Miso Soup is my Hero

Yesterday I had a stressful day at work. It is hard for me especially because I do not have a good poker face; actually it is quite opposite 🙂 I exercised an attempt staying composed, not overreacting, smiling, praising worthless ideas … It was one of those days…

But now it is time to nourish myself.

Miso soup
Miso soup is my hero; it always comes to rescue me and never fails. Actually any warm mild-tasting soup is relaxing. It is good to start a meal with soup. It calms you down after a busy day and prepares digestive system to digest solid food that is following the soup.

Miso soup is easy to make, so I cook a small portion. Freshly made miso soup has the most healing magic. It requires a few ingredients – dried wakame that is always on my macrobiotic shelf, miso paste and two to four vegetables. Almost any vegetable will do the job. Every combination results in another taste bouquet though delicious. Dried shiitake mushrooms can be added to enrich the soup with tremendous healing power. Shiitake mushrooms deserve a separate post.

Today I found in my fridge red cabbage, daikon, and broccoli – perfect nutritious combination of crunchy red cabbage, white daikon and refreshing green broccoli. It takes 10 minutes to make this simple miso soup. Give it a try!Miso Soup

Sun, Vitamin D, Food and Health

walk along the Miami beachFor the last three years we are spending Passover in Miami, Florida. It proved to be an amazing getaway after long, cold, sunless Chicago winter. It has all that is needed to rejuvenate – sun, ocean, long sandy beaches to stroll along, ample kosher for Passover food, multiple Chabads in walking distance, and plenty of locally grown vegetables and fruits.

I am surprised at myself getting up at 7 am every day without an alarm clock energized ready to roll. I am rushing to the beach to get my morning walk while the sun is the healthiest.

Yesterday I read an interesting article about Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for people’s health. Sun is the best source. Vitamin D forms when the sun touches our skin and is deposited in our liver. Liver stores inactive vitamin D up to 20 days. Kidneys request a small portion of the stored vitamin D, activate it and send it to work in our body. Activated vitamin D kills diseased cells, plays essential role in calcium absorption,  healthy development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth, facilitates immune system’s function, reduces risk of chronicle diseases.ChinaStudy

Intake of animal food creates an acidic condition in our blood and slows down the activated Vitamin D.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/07/nutrition-advice-from-the-china-study/?_r=0

You might take Vitamin D supplements or believe that you getting it by eating cheese and meat; in reality it is quite opposite – this vitamin D does not become active and does not get to the stage where it does its work keeping us healthy.

I try to go for a walk every opportunity the sun shines in Chicago. Even 15 minutes’ walk will do the wonder. During winter I cook wild caught white meat fish to recharge the vital vitamin D level during those dark grey days. Wild caught fish is a healthy second best source of vitamin D.

Check out the recipe for a well-balanced meal with wild caught Lake Trout

Brown Rice Lake Trout

 

What to pack for lunch to the office in 5 precious minutes in the morning?

Quinoa beans veggies

Red White Quinoa with Black Soy Beans Peas Tomatoes

My daily commute to the office is about 40 miles one way. My company is located in the Northwestern suburb of Chicago. It is a nice area with huge shopping mall and some good food stores but if I want to have a healthy kosher cooked meal, I have to bring it from home. I usually pack my lunches in the morning. If there is not enough time to cook the whole lunch in the morning, it is important to add some green leafy vegetables freshly blanched, steamed or sautéed to make it more nutritious and rich with upward energy in the morning.

Last night I cooked red and white quinoa and also I cooked black soy beans which I left soaking before leaving for the office.  Cooking grains and beans – is the easiest thing. Put it in a pot, when it starts boiling, minimize flame, remove foam, put up a timer and go rest! When the timer announces that cooking is complete, you or anyone in your household turns it off. Done!

In the morning I made a salad and packed in my glass container.

Quinoa, black soy beans, freshly minced parsley and scallion, yellow grape tomatoes and steamed green peas. Dressing is a mixture of lemon juice, umeboshi paste, brown rice vinegar, olive oil.

Please see recipe page for detailed cooking instructions


**Health Tip: Organic beans are the healthiest choice of protein.  Beans are an excellent source of fiber, B vitamins, iron, and potassium and are low in fat. Beans should be soaked for 6 – 10 hours before cooking to make them easily digestible. Your body doesn’t have to work too hard to digest them. You don’t feel tired or sleepy after the meal.


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.