New Website: Be and Eat Well

Thank you for visiting The Gastronome’s Table!

Since finishing up my graduate degree I have now created my own private nutrition practice, Be and Eat Well. Please head over to beandeatwell.com to view my new website and continue reading my blog! 

Be and Eat Well

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It’s Fig Season!

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Fresh figs are a luxury fruit for North Carolinians from August-October and The Wedge Garden is proud to have its very own fig tree! There’s nothing like the smooth texture, sweet taste and mouth-watering juiciness that a fresh fig as to offer. Not only do they taste good, but they also contain nutrients such as potassium and fiber. The leaves have even been used to make a liquid extract to aid in Diabetes management and lower Triglyceride levels. Three medium figs equal one serving and makes a wonderful addition to a luscious arugula salad. Fig trees can be found all across North Carolina and in grocery stores, so make sure to bring them home while you can! Store figs in the refrigerator for two days to keep them fresh.

FigtreecollageFresh Fig Salad

Inspired by Fig and Arugula Salad

Makes 1-2 servings

Ingredients:

2-4 cups arugula

1/4 cup red onion, sliced

1 tablespoon roasted pine nuts

4-5 fresh figs, halved and quartered

Honey mustard dressing (1-2 servings):

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Gently mix arugula, onions and pine nuts in large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients in small bowl. Plate salad and add figs. Drizzle dressing over salad, adding salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Additional salad ingredients: fresh blackberries, blue, ricotta or goat cheese, walnuts, balsamic vinaigrette, prosciutto.

Blog post and photography by Heather Frost, MS, RD, LDN

Resources

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What are you able to do in your life to Be Well?

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I recently read a book by Alan Deutschman entitled Change or Die. Pretty intriguing title, huh? I’m not going to give a book review, but I do encourage you to read it. The take away message Mr. Deutschman is trying to relay is that change is sustained by new hope or new thinking. He suggested a new name for his book could be Change and Thrive. This new title resonated with me and I started thinking about what I could do in my own life.

As my blog’s tagline implies, “Be & Eat Well,” overall wellness isn’t just about what we put into our body, but also about how we listen to our body and what we do to keep our body in working order, to be able to maintain a high quality of life. Over the years I’ve slowly become more aware of my body and what it’s telling me. After time spent practicing yoga, seeking out health professionals, going through an elimination diet, managing stress differently, practicing positive affirmations and loving myself, I have witnessed how the body can heal.

Being aware of how your body responds in certain situations is crucial. Times of stress, fear, happiness or excitement sends signals to our muscles to either relax or contract. Different actions such as typing on the computer, cooking, jogging, hiking, or even yoga can irritate various muscles and joints, to the extent of chronic pain and quite frankly, annoyance. My chronic TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) issues brought me to reassess my current diet, activities, health care professionals and seek out someone who can help me get to the root of the problem and help my body heal.

After some online searching, I came across Tim Hackett and his private practice, Healing Hands Massage Therapy. After making the initial phone call and speaking with Tim for over 30 minutes, I knew this was someone who was professional, understanding, caring and eager to help me heal. Tim specializes on NeuroMuscular Reprogramming, which focuses on retraining muscles which are causing the discomfort by use of various forms of massage and Myofascial Release. After meeting him for a consultation and bodywork session, Tim pointed out a few areas where my muscles were weak and provided me with exercises and breathing techniques to do at home, as well as advice on how to adjust my posture. This “homework” is exactly what I’ve been looking for and wanting from a healthcare provider, in addition to their care. When we make an appointment to see a healthcare professional, we’re setting ourselves up as a “victim” of dis-ease looking for expert care and advice. We tend to let them take charge of our condition, rather than taking an active role ourselves. I feel the provider and the patient need to work together as a team in order for healing to happen.

My philosophy is that we can always change our lifestyle, habits, actions and attitudes to create behavior changes that will create new, healthy habits. While keeping in mind “change and thrive, I took it upon myself to tweak my diet again, in order to see if I could improve my quality of life. Positive changes happened within a few days. Avoiding gluten, dairy and eggs has allowed me to sleep soundly at night, made my anxiety dissolve and helped the muscles in my face relax and my jaw unclench. How long I will continue with this regimen is unknown. I WILL eat foods that contain gluten, dairy and eggs, again. Right now my body is telling me it needs a break and I’m not going to fight it any longer.

The body works as a whole and we need to treat it as a whole, rather than trying to combat one symptom at a time. Finding health professionals who strive to uncover the root of the problem and making an effort yourself to change your behaviors will inevitability save you time, money, and your sanity in the long run. I’m not saying that changing your diet or going to get a massage is all it takes to clear your health conditions all together, but by reassessing your daily routine, behaviors, eating and exercise patterns you will be able to listen to your body a little more. What is it telling you? Is your quality of life where you want it? Are you willing to make changes to feel better? Where is your stress coming from? What are you able to do in your life to Be Well?

“We are the means through which the world changes. When you pray for change, it is you that is going to change, not the world around you.” – Caroline Myss

Resources: Deutschman, A. (2007). Change or Die. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Summertime Smoothie

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I would have to say summer is by far the best season to make smoothies. Not only are they refreshing and satisfying, but we have the opportunity to use as many fresh, local ingredients as possible. This recipe was inspired by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre’s Blueberry Cucumber Smoothie from their cookbook, Nourishing Meals. This antioxidant-rich smoothie provides a balanced breakfast, lunch, dinner or post-workout snack. Next time you’re at the market or the grocery store, pick up a few local, in-season ingredients to blend together to make this recipe or create a flavor combination of your own!

Summertime Smoothie

Makes 16-20 oz

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1/3 cup sliced cucumbers

2/3 cup fresh blueberries

1-2 tablespoons organic creamy peanut butter

1 small banana

Handful of fresh kale

4 ice cubes

Directions:

Place all ingredients except for the ice in the blender in the order listed and cover with lid. After a few pulses, add one ice cube at a time, blending after each addition. Taste, in- between blends to find the right flavor and texture you’re looking for. Enjoy!IMG_2476

Peach Blueberry Crisp

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Summer = Fruit Crisp Season.

At least in my mind. I know there are crumbles, cobblers and buckles, but since I was born and raised in the Mid-West, I’m partial to crisps, where oats aren’t optional and neither is vanilla ice cream.

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These blueberries and peaches were purchased from a couple farmers at the North Carolina State Farmers Market. I am ever so grateful to have this market in my “backyard” and am able to support NC agriculture.

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 Peach Blueberry Crisp

Slightly adapted from Sandy

Ingredients:

3 large, slightly firm fresh peaches, skin and pits removed, sliced

1.5 cups fresh blueberries

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon melted ghee

1 tablespoon local honey

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease 8×8 or favorite crisp dish with ghee or butter. Mix fruit in large bowl, add almond extract and gently mix. Use another bowl to mix together flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, melted ghee, and honey. Use your hands to mix and make sure the ingredients are combined. Pour fruit combination into dish and cover evenly with the crisp topping. Bake 25 minutes or until fruit is oozing and the crisp is golden.  Serve warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream!

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Salmon Burgers

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If you’re looking for an alternative burger for your 4th of July celebrations, this may be just the one. Using fresh cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice, these ingredients provide flavor to this Omega-3 rich burger and will be sure to please.

Salmon Burgers

Makes 4-5 burgers

Ingredients:

3/4 cup pinto beans, mashed

1 can wild-caught salmon

3 green onions, diced

1 small carrot, peeled and diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1/2 fresh jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed to your taste, diced

1-2 sprigs fresh cilantro, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 egg, beaten

Drizzle of fresh lime juice

1 avocado (optional)

Directions:

Combine and stir all ingredients together in large bowl. Refrigerate mixture for 10 minutes. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to form patties. Use cast iron grill pan at medium heat for stove top cooking or place directly on outdoor grill. Grill 8-9 minutes, flip, grill another 5 minutes until golden brown. (Cook times will vary depending on grill used.) Serve on a toasted bun or on top of a leafy green salad. Top with sliced avocado.

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No Bake Oatmeal Bars

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If your heading to the beach this weekend and want to make a quick, healthy snack that doesn’t require turning on the oven, take a few minutes to get some ingredients out of the pantry and turn them into some sweet or savory treats. Use these ingredients or feel free to add some new ones of your own and let me know how you like them!

No Bake Oatmeal Bars

This recipe was adapted from Food 52’s Five Minute, No-Bake Vegan Granola Bars.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup organic dry roasted peanuts

1/2 cup raisins

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Dash of salt

2/3 cup creamy organic peanut butter

1/2 cup local honey

Directions:

Mix oats, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, raisins, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt together in large bowl with wooden spoon.

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Use a double boiler and gently heat the peanut butter to soften.

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Pour in honey and whisk together.

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Pour into oat mixture and stir until well combined.

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Press into an 8×8 glass baking dish lined with parchment paper.

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Cover with plastic wrap (preferably BPA free) and press into dish.

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Refrigerate at least 4 hours to let the bars set. Cut into bars and store wrapped in the refrigerator.

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