Better Diet, Better Life

Italian olive oil, both oil and an oil bottle ...
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Marilu Henner provided some interesting tips recently that underscore the saying “You are what you eat.” If you fill up on junk food, chances are you feel that way, too. As a coach for the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, Ms. Henner reveals her secrets to help Kickstarters remove junk from their diet and life.

A sample of her tips inlcudes:

  • People tend to eat right and exercise only when they need to look good and be their best. Learn to develop good eating and exercise habits that will be a permanent part of your lifestyle. Eat right and exercise as a daily habit. Make it your new normal.
  • Before you eat anything today, close your eyes for a second. Meditate on how wonderful it is that you’re fueling your body with such good food. If you’re about to eat something that does not honor your body, close your eyes for a second. Talk yourself out of it.
  • Take five minutes today and go through your refrigerator. Instead of forcing yourself to face temptation, remove it. Throw out all the food saboteurs you find there. That means anything that’s not plant-based—lunchmeat, cheese, and dairy-based salad dressings and condiments.

 I would add that poor nutrition starts at the shopping cart. Before you put it in, think about it.


 Butternut Squash Soup



Pick up some squash for this soup that’s easy, delicious, and budget-friendly!

 Makes 6 servings

1 large butternut squash, peeled, cubed, steamed, and puréed
2 stalks celery hearts, sliced thin
1/2 small sweet onion diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
3 tablespoons flour
8 ounces vegetable broth
16 ounces nondairy milk (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons rubbed sage
salt and pepper (white pepper) to taste

In large saucepan sauté celery and onion in olive oil until translucent. Add margarine and when it melts, add the flour, stirring to coat vegetables. Slowly stir in the veggie broth. Simmer 5 minutes and add the cooked, pureed squash. Stir squash into broth and simmer on low for 10 minutes. With the heat on low, add the milk and herbs and heat gently for another 10 to 15 minutes.


Ginger-Jalapeño Slaw

Makes 6 servings

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 pound cabbage, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1/2 pound red cabbage, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
3 medium carrots, finely shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced kale

In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, ginger, salt, and jalapeño peppers until well blended. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour before serving.

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