Sunday, June 22, 2014

Transitioning to a Healthier Diet

No way can we say that healthier eating or better diet information isn’t out and talking to us loud and clear. You’ve got Dr. Hyman, Dr. Weil, and the First Lady. So how does one really know which diet is the best? Although this can be confusing for many people who aren’t trained in nutrition or understanding scientific research, simple steps can help get you on your way. I’ve written about some of these steps and foods in past articles, but I want to reiterate a few points, as you might find yourself occasionally becoming frustrated not knowing which diet to do: Paleo/Caveman, vegetarian, vegan, Mediterranean, gluten-free, etc.
            Of all the scientific studies and research available, most agree on the following:
            • Refined processed sugar is bad
            • Processed, refined, unnatural foods are bad
            • Pesticides, additives, preservatives are bad
            • Non-pastured, processed soy and grain-fed animal meat is bad
            • High mercury levels in fish are bad
            • Cow milk/dairy is bad (with the exception of organic/fermented yogurts and cheese for some)
            • Wheat—the gliadin and glutenin in today’s form of wheat is bad

You can start to better your nutrition by first thinking—whole foods.  Here are some more tips to get you on your way:
            • Eat more fresh, green leafy vegetables (or just more vegetables in general) to help change your brain chemistry to stop your sugar cravings
            • Don’t buy any white sugar, brown sugar, Agave (yes Agave!) but buy raw, organic honey and use sparingly. I have many other tips for getting off sugar, but that’s an entirely huge topic to include in this short column
            • Try your best to not buy anything in a can, frozen (except vegetables/preferably organic), or box.
            • Buy organic, pasture-raised and finished meats (and eat less—way less/eat more vegetables)
            • Buy only Wild Alaskan Salmon or Copper River Salmon (to try best to avoid mercury levels)
            • Try almond milk instead of cow milk (make sure it does not have carrageenan in it)
            • Try a variety of organic rice cakes in place of bread (make sure they aren’t loaded with sugars)
I realize that the above tips will not come easy for everyone. Tackle one at a time. Keep a diet diary and write everything down that you eat. Also write down how you feel—physical and emotional symptoms. You will find, over time, that your brain and body will be experiencing changes. You may start to detox and have flu-like symptoms, or you may just start feeling better right away. Changing the way we eat takes time. So take time, and enjoy the journey to better health.
Bonnie Crutcher is board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners as a holistic health coach. Bonnie has created a weekly weight-loss program for women called, “A Regular Gal,” the Smart & Healthy Families Challenge, conducts workshops on health, and coaches clients one-on-one with her six-month program. Visit

Disclaimer: The content of this column is not intended to be medical advice. Always seek the advice of your medical doctor before engaging in any diet program or exercise routine.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Homemade Fun Making Cultured Vegetables

Veganishta has been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to make homemade cultured vegetables. As a health coach, teaching my clients about the importance of a healthy gut is a main priority for a healthy lifestyle, if not the very main priority!

During my "A Regular Gal" Healthy Weight Loss Group session this evening, we made a batch of cultured vegetables. I decided on bok choy versus green cabbage because I follow the Blood Type Diet and cabbage is a no-no for As. However, bok choy is okay! Yay, on our way. So, in addition to the bok choy, we added carrots, a sweet onion, and baby kale. For the brine, we used Body Ecology Culture Starter and mixed it in with fresh, organic cucumber puree and a little water. The colors were gorgeous; it smelled terrific, even with the onion. At the last minute, we decided to add our German and Swedish touch to it, so we added one gala apple. That will provide a lot of love for those hungry bacteria, and we will enjoy the taste as well. We are looking forward to it.

We were able to make 4 20-oz jars and one much larger jar, for a total of 5 jars. We'll keep an eye on it in the warm cabinet and can't wait to try it after 7 days!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chocolate Married My Coffee Today

While working hard on my new "back-to-school" group health program, which is so exciting by the way, I decided I needed a little break and something sweet and cool. Nutrasumma Chocolate Pea Protein and Kava instant coffee along with some almond milk and ice came to my rescue. Easy recipe and so delicious:

1 cup almond milk
1 scoop of chocolate pea protein
3 tbsp of instant coffee
1/2 cup ice

Blend all until frothy and smooth, and enjoy 23g of protein. Who needs Starbucks?

I'm diggin' it!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Date with a Green Bean!

If you like fresh dates and figs and want to try something new with a green bean, how about this for a cool spring/summer salad. Keep that snickering to yourself.

6-7 cups fresh or frozen (thawed but still cold) organic green beans
1/2 large purple onion sliced/chopped
1 large avocado sliced/chopped near bite-size
1 large carrot thinly sliced on an angle
2 fresh figs or 2 dates or 1 of each finely chopped
1/4 cup of hemp seeds
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (seasoned if you like)
1/4 cup organic olive oil
2 tblsp brown rice syrup

Mix all in bowl, toss, chill in refrigerator, then serve at your place of choice. Now that's some date!
To find out more about the mighty green bean, or the other ingredients' nutritional value, visit this page.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

King What? . . .

That's "Quinoa," and it was king of the hill in my saute pan this morning for breakfast. I have been cooking and eating quinoa over the last two years and still a breakfast scramble with this little seed is one of my favorites. Here's what's in the mix:

1/2 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed in fine mesh strainer; (cook in 1-1/2 cups of water until curly tails pop out—15-20 min. or so, then set aside).

1/4 of large purple onion, chopped
One 1/4" snub of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1/8 of a large red bell pepper, chopped
Dash of red chili pepper flakes
1 tbsp. cumin seeds ground with pestle and mortar
2 tsp. turmeric
Sea salt to taste
1 tsp. unrefined coconut oil
Frozen organic spinach

Bring coconut oil to med-high heat; add onions and ginger; sprinkle with salt and saute lightly for a minute.
Add cumin, turmeric,and  chili pepper flakes and saute on med heat another minute or two.
Add frozen spinach and bell pepper; sprinkle with more sea salt, and saute until spinach is defrosted and lightly warmed through. Add the quinoa and mix all together, sauteing for just another half minute.

Serve with a slice of Ezekiel toast with Really Raw Honey, Ghee, or your topping of choice.

To learn more about how this little seed "packs a punch," visit this Whole Foods information page.

Be brave for breakfast and you'll feel like king of the hill!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sweet Greens Alive!

Happy New Year everyone, and here's what's new and good with me today. I am excited to announce that I have found the perfect school and study program that will enable me to live my dream as a holistic health coach. I've always been interested in healthy eating and natural remedies, not to mention the joy of cooking. Having studied at the largest nutrition school in the world, Institute for Integrative Nutrition® , I am looking forward to working with clients beginning in April. If anyone would like to know more about the program and what I'm learning as well as how I can help you reach your goals for the new year, take a look at my website at

Now for the new food I'm going to talk about today. I experimented the other day with some great organic collards I bought at Whole Foods Market. Instead of boiling them in veggie broth or adding them to beans as I normally have, I decided to cut them up quickly and saute them with a few extra ingredients. Incredible turnout! My mother and I cleaned up the pan that evening. Here is the recipe along with some photos. If you want to try it yourself, you won't be disappointed. The very strange and interesting thing was, that they actually kind of had a "bacony" taste. They were sweet from the delicious dates yet had that tad-bit collard tang of the good 'ol green along with the sweet onion flavor. Happy healthy eating!

Sweet Greens Alive
1 large bunch of collards (organic, of course)
1/2 of a large onion, sliced thinly
6-8 very ripe dates sliced into small pieces (pits out, of course)
3 tbsp. coconut oil for sauteing
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

Place 3 tbsp. of coconut oil into hot skillet or wok; add the onions and saute a few minutes until clear and beginning to brown; add the collards and saute quickly a few more minutes; then add the dates and saute for another minute to two. Toss in the pan; serve hot and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vegetarian Breakfast Sausage

Just had to take a couple bites and a pic!
I know it's been quite a while since The Veganishta has posted anything. Luckily today, the "lab bug" struck, and Veganishta went to work in the kitchen.
I had a taste for breakfast sausage, first time in eighteen months, so I set out on the excursion through my fridge. I gathered the leftover roasted carrots, shitake mushrooms, and yellow onions I made last night, along with some black beans and corn. I threw it all in the food processor then boiled some tofu for five minutes then threw that in.

I blended the heck out of it and then added some thyme and fresh ground fennel seed. I thought the fennel would give it that sausage flavor. It worked! A laboratory success in the kitchen this morning allowed me to eat my large breakfast sausage patty on a slice of Ezekiel toast.

I simply love experimenting with veggies, beans, legumes, and grains. I am just so very excited that I had to share this quickly today. I used my phone camera, so lighting and setup is not very professional looking, but you can see how it turned out here.

This sausage patty is now on my list to document the ingredients and recipe that I'll share later on.