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Lately

Lately, I’ve been working up a storm in my kitchen.

Trying out all new recipes and experimenting with fresh produce, new sauces and desserts. This shot above is a spinach and pesto lasagna I made from the Thug Kitchen’s Cookbook.

Really delicious and Joe never knew he ate tofu!! Winner.

Other cookbooks I’m enjoying:

Oh She Glows by Angela Lidden

Farm Sanctuary by Gene Baur & Gene Stone

I’m also tucking away a few new recipe files for another cookbook. I know…my first one is not even out, but you have to think ahead.

The beginning of spring from our new home has brought on a renewed sense of hope, joy and countless daffodils thanks to the previous owner…bless her. We are settling into this house and coming up with endless ideas on what we want to do. Paint, porch, patio…the list goes on.

However, we are just living and taking the wise advice of many and resisting the urge to do anything until you live in it for at least a year. Breathe…so we wait and image in our head all these grand ideas.

Besides cooking, I’ve dialed up my walking. Thanks to the Garmin Vivofit. I love this thing. It’s really simple and tracks my steps and mileage…and much more, but I only care about my movement. It keeps me standing up more to work and reminds me to stay active. Walking provides me time to run errands, save on gas, clear my head and listen to podcasts. It’s really great to see the miles add up each day.

Along with cooking, eating and exercising I’ve also made a new community of friends. I joined the Newcomer’s group in my town and have met some really nice women. Very welcoming and funny. Just the combination I love. Thank you Suzanne, Laurie and sweet Thea. You’ve made my move easier and make me smile.

What have you been up to lately?

Are you trying anything new?

Wishing you all a gentle, healthy and happy week.

xo

Lynda

Blog

Garden Update

Growing. Growing. Water. Growing More. Weeding. Eating Greens! Smiling.

Deciding last minute this spring to DIY a garden on our property has been so rewarding.

I’ve already made so many salads and smoothies from our kale plants. This return to nature, the earth and growing our own food is making my spirits soar and connecting me to Mother Earth.

Each day I wander barefoot outside to care for it. Walking, talking, watering and of course weeding. All while the birds, bunnies and squirrels eat and play around me. A far cry from last year in my city apartment. Tending to this space reminds me of my parents’ garden that I fluttered around in as a child, but didn’t really pay too close attention to. Unless my mom sent me out to get mint for our iced tea. I remember smelling it and today that memory floods right back when I grab a fresh bunch.

Today I feel grateful to have the time, energy and space to have a simple garden. What a magical gift it has been to be it’s caretaker. I feel it has given me so much already and the crops are just beginning to grow.

Being present, grateful and mindful in our daily lives helps me stay calm and focused for the work week ahead. And knowing that my garden is waiting for me at home, greeting me with it’s green colors and vibrant nutrition. I’m reminded that mental health, eating real food and physical health are all connected.

So today I encourage you to plant your own garden. Even if it’s just a small pot of basil on the windowsill or a DIY raised bed out back. Get your hands in the dirt. Gardening not your thing? That’s OK…visit a farmer’s market and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Discover vegetables and fruits that you’ve never tried and bring them home and enjoy them..

Wishing you all a happy, healthy plant strong week!

Do you have a garden? What did you plant?

In good health,

Lynda 🙂

Blog

Food Focused

People always like to report to me what they’re eating.

I find this sweet and an easy conversation starter. I can see the excitement in their eyes as they talk about their healthy choices or their latest binge on burgers and fries. I listen and nod my head as we workout, walk or when I bump into them at the grocery store.

But the truth life shouldn’t just be about the food. Food is a huge piece of health and happiness, but it’s not the whole picture. Our lives should be filled with many things that bring us joy and fill us up in other ways and not just through our stomachs.

It’s easy to focus on the food because most of us eat at least a few times a day and it’s something we all can relate to. However, I encourage you to take a look at the importance you place on food preparation and planning and see if what you’re doing is working for you. Are you placing too much emphasis on preparing and cooking your own food or are you not caring enough? Is it interfering in your relationships or are you not leaving your house because you’re worried about your next meal? If you find yourself struggling with this below are a few things to try if you find yourself a little too food focused.

Here are some simple ways that have helped me look beyond the plate.

(even though it’s also part of my job!)

Limit time in the kitchen.

Pre-plan family meals for the week (allowing room for change and being flexible)

Engage in non-food joy activities like….time with friends, hiking and reading books for pleasure.

Stay hydrated…drink more water or hot tea

Meet friends for walks

Learn something new…musical instrument, new skill or hobby

Get out of your comfort zone….challenge yourself.

What are some ways you find helpful?

Wishing you all a happy, healthy week.

xo

Be well,

Lynda

Blog

Thanks Summer!

Living in New Jersey…we learn to cherish the few quick months of summer. As we get ready to shut down the season, it’s nice to look back on all that happened and reflect. So many of us, myself included, move too quickly through these warm, beautiful summer months. They seem to come and go without time to pause and be grateful.

So while we’re enjoying all the bounty of this season….tomatoes and fruit that taste almost like candy. Let us take time to lift our heads, look around and smile. We’re so very lucky.

Here are a few things to help you make the most out of these last few weeks of summer and a few of our favorite things we love doing throughout the season and into September. Enjoy!

A simple “no-recipe’ meal idea

Roasted Beets, Sweet Potato or White Potato Wedges and Greens

Simply roast root vegetables on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (so nothing sticks) at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes. Optional**to season with spices of your choice and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to 350 and continue to cook for another 20-25 minutes, (beets might a little longer, depending on size) or until they are tender and cooked through (watch closely). If cutting into steak fry size, you can flip over half way through cooking to brown the other side. Add a side of mixed greens with lemon or lime juice (or your favorite dressing), fresh tomatoes and other raw veggies and dinner is done! Almost no thinking required! My go-to meal after a long day.

Labor Day Salad Ideas

Raw Broccoli Salad (can be found on recipe page)

5 Minute Kale Salad (on recipe page)

Peach Blueberry Green Salad (no recipe needed…just add to any green salad!)

Here are a few things that we enjoyed this season.

Hikes in the woods

Our town pool!

Picnics in the park

Jersey Shore

Farm stand produce

Cooking classes at Hudson Table, Hoboken

Plant Stock on the Esselstyn Farm

Here’s to a wonderful Labor Day Weekend.

And a safe, happy, healthy fall.

xo

Be well,

Lynda

Blog

Show Up for Yourself

How do you show up for yourself on a daily, weekly basis?

Recently as I was talking to a close friend about this message of showing up for yourself everyday. We agreed that somedays we’re better at it than others. And that it can be down right hard and you may want to pull the covers over your head and give up. Making even 5 minutes for yourself can be a challenge on busy days.

Life in the modern world has us ON 24/7 with little time to stop and be still. Don’t even get me started on the love affair we have with technology and our phones.

This week my message of prioritizing self-care hit home when after a stretch of long workdays, intense deadlines, classes and family obligations left me depleted….both physically and mentally. I wanted to hide. But I kept going…just at a healthier pace. And made sure to listen to my body.

What can help?

Community.

It’s hard to be alone and stay motivated. In my experience I’ve found my fitness community friends to be very important to me. Checking in with them and ‘showing up’ each week (even if I’m not in the mood) helps me stay focused, committed and connected. And there’s something special that happens as those weeks, months, years start to tick by. Friendships are made. Support is offered. Bonds happen. And they become your fitness family. And suddenly the unfamiliar bootcamp class becomes familiar. You may even start to enjoy working out and moving your body. So go ahead and sign up for a new class! You have nothing to loose.

Take time to Nourish.

This idea of self care bleeds through each corner of your life. From food to movement to finances and even friendship. When you honor yourself enough it helps you feel your best and gives you energy to be a better overall human being. You become a better wife, sister and friend. Nourishing your body with whole foods says… I value my health. What I eat is important to me.

Keep Learning.

As a former educator, learning is never far from my mind. I enjoy learning and figuring things out. Tackling something difficult in the house to repair or stretching myself mentally is so rewarding. No matter how old we are it’s important to keep yourself sharp and learn and grow in new ways. Pick up a book and expand your mind! Things I’m learning this season….gardening, plumbing (yuck!) and reading up on US history.

Rest & Have Fun.

Life can’t just be all about work and zero play. Part of a healthy well-rounded self care routine must include down time, extra sleep and time for fun activities. Even if it’s just as simple as reading a good book or taking a walk with your dog. Find time for fun. When you give yourself some down time…this is when the creative magic happens. It often sparks some new ideas and fun projects to dream about. Rest & relax!

Wishing you all the best this week.

Make self care first on your list and see how it makes you feel.

xo

Lynda

Blog

Let’s Eat Real Food!

Join me on Wednesday June 1st 7-9:30pm

for a fun & delicious night

at Hudson Table Cooking School

Guilt-Free Pub Grub!

healthy guacamole, veggies burgers, homestyle fries, brownies & more!

in Hoboken New Jersey.

more info here.

Sign up soon…limited seating available.

Thanks!

Blog

5 Tips for a Healthy Week

Are you ready for a healthy week?

I recently had the privilege to speak to a 5 mile running group. As part of my talk I offered them 5 tips to a successful race. Looking over the list it really applies to anyone. Whether you’re running, changing a habit or just need more support these tips can help you live your best life. I hope you find them helpful. Here’s to a happy, healthy week. Stay strong!

5 Tips for a Successful 5 Miler (or just a healthier week!)

Food Focus: Understanding your unique dietary needs. Let’s dial up your nutrition. We all feel better when we eat clean. Start by looking at what’s on your plate or what;s going in your mouth. Most people are so busy they don’t really care what they eat. Is that you? Take a little more effort into eating more whole foods, especially vegetables and fruits. Don’t over think this…keep things simple and focus on whole foods found in the produce section or farmer’s market. Pack and prepare pre or post-workout snacks and water if you’re on the go. Things like green smoothies, overnight oats, bananas, cut fruit, almond butter toast. Learn what works the best for your body and what feels right. We’re all so different.

Practice mindful eating, that’s eating without a gadget, magazine or watching TV. Yes, that means you and your plate….have a date. Just do it. It’s amazing how you can eat less by just focusing on what you’re doing and not getting distracted. Encourage others around you to join you for a healthy meal. Create a healthy pot luck or find others to make you accountable and keep it social.

And lastly, try to limit processed food and alcohol.

2. Get your Zzzz’s the Importance of sleep

Ideas to help you get to bed early. Create a gentle calming bedtime routine. Take a bath, read a relaxing book and play soft music. Write down a list of what you need to do for the next day and don’t think about it. Make the room cozy and comfortable. Keep it dark and remove all electronics. Focus of relaxing.

3. Water staying hydrated:

How water can benefit your training?

Proper hydration improves all body functions and gives you great skin.

It keeps things moving and helps to flush unwanted toxins from the body. We are made up of mostly water and drinking filtered water between meals can also improve cognitive function. Making the work day go much smoother and less stressful. Offer hunger is masked as thirst, so try drinking enough throughout the day. Make it exciting by adding berries, cucumber slices or lemon to keep you motivated.

4. Recovery & Digestion:

Taking the time to rest and recover is vital to your overall health. Sleep, movement and proper nutrition all work together for healthy self care routine. Checking in with yourself, your aches and pains, how your digestion is working, stretching, foam rolling, taking a rest day can help to heal the body and fight off inflammation and strengthen your immune system.

5. Mental Health:

Getting your head in the game. Asking why? And what’s next? Finding that inner athlete for this race and beyond. What other goals can you accomplish this season?

When you take time to ask yourself the tough questions and begin to focus on one healthy habit others are sure to follow. Physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health can all become sharper and stronger. Remembering to take small steps in the right direction and don’t be afraid of failure or small setbacks.

Blog

No Recipe Meal Plan

Who has time to follow detailed recipes and cook for 3 hours?

Not many of us.

And unless it’s the weekend, and we have more time, we often find ourselves not thinking too much about our meals and end up eating cold cereal or popcorn. A lot of my clients also fall back on the take-out trap, buying greasy prepared meals at the store and/or eating the same old frozen ‘diet’ entree filled with a ton of salt. Do any of those sound familiar?

Today I hope to shine a light onto a few tricks I use to make simple plant strong meals in minutes….weekend or weekday and help you steer far away from the scary landfill that is prepared grocery store food and/or the fast casual salty processed food delights.

I broke down a few increments of time. You’ll be amazing at what you can do if you get your head in the game. Give these a try & let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you! .

Have 5 minutes…good prep this….

eat a piece of fruit

cut carrots & celery

pre-cut fruit for later

fill up your water bottle

make a smoothie

Have 20 minutes do this….

make a lunch salad to go

wash & store your greens so they’re ready to eat (kale, chard, romaine)

cook a batch of quinoa (YES….only 15 minutes people!)

meal prep for tomorrow…what do I have at home (in freezer, pantry, etc)

find a new recipe that excites you

Have an hour (Wow!) do this…..

bake a potato

make homemade salad dressing

prep salad in a jar for the week

make a fruit salad

make dinner for someone you love

Kids & husband are sleeping (turn off Netflix…put on music) and make this….

bake homemade granola bars

no-bake nut balls

pack lunches

cook beans from scratch-in a crockpot super easy!

order groceries online

Using these simple plan-ahead time savers can make you put together healthy meals in a matter of minutes. Out source other things you don’t care about, (like laundry or cleaning) but when it comes to health and nutrition….Dial It In! And make time for yourself. You’re worth it!

Make this a great week!

xo

Lynda

Need Support?

Looking for a jump start for spring detox? Do a private cooking class? Or need help prepping healthy food for the week?

Email me today and find out how I can help. Email: healthylynda@gmail.com

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Listening to your Body

Eat this, not that.

Fat, no fat. Sugar, no sugar.

Fruit…no fruit.

Help!

I don’t know about you but I’ve been disgusted by all the crazy information swirling around the internet health-world claiming the latest craze in weight loss and super cleansing. One wants you to chug protein shakes like you did beer at a frat party. While the other wants you to starve yourself into their vision of health.

Ha! So what’s the truth?

Great question. And I think the answer can only be truthfully answered by looking at yourself in the mirror. Taking an honest look at how you’ve been taking care of yourself and getting REAL. Becoming more aware of what you’re doing on a daily/weekly basis to improve your health. And making small changes to a more balanced way of life.

So many people ask me about a particular food group, 21-day diet plan or that perfect recipe, but the better question is to look at your overall health and lifestyle, not just a meal, ingredient or fitness plan.

True health is different for each individual. I understand it to be a blend of nutrition, movement, relationships, community, creativity, spirituality, rest and recovery.

So how can you feel better about your health today?

Start off small and take one step at a time. Reach out for support and take small healthy steps in the right direction. Find hope, encouragement and strength within yourself and understand that it’s not always easy, but so worth fighting for!

Here’s a few tips that have helped me move forward and feel my best.

adding in more salads and fruits (real foods) into my diet

moving my body with friends (bootcamp classes, walking, hiking, running groups)

learning more (reading information about preventative health, diet & disease prevention)

drinking more water

going to bed early (whenever possible)

surrounding myself with people who value their health

Wishing you all a happy, healthy spring season.

eat plants,

Lynda

xo

Blog

Plant Strong

It’s been years now that I’ve been completely plantbased and I’m so grateful for my health and how plants have made me feel.

My journey has not been without many rollercoaster moments of twists and turns. I was on the normal standard American diet of Diet Cokes, yogurts and sugary protein bars. I had to listen to my body and learn what foods made me feel my best and what foods I needed to kick to the side. I also recognized that it’s not just about diet and exercise, that lifestyle, stress and relationships also play a huge part in your health and happiness.

Today I continue to listen to my body and take small steps to lasting health. One day at a time. I find strength and encouragement all around me and look back over my shoulder from time to time to reflect on how far I’ve come. Waving so-long to thousands of Big Gulp cups in my wake. (yes…typical post college, first job drug of choice…pre-red bull) Below are a few things that continue to help me today. Maybe they can help you too!

1. Podcasts:

I’m love the quote from Jim Rohn ‘You are the average of the top 5 people you spend the most time with.’ And it’s always at the forefront of my mind. I’m lucky to have a few close friends in my inner circle, but I also consider weekly podcasts a small piece of my top five. A gentle reminder to of stay the course, honor my health and live life to its fullest. My top two are these guys! Thanks Rich & Sid for the weekly dose of hope and encouragement.

Richroll.com

SidGarzaHillman.com

2. Cookbooks

When I’m bored with the weekly rotation of food I like to try a new recipe. A few of my favorite cookbooks I always go to….

PlantPowered Families by Dreena Burton

The PlantPowered Way by Julie Piatt & Rich Roll

3. Friends & Family

Surrounding yourself with upbeat, positive, happy people can be so important to your own health and happiness. Finding a community of people that love and support you makes a huge difference in life. Think about the people you enjoy spending time with and make plans to connect. It can brighten up your week!

4. Fitness

I’m a self proclaimed fitness junkie. I’ll walk into any gym, yoga studio or zumba class and give it a GO! I LOVE trying new workouts, meeting local small business owners and finding classes that make me feel strong. If you’re not into that type of movement, it’s ok. Start off slow by walking around the block with a neighbor or just to the mailbox. Any movement counts and is vital for longevity. Make moving your body a daily habit.

5. Reading

Smart people and leaders READ books. Let’s just say it. Turn the TV off, put your phone down and pick up something useful. I try to have multiple books going at once and it’s my daily adult recess. Even when my schedule its tight, I set a timer…even if it’s just for five minutes. Here are a few in my que as we speak….

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud

I Swear I’ll Make It Up To You by Mishka Shubaly

Wishing you a week filled with health, healing and joy!

Make this spring season a time of true renewal….body, mind and soul.

xo

Lynda

What tips do you have that help you feel your best? Please write me and share!