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Super Healthy, Super Tasty, Super Bowl Chili

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor
January 30, 2011
File under: Entertaining, Healthy Eating, Vegan

enlightened chili

Pizza, salsa, dips and chips are all typical game day fare, but there is something special about a hearty bowl of spicy chili on Super Bowl Sunday. This is especially true in Texas, where the dish was born well over a century ago.

A popular dish with trail hands in the Old West, Chili Con Carne was a dish of well-seasoned beef, slow cooked with chili peppers and other spices concocted around 1850 by Texas cowboys. According to historians, chili was a staple in hard times around Texas and easy to prepare over a campfire when traveling to the California gold fields. There was a San Antonio Chili Stand at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and it was at this exposition that Texas chili went national.

In the Southwest, Chili can vary considerably from one region to another. …read more of Super Healthy, Super Tasty, Super Bowl Chili here

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Scrumptious Sweet Potato Pie

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor
January 5, 2011
File under: Healthy Eating, Recipes, Vegan

photo: Joseph A.Garcia

Sweet Potato Pie is a down home favorite in the South that is similar to pumpkin pie.

Sweet potatoes were grown in South America at least 5,000 years ago and the Incans called them “batata,” the apparent origin of the modern day name for “potato.”Fat-free, low in calories and very rich in beta-carotene, one sweet potato has five times the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin A and is loaded with potassium. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps the body maintain healthy epithelial tissue, which coats and protects various organs of the body.

Potassium is a mineral important for the proper function of all of the cells, tissues and organs in the body. Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, important for normal digestive and muscular function.

Traditional Sweet Potato Pie is heart-heavy, adding an inordinate amount of fat, cholesterol and calories in the form of milk, butter and eggs to nutrient rich sweet potatoes. …read more of Scrumptious Sweet Potato Pie here

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Karma Veg: Is being vegetarian a requirement for yoga?

By Jess Lewis-Peltier
December 27, 2010
File under: Healthy Eating, Vegetarian, Yoga


So you’ve taken up yoga complete with your sticky mat, chanting and deep breathing. You’re feeling the healthy glow and are now thinking of taking it a step further by becoming vegetarian. After all, it almost seems requisite; but whether or not someone is required to be vegetarian when practicing yoga is the subject of much heated debate.

The simple answer is no, it is not a requirement. However, as each aspiring yogi/yogini delves deeper into yogic philosophy, it is difficult to ignore the principles that support this lifestyle. While listening to your body and its diverse nutritional needs is very important, you must also listen to your spiritual and karmic needs allowing those to be your compass in deciding what’s right for you.

Although yoga by no means forces the vegetarian lifestyle, there are many aspects of the philosophy that can, for some, ultimately lead to this conclusion. Many who practice yoga feel that the vegetarian lifestyle is one that is kind, clean and sustainable and most importantly adheres to the principals of Ahimsa and Prana. …read more of Karma Veg: Is being vegetarian a requirement for yoga? here

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Serve Hoppin’ John for Good Luck on New Year’s Day

By Marie Oser, Managing Editor
December 24, 2010
File under: Entertaining, Healthy Eating, Legumes, Vegan

Photo Credit: Joseph A. Garcia

Back-eyed peas are a dietary staple in the American South and Hoppin’ John is a traditional dish made with black-eyed peas believed to bring good luck when served on New Year’s Day. According to the legend, if you serve black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, you’ll have plenty of pocket change in the New Year. If you serve “Hoppin’ John” with cooked greens you’ll also have plenty of folding money. Many southern families toast each other with Champagne and a bowl of Hoppin’ John at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Black-eyed peas are cream colored beans that have a slightly smoky flavor, smooth texture and a distinct black dot. Food historians agree that “Hoppin’ John” is an American dish with African/French/Caribbean origins. African slaves, who worked the rice plantations, brought black-eyed peas to the U.S. and by the 1700′s they were growing extensively in the south.

Where did this dish get its strange name? One theory is that “Hoppin’ John” was a corruption of the French ‘pois à pigeon,’ (pigeon peas) when the dish was created in the French colonies of the Caribbean. John Mariani suggests, in The Dictionary of American Food and Drink, “it derives from an old ritual on New Year’s Day in which children in the house hopped once around the table before eating the dish.” …read more of Serve Hoppin’ John for Good Luck on New Year’s Day here

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Timely Tips that Put a Stop Emotional Eating

By Lissa Coffey
December 20, 2010
File under: Ayurveda, Healthy Eating


Many of us tend to gain weight around the holidays and not just because there are so many extra good things to eat. Emotions run high at this time of year and we are more stressed, more sensitive and often turn to food in an effort to find some relief.  We try to “fill ourselves up” with food when we find we are not being filled up by love and comfort.  Fortunately there are many ways that we can avoid turning to this bad habit.  The first is to be aware that we are doing it!

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. When we are feeling anxious our cortisol levels rise, adrenalin races and we feel like we are hungry even when we really don’t need food.  To bring adrenalin back into balance, reach for foods that are chewy or crunchy, like nuts and seeds or raw vegetables. These are foods that require energy to chew.   You can burn off some energy by going for a fast-paced walk.  Massage, even self-massage, helps to reduce cortisol, so try that before getting into the pastries.

Dopamine is a precursor of adrenalin. Holidays are filled with speed shopping and preparing for family and friends. When we are so busy focusing on other people, often at the expense of ourselves, our dopamine levels drop and we end up eating to give ourselves some reward.  Instead, indulge in another luxury, like a relaxing bath or guided meditation with soft music. …read more of Timely Tips that Put a Stop Emotional Eating here

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An alternative approach to health, wellness and disease prevention. Marie Oser and her team of bloggers bring you creative natural solutions to issues affecting our health and wellbeing.

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