Due to a few technical difficulties, I can’t share the recipe I was planning to share with you today. I will get it posted tomorrow though, for sure…in the meantime, here’s my kitty Leo!

leo lap

I’ve written something for National Blog Posting Month for the past 8 days. I’m not going to lie…I am a bit burned out…so it’s just going to be a photo today. I took this shot with my iPhone while on a walk with my husband and dog today. I rather like it :)

rosendale

This post is going to be short-ish because it’s late in the day and I don’t want to be up until all hours writing here. Though I was extolling the virtues of being forced to write everyday for National Blog Posting Month earlier in the week, right about now I am wondering what on earth possessed me to sign up!

I had an article published over at MindBodyGreen today. It’s called “Is It Time To Stop Worrying About Sugar”. It’s a slight reworking of this recent post about homemade oreos and sugar.

I’ve written about eating sugar (and all things, really) in moderation quite a bit lately. That’s because I personally feel very comfortable with moderation these days: it is an eating strategy that works very well for my body and my mind. But I have noticed that the mention of moderation seems to send some folks into a rage. I am not at all joking: I’ve been called “irresponsible” and many other not-so-nice names for saying that I don’t believe you have to avoid sugar/gluten/carbs/you name it (or follow an extreme diet) to be healthy.

Here’s the thing: there are plenty of people out in the world telling us that everything we want to eat is going to harm us…I don’t need or want to be one of them. Why? Because there’s an awful lot of orthorexia out there already and I have no interest in contributing to it! I feel strongly that stressing out over everything you put in your mouth in the interest of your health is, in fact, antagonistic to health. Also, I am simply not onboard with restricting foods for arbitrary reasons…I believe we should all strive to eat as wide a variety of foods as possible.

So, I have a few questions for you, my readers. What does moderation mean to you? Does the concept of moderation resonate with you or make you upset? If it upsets you, why is that? What’s wrong with moderation? I would really love to hear any your thoughts on this topic.

I’m participating in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) which means I’m blogging every day of November, 2013!

Weelicious is a charming site dedicated to feeding kiddos run by the lovely Catherine McCord. Catherine has also written two Weelicious cookbooks: Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes and Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals. The recipe for Fruit and Seed Bars that I am sharing today was adapted from Weelicious Lunches.

fruit and seed bars 2_text

What I most appreciate about Catherine’s blog and her books is that the recipes are creative yet simple. In addition to these bars, I made her homemade fruit leather and it was terrific! I honestly had no idea it was so easy to make your own fruit leather.

book 1_

These bars are super quick to throw together and they are very yummy. I like them as is, slathered with additional nut or seed butter, and also crumbled into a bowl and splashed with some milk (like granola). Catherine’s recipe in the book calls for sunflower butter so her recipe is 100% nut free and appropriate for those with nut allergies. Note that I substituted cashew butter because that’s what I had on hand (so these are not nut-free).
Read more

I’m participating in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) which means I’m blogging every day of November, 2013!

Sitting a lot is associated with a host of health problems (including obesity) but unfortunately, it’s the way many of us spend much of our days. I am a pretty active person: I go to the gym and lift weights and/or do a Crossfit workout 4-5 days/week and I’m out and about with my kids a lot. Also, my job as a blogger includes cooking and photography (two things I do standing up). Despite all of this, however, I often still spend large portions of the day being sedentary because I am seated in front of a computer screen writing, doing social media, etc.

In an effort to counteract the effects of sitting so much, I’ve lately become interested in something called NEAT and I am doing all I can to increase mine. I think NEAT is pretty neat and I want you to know all about it, too!

NEAT | Healthy Green Kitchen

NEAT is an acronym for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. According to Dr. James Levine, NEAT is defined as “the energy expenditure of all physical activities other than volitional sporting-like exercise”. In other words: NEAT is all the moving around you do that’s separate from the time you spend intentionally exercising (at the gym or out running, etc.).

Numerous studies have shown that NEAT varies greatly from person to person and that those who engage in the most NEAT burn far more calories during the day (and are consequently leaner) than those who are mostly sedentary. I’ve seen estimates that you can burn anywhere from an extra 300-600 calories/day just by increasing your NEAT. I am pretty sure we all have “that friend” who seems to have a crazy high metabolism and never gains weight no matter what they eat, right? I bet you there is nothing “magical” about their metabolism…they are likely just the type of person who just never stops moving…they probably have a very high NEAT!

An increased calorie burn is not the only reason to work on increasing your NEAT, though: according to this article in the NY Times, when we are not moving around, our insulin sensitivity drops and the enzymes responsible for dealing with fats in the body are adversely affected (both of which may increase risk for heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes). Being sedentary may also lead to postural problems, muscular imbalances, a decrease in overall flexibility, and other deleterious health outcomes for both children and adults. Many people seem to think that if they spend some time working out most days, this counteracts the bad stuff that happens when you sit a lot, but this does not actually seem to be the case. According to another NY Times article, you can train for a marathon but still be considered a “couch potato” based on the number of hours you sit each day…“time spent exercising does not supplant time spent sitting.”

Ok, so sitting a lot does not promote good health…there seems to be no doubt about that. But what can you do about it if the way you spend your day involves a lot of sitting? Are you just out of luck? Not necessarily. There are actually a lot of things you can do to offset the negatives of sitting. Here are 20 Ways To Increase Your NEAT.
Read more