Category Archives: summer

Raising Healthy Eaters

Ok so it’s back to school which means keeping up with activities, sports and homework while trying to prepare healthy meals for the kids and the whole family.

Happy mother and two daughters cooking in the kitchen

I have talked to the families I work with for years about offering healthier options and I know it can be frustrating at times if your kids are demanding fast food or junky snacks…but where there is a will there’s a way, right? So I say commit to trying healthier alternatives with your kids. There will be some winners and some losers but in the long run you will feel better about the food they are eating and you will also be pleased to see that it has a positive effect on moods, energy and the immune system.

Something fun to incorporate when you can is cooking at home with your kids. This allows you to know which ingredients go into your food plus there are lots of healthy cooking blogs at our disposal these days, which can give you great ideas with positive kid tested reviews. I have personally discovered some delicious cheesy kale chips, gluten free chocolate chip cookies and vegan chocolate mousse recipes this way!

One last thing; as long as it remains hot outside, please remember to keep your kids hydrated. Again if they give you a hard time about drinking plain water you can always try coconut water or diffusing some fresh fruit in the water pitcher. Really anything you can do to instill these healthy habits in your kids now, pays off big time in their future!
I know it can be difficult to always keep it healthy, especially when there is little time to shop and cook, but anything is possible when you are prepared and have the right intent!

Please enjoy this choc chip cookie recipe – it’s vegan and gluten free but super delicious!

Choc Chip Cookies
1 ½ cup almond meal
2 ½ tblsp melted coconut oil
¼ cup cacao nibs or choc chips
2 tblsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tblsp cacao powder optional
1 tblsp chia seeds optional

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients and line a baking sheet with wax paper. Place 1 tblsp of batter and press lightly in the center.

Bake 13 – 15 minutes or until golden. They will be soft but will crisp when cooled.

Yours in Health,

Nancy Sacks

Healthy Sleep Habits

As the days start to get shorter, we should try and find ways to get to bed earlier. Getting more sleep is actually one of the most positive things you can do for your overall health! Here are a few tips for improving your sleep:

Sleeping angel statuePower down your electronic devices at least an hour before bed. The lights from these devices stimulate your brain and can disrupt your ability to get into a deep sleep by lowering your production of Melatonin (a naturally occurring sleep hormone). If you don’t want to take melatonin you can get it naturally by drinking Tart Cherry juice in the evening, which promotes your body’s production of melatonin.

Start a journal: when you get into bed, write down 3 things you are grateful for in a notebook or a journal. Focusing on what you are grateful for draws your attention to what is positive in your life, which works wonders for promoting better sleep.

And last, program what you want to happen! This one is easier than it sounds…simply imagine or visualize a great night sleep, and waking up happy and refreshed. Studies show that the mind is a powerful thing, and you can use your wisely by deciding to have the quality of life you deserve.

Yours in Health,

Nancy Sacks

Happy Summer!

One of the things I love to do in summer is eat lots of fresh seasonal fruits and veggies.

cantalope-watermelonIn fact, just this morning I had half of an organic cantaloupe that was absolutely delicious! It reminded me of how lucky we truly are to have access to such amazing fresh food year round in Southern California.

In fact…we are lucky in so many ways – we have perfect weather, delicious produce, access to great alternative healthcare, a gym on every corner, beautiful beaches, and a whole host of other special things and places that are unique to us.

Summer is also a great time to embark on a “cleanse” since it is hot outside and we tend to eat less in general. When organic watermelon is in season I love to do a “mono diet” of just watermelon, which can be done for a minimum of one day and as long as 10 days. This one is really fun and easy if you like watermelon.

The cleanse I just finished was a 10 day juice fast. I was totally inspired by watching the documentary film, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. This documentary follows Joe Cross as he embarks on a 60 day juice fast and believe it or not this is a really great movie. It takes on some serious health issues…and shows a great solution in a really fun and light manner! If you would like to see the film – it can be viewed from the website www.jointhereboot.com.

You can also buy it online or get it on Netflix. The website mentioned has lots of great recipes for juicing, and it also gives quite a few options for juicing while eating regular food if you don’t want to do a fast.

Please keep in mind if you decide to do a fast that it is very important to end the fast properly. This means to ease into eating very carefully.

For any of you who are interested, I have created a special protocol to ease into eating and am happy to email that to you.

In the meantime…enjoy your summer!

Yours in Health,

Nancy Sacks

 

Healthy Tomato and Green Bean Pasta Salad Recipe

I just finished eating the most amazing cherry tomatoes ever! They were like little bursts of deliciousness and it reminds me how lucky we truly are to have such wonderful produce available year round here in Southern California.

During summer, it is especially easy for us to eat lots of fresh, colorful, fruits and veggies that can be found at local farmers markets.

The benefit of going out to a farmers market is the ability to enjoy the great weather while picking from a wide selection of fresh organic produce. Plus, foods consumed in-season actually contain their peak nutrients and are often more cost effective.

So take advantage of the bounty of beautiful fruits and veggies by visiting your local Farmers Market – these days there are so many to choose from…and please let us know what special goodies you came across and the dishes you made.

I made this pasta dish with the delicious cherry tomatoes, mint and green beans I picked up Sunday:

Tomato and Green Bean Pasta Salad

salad¾ lb orecchiette pasta
1 lb green beans cut in 1” pieces
1 lb cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 sm garlic clove mashed to a paste
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 cup or so feta cheese crumbled
½ cup mint
Salt and pepper

In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta, add the green beans for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain then add to the tomatoes, toss to combine. Stir in half the feta and mint.

Serve warm or at room temp. Sprinkle with the remaining feta and mint and ENJOY!

 

Fight Cravings and Give Your Body the Nourishment it Really Wants

“You are what you eat” is such an old saying…but it’s true! Food has the ability to impact our physical bodies as well as our minds and our moods. Often, when we’re struggling to get through the day we turn to snacks that give us only temporary energy – then bring us down. I’m talking about sweets, refined carbs, caffeine and junky processed foods.

When we eat unhealthy foods, we create inflammation in the body that makes us feel sluggish in our movement and our thinking. While the unhealthy foods can impact us negatively, the upside is that healthy foods have the ability to beam us up!

Next time you’re about to reach for that bag of cookies or chips, consider one of these healthier alternatives instead:

Fruit of any kind! It’s summer after all, so much wonderful fruit in season. And fruit eaten by itself is an amazing snack that will give you energy, hydrate and alkalize your whole body.

Nuts and seeds are convenient, easy to carry and loaded with protein and good fats. (buy organic when possible)

How about a cold cucumber with Himalayan salt…so refreshing and delish.

Some of my personal favorites:

Tosi bar-this absolutely delicious bar reminds me of a Mr Peanut candy bar from when I was a kid – but it’s healthy! It’s all organic with almonds, chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, a little cane juice and sea salt…pure Yum.

Pili Nut Butter – this rainforest nut is packed with antioxidants, contains vitamin E, all of the essential amino acids, is rich in fatty acids, calcium and protein…and it tastes like chocolate! Need I say more?

Cinamon Red Maca Butter (Triple Yum – don’t even get me started) This sprouted, organic almond spread has Maca (an amazing superfood), plus cinnamon and a little coconut sugar. It is so divine that you have to taste it to believe itJ

Mary’s Gone Crackers with Avacado – for a saltier craving this just hits the spot. Mary’s makes great gluten free crackers, cookies and now they even have pretzels! Try them with avocado for a truly satisfying and healthy treat.

Hummus with just about any type of veggie…so good and a great source of protein and fatty acids.

Dark Chocolate – so let’s not forget that dark organic chocolate is indeed a superfood loaded with antioxidants and magnesium. Great brain food for sure, and it has been known to make people happy! (have you tried Lulu’s yet?)

Please clue me in on some healthy snacks you personally eat throughout the day, maybe I can incorporate something new and delicious. I can’t wait! And don’t worry if you haven’t heard of some of the above exotic snacks – we carry a huge selection of those goodies at Holistic Haven, plus a few more that I didn’t have space to mention.