Monday, December 30, 2013

3 Simple Steps For a ReNEWed You

So, you want to lose a few pounds, eat healthier, cook more, start a meditation or yoga practice or feel more centered and empowered this New Year, don’t you?  Tis the season for resolutions, but have you ever wondered why it is so hard to stick to your goals after a couple of weeks go by? Could the solution be simply a matter of HOW you approach your ambitions? Whatever your goal may be, here’s what you need to know about how to successfully create lasting changes.

Pick Just One Goal & Ask Yourself Why
Don’t go all or nothing on me and try to change everything all at once.  It won’t work and you’ll soon be back at square one with nothing to show for yourself.  After choosing one goal to work on, then ask yourself why and what you are expecting to be different in your life with this change. Be sure to write these down as experts say connecting to what motivates you will help to create long-lasting change.

Make an Unquestionably Achievable Goal
Another important piece of the behavior change puzzle is to ensure you have successes along the way.  The changes and progress towards your goal has to be small and attainable to build momentum and self-efficacy.  You have to be CERTAIN YOU CAN SUCCEED WIH ZERO DOUBT in your mind.  Otherwise you will be setting yourself up for failure.  So if planning to cook more and eat healthier start simple and practical and then build from there, as I promise you success is never built in a day.  In fact, Research shows it takes 66-90 days to change a behavior and 6 months or longer to master one.  So hold your horses and say good-bye to instant gratification.

Anticipate Failure, Plan to Adapt & Revise as You Go
The path to reaching your goals is never linear!  And, the more we can accept that we are not perfect and that life will have some frustrations along the way, the greater we help ourselves to rise up quicker from our falls. It is perfectly normal to have set backs and if you plan for them and think about what you will do when they happen, you will have a plan to forgive yourself and move on.  Take each obstacle as an opportunity to learn about yourself and don’t let it derail you and your motivation.  

Also, just as root vegetables have to find their way around rocks and gravel to find nourishment and grow in the soil, know that along the way you may need to change and adapt your plan if you aren’t accomplishing what you originally had hoped.  Perhaps you were too ambitious and need to rethink a few things and doing so is perfectly ok. 

Let me know what goals you are setting for the New Year and chime in below.  But remember to follow these 3 steps to finally have what you want!

Friday, December 27, 2013

New Class: Vegetarian Basics & Beyond!

Whole Foods: Vegetarian Basics & Beyond (CULINARY - 13VEGE01)

Are you a vegetarian or considering going vegetarian? Do you have questions about how to meet all of your protein needs and whether or not it is possible to get all of your nutrients from food alone? Join us in this “basics and beyond” class as we de-mystify how to healthfully eat a whole foods diet as a vegetarian. 

Jan 11, 2014 Sat, 1-5p.m. Siona Sammartino, MS, CN. 4 HRs
A plant-based diet can have tremendous health benefits and a vegetarian diet is a preferred way of eating among countless individuals. Yet, for many this means bulking up on processed pastas, breads and soy products, all of which are not whole foods nor related to health and vitality. If you are currently a vegetarian or are seeking to transition to a vegetarian diet, then this class is for you.
Questions like “how much protein do I really need, and is food combining really necessary?” or “can I meet all of my nutrients through food alone?” will be answered. We’ll explore everything you need to know about protein needs and you’ll finally understand how much and what types of proteins to choose from. Then we’ll explore nutrients of concern, how to maximize your diet to meet these nutrients and whether or not supplementation is necessary.
Lastly, you’ll walk away with a day’s meal plan, have all of the tools needed to mix and match plant-based foods to create the ideal whole foods vegetarian diet, and to reap the health benefits you’ve been seeking.
Upon completion of this workshop you will be able to:
  • Calculate basic protein needs and identify whole foods sources of vegetarian protein
  • Demonstrate how to meet daily protein needs through whole foods
  • List the nutrients of concern and demonstrate how to maximize certain foods to meet these nutrient goals
  • Describe whether or not supplementation is necessary and if so list which nutrients to consider
  • Demonstrate how to create a balanced vegetarian meal plan and build the ideal vegetarian plate
Course Note:  Teens, ages 14 and older, may attend with an accompanying adult.

Please Bring: Each participant should bring a calculator. Participants are encouraged to bring their own lunch.
Location: Bastyr University Kenmore Campus, room 280. Bastyr University is housed in an older facility with fluctuating interior temperatures; it is advisable to wear layers. Also, Bastyr is a “fragrance-free” campus.

General public$65.00
Bastyr/NIAOM Alumni$55.00
BU Staff$55.00
Full time student$45.00
CampusKenmore Campus
Audiencegeneral public, full time students

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Restorative Chicken Ginger Soup with Recipes and Video

Restorative Chicken Ginger Soup
Chicken soup is an age-old remedy for boosting the immune system during cold and flu season.  This nourishing broth combines with plentiful veggies to feed both the body and the soul.  Serve over a bed of quinoa, brown rice, brown rice pasta or a piece of crusty bread if desired.  Use within 4 days or freeze. 

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Makes: Six 1½ cup servings

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
4 medium carrots, cut into half moons
1 cup roughly chopped rutabaga or turnip
2 cups sliced portabella or wild mushrooms
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
5-6 cups chicken broth (see Basic Bone Broth recipe)
3 cups shredded organic pastured chicken
4-5 cups baby spinach
1 medium Napa cabbage, shredded
1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Heat a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat and add oil.  Add onion and sweat for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in ¼ of the salt.  Add carrots, rutabaga and ¼ teaspoon more of salt and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Add celery, garlic, ginger and remaining salt and cook for an additional minute.  Cover veggie mixture with broth, cover and bring to a gentle boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer covered for 15 minutes.  Then stir in chicken and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in spinach.  Taste to adjust salt.  Serve each bowl with ½ cup cabbage and ¼ cup cilantro.  Enjoy!

Copyright 2012, S. Sammartino, Original recipe,

Basic Bone Broth
This rich and nourishing broth is full of healing nutrients such as gelatin, collagen, minerals and vitamins.  Add salt and sip on this as a daily healing digestive tonic or use for soups, stews, grains and more.  Slow cooker’s work great here too.
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Makes: 4-6 cups

1 whole 5 lb organic pastured chicken
Chicken neck and organs (optional)
1 large yellow onion, quartered
1 head garlic, cut in half cross-wise
¼ to ½ cup sliced fresh ginger
2-3 stalks celery
3-4 large carrots
8 shiitake mushrooms (optional)
1 stalk burdock root (optional)
1 2-inch strip piece kombu seaweed
2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
8-10 cups water

Rinse chicken and add to a large stockpot with neck and organs.  Add onion, garlic and ginger to pot.  Cut celery and carrots into 3 or 4 large chunks and place on top of chicken.  Add mushrooms and burdock if using.  Add seaweed and vinegar and cover with water.  Cover and turn heat to medium high to bring broth to a low boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 2 hours. 
Then remove chicken from the pot and pull meat from the bones.  Add skin and bones back to the broth and simmer broth for an additional 16-24 hours.  Refrigerate chicken for use in soups, salads, etc. 
Strain broth into a large bowl using a fine mesh sieve and then add to glass mason jars or containers and refrigerate.  If desired, remove fat that congeals on the surface of broth before using.  Broth should congeal to a jelly like texture when refrigerated.  Use within 3-4 days or freeze in glass containers.

Copyright 2012, S. Sammartino, Original recipe,

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Healthy Holiday Treats that Still Satisfy Cravings

Original Article here

Are you looking for satisfying holiday snacks and appetizers that won’t compromise your waistline? Striking a balance between enjoyment and nutrition is possible, and it doesn't require depriving yourself. 'Tis the season for good food and company, but say sayonara to belly bloat and food coma with these healthy treats.

Caramelized Magic

Roasting foods lets natural sugars emerge and liven up foods that once appeared oh-so-boring.
Go Nuts Over Nuts:
  • Jazz up 1 cup nuts with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon spices (cinnamon, ginger or pumpkin pie spice), 1-2 tablespoons sweetener (honey or maple syrup) and sea salt. Roast in an oven at 375 F for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  • For savory flavors, use 1-2 tablespoons tamari, 1-2 teaspoons fresh rosemary or thyme, and a pinch of sea salt. Roast as above.
Uncover a Love For Veggies:
  • Roast carrots, spears of rutabaga or even fennel. Mix with olive oil or melted coconut oil and sea salt and roast in an oven at 415 F for 35-45 minutes until golden brown. Serve alone or sprinkle with Romano cheese.
  • Cook some caramelized onions and serve over baked brie with whole-grain or gluten-free crackers

Other Appetizers and Snacks

Make a No-Cook Mezze Platter:
  • Purchase a variety of olives and gourmet cheeses and serve with whole grain crackers or crusty bread, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes and freshly cut apple or pear slices.
Go Gaga over Chocolate:
  • Melt 1/3 cup raw cocoa powder with 1/4 cup each coconut oil and coconut butter and 2-3 teaspoons of honey in a double boiler. Dip pear slices or figs in this heavenly goodness. Place on parchment paper and refrigerate until hardened.

Say yes to these festive holiday treats and cheers to a healthier holiday season!

—Written for the Bastyr University Blog 12/2013 By Siona Sammartino, MSN, CN, dietetic intern, and Debra Boutin, MS, RD, chair and dietetic internship director, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

King 5 News' Healthy Dish Cooking Demo

Caramelized Balsamic Crimini’s
Growing up in an Italian family, baby portabella mushrooms frequented our table. Caramelizing the onions adds a complex sweetness that pairs well with the robust mushroom flavor.  You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make this Healthy dish.  Enjoy!   
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Yield:  approximately 1 cup
2 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil, divided
½ medium yellow onion, diced
Pinch of sea salt
2 cups crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1/8 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
2-3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1-2 teaspoons of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
Heat a 10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat for about a minute.
Add half the oil and let it spread and coat the bottom of the pan. Add onions and caramelize until soft and golden for about 10 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Add salt halfway through cooking time.  Remove from pan and set aside.  
Add remaining oil and mushrooms, toss to coat and sauté until golden for about 5-8 minutes, only stirring occasionally. Once the edges of the mushrooms have become golden brown, stir in salt.  Sauté for an additional 2 minutes.  Turn off heat, and add vinegar and herbs.  Serve as a side dish or use as a topping for whole grains, salad, eggs, fish, legumes and meat.   
Copyright 2010, S. Sammartino, Original