Basking Ridge, NJ- How do you reconcile being healthy and eating delicious food?

Anyone who knows me or has worked with me, knows that I’m passionate about food. About quality and safety and pleasure and health and more.  After all, if you want to feel good, have great skin, all day energy and balanced hormones, then what you eat influences that heavily.

And although I refrain from commenting on what others are eating (except for my family...they are not exempt from my comments), the following scenario plays out at least every week or so at my local food market:

 Friend,  looking like a deer in the headlights: “ I don’t usually buy this but my kids wanted IT”

Sign Up for E-News

 Me: No worries, I don’t judge... my kids want IT too sometimes.

 Friend: Oh that’s nice to hear. I feel better about having IT in my cart now.

 Now on the other hand, if you ask me my opinion on something having to do with food , be forewarned, as you may not get me to shut up. I could literally talk for hours. It drives me.  I’ve spent 20 years studying the idea that food is medicine and am firmly committed to helping others experience sustainable health without extreme diets, fads or ridiculous juice cleanses.

 Ok, back to the supermarket setting: if youve not figured it out yet, the “IT” is junk food. As health coach who,and someone who partners with my clients to  find what’s right for each individual person, food is a HUGE part of my life. Socializing, making memories with family around a shared meal, being of service in my community and building bridges to others, no matter their personal preferences, is equally important to me. Food should bring people together, not drive them apart.

 When I talk about the 80/20 rule, I really do mean it, but it still seems that many think nary a bad morsel ever crosses my lips.   Friends are surprised to see me occasionally induldging in a cocktail or eating a piece of cake. Unless I am doing a seasonal cleanse or deliberately avoiding something for a period of time, I’ve learned what my body and spirit needs, in terms of both nutrition and indulgence, and am able to balance the two and still enjoy top-notch health and energy.

 Although I lead group cleanses, admonish most people to go gluten free and am passionate about  eating clean, I enjoy living the 80/20 (or 90/10) lifestyle. Which really just translates to eating, exercising and having a health mind set for 80-90% of my choices throughout the week and then letting my guard down a bit for the other 10-20%, if I so choose.

 Unfortunately, too many of us are living the 20/80 rule, consuming poor qulaity, GMO-laden food, toxic industrial seed oils, way more sugar than human beings were ever meant to eat, not ever exercising and damaging our bodies, the health of our children and their very future.

 However, I must admit, I'm even a little picky with  my 20%. I  NEVER have stuff like this:

If you would like to know more about healthy baking,finding alternative ways to enjoy sweets and still stay healthy and you're in NJ, I am doing a great class at the Environmental Education Center in Basking Ridge this Thursday, March 19th from 10-11:30 am. You can sign up here

They dont even taste good (its amazing how your taste buds change once you clean up your diet) These cookies are  just not worth the damage to my health, the addition to my waistline and the possible skin break outs.

 Instead,my 20% is an awesome cocktail, a piece of creamy, rich cheese with fig spread at Murrays cheese in NYC, a Gnosis chocolate bar or something like that.

 My 20% also looks like this:

Oooey-Gooey, Sumptuously Delicious, Ridiculously Easy, Slightly Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
 

1/4 cup Spectrum brand palm shortening or coconut oil*
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 tablespoons mild flavored honey
1 large egg, room temperature
1 T pure vanilla extract
1 and 1/2  cups almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4  teaspoon unrefined salt, such as Himalayan
1/4  cup mini chocolate chips

 

Cream together shortening, egg, coconut sugar, honey and vanilla extract using a stand mixer, if you have one. You could also use a food processor. Mix dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix well. Stir in mini chips by hand. Refrigerate for an hour to make dough easier to work with. Grab bits of dough and roll between your hands. Place on a parchent lined baking sheet. Press into the shape you want as these cookies will puff up, but they dont spread much.
 

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 9-11 minutes.Try to let cool before inhaling.

*If using coconut oil, your cookies will be a little denser and oilier than if using Spectrum plam shortening. They are still really good though!

 

You can actually have warm, gooey, induldgent cookies without wrecking your health. Are these cookies perfect? No, they are still dessert!....Is almond flour a perfect food? Nope...it’s not, but its way better than chemicalized, artificial, commercial cookies.

If you’re a regular Chips Ahoy buyer, try this recipe instead. I think you’ll be pleasantly suprised at how satisfyingly delicious these cookies are. You are either going to love me or hate me for giving you this recipe!

And the next time we pass eachother in the aisle at Shoprite, know that I am NOT doing a visual inventory of the contents of your cart. It’s ok to live a little ;-)

Dont forget, if you want to learn practical ways to be healthier, manage your sweet tooth (c'mon, everyone has one!) and pick up some great recipes and tips, then be sure to sign up for my Sweet Alchemy Baking Class this Thursday, March 19th at 10:00 am if you're in or around Basking Ridge, NJ. You can sign up here