Healing My Broken Body After a Traumatic Injury

  You can never anticipate a traumatic injury.

Nevertheless, days before Christmas, on a -16°F day in Yellowstone Park, it became my reality.

Suddenly, I’m on my back on the ice and snow-covered ground. The 700-pound snowmobile I’d had ridden all day was now resting on top of my 125-pound frame. As it was pulled off me, I opened my eyes to find a circle of people peering down at me—all with a similar “Oh @#$!” expressions of on their faces.  Continue reading

Grilled Caesar Salad with Gluten-Free Croutons

grilled caesar saladGrilled Caesar Salad—because grilling is one of the easiest ways to put a fresh twist on a classic. And Caesar salad, an uber classic, is as welcome at a backyard BBQs as sit-down dinners. But, for Grilled Caesar Salad, select small, compact Romaine hearts, ideally about six inches in length. Anything bigger, anything floppy, skip it. Those greens simply won’t hold up to the heat of the grill. Continue reading

Parmesan Chickpea Croutons for Salads or Snacks

Parmesan Chickpea CroutonsParmesan Chickpea Croutons

Parmesan chickpea croutons are one of my favorite salad toppings. They add flavor, texture and protein to a salad, and bonus—they’re also gluten-free!  The croutons can be made a day in advance and, once completely cooled, stored in an airtight container. If using canned chickpeas, look for cans with BPA-free lining. Either way, be sure to make plenty. They make for an addictive snack, especially hot out of the oven! For vegans, simply skip the parmesan. 

Tip: For more of a parmesan ‘crisp’ with cracker-like shards of parmesan, freely add parmesan so that it covers the spaces in the pan between the croutons and let it melt!

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz can or two cups cooked chickpeas, well-drained and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or grape seed oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Optional: black pepper to taste
  • Garlic, onion powder (or other seasonings of your choice) to taste
  • Optional: 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Parmesan Chickpea Crouton Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the chickpeas and cook.
  4. Sprinkle seasoning evenly over chickpeas.
  5. Continue to cook, shaking the pan frequently, until the chickpeas are lightly roasted and slightly browned.
  6. Sprinkle the parmesan over the chickpeas and place pan in the oven and cook for another 35 minutes, for a total of about 1 hour total cooking time. Enjoy!

Note: If chickpeas are not crisp after an hour, lower the heat to 250°F and let them dry out as long as needed. And if you won’t be around to monitor them, simply turn off the oven when they are close to desired crispness and let them continue drying in the residual heat of the oven.

Roasted Chickpeas 1

 Roasted Chickpea CroutonsParmesan Chickpea CroutonsParmesan Chickpea Croutons for Grilled Ceasar Salad

The G & T Healer: Ginger Turmeric Medicinal Tea

Ginger Turmeric Medicinal Tea

Got inflammation, aches, and pains? A few weeks with this drink and you may understand why I fondly call this drink the Ginger Turmeric Healer. G & T for short. Not that kind. 

I’m not being coy calling this ginger turmeric drink a healer. In fact, after serving this up daily during a two-week stay with relatives, they both noticed relief from their daily arthritis-related aches and pains. To quote them “It doesn’t hurt anymore to walk the dogs” and “When I get up in the morning, the pain of putting my socks and shoes on is gone.” This drink also helped me dramatically following a recent traumatic injury, a story for another day. So, for anyone trying to avoid inflammation-related aches and pains, this drink is for you. Continue reading

Herbal Lemon Vinaigrette

Lemon Vinaigrette

Yes,this lemon vinaigrette dressing is as bright as it is versatile. With just a change of fresh herbs; cilantro, parsley or mint —or a combination of several herbs, it will complement a range of salad ingredients. The key here is using fresh lemon juice and balancing it with a small amount of natural sweetener. Continue reading

Did Your Father’s Waistline Influence Your Own?

Fathers' Influence on Child's Obesity Risk

Photo Credit:Sukanto Debnath

Growing up, most people can’t help but look to their parents’ physiology as a contributor of their current as well as a possible future physique. But, it seems that parents, specifically the father’s waistline, may influence a child’s risk of obesity beyond genetic inheritance. Continue reading

Grill Smart: 7 Healthy Grill Tips

Tips for Healthy GrillingEveryone loves to grill it up. Grilling is incredibly easy, quick, fun and can be one of the healthiest ways to get a meal on your plate —if done correctly. The good news is that no matter what food you are putting on the grill, simple changes in what you do before, during and after it hits the grill, as well as the side dishes, can make a very significant difference in the health of your meal. Fire it up!

What Makes Grilling Unhealthy?

Caution, carnivores! Yes, science can be a killjoy at times. But, meat eaters simply need to use a bit more caution than vegetarians when getting their grill or BBQ on. This is not an opinion. It’s basic chemistry. Cook meat at a high temperature and carcinogenic compounds will form. Grill it, and they will come. In fact, the higher the temperature and the longer the cooking time, the more of these compounds will form in the food. The result when you eat these foods? Damaged DNA and increased risk of cancer and many other chronic diseases. Continue reading

Healthyish Spicy Margarita

Spicy Margarita

Hands down, a healthyish spicy margarita is my Cinco de Mayo beverage of choice. A ‘healthyish’ cocktail?! Okay. Perhaps it is more politically correct to say that some margaritas are much more UNHEALTHY than others. How so? Check this out.

Continue reading

Phytonutrient-Rich Dressings to Make Any Salad Even Healthier

Phytonutrient Salad DressingsWhile any salad dressing adds a bit of moisture and palatability to a vegetable medley, the right dressing is a game changer. In fact, these four phytonutrient-rich dressings will not only give your salad a distinct flair, they will take the nutrition quotient to 11! 

How can phytonutrient-rich dressings make a salad even healthier?

First, fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as many phytonutrients need fat for absorption. So, you’ll get more nutrition out of your carrots and sweet potatoes (vitamin A), mushrooms (vitamin D), nuts and seeds (vitamin E), greens and broccoli (vitamin K). That is why friends don’t let friends use fat-free salad dressing!

Second, adding herbs and spices will significantly increase the antioxidant power of your salad to ward off inflammation-causing free radicals. A little goes a long way. For most herbs, simply go by taste and add the amount that tastes right to you. Consistency is more important than the quantity.  Continue reading

How to Make Mushroom Bacon

Mushroom BaconWe all know that ‘mushroom bacon’ is not really bacon. I’m talking about “bacon”. And while I get annoyed with food marketed as something else (tofurky), nothing communicates quite like a good metaphor in air quotes. So, while I’m not going to fool the pork lovers out there, using the ‘B’ word is aptly descriptive. It infers what you’re going to get; an earthy, dense bite of savory, slightly salty immune-boosting goodness. 

No, I won’t bash legit bacon. I have nephews who would never forgive me if I did. But, it’s good to know that these umami bombs are totally unprocessed. And even more important, they are free from the cancer-causing nitrates added to many processed meats.    Continue reading