OH, YEAAHH! *Healthy* Kool Aid!

Summer means increasing your water intake. I often liven up boring water; avoiding sugar filled sports drinks and artificial water flavor enhancers, with an herbal infused sun tea.

Today, I stopped by my local food co-op and picked up a loose leaf, fruit blend tea in bulk to try!

This one contains Red Raspberry Leaf, Hibiscus, Orange & Lemon Peel, Rose Hips, and Lemongrass.

I swear it takes me back to my youth – chugging a glass of Kool-Aid after running thru the sprinkler all day..


To Your Health!

~V

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Happy International Day of Yoga

How did you celebrate International Day of Yoga?

My community offered free yoga classes all day at the pedestrian bridge overlooking the Wabash River today.

I was so happy to greet the morning, sharing Sun Salutations with others.

To Your Health!

~V

My Mom Always Told Me to “Eat Your Vegetables.” sooo….

I wrapped them in Steak!

I’m always intimidated by those popular cooking videos on social media, but this weekend, I pulled one off!


In a Teriyaki marinated Flank steak, I wrapped sliced Red pepper, Zucchini, Red onion, Carrot, and Asparagus secured with toothpicks and grilled 

about 5-7 minutes each side, brushing on the leftover marinade for a glazed finish.

You can find the full recipe HERE.

To Your Health!

~V

Recipe: Summer Thirst Quencher *healthy!

This summer, why not quench your thirst with my recipe for an all natural, healthy, and homemade Electrolyte Drink?

It’s featured HERE on the Institute For Integrative Nutrition’s Alumni Recipe Blog. 

To Your Health!

~V

bal·ance 

bal·ance 

a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.

I teach health and wellbeing using the concept of ‘Primary Food’ – *the food that feeds our soul as being our true path to health and wellbeing – how the Quality of our relationships, Career satisfaction, Daily movement & fitness, and Sense of spirituality; feeling connected to nature, community, etc.. truly effects our overall wellness.

That’s why I created my 1,2,3, Vitality – Three months to health, wellness, and vitality program.
In 6 sessions we will navigate the contradictory world of health and nutrition, giving you a clear plan for simple and do-able practices to support your wellbeing and healthy lifestyle. 

You can read the program details HERE

And, in the meantime, get daily inspiration on my Instagram page.
To Your Health!

~V

Comfort food meets complete nutrition 

Tonight’s no hassle dinner of slow roasted Pork with Tomato, Onion, & Garlic served with steamed Broccoli and Quinoa is not only warm and filling, it’s packed full of nutrients.

#protein#grains#greens
To Your Health!

~V

victoriapardue.com

Easy, healthy snacking 

I don’t know about you but, when I start to get hungry and need a snack, I want something fast and easy (and healthy too).

I hope you’ll enjoy one of my favorites – it takes two minutes!
Cucumber slices

1 TBS Organic (with the Mother) Apple Cider Vinegar

Dash of Cayenne
To Your Health!

~V

victoriapardue.com

Nature-deficit disorder: a reduced awareness and diminished ability for adults and children to find meaning in the life around them, due to a reduced amount of interaction with the natural environment.

Shades State Park, Indiana
Shades State Park, Indiana

I know you’ve heard it before, “Fresh air will do you good”? But it now also makes sense scientifically. A surge of studies strongly suggest evidence that we can be happier, healthier, and smarter if we weave more nature into our lives.

Studies are proving a link between the outside and your insides, and that the best mind-body medicine is right beyond your front door.

For millions of years, humans depended on nature for just about everything, including food, shelter, and the regulation of sleep cycles, says M. Sanjayan, Ph.D., lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy. “Nature guided us in a very direct way,” he says. “But in the past thousand years, that started shifting; in the past 50, it has really shifted. And that the sudden absence of nature from our lives could throw our well-being way off-kilter.” In fact, the modern way of living, complete with loads of sitting and indoor time, has given rise to poorer health.

Other research suggests that rising rates of allergies and autoimmune disorders might be caused, in part, by less exposure to healthy bacteria found in nature. Still more science has linked reduced exposure to nature to higher risk for obesity, cancer, heart disease, anxiety, and depression.

Basically, going outside has become an option. It’s not an option. It’s a non-negotiable. A cure for stress – not to mention a host of other ailments – might lie a simple walk.

Recently a Women’s Health survey, “Health Benefits of Nature,” found that (women) who felt too stressed were more likely than non-frazzled women to spend a free day curled up on the couch. Worse, when stressed women actively try to relax: 54 percent plunk themselves in front of the TV, 44 percent eat, and 31 percent have a glass of wine; only 26 percent head out for a walk in the park.

The “Health Benefits of Nature” survey, mentioned above also revealed that “Most women already understand that nature is good for health” and 73 percent wish they could spend more time outside. The surveys notes the mounting excuses as: Women are too intimidated by too-hot or too-cold weather (53 percent), too busy (44 percent), or too comfortable hanging out at home (22 percent).

Women aren’t exclusive to a rise in stress and poor health symptoms due to lack of time outdoors. For more on “Nature Deficiency” and the effects on our children and youth, check out this National Geographic interview with Richard Louv, the author of the bestsellers Last Child in the Woods (2005) and The Nature Principle (2011) at
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/06/130628-richard-louv-nature-deficit-disorder-health-environment/

I can’t stress enough, Nature is a powerful protector of your body and mind! You can start small;

•Sit outside for 10 minutes a day – no excuses here! Even better, meditate outdoors for 10-20 minutes.

•Hang up your car keys – If you can walk instead to run an errand, do it

•Schedule catch-ups around walks – Wine bars are so tempting. But for a fun change schedule dates and catch ups with friends around walks or activities outdoors.

•Build it into your kids routine – at our house we have technology free time, we go on day hikes, fish, camp or swim in our nearby creek. Get out there and play with your kids too! Climb trees, get dirty, be a big kid.

•Plant a garden – Whether it is in pots or in the ground get out there and get some plants growing.

•Eat outside – Obviously this is easiest in summer but if you can cook a healthy homemade meal, light a few candles and create a romantic connection outdoors with your partner. A win-win!

Kind of makes you want to get outside, like, immediately. Right?

~V

You Are What You Eat and What’s Eating AT You – Primary Food; All The Kale In The World Won’t Nourish You

iinplate_1201106

Food is so much more than what you find on your plate. Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life. Integrative Nutrition refers to these lifestyle aspects as Primary Food, which when balanced and satiated, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary.

Primary Food

To complete the picture, the plate is surrounded with lifestyle factors that create optimal health – relationships, career, physical activity, and spirituality. The elements of primary food often more important than the food that’s on your plate.

Relationships:

Being well connected with others is an essential part of life, and the quality of our relationships explains a lot about the quality of our health.

Career:

Work is a huge part of our daily routine, yet how many of us really enjoy it? Finding work you love or way to love your current work is essential to living a healthy, balanced life.

Physical Activity:

Our bodies thrive on movement, and quickly degenerate without it. Find a routine that can nourish you on a regular basis. Hang up the car keys and run your next errand on foot.

Spirituality:

Spirituality can feed us on a very deep level and dramatically diminish our cravings for superficial rewards of life.

I encourage people to look at these aspects of life as a form of nutrition, a way to feed themselves at a much deeper level than food. The food you eat plays a critical role in your health and happiness, but the four forms of primary food make your life extraordinary.

The Integrative Nutrition Plate (pictured) is adapted from the USDA’s MyPlate nutrition guidelines and emphasizes the importance of local and organic produce, whole grains, high-quality proteins, plant-based fats, and water.

True, organic is best, local is better, and from garden to plate is supreme, I’d like to emphasize that simply starting somewhere; adding more nutrient rich foods and crowding out processed foods is more important.

The Integrative Nutrition Plate serves as a general guideline for healthy eating but should be adapted and customized according to what works best for you. Just as there is a no one-size-fits-all diet, there are no strict instructions on how everyone has to eat all the time.

Here are the essentials you should include every day;

Fruits:

Eat in season, and eat a variety of colors. Enjoy fruit craving sweets and snacks.

Vegetables:

Vegetables are nutritionally rich – so fill your plate! Go for many colors, choosing dark leafy greens as much as possible.I’ll be sharing Green Smoothie recipes later on.

Whole Grains:

Whole grains provide many nutrients and fiber. Avoid refined grains like white bread, white rice, and white flour products. If you cannot digest grains or choose not to eat them, perhaps you’d do better with more veggies instead!

Protein:

Choose healthy varieties such as beans, nuts, eggs, fish, and poultry. If you eat meat, like I do, choose grass-fed, organic for best quality.

Fats and Oils:

Use plant-based oils like olive oil as dressing on salad. Choose wild fish, avocados, nuts, and seeds. Balance your intake of saturated fats like butter, cream, and cheese (hmph! all of my weaknesses). Avoid trans fats.

Water:

Opt for water as your drink of choice. Limit caffeinated drinks and avoid sugary drinks. If you drink dairy, quality is key – choose milk free of added hormones and buy local, organic when possible.

Modern nutrition – carbs, proteins, fruits, and vegetables – is really just one source of nourishment – and these foods do nourish our bodies, but are not able to give us the joy, meaning, or fulfillment that primary food provides.

We hunger for play, fun, touch, romance, intimacy, love, achievement, success, art, music, self-expression, leadership, excitement, adventure, and spirituality. All these elements are essential forms of nourishment, and the extent to which we are able to incorporate them determines how enjoyable and worthwhile our lives feel.

When we use food as a way to alleviate or suppress our hunger for primary food, the body and mind suffer. Weight gain is just one of the consequences. Diet-related disorders such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes are national epidemics, and one of the main reasons is because we are stuffing ourselves with food when we are really starving for primary food.

Sometimes we are fed not by food but by the energy in our lives. If you’re not getting the primary food you need, eating all the (right) foods in the world won’t satisfy your hunger.

My 1,2,3, Vitality program dives deep into these topics and gives you a roadmap for total wellbeing.