Friday Favorites

August 7, 2015
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Prescribing Vegetables, Not Pills

15 Eating Habits To Make You Live Longer

8 Smart, Funny Ladies Who Can’t Believe You’re Still Talking about their Bodies

Netflix is giving employees a year of paid parental leave so they can binge-watch their babies

Venus Retrograde: Everything You Need to Know

Reading, Writing, Required Silence: How Meditation is Changing Schools and Students

 

Hope you have a great weekend! See you next week with more recipes and healthy tips! xx

My New Health Philosophy

August 5, 2015
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I’ve been debating with myself for some time now about how much of my cancer treatment story I want to share. When I was first diagnosed, I knew it was something I wanted and needed to talk about. Between doctors visits, researching my hind end off, surgery and 6 weeks of daily radiation treatment, I am left feeling exhausted. I’m ready to have my life back already. That’s not to say the full story won’t one day be told, but for right now I’m just enjoying my life as a newlywed and being thankful for each special moment. It’s time I start looking toward the future and going full force with what I really want to do – inspiring others to live a healthier life.

After my diagnosis, I put my aspirations and work on hold. Healing my body became my full time job – my life depended on it. I’ve always been a huge advocate for self-care, but healing myself from cancer has brought that to an entirely different level.

Here is what my personal protocol looks like:

  • juice myself silly (lots of green juice)
  • daily meditation and journaling
  • eat organic
  • movement (right now it’s jogging, yoga and the occasional dance party)
  • acupuncture
  • massage
  • reading
  • sleep (like 8-9 hours a night)
  • eat those greens!

Along with these things, I’ve also adjusted my philosophy on what health looks like for me.

I became vegan in 2009 and followed a whole foods version of that lifestyle for over 5 years. During that time, I resolved health conditions including chronic migraines, food sensitivities, acne, allergies and anxiety. Changing my diet led me down a path of overhauling my entire life, which was incredibly empowering. I felt better than I had in years, felt more at ease in my body and I also became more attentive to my body’s needs as I gave up meat, dairy and processed foods. I learned so much about nutrition and the realities of food production that I never really thought I would consume animal products again.

And then last summer, something started to shift. My body began craving animal products – specifically eggs and fish. I have never been a big fan of eggs though. I’ve always had a sensitive stomach to them, so this deep craving had me a bit confused.

After months of trying to hide these feelings from myself and those around me, I decided to give in to them. So I ate scrambled eggs for the first time since I was a child. And you know what? They tasted great! And even more surprising, I felt good. Having fish or eggs every so often felt right after that point. There must have been something in these items that my body needed.

Sometimes we need to come full circle to fully heal.

Shedding the vegan label has been tough. I can’t lie, the title I adorned myself with seemed attractive and gave me a sense of entitlement. It was also a place to belong. I’ve realized though, that labels are too confining and restrictive.

I’ve made peace with the fact that I now eat a plant-based diet, with the occasional animal product. I like having the freedom to openly accept what my body needs at different times, places and stages of my life. I’ve learned to dissociate those feelings of guilt and shame, and instead, practice gratitude and presence while I am eating – and through my day.

Food is supposed to nourish and support our bodies with everything they require to survive and thrive. Let’s ditch dietary dogma. I believe there are many paths to health and everyone should explore what feels best to them. It’s all about achieving a balance.

My new health philosophy is simple: Go back to basics. Eat real food – whole, plant-based food. Sleep well. Drink water. Manage stress. Exercise and move that body. Have positive relationships with others. Engage in work that makes you truly happy. And have fun!!

Have your diet and health goals evolved over the years? Please share your story below!

 

My Classic Green Juice

July 13, 2015
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You may have noticed things look a little different around here.  We received a makeover! A new season and a new direction for the site called for a fresh design. What do you think? I hope you like it as much as I do!

It has been a few weeks since my last post, but for good reason. June was a crazy busy month for us and July is flying by as well. Highlights include:

  • A trip to Austin for my birthday. Complete with outdoor music, boating, lots of yummy food and great company. It is such a cool town!
  • Our wedding was on June 21st in Iowa. We shared a very intimate ceremony with our immediate families – just 12 of us in total. It was dreamy.
  • After returning home to NYC, we played tourists while showing my husband’s family all the sights.
  • We went upstate for two nights to relax poolside.
  • Yesterday we went on a day trip to Fire Island for some fun in the sun. I’m still washing sand out of my hair.

My juicing game hasn’t been up to scratch lately and last week I was paying the consequences. I spent 4th of July weekend recovering from a cold. I was feeling a little run down from all the traveling we’ve been doing (and all the fun we’ve been having). This juice has been the perfect remedy to mend me back to health.

My Classic Green Juice

Serves 1, yields about 12 ounces of juice

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 5 stalks of kale
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Run all ingredients through a juicer and juice away.

Photo credit: my sister, Jenny Norris.

Pasta with Creamy Avocado Sauce

May 25, 2015
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Today I’m sharing with you a simple recipe you can whip together in less than 20 minutes. This raw avocado sauce is so creamy, rich and satisfying. It also makes for the perfect dish to bring along to impress your friends at any Summer gatherings.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday! My long weekend has consisted of exploring navy ships for Fleet Week in NYC, lounging in the park and lots of rooftop hangs.

Pasta with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • whole wheat or gluten-free pasta, enough for two (I used quinoa and spinach gluten-free linguine)
  • 1 whole ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 small lemon, juice and zest
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in the pasta and cook according to it’s directions.
  2. While you are waiting for the pasta to cook, make the avocado sauce.  Place the avocado, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and salt into a blender and process until smooth and creamy.
  3. When the pasta is done, strain and place into a large bowl. Pour the avocado sauce over and toss it until it is combined. Garnish with lemon zest, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.
  4. It is best served immediately, but it’s also great cold. Place any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Photo credit: my sister, Jenny.

PS – Happy Memorial Day! I want to thank all of our service men and women and their families. Sending you much love. xx