Thursday, February 2, 2017

Clean Eating to keep your Resolution on track

In 1998, as a healthy woman in her early 20s, Ivy Larson thought something was wrong when she started experiencing a series of bizarre health problems including incontinence, muscle spasms, and numbness in her limbs.  After months of shuttling from doctor to doctor with no answers, she was finally diagnosed as being in the early stages of multiple sclerosis (MS).  Her neurologist suggested three options: 1) begin one of the disease-modifying medications, 2) enter a study group for a trial drug or 3) revamp her diet.  She decided to go with the third option and turned to her friend Andy Larson for advice, who was in medical school at the time.
Andy was highly skeptical that dietary therapy could impact the disease in any meaningful way. Nevertheless, he was open-minded and very impressed with the credentials of the neurologist making the recommendation.  With Andy’s support and research – which corroborated that diet change could help control MS symptoms – Ivy overhauled her diet and learned as much about nutrition as possible.  Shortly thereafter, Andy and Ivy, who had been friends since high school, became a couple and were married in 2000. 
The entire Larson family – Ivy, Andy, and their son Blake – follow the program.  Blake has never really been sick aside from the occasional cold, and Ivy does not need medication to control her MS.  The Clean Cuisine diet places special emphasis on plant-forward nutrition based on anti-inflammatory, unrefined, and nutrient-dense whole foods, which have an added bonus of being anti-aging.  It has also been proven to combat the symptoms of several inflammatory conditions, such as fibromyalgia, asthma, allergies, and arthritis.  People have lost weight, gained strength, reduced cholesterol levels, and blood pressure with CLEAN CUISINE.

CLEAN CUISINE includes more than 100 delicious recipes under topics such as “Less-MeatBurgers” and “No-Milk Shakes” to help kick-start a new lifestyle, as well as their 30-minute “Fitness Fusion Solution” workout program that works in as little as three days a week.  CLEAN CUISINE is not just an 8-week program, but a long-term answer on how to live a healthier and more balanced lifestyle, with no calorie or portion restrictions.  It even allows for a glass of wine and a sweet “cheat” treat every day!  
What the Larsons advocate—and have created a wonderful program for—is that “what you eat matters more than how much you eat.”  Learn healthy food and exercise habits to live your best life with CLEAN CUISINE, the long-term answer to eating for optimal health, disease prevention, weight loss, vitality, longevity, and good taste.

 Chocolate Cherry Bomb No-Milk Shake

 2 tablespoons raw cashews (about 16 cashews)

1 frozen banana, cut into bite-sized pieces

½ cup frozen cherries

1 tablespoon unsweetened high-quality cocoa powder (such as Ghirardelli or Green & Blacks)

1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¾ cup ice cold water

Pinch of unrefined sea salt

1. In a high-speed blender, combine all of the ingredients; blend until smooth and creamy. Serve


Meat Free Monday Meal: Veggies, Pasta and White Beans with Lemony "Cream" Sauce

½ cup + 2 tablespoons pine nuts

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons water

½ teaspoon raw honey

¾ teaspoon fresh thyme

1/8 teaspoon unrefined sea salt, plus more to taste

1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut on the diagonal into 2-inch segments

2 cups dry sprouted whole grain penne (such as Food for Life brand) or other whole grain penne

1 cup frozen petite peas

1 tablespoon cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (14.5 ounces) BPA-free organic cannellini beans

1. Place the pine nuts, lemon juice, water, honey, thyme and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a high speed

blender (such as a Vitamix); process for 1 full minute, or until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus to the

boiling water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sprouted whole grain pasta and cook for 4

minutes (if using regular whole grain penne, add it at the same time you add the asparagus and

cook both for 7 to 8 minutes.) Remove from heat and add the peas. Let the peas sit in the hot

water for about 1 minute. Drain the asparagus, pasta and peas. Do not rinse pasta with water; you

want to retain the pasta's natural starches so that the sauce will stick. Set pasta and vegetables

3. Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat; add the shallots and garlic and sauté

until the shallots are soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the beans and season with salt to taste.

4. Add the asparagus, pasta and peas to the saucepan and gently toss to coat with the shallots, garlic

and beans. Stir in the prepared cream sauce. Season with salt to taste. Remove from heat and let

sit 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm.

Clean Cuisine Chia and Chocolate Cookies

Ivy’s dad, Norman, loves these cookies so much that when we asked him what he

wanted for his 86th birthday the first thing he said was “How about those chia cookie

things?” They are just beyond delicious. And you can’t just eat one. Also, for what it is

worth, although they are not totally gluten-free, because they are made with barley flour

they contain considerably less gluten than cookies made with wheat flour.

Yields 24 cookies

1 ½ cups raw almonds

8 pitted dates

2 cups barley flour (available at a natural foods store)

1/4 cup chia seeds (such as Barlean’s)

½ cup organic extra virgin coconut oil (such as Barlean’s), softened

½ cup real maple syrup

½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt

½ cup vegan mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Put the almonds in a food processor and process into crumbs. Transfer almond crumbs to

a large mixing bowl. Put the dates in the food processor and pulse six to seven times, or

until dates are well ground. Transfer dates to the large mixing bowl with the almonds.

3. To the mixing bowl, add the barley flour, chia seeds, coconut oil, maple syrup and salt.

Combine all ingredients with a wooden spoon. Form the mixture into tablespoonful balls

and space them evenly on a large cookie sheet. Using your index finger, make an indent

in each cookie. Fill each cookie with 4 or 5 mini chocolate chips.

4. Bake cookies for 18 minutes (note: after 18 minutes the cookies should be done but the

chocolate will not totally be melted.) As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven,

take the back of a spoon and gently press down on the chocolate so that it melts. Set the

cookies aside to cool and harden for at least 15 minutes before eating.

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