To get you through the holidays with a focus on your health, try adding in one new habit for a few weeks, and begin to build new healthy routines in your life. Pick one tip below. Do it daily. That may be enough. If you want more, choose another from the list building in sequence or in any order. Focus on adding things in, not cutting things out. These small steps can have MAJOR impact in the long run. Have fun, and rev up your health for 2021!
- Start your day with warm water and fresh lemon juice for a delicious detoxifying and hydrating lift.
- Choose organic coffee or tea. Did you know that coffee and tea are highly contaminated with pesticides? Go organic to avoid the toxins.
- Add a scoop of collagen powder to your morning drink. Without adding any taste, collagen easily starts your day with 11 grams of protein and gut healing.
- Save all your veggie scraps in a large Ziploc bag in the freezer instead of composting them. When ready, put them in a pot covered with filtered water. Cover, boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes. Strain. You now have a healthy veggie broth. Add a tablespoon of organic miso per cup of broth for a delicious soup.
- Make your miso soup (see #4 above) uber healthy by adding a scoop of adaptogenic mushrooms to each cup of soup. I learned about Om mushroom powders from a foodie friend. Om adaptogenic mushroom products are so good and provide hormone-regulating health benefits. Find them in the supplement aisle of natural food stores.
- Miracle Noodles! Have you tried these slippery shirataki noodles? They are almost carb-free and made from glucomannan, a gut-healthy prebiotic fiber. Delicious in soups or as an alternative to rice with Asian dishes.
- Eat protein at every meal. Protein satiates you longer than carbs and helps regulate blood glucose so you don't get the sugar highs and lows that cause cravings and mood changes.
- Eat good fats at every meal. Healthy fats like salmon, avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, olive oil, and coconut oil help keep your cell membranes permeable for better nutrient absorption (as opposed to polyunsaturated yellow vegetable and seed oils and trans fats). And by regulating blood sugar and cholesterol, good fats actually help you lose weight.
- Double or triple the recipe. Having healthy leftovers allows you to de-stress the next day. And you can freeze soups and stews for future meals.
- Add electrolytes to your water. Electrolyte powders such as Ultima powder add flavor without sugar and help you hydrate better than plain water.
Sweet Pea Soufflé
As a teen, I was lucky to live with a French family in the south of France one summer. They taught me to make classic cheese soufflé. I still have their recipe and used it as a foundation to create this gluten-free, dairy-free sweet pea variation.
1 T olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
1 1/2 c frozen sweet peas
1/4 c vegetable broth
2 T white wine, optional
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 t dried thyme
3 1/2 T Miyoko's butter + more for greasing soufflé pan
1/3 c gluten free flour
1 3/4 c almond milk (or milk of choice)
4 large or jumbo eggs, separated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, convection setting. In a sauté pan, add olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add peas, salt, pepper, thyme, broth and wine if using. Stir well and cook over medium heat until liquids have evaporated, about 5-10 minutes. Use blender or immersion blender to blend pea mixture until smooth. Set aside.
To make bechamel sauce, in a saucepan, melt butter. Add flour, stir well and cook for about a minute to remove raw flour taste. Pour milk slowly, stirring constantly. Continue to stir as sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Let cool for a few minutes. Add egg yolks to bechamel, one at a time, stirring after adding each one. Now add pea mixture to sauce and stir until combined.
In a mixing bowl, beat four egg whites until soft peaks form. Don't over beat or the whites will become too dry. Pour bechamel mixture into large bowl. Scoop out some of the egg whites with a spatula and fold gently into bechamel mixture. Folding gently keeps the air intact inside the egg whites for a fluffy soufflé. Continue adding and folding egg whites until completely added.
Grease the inside of a soufflé dish with the extra butter. Gently pour mixture into dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!