Health, wellness, happiness, relationships, weight management, food, spirit · recipes

Chickpeas, please!!!

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Photo by Ella Olsson on
Chickpeas, please!
If your reaction is “No thanks!” you are leaving an inexpensive, rockstar food off the table.
Say what?
Eating chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) satisfies your appetite, provides lots of great nutrients, and promotes gut health. Researchers also linked regular consumption (1/2 cup per day) with reduction of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
Hummus, anyone?
Research also shows people regularly consuming chickpeas feel less hungry between meals and naturally eat less to feel full after a meal. Chickpeas do this by reducing ghrelin, the “hunger” hormone that makes people overeat.
Don’t like the consistency? Try using chick-pea flour as a substitute for wheat flour.
One of my fav’s is Socca, a flatbread with 3 ingredients – can you spell Y-U-M!  I also make a grain-free pizza crust recipe with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free flour, which is primarily – you guessed it! – chickpea flour.
Do you falafel?
Vegetarian / vegans – chickpeas are an cheap and convenient source of protein and fiber – a one cup serving provides 14.5 grams of protein and 12.5 grams of fiber!
Bean birds (recipe below) are a tasty substitute for chicken patties!
And hey, if you’re pregnant or planning to start / add to your family, chickpeas are a great source of folate, critical to the health of those precious bundles of joy.
Blood sugar issues? The carbs in chickpeas take longer to digest, so  they help to stabilize blood sugar, versus the spike in blood sugar you may experience from some carbs like wheat and sugar.
How about some chana masala?

Finally, chickpeas feed your good gut bacteria – yes, those unsung heroes in your small intestine that help your digestion and immune function – everyone wins!

Ok, yes, they are BEANS, and we all know the saying “beans, beans, good for your heart, the more you eat….”🤭🤢   
Starting with a small serving, toss a few on your salad, dip your veggies into a little bit of hummus. If beans aren’t your thing, start slowly, and you will build up a tolerance.
You can also take a digestive aid to help, like Beano, chew fennel seeds (yes, a bit like chewing on twigs, but very effective), drink fennel or cardamom tea, or try digestive enzymes, that can help you better digest all your foods!
Jump on the bandwagon,and start demanding more chickpeas, please!!!
Bean Birds recipe
Health, wellness, happiness, relationships, weight management, food, spirit

The Road to Well-Being is Paved with Good Intentions

So how did I end up underweight, exhausted, malnourished, and on the verge of a health crisis?

How do any of us end up here?  I am in great company, just about every health coach / expert / author / blogger has been or is in my comfortable, no-nonsense shoes.  I believe the why usually doesn’t matter.  What really matters is, what now?

But, I am gonna go there (to why and how, that is), because my story is not all that unusual.  In fact, YOU could be on the same Road that I have been travelling.

Yes, I’m talking to YOU!  You’re pretty healthy, right?

  • Just a few colds, maybe the annual flu bug.
  • Occasional stomach cramps, diarrhea that must have come from something you ate.
  • Migraines? So common these days.
  • Sure you’re really tired after work, but that’s normal…..right?
  • Maybe you started getting crow’s feet in the corners of your eyes by your 30’s.
  • Your skin is rough and itchy – why is it always that spot right between your shoulder blades that itches most, where you can’t reach!
  • Or perhaps you have perpetual sinus infections, allergies, asthma
  • Muscle or joint aches and pains?
  • For ladies, the dreaded yeast infections and / or bladder infections
  • Guys, got jock itch?
  • Uncontrollable cravings, especially for salty , high-fat, or sweet foods  (believe it or not, one cause of sugar cravings is also responsible for the dreaded yeast infection!)
  • Acid reflux?  Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are the most widely prescribed class of medications in the United States.  Did you know that research links a higher risk of death for people taking PPI’s, and the longer you take them, the higher the risk!

This stuff is all normal, right?

These may be the “new norm”, but none of these are healthy norms.

Not all of these things applied to me, in fact, only a few did.  My health took a more obscure road to H-E-double hockey sticks, and it likely started from birth.

Do you identify with any of this?  By the way, I’m not blaming my parents.  They didn’t know any better.

  • Bottle-fed (it was all the rage in the 50’s)
  • Attended a school with coal heating.  I remember every morning I would have to wipe the black dust off my desk or I would go home with black sleeves on my sweater.
  • Childhood exposure to God knows what pesticides, herbicides and chemicals.
    • I helped my Dad plant corn each year.  The kernels were coated in a pink substance that Dad said would keep the birds from eating it.  Hmm, probably not more than once, anyway. 
    • Mom would dust the tomatoes and other plants with a white powdery chemical that floated across the yard where we were playing, that tasted sour.
    • When I was around 12, I sanded the walls of our living room so it could be repainted.  I thought it was funny that when I blew my nose, my snot was the same green color as the (leaded) paint.
  • I was never physically strong or energetic.  I became ill with a fever and missed school when I ran the 600 yard dash for the President’s physical fitness challenge.  I just assumed it was my normal – I’m the bookworm, not the athlete.
  • I had the average number of silver “amalgam” dental fillings by my mid-teens.  I just had my eight silver amalgam fillings replaced a year ago.  Forty years of mercury exposure!
  • I was the “skinny kid”.  But by my teen years, I was the skinny kid with the pot belly.  I thought everyone had to loosen their belt after eating or they would get a terrible stomach ache.  Now I know this is a common symptom of digestive issues.
  • I took the (birth control) pill for 20 or 25 years.  By age 29 I already had wrinkles in the corner of my eyes.  I only recently learned that this is a symptom of Vitamin B deficiency, which can be related to oral contraceptives.
  • By age 35 I had chronic shoulder pain.  At least one doctor told me I had fibromyalgia, but I didn’t believe him.

It took more than 20 years of chiropractors, physical rehab, exercises, cortisone shots, foam rolling, accupuncture, and heat and ice packs before I found the cause – I have a sensitivity (technically, an allergy) to certain wheat proteins.  Going gluten-free also resolved the muscle tenderness that I felt for years throughout my body, but especially in my back, hips and legs.

As I said earlier, I always considered myself to be pretty healthy, based on my understanding of health as we were taught in school.

However, a few years after menopause, things started to fall apart.

Stay tuned!

Health, wellness, happiness, relationships, weight management, food, spirit

How to find your island of peace?

What’s on my mind?  How to find an island of peace in this crazy scary world?    What does the future hold?  Will there even be a future????!

Here are 5 things you can do to float, paddle , sail or motor your way to paradise:

  1.  Meditate.  I didn’t say you have to be perfect, just give it a try!   There is so much research on the benefits of meditation, enough said.  You probably think you can’t do this, sit still, think no thoughts…. There’s a reason they call it a “practice”.  Don’t know how?  Just ask Mr. Google, and check my future blogs for ideas.
  2. Breathe.  Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam and Anna Nalick all sang about this, and we do it all the time without a thought.  Did you know you can manage your anger, stress, fatigue and fear just with your breath?   And, we can accomplish #1 above, meditation, just by observing how our breath feels.
  3. Move!  Our bodies were designed to move, and today’s world does everything to thwart nature.  My mentor, Brendon Burchard says to get up off our asses (my word, not his) and MOVE every 30-50 minutes.  Just take 2 minutes each hour to do focused movement and conscious breathing. Your alertness, productivity and enjoyment of your day will soar when you implement this simple practice!  And guess what?  You can combine #1 and #2 above with Movement – talk about killing birds with one stone…..
  4. Enjoy Nature.  Every day!  Its spring-time in the Northern Hemisphere, no excuses!  If you live in the city and there is no park in walking distance, find a street with trees, or flower boxes, even Kelly-green paint on the buildings (just kidding about that one).  There is a ton of scientific research about the health benefits of spending time with Mother Nature – even PICTURES of natural scenes have proven benefits for Pete’s sake!
  5. Change the Channel.  Better yet, turn it off.  The “bad news broadcasts” are addictive, stimulating adrenaline and making you feel…..well, it makes you feel something other than numb.  Listen to feel-good music, something with a beat that gets you…..moving.  Hmmm, where have I heard that?

Where to begin?  Start with #5, Turn it OFF, and head outside to do steps 1-4.    Ten to fifteen minutes – BOOM!  Done!  Next?

Now, What’s on YOUR mind?  Share your comments below, and if you liked this, please share it on Social Media (but don’t spend all day there, remember Steps 1-5 above!).