Monday, May 20, 2013

Guest Blogger: Shares Skin/Beauty Secrets

Hi Folks!

Every now and then I have an interested in guest blogging.  Here is an enthusiastic fan who would like to share some input on beauty secrets and the benefits macrobiotic principles can offer.....check out her stuff!

By Eve Pearce

Macrobiotics for Beautiful Skin
For some of us, the decision to go macrobiotic is borne of a need to heal following disease; for others, it is a health choice, inspired by the desire to live a longer, healthier life and to stave off diseases like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Despite the profound reasons that lead us to macrobiotics, there is a collateral benefit most of us probably didn't consider when we decided to make such a big lifetime change: beautiful, glowing skin, the kind that no amount of creams, serums and injections, can bestow. The macrobiotic diet is a wonderful anti-ageing tool that keeps us young in a number of ways:

 * It shuns sugar: Sugar does much more than make us fat or even diabetic; it makes us look old! When you consume sugar and processed and refined carbohydrates like pasta and bread, glucose levels rise to alarmingly high levels, remaining for too long in the body and causing the pancreas to produce too much insulin. Your body becomes insulin resistant and is unable to turn glucose into energy. Not only do you feel fatigued, but your skin cells become incapable of functioning properly in the midst of such a polluted environment. This causes wrinkles, sagging and spots, making you look as bad as you may already feel. The process goes beyond 'cell confusion'; excess glucose binds to chains of protein, forming advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs), which cause inflammation and increase the rhythm of free radical production. When glucose binds to collagen within the skin, the normally tight, ordered bundles (which keep skin looking tight and smooth) link together and grow stiff, losing their flexibility. This leads to deep creases, wrinkles and puffiness in areas like the nasal-labial fold and around the eyes.

The damage goes even deeper; glucose binds to DNA and RNA within skin cells, leading to abnormal functioning and the formation of mutations when cells reproduce.

 * A macrobiotic diet promotes the intake of whole grains: These contain phosphorous, an essential element for beautiful skin and healthy bones. Especially when soaked, fermented or sprouted, seeds and grains are easy to digest and their Vitamin intake is significantly increased.

 * It promotes the intake of healthy anti-oxidants: The latter are found in especially in non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits. These improve our immune functioning, avoid premature ageing, and work to stabilize vitamins, working alongside them to increase the nutritional value of the foods we consume. There are over 20,000 different phytochemicals identified in fresh fruit and vegetables; many of them protect against harmful UV radiation and free radicals in the environment, two major causes of skin ageing.

 * A macrobiotic diet shuns saturated fats, focusing on a healthy blend of Omega-6 (found in nuts and seeds and avocados) and Omega-3 (found in wild fish, linseed and linseed oil, and walnuts) fats.

 * It promotes the intake of good protein: While many people who follow a macrobiotic diet also avoid meat, others do not; at any rate, all forms of the diet embrace quality, organic protein obtained from ethical sources. This greatly benefits the skin because skin uses almost 50,000 different proteins to carry out its many functions (which include building muscles, enzymes, hormones, antibodies, nerves and collagen). If you are a vegetarian, it is definitely possible to find good protein sources. Whey Protein has all the protein power of dairy without the cholesterol or high fat content. Other, non-dairy sources of protein include eggs, organic tofu and fish, all of which are freely used in a good macrobiotic diet. Grains and pulses are also a major part of macrobiotics, though we should take a note from beauty and nutrition expert, Leslie Kenton, who, in her book The Skin Revolution, reminds us that grains and legumes have opposite protein profiles; legumes are high in lysine and low in methionine, while for grains, the opposite rings true. It therefore is a good idea to combine grains and legumes in the same meal, to ensure the consumption of the most complete protein profile possible.

 * It promotes a stress-free lifestyle: Cortisol, the so-called 'stress hormone', ages our muscles, bones and skins in untold ways. By embracing an integrated lifestyle that takes our physical and mental well-being into account, a macrobiotic diet approaches health and beauty the best way there is: from inside-out.
Meet The Author Eve Pearce:
Mother of two, who majored in health and nutrition before going to work in the industry. Motherhood made her make a career decision to switch from working in a company to staying home and growing a writing career allowing her to spend quality time with her daughters.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The secret to avoid "unwanted" eating!

Who's hungry?  I'm starving!

If you're anything like me, I'm hungry 70-80% of the day.  I'm a constantly active person.  Whether it's dancing at rehearsal, taking a yoga class, or sitting at an office desk doing brain work, we use a lot of energy.  All that energy needs to be replaced, and that's why we eat, to fuel our bodies!

Okay, fine "duh!" you all know this already. But the big question comes when we ARE eating 3 meals a day and yet we are STILL not satisfied.  It's a common worry of people who are new to changing their diets (including myself).  "I just don't feel like the food is satisfying my hunger).

Here are a few questions (and answers) that you should be asking yourself about your eating:

1. Am I eating the right foods to support my daily activity?
The more active you are, the more minerals and protein (yes protein), you will need.  But don't think that having 1 dish is going to satisfy a craving, you need them ALL.  A grain, a protein, a few vegetables, AND leafy greens!  Bottom line, eat a complete meal 3x a day.  

2. Am I absorbing my food/chewing enough?
Can we take a minute here people?  No one wants to see you shoving food down your mouths.  Chew Chew Chew!  Make it a routine.  Take a quick second before you eat and be thankful for the food that is sitting before you. You might be overeating because you're body is still thinking that it hasn't got any nutrients yet (even though your vegetable stir-fried rice bowl is empty, along with your cauliflower salad, and steamed yams).

3. Maybe I'm eating one thing, but craving something different.
Pay attention to your cravings!  If you're suddenly desperately wanting that cookie sitting next to your desk, maybe it's because you didn't have enough sweetness in your meal.  Desserts are important!  Make them fresh and healthy.  But let's be honest, if its just that 1 cookie that's going to settle your craving, DO IT GUILT FREE!

4. Beware the comfort foods!
Or, maybe you really don't want that cookie, but you're so stressed about the overdue assignment that you turn to the cookie to make you feel better?  Yes, we've all been there.  I've even been where it's not just 1, or 2, or 3 cookies....  Next thing I'm asking myself is "why did I do that, because I feel like crap!"  

5. Don't let yourself get TOO hungry!
Be aware of how much time passes between meals.  Did you skip breakfast this morning and run out the door thinking that you were going to eat your breakfast on the train and then realized you forget a fork/spoon?  Oh wait, that must have been me.  Immediately when we are starving, we start picking on snacks or whatever is accessible to us.  I'm not going to say I was almost tempted to stop in the bagel store which I was walking pass.  Why? Because it's easier!  Right?  Wrong!  I was just too hungry to think about the consequences.  So, if you need help avoiding those pressures, make a deal with yourself.  Go back to your desk, eat every food that your brought with you to work, and then if you're still hungry, you can go to the bagel store.  

Turns out, you're never hungry after a good meal =)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Holiday Foods...lets stick to the Roots

A simple little dish that I made on Christmas Day.

Brussels sprouts
Sweet Potatoes
Red Onion
White Wine
Garlic powder
Sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Chop all your vegetables into 1-inch pieces. You want them all to cook evenly. The Brussels sprouts should be steamed and cut in half (so try to make it match them). Place all vegetables into a big bowl. Coat with a good amount of olive oil. Then add all your seasoning. (You can get creative here).

Spread the vegetables out in a pan that can hold liquid. Coal the vegetables with a bit of white wine so there is liquid to cook in. You do not want them over over lap. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and roast for about 30minutes. Check to see if they are tender, put back in oven uncovered for another 5-10mins.

Have a yummy holiday!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Warming Ginger Adzuki Bean Soup Recipe

 Is it just me...or does anyone else feel that cold front coming in?

I put this little soup dish together and it did just the time trick!  
(warning this soup might de-chill, decongest, and detoxify your body, and just make you feel all sorts of wonderfulness!)

Adzuki bean
Lotus root
Sesame oil
Ginger Root

I advise you to use cooked or partially cooked adzuki beans for this dish.  If you don't have them, you can make them ahead of time.  They cook for 60 minutes with a small piece of kombu.

 Dice up your lotus root, carrot, onion, and celery all to the sizes similar to the aduzki bean.  Set aside.  

Add a little sesame oil to the bottom of your soup pot.  Add vegetable one at a time, sauteing into the oil and cover each time in this order:  onion, lotus root and carrot.  Sesame with a little turmeric each time you add the vegetable.  If the beans are not completely cooked don't add salt yet.  If they are, you can salt as you go.  Adzuki bean are added last.  Add enough water to cover all the vegetables and bring to a boil.  

Cooking time depends on your adzuki beans.  If they are already completely cook, the soup should cook for about 10-15 minutes.  I like to add my celery when there's only about 5 minutes left so it stays a little crunchy.  That would be a good time to add your salt for seasoning. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Travel Foods!

I always get asked about food while traveling:

What do I eat?
Do I bring food?
What do I made that easy to travel with?
How do I carry it?

Here it is! I call it Sushi-a-go-go!
Homemade tempeh, avocado, ume rolls.

Sushi is always so great on the go for many reasons.

- It's a complete meal. You can get your grain, veggies, and some high minerals packed in one.
- You don't need utensils to each it and its not messy.
- The nori almost acts as a preservative. Don't cut the sushi until you're almost ready to eat it. It will last longer. And it doesn't need to be refrigerated.

Packed in a leftover "to go" box. Yes, it's plastic but as look as you don't put anything too hot in them it's fine. Also makes it easier to dispose when it's empty.

For someone as "on the go" as me, I couldn't get through without my food.

I'm off...up up and away!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Little Macrobiotic Christmas Humor?

What Do You Get When You Show Up To A Macrobiotic Christmas Potluck and there is a grab bag?

A Shittake Mushroom Christmas Ornament!!!!


Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2012

WRAP It Up!: Lunch Help For Those On The Go...

 I can't tell you how often I get asked: 

What do I bring with me to lunch?
What do I give my child to take with them to school?
How do I make time for lunch with my busy schedule?

Here's my answer:  WRAP IT UP!

I work with a lot of people who barely have time in their busy lives to cook one meal a day.  Because I can't convince them to change their patterns of living, I try to teach people to work with the best they have.  That means working smart!  When you cook that one big meal a day, be sure to make lots of left overs!  Left overs will be your best friend <3 p="p">

Remember the tempeh I made earlier this week?  Well here is the leftovers for you.   I pulled together some white rice, added some avocado, and dressed it with a little mustard or veganese (either or both, whatever you like) and wrapped it all in a spinach tortilla.  So yummy!!!  This dish will last a few hours out of the frig, so it's perfect to throw in a lunch bag and bring to the office or school.  

So, let's call this my WRAP IT UP segment...hoping to post more inspiring wraps each month.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Winter Time Lunch...For those of Us With A "Sweet Tooth"

This was a great balanced meal!  The ginger made my nose run....Great for the cold weather coming in.  

Root Vegetable Ginger Soup

White Cod Fish
cooked in Bok Choy Greens and Onions 

Sweet Potatoes 
with cinnamon and mochi

Boiled Millet 
top with roasted sesame gomashio 

Bon Appetite!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Round me up some Fried Tempeh!

 "Smells like McDonald's and taste like heaven!"

Here is one of my secret little tempeh recipes:

Soy tempeh (but you can use any flavor)
Extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil (for deeper frying)

Pre-soak the tempeh with a large sheeting kombu and dried shiitake mushrooms. It should soak for a good hour. Save the soaking water!

Cut your tempeh into slices and fry in oil on both sides until crispy golden brown. Set aside.

Dice up the sheet of kombu and your shiitakes into stripes. Add all back to frying pan and include the soaking water. You want enough water to just about cover the tempeh. You're going to also add your shoyu and mirin seasoning. Be generous. Cover and cook for a good 30-40 mins or until all the water is absorb. Flip half way thru and re-season.


Monday, October 15, 2012

The Road to DANCE!

Dear Blog Readers:

You all know my story.  The true motivation that has brought me to a "healing journey" is the passion I have for dance and the love of a stage.

This past Saturday night, I over came yet another milestone.  After 5 years (long years) I returned to the stage!  I performance with a company called Danceworks NYC and the show was held in the Miller Theater at Columbia University.

What a remarkable night!

In December 2011, I made a pack with myself (a new year's resolution you might say) which was to be back on the stage before the end of the year.  You see, despite conquering Ulcerative Colitis, just living day to day wasn't enough for me. I need to dance!  I'm sure so many of you can relate to having extreme dreams and visions of how you want life to be.  I'm here to tell you not to give up on that.  I needed to accept that I'm pushing beyond our body's expectations and I would need to make certain life choices to support this activity.  It was time to eat, not just to heal, but for the LIFE I wanted to live!

This was NOT as easy road for me to get my body to do what I wanted it to do again.  Dealing with many injures, inflammation, and chronic pains.   My lack of physical activity, past dancer injures, lagging inflammation had made even walking difficult on many days over the past 4 years.  The key is to be patient with yourself.  LISTEN to your body and LISTEN to your heart.  It will never lead you wrong.  Be grateful for life and every moment we spend here. Food is just food!  Let it be the real deal and ALWAYS the number 1 priority in your life.  If we don't nourish ourselves, no one else will.

Always remember to say THANK YOU!

Here is a video of the dress rehearsal before the performance.  Presenting The Rite, choreographed by Tom Lewkowitz.  So thrilled to be able to share this with you!

Some more photos of some of the best girls I've had the privilege to dance with:

This is just the beginning!!

For those who suffer with IBD every day, Please don't give up!