Friday, January 29, 2010

Where Does Your Food Come From? PLEASE, GET INFORMED!

Where Does Your Food Come From?
Sara B Consulting Principle #3: Clean Eating you know? Do you care to know? The wonderful thing is you can choose to know and I encourage you to do so.

So what's the buzz, why do I care. I know some think it's crazy or unaffordable to buy a lb of grass fed beef or a bag of organic apples for an extra dollar or two. My goal is to help you get informed, from there you have the wonderful right to make a choice. There is always two sides to a story and I encourage you to have an opinion, this is the side I believe in and why I think there needs to be a "FOOD REVOLUTION."

Small steps, that's all you have to do. Start with one food item, one meal, grow from there...

Here's some resources for you to learn from:

I can try to share facts and info, but Michael Pollan, Author of Omnivore's Dilemma and Food Rules, will do it much better from this clip from Oprah:
the end gets cuts off but what they go on to say is "bottom get to choose what's best for you and your family"

Food Inc. Movie trailer (you can rent this on Netflix):
couple quotes from Food Inc: "You can get to vote 3 times a day." "An average meals travels 1500 miles." "you can change the world with every bite."

Simple ways for you to help:
1. shop at your local farmer's market
2. join a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)'s one in Des Moines/Ames:
3. start a garden!

Random note: I am proud to say Iowa City was voted one of the healthiest of the criteria: availability of local produce

To help make my vote count I have recently found two local farmers I can purchase food from:
Grass Run Farm in Dorchester, IA
Friendly Farm in Iowa City, IA:
I am very excited about supporting these local farmers.

Do I buy 100% organic/natural/grass fed...NO, but I make a point to commit on a few items at a time. apples were actually cheaper than regular apples at HyVee last week.

Why grass fed:

"Switching a cow from grass to grain is so disturbing to the animal's digestive system that it can kill the animal if not done gradually and if the animal is not continually fed antibiotics. These animals are designed to forage, but we make them eat grain, primarily corn, in order to make them as fat as possible as fast as possible.
Grass-fed beef not only is lower in overall fat and in saturated fat, but it has the added advantage of providing more omega-3 fats. These crucial healthy fats are most plentiful in flaxseeds and fish, and are also found in walnuts, soybeans and in meat from animals that have grazed on omega-3 rich grass. When cattle are taken off grass, though, and shipped to a feedlot to be fattened on grain, they immediately begin losing the omega-3s they have stored in their tissues. As a consequence, the meat from feedlot animals typically contains only 15- 50 percent as much omega-3s as that from grass-fed livestock." Food Revolution by John Robbins

Last night I made:

grass fed hamburgers with sauteed mushrooms

sprinkle a little Lawry's on them or other seasoning and grill away

sauteed mushrooms in olive oil


Health Fair at Simpson College
Indianola, IA

I had a great time speaking with all the students and faculty and comparing the sugar of common high caloric drinks

5 lbs of certainly drew a crowd

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winter Tomato Soup

I told you I was on a soup kick...

J and I were craving grilled cheese and tomato soup the other day.
However, I was so disappointed when I looked at a tomato soup can and saw high fructose corn syrup in the ingredients. I should have known. Not to be defeated, I decided it was time to clean up my tomato soup!

Winter Tomato Soup
My friend Abby A. gave me this recipe...thanks Abby!
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion
2 clove garlic, chopped or 1 tsp jarred chopped garlic
2 T no salt added tomato paste
1 tsp stevia, agave nectar or honey
1 tsp thyme
1 bat leaf
2 cans no salt added diced tomatoes (I used olive oil and garlic seasoned)
1/4 c fat free milk
2 t plain yogurt or plain Greek yogurt
heat olive oil in medium sauce pan. cook onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, sugar source, thyme, bay leaf, tomatoes and juices, and 2 c water. Stir together and bring to boil. reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove bay leaf, Using handheld blender, puree soup in saucepan until smooth. (if doing this in blender, let soup cool and blend in batches).

Add milk and yogurt to soup and stir in. let soup warm, salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Make 4 servings but I suggest doubling it as you'll want leftovers!
Nutrition: 76 cals, 1.5g fat, 14g carbs, 3g fiber, 3 g protein.

Another tasty vegetarian, protein packed soup is my Aunt Barb's Quinoa Soup (found under soups)

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

see you at the Simpson Health Fair Thursday from 11-2

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Black Eyed Pea Soup

Recently, I have been cooking with more beans. I am trying to replace one meal a week with a vegetarian option....1. because meat can get expensive and 2. it adds more variety to J and I's diet.

Beans are an excellent source or protein, carbohydrates, and fiber (I think we all know that one). "but what about the sodium" you ask?
Well there are two simple solutions to that

1. Cook with dried beans. This is very easy and you can cut the cooking time in half by soaking them overnight.
2. Rinse and drain your beans that come canned. A recent study done by the University of Tennessee showed that draining reduced sodium by 35% and rinsing reduced it by 41%!

Black Eyed Pea Soup

look at these beautiful beans

3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine
5 firm potatoes, well scrubbed and grated
4 stalk of celery with leaves, chopped fine
5 small firm zucchini, trimmed and grated
2 parsnips, peeled and grated
2 thick carrots, peeled and grated
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and passed through garlic press (or finely chopped)
6 C Watkins chicken broth or vegetable stock
1 tsp sea salt
pinch of black pepper
1-2 C black eyed peas, cooked in water until tender (about 45minutes) or rinsed and drained
handful or fresh parsley or dried, chopped

Add olive oil to soup pan or Dutch oven. Heat on medium-high. Add onion and cook until soft. Place grated potatoes into pan and stir. Add other veggies and garlic and stir well. Add stock, sea salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.

Let simmer for several minutes. Using hand immersion blender, puree soup until quite smooth. Add black-eyed peas and simmer until heated through. Ladle into bowls, garnish with extra beans and parsley. Enjoy!

Nutrition for 2 cups: 238 calories, 8g protein, 41g carbs, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 7g fiber, 700mg sodium (less if you use dried beans)

Did you know: according to recent studies, grating food helps breakdown plant material, which increases the body's ability to absorb nutrients.

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good...

come see me at the Simpson Health Fair on Thursday from 11-2

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hello CrossFitters!

I wanted to post pics from two CrossFit boxes I am fond of!

CrossFit Des Moines with Coach Mike Brown
setting up up the box (gym)

equipment arrived....bells, bars, and balls

teamwork...we're all about the team atmosphere at CF!

Dad and I spraying away...I think I may be spraying Dad more than I am the equipment

Mike showing off his hulk-like strength

J spotting Mike in a handstand pushup

breaking the place in with a WOD

I finally figured out how to post videos! Wahoo!
CrossFit Epic over here in Iowa City with Coach Jason Jameson

Mike joined them for the lumberjack WOD, fundraiser for Ft. Hood

showing a good box jump...full extension on the top

sorry no scrumptious recipes today, but I am sure you can find one in the archives to fix this weekend! perhaps a warm soup or nutrient packed veggie hash?
Until next time...
look, good, feel good, do good

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jeremy's Birthday!

Yesterday at 10;21AM, 35 years ago....Jeremy Lee Schwertfeger was born!
So we celebrate!

A day full of J's favorites! Sushi for lunch!

and breakfast for dinner! followed by getting cozy by the fire, watching a good flick, and in bed by 10PM!
I know...we're crazy.
the spread: whole wheat waffles with homemade strawberry sauce, hard eggs, sliced avocado, and one giant pummelo
check out the girth on this thing. nice flavorful fruit....not as sweet as a grapefruit
Strawberry Sauce:
1 bag of frozen or one pound of fresh strawberries, pureed in food processor, pour into saucepan and heat over medium heat, add splash of lemon juice and 2 T maple syrup. Viola....a nice, clean, nutrient packed sauce.

protein pumpkin pie for dessert

Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Almond Mania: Almond Milk and Almond Butter Bars

Yesterday was a great day! I managed to get all 3 of my resolutions in! I read from my Women on the Bible book, I attended hot house yoga, AND I made a clean recipe!
Remember how I said I was going to attempt to make almond milk....well I DID IT!
Almond milk
is a good alternative to those that can't tolerate the lactose in regular diary milk.

Almond Breeze is a brand you can purchase....but seriously this was a breeze to make and tastes just as good.
Here's the very breezy process:
first you need one of these....

nut milk sack....I purchased mine online after googling them
soak 1 cup almonds over night (8-12hours) in about 2 cups water

rinse almonds and place in blender with 4 cups fresh water, blend away!
my almonds were almonds pieces so they blended easily.

when almonds are well blended and you have a nice white liquid, place milk sack in a glass jar and pour liquid through (may take an extra set of hand...J helped).
gently pull the sack out of the milk and squeeze out any excess milk.
(don't throw out the ground up almonds leftover in the sack...see use for it below!)

flavor you milk with a little Stevia, Agave Nectar, honey, and/or vanilla
YUM YUM! Santa's in for a treat next year with his cookies!

Almond Meal...that leftover stuff in the sack.
there are lots of things you can bake/cook with it, but the easiest is spreading it on a baking sheet, sprinkling it with cinnamon and brown sugar and baking at 350F for about 10-15 minutes.
J and I like is a top our steal cut oats in the morning

Almond Butter Bars
these are soooo incredibly's almost ridiculous
my friend Abby came over to help me whip these up. With both of us being active we thought these would be a tasty treat to keep us fueled throughout the day.
1/2 C raw, unsalted almonds
1/2 C walnuts or pecans
1T butter mixed with 1 T olive oil (I used Smart Balance tub butter)
1/2 C natural almond butter (you could use peanut butter as well...I suggest natural still)
2 T maple syrup
1 tsp honey
pinch sea salt
1 tsp Watkins vanilla
1 T instant coffee granules (now we're talking)
1-2 T sesame seeds
1/2 C craisins
1/2 C dried apple slices or other dried fruit
preheat oven to 400F, line baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly spray with Pam. arrange nuts on baking sheet and roast for 8 minutes.

transfer nuts to food processor and process until coarsely chopped. set aside.
in large mixing bowl combine butter and oil, almond butter, syrup, honey, and sea salt. Mix well. add vanilla, coffee, nuts, and sesame seeds. Combine well.
add berries and fruit. press into 8x4 in. pan. let set in fridge or freezer for 1 hour. cut into bars once hardened. For an easy take with you snack...wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in freezer.
Nutrition for 1 bar: 419 calories, prot 8g, carbs 29g, fat 33g, sat fat 2g, trans fat 0g
Until next time...
look good, feel good, do good