Does anyone else ever feel like summer starts to wind down long before it’s really over? For me, it takes a few weeks get into the summer rhythm and actually start, you know, enjoying it. And by then, the class lists and orientation emails have started appearing in my inbox. Instead of panicking, I try to use that jolt of impending reality to remind myself to celebrate summer every day.
Photo by Laura Hobbs
Since moving to Boulder, my life has become an all-out yoga fest. I’m the managing editor for the yoga-heavy Elephant Journal, I’m the social media ambassador to one of the hippest yoga studios in town, I’m connecting and networking with amazing yogis from all over the country (Seane Corn kissed me on the cheek—I can die now), I’m going to yoga class every day, and I even got the chance to check out the Yoga Journal Conference in Estes Park a few weekends ago. I’m living and breathing the yoga life, and I’m loving every second of it.
When I got married, my sister gave me an herb garden planted in a giant galvanized metal tub. At that time in my life, the only plants I’d ever kept alive were a couple scrawny succulents on my dorm room windowsill, and while I already loved to cook, I had no idea what to do with nine varieties of fresh herbs. Needless to say, I was intimidated. The plants died a slow, neglected death, which I rationalized as okay because all the herbs I ever needed were available at the grocery store.
Sixteen years later, I’ve come full circle on the idea of growing my own herbs (although that tub is usually used for keeping beer cold at parties). Now I grow herbs in pots, and here are some good reasons why you should, too.
- Cooking with fresh herbs is fun; it feels very “chef-y” to do things like chiffonade.
If not, you totally should. Even if you’re not gluten-free, it’s still okay to eat more vegetables. And this is one wicked awesome way to do that.
Whether it’s trying a new food or attempting a new recipe, the rewards far outweigh the risks.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve urged my kids to try a new food—a food they claimed to “know its disgusting”—only to hear them say, “Wow mom, I didn’t know delicata squash (or kale, pomegranate, clams) was so not gross! Can I have some more?” Sure, sometimes (as with the pureed broccoli-and parsley salad I foisted on them last night), they confirm it to be disgusting. But they don’t gag, vomit, or die.
This time of year, people tend to go in one of two directions, eating-wise: Either they double down on their dedication to a healthy diet and forego every sugar cookie, candied pecan, and cheese plate they encounter—or they say some version of “screw it” and dive head first into the buttered mashed potatoes (or cookie platter).
Healthy eating begins with two simple principles:
Processed Foods = Bad
Whole and Minimally Processed (WAMP) Foods = Good
The idea that eating whole foods is good and processed foods is bad may seem self-evident, but it’s not as obvious as you might think. In fact, pinpointing WAMP foods isn’t simple. Processed foods can be sneaky and disguise themselves as healthy foods without our noticing.
For example, we all know that chips, fries, and doughnuts are processed junk-type foods — that’s obvious. But what about bagels, cereal, and yogurt? Maybe not—it all depends on the ingredients that make them what they are. Most bagels are full of refined, processed wheat, and mainstream cereals are stuffed with processed sugar — they’re certainly not WAMP foods. The fact is there isn’t a standard, regulated definition of the words “whole” or “minimally processed.” You’ll need to learn what makes a food WAMP and what doesn’t because labels on packages won’t tell you.
Luckily, there are a few key attributes that flag a food as WAMP.
Want to eat healthier? Skip the whole-wheat bread and start eating wheat the right way — with wheat berries!
Wheat berries are wheat kernels direct from the stalk with only the hull removed (the inedible portion). Wheat berries represent wheat in its least processed, most nutrient-dense form.
by The FIRM nutrition expert Sara Ryba, R.D., C.D.N.
In past years, I felt bad throwing out our Halloween pumpkins, especially if they were still in good form. So last year I decided to use them for delicious post-Halloween dishes. Pumpkin has an impressive amount of vitamin A and other valuable antioxidants. Plus, it’s low in calories and sugar. Check out the nutrition info below, then enjoy these three pumpkin-themed recipes!
I admit I’ve got some serious hoarder tendencies, especially when it comes to food. While I’m not especially proud of my mismatched assortment of Pyrex and Tupperware, I have to say that opening the door and seeing those myriad containers of leftover food makes me feel good.