Monday, April 6, 2015

Healthy Eating Hacks: Mason Jar Base Salads

We all need a hack when it comes to healthy eating, right?  Welcome to "Salads in a Jar", if you've never seen them before.  It's not a new concept, just Google the term or go on Pinterest.  Lots of ideas exist on how to fill these jars! 

Though the idea seems very basic, it's actually super helpful and time saving.  A lot of times when I buy stuff for salads I end up not using half of it because I have excuses for why I don't want chop it up.  I also tend to ignore stuff stored in plastic containers. These beautiful mason jars filled with colorful salads cannot be ignored!  I started using these jars a couple of years ago for a raw food swap a friend started, and then got them back out again this year.  Now I'm wondering why I stopped using them for salads and put all of my dry goods like rice, oats, etc. in them...

You can find a set of 32oz Bell Mason Jars at your local hardware store or grocery store or  

How to make your own "Base Salad": 

Base salad meaning it serves as a base that you can add to and change up every day so that you are not eating the exact same salad every that you don't start to feel like a cat or dog or someone on a special diet ;-)  You can do these for the whole week if you want to. Depending on what you put in them, they should stay fresh...however 7 jars will take up a chunk of space in your refrigerator.  That's why I only prep 3 at a time.
  1. Pick a type of green.  Maybe you prefer mixed greens or spinach over my choice of romaine. For three salads you need one bag of 3 Romaine Hearts, one bag of 10 to 12oz lettuce, or 2 big heads of Romaine from your garden
  2. Pick a type of slaw.  I like pre packed broccoli slaw from Trader Joe's.  You could also make your own slaw with purple cabbage, green cabbage, carrots, or whatever...but that requires chopping ;-)
  3. Pick a nut or seed or both...I like Walnuts and Hemp Seeds.
  4. Chose a dressing.  You can make your own or choose one with fewer ingredients and with olive oil instead of Canola. I like Tessemae's Green Goddess Dressing
  5. Pick an assortment of fruits or veggies like bell peppers, cucumbers, avocado, tangerines, apples, etc. to customize your salads.
  6. Schedule 5 minutes on Sunday to make your salad jars for Monday-Wednesday.  Then prep another 3 on Wednesday night for the rest of the week.  Use my photo as a guide to layering the salads.
  7. Pair the salads with soup if the salad will not be enough food for you.  I often use Trader Joe's Lentil and Minestrone soups in their prepared foods isle near the produce section.
And that's it!  Have fun!!

Friday, February 20, 2015

FREE viewing of the movie "Bought: The TRUTH about Vaccines, Big Pharma and Your Food"

"Bought" is a documentary by Jeff Hayes.  He had no opinion on the debate over vaccines, pharmacuetical drugs or GMO's before he started investigative work for the movie.  After finishing the film, he has a definite opinion on all of these topics.

I urge everyone to watch this documentary whether you have kids or not.  This information will never be taught in our public schools, it will never be reported on in the mainstream media because there is so much corruption to be exposed by these corporate entities that control the system.  It is clear that PROFITS are more important than the safety or health of the American people.

To date there are no studies of safety or efficacy over the current vaccination schedule.  There are no studies of safety in the use of GMO seeds.  Most of the drugs that big pharma puts out in the market do not have proper clinical trials and even the Guardisil vaccine was rushed through FDA approval without proper clinical trials, causing major damage and killing innocent girls. 

Watch the movie, do your research outside of studies funded by Big Pharma and Monsanto, and make the changes you see fit for your family.

This movie is only free to watch for the next 13 days so please make time for it!

Here is the link:

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Hijacking of My Grocery Bag Container Garden

Rember my post about the grocery bag container garden?  Well it's gone.  And there he is.  The man who hijacked MY container garden 6 weeks back. Pulled every single one of my plants out of the cloth grocery bags and then planted them directly into the ground in our backyard without discussing it with me.  How dare he!  He's a very, very bad man (imagine that being said in a thick Indian accent) :-)

Yes, I reminded him *again* about how we know nothing about the soil back there.  For all we know the previous gardener sprayed Round Up and who knows what.  So what did he do?  He went and bought garden soil.  The only kind he knows, which is Miracle Gro, in the non organic version. He must have talked to someone who knows something about soil, because he also got chicken poop. And does it look like enough for the huge area we are growing in?  Of course not.  OMG.  Indian dude flexing his macho gardening muscle.   I don't mind that he wants to do the gardening.  I just don't like the way he does it!

And here is how the garden looks today.  These are zucchini squash plants.  We have harvested 3 large zuchini.

Tomato plants, I think only the grape variety...

Beets and rutabagas pulled out today!  

I guess the good thing about moving the plants to this space is that we now have more space to garden....and if we move from this house, the next renters will have a nice bounty of fresh food.  It's all good.  Now we just need to build a fence around it so the dog will stop using it as his bathroom :-/

Sunday, April 20, 2014

WAHFE travels again to North India- Part 1

As I mentioned in my last post, we were in North India for almost a month, and wow, it's been over a month already since we returned!  So here I am, determined to get this overdue post completed. I'm going to break it down into 3 separate posts because there are sooo many photos.  "Part 1", is about our time in Roorkee. Part 2 will be Dehradun, and part 3 will be Delhi.   

The above photo was taken behind the high school Vineet graduated from 30 years ago!  He only spoke Hindi at that time because his curriculum was completely in Hindi and of course that was his only language at home.  He was a fierce competitor in mathematics, which brought him to study in the US and complete a second Master's degree, a PhD, and an MBA.  And he has since rocked the computer graphics industry. But enough about him!

When we visit India it's generally not a sightseeing trip.  We go to visit family, and if there is time, we try to squeeze in a day or two of sights or see something new locally. It's a 22 hour flight and a 13 hour time difference, so we are generally exhausted the first week we arrive.  We spend much of our time that first week sleeping during the day and wide awake in the wee hours of the morning.  It's painful.  You'd think after 6 trips I would have figured out how we can adjust quicker.  But there's just no easy way.

This trip was important because it is likely the last trip we will be visiting my in-laws in their home in Roorkee.  While we were there we had things set up for them to have help with cooking, shopping, cleaning and night time care for my father in law who gets up frequently.  However, just one week back there was an incident in their home that I'm not going to explain here other than to say that it was traumatic and scary. So, they have temporarily moved to my sister-in-law's place in Dehradun. 

This is the street my in-laws live on in Roorkee.  Their home is the one with the light green walls and black gate to the left.

The picture above is a very typical scene from our journey between Delhi and Roorkee.   

Now that my inlaws are aging to the point it's difficult for them to shop at the market, they have been relying heavily on the subjeewalla, or vegetable cart guy.  It's so convenient!

These are my MIL's handmade noodles in a dish she calls "jave", pronounced jaw-vay.  She always sends a huge bag back home with us.  It's pure love in a bag because she rolls these noodles individually with her hands!

This is "bhang", or what we call Cannabis.  It grows freely on the outside of Roorkee University.  You won't find it inside the campus, but a short walk outside the main gates and there you have a forest of it.  During our stay in Roorkee there was the festival of Shivaratri where everyone worships lord Shiva, god of cosmic destruction and dance. Bhang is a big part of this celebration because consuming it is supposed to help bring one closer to god.  No, we didn't smoke it.  I'm sure you are wondering.  However, my MIL made Bhang Pakoras, which were batter dipped and fried cannabis. I didn't partake in it, but Vineet did.  He said he didn't feel buzzed afterwards, just tired and hungry.

Here's what bhang looks like in the temple.  Oh mighty Shiva...and bhang.

This is an Indian Coffee Pot.  In India, the only coffee you will drink is instant coffee made in a pot on a gas stove with mostly milk.   If you are addicted to Starbucks, I guess you will not enjoy your time here.

There are men who ride around on their bike and just sell specific kinds of fruit like Papaya.  This is the "Pepitawalli".  He will cut open the fruit and allow you to sample a taste before paying.  He carries a scale to measure the weight of the fruit.

Having a typical North Indian lunch of "subji" (curried vegetable), rice, and chapati.  We look forward to this food but then quickly tire of eating it after 10 days into our trip.  We love Indian food...just not every day.

Vineet likes helping his mom in the kitchen.  You'll never see this at our house because we don't make chapatis. If we had a gas stove, I might try to make them every once in awhile. They are messy to make because when you slap the excess flour off before throwing them on the stove, the flour goes all over the kitchen. Really.

Next up, our trip to Dehradun!