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My Morning Ritual Summer-ized

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Most mornings I am operating in a mad frenzy surrounding my boys’ needs. Pack lunches, prep a bag of whatever they will need for the day’s adventure, get breakfast ready, ensure they take their essentials (JP+ TRIO chewables, a fish oil and probiotic chew), go to the bathroom and brush teeth. Nothing out of the norm compared to any other parent that is on prep duty. And as any parent knows it’s never as smooth as you hope it will go. But one ritual I aim for every morning to ensure I’m taking care of myself while exerting most of my energy taking care of my family is to start with a cup of warm lemon water. There is a long list of health benefits resulting from this daily habit, including everything from boosting immunity, improving skin, helping with digestion and weight loss, fighting aches and pains, cleansing the liver and supporting brain function. Want some details? The Huffington Post has a nice article.

In addition to all these health benefits, I just really enjoy the taste. It’s refreshing and often helps me emerge out of a fog from my many sleep-deprived nights (my 2 year old often wanders in at night with a variety of needs). With my container herb garden in full bloom I’ve been adding fresh mint or basil to the lemon water for a Summer twist. Since I am equally committed to taking JP+ (concentrated fruits and vegetables) every day I like to pair these two practices for the perfect blend of wellness in a simple unified action. Committing to these two rituals has ensured that I have been illness free — with the exception of a minor cold in January — for over a year.  Still very tired on many days, but able to function and avoid being down for the count despite the continued chaos in my daily life. Try it. Your immune system will thank you!

My Kids Love this Healthier French Toast

I’m always experimenting with ways to make healthier versions of favorite foods, especially breakfast foods. I try to limit the amount of dairy we consume because when I do we all have better digestion, fewer colds and sinus issues and have more energy. In fact, my kids only recently started drinking cow’s milk on a more regular basis (at ages 3 and 5). [Want more info on dairy-free living, especially for kids, please consider a Health Strategy Session with me.]  We also do better without lots of gluten so I decided to try swapping hemp milk for cow’s milk and use a gluten-free bread for my traditional french toast recipe. Total success! The bread comes out so soft and berry topping is just heaven. I made this one day at one of my client’s office and his staff was ecstatic.

French Toast with Berries

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Hemp milk
  • 1 loaf gluten free cinnamon raisin bread
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tso cardamom (optional)
  • 1 bag organic frozen mixed berries
  • 2 tbsp of organic coconut oil
  • For cooking: organic butter (or use a coconut oil/butter mix)

Make

Batter: In a large dish (pie dish works well) add the Hemp milk and then stir in egg, vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom. Whisk until egg is fully beaten in the batter.

Fruit sauce: In a small saucepan add the 2 tbsp of coconut oil and melt. Then add bag of frozen mixed berries and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. After the berries start to get soft, turn heat to low and cover while cooking the bread.

Dip: First two pieces of bread in the batter and flip so each side is covered. Let sit in batter while you prep the pan.

Heat: a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1-2 tbsp of butter to pan and melt to coat pan (may combine butter with coconut oil for a slightly sweeter taste).  Add the battered bread and cook each side until light golden brown. Can store cooked french toast slices in foil or on a try in the oven until all pieces are ready. Turn off the heat for the berry sauce.

Once you have cooked all the french toast pieces, place on a plate or tray and for each serving pour the berry sauce over the french toast as your syrup.

NOTE: You can make the fruit sauce for waffles too. When I don’t have time to make the french toast, I quickly make the sauce and pour over gluten-free waffles, like Nature’s Path Chia Plus waffles. I get these in the frozen section of any of the major grocery stores.

Peach Blueberry Crumble

I bought a huge basket of blueberries the other day and after adding them to morning smoothies and eating handfuls of them out of the basket, I still had plenty to make a delicious summer dessert and use up the peaches I got at the farmer’s market that were very ripe and needed to be eaten or baked.

Thank you Pinterest for an easy recipe find! The one I used is from Eighten25 and was easy enough to make while entertaining my four-year-old and breaking down cardboard boxes as my husband put together our new dining room chairs. The original recipe did not call for organic ingredients but I have listed organic or locally grown for the fruit and organic for the baking ingredients. Peaches continue to be listed on Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list for fruits that are high in pesticides if grown conventionally. While blueberries do not make the Dirty Dozen list, they are not on the Clean Fifteen list either so better to opt for pesticide-free.  I do, however, often buy local in the summer even if not labeled organic. Many local farms using sustainable/responsible farming practices but can’t afford to pay the price for the USDA Certified Organic labeling. It’s fair to ask the farmer you are buying from about their practices. While this is not guaranteed to remove all pesticides, I do use the Honest Company’s Fruit and Veggie Wash on almost all of the fruit we consume just in case there is any pesticide or residue on the outside. I am game to try any method eliminating toxins going into my family’s body, especially my boys whose bodies will have to work harder to deal with toxic exposure.

Peach Blueberry Crumble

Serves 8
Ingredients
For Fruit:
  • 4 cups fresh organic or locally grown peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh organic or locally grown blueberries
  • ½ cup organic granulated sugar
  • 2½ TBSP cornstarch

For Topping:

  • 6 TBSP organic butter, melted
  • 1 cup organic all purpose flour
  • ½ cup organic brown sugar
  • ¼ cup organic granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together peaches, blueberries, sugar and cornstarch.
  3. Pour fruit into a 7x 10 or 8×8 baking dish.
  4. In the same bowl mix together flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Add in melted butter and mix with a fork. Mixture will not be completely wet, but more sandy.
  6. Take a handful of topping and press together with your hand. It should clump up.
  7. Sprinkle mixture over the fruit. Leave some larger clumps so it stays crispier while baking.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until topping is lightly golden brown and fruit is bubbling.
  9. Cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Serve with some delicious vanilla ice cream.

I’m always adding delicious and mostly healthy recipes to my Pinterest, so get inspired on my Eat Well Board.

Seasonal Fruit Yogurt Parfaits

The last two weeks I have really gotten into the summer food spirit – especially all the fresh seasonal fruit – so I couldn’t help but share what I’ve been whipping up for my family.

One of my kids is a great eater and the other not so much so it’s a constant challenge for me to see if I can create something yummy and healthy that appeals to both my boys. Last week I decided to make a yogurt parfait with some of the delicious fresh fruit we got at the farmer’s market and our farm delivery (From the Farmer DC – which comes every week to my doorstep, and it’s awesome).

SEASONAL YOGURT PARFAIT

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Ingredients: 3 large containers of organic yogurt or 4 small, fresh seasonal fruit (peaches, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and nectarines), small mason jars

Make: Add a layer of yogurt to bottom of jar. Add a layer of berries. Add another layer of yogurt. Repeat layer of fruit. That’s so easy may not even need explanation. The yogurt and fruit may not hold the layers completely but it looks pretty and is great for an afternoon snack on a hot day or ready-to-eat breakfast.

While it was my kids that inspired this creation, I have to admit that seeing the creamy yogurt in the little mason jars with vibrant fruit had my taste buds screaming with delight.

FOR A NON-DAIRY VERSION – use Coconut-based yogurt. So Delicious is available at all major grocery stores I have been to and some grocery chains like Trader Joe’s have their own version of coconut yogurt.

How and Why to Detox

Even though most of us are in full Spring mode, it’s not too late to consider a Spring detox. See below for my musings on the subject and why I think it is not only important – but something I put into practice every Spring and Fall. I would never recommend you do something that I don’t myself practice, so if you need more specific information on HOW to put this into practice, never hesitate to reach out to me.

Ok – down to the business of detoxing. Despite the massive media coverage of detoxes, detoxing should not to be viewed as a fad. Many of our daily physical annoyances – from allergies and sinus issues, to headaches or or joint pain, to repeat colds and congestion, as well as digestive issues are a result of our bodies needing a major tune-up. I always explain to my clients that our bodies need maintenance just like machines and vehicles if we want to operate at our best. We are exposed to various toxins every day through the air we breathe, the water we drink, the products and materials and in our homes and products. There are many ways to detox, but the purpose of detoxing is really to:

  • rid your body of toxins that build up over time
  • protect organs
  • improve digestion
  • boost energy
  • reduce or eliminate inflammation

SIMPLE STEPS TO RID TOXINS, INCREASE ENERGY AND BOOST IMMUNITY

1) Hydrate hydrate hydrate! Drink half your body weight in ounces every day. Be sure you are drinking clean, filtered water – not plastic bottled water. 

2) Sweat toxins out. Do cardio exercises. Steam or sit in an infrared sauna. (Learn more about infrared saunas and their health benefits HERE)

3) Eliminate processed sugar and caffeine for two weeks. I know this painful for most people to even consider, but you will feel amazing afterwards and will have more sustained energy throughout day (and won’t need that double shot espresso in the afternoon). If cutting caffeine totally is too hard, switch to a green tea in lieu of coffee – it has antioxidants to assist in your detox while also giving you a little boost.

4) Use HerbsThe herbs below can be consumed in liquid, powder or capsule form, and are available at many health food or vitamin speciality stores (or on the internet). 

  • Garlic is a natural antibiotic that cleanses the blood and boosts the immune system.
  • Cayenne purifies the blood, increases sweating and fluid elimination.
  • Ginger root stimulates circulation and sweating.
  • Parsley leaf is a diuretic that flushes the kidneys. (Avoid if breastfeeding – it is also helpful for lowering your milk supply).
  • Chlorella is a green algae but is a remarkable detoxifier and all around nutrient.

  5) Consume alkaline foods. As someone who tries to drink lemon water first thing every morning, consume a green juice at some point almost every day, and even invested in an ionizer to alkalize the pH of my water – I’m a big fan of an alkalizing diet for added detoxing. It basically means upping your dark greens and other vegetable intake, eliminating refined sugars and caffeine, but also consuming other alkalizing foods, like coconut oils and even some cheeses (yes cheese). Here is a great resource on Detox Benefits and How To with alkalizing foods from Body & Soul: The Alkalising Detox Diet 

When we choose to be proactive about our health, take care of our bodies we unleash a new kind of freedom to keep up with our busy lives and do the things we love for a very long time! 

Organic Omelet with Lentil Bean Salad

I have hosted a few healthy living workshops recently focused on how to create fast, easy meals that are still healthy. One of the messages that I always try to instill with my clients is that eating healthy does not mean you have to give up all the things you love. I always advise clients that adding lots of nutrient-rich foods and maintaining a mostly plant-based diet is the best way to ensure you have a healthy, strong immune system, stay energized and ward off illness and disease. But I am also aware that make healthier choices can be confusing for many people, so I will be sharing many more of these types of recipes moving forward:

Simple + Healthful + Delish

Here is a recipe that I often throw together when I need a protein boost on-the-fly.

Organic Omelet with Lentil Bean Salad

IMG_5321-2Last night as I was getting the kids fed, trying to pack for our Spring Break trip and take care of other loose ends I also knew I need to eat something with some protein and veggies because I had blazed through my day without a lot to eat. I had made this lentil salad the day before and paired it with a small omelet and half an avocado. It was super filling and I felt energized and satisfied to finish all my pre-travel tasks.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cooked brown lentils (I made this super easy on myself and bought pre-packaged lentils from Trader Joe’s, in the refrigerated section)
  • 1 head of organic broccoli chopped into large florets (or pre-cut organic florets also from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup of organic diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup of organic extra virgin olive oil (may need more for salad consistency preference)
  • 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar or an infused white vinegar (like a raspberry white vinegar)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, additional pinch to add at end
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

1) Roast the broccoli. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Add rinsed and dried broccoli florets to a cookie sheet. Toss with 1-2 tbsp of olive oil so florets are lightly coated. Add a pinch or two of seal salt and pepper and mix (could also use an herb blend for stronger flavor). When oven is ready, roast broccoli in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until edges are crisp. Set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes. Chop into small pieces to prep for mixing into the salad base.

2) Prep the salad base. In a medium sized bowl, add the lentils, pepper, tomatoes, broccoli. Toss with 2 tbsp of oil oil and 1 tsp of vinegar of choice. Add more salt and pepper to taste. (Note: I made this salad the day before and just added this to eggs and avocado the next day to have something quick, easy and nutritious. The salad is great by itself or added to some dark leafy greens, and a super great option for lunch at home or in the office. Just add to a small glass container with a lid and take with you.)

3) Eggs and avocado. Crack 3 eggs into a small bowl and mix well with a fork. Heat a small saucepan on medium low heat and add olive oil or coconut oil to grease the pan. Add the eggs and cook until bottom of eggs in solid. Flip over to cook top side or fold in half, let cook for a couple minutes and continue to flip until inside is no longer runny. Turn off the heat and move pan away from hot burner. Cut an avocado in half and carefully scoop out one side with a large spoon (you can use both halves if you have a big appetite).

Place the omelet and avocado on a medium or large plate. Add the lentil salad to the side and scoop some into the avocado half. Drizzle avocado with a little more olive oil and add a pinch of sea salt. Enjoy your protein, fiber and nutrient-rich meal!

Winter Warm-Up and Immune Boosting “Teas”

Baby it’s coooooold outside! At least in most of the country and here in Washington D.C. on this January day we have a nice little snow coverage. It’s nothing compared to those Northeast of us but temps are below freezing and schools are delayed so it seems like a perfect day to post these Winter Warm-Up and Immune Boosting recipes to help you survive these cold days and stay healthy!

For all these recipes I recommend using filtered water – not bottled water. If you don’t have a good water filter, make this a priority. For a great filtering option check out the SHOP page for a link to Alkaviva – I use one of their ionizers because it filters out 99.9% of particulates and chemicals in the water. The water tastes great and is super hydrating!

Serving Size: The recipes below are more or less a one-two person serving since I am usually making these during the morning rush of getting kids ready for school/nanny share as a reboot and recovery beverage since most nights these days my 2-year old is climbing into our bed to sleep in the middle of the night and seriously disrupting my sleep patterns. You can make a larger batch, however, and have it readily available. See below for Make-N-Save tips.

Lemon Ginger

Place 2 tbsps of fresh organic lemon juice + 2-3 slices of fresh ginger (cut peel off) in a saucepan.  Add 3 1/2 cups of water and boil. Turn off heat and let steep 1-2 minutes. Strain if you desire or just pour directly into your cup. Drink and warm up! Add organic honey or agave if you prefer a little sweeter taste.

Turmeric Lemon Honey

Place 1/2 tsp of Turmeric + 2 tbsp of fresh organic lemon juice + 3 tbsp of organic or raw honey in a saucepan.  Add Add 3 1/2 cups of water and boil. Turn off heat and let steep 1-2 minutes. Pour, drink, feel revived!

Mint Orange Cinnamon

Add 3 cinnamon sticks + juice of one orange and the rind of the orange (wash using a fruit and vegetable spray before adding to water) + 1/2 cup of loose packed mint to saucepan with 3 1/2 cups of water and boil. Turn off heat and let steep 1-2 minutes. Pour, drink, feel cozy inside! Add organic honey or agave if you want it a little sweeter.

Make-N-Save

Add one quart of water to a saucepan and add double the ingredients listed above. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover the saucepan and steep until 5-7 minutes. For a warm beverage pour into a tea cup immediately. You can save the rest after it completely cools by adding to a glass container or individual jars for up to one week. Reheat in a saucepan or drink cold.

 

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms – ‘Meaty’ and Delicious!

With lots of cold and rain and indoor time lately, I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen. This week’s culinary adventure: Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

This recipe is simple and filling – can be a stand alone dish or a side dish.

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, caps removed
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 4-5 large cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 tsp of organic dried oregano
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 turmeric (for more spice also add red pepper flakes)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of mozzarella or Italian mixed shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the zucchini and cook another 2-3 minutes. Next add your bell pepper. Stir and cook these ingredients until all slight soft. Add in the garlic. Cook another 2 minutes and turn off heat. Add tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper, and turmeric to pan and stir slightly. (Experiment with different seasonings depending on your taste preference)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Wash each portobello and remove stems. Pat dry with paper towels.  With remaining tbsp of olive oil, brush oil on bottoms of each portobello mushroom and around the edges. Place with stem facing up. Divide the vegetable mixture evenly into fours and top each mushroom with mix.

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Cook 30 minutes.

Evenly portion cheese to top each mushroom and bake another 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

Let cool slightly and ENJOY!

World Meet Addie Spahr Kim. Hello World!

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Welcome! It’s official! Green Living Consulting is now Addie Spahr Kim, a blog-centered website dedicated to sharing tips, resources, ideas for living a healthier lifestyle so you can enjoy YOUR life to the fullest! Green Living Consulting will continue to serve as the umbrella company and my green consulting services are still available under certain circumstances, but my passion and dedication is to help people discover a health and wellness plan that truly works for them.

We all know that eating well, exercising, getting enough rest and staying hydrated is the formula for a long and healthy life. YET most of us ‘dabble’ in this at best, doing bits and pieces when it conveniently fits into our other lifestyle and career activities. And not because we don’t want to – usually because we are juggling a lot of different priorities and somehow personal health is an easy one to place on the backburner. As a busy mom of two boys and two energetic dogs, wife of a ridiculously busy restaurateur, CEO of the household and my own business – I TOTALLY get it! It’s hard to squeeze it all in. But what I also get is that the longer we ignore our health, the sooner issues arise that start to prevent us from doing all those other things we were doing while ignoring the one thing that is our ticket to independence, to a full life, to ultimate flexibility and enjoyment of whatever it is your aspire to achieve – OUR HEALTH!  Having spent many years in the environmental field prior to becoming a certified health coach, I also am firmly committed to helping my clients understand our connection to the planet we live on and to seek ways to live more in balance through the food we eat, the products we use for our bodies, the materials we use in our homes…you get the picture.

Join along this journey with me! Check in here from time to time, or weekly, or daily! I can’t wait to share my knowledge with you and help you get on the right healthy living path in a way that won’t cramp your busy lifestyle. Just ASK for Wellness, I will deliver!

In love, health, and happines

Addie Spahr Kim

Is Healthy Living Your Ticket to Freedom?

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The… patient should be made to understand that he or she must take charge of his own life. Don’t take your body to the doctor as if he were a repair shop. ~Quentin Regestein

How is our health connected to our level of freedom? This is the question I have been pondering all week as people near and dear to me have been dealing with everything from fractured ankles and pulled back muscles to being rushed to hospital and diagnosed with cancer. When we aren’t suffering from illness or injury we often take for granted our ability to get up in the morning and go about our daily activities without restriction. But the minute our health is impacted, our freedom to do all the things we want becomes limited. This can be incredibly frustrating and for those that end up with a serious illness and potentially fatal disease, this can be very overwhelming (and that is a huge understatement!).

So what if we thought about healthy living as our real ticket to ensuring freedom? Accidents happen – and in my family klutziness is something we consider an inherited gene, but there are a lot of things we can control by the food and exercise choices we make in addition to other wellness actions that keep us functioning so that we can do the things we really enjoy. We can’t stop the aging process, but I do believe we can manage our health so that we are aging more gracefully and able to be independent and mobile late into life. Most of us know what we should be doing, but choose not to do it – or think to ourselves, “I’ll eat better tomorrow”, “I’ll start exercising tomorrow”, “I’ll do something to manage my stress tomorrow”. Tomorrow turns into next week, next month, sometimes next year. At some point, tomorrow may be too late.

So, what if we all changed our thinking so that healthy living was not something that restricted us and that takes away all the fun but instead is the very thing that guarantees are ability to do things we want? What if you figured out what was most nourishing for your body so that you knew the right “fuel” to put in it? Recently one of my clients said that by understanding what was good for her body and making the right changes, she now craves the stuff that this good for her. By doing what makes her feel good most of the time, she can indulge on a night out with friends or weekend social event. When she feels like she has overdone it she can now course correct, go back to the healthier choices, and ensure she is maintaining good energy and avoiding the negative effects that the unhealthy living has on her body.

When I finally figured out what foods my body was sensitive to and cut those out of my diet (at least most of the time), it was truly a liberating experience. When I discovered that just getting out for a long walk 3-4 times a week helped my physical and emotional well-being, I came to see my hyper-active dogs as a blessing in my life because they keep me exercising regularly. What is “healthy” for me is different from what is healthy for you, but many of the basic principles are the same. I hope you’ll consider thinking about healthy living as liberating and not restricting, as empowering rather than imprisoning. The more proactive we are in managing our own health, the happier and healthier we will be in the long run!