Summer to me is about lots of things that start with the letter “S”! In today’s post it was easy to select categories that have “significance” and that offer “savory accents” to our summer experiences. Food is so much a part of what we all enjoy – food is “social” as it brings us together; the “seasonal” bounty offers us a huge range of produce we don’t see any other time of the year. Summer also means we get to enjoy more “sunshine” and Vitamin D but along with that comes necessary “skincare” issues we need to attend to. Okay, maybe I’m sounding corny here, but you get where I’m coming from.
In today’s post on healthy living I hope to offer you something to try and if you’ve enjoyed something from any of my posts, I hope you’ll share!
Seasonal Eating – Farm to Table Dining
As most of you know, the “farm to table” movement is gaining momentum. Here in Denver, several restaurants offer seasonal menus and pull much of their menu items from their own gardens. It’s wonderful to be able to enjoy the bounties of each season and to experiment with produce you might not have thought to try.
In addition to restaurants embracing this movement, many towns and cities are offering sit down events as well as special event venues. Last summer we had the unique opportunity to celebrate a family gathering at “Just Right Farm” in Massachusetts. A working farm, the kids
enjoyed feeding the goats and our grandson wolfed down his from-the-farm pea soup! Kimberly and Mark, the owners/hosts, gave us a most beautiful evening and family event. If you’re looking to create a “magical” event in MA, we highly recommend giving them a call. I’m attaching a few photos from this fabulous evening, courtesy of our wonderful Massachusetts photographer, Brianne McWhinnie (briannemcwhinnie.com). ‘Tis the season everyone! Grab a group of friends and sign up for one of these.
For my friends here in Denver here are a couple near us:
- The Lyons Farmette – Click here to visit their site: http://www.lyonsfarmette.com/
- Three Leaf Farms (Lafayette, CO) – Click here to visit their site: http://threeleaffarm.com/
Meadow Lark FARM DINNERS provides a complete listing of dates and farms that are hosting through October. Many fill up fast so make your reservations soon!
Savory Summer Fare
Summer is so much about enjoying food and drinks so I’m attaching last year’s posts on some of my favorite healthy salads, beverages and healthy grilling tips. Enjoy!
Safe and Non-Toxic Grilling – Click here.
Summer Beverages – Click here.
Sumptuous Salads – Click here.
Spiralize your way to healthy cooking this summer! This is basically spiraling noodles from fruits and vegetables. There are some great little tools on the market that make this a fun and creative way to eat healthy! I’ve listed my top recommendation below.
Did you know vegetable and fruit noodles are:
- Naturally gluten-free
- Vegetarian and Vegan
- Aid with weight loss-no processed ingredients and leaves you feeling full longer
- Kid Friendly
- Quick and easy
- Economical – you get a lot of mileage out of spiralized noodles
A great site with more of the benefits of Spiralizing is: inspiralized.com – the benefits
So which spiralizer to buy? After much research, the Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Spiral Slicer is the one most recommended and the one have. You can order off Amazon for $29.99. The reviews are terrific along with Ali Maffucci’s book, “Inspiralized: Turn Vegetables into Healthy Creative, Satisfying Meals” It’s $11.50 in paperback on Amazon.
Some dear friends recently cooked us an amazing dinner with spiralized, thin yellow beets. They were kind enough to share their recipe from Williams and Sonoma’s “The Spiralizer Cookbook.” Golden Beet Pasta with Beet Greens and Goat Cheese published by Weldon Owen. Yum! Click here for the recipe.
NOTE: If you decide to try the recipe here is a list of tips from our friend, Seth who has made the recipe several times:
- Overall I try to use ~ 4½ – 5 Tbsps of olive oil instead of the 6 called for in the recipe. I made it with 6 Tbsp the first time and Mary and I agreed it was too oily.
- You can get by with fewer beets; 4 beets is easily enough for 4 servings as a main dish.
- I find it takes about twice as long to cook the beets as recommended.
- At the end of the recipe, it says to toss w/ 2/3rds of the vinaigrette. I’d suggest starting with only ½ the vinaigrette at first and then you can add more to taste. It’s good with a full 2/3rds of the vinaigrette but pretty sweet and strong.
Superior Packaged Clean Eating Products!
Clean Eating Magazine just announced their Clean Choice Awards! This amazing group just announced their top 100 packaged products in 15 categories. I love that this year’s committed panel worked tireless to bring us their top cleanest and healthiest offerings. Check it out! http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/clean-choice-awards/
Stings and Bites… Not This Time!
It’s that time of the year and my recommendations for non-toxic insect repellents remain the same as last year’s, so here they are:
You can’t avoid hot, stuffy cars in the summer, but read this post for some healthy tips: Click here.
According to Chinese Medicine, one’s neck is the most vulnerable area on the body for wind and “bad chi” to enter. My chiropractor reminded me this past spring to continue to keep a light scarf around my neck even during the summer months when we transition from outdoors to air conditioned buildings. It’s a nice way to accessorize and it’s a healthy way to stay well. And let’s not forget that guys that wear light scarves often look chic and European!
Yes, there is way to look healthy and keep your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. If you didn’t catch my post from last year or just want to refresh, be sure to check this out! Click here.
Did you know that most of us tend to miss our ears, necks, back of our legs middle of our backs when applying sunscreen? And according to a recent article I read these are the places doctors often find skin cancer. The article also notes that “more melanoma (the deadliest type) is found on men’s backs and the backs of women’s calves than anywhere else.” Let’s remember to enlist family or friends to help us apply our sunscreen protection to those “hard-to-reach” places. And guys, don’t forget those sensitive bald spots.
For my comprehensive recommendations on the healthiest sunscreens out there as well as applications, click here.
Spices and Herbs that Heal
- Basil – Can relieve gas and soothe upset stomach
- Black pepper – Relieves indigestion
- Cayenne – Can stop a heart attack
- Cinnamon – Helps lower blood pressure
- Cloves – Anti-microbial
- Dill – Treats heartburn, colic and gas
- Fennel – Can reduce bad breath and body odor
- Garlic – Natural antiseptic
- Ginger – Anti-nausea remedy
- Mint – Can help with hiccups
- Oregano – Helps relax stomach muscles
- Rosemary – Anti-oxidant
- Sage – Antiseptic and antibiotic
- Thyme – Relaxes respiratory muscles
- Turmeric – Anti-cancer
Spiritual Significance of Namaste
In light of the past month and recent violence both here at home and globally, I find myself coming back to the word and gesture of “Namaste.” Many of you who practice yoga or do healing work know this greeting well.
What does it mean? Pronounced Nah-Mes-Tay, it is a respectful form of greeting in Hindu custom. It is most commonly spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest or heart. It means “I bow to the divine in you.” The greeting may also be spoken with the gesture carrying the same meaning.
Why does practicing namaste have a deeper spiritual significance? Because it recognizes the belief that the life force, the divine, the Self or the God in me is the same in everyone and all. By acknowledging this oneness with the meeting of the palms, we honor the god in the person we meet.
In the midst of a world we cannot control, can we at least seek to honor the goodness and divine in all we meet. We don’t have to be Hindu to appreciate and adopt a simple practice of “Namaste.” May the divine in me see the divine in you.
Namaste and Happy Summer everyone!
Seek, Share, Shine and LOVE!
If you “Like” this post, I’d be thrilled if you’d share it.