Salad for Breakfast, Chocolate for Lunch

I came up the title of this post over 6 years ago when I was having a casual conversation with a friend, who happened to be an acupuncturist as well as an athlete and a top notch martial artist. Our conversation turned to nutrition, and I jokingly said, “How about having salad for breakfast and chocolate for lunch?” Here it is, several years later, and I am now eating salad for breakfast almost every morning. And I’m loving it! After taking photos of my mega-nutritious, vitamin-packed breakfast salads and sending them to my sisters, one responded by asking me for the recipes. She said they looked delicious, and she had been struggling trying to find healthy options for breakfast. Uh-oh. She wanted recipes. Recipes I didn’t have. I always start with a base of avocado...

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Vanishing Vegetable Soup

I love soup, and I love cooking it. However, sometimes the recipes end up being rather blah, and I’m left staring down a pot of leftovers thinking “meh.” I don’t want to eat that, and it ends up in the garbage disposal, which hurts my soul. I hate throwing food away. But, true to my incomparably stubborn nature, I keep trying. And trying. Instead of following a recipe exactly as written, I have also begun taking a few liberties, using my imagination and whatever ingredients I have on hand that might work out. This vegetable soup recipe originally called for either beef or chicken, but I decided to use nothing but veggies. The result? By the end of the second day, there wasn’t a spoonful of leftovers in sight. My husband and I ate the entire pot, and the garbage...

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Fresh Green Veggies and Pasta

Nothing quite says spring has sprung like fresh green vegetables, even though this is a fast and fabulous recipe that you can enjoy all year long. It’s a great way to get more vegetables in your diet, and even though it has a cream and butter sauce, I like to think that the health benefits of the broccoli, asparagus, and snow peas levels the playing field. In my opinion the sauce isn’t nearly as rich and decadent as other cream based pasta sauces, but maybe I’m just kidding myself. Regardless, it is a very tasty recipe that feels light and healthy. You can boost the health benefits by serving it with a fresh green salad with an olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing. See? Guilt free pasta in a delicious cream sauce! Ingredients: 2 cups fresh broccoli florets 1 cup fresh...

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Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

I love chicken. It’s versatile, high in protein, easy to digest, and if you cook it right it can be low in fat as well. It can also be easy to prepare for a low maintenance meal, leaving extra time for the things you really love to do. Like going to the dojo and beating up bad guys in my case. But that’s just me. Which is why I love cooking with my crock pot. It’s just so darn easy, and it’s a great way to cook chicken. However, I prefer to use either a whole chicken or thighs and drumsticks rather than chicken breasts. I don’t like the texture of chicken breast cooked in the crock pot, but thighs and drumsticks turn out tender, juicy, and tasty. In this particular recipe, I use bone in chicken thighs and remove the skin before cooking. Here is a quick and easy,...

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Creamy Mushroom Soup

I never learned how to cook until I moved away from my hometown and my mother’s cooking to Denver to seek my fame and fortune. Since then I have become a pretty good cook if I do say so myself. However, it was a steep learning curve and there were a lot of unpalatable mistakes along the way. This mushroom soup was one of the first recipes I made that had any degree of success. Over the years, once my cooking skills improved, I changed the recipe a bit to make it even creamier, tastier, and more satisfying. In my humble opinion, it’s the best cream of mushroom soup I’ve ever had. And the health benefits of mushrooms are almost as amazing as the soup itself. Ingredients: 1 pound button mushrooms, chopped 1 Portobello mushroom, chopped 1 bunch scallions 3 cups chicken broth 2...

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The Reluctant Ninja and the Big Reveal

For the past five years I have been busy working on my next book, The Reluctant Ninja: How A Middle-Aged Princess Became a Warrior Queen. The book chronicles my journey in the male-dominated, testosterone-infested, strange new world of men and martial arts. It was a wild ride, and the most incredible experience I’ve ever had. But, I certainly did not go willingly. I had to be dragged kicking and screaming, and not in a good way. Marc, my Sensei, was my acupuncturist long before he became my teacher. It took him 3 long years to get me on the mat and train with him. I finally capitulated and agreed to take a few classes just to prove to him how much I was going to hate it. Ten years later I became his first female black belt. In 20 years of teaching, he never had a woman achieve such...

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Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Every year my garden treats us to a plethora of zucchini. As a matter of fact, we have so much zucchini that we have to give it away. Which means that by the end of the season, every time I walk out of my house with grocery bags full of garden zucchini, the sound of slamming shutters and blinds by my neighbors can be heard up and down the street. Yes, by October, even the neighbors are over it. But, I love zucchini bread, but I also like to cut calories when I can, as long as I can come up with a palatable solution. Many years ago I took a traditional recipe and completely revamped it. I recently was craving a chocolate fix and added cocoa powder to my recipe. After all, chocolate is full of surprising health benefits, and the result was delicious. I do love the taste of the rich dark chocolate,...

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Fabulous Fit Tip #6

FIT TIP #6: PERFECT POSTURE, Round Two I am passionate about posture, because I understand how important it is to our overall health and well-being. After working with hundreds of clients over the years, I have seen the health benefits of good posture as well as the detrimental effects of faulty posture. Our posture and our structural alignment doesn’t just affect our joints. It also impacts our organs and other physiological functions as well. Since this is a follow-up from my previous fit tip on posture, you might want to review Fit Tip #5. For more detailed information regarding posture, you can check out Chapter 6 of my book, “Forever Fit and Flexible.” In the meantime, here are 3 additional movement lessons to help you find your way to perfect posture. 1). Hold a tray Sit...

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Singing Green Bean Soup

Fall is the perfect time time to enjoy this tasty and tangy green bean soup.  My sisters and I grew up on this soup, and we loved it so much that my mom renamed it Singing Soup, based on the sounds of “mmmmm….mmmmm…mmmm” that filled the kitchen anytime this soup was on the menu. Whether it’s fresh green beans from your own garden, your local Farmer’s Market, or your supermarket, green beans have some surprising health benefits.  Paired with the humble and often overlooked potato (which also has a few surprising power-packed health benefits as well), this is one of my favorite recipes to enjoy this late summer-early fall specialty. True to form, I cut out the sour cream that was essential in my mom’s recipe and replaced it with low fat plain Greek...

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Fabulous Fit Tip #5

Fit Tip #5: PERFECT POSTURE Spoiler alert, there’s no such thing as perfect posture, at least not in my book. A lot of us have hang ups about our posture, especially if we have ever been told we have “bad posture.” Fantastic–one more thing to feel guilty about. However, posture is an important component for our fitness and our health. So, the first thing to do is to let go of the judgement, and follow these 3 easy tips to improve your posture. 1). Stand with your back up against a wall with your feet slightly in front of you. Gently press the back of your head, both shoulders, and your buttocks into the wall. Slowly add a bit more pressure against the wall, and notice how the shape of your spine changes. Stop and relax for a moment, and repeat this several times....

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