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Spinach Pesto

Prep Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizers
Servings: 8
Calories: 287kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese *I made Miyoko's nut parmesan, see recipe below
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a food processor.
  • Pulse until combined.
  • Blend mixture and add more olive oil if needed until smooth or desired texture.
  • Enjoy!
  • Refrigerate remaining pesto in a glass jar.
  • *Nut Cheese:
  • Ingredients: 1 cup pine nuts, almonds or walnuts; 1 cup nutritional yeast flakes; 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Nut Cheese Instructions: Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until thoroughly combined. Store in a glass container in the fridge for 6-8 weeks.

Nutrition

Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 354mg | Potassium: 387mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2200IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 3.2mg
Spinach Pesto

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Chew Your Food!

I’m ending this healthy video series on a high note with me on the toilet discussing poop and the benefits of chewing your food!
We are more than just a long pipe with 2 holes. Your body does amazing things with the food that you eat. It takes whole foods, turns it into energy and nutrients which allows the body to function, grow and repair.
Digestion is how the body processes food and eliminates food waste. Metabolism is how the cells utilize the energy that’s absorbed from food during digestion.
Did you know that digestion begins in the brain? When you think, see, smell, or taste food, salivary glands kick in and your stomach gets the signal to prepare for food.
We have 3 salivary glands in the mouth with enzymes that catalyze biochemical reactions. These enzymes chemically breakdown food in your mouth, before you even swallow it. How cool is that?!
That initial breakdown of food in the mouth is a crucial step, which is why it’s so important to adequately chew your food.
The importance of chewing for digestion is often overlooked. Healthy digestion and nutrient absorption start with chewing.
The things you eat are turned into the building blocks for literally every cell in your body. Eat well and your body will not only function properly but flourish.
Chewing your food 20 to 30 times per bite gives enzymes enough time to start the breakdown on a chemical level. Chewing is necessary to expose food to as much surface area as possible so that enzymes can begin digestion. If food is not chewed thoroughly, it puts a stress on the digestive system. So listen to your mother and chew your food.

Enough about saliva, digestion and chewing. Grab that bag of popcorn, sit back and enjoy the video! If you learned something, please share.

Moderation & Variation

Eating is a balance of moderation and variation, not deprivation.
A good diet is one of 3 keys to living a healthy lifestyle; the others are sleep and exercise. Creating healthy habits are the keys to making them work for you.
When you establish an overall pattern of healthful nutrition and a salubrious lifestyle, your body and brain will thank you.
I typically approach eating with an 80/20 ratio and have flexibility built in. For instance, 80% of the time I embrace healthy eating while 20% of the time I treat myself, without regret.
Depending upon several factors (life, celebrations, health or illness), that ratio fluctuates based upon your needs. The key is determining what works best for you and allowing for flexibility and change.
A big part of creating these healthy habits is learning to not punish yourself when you enjoy cake, cookies, pizza or fries. Eat it, savor it and move on. Life is way too short to beat yourself up over it. Jump back into your healthy ratio and forgeddaboutit!
The biggest joy is finding the balance that works and fits your lifestyle.

Taste Buds

We have 5 primary taste sensations: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter and Umami. Our ability to taste depends on the molecules set free when we chew or drink. Hundreds of substances, mostly found in plants, taste bitter and a little bitterness makes food interesting and very healthy. Antioxidants, which aid metabolism and help the body ward off cancer, account for much of the bitter taste of kale, arugula, dark chocolate and coffee.

The good news is you can train your taste buds to prefer different foods with repeated exposure to new foods. Say what?! Think of coffee as a good example. Most people don’t like the bitter taste at first but acquire the taste when repeatedly drinking it.

When the body isn’t flooded with CRAP, carrots and cabbage will start to taste sweet. Imagine that!
Are you ready to change those taste buds and start enjoying whole foods? Ever wish you could get as excited about a crunchy salad as you do about chips, fries, or pretzels? Eating food, you don’t like may sound masochistic, but it could be the key to changing your mind and health!

This is part of what I teach clients in my 8 Step Nutrition Program. Want to learn more? You can find the program here: https://thewholefoodnut.com/8-step-nutrition-program/

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