Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Easy One Pot Tuna and Rice

The other night I wasn't feeling too hot and wanted to throw something together quickly and with minimal effort. Thus, this cheesy, rice-y, tuna dish was born. It was actually really good, and Mike approved.

-2 cans tongol tuna
-1 cup brown rice
-2 cups water
-2 cups cream
-3 cups grated cauliflower (I just threw a bunch in the blender)
-2 tomatoes
-1 onion
-2 cloves garlic
-1 tbsp butter

Sautee the onion, tomatoes and garlic in butter until translucent. Transfer to rice cooker. Add the remaining ingredients and turn on. You can also do this with a regular pot. It's that easy. I used raw cream, but if you don't have access to it, use organic, grass-fed pasteurized cream, NOT ultra-pasteurized.
I really need to get a better camera. I'm sending the one I bought back and I've been using Mike's iPhone 4, which is way better than my iPhone 3.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This Week's Grocery List and Raw Milk!

raw cheese
olive oil
dandelion greens
bit of cukes
sour cream
blueberry larabar (Couldn't find! Went with a cinnamon one and a chocolate chip cookie.)
diced maters
gluten free not crap crackers (Found organic rice crackers, they were not tasty. I also don't like Mary's Gone Crackers. I'll continue my quest.)
Asian rice noodles (Mike likes these, I forgot to buy them.)
Mike and I joined a local group that allows us to buy RAW MILK from a local farmer!!! Among other things. He sells so many other things also, but we've been all about the raw milk and cheese, grass fed beef, colostrum and cream. Raw dairy products are so so healing. So many of the essential vitamins and minerals in milk are destroyed by the pasteurization process, rendering your typical grocery store milk pretty much useless to your body. Not to mention that most grocery store milk is obtained from cows that are fed GMO soy and corn, and do not grow up on pastures to be grass fed, also rendering your milk useless. It also hard for a large portion of people to digest, while raw milk can be enjoyed by many lactose intolerant people.
It drives me nuts to hear completely ignorant people talk about the dangers of raw milk. How it's more likely to be infected, make you sick, carry harmful strains of bacteria, etc. A scientist performed a study on raw milk and pasteurized milk. He injected E. Coli and Salmonella into both the raw and pasteurized. The natural antibodies in the raw milk killed off the E. Coli and Salmonella, while they completely took over in the pasteurized milk. Interesting, huh?

Kaiser's Flawed Dieting Advice

My healthy insurance (realized the mistake after I typed it, but am going to keep it) is with Kaiser Permanente. Today I received an email from them in my inbox, and the contents of this email was an outline of the Mediterranean Diet, and their advice on what you should be eating to improve your health. This was the email:
Registered dietitian Carole Bartolotto, MA, RD, answered our questions about the Mediterranean diet. Get even more tips for following this good-for-you eating plan.
How did the Mediterranean diet come about?
In the late 1950s, a comparative dietary study of seven countries found that people living on the Greek island Crete had the lowest heart attack, stroke, and mortality rates.
It was called the Seven Country Study and was one of the first times diet was linked to health. Since then, the Mediterranean diet has been the subject of countless studies and continues to be associated with an array of health benefits.

What are the key elements of the diet?
While it’s originally from Greece, eating a Mediterranean diet doesn’t mean eating Greek food. It’s a plant-based diet that features plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as fish, certain types of fats, and whole grains.
The Mediterranean diet includes:
  • fruits and vegetables—between 6 and 10 servings every day
  • beans
  • peas
  • lentils
  • nuts and seeds
  • red meat (beef, pork, and lamb)—only once or twice per month to be replaced by poultry, fish, or plant protein such as beans
  • fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, and herring—twice a week
  • extra virgin olive oil and canola oil in place of saturated and trans fats
  • fat-free or low-fat dairy—1 to 2 servings every day
What are the health benefits of the diet?There have been many studies reporting health benefits, including the Lyon Diet Heart Study,* which found that people who stuck to the Mediterranean diet experienced the following:
  • a 73 percent decrease in coronary events
  • a 70 percent decrease in mortality from all causes
  • a 61 percent decrease in cancer
In addition, The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study in 2004** that linked the diet to a decrease in inflammation—which is associated with many diseases from heart disease to cancer—and a lowered risk for metabolic syndrome.
Other studies have shown that the Mediterranean eating style may lower your risk for Alzheimer’s, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
whole-grain cereal or oatmeal with fat-free/soy milk and fresh blueberries
whole-grain bread with nut butter
What does a sample menu look like?
lentil soup
salad with walnuts, fresh veggies, and a splash of extra virgin olive oil and vinegar
sliced bananas, oranges, and apples
grilled salmon
steamed broccoli
brown rice
salad as above
fruit for dessert
Where. Do. I. Begin. First, this is why I did not choose the route of becoming an RD. I didn’t want to be taught this crap. While I agree that the Mediterranean Diet can be beneficial, and is far super than the SAD (Standard American Diet) this RD took something potentially healthy and made it unhealthy by providing an extremely flawed menu.
Breakfast: Most “whole-grain” bread and cereal are extremely processed and hard for your body to digest. And even though things are labeled “whole-grain” they often in fact are not, and contain high fructose corn syrup. So this…with fat-free/soy milk? Neither fat-free nor soy milk is good for you. Whole, raw milk is ideal, or if you’re not into dairy, hemp/almond/coconut milk. Fat-free milk is processed doo doo. Soy milk is generally made from genetically modified soybeans and soy is just NOT GOOD FOR YOU.
Lunch: I really don’t have any beef with lentil soup (haha). I mean, if you’re going to eat lentils, you should soak them beforehand to make them more digestible, but you could be eating worse. Salad with a “splash” of olive oil? Are you freaking kidding me? You need fat! You should drench that damn salad in olive oil.
Dinner: The dinner suggestions ain’t so bad. Granted, you need more fat than one piece of salmon and a stupid “splash” of olive oil per day. Though, if you’re eating whole-grain cereal for breakfast, lentils for lunch and brown rice for dinner, I do think that’s way too many grains and carbs that could be replaced with veggies. I also don’t like that they suggest fruit for dessert. Fruit should be eaten first thing in the morning, or by itself, as it digests differently in your stomach.
Basically, eat WHOLE foods. Not processed milks/cereals/breads.
Here’s a sample menu I might have suggested, had Kaiser enlisted the expertise of a young, holistic health  practitioner to be who has not yet graduated and is slightly cocky of her general know-how when it comes to food:
Breakfast: A big tall glass of green juice accompanied by hard-boiled eggs (eat the yolks! they’re good for you!), with salmon, red onions and tomatoes (I suggest this because I have been ALL about eating this lately).
Lunch: A big brown rice wrap with beans, raw red pepper and lettuce, with a side of homemade pico de gallo (tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lemon) and a whole avocado on the side. This is my lunch for today.
Dinner: organic, grass-fed meat sautéed with peppers and onions in a sauce of liquid aminos, garlic chili powder (whatever sauce you want) tossed with raw kelp noodles.

Sample Healthy Eating Grocery List

When I first started the transition into eating a healthier, more balanced diet I wasn’t really sure what to buy at the grocery store. It seems like such a simple task but it can be daunting if  you’re unsure of what to buy. First, it really helps to plan meals. I know that I’ll have some form of eggs for breakfast every morning, so I buy four dozen (for both Mike and I, not just myself). I try to eat a good amount of salmon, fish is one of the best things you can eat and salmon is loaded with Omega 3′s so you should eat a good amount. I know I’ll need ground beef so I buy that, along with whatever vegetables I need from the farmer’s market every Saturday morning. Luckily, our farmer’s market is about a block away from a Whole Foods, so what I can’t buy at the market I buy at WF (or Trader Joe’s, because it’s cheaper). I thought it would be helpful to demonstrate my grocery list for this week.
  • Rutabaga 
  • Broccoli slaw
  • broccoli
  • Jalapenos
  • Chicken links if you can find organic, or  organic/grass-fed/uncured hot dogs
  • raw cheese
  • carrots
  • Kale
  • Cucumber
  • Cauliflower
  • potatoes
  • lettuces
  • Broccoli
  • tomatoes
  • cilantro
  • Avocado
  • smoked salmon
  • Steak
  • ground beef
  • Fabric softener sheets
  • detergent
  • shampoo
  • scallops? (With a ? because they are expensive, but I wanted to make a really nice dinner).
  • Cream
  • Pastured butter
  • Turkey
  • brown rice wrap
  • black beans
  • canned tomatoes
  • mayo (I bought safflower mayo, not ideal, but I’ve been craving mayo and this is better than canola and/or soybean based mayo. I’ve also bought vegan, soy-free grape seed oil, which is superior to safflower, but I couldn’t find it).
It really helps to jot down breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks and then base your grocery list off of that. I already have a lot of pantry staples so I did not need any of those. I also know what I will need, and meals I eat semi regularly, so I don’t need to write a meal plan every week (although I like to sometimes because I honestly think it’s fun).
I do need to get better about buying snacks. There are SO many times when I’m not super hungry, but I am hungry and want to munch on something. I usually go for carrots and hummus, but I’d like to add more variety. The problem with snacks is they’re usually so processed, and contain either tons of sugar, or tons of refined carbs. Or they’re potato chips (which I LOVE, but have to limit). Mike recently bought Amazing Grass Green SuperFood which you can find here. It tastes sort of like chocolate tea. It’s loaded with veggies and antioxidants, and is super easy to chug down with water when I don’t have time to make juice (like this morning). I’m thinking I’m going to buy their bars. I love that they’re organic, and I hear they taste pretty good.

Simple, Healthy Breakfast

Morning time is not my most glorious time of day. I’ve always been more of a night owl, even though it is hard for me to sleep past 8 or 9 am. Even if I wake up and I’m not that tired, my bed is just so comfy I don’t want to get out of it. Since the new year I’ve been making an effort to get up earllier for a couple of reasons. So I’m not rushed, or late to work, have time to fix breakfast and my green juice and lunch if it’s not already made, time to make tea if I want. Mike has started getting up earlier also to start his workout regimen. So today I’ve decided to stop being such a lazy bum in the mornings and I’ll do some exercize too. Once I figure out what that is exactly, I’ll update you.
I haven’t yet posted about breakfast. Lately I’ve been all about smoked salmon, eggs, tomatoes and red onions. But I ran out of smoked salmon by Wednesday and that stuff is pricey. I like to start my morning out with protein, it keeps me fuller longer and gives me energy without a ton of carbs that my body will turn into fat. This morning was simply scrambled eggs topped with salsa. That’s it. So easy. So delicious.
So sideways.

Taco Meatloaf with Spanish Rice

I have not been eating enough veggies lately. I’ve had my green juice in the mornings, but I definitely don’t feel that it’s enough. I’m going to try to up the veggies again. Vegetables are so amazing for you and should be an accompaniment to every single meal.
Tonight for dinner I had a thawed out pound of ground beef I got at the farmer’s market from a local farm, Evensong Farm. I try to switch things up when it comes to the way I eat because I get bored easily. Mike could eat the same meal everyday, I however, definitely cannot. I figured I could jazz up some meatloaf, and since I’ve been all about Mexican food, Taco Meatloaf was created. When I thought this would be a good idea I googled taco meatloaf for some recipes. They completely sucked. They were all to the effect of adding Kraft singles cheese, crushed up taco shells and even Goldfish. Why take something that could be potentially healthy and ruin it? Ten bucks says mine tastes better anyway.
-1lb ground beef
-1 tomato
-1 onion
-1/3 cup salsa (optional)
-cilantro, as much as you like
-dash of: chipotle, chili powder, cumin
Put in 450 degree over for about a half hour, or until center is no longer pink. Right before I was about to take it out I shredded some raw cheddar over top to melt. I added more cilantro over top for two reasons. 1) Cilantro tastes awesome and 2) It’s awesome for you, it draws heavy metals out of your body.
I’m not that into eating grains but Mike’s been wanting rice lately so I figured this would pair well with some Spanish rice.
-1 cup organic brown rice
-1 1/2 cup water or stock
-2 T butter
-1 diced tomato
-1 diced onion
-chili powder, cumin, chipotle

Oh, and served with some pico de gallo also. I usually suck at making rice. Mike always make it because I seemed to ruin it by ending up with watery or crunchy rice. This was not the case tonight, this rice was AWESOME.

Creamy Chicken with Zucchini Lasagna

At work I sometimes get guff about the way I eat. Because I eat healthy, sometimes it’s assumed that I’ll only eat salads. I really like my coworkers and I’m so thankful for that, but I wish I could tell them about all of the things I eat without sounding preachy. I don’t like to elaborate specifically on the way I eat, because I know I would come off as not well intentioned. Judgmental maybe. Tonight’s dinner was a prime example that I do not exist on salads. Though I’m totally down with salads. In lieu of a grain based lasagna (grains don’t treat my digestive system well) I made a zucchini lasagna. It was quick and spur of the moment, and therefore sort of messy. Pretty much assemble this the way you would assemble a regular lasagna.
-1 zucchini
-some organic pasta sauce
-ball of mozzarella
-some parmesan
I preheated the over to 400 degrees. Using a regular vegetable slicer, I sliced out some zucchini noodles. I cut up the ball of moz. It all looked like this halfway through:

I finished the layers, and for the top added sauce, a little of mozzarella and parmesan. I popped it in the over just until the cheese was melted, the zucchini was still firm.

Creamy Onion Chicken:
-2 T butter
-1/2 cup cream
-as much garlic as you like
-1 onion
-4 organic chicken thighs/breasts
Sautee the butter in the pan until melted. Add chicken and cook on both sides. After flipping the chicken onto its other side, add the onion. Let this sautee for a couple of minutes, until the chicken is almost done. At this point add the cream and let simmer until it thickens.

The chicken was amazing, and I’m not even a big fan of chicken. Also, I realize these are not the best photos but my digital camera is a piece of crap. Hopefully I can remedy that soon.

And just so you know, I know most people have been conditioned to be terrified of butter, but it’s good for you! Butter is actually high in vitamin A, which protects your heart.

Healthified Pizza!

I freakin’ love pizza. I think everyone does. Unfortunately, all the bleached flour, yeast, cheap sauce and cheese are not exactly the best meal you could choose. And, pizza usually hurts my stomach. Last night I discovered the solution. Actually I’m pretty positive people have been doing this for ages, but whatever.
Dani’s Pizza
-1 half Ezekiel Sprouted Grain English muffin
-Some pizza sauce
-Some raw cheese
-Toppins of your choice (I used mushrooms)
Assemble and put under the broiler until it suits your liking. On my first attempt I completely forgot about this. And it looked like this:
No lie, it still tasted good. Just like some overcooked pizza. It’s not as bad as it looks.
Several hours later, I wanted another one. I didn’t forget this time. It honestly tastes exactly like pizza. But not disgusting for you.
That's better.

Grass Fed Spicy Chili

I actually started out on a different blogging website, until I realized it sucked. I'm now on blogspot and so stoked! I'm just going to transfer some posts to this blog, while continuing to update.
I’ve committed to making 2011 the happiest and healthiest year of my life. I figure one of the best ways to fully commit is to take the plunge and start a blog. I fell in love with food blogs about six months ago and have been hooked ever since. I’m going to make it my goal to post once a day (though I know I’ll be more lenient on the weekends). Now, on to the food!
One of my favorite meals that constantly gets a bad rap for being unhealthy: chili! This chili is loaded with beans, vegetables and grass fed meat. The only kind of meat I consume is organic and grass fed. Grain fed meat is actually toxic. Plus, I don’t want to eat any unhappy animals that were cooped up their entire lives, as opposed to happy and free roaming. This is the chili I made tonight for dinner:
Not the best picture, but I swear it's amazing.
-Canned organic diced tomatoes
-Canned organic black beans
-2 peppers of your choice (these suckers are on the dirty dozen, definitely try to buy them organic)
-2 organic onion
-1 lb grass fed beef or bison
-old bay
-chili seasoning
-jalapenos (can omit if too spicy)
-chipotle seasoning
This is actually my boyfriend, Mike’s recipe (I am SO thankful he shares my views on health, I can’t imagine how much harder things would be if he didn’t). He doesn’t exactly measure any of the spices, just throws them in, so taste test. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and let simmer, the longer the better. It’s that easy. We actually make a ton of this and eat it throughout the week (which saves a bunch of money so we’re not buying our lunches). We usually top this with raw cheese (can be found at Whole Foods/almost any health store) and sour cream. It helps cool it off since it’s pretty spicy, which we love.
Before that, since I was running late this morning and didn’t have time, I made a green juice. Green juices can be delicious and are an awesome way to get greens in ya, especially if you’re strapped for time or don’t like salads that much. I used two gigantic collard leaves, bunch of kale, 6 carrots, two stalks of celery and some maca powder. I don’t really care about making my green juices taste good, I chug them down and just want to fix the juice quickly. It seriously makes me feel so much better and gives me energy. I try to have two a day, and I aim to eat at least 50% raw. Need those enzymes, more on that later.
Looks good, right?

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I've had a lot of significant life changes in 2011, and whereas I could stress about them, I'm very happy. Even while they were happening, I thought I should've been more stressed than I was. I contribute this to my sunny disposition, and of course eating primally. I swear to you that eating this way will make you happier. I can't discuss the super personal details, not only because I don't want to but because they're not only my my details to share. But here are some things that went down.

In 2011 I:
  • Ended a three year relationship
  • Moved out on my own
  • Got a promotion
  • Became best friends with my ex, and I wouldn't trade anything for my friendship with Mike
  • Visited my bff in Austin, and went to Fun Fun Fun Fest
  • Acquired a house (a condemned, half destroyed house, but a house)
  • Found out some pretty sucky news regarding my health, and am taking my treatment into my own hands and curing myself
  • Met the love of my life
  • Started to reconnect with my spiritual side
  • Made it not only to Chincoteague, but also Kill Devil Hills! Two beaches I've never been to
  • Planned a trip to Bocas del Toro, Panama
  • Really found out that the secret to happiness is choosing to be happy and working for it
I am so stoked for 2012 and am going to make it the best year of my life thus far. Things are changing, I'm growing and I'm just so excited to have an amazing time with all the people I love.