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Real Food Recipes. Sustainable Living. Shining Health.

Browsing Category Sustainability

Nutrition Science / Sustainability

Breaking Up with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines

Five years. Numerous new scientific findings. Zero progress. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans launched last week and the bad advice continues. It encourages multiple servings of refined grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein and limiting saturated fat. Here’s the recommended Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern: Table in 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Let’s break it down: GRAINS Six servings of grains are recommended per day, with three of those coming from refined grains. I have nothing against whole grains but to suggest that we consume the refined variety is one of the reasons we’re dealing with an obesity epidemic. Refined grains are white flour and white rice that have been processed to remove the most nutritious parts of the food. These are metabolized immediately in the body as glucose, spiking insulin levels. The day-after-day effects of this can and will eventually lead to diabetes. And the government wants us to consume Read More

How-To / Sustainability

Composting: The Whys and the Hows

San Francisco does it. Portland does it. Vermont does it. NYC is doing it next. Composting is coming to a bin near you. Are you ready? Composting is serious business. We bury 1.2 million tons of food waste in landfills every year at a cost of nearly $80 per ton. Our country is throwing out 40% of the food we grow. Poof, gone, all that hard labor, time and money into the trash. And all this garbage could be helping us. That wilted lettuce in the back of your fridge could be working for you. There is good reason it’s called “black gold.” Time to get over the ick-factor, be a responsible adult and give back to the soil. How exactly does composting work and what are the real benefits? I sought out expertise from Rebecca Louie, the self-proclaimed Compostess. I first saw her speak at an alternative energy event Read More

Local Eats Project / Sustainability

Local Eats Project

Today is National Food Day! Hooray! In honor of this day, I’m launching a new project, the Local Eats Project. Recently I learned that less than 1% of all food purchased in the U.S. comes from famers markets. I want to boost that number! This is the BEST quality food available and too many people are missing out. Food from farmers markets is far more nutritious – for our bodies, our minds, our wallets, our environment, our economies and our consciousness. The Local Eats Project works like this: Once per month I will cook one meal made from 100% local foods, including fat/oil and as many fresh herbs and spices too. I will share the recipe here on Sparkle Kitchen to keep me accountable and to show how simple it is to create a fabulous meal from seasonal ingredients. These are the ground rules: Cook one meal per month using Read More

Mental Health / Sustainability

6 Hours of Silence: A Meditation Lesson

Monks is brown robes greet me in the entry. Each person bows and and I’m warmly welcomed. I find a spot on the floor, fold my legs beneath me and settle in for the first meditation. This year I added meditation retreat to my 2015 goals list as a building block to support my daily meditation practice. Since January I’ve done my best to meditate daily. The type of meditation has changed around a few times and I’m always curious to explore other practices. I do genuinely enjoy my meditation practice, although the time commitment is a drag. Every day I remind myself that I never have the time, I just have to do it. That’s how I felt about the retreat too. So I picked one and made the time for it. I blindly signed up for a six hour workshop. And unbeknownst to me so did several hundred Read More

Mental Health / Sustainability / Yoga

Healing with Yoga: How Yoga Benefits Injuries

Injuries change our bodies forever. Once an ankle is sprained, an arm is fractured or a cut is made, a permanent mark remains for the rest of our lives. It is the methods of healing that can build a stronger body post-injury. Yoga has established therapeutic properties, allowing the body to move beyond the injury into a stronger whole body. I recently sat down with Ossi Raveh to discuss how yoga helps us heal by framing our injuries with a new mindset. Ossi is the founder of Brooklyn Yoga Project, an intimate yoga studio in Brooklyn with a mission of extending yoga principles into every part of your life. It is impossible to share my conversation with Ossi without first telling her story. A 40 foot fall abruptly ended Ossi’s dancing career.  The accident broke her entire body, shattering her knees, pelvis and changing life as she knew it. Once Read More

Appetizer / Dairy-free / Dinner / Egg Free / Gluten-free / Grain-free / No sugar / Nut-Free / Paleo / Raw / Salad / Side Dish / Sustainability

Meals Straight from the Farmers Market

With early morning dew still on the ground, I grab my reusable grocery bags and I’m out the door. My neighbors are quiet, indulging in a few extra hours of sleep on Saturday morning. The farmers market is waiting and I want the best selection. The market crowds and things can sell out quickly. But I’ve learned this is not the norm in the rest of the country. Only one percent of all food sales come from farmers markets. Most food is bought from grocery stores or the massive super stores. And I get it. They’re convenient, reliable and I understand that people find comfort in the familiar.  Another argument I often hear against famers markets is that it is difficult to make a meal out of items purchased from the famers market alone. It requires multiple shopping trips and people just don’t have the time. Well I’m partnering with Read More