Are all vegetables born equal? 

The majority of people know that eating fruits and vegetables is very important.

Vegetables are essential to our health because they are whole foods, created by nature and are rich in large amount of nutrients. The processed foods that we so commonly eat, can never compare to the health benefits provided by broccoli or carrots which have fiber, vitamins, and enzymes built right in.

By eating variety  of vegetables, one can get the best all-around health benefits. Different color vegetables contain unique health components that are important to our health.

Vegetables have many common properties – vitamins, minerals and fiber. One might think that it doesn’t matter which vegetables to eat; that they provide equal benefits. It is fascinating how different they actually are, even just  by looks – size, taste, shape, and color

Green vegetables

Green vegetables contain chlorophyll  (a protein compound that aids in creating healthy Kale Green 300x400red blood cells), fiber, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene. The nutrients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion, support health of our eyes and vision, and boost immune system activity.

Green vegetables have fewer calories, less sugar. They are cleansing and provide light uplifting energy. They are good throughout the year but especially during spring – natural time for body cleansing after winter when our system was collecting and storing to keep us warm.

G-d created people in balance with the nature. Signs and hints are everywhere around us. Green leafy vegetables grow during the spring. Spring is the first season when nature is awakening after the winter. New green leaves are emerged on trees and bushes, and new green grass covers the land.

Spring is the best time of the year to eat leafy greens – arugula, watercress, parsley, bok choy, mustard greens, etc.

But even among green vegetables some possess undesired properties.

Chard, spinach, rhubarb, beet leaves – are stressful vegetables. They might increase risk of osteoporosis and kidney stones since they contain oxalic acid, which binds calcium and eliminates calcium from the body.

Green paper – is one of nightshade vegetables (as tomato, eggplant, red pepper, potato) which is better to avoid. Nightshade vegetables speed up the heart rate and slow down digestion. They are high in alkaloids which block vitamin B absorption. They might contribute to arthritic and rheumatic symptoms.

List of Healthy – Healing – Good For YOU – green vegetables:

Kale Dinosaur 330x400

Broccoli,

Brussels sprouts,

Green Cabbage,

Kale (green, red, dinosaur)

Collard, Bok Choy,

Parsley, Cilantro,

Arugula, Watercress,

Dill, Mustard greens,Leek 300x400

Cucumber, Kohlrabi,

Chinese cabbage,

Romaine lettuce, 

Dandelion, Celery,

Green onion (scallion),

Leek, Zucchini, 

Sugar snap peas,

Green beans.


**Health Tip: Kale and Collard provide more vitamins, minerals and protein than meat (pound for pound)


Acquired Taste

Blanched Kale Salad

Blanched Red Kale Salad with Seeds and Pecans

I grew up on a very different diet than I am eating now. From the childhood I loved bread, pastries, cheese, eggs, chicken, tomatoes and fruits. ( At that time I believed tomatoes are vegetables 🙂 ). Coffee was my main drink – I had a cup of strong coffee for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late night out.

I enjoyed my food while struggling to normalize my digestive system and lose extra pounds. Though I was traumatized by being overweight, I had no idea it is possible for me to lose weight and maintain it without going on a strict hunger diet. I had gone a long way through trying all kinds of rather damaging diets until I learned about macrobiotic balanced approach to lifestyle.

I read about it and went to many classes. I met people who got cured from terminal cancer by following macrobiotic diet. I believed in the system but I was very skeptical that I would be able to adjust to eating porridge, beans and cooked vegetables. Even more, I could not imagine my life without cheese, pastries and coffee.

When I got the list of recommended food I was surprised by so many different names I have never heard before. I took the list and went to the Whole Foods store. I asked the store employee for assistance to locate these strange foods.

I was determined to try this system and see what effect it will make on my health.

I lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks by eating lots of porridge!!! I could not expect that! It was an additional benefit I was not even looking for. My digestive system started working on its own and I dropped supplements that I believed I was doomed using for the rest of my life!

I was so pleased and excited with the results while being busy learning how to cook a basic miso soup and blanched kale that I did not think about cheese. I stopped drinking coffee and started drinking kukicha tea. It has very mild taste and very easy to switch to.

A few months later I was enjoying baked Brussels sprouts, sautéed Portobello mushrooms and brown rice rolls.  I started questioning what if I have a little bit of food I ate before that gave me so much pleasure in the past? A new unexpected experience took place – I did not enjoy that food as much – it tasted too salty, too heavy, or too sweet. Every time I eat out, I feel that homemade clean plant-based food is so much more delicious and satisfying. It pleases my palate during eating and leaves me with very enjoyable taste. I feel energized, light and nourished.

I discovered amazing natural taste of kale, collard, rutabaga, parsnip, daikon, leek, mushrooms, millet, lentil and more…. They are so delicious by being simply cooked! I learned that cooking healthy is EASY! Natural taste does not call for complex long cooked fatty or hot sauces. It inspired me to start creating my own recipes of delicious simple dishes.

It does not take long to acquire taste for new food. Our taste bites follow the food we eat!

This salad is rich with calcium, vitamins, fiber, protein and uplifting energy. It is a great vegetable option for breakfast to accompany soft grain dish. During Spring or Summer it is perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner due to its cleansing properties.

Kale salad


**Health Tip: A high-fiber diet has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. It helps normalize blood glucose and insulin levels. It promotes regular bowel movements and prevents constipationFoods containing fiber are helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease.  We get fiber from unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans.


Healthy Kosher made EASY journey

Arizona - one of a kind experience

I, like a lot of people, live a very busy life. Sometimes I wonder where my day went and I try to pack my schedule for the next day with list of tasks I would like to accomplish for my job and my family and hopefully for myself on the bottom of the list. Guess what, I am usually very proud that I managed the majority but rarely get to the nourishing myself part.

The company I work for declared a winter break – 4 days off. In the middle of extremely cold Chicago winter! This is an opportunity to get to always omitted bottom of my list – I am booking Yoga & Spa resort in a warm place – Arizona – for 6 wonderful days!

Miraval 2015

It was an amazing experience. In addition to perfect weather, beautiful surroundings, delicious food, ample activities and spa choices, the most important benefit I got out of it – clear my head and created space for new ideas.

My new idea to start blogging! I know, blogging has been around for a long time. Everything is right at the right time .

Where to begin???

I was born and lived till 24 in Latvia. It is a small independent country in Western Europe – beautiful with ancient architecture that went through many different political regimes including devastating Soviet Union during my times.

Riga Old Town

Riga Latvia Old Town

Everything was limited – money, food, freedom, opportunities and information.

When we moved to the United States, the first thing surprised me – huge number of seriously overweight people. I could not believe that the best country in the world with the most advanced medicine and freedom of choice, unlimited access to information and food, people do not eat healthy.

But time went by, I got busy with building my successful carrier and joined the majority of population – eating out, drinking coffee to stay awake, and drinking more and stronger coffee to stay focused. I was buying frozen dinners and spent time looking for the tastiest frozen dinner…

Until it became too obvious – if I want to live a vibrant, healthy, dynamic life and enjoy it for many, many years (having good memory, sharp mind, positive optimistic outlook, capable dealing with stress, control my weight) – I‘d better spend a little more time in my kitchen and a little more money on Organic food now instead of on ever growing list of regularly used medication and supplements in the future.

I was looking for information that would make sense and I found plenty. I started cooking my own meals and my family embraced it with great pleasure.

What’s for breakfast?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sets our sugar balance for the day, it defines our energy level. It has to be satisfying, nourishing and delicious.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with fresh cranberries, blueberries and mango

Oatmeal with fresh fruitOrganic Kosher Irish steel cut oatmeal is cooked for 30 minutes ( no prior soaking is required)

Ingredients:

1 cup Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal, 3 cups of water and a pinch of sea salt.