WHY EAT?  TO LIVE?  or are you a LIVE TO EAT  person?

For you who EAT TO LIVE –  you’re probably skinny, forget to eat some days or at least parts of days and wonder why the heck people fuss over food.  You guys rock!  and occasionally roll too.  The undernourished are also known to be portly…

The rest of us may be among the majority of those walking in North America – reading books and magazines on how to lose weight and get healthy.  Yeah, 66% of us are eating constantly, trying to satisfy our hunger for love, attention, hugs, and a variety of other reasons that make no sense at all when it comes to food.

There are  For all RAW and Gluten Free loving foodies out there, it’s time to boost your energy with food. and for anyone who wants a couple of clean raw or cool summer soups for a change and a tasty shot of energy…and some immune system boosting, and great taste.  SOUPE VERTE,  (Green Soup) a popular soup and/or sauce for fish, veggies or by it’s yummy self.  and move over gazpacho, here comes an A.R.S*.  Both may be served at room temperature or chilled.

SOUPE VERTE    A clean GREEN soup that energizes (serves 6)  May be refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen.

1 medium leek, washed and chopped coarsely

1 medium zucchini, chopped coarsely

1 bunch Swiss Chard  sliced   (remove stems before slicing if you like)

1 cup (packed) fresh basil – about 3/4 – 1 lb

2 cups Chicken broth or veggie broth

4 cups filtered water

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Tbsp salted butter

Place butter and olive oil in large soup pot and heat on medium high.  Add chopped leek and saute about 5 minutes.  Add 2 cups of the broth and water and the chopped zucchini.  Bring to boiling –  then reduce heat to simmer and stir about 2 minutes.

Add the remaining water, bring to boil for another 2-3 minutes and turn heat off.  Add the Swiss Chard and basil on top of the water and cover the pot.  Let the Chard and zucchini wilt for about 15-20 minutes.  Stir all together and either blend in pot with an immersion blender. Or, using a 2 cup measuring cup, (or other cup that pours easily)  place stirred soup mixture in your blender and blend in batches until smooth.  Serve hot, at room temperature,  or chilled.  Garnish with chopped basil, parsley or a dollop of plain Greek yogurt (optional).

Use as a first course with dinner or main course with a beet and arugula salad for a light summer meal.


Alkalizing Raw Soup* (Serves 2)

Begin with avocado, which is high in EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) and Cucumber, which is known for its cleansing, diuretic properties.  Spinach has minerals & vitamins, garlic, lemon and lime are alkalizing and great for boosting your immune system     It’s also refreshing and tastes great!

It’s a “big favorite while on a cleanse or detoxification program”.   (Check my page on the 5 step program.)

1 Avocado
2 green onions (scallions)
1/2 red or green pepper
1 cucumber  (if Organic scrub and use with peel)
2 handfuls of spinach
1/2 clove fresh garlic (or more to taste)
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos to taste (like soy sauce)
1/2 Cup Light vegetable boullion (yeast free)
Juice of 1 lemon or lime Optional:  Coriander, parsley, cumin.  An apple, cored and cut up.

Blend the avocado and boullion to form a light paste.  Then add all the other ingredients and blend all together.  Serve in bowls or mugs with crackers crispy veggies and hummus or almond butter.

Consider this for a picnic drink,  in a thermos – refreshing change of afternoon pick-me-up or just a light meal.

NOTE:   Herbs such as Parsley have great cleansing properties and add flavor.  Coriander or Cilantro is a good heavy metal cleanser, and cumin adds great taste.   Use according to your individual preferences.


Your feedback is welcome!



Bicycling in Spring

Check those tires, dust off the frame and wheels, grease where needed and you’re ready to ride the trails and roads this spring — almost.  What’s in your pack beside plenty of water, a tire patch kit, portable air pump, bandaids and sunscreen?  If you’re looking for the right energy foods, here are a few ideas for you to consider.

First of all, eating 5 to 6 meals a day, your nutrition program should make your body healthy enough to accomplish recovery and tissue repair speedily and efficiently. Ideally, everyone should be in that kind of condition. Second, it’s important for you to maintain lean muscle mass without adding body fat, and do this while maintaining a high strength-to-weight ratio. Eating 5 to 6 small meals means taking in the right amount and correct ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fats for your body and drinking plenty of water.

What’s a meal? Hold out your palms, face up with your pinky fingers touching. If you filled both hands about 2″ high with a combination of foods – that would constitute a meal for the average person. In hard and fast competition, you may need more. Third, a meal can vary according to each individual; your size, rate of metabolism, whether you are competing in a mountain bike marathon, road race or just riding for pleasure.

A snack, or 2 of the 5 or 6 meals is about 1/2 to one handful. Eating mostly low glycemic index* foods will keep your metabolism going and your energy on a more even keel.  Eat a “different breakfast” (see my blog “A New Idea for Eating Well”)  combining carbs and protein for long term energy.

For most of us, myself included, it’s the pleasure and exercise of rolling along on a sunny day watching the scenery change as I pump the pedals.  Besides downing all the water I can while riding, I usually stop and munch a meal somewhere along the way.

While resting in a sunny spot, my favorite energy foods are raw and roasted nuts, fresh and dried fruit and usually a wrap with humus and/or avocado and tomatoes sprinkled with cayenne, garlic and salt. The tomatoes add moisture, as well as flavor to the wrap, which is easy to pack and eat al fresco. The nuts and fruit are munchable any time, even while riding a flat spurt.  Cayenne and garlic are good for circulation and your heart.

Speaking of spurts, muscles rely on 3 major sources or systems to supply the energy they need: The immediate, for short-term, explosive strength output, the glycolitic, for medium-term energy for repeated near-maximum exertion and the oxidative, for long term endurance.

If you’re competing, your intake of high quality protein begins before you ride or in your pre-workout time.  It should be about 20 – 25% of your meal for effective recovery and adequate repair of damaged muscle tissue. About 20% of your meal would be fats for the average competitor.  High-quality COMPLEX carbohydrates should be about 55 – 60% in pre-season and for competition.

Remember, this varies with each person and their activity level. An overload of carbs and calories adds weight and inches we do not want.

Consuming Low glycemic index foods about 2 or 3 hours before workouts and competitions will help sustain the blood-sugar level. These include butter beans, green beans, black-eyed peas apples, yogurt, tomato soup, kidney beans, lentils, soybeans, almonds, peanuts.

Moderate glycemic index foods include whole grain bread, brown rice, muesli, bananas, raisins, buckwheat, spaghetti, sweet corn, biscuits, yams, oatmeal, potatoes, peas, oranges and fresh whole orange juice.  Eat these about 3-4 hours before competition.

If you’re like most of us, riding to enjoy the scenery, take along your favorite munchy foods and plenty of water.  Supplement your food intake at breakfast time with a combination of nutrients, multivitamins, multiminerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. Go for it and enjoy your ride.

For more details about the glycemic index and lifestyle menus, please feel free to email me at:  ricki@mchealthymatters.com Please include “Glycemic Index” in your subject line.