504 Main by Holly Lefevre: getting healthy
Showing posts with label getting healthy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label getting healthy. Show all posts


Have You Ever Tried a Detox? I did!

I am continually looking for ways to improve and sustain my health.
I also truly believe that food has amazing healing powers.
I have experienced major changes in my mind, body, and outlook once before
(a long time ago) when I was (almost) a vegan.
It was the best I ever felt and looked...ever
(and it was not just because I was younger).

I have struggled to get back even a piece of that feeling for years
(if you dare, you can read about my struggles with weight loss...and gain).
I could blame pregnancy or being a busy mom....
but other moms seem to overcome these obstacles.
I can truly only find fault and take responsibility myself.


Dessert in a Snap! And You Can Eat It For Breakfast Too!

Dessert is a hot topic in my house.
The kids are always asking about dessert.
I strive to find healthy and fun solutions.

Most recently we added a Yonanas to our collection of kitchen appliances and love it (blog post coming very soon) but I have a few other tricks up my sleeve. Once is a tasty little berry concoction I call cobbler...because, well, I don't have a   better idea of what to call it...and it seems to be the easiest way to describe it.
This is a variation of a dessert I loved from my MacDougall Cookbook.

I have simplified it even more and the kids LOVE it. They consider it a treat (and so do I) and it is simple, healthy, and you can eat the leftovers for breakfast!


  • 2 bags of frozen berries, preferably organic. I use one bag of mixed berries and one of raspberries...but adding a bag of cherries is also yummy!
  • 1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1/4 cup +/- Pure Maple Syrup (you can adjust a with a bit less or more if you need too)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Pie pan (I use a 9" Pyrex glass pie pan). You can use other size pans.


  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Open and pour both bags of berries into pie pan
  • Place in heated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes
  • Mix oatmeal, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon in a bowl. The oatmeal should basically be coated with the maple syrup.
  • When berries are done baking, remove from oven and spoon oatmeal mixture all over the berries.
  • Return to oven, bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Let cool and enjoy!


  • You can use other size pans - you may need one more bag of berries and additional topping mixture for desired result.
  • Mixing the berries up are fun- cherries and berries, raspberries and mixed berries are all yummy!
  • The best price on organic frozen berries seems to consistently be Whole Foods (yes, believe it or not!)

Pretty simple, eh? And YUMMY!
And since there is no added sugar and the ingredients
are healthy if there is any left,
the kiddos get a scoop in the morning too!

Do you have a yummy, healthy dessert?
Or What's your favorite dessert?

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Cinch! Review and Cinch! Giveaway - CLOSED!

A few weeks ago I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches by Cynthia Sass (I LOVE her last name). She is also the  coauthor of The Flat Belly Diet and a registered dietitian. I did a little poking around and liked what I saw and agreed to review Cinch!

In the past I have struggled with my weight...in fact on Monday I pulled a long, lost post out of the archives to tell you my weighty story. The one thing I strive to be is honest and real here and I feel like you should know where I am coming from...I have tried many plans and menus that are considered to be healthy. I am open to new ideas, but I firmly believe in eating real food and conquering with my mind, body, spirit - not a quick fix.

On to Cinch!
When I first opened the book and started reading, two things jumped out at me. Early in the book there is a section entitled "What's Different - Cinch!"
The first two points (and I am paraphrasing) are:
#1 - An emphasis on portion control and balance instead of counting calories. YES - Score #1 for me - as soon as you tell me to count calories I feel deprived...my successes in the past have all been based on not counting calories.
#2 - A strong emphasis on whole foods and local and organic foods. YES - Score #2 for me - this is huge in my belief system on food. I am striving to do away with processed food in our house, and have switched over the pantry to include whole and organic foods (an occasional junky-something makes it in there however).

Cynthia's approach, as also descried in the book is one of a "whole person perspective" - physical, emotional, social, occupational, intellectual, spiritual, and environmental. Because of these and many other statements in the book, I was getting excited and completely on board with trying this plan. 

So, I made the decision...I am doing it. I am doing the 5-Day Fast Forward to jump start my results (I am an instant gratification type of person...results keep me going). You do not have to begin with the 5-Day Fast Forward...the meals are the same for the 5 days and the food choices are limited to 5...but it is only 5 days...and I happen to like all the food choices.

For the first five days, you eat combinations/meals of these 5 foods:
  • Spinach (fresh of frozen)
  • Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Almonds
  • Organic Eggs
  • Nonfat plain yogurt (I am using Greek yogurt...YUM!)
  • (You can substitute tofu)
There is no soda (even diet) and only one cup of coffee - that is hard for me (I rely on my mochas way too much!). I have actually cut back on the coffee by not purchasing my special Coffee Bean No-Sugar Added Mocha Powder - it is just not as good without it, so that makes it easier to not drink it. Tea, water, flavored calorie-free seltzer water, and flavored calorie-free flat water are all OK.
Cynthia is lucky enough to have a cool last name - SASS - that also translates into Slimming and Satiating Seasonings, which include citrus juice or zest, vinegar, hot peppers, tea, and herbs and spices you use to dress up your meals. In our house we use these on a regular basis anyway! Another huge SCORE!

So, I am starting my 2nd day of the 5 Day Fast Forward tomorrow...I have practiced for a few days...I simply decided that to start while the kids and hubby were all on vacation and we were all over the place was not ideal.

The menu for the remaining 25 days - the Cinch! Core - is much more diversified and sounds fabulous. It also include vegetarian and vegan options - HUGE points there!
Some of the recipes include:
  • Open-Faced Pesto Egg Sandwich
  • Strawberry Vanilla Hazelnut "Ice Cream"
  • California Sunshine Salad
  • Spinach Walnut Feta Pizza
  • Chilled Herbed Chicken Pasta Salad
So, as you can see the variety of meals is immense...it is only if you do the 5-Day Fast Forward that you are limited (for only 5 days)...after that it is all about eating like clockwork and eating from the 5 pieces of the puzzle:
  • Produce
  • Whole grain
  • Lean protein
  • Plant based fat
  • Seasonings - SASS)
My family will easily enjoy many of the meals, and I will feel good preparing and serving them as they are wholesome healthy meals. There is even a 5-piece puzzle cheat sheet to assist you with planning the meals.

Additionally...you get to enjoy some chocolate with Cinch! Yes, you heard me...find some time and some dark chocolate and enjoy it, really enjoy it.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact that while I know a decent amount about nutrition, Cynthia covers a lot of information about nutrition and also touches on emotional eating and how food issues begin when we are young (yes, I have given my kiddos a lollipop to sit in the shopping cart...I am guilty). I enjoyed these sections very much, because I do believe this is where the root of my issues lie and I am trying to not pass that on to my kiddos.

In my opinion, Cinch! it is a sensible, healthy, approach to getting on track and conquering the scale. It is definitely a book I would pick up at the book store. It is a plan that works or appears (cannot tell you for sure until I am done!) that it would work for me and my family (I just cannot prepare multiple meals at dinner time).

As I go about this plan, I am hopeful...I am ready to conquer this little demon of mine. This plan gives me flexibility while providing quality guidelines...I can live with that! I'll keep you posted!

UPDATE: I think I left this out and feel it needs mentioning....I know the only way to get and maintain the results I desire are through a lifestyle and attitude change. So, I am incorporating the good habits into my life and workign on staying on track.

Now...how would you like to win your own copy on Cinch!?
There are multiple ways to enter...You must leave a comment for each entry. If your email is not visible in your profile or linked to your profile, you must leave it so I can contact you. Giveaway ends 1/11/10 at 12:00 am PST. Winner will be announced on this blog.
1. Mandatory---Be a follower of 504 Main via Google Friend Connect.
2. Like 504 Main on FaceBook.
3. Like Cinch! on Facebook.
4. Follow 504Main on Twitter and Tweet the giveaway. "Win a copy of Cynthia Sass's Cinch! @504Main." Leave url in comment.
5. Post on your Facebook wall.

Here is a little taste of Cinch! from The Early Show.
One2One Badges
Disclaimer: I was provided with a proof copy of Cinch for review. The opinions here are my own.



Mind, Body, Food...I Broke Two Rules

I am a rules a person.
Yes, I have a lot of rules.
I usually don't break rules....but I did!
I broke two of my own rules.
Now, I should warn you, this post is turning out to be long. I also need you to understand I was not that girl in middle school or high school who watched the movie about how hot dogs were made and vowed never to eat them again. I am just now truly interested in what has happened to our food supply and what the heck is going on so I can make me family healthier and teach my kids the right thing. I also know some of this works because at 22/23 I did eat vegan {for health and weight issues} and never felt better or looked better in my entire life. I did this for about 4 years, and then fell off the wagon when I got married...My guide, my favorite book in regards to this is

Dr. McDougall also has a website with free information,
recipes, and a free eating program.

Oh, you want to know what rules I broke...
Rule One...Long ago, when I had quit my job after getting married and was figuring out what I was going to do with my life, I watched a lot of Oprah. Hubby would come home, and our conversation would begin like, "On Oprah today..."  So that became hubby's rule...no sentence can begin with "On Oprah today..." Over time, I got "over" Oprah, and my rule was simply no more Oprah {I know, I know...don't leave me for that!}.

Rule Two...I N-E-V-E-R buy celebrity endorsed products, especially diet or cookbooks. Call me a jaded Angeleno, but I am quite over celebrities being experts on "everything."

So, within 24 hours, both of those rules where out the window...at least for awhile. On Monday night, I was checking out the TV schedule for  the evening and saw that Oprah was having a special called Food 101 with Michael Pollan. For those of you who have read my Mindy...Body...Food posts {see the bottom of this post for the links}, you know I am all about changing the way I and my entire family eats - "out" with funky ingredients and preservatives and "in" with whole, nutritious, real food.

Any way this was a great special with so much info, really good info! I was also very interested because a few ladies have mentioned the book The Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan. I have not read it yet, but I am buying the book today. From what I understand Michael Pollan does eat meat...he is not a vegan...he just eats the "right" kind of meat {just so no one thinks this is a "vegan-only" post}.

He also has one for kids...

Oprah mainly focused on his Book, Food Rules: An Eaters Manual

Some of the rules they covered on the special were:
1. Eat food .
2: Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.
7: Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
13: Eat only foods that will eventually rot.
39: Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.
She also referenced a documentary called Food Inc. I am actually kind of afraid to watch it!
The Oprah special is recapped HERE.
And you have to take the food quiz...it is appalling!

Now for the second broken rule...Alicia Silverstone was on Oprah's special. I knew she was a vegan...I have heard this before, but I actually listened to her this time. Yes, I listened to a celebrity babble on about something...BUT she wasn't babbling..she made so much sense. She has a book out too, called The Kind Diet and I went out the next day and bought it.

In it, she details many different aspects of eating, health, and her perspective on being vegan and why. She also talks about Dr.McDougall {so she had me there!}. She offers recipes at different levels of change from "Flirting" to "Superhero," depending on what you are ready for. I liked this because while I can do "Superhero," hubby will "Flirt." I found I can use many of her recipes as side dishes for him...He must have meat {his idea, not mine}!!!!

Of course I could not talk about this book without having tried some of the recipes. I made the  Quinoa with Basil and Pine Nuts. A pretty basic recipe overall - prepare 1 cup of quinoa according to directions, toast pine nuts, chop basil, mix altogether and drizzle with olive oil. Easy and good (do I dare tell you I have never made quinoa before...I have always had it in the pantry, but never made it...I was afraid...so this was a good recipe to try.}.

Did I mention there are desserts? Last night I made the Coffee Fudge Brownies...six thumbs up from me and the kiddos (hubby is out of town). Really, really good! So, I am actually kind of in love with this "Kind Diet," and very excited to try more.

I am at the point where I will be seriously looking into organic chickens and grass fed beef for the family. As for me, I am pretty sure I am going to go Vegetarian again. I have a hard time calling myself a vegan, because I cannot say I won't slip up and eat cheese or anything like that. I also prefer this method of eating because I just do not want to count calories or fat or carbs or points.

Either way, they also say it is good for the environment to go meatless at least once a week. I am not preaching vegetarianism, veganism, or anything else..just exploring. What do you think? Do you buy celebrity endorsed products? Did you watch the Oprah special? 

Happy Eating!

If you are new or need a refresher on
the Mind, Body, Food Posts…
The Beginning: How it came to be.
Chapter 1: The Road to Complete Nutrition (body Image and food)
Chapter 2:Healthy Menu and Chicken Chili Recipe
Chapter 3: Pantry Perfection and a Homemade Ketchup recipe


Mind, Body, Food...A Quest for Pantry Perfection and a Homemade Ketchup Recipe!

Hey all! I am seriously dragging my feet when it
comes to posting these Healthy Happy Hour Post Updates {sorry!}.
It is so much to take in…
overhauling your entire way of thinking and eating
{because that’s the plan we are on here!}
is overwhelming, and quite frankly
I am in a BIG ‘OLE January blah mood!
I have done an overhaul before but I was 23ish and single…
that was easy-peasy, now I am doing it for 4!
OK, that was my excuse
{which I am not supposed to make any more…so sue me!}.
Now for some quick housekeeping…
Lisa Leonard Illuminate Necklace Giveaway goes on until 2/1/2010.
Click HERE to enter!
As a follow up for the Friday Follow up…
If for some reason I missed the re-follow,
please leave me a comment and let me know…
I do not want to be a slacker.

Now on to the info {drum roll please}…
If you are new or need a refresher on
the Healthy Happy Hour Posts…
There is evil lurking in my cupboards…and frig…and freezer. Yes, I am talking about all those ingredients I cannot pronounce…which ultimately means I shouldn’t be eating them. Now, I won’t lie…I have not made a complete sweep of it all. Most of it wasn’t too bad to begin with, but it is not perfect by any means. I am certainly not the picture of “pantry perfection.” This is a journey for me and for my family to get back on track. There is still evil hiding in there, but going forward I am more conscious of it. I will admit I did get a little lazy...but wholly cow! And, you know what is really scary...the evil was in places I never expected!
CASE #1…I was the BIGGEST FAN of these great little frozen minced garlic squares {store to not be named}. Seriously, I thought they were the best invention EVER! I had them stockpiled…Then when I was cooking for the healthy happy hour, I looked at the ingredients…S-U-P-R-I-S-E…it wasn’t just garlic. There were three ingredients in my garlic – NOT necessary. It must have been a sign because that was actually my last package of the garlic…this garlic is no longer welcome in my house.  I have been buying whole heads of garlic and mincing them myself and guess what…it tastes better anyway!

CASE #2…Hubby loves chicken soup. We were having a go-around about the chicken stock….the free range organic broth didn’t have the junk but the sodium {which he needs to watch} was 3 times as much. The free range reduced sodium chicken broth has some junk (MSG), but a fraction of the sodium…what is a wife to do? Solution…I cook a whole chicken at least once a week…and make my own broth! I throw the carcass {yeah, I love that word!} into a big pot, some water, some veggies, and we just boil it for a couple of hours. It is better for us, tastes better and it is like 2 for 1. I seriously, not in one trillion years would have ever thought I would do this…but it is not hard and costs less.

Fresh, frozen, or canned?: I know there are arguments for and against canned and frozen foods. I will always choose fresh if it is available, but I still, and probably always will accept frozen and canned {or better yet jarred} food into my house provided they are organic or at least not full of junk. I am not getting into the argument here over canned foods – if you don’t like it pick something else - I know some cans have BPA. You can reference my “go to” source on this one…click HERE and visit the discussion board or search for "canned food."

Now let’s chat about costs: Based on my current grocery shopping and the swaps I am making, I believe it will all be a wash…although it may not seem like it now. Case in point the double duty chicken/broth. I have priced a few things…
  • Organic butter at the grocery store it is $7.00 at Whole Foods, $4.99 (I think it was a special). I do not always buy the organic butter but I do buy the “no rbst” butter at $2.99/lb. - I can get butter at the grocery store for $2.50/lb. most of the time – so there is a little price difference.
  • I am buying bulk (and I do not mean Costco bulk)…brown rice flour, quinoa, granola, oatmeal, etc. can all be purchased in bulk…you don’t pay for the packaging (which is “green” too) and you save some cash.
  • The frozen food and the canned food for the most part was pretty comparable.
  • The one thing that is killing me is the meat….I have yet to buy an organic whole chicken…I hear they say one you go organic chicken you never go back…but that needs to be a lot of bang for my buck.
  • I go to the Farmer’s Market for produce and try to make a good list of what I really need. I also go without the kids if possible…so without kettle korn, snow cones, and a gourmet cupcake…the cost is pretty good. Now I am also fortunate to live in a place known as “The Salad Bowl of the World,” so I won’t lie…that helps! I can also drive to a local organic farm, Earthbound Farms, and shop. 
  • Shoot me an email if you want to chat about this more!
So after all of that…what the heck am I talking about? 
As I go about cleaning our pantry...
  • I am removing items that are full of chemicals, MSG, and plain old crap.
  • I will quit buying "backup/just in case" boxes of macaroni and cheese and nasty soups {I swear, I will}.
  • I will be resourceful, using what is on hand, what is in season, and what is affordably priced.
  • I will make what I can…yes, I even made my own ketchup! (see recipe below)
  • A little preparation goes a long way…I make my own tortilla chips…and the kids help. It is not that hard to cut some tortillas like a pizza {did I just say pizza?} and toss them around in some sea salt or other quality seasoning {works for pitas too}.
My buddy Kelli at Sustaining Creativity in a Busy Mom’s World posted this recipe awhile back and I was soooo intrigued...have you read the back of a ketchup bottle..ick! So, I finally did it! I made ketchup! I did make a goof on my shopping trip for a couple of the spices, so my recipe varied a little. Go visit Kelli’s post to see the original, but here is mine. By the way everyone liked it…but next time I am cutting back on the crushed red pepper for the little ones.
4 whole cloves  
1 bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp. celery seeds
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1⁄4 tsp. whole allspice
2 lbs. tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄2 cup white vinegar
1-2 Tablespoons Molasses (for sweetness and thickness)
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic - can be less…I {heart} garlic!

  • Wrap cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, celery seeds, crushed red pepper, and allspice in a layer of cheesecloth; tie into a bundle and put into a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat along with tomatoes, salt, vinegar, molasses, and onion.
  • Smash and add the garlic to the pot.
  • Cook, stirring, until onions are very soft, 40-60 minutes…watch it.
  • Remove spice bundle
  • Purée sauce in a food processor until smooth. I made sure it was really smooth!
  • Transfer ketchup to a glass jar. Set aside; let cool.
  • Cover with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.MAKES 2 1⁄2 CUPS(The original recipe calls for this, but I did not do these last steps) Strain sauce through a mesh strainer into a qt. saucepan over medium heat; Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 30 minutes; Add more salt, sugar, or vinegar, if you like. This recipe was altered from a recipe first published in Saveur in Issue #117
Ultimately it is about what works for each person/family
at a particular time and is cost effective or efficient.
Even a few changes here and there can greatly impact your health.
So, are you still here?

Do you think I am crazy?
Sound like too much work?
What are you doing to improve your health or your families health?

Happy Eating!

{Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or health professional. I am a mom on a journey and these are my steps and my opinions. I have no serious health issues so I am free to do what I feel is right. Consult a doctor if you need help...aka…don’t sue me!}


Mind, Body, Food (Chapter 2)...A Chicken Chili Recipe for You!

Hey All! First, can I just say “WOW.” I was really overwhelmed and inspired by the responses to my last "healthy" post, Mind…Body…Food…The Road to Complete Nutrition.
As I mentioned, I was hesitant to talk about my own issues…but I did it and survived. I have a lot more info to share – maybe I can get Renee to guest post. In the next weeks, I am going to cover journaling…but not just your food, reading labels, pantry items, sugars, and one of my main things that I need to concentrate on…building up my adrenal system.
(again, not from the perspective of a doctor or
health professional, but from the mom prospective.)
If you want to catch up, check out these posts:
Getting Healthy (November 2009)


Is that a Banana in Your Bread...

About a week ago, on Getting Healthy, I talked about my friend Renee coming up to host a Healthy Happy Hour with me and some local gals....well it is time! So, if you re new, click on the link above and check out the whole story...there is still time for your input.

I am sort of freaking out too...I think, for the most part, that I eat healthy, and I think my family does...yes, there are the occasional trips to McDonald's and Subway...but now it is time to really talk about healthy living and healthy eating...and see all the things I can still change. I have been scrutinizing my cupboards and realizing not all of my produce is organic and there are some things with some very funky ingredients in my pantry.

To prepare for the visit and the Happy Hour, I am planning a delicious menu and trying out some new recipes...basically I am doing my homework. I will blog all about this get together and the recipes next week. For now, I just had a couple things to share...

First, this is the title of a book that Renee recommended to me awhile back..and I {heart} it! This book provides sound nutrition advice with logical answers.
Your Body Knows Best by Ann Louise Gittleman

Secondly...I am making some food for us too snack on while we prepare. Here is one recipe (it is a modified version of one of Renee's.)

Banana Buckwheat Bread
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup molasses
3 ripe bananas
2 cups of flour (use a combo of flours. I used 1 cup Buckwheat Flour and 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour - I can find both of these at my regular grocery store or whole foods. You can also use Brown rice flour, etc.)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup finely grated carrot (I used my mini-food processor)
1/2 to 1 apple, peeled and diced (I got lazy and used the mini-food processor). If the apple is small use it all, if not use half.
1/2 cup nuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Use the melted butter to grease the pan and then dust the pan with the flour combo
  3. Mix the butter, molasses, (room temp.) eggs, and bananas together
  4. Sift dry ingredients together
  5. Add dry to the wet in small batches
  6. Fold in the carrot
  7. Fold in the apple
  8. Bake for approximately 55 minutes

Voila...super yummy, totally healthy, kid-tested Buckwheat Banana Bread!

If you have a question for Healthy Happy Hour post it here or drop me a line via email.

Also, since I have a visitor and a soiree to prepare for, blogging will be sporadic. Thanks for visiting and commenting and I will get back at ya on Monday..or sooner...I am not making any promises!

Happy Weekend!

P.S. Look for my super cool stamper giveaway coming up next week!