Monday, January 30, 2012

Getting organized

Trying to get organized so that I can manage to get everything done. Need to squeeze so much into a short timeframe. It will be challenging, to say the least. 
I need to keep a balance though I know that so will try to take moments for me, in between. Walking my dogs is great for exercise and to get outside in the fresh air. The weather has been great in Southern California the last few weeks. I can't complain.  
Well here's to the next week. I hope it's productive for everyone. I need to schedule my clinicals so I will be working on that!...:) Until next time, Nikki B. signing off.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Last Semester

Well it's my last semester in my Women's Health program at California State University and it looks like it will be rather enjoyable! Next week we are already planning a potluck during one of the luncheon lectures. I volunteered to bring stuffed grape leaves! (We have a Mediterranean theme for the lunch.)
I have already started to review and begin my coursework. It is primarily focusing on high risk pregnancies this semester. And of course we cover older material that has been building since the beginning of the program.  


I have a desire to help moms and families with wholesome nutritional choices. How I will do that is not quite formulated in my mind. But I may begin with researching wellness centers in the local area in Orange County. Since healthcare is ever-changing, a new or different approach may be welcome.


I will bring you updates and tidbits as I progress along each week. I am happy and excited at the same time. May you have a wonderful week ahead and a restful weekend! Until next time Nikki B. signing off.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Homemade spaghetti

Good Morning! Good Afternoon!




I am making homemade spaghetti today! 








And to start, I need onions and garlic (chopped), saute in a pan with olive oil, 
fry in a separate pan a package of hamburger meat (or turkey sausage, if you prefer), strain off the grease and place in pan with onions, add seasoning.




I usually like to add Garlic Powder, Italian seasoning and salt, to taste.
Add a can of stewed tomatoes, 2 cans of tomato sauce and 1 can of tomato paste. Then add water to 3-4 cups. Bring to a boil, stir. Then place on medium to low heat.





 




Let cook for 1 and half hours. Check periodically, add another cup of water. Continue to check/stir/cook for another hour.  Add 1/2 cup of wine. Cook for another 1/2 hour. The sauce will cook down and thicken. The result will be a delicious sauce. Voila! Enjoy! Nikki signing off for now! Have a great day!!! Buon Appetito!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Saturday

Then went to a fabulous place to eat called "South of Nick's." Their food was divine and their drinks too! Can't say enough great things about it!
Only to follow it with great company and atmosphere as the evening progressed. All in all, what a wonderful Saturday it has been! Hope everyone has a great weekend of rest and relaxation! Here's to enjoying tomorrow's game! Who will win?? I guess we will have to wait and see....

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

5 DAYS TO GO

Okay so I've been on my detox program for over a week now. I can honestly say that I don't really miss sugar or sweets. But I do miss my pasta and bread! The craving I have most often is for spaghetti, which has to be my all time favorite!! My background is part Italian and I was raised with Sunday spaghetti night dinners. 
Getting back to the diet, I had a delicious bowl of fresh pineapple and homemade yogurt. My weight has fluctuated over the last week. At first I had lost about 5 lbs only to gain 2 back, which is expected. Overall, I don't want to lose too quickly, but rather follow a more natural and healthy plan.  I will continue even after the 24th of this month, to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed foods. And will slowly introduce more carbs into my diet, as I go. Over the long term, I believe I will lose more fat and less muscle. So for those following special diets after the New Year, I hope you are managing to meet your goals and rewarding yourselves with little incentives to keep up your spirits! So happy Thursday to everyone. 
Nikki signing off for now.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Video of the day

After a long day I am just relaxing and here's a video to do that!
Good night all. Until tomorrow.

Monday, January 16, 2012

White bean soup recipe


Since I have been on the detox diet, 7th day today, I have been paying more attention to whole foods and making more homemade items. Soup is easy to make. Here is one recipe that can be applied to really any kind of soup. Starting with beans of your choice. Here I selected white northern beans. It is important to soak your beans at least for a few hours, (I prefer to soak mine overnight) otherwise they can be very upsetting to your stomach.
After which, I rinse them twice to get the top layer off and place them on the stove with a low heat. Add sliced vegetables, I love to cook soup with celery and carrots. So I have added them here.
Another great element to add to any delicious 
soup is fresh, sliced garlic. It is very good for your health.
Then as with any great soup recipe, spices are also added for flavor. I have added:
garlic powder, 
Italian seasonings, 
minced onions and Sea salt, to taste. 
Continue to cook on a low flame for 1 to 2 hours. You can add your favorite white wine also, if you like. And Voila! You have a tasty, healthy, wholesome soup! Hope you enjoy experimenting with different beans and veggie soup combos! It can be fun! The key is simplicity!
Bon appetit! 


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wintery Saturday

Here's a video for a quiet Saturday, a day of repose from the hectic schedule of the week gone by. 
I went for my early morning massage 
and felt rejuvenated so much. 
May I wish all of you an inspired 
and well rested weekend ahead. 

Meditation video


Thursday, January 12, 2012

The benefits of Yogurt



Good Afternoon.

 Just wanted to talk to you about the benefits of yogurt because I have been relying on it heavily as a snack, on my detox diet.  

The benefits of yogurt are many.

Yogurt: is easier to digest than milk; contributes to colon health; can increase your immunity; is a rich source of protein and calcium; can improve absorption of nutrients; increases healing of intestinal infections; can reduce incidence of yeast infections; and can lower cholesterol. 













The Naked Truth about vitamins

Just want to take a few minutes, before hitting the hay, to blog about my thoughts on juicing.  Over a year and a half ago, I started drinking "Naked Juice" because I find that the vitamins that you can gain from these "natural, non-GMO" juices were more than you could ever dream to get in eating all the fruits and vegetables to equal the same amount.  In other words, it is packed with nutrition. As I am cleansing this week and in the following, I must tell you that taking supplemental vitamins is a a must! Although I will be quite honest with you, I am quite a vitamin supplement advocate, especially Vitamin C. If you were to look in my cabinet today, you would see: vitamins B, C, D, E,
Co-Q 10, Iron, and Multivitamins.

My friend, Susana Lopes, RN, health coach, marathoner, yoga instructor,  and nutrition counselor for "Nutrition for the Soul", recommended a raw food diet where you grow your own "sprouts" and keep everything at a temperature of 118 degrees, to maintain the nutrient-rich value of the food.  For me, I am happy to try new foods/trends, mostly to learn from the experience. If you want to check out what she can recommend for you, email her at susana@nutrition4thesoul.com.  

For now, my cleanse is going well. I am resisting all the chocolate, banana cake, sandwiches and all the other fantastic (empty carb) goodies, at work, yesterday and today.  My will is strong.  I know that this is just a beginning and must start to add a little aerobics in the mix, to tone/shape up. I definitely need more cardio, but I will give myself a break and just say "it's okay to go slow." I am just getting over a cold! Okay, must get some sleep now.  Beaux Reves Mes Amies! A tout a l'heure! That is, Sweet Dreams My Friends! Until later! Nikki signing off for now!



Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Modified detox diet

I decided to develop my own modified version of a "cleanse" or "detox" program. Basically, I am cutting out sugar, carbs, sweets, starches and anything I would normally find to snack on and replacing them with fruit, veggies, yogurt and protein. I guess it would be close to a diabetic diet. I have planned to do this for 10 to 14 days but probably will complete the 2 weeks until January 24. I will say that I am not willing to give up coffee though, but I do drink tea equally as much as coffee. So far so good. One day down, 13 more to go.


Here's a great recipe that looks so delish! 


Greek Salad

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Prep Time:
10 min
Inactive Prep Time:
--
Cook Time:
2 min
Level:
Easy
Serves:
4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 vine ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 European seedless cucumber, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chunked
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chunked
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and chunked
  • 1 cup Kalamata black olives
  • Several sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, about 1/2 cup
  • 2 (1/4 pound) slices imported Greek feta
  • 1/4 cup (a couple of glugs) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons (3 splashes) red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in palm of your hand
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • Pita breads

Directions

Combine vegetables, olives, and parsley in a large bowl. 

Rest sliced feta on the top of salad. Combine oil, vinegar, 

and oregano in a small plastic container with a lid. Shake vigorously to combine oil and vinegar and pour over salad and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and let the salad marinate until ready to serve. Serve salad with pita bread blistered and warmed on a hot griddle or grill pan.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Gazing forward

Looking ahead for the week, I am almost over my cold. It's taken a little bit more time than originally thought but maybe I needed the extra downtime, like we all do. If we need the time we should take it. No matter what we go through, it's the choices we make each day, that make up special moments.
A choice I would like to start the year off with is to do a "cleanse" and to "detoxify" my body in a natural way. I won't completely "fast" but will refrain from fast, fried, processed and "chemicals-added" foods. I will attempt this for 10 - 14 days and will let you know how I progress. Since I have been sick this last week, I will drink plenty of fluids and increase my
 healthy food choices as I can tolerate them, just to keep my strength up.
I would like to come up with some healthy recipes that I will share with you as I discover them, as well as the exact cleanse program I will be using. No better way, can I think of, to begin the year, than to clarify and re-energize the body. Anyone who has some ideas or questions, please feel free to post comments below. 
Until tomorrow then, pleasant dreams and I think I will have a little green tea.