Tag Archives: healthy living

Budget Epicurean: Health Coaching

 

Dear Readers,

Exciting news! The Budget Epicurean has been pursuing an Integrated Health Coach certificate through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition this past year, we are about halfway through. However, between online schooling, a new career move, and an upcoming wedding, my plate has been overflowing!

Down side is, I will have to cut back my blogging to once weekly for now. I will do my best to post the best material and/or recipes each week, on Sunday. Once the workload eases I may try to switch back to my 3-per-week posting schedule. But don’t fear, there is still a very large archive of fabulous BE stories and recipes to be perused at your leisure.

This site is a treasure trove of Vegetarian meal ideas, creative Beverages, Slow Cooker recipes, my signature “Less Than Five” section, and informative posts on a wide variety of topics. Search any term and see what you might find.

I am excited to announce that I am now offering Free Health History Consultations! This means you fill out a 2-3 page form, then email me and we can talk over the phone (or in person if you’re lucky enough to live in CT!) and see if Health Coaching is right for you. See my Health Coaching page for more info.

Just click on the form below most relevant to you, and save or print it.  Then shoot me an email at BudgetEpicurean @ gmail .com and let me know you want to talk. I’ll contact you and we can go over the form together, to see if there is any area in your life where I can be of support and service.

Women’s Health History Form

Men’s Health History Form

Non-Gendered Health History Form

I can’t wait to help you achieve your healthiest, happiest you!

BE Health Coaching IIN Links

For questions or to request a FREE health history consultation, please email jenhealthcoaching@gmail.com.

How to health-ify pizza

 

Who doesn’t love pizza? Chewy dough, crispy crust, tangy sauce, myriad toppings. I adore pizza in all its many forms. Deep dish, thin crust, stuffed crust, veggie, pockets, rolls.

The problem is that chain pizza is really not healthy. We all know this. Mountains of cheese, grease that literally drips from each slice, fatty processed meats as the most popular toppings, and dough made with bleached white flour.

However, most people do not want to make a cauliflower crust, with ground flax and chia seed, all-veggie pizza with no sauce and kale.

There must be some middle ground.

Turns out there is! Good news, you can have you pie and eat it too. (Pizza pie that is) If you really have a craving, go ahead and order that $5 hot and ready. But every little step you take to healthify it will contribute to your long-term overall health.

Simply start with the addition of 1 cup of vegetables to your meal every day, and your body will thank you. It’s easier than you think!

Besides adding good stuff, you can also cut down on the not-so-good stuff. Try one step each time, and see which suit your tastes. Over time, your taste buds will become used to less and less fat and salt, and will come to appreciate new flavors.

Here are some tips:

  • Ask for half the amount of cheese, or no cheese at all
  • Opt for vegetable toppings like mushroom, onion, and spinach rather than bacon, sausage, or pepperoni
  • Make pizza at home with store-bought or preferably from scratch dough and fresh vegetables (a great way to clean the fridge!)
  • Just have one slice, and add a bowl of soup or salad to the meal
  • Buy a plain pizza (which will save you money too) and top with your own grilled vegetables at home
    • Topping ideas: wilted spinach, steamed kale, red bell peppers, sliced onions, banana peppers, microwaved sweet potato slices, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, squash, tomatoes

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Do you have any ideas of your own on how to health-ify pizza?

True Stories of Juicing

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Raw Juice: what’s fact and what’s hype?
 
For several years now I’ve been dabbling in “healthy stuff” like juicing. As most things do, it began as just a curiosity, what’s it all about. I read articles and books and opinions of people who have tried juicing in various ways and for various amounts of time. There are some super-intense proponents of juicing, like this guy. His name is Joe Cross, and he claims juicing saved his life. He has a documentary on Netflix and free online called “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” as well as a blog. Before you think “ok, crazy extremists who make these claims just want us to buy their juicer”, let me say that recognized sources like WebMD and even Dr. Oz tout the benefits of juicing while giving adequate attention to the possible drawbacks.

Fruit and vegetable juices retain most of the chemicals which make them so good for us in the first place, like chlorophyll, anthocyanins, antioxidants and flavonoids. It is important to note that although adding juice to a well rounded, healthy diet is an excellent idea, beware falling into thinking that juicing is the only or best way to be healthy, or that only juices are good for you and you should avoid whole foods. That is not at all what I’m saying. Juicing also takes out all the fiber from these wonder foods, fiber that your body needs for its normal digestive process. For a list of nearly 50 more fascinating raw food juice facts, check this out.

Now, before you rush out and buy a $300 juicer, consider your needs. Are you just beginning to dabble in this juicing craze? Do you just want a healthy beverage now and then, as well as pulp to put into soup and muffins? Are you already a hard-core health nut ready to begin adding daily juices to your diet? There are two types of juicers, a centrifugal juicer or a masticating juicer. Centrifugal machines work by chopping the food into tiny pieces and spinning it to separate the juices. They are typically smaller and less expensive. You won’t get as much of the nutrients, but they do the job. Masticating juicers work by mashing and grinding the food, producing a thicker, pulpier juice with the majority of the nutrients. They are typically larger and more expensive. You can check out a wide array on Amazon (not an affiliate link. I will get no benefit if you look or buy). 

Funny story, my juicer was actually free. I’m a member of an online community called SparkPeople which has nutrition and exercise trackers, recipes, articles, community boards and much more. I highly recommend it if you want a simple, informative website to keep track of your health stats. Anyways, there was a forum about juicing, and I posted in it that I was curious about juicing. It lead to several conversations about types of juicers, uses, etc. A fellow member sent me a personal message saying that she had just gotten a newer, larger juicer as a gift and had an old one she didn’t need anymore. Of course I was skeptical, but sure enough two weeks later a gorgeous little blue and white juicer showed up! 

My gorgeous gift, courtesy of a kind fellow Spark-er!

 

I was thrilled, and thanked her profusely. Since then I’ve dabbled on and off with various types of fruits and vegetables and recipes, and learned a little along the way. Following is a list of rules I’ve determined for myself. They may not all work for you, but enjoy learning from my experience.


Jen’s Five Juicing Rules: 

1. Take the time to cut off the peels. Seriously, juicing the peels too gives the final juice a bitter, sour taste that is not really pleasant, regardless of what other goodies are in there.Of course, mine is a centrifugal juicer, not meant for large pieces of whole fruit. If you have a masticating one, it might be ok.

2. Know the limits of your machine. If you have one of the huge, fancy juicers you can pretty much throw a whole watermelon into, good for you! Most likely you do not, so know how large of a piece of food your machine can handle at a time, and if you’re doing a large batch clean it a few times throughout to keep it from clogging up.

3. Wash your juicer immediately once finished. Dried on fruit and vegetable bits are gross, start to smell, and are much harder to scrape off the inside of a fruit chute than fresh.  I promise the chlorophyll and phytochemicals in your juice won’t fall apart in the time it takes to give it a quick rinse.

4. Always throw in a little something sweet. Even the most hard-core purist who drinks three glasses of green juice a day has to admit kale, spinach and carrots alone don’t taste super great. Especially if you’re just starting out with juicing, give yourself some slack and add some apple juice or berries to everything.  

5. Don’t be afraid to try new things. I juiced anything I could get my hands on for a while. Sure I made some mistakes (see the list at the end of things that are HORRIBLE juiced) but I also found a lot of new fruits and veggies I didn’t know I liked. 

Prepping for juicing: lots of fresh fruits and veggies
This will become many tasty beverages for the week.
Mmmm green juice, that’s the best way to start the day.

Things that are seriously gross when juiced:
Cabbage
Potatoes
Mushrooms
Garlic – maybe for cooking, but holy cow this stuff is strong! Gag-inducing, even in small amounts.


Things that will overwhelm the taste (use small amounts only):
Grapefruit
Ginger
Lemons
Limes

Best things for juicing:
Apples
Carrots
Celery
Cucumber
Spinach
Oranges
Pears
Berries (most of them)
Pineapple
Lemon/lime/grapefruit


Now that you know the facts, go ahead and find yourself a juicer (Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, Christmas present, Craigslist…) and get to creating! The Beginner’s Guide to Juicing is a great article full of helpful information, reviews of different types of juicers and blenders, and includes more recipe ideas.

Some recipes to get you started:

Citrus Refresher
~2 oranges, peels cut off
~2 apples
~2 large carrots
~1 lemon and/or lime

Green Machine
~1 large handful spinach or kale
~4 stalks celery
~1 large cucumber
~1 apple
~1 lime

Cold Crusher
~2 oranges
~1/2 a grapefruit
~1 apple
~1″ chunk ginger
~1 lemon

If you have any juicing stories, advice or recipes, please share!

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