surfer so naturally my sisters and I grew up on the beach. Eventually as my sisters and I got older we joined my Dad out in the line-up. Surfing was my life growing up. I was also very active in other sports and played soccer and tennis. I homeschooled from kindergarten all the way through high school. My first day of school was my first day of college. While most homeschoolers (I’m not saying all, but most) lack social interactions, that was not the case for my sisters and I. Being that we lived in a small community and my mother comes from a large family there was never a question to whether or not my sisters and I interacted enough with other people. More about growing up later.

When I was in High School I started to become very interested in nutrition. My mom always had health books and cook books around the house and taught me my way around the kitchen at a young age. She always said “if you can read you can cook”. While I believe that statement 100%, I also believe that you have to love cooking or else it will just seem like a chore. I knew I always wanted to be in the medical field. The human body is amazing and I knew I wanted to learn more about it. In 2009 I graduated with my Bachelors in Nursing and became a Registered Nurse. During my final semester I completed my Complex course in the Emergency Department and knew that I wanted to be an ER nurse. Everything about the fast pace and critical thinking got me so excited. However, sometimes God has other plans for you and doors opened up for me in another direction. I didn’t start working as a nurse and went back to graduate school to become a Family Nurse Practitioner with a minor in Public Health. I also got married in 2011 while getting my masters. Thank God my husband planned the wedding because graduate school left me little time to do anything. I’ll share more about that special day in another post.
It was during my graduate education when I discovered my passion for Women’s Health. With the health of our nation at its worse, I strongly believe that a healthy mom leads to a healthy family and a healthy family leads to a healthy community. I hope that through my blog I will inspire you to take responsibility for your health, to learn to love to eat healthy, stress less, and to be thankful for everyday!!

I plan to share with you my favorite recipes, my mishaps in the kitchen, my random thoughts, health topics that interest me, how I like to “move it move it”, and a little bit of my life.
I hope this blog will challenge you and teach you new things.
From my heart,
Natalie

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