Monday, September 29, 2014

Fighting Hunger for Hunger Action Month: My Thoughts

Fighting Hunger

Did you know that September is the official “Hunger Action Month?” Even though September is the official month, we can always find ways to fight hunger. What can you do? Every day children go hungry. National Geographic states that 1/6th of the American population doesn't get enough to eat (more on this here). How is this so in the world's richest country? Do you think it doesn't happen in your community? It does. Probably more than we care to acknowledge. Most of us are blessed beyond comprehension in having food in our fridge and pantry whereas others are barely getting by. We hope to change that! 

With regards to my community: There are many resources in Ridgecrest that offer what I’d like to call a “fighting hunger” service. Having lived in Ridgecrest for two years and an advocate for families to eat more whole foods namely fruits and vegetables, I have done some research to learn which locations in our community offer these services.

First: I have compiled a "Meals & Resources" PDF that I can email you with the various locations around the community who offer affordable (and sometimes free) meals. Send me an email if you’d like a copy. If you live out of my area, you can still have a copy as this may help you fine tune your search in your own community. 

Second: A California grocer, Albertson’s, has coupons for children to receive a free apple or banana. Ask customer service the next time you go in there. The dates may be expired but as of July they were still honoring them. Just ask!

Third: Did you know that Ridgecrest has a community garden? Yes! It is located behind the police department and it is run by volunteers. The visionary behind this resource is Dr. Iresha Goonesinghe of Compassionate Doctors. The garden services single parent homes and low income families. If you’d like to volunteer your time (we need you!) or know of a family in need, please get in contact via Facebook. “Like” the We Love Ridgecrest page then send them a message. Please let them know Jessica David sent you. I am a volunteer there. If you have a brown thumb, please don’t let that stop you from volunteering your time. I have one too!

In the beginning of this article, I asked, “What can you do to fight hunger?” Did you think of anything? You can do one of the above, but I've got some more ideas for you. Take one of these ideas and run with it and get others involved too!

From The Good Long Road: Hunger Action Month, 11 Simple Ways. This is a short list from Jennifer Fischer’s post:  

+ Collect Spare Change and donate to a local cause or nonprofit.
+ Donate (and volunteer) at our local food pantry. Ridgecrest has two that I know of: St Ann’s Church (SARP) and the Salvation Army.
+ Garden.
+ Eat a meal with gratitude.
+ Support a neighbor in need.
+ Organize a food drive.
+ Learn about hunger / talk about it.

I know one of these ideas inspired you to get involved. Still want more ideas? Great! Go to the Moms Fighting Hunger blog hop here to grab more resources.

If your plate is already full, you can “eat a meal with gratitude.” You can ‘like’ the Facebook page: “We Love Ridgecrest.” You can tell people about these resources. We all have something wonderful to give. That’s what we were created for anyway! Learn, grow, and share!! Be well.

P.S. Last year I partnered with The Good Long Road and we both shared a post on "Moms Fighting Hunger" for Hunger Action Month by taking the #SNAP challenge. Find our posts here and here

P.P.S. Contact me on my blog if you'd like a copy of the "Meals & Resources" PDF. 

Like what you have read here? Follow me on my social media sites. Scroll up to find the buttons on the top right side of the blog. 

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Community Garden and More from Summer 2014

Take the pledge here to do as the words encourage us to do (Sep 2014)

Summer! ... it is my favorite season. This post is a little late getting out there but I cannot miss the opportunity to share some of the highlights of our summer break with you! I know, I know... this should have gone out in August but better late than never. =)

Many of the images will be to share about a resource in my community that was created late Fall last year by a local doctor, Dr. Iresha Goonesinghe; she is compassionate, shares resources, and is always looking for ways to partner with the community. She is the visionary behind the "community garden!"

With a team of volunteers, the Ridgecrest community garden was formed and continues to flourish! The vegetables grown in the garden are organic and non-GMO and are given to single parent homes and low-income families; it is one way we are able to fight hunger. I helped a half dozen times throughout the summer with my son at my side. Now that school is back in session, I plan to help a little more consistently. I like to get my hands dirty plus it's a good work out. Since school began I have volunteered twice and am looking to go again this week (after this post publishes). 

In the image above, pictured is Angela Cooper of Angela Cooper Wellness who just happened to open her new Massage and Yoga Center in Ridgecrest on 9/8/14!! You can like her page here and subscribe to her newsletter from her website here. I'm pictured in the center and for those who don't know me, I'm a certified health coach (my services) and I focus on real food nutrition, label reading, and empowering the consumer and Anna Lynn (on the right) who you will learn more about as you continue reading. 

I do not own a garden (yet) but I'm starting to think about one more and more. I may consider doing some berries in raised beds or potatoes but I'd like to get a compost going (unit like this). I've been talking about starting an aeroponic garden that requires no soil or kneeling that sounds really rewarding but due to the extreme climates in my area, I haven't started one. And, at this point in time, not sure when or if I will (yikes did I just admit that out loud?!). However, if a few friends and clients order a Tower Garden then we all can help each other out in the various seasons (dry, windy, cold) and in times of overgrowth. Win-win! =)

I did enjoy having my son at my side during our learning at the community garden. Anna, one of the volunteers, is a wealth of information and has the most patience you could ever imagine and is eager to learn and share what she's learned with others! There's plenty of room in the world for people like her!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

{Chicken 3+ Ways!} No matter how you slice it!

... it'll be good, right!? Well, that's what they say anyway.

Chicken is a staple animal protein in our home. But we are also big fans of fatty fish like salmon and plant protein too! I was able to an organic whole chicken and though she was small, it was a good decision to purchase it because I have been wanting to make several recipes using one for awhile. (I am keeping my eyes peeled for a pasture raised chicken. Hard to come by in my area.) One recipe that I had been eyeing was by Organic Kitchen here. I didn't have some of the ingredients her recipe asked for so I found another recipe based on the ingredients I did have on hand by the little kitchen

Crock Pot Chicken 

I even attempted to broil the whole chicken but I slow cooked it too long (which was a really good thing, but not so much for presentation) to crisp the skin. The chicken was so tender it was falling off the bones! YUM!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Eating for Two: a Recipe Collection for a Healthy Pregnancy and Beyond

I've partnered with a midwife offering two types of nutrition classes at her studio in Lancaster, CA. One class is for prenatal nutrition and the other is for postpartum through baby starting solids aka Mom & Baby Nutrition. If you're located in or near the Antelope Valley and you're interested in attending one of my classes, you can find the full descriptions of the classes on Event Brite here

The midwife asked me to put together a list of recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to be used by busy moms (and their supporting family members) who need ideas in a pinch that do not take long to prep/cook and can be used as nutritious leftovers. I was able to pull all of the recipes from my blog. The ingredients are listed per recipe; you can visit the link for the how-to if you're interested in preparing it. 

The recipes cover vegetarian, grain free, and lean meat selections, fish, as well as dairy free and lots of fruits and vegetables! For Pregnancy and Nursing Mothers: "Eating for Two" means that you're doubly conscientious of what you're consuming. So be mindful of every mouthful!

This list can be used by anyone; not just for females of the child bearing age or nursing mothers. 

Do not consider this a meal plan but you're welcome to use the recipes as suggestions as you put together your plan for the week. See disclaimer for more information. 

*** Breakfast ***

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup uncooked oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 T brown sugar + 1 T sugar
(can sub 4 T coconut sugar)
1 T maple syrup
1 cup chopped apples
2 lightly beaten eggs
1/4 tsp real vanilla

10 oz almond milk
1 banana
2 tbs natural peanut butter
1 tbs ground flax
1/3 cup Complete
2 tbs ground almonds
1 tbs unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbs shelled hemp seeds

2 tsp olive oil
1 sweet potato, peeled & chopped
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1 package sausage - optional
1-2 tsp of oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coconut oil / olive oil to coat 
10 eggs + 1/2 cup milk, divided
1/4 cup of mozzarella - optional

1 1/3 cup of organic whole wheat flour
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
large pinch of sea salt
1 cup of almond milk + *2 tsp 
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup of vanilla Complete protein powder (or your choice)
1/2 to 1 1/2 cups of blueberries (your preference); partially thaw if frozen.
1-2 tbsp of butter

*** Lunch ***

1 cup corn
1 cup black beans
1 small tomato
2 sweet peppers
1 shallot (diced)
3 tbs olive oil
1 tbs dried cilantro (2 tbs fresh, chopped)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or use a small seeded & diced jalapeno)
Juice of 1 medium lemon (or 2 small limes)

4-6 slices of sourdough bread 
1+ tbs butter, divided 
3+ tbs pesto, divided 
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1 avocado thinly sliced 
1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella 
S&P to taste 
3 medium red potatoes
2 tbs EVOO
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp onion and herb (salt-free) seasoning
1 tsp parmesan cheese

*** Dinner ***

3-5 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Rosemary (dried; 1 tsp fresh)
1 T Garlic (minced; (2) fresh diced)
2 T basil (lemon basil, frozen fresh in EVOO)
Red Potatoes (6 medium sized)
Sunburst Tomatoes (1 pound)
4-6 Chicken Breasts 

Bonus: Fresh Herb Preservation Tip!

1 pound of ground turkey 
1 head of green cabbage
1/4 cup EVOO
1/2 cup diced onions
1 clove diced garlic
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup chopped kale
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 jar of organic spaghetti sauce
2 tsp oregano 
2 tsp basil
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp S&P 

Tomato Sauce:
1 small onion, diced
1 large carrot, shredded
1 large parsnip, shredded
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1 large tomato, diced (skins removed)
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp himalayan salt
2 T grapeseed oil

Pasta substitute:
2 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
1/8 tsp himalayan salt
1 tsp grapeseed oil

Extra filling:
I purchased a jar of ready-made artichoke spread. I used half of the jar or about 4 oz for where the cheese filling would be in traditional lasagna.

Wild caught salmon (organic)
Various in-season veggies
Thai Basil (10 leaves; or use 1 tbs of dried basil (any variety))
1 garlic clove, smashed or 1 tsp of minced garlic
1/2 cup of oil of your choice (I chose EVOO)
Couple pinches of salt, divided

*** Side Dishes (can serve as a main dish)***

2 tbs of coconut oil
1-2 chopped garlic cloves
2 tsp of dried herbs of your choice
1 tsp of sea salt, divided

Prepare ¼ cup chopped onions, 2 carrots, ½ cup of chopped daikon radish, 1 zucchini, ½ head of green cabbage, and 1 medium tomato. (Use your in-season on-hand vegetables.)

2 large brown (or ripe) plantains (not green)
1/2 tbs coconut oil
1/2 tbs coconut sugar divided (like this)
1/2 tbs avocado oil (like this) (can use olive oil)
1/2 tsp sea salt divided 

*** Snacks ***

2 apples cored, cut into rings
1 heaping cup of almond meal 
5 tbs melted organic coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp organic coconut sugar

3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1/3 cup of organic cane sugar 
1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon real vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup of ground flax + 1 cup of organic whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup of organic popcorn kernels (yields about 4 cups)
2 tbs of organic coconut oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp nutritional yeast (or to taste) 

2 cups chocolate Complete powder
4 cups organic Hemp Plus Granola
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup maple syrup
2 cups creamy peanut butter 

*** Desserts ***

1 cup flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon + 1 tsp of nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup natural sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tbs vanilla
1/2 cup butter + 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup of parsnips + 3/4 cup of shredded carrots

4 persimmons pureed
3/4 cup raw cane sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 tsp real vanilla
2 cups 100% whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

*** Other Great Collections (and Recipes)!! ***

Collaborative Posts -

Various Dishes -

Crock Pot Cooking -

Disclaimer: Certified Health Coaches and Nutritionists cannot meal plan for you. The only professionals who may do so are registered dietitians and doctors. We can, however, share recipes and resources and you can make your own meal plan.

I do receive a small commission from if you purchase anything through their site using one of the links above (read my full advertising disclosure here). 

Thank you very much for your generosity in helping to offset the costs of website upkeep, so that I can keep sharing wellness resources with my community and beyond.

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)

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