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Yummy Yam & Quinoa Sushi Rolls

Sushi rolls are actually super easy to make. It just takes a little preparation time and some practice! I love to make these and bring them to parties and pot lucks. Beautiful, colorful, and yummy, your friends will be impressed!

I prefer to use quinoa because it is higher in protein than brown rice. Also, it tends to stick together pretty well so it’s easier to work with.

Soak the quinoa overnight (for at least 6 hours) in water and a squirt of lemon juice. Soaking grains helps to get rid of the phytic acid coating that makes them hard to digest for some people. Quinoa in particular can have a bitter flavor if it’s not soaked beforehand. Rinse well, and you’ll see some soapy residue. Those are soapamines that are shedding off. Good riddance! Those soapamines and the phytic acid prevents aborption of minerals from the grains.

Cover the quinoa with pure water (about 2 inches above) and bring to a boil. Add a strip of Kombu seaweed into the pot to mineralize the grains and give yourself a super nutrition boost! Minerals nourish your system, strengthen your bones, tone your nervous system, and even boost your metabolism. You can find Kombu seaweed in the Asian or macrobiotic section of your local health food store. Simmer for 35 minutes or so. Let cool.

Meanwhile, chop up whatever vegetables you have on hand. This time around I had some cooked yams, steamed kale, green onions, avocado, and carrots. Cut them into long strips.

Place a sheet of Nori seaweed, shiny side down, onto a bamboo sushi rolling mat. Then, grab a handful of quinoa and spread it across the bottom of a sheet of Nori seaweed. Add on your various vegetables, making sure you don’t pile them on too thick or it will be hard to roll up!

Now here’s the tricky part! Using the bamboo roller mat, pinch the end closest to you closed across the top of all the goodies and then “roll” it closed. You may need a touch of moisture to “stick” the sheet closed at the end. Simply wet your finger and pat the edges.

Use a super sharp knife to slice the final roll into pieces. The ends may look too funky to serve, so just eat them yourself! If you don’t have a super sharp knife, a serrated knife works well.

Because I am avoiding wheat gluten, I serve the sushi with wheat free tamari (yes, soy sauce has wheat in it). Enjoy!

Keep me posted on your own sushi making adventures!
Yours in Health,
Sylvie Nalezny, MA, CNE
www.realfoodnutrition.com
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Raving About Ramps!

Last weekend I met some girlfriends for lunch at the Ferry Plaza Building  in San Francisco. After an eclectic and delicious meal of fresh young coconut (what a challenge to find someone to open it for me–thank you cute butcher guy!), Burrata cheese, eggplant dip, and assorted charcuterie, we perused the market. At the Far West Fungi stand I noticed a vegetable that I had never seen before!

“Ramps!” exclaimed the vendor. “They’re absolutely delicious! Snatch them up because it’s almost the end of the season.” So I did! 
And I took them home and I did pretty much what I do with any new vegetable that I want to try for the first time: I sauteed them in organic butter and a touch of garlic. Success! For those of you that are still avoiding butter for health reasons, STOP! There’s nothing wrong with organic butter, especially when it comes from grass fed cows. For more information on healthy fats, read my blog post on that very subject.  If you’re avoiding dairy due to allergies, coconut oil is another tasty, healthy option for higher heat sautees. Never use olive oil with high heat. Once it starts to smoke, it’s become toxic!   
Turns out  ramps are a relative of the leek. You can eat the bulb and the leaves. They are one of the first Spring vegetables to grow out of the snow. Many people enjoy them pickled. They mostly grow in the Easter North American Mountains. I forgot to ask the vendor at Far West Fungi where these ramps came from. In any case, I will be awaiting next year’s ramp season with anticipation! 
Yours in Health and Fun Times,
Sylvie Nalezny, MA, CNE

No Time to Cook: Lamb, Shitake Mushroom & Leek Stew

Who hasn’t found themselves “too busy to cook” at some point in their work week? That’s where I found myself last Thursday night. I realized that my entire Friday and pretty much Saturday too were going to be super busy. At 10pm I was wondering how could I prepare something nutritious and delicious for myself for tomorrow’ busy day. Crock pot to the rescue!! It only took me about 10 minutes to chop up the ingredients. I threw everything in my crockpot, got into bed and went off into dream land which was interlaced with the delicious smells of my stew cooking all night long…

Lamb & Leek Stew
Ingredients: 
Lamb Stew Meat (about 1 pound). You can use grass fed beef if you’d prefer. Lamb is one of the “cleanest” meats, meaning that they typically won’t give lamb feed laced with pesticides and hormones. Grass fed meats are as good a source for omega 3 fatty acids as wild salmon. Grass fed meats also provide CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a type of fatty acid that prevents belly fat. 
1 Large Organic Leek Leeks are a natural diuretic and have anti-arthritic properties.
2 Large Organic Carrots Carrots are the richest vegetable source of beta-carotenes, great for your eyes and skin.
Handful of Organic Shitake Mushrooms Super immune boosting and cancer fighting!
Beef Bone Broth   You can make your own  but I like to get mine from Three Stone Hearth , my local, community supported kitchen. Bone broth healing for the gut, helps digestion and breakdown of protein foods, and provides highly absorbable minerals and nutrients. 
Half of a Large Onion  Sulfur rich onions help your liver detoxification processes
Garlic Cloves (3-5)  Garlic also helps with detox. Garlic is immune boosting: anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
Thyme Supports respiratory health. Also fights candida (yeast overgrowth)
Instructions: 
Chop the leek into round slices. Soak the chopped leek in a large bowl of water to wash off all of the dirt that clings inside the leek. 
Chop your carrots, onion, and mushrooms into chunks. 
Peel the garlic cloves and cut each into 2 or 3 pieces. Throw everything into your crock pot and set it to “Low.” Add a large spoonful of Beef Broth for moisture and added nutrition. Let your crock pot do its thing! 
I let my stew cook for 10 hours. Season with Sea Salt, Pepper, & Thyme to taste. Eat on its own or serve over brown rice or quinoa. 
Enjoy!
Yours in Health, 
Sylvie Nalezny, MA, CNE

Tuesday is Taco Night! Today’s Meal Plan

One of my favorite foods of all time are tacos! Real, authentic ones with just meat, cilantro, onions, and salsa on a tasty corn tortilla.

However, the more I’ve learned about nutrition, the less I want to eat conventional meat and genetically modified corn! Most of the corn in this country has been genetically modified. If you’re unaware or would like to learn more about the dangers of Genetically Modified Foods, email me (sylvie@realfooodnutrition.com)  and I will send you a free report. The only way to avoid GM foods  is to choose organic. 
As far as tacos go, that pretty much rules out most of my past favorite haunts. So what I do now is to make my own tacos! Picante on 6th street in Berkeley and Picoso in the North Berkeley food court do serve organic and sustainably raised meat and organic, GMO free corn tortillas. But these places can be somewhat pricey and these days, we can all benefit from saving a little dough and eating at home. Tonight I’m making turkey tacos with turkey leg meat; a tasty and healthy alternative to carnitas. (Although I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with some great quality pork now and then!) 
Here’s my plan for today. 
Breakfast: 

Hot water with lemon (great for liver and kidney health)
Steamed Swiss Chard w/ extra virgin cold pressed olive oil & lemon drizzled on top & nutritional yeast (great source of energizing B vitamins) sprinkled all over
Lamb patty (I buy organic grass fed meat often because it is inexpensive. I make patties and cook them up in my cast iron skillet)
Lunch: 

Brown rice seasoned with extra virgin cold pressed olive oil and dulse flakes (seaweed that is full of minerals!) 
Swiss Chard (leftover from this morning) w/ lemon (lemon neutralizes the oxalic acid in the chard which can block calcium absorption
Saag’s Natural brand chicken sausage (very easy! pre-cooked for your convenience)

Snack:

Organic peach (first of the season!) yummm
4 Brazil nuts
Dinner:

Turkey Tacos!! 
All I did was to bake the turkey leg in the oven at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours. (Did that yesterday morning!)
Pick the meat off and shred and keep warm. 
You’ll need the following: 
Cilantro (naturally draws heavy metals out of your system)
White onion (sulfur rich helps with detoxification)
Organic Tomatoes (lycopene is great for skin, eyes, and prostate)
Avocado
Jalapeno (if you like it hot!) 
Organic Corn tortillas (I like Food for Life, Sprouted Corn tortillas)
A Pat of Organic Butter ! 
Hot sauce (I like Cholula brand because it doesn’t have sodium benzoate like most of the other Mexican brands)
Raw Sauerkraut (aids in digestion, provides probiotics for immune health as well) You can also make this yourself! 
Warm the tortillas one by one in a skillet with a little pat of butter to keep them moist. 
Chop up the onion, cilantro, and tomato and jalapeno. 
Make up your tacos and garnish with avocado and hot sauce to taste. Serve with raw sauerkraut on the side. 
My goal in sharing my food journal with you all is not to say that you need to eat like me! We are all different and some of you may need more fruit and grain than I’m eating or you may need even more protein and fat. My goal is to show that eating whole foods can be delicious and not that difficult to incorporate into your lifestyle. Whole, real food is always a great place to start. There are certain principles that I try to incorporate on a daily basis:
I eat according to my metabolic type, which for me means to eat protein with every meal. 
I eat breakfast within one hour of waking up.
I aim for 4 cups of vegetables every day. 
I try not to go longer than 5 hours without eating. 
I choose organic, local, and sustainable as much as possible. 
I try to eat something fermented and probiotic rich every day. 
I avoid foods that I am sensitive to (gluten for me).
I avoid refined sugar and refined grains like white rice. 
If you are interested in crafting a personalized dietary program, contact me!  I’m happy to discuss your questions and concerns over the phone. 
Until tomorrow, 
Sylvie Nalezny, MA, CNE 
510-421-3214



Monday’s Food Plan: Preparing for the Work Week

Due to popular request, I am blogging about what I eat! Today’s Monday and so I’m planning ahead for the work week to come. Typically, I hard-boil half a dozen eggs so that I can have some quick protein on hand. I also cook some high fiber, gluten free starchy carbs. I’ll make a pot of brown rice or quinoa. Always soak your quinoa overnight and rinse well before cooking to remove the soapamines (plant chemicals that block nutrient absorption).  Another favorite is butternut squash, delicata, or kabocha pumpkin. I also like yams. I simply cut them up and bake them in the oven for about an hour at 350 degrees. Poke them with a fork to test for readiness.

This morning, I also baked an organic Turkey leg in the oven. I’m going to be making healthy tacos with the meat for tomorrow so don’t foget to check back for that recipe!

Here’s today’s plan:
Breakfast: 
Hot lemon water (cleansing and detoxifiying)
Aztec Sweet Chili Tea  (Yogi brand. It was cold this morning and I felt like having something warming!) Sometimes I’ll add coconut milk and cinnamon to this tea if I want something creamy.
Goat yogurt w/ mango and shredded coconut (leftover from yesterday’s snack) and a dash of cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper is warming and boosts the metabolism. So does cinnamon so I’ll sprinkle these often on top of fruit and yogurt. 
Lunch:

Broccoli, Yam, and lean organic Niman Ranch Pork in Trader Joe’s Thai Red Curry Sauce.
It’s what I ended up having for dinner last night, so I’m eating leftovers today. I love TJ’s Thai Red Curry Sauce. It does have a few questionable ingredients: Autolyzed Yeast Extract (might be MSG), canola oil (if it’s not organic it’s probably genetically modified), and sugar (but only 3 grams per serving). Next time, I will try and make some from scratch using coconut milk, red chili powder, and ginger. I can’t be 100% perfect all the time, so I do the best I can!
I bought some “To-Go Ware”  at the Green festival and absolutely love it. I use it almost every day since I often pack my lunch. Made of stainless steel, the lunch box comes with bamboo utensils and an organic cotton carrying sling.
Snack: 

Organic apple w/ cinnamon and the world’s most delicious almond butter !

Dinner: 


Large organic mixed greens salad w/ chopped organic tomato, and 1 Saag’s Natural Brand chicken sausage . These hormone free sausages are a life saver. Pre-cooked, they are an easy delicious organic protein source.
1 slice of Grindstone Bakery gluten free bread  w/ raw butter . Raw butter is so tasty and a powerhouse of nutritious. It is best to stock up on butter in the Spring time when the cows have been eating all of the fresh green grass.

Dessert:

A couple squares of Divine, dark organic chocolate . After learning about the horrors of the cacao industry, I refuse to eat anything but fair trade chocolate. No child will suffer due to my sweet tooth, thank you very much!

As always, I would love to hear your questions and comments. Hope you’re all well nourished today.

Yours in Health,
Sylvie Nalezny, MA, CNE

Eggs For Health: Today’s Menu

My clients are always asking me what I eat. For the next week, I am sharing my culinary choices with the world, in hopes that I can demonstrate that healthy eating can be easy and delicious! Today is Day 2. Eggs for breakfast this morning….

Breakfast: 
2 Sunny Side Up Eggs served over Fava Bean and Carrot salad (leftover from yesterday!)
Hot water with the juice of 1/2 lemon squeezed in (the sour lemon stimulates bile flow which boosts detoxification)
I cringe whenever people tell me they’re eating egg whites only in an attempt to either be healthier and/or lose weight. Egg yolks are the gold of the egg and where you find all of the nutrition! 
Not all eggs are created equally, however. The best eggs to buy and the healthiest for you come from chickens that were allowed to roam freely and peck and forage some of their food on their own. 
Never buy eggs that boast “vegetarian feed.” Chickens are not vegetarians! They love to eat worms and other insects and that’s a natural part of their diet. Ideally, you want to get “pastured” eggs from chickens that live on an organic farm. The term “natural” doesn’t mean a thing anymore. Unfortunately, “cage-free” doesn’t really mean much either. Choosing “organic” is always a healthier choice because this means the chickens weren’t eating feed laced with pesticides and/or given hormones. 
Currently, I’m eating Clark Summit Farm pastured eggs from Tomales, CA . The eggs are beautiful; they come in different sizes and the shells are various colors. Be suspicious of eggs that are the exact same size and  color! This is an indication that the chicken had no say in what they got to eat! 
Notice how these eggs are different sizes and their shells are different shades of brown. One of them is green!
I cooked my eggs this morning in organic butter. Sometimes I use coconut oil. I never use olive oil because the smoking point of olive oil is lower than it is for butter or coconut oil. Never let the oil that you’re cooking with smoke! Smoke makes lipid peroxides which create free radical damage in your body and are almost as bad for you as trans fats. Egg yolks can get damaged by heat so if you’re scrambling, make sure to use very low heat. Truly the healthiest way to eat eggs is to eat them soft or hard-boiled. 
Notice the deep yellow orange color of the yolks! The one on the right is a bit darker which means the chicken who laid it probably ate a little more grass….Lucky me! 
Lunch: 

Steamed broccoli drizzled with extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil and sprinkled with Nutritional Yeast 
Lamb Patty (leftover from last night)
Olive oil, lemon juice and nutritional yeast make a delicious seasoning for just about everything. If you’ve never tried nutritional yeast before, it tastes sort of like parmesan cheese. (It’s great on air-popped pop-corn!) It’s a great vegetarian source of all of the B-vitamins which are so important for energy production and mood. Stress, alcohol, sugar, white foods, &  caffeine all deplete B-vitamins. 
I’m loving the Raw Crust crackers from Mauk Family Farms lately. I have my own dehydrator and do make flax seed crackers every now and then but when I’m feeling a little lazy, these are perfect! They are crunchy, and hearty and really satisfy me. Sometimes I’ll eat one with almond butter on top for breakfast on the go. 
Snack: 

Mango with chili and shredded coconut. Yummmm! 
Dinner: 

I’m not sure where my day will take me. One of the things I’ve learned is that it’s better for me to be prepared and to have food with me at all times. I’m bringing the following in my cooler in the car:
GT’s Kombucha
Orange
Mayan Spice Wild Bar (I’m not a huge fan of bars in general, but this one’s awesome! It’s got 1500 mg of Super Blue Green Algae,  14 grams of fiber for very low net carbs, and most importantly, tastes great!)
Brazil Nuts (great source of selenium for thyroid and immune health) 
Email me (sylvie@realfoodnutrition.com) with your thoughts and questions or leave a comment here on the blog! Looking forward to hearing from you…
Yours in Health, 
Sylvie Nalezny, MA, CNE

Today’s Menu May 15th

My clients often ask me what I eat. For the next week, I’m going to be posting my daily menu plan. My goal is to show everyone that eating healthy can be easy as well as delicious. Ever since the liver gall bladder cleanse workshop I taught in early April, I have been sticking to my gluten free lifestyle and feeling so great! I  have more energy, have dropped a few pounds, and my digestion is fantastic. I don’t miss the gluten at all now that it’s out of my system.

Unfortunately, I have discovered through the process of elimination and reintroduction that my body doesn’t like cow dairy unless it’s raw. That’s what I miss the most! But there are tasty alternative. So I stick with goat dairy. Butter seems to be alright and so does high quality, low heat processed whey protein. It’s really the cow cheese that makes me break out and wake up the next morning feeling congested.

We’re all different and I encourage everyone to try a cleanse and then to experiment with which foods are working best for you at this present time. Not everyone runs on the same fuel. Some people need more protein or fat than others. Some need more complex carbohydrate. Through a process called Metabolic Typing, you can begin to craft a customized nutrition plan. This is a process that I am more than happy to work with you on….

So here goes! 
Saturday, May 15th
Upon Waking: 
Warm water with lemon juice. Yerba mate tea with Tulsi
Breakfast: 
Smoothie with pesticide free, whey protein, spirulina powder, frozen organic blueberries, hemp seeds, coconut milk, goat yogurt and a little water. Yummy! 
Lunch: 


I got some Fava Beans in my Farm Fresh to You box. So I made a salad with fava beans, organic carrots, shredded organic lettuce and a ginger citrus vinaigrette. See the recipes down below! To round out the meal I ate some home-made chicken liver pate onGrindstone Bakery, high flax, gluten free bread and some steamed asparagus with melted butter on top. Email me (sylvie@realfoodnutrition.com) if you’d like the recipe for chicken liver pate! I used to hate organ meat until I discovered this recipe. Organic chicken liver is an excellent source of B-vitamins and zinc. 
Fava Bean & Carrot Salad

Ingredients:
Fava Beans, about 1 cup
Carrots, about 1 cup shredded
Lettuce, about 1 cup shredded
Shell the fava beans, and steam for about 3-5 minutes or until the outer “pod” starts to shrivel a little. Rinse the beans in cool water and then pop them out from the shriveled outer shell. Grate your carrots and then chop your lettuce. Mix it all up in a big bowl. 
Season with a vinaigrette such as the one below. 
Ginger Citrus Vinaigrette

Ingredients: 
Chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
Juice from half of a lemon
1-2 Tbsp of extra virgin, cold pressed organic olive oil
2-3 tsp of local raw honey
Use a microplane to grate the peeled ginger. Use as much as you’d like! I usually do a 1 inch square chunk. Use about twice as much olive oil as you’ve got lemon juice. Mix in honey to taste. Local raw honey will help you if you suffer from seasonal allergies. 
Add you dash of Pink Salt to taste. 
Snack: 
Organic apple with cinnamon. Handful of raw almonds. GT’s Kombucha
Dinner:
My plan for tonight is to have an artichoke, some sweet potato, more asparagus, and a ground lamb patty. 
Dessert is fresh organic peaches and strawberries. 
See you all again tomorrow! 
Yours in Health,
Sylvie Nalezny, MA, CNE