All posts filed under: Feel Good Lifestyle

Food for Thought- A New Kind of New Year’s Resolution

I had trouble deciding on a New Year’s resolution this year. I couldn’t really come up with anything that felt right. After a year of very clean living throughout my pregnancy and into the first couple of months of motherhood, I didn’t have any major vices to give up. More generic resolutions like “be kinder” didn’t feel proactive enough. After racking my brain I decided to stop thinking about it and trust that the right idea would eventually reveal itself. Finally on New Year’s Eve my yoga teacher casually threw out a little gem at the end of class, somewhere between “drink lots of water today” and “namaste”. I knew right then I had found an ideal mantra for the new year… What I love about it is rather than thinking of giving something up or framing things in the context of deprivation, this message encourages us to place value on the things that feed our growth, health and well-being. Let’s face it, sometimes we get attached to things that aren’t necessarily the best for …

Cooking School: How to Make Delicious Oven Roasted Vegetables

Roasting in the oven is the easiest way to make the most out of any vegetable. It’s my favorite way to cook veggies for many reasons: It brings out natural sweetness in vegetables giving them a caramelized exterior while keeping the inside moist and tender. It’s versatile, you can use whatever produce is in season at the market. Roasting is the perfect technique for batch cooking or feeding a crowd. Since you cook on a sheet pan, you can make a large quantity all at once. That means you can turn on your oven once, cook up a couple different types of veggies and have them ready to go in the fridge for the rest of the week. (3-5 days) You can roast without a recipe. Every vegetable will be enhanced by the simple addition of olive oil, salt, pepper and a little time in a hot oven. That being said, roasting is a great opportunity to get creative with your favorite spices. Once you are comfortable with the basic technique, you can have fun experimenting …

The Top 10 Foods to Buy Organic to Avoid Toxic Pesticides

We all know buying organic produce is the best choice for our bodies and the environment, but sometimes we have to make choices based on what’s in our wallet. Growing food without the use of powerful chemical insecticides and fertilizers often has higher production costs. Maintaining an organic certification can also cost farmers thousands of dollars in certification fees, which seems like an unfair burden to farmers who are trying to do the right thing, but that’s another conversation. The added expenses for the farmers translate to higher prices for us on organic produce at the grocery store.  So every year the good people at EWG rank pesticide contamination on 48 popular fruits and vegetables so we know which are the worst offenders. Their analysis is based on results of thousands of samples tested by the USDA and the FDA. They’ve found a total of 146 different pesticides residues that remain on fruits and vegetables even after they are washed and in some cases peeled. While some of the chemicals are relatively benign, others have been …

Why I Gave Up Dairy and Why it May Or May Not Be Right For You.

There are lots of factors that may lead someone to go dairy-free. For many it’s in the hope of relieving symptoms of lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome. For others it’s to avoid inflammatory responses like heartburn, lack of energy, and joint pain. Some are trying to lower their cholesterol, others are trying to lose excess weight. If you’re suffering from any of these issues you may want to experiment with cutting it out to see if you feel better. While those are all great reasons to give up dairy, the catalyst for me was not an upset tummy or bloat, in fact it was not a physical symptom at all. For me it was all thanks to a spunky little goat named Ice Cream. I met Ice Cream, ironically enough, at a cheese making class held at a farm in Alta Dena. In class there was a step-by-step discussion on cheese-making, from choosing the right milk to aging. I also learned a few facts that I found somewhat disturbing. For example, one bottle of commercial milk …

Happy Anniversary to Us! Lessons from the first year and a Valentine’s Giveaway!

No my husband didn’t propose on Valentine’s. The “us” in the headline is you and me! It’s been a year since I started The Feel Good Kitchen and I wanted to write a bit about what I’ve learned, what’s to come, and announce our first giveaway. These lessons are in regards to blogging, but I think they can also apply to other businesses, projects or relationships which is why I wanted to share. 1. Commitment is Key- I dabbled in blogging for a couple of years before I started The Feel Good Kitchen. I never really gained any traction or audience before now because I wasn’t taking it seriously. If you don’t believe what you are doing is important, no one else will either. Why would people think my content had special value if I didn’t feel that way myself? Since I started FGK things have grown relatively quickly because I am committed to sharing healthy recipes and a lifestyle that has been life-changing for me. It’s a lot of work and there is still …

10 Small Changes that can Make a BIG Difference to your Health

I hope you all had an amazing holiday season! After much family time and fabulous feasting over the holidays, I decided to kick off the new year with a 4 day cleanse at a spa called We Care in Desert Hot Springs, California. In addition to following their liquid fasting program for a few days I was able to attend several classes on nutrition and wellness. While most of the ideas weren’t new to me, (Eat veggies. Check. Exercise. Check. Meditate. Check. Be Grateful. Double check.) it was a great refresher and reminded me that little steps toward healthier living can make a big difference in how we look and feel. There’s no need for bold proclamations like- “I’m never eating carbs again!” or “I’m going to go to the gym for 2 hours everyday!” Those types of unrealistic goals usually fall by the wayside and lead to disappointment by spring. Instead, I challenge you (and myself!) to make some (or all!) of these smaller changes  in 2016. Instead of a short-lived resolution, these ideas …

10 Things Everyone Should Know About GMOs

We’ve all heard rumblings about genetically modified organisms or GMOs but there is so much information out there on both sides that it’s easy to tune out. Being a food blogger, I come into contact with information on food issues more often than most so I thought I would share, in a nutshell, what I’ve learned about GMO ingredients and why I try to avoid them at home and in my recipes. Now I know this is not a fun or sexy topic but it’s GMO awareness month so let’s bite the bullet and take a look. First  a quick intro- GMOs are living organisms whose genetic material has been manipulated in a lab to create combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and/or viral genes that don’t occur in nature. Almost all commercial GMO crops are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. The companies that sell these genetically modified seeds also sell the herbicide that can be sprayed on them in large amounts without killing them. The most common of these herbicides is …

Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Yoga- Part 1

Yoga is such a big part of my daily life, but I’ve never written about it beyond the odd Instagram post. I’m currently in Vancouver on business away from my kitchen so it’s given me time to sit and reflect on the incredible breadth of the lessons I’ve learned since I started my practice 15 years ago.  Since it seems like too much to cover in one post, I thought I’d share one lesson to begin with. After all, one is always the best place to start… 1.When in Doubt- Just Breathe. As a beginner when things get challenging in yoga class one of the first things to go is calm, steadying breathing. That can lead to a racing heart, a shaky, unsteady feeling and a face the color of an almost ripe strawberry. With practice you learn to notice when you’re holding your breath, or when it tightens up and gets jagged. With that awareness you gain the ability to bring your breath under your control again, to deepen it and slow it down. Sometimes, …

What to do about BPA?

BPA has been in the news a lot lately. The FDA recently banned the use of BPA containing plastics for use in baby bottles and sippy cups and since then there have been news stories about it everywhere. I’m not one to panic about environmental toxins (after all, stress is one of the worst things for your health!) but it is important to stay informed so we can make the best choices for ourselves and our families. Here are some questions I had and the answers I found. I hope you find them useful. What is BPA? BPA is short for Bisphenol-A, a chemical found in polycarbonate plastic, the hard clear plastic widely used in food and beverage containers like portable water bottles and in the lining of most canned goods including soups and sodas. It can leak into food and beverages stored in these containers, especially when they are acidic, high in fat or subjected to high heat such as in the dish washer or microwave. It’s been used since the 60’s and a …

Top 10 Reasons To Grow Your Own Organic Food

1. Get The Nutrition You Need and Enjoy Tastier Food! Many studies have shown that organically grown food has more minerals and nutrients that we need than food grown with synthetic pesticides. There’s a good reason why many chefs use organic foods in their recipes—they taste better. Organic farming starts with the nourishment of the soil, which eventually leads to the nourishment of the plant and, ultimately our bodies. 2. Save Money Growing your own food can help cut the cost of the grocery bill. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars and month at the grocery store on foods that don’t really nourish you, spend time in the garden, outside, exercising, learning to grow your own food. 3. Protect Future Generations The average child receives four times more exposure than an adult to at least eight widely used cancer-causing pesticides in food. Food choices you make now will impact your child’s future health. “We have not inherited the Earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children.” – Lester Brown 4. Prevent Soil Erosion Soil …