Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Secret You Should Know

This is a belted kingfisher.  They are fish-eating birds, and go plunge-diving, head first, 
to get their catch.  You could decide to plunge head first into healthy eating!

I was reminded of this idea today before yoga when I was having a conversation with my two friends Wendy and Carol.

In the early weeks of my nutrition program, people all around me would ask, "What is the secret for weight loss?" "What is the secret for lowering your cholesterol?" "What is the food I should eat to reduce my risk of Cancer?" "How can I prevent heart disease?"

I would scramble through my books every afternoon to try to find the "right" food for everyone's concern.  Slowly, it dawned on me:

It's the same answer for every health concern....we should all be reducing our dependency on animal proteins, and increasing (dramatically) our intake of vegetables.  

This idea carries over to the notion of who is reading this blog.  Some of you are reading it for ideas for how to be more healthy while you undergo chemo, or to get ideas of foods that cancer does not "like."  Many others of you are reading it because you would like to be healthier, and eat in a way that will decrease your likelihood of developing a chronic disease.  Again, it is really the same diet ideals for both of you.

A big emphasis of my program, however, is the concept of bio-individuality. Every one of us is different.  Our teacher always says, "One person's food is another person's poison", and it is true. This is why, once again, variety is key. Vary your diet and you will get exposure to so many things, but not too much exposure to one thing.

This recipe is, like so many of my recipes try to be, an adaptation of your favorite foods, but just somewhat healthier, and with some variety (parsley instead of basil, pepitas instead of pine nuts.)  Everything in moderation, right? (Including moderation.)  This take on pesto has a little bit of cheese, and pasta, but it is whole wheat. You could also try this on ravioli (but that will likely increase your animal protein if there is more cheese in there!)

Parsley and Pepita Pesto 
with black olives & roasted cherry tomatoes

1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted
1 cup parsley, torn off stems
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 small garlic clove
lemon zest from one lemon
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 1/3 cup more after combined
sea salt

  • pulse in food processor (or Vitamix) until well-combined
  • add additional 1/3 cup olive oil and mix again
  • add in additional salt or lemon juice as needed
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup + black olives cured in olive oil
1 package whole wheat pasta twists
toasted pepitas
fresh thyme
  • saute the cherry tomatoes in a pan with olive oil.  They are ready when they are soft and browned in places
  • boil pasta
  • when the noodles are done, add about half the pesto and combine well, while pasta is still hot. It will absorb the great flavor of the pesto.
  • toss pasta together with cherry tomatoes, black olives and pepitas.
  • serve with sprinkling of parmesan, more pepitas, and thyme leaves.

We had this with roasted brussel sprouts on the side--delicious!

*Unless otherwise noted, all recipes are (c) Christy Halvorson Ross.

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