Monday, April 25, 2011

Key Lime Pie and Italian Style Deviled Eggs

Happy Monday!!!  Yesterday was Easter and an amazingly blessed day that capped off an equally perfect weekend.  I have discovered that since I started blogging about health my readers aren't nearly as interested.  Soooo I will spend a little more time blogging the things we all really love......FOOD.  My 3 men and I went to my parents for an Easter feast and my offerings were few but yummy, as was the rest of the food on our buffet.  I made Key Lime Pie and Italian Style Deviled Eggs.  Neither were of stellar health profile but what the heck it's a holiday.   Both were however, ridiculously simple.

Key Lime Pie
Graham Cracker Crust, I made one but you can buy it, really great in mini pie crust
Whipped Cream, please splurge on making homemade for this, makes such a difference
3 cups condensed milk, can't type this w/o a smirk, this stuff should be illegal but glad it's not!
3/4 cup key lime juice, honestly I just used bottled lime juice and can't tell the difference just find a good brand. Whole Foods carries a really good organic one, like that matters w/ all the condensed milk.
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lime zest
Mix condensed milk, lime juice, sour cream, and zest.  Pour into pie crust and bake on 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes depending on the size, 5 for mini pies, 8 for whole.  Refrigerate until completely cooled.  Top with whipped cream and garnish w/ slices of key limes.


Italian Style Deviled Eggs
I did not measure a thing on this one so you will have to taste as you go.
Boiled Eggs, peeled and cut in half placing yolks in a separate bowl
Mayonnaise
Pesto
Prosciutto, finely shaved, you will need very little it is so stinking expensive but incomparable.
Olive Oil
Mix the yolks with mayo and pesto until you get a consistency and taste that you like.  Fill the egg whites with the mixture.  Heat a little olive oil in a small pan and add pieces of prosciutto.  It will crisp extremely quickly so be prepared.  Top eggs with fried prosciutto pieces.


After a day of eating goodies like this I recommend being ever so thankful for a healthy body and spending the next few days filling yourself with a little less indulgent food.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ph Balancing

Last week I spoke at the library on "Taking Responsibility for your Health".  I mentioned I would blog the details but the bottom line was summed up in all of my previous blogs.  I try to keep things pretty simple when giving health advice and will continue to do so.  My thought is this...if we are over thinking and stressing over taking care of ourselves then we are not taking care of ourselves.  Stress is HORRIBLE on our bodies.  Preaching to myself this morning.  Today I thought I would talk a little about pH balancing which is a really great way to be sure you are staying healthy.  Many of the things I will say come directly from a brochure titled "pH Balancing Simplified" which is published by Nature's Sunshine.

"Maintaining the proper balance in the body's pH can positively affect all major body systems, especially the digestive, intestinal, circulatory, respiratory and immune systems.  This balance protects the oxygen affinity of hemoglobin in the blood.  A pH-balanced environment maintains proper metabolic function and allows the body to function optimally."  In slightly simpler terms....if our pH is balanced general health is better.  Numerous illnesses are thought to be a result of an overly acidic pH, including arthritis, cancer, and gout just to name a few.

So now on to what you can do.  First get some pH test strips* and begin monitoring your pH on a daily basis.  When you have charted this for a few days you will know which direction to begin work.  Keep in mind you can also be too alkaline, the key is balancing.  The #1 most important thing you can do for balancing is find ways to deal with your stress.  I know stress will come but it's how we process it that matters, find a de-stressor that works for you.  Today mine is blogging, haha.  After that begin working on your diet.  If you are acid eat alkalizing foods, I have a chart that I can get to you if you need help with that.  If you are trying to maintain your already balanced pH you should eat 80% alkaline food and 20% acid.

If you have a serious issue one way or the other, meaning your pH is higher than 7.0 or lower than 6.5 then you may want to consider taking supplements to be more aggressive in getting you balanced.  Chlorophyll*, Ultimate Greenzone*, and Nature's Sea Calcium* are a few of the products that can help.

I have decided that for a limited time I will be doing first consults for free.  I know our economy is scary and many people do not have extra money to spend on luxuries.  Hopefully by doing this you will make an appointment and begin to see your health as more of a necessity.  Please don't wait until you get a serious diagnosis before you start taking your health seriously.  During that appointment we can talk about specific foods, exercises, and supplements that may be helpful to you.

Blessings,
Nicole

*These are Nature's Sunshine products.  You may be able to get the test strips at a drug store but I'm not positive.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Depressing Week, Don't Worry it got Better!

Oh my I have seriously not been motivated to write on anything health related, well anything at all to be honest.  The last week of my life has pretty much been totally crappy!  I know that is so rude but it's what I think so why not be honest.  After returning home from Italy I think I fell into a bit of depression.  That, combined with jet lag, led to me being sick all day Wednesday which just so happened to be my birthday, arghhh.  So I'm sure many of you are thinking...."isn't this chic supposed to be a natural health consultant???".  My answer is yes, but I am first and foremost extremely human.  My struggles in life are very real and focusing on natural health helps me overcome them but I still face them regularly.  After writing last weeks blog I just have not felt inspired in any way.  That is odd for me because this time of year typically has me giddy with inspiration.  The good news is, I think I have turned the corner and seen light.  I feel the darkness of depression leaving.  So what herb did I take for this?  Oh I have them but the truth is I haven't even felt like opening a bottle!  My cure was.....I opened my eyes to the fact that I was being completely self absorbed.  I also spent the evening last night with a few of my girlfriends that always help me get perspective.  Sometimes the best medicine really is laughter, which we always do.  But also talking to them about how I have been feeling and hearing them completely relate, let me know that I'm in very good company.  Raising children, being wives, and trying to navigate life without completely losing who we are is not an easy task.  In Italy I felt totally relaxed and had 110% of my husbands attention.  Returning to the rat race of my Americanized life has taken a toll.  My plan for continued improvement.....I am scheduling friend time much more often, and that is a supplement we can all afford.

One last thought....I shared with my hubby last night what I have been going through, which in reality for me was a spirit of discontentment.  I have battled this for many years.  His response was "at least you are acknowledging it and choosing to not let it overtake you".  I just want to say that I am so thankful for a man that loves God and his family so much and truly has the best responses.  He made me feel proud instead of embarrassed that I deal with this, when my own mind is telling me I should be past it.  We all need someone who exemplifies Jesus in our lives.  If I imagine sitting on my back porch swing talking to Jesus, I think He would say exactly what Mike did.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Italian Experience

Buongiorno came way too early this morning!  After 2 weeks of complete relaxation I woke this morning in my own bed, which is much more comfy than those Italian ones, but felt homesick for Italy.  I have pondered what I should write in this blog because many of you have expressed interest in hearing about our trip.  I decided to leave out the day to day details of where we went and what we did and instead tell you about how it "felt".  Life in a completely and totally different culture that, in all truth, doesn't think America has it figured out.  I say that because the only two other places I have been outside of the US, which were Mexico and Russia, does think that, or at least that was my impression.

I have dreamed for many years of going to Italy so this literally was a dream come true for me.  Did it live up to my expectations?  Completely exceeded them.  At one point I felt like every sense I have was completely overloaded.  

Most of you know my whole story as far as food goes, I love it, but also that I am a natural health consultant that eats pretty healthy.  Well I decided before I left I wasn't missing anything on this trip, who knows if I will ever go back.  Believe it or not my health obsessed hubby did the same.  We ate the best food we have ever had in our lives.  True Italian food is so much simpler than our American interpretation.  The focus is on ingredients.  One of my favorite dishes was bruschetta with olive oil.  Literally nothing but grilled bread rubbed with fresh garlic and drizzled with the best olive oil I have ever tasted.  We ate all, except one meal, in restaurants and were never rushed out.  How many times during lunch do we go into restaurants here and they rush our food out with the hope of filling that table again during that hour.  Not in Italy.  Every meal lasted an hour and a half or more.  We ordered pasta, which is just a starter for most Italians, they would bring that before ever taking our main course order.  Everyone there treats food as the life force that it is and savors every meal.  This was right up our alley.  I used to wish that I simply ate to live, they strive for the exact opposite, LIVE TO EAT!  Americans try to downplay food and are more obese than any country.  I truly did not see a single morbidly obese person.  The only slightly overweight people were older women and they showed no evidence of remotely caring about the condition of their aging bodies, hmmm.  This was our diet for 2 weeks......Breakfast was cappuccino and a croissant, often chocolate filled.  Lunch was pasta or pizza, most days another main course, and wine.  Gelato between lunch and dinner.  Dinner was a repeat of lunch.  Neither of us gained a single pound!  Oh and about the wine.......I know this is a big controversy here.  But Italy is all about the wine.  Vineyards are everywhere.  Most people make their own.  It is very inexpensive.  Kids drink it at special occasions.  We did not see a drunk person there.  Maybe it's the whole demonization of it here that causes the abuse of it.  Just a thought.  If you are judging me for enjoying it.....sorry, I'm pretty sure if Jesus turned water into wine he isn't opposed.

As much as I thought I would not like being somewhere that I can't understand the language it really added to the whole experience.  The only TV we were able to understand was CNN, which was wonderful because we watched very little.  By the time we arrived in Rome, which was the last 3 days of our trip, I really preferred being surrounded by Italian speaking people.

The beauty of the place is really hard to describe.  It's unlike anything I have ever seen.  Look up pictures and assume they aren't even close to the true beauty.

I really don't know if every American that visits Italy feels the same way we did.  Yet for us it was total retreat.  The stress of home was gone the minute we got on our plane.  I can only hope we get the opportunity to go back, but it won't be soon enough.