Happy New Year everyone! Yes, I know I am days late in wishing you my very best for the coming year, but my holiday break was pretty busy: my dad got married (yay!) and we went away to visit my husband’s family. (I also may or may not have spent a day or two in my pajamas binge-watching Drop Dead Diva but don’t tell anyone about that, ok?)
2014 has kicked off with me doing something new and completely out of my comfort zone: radio interviews to discuss my book One Simple Change: Surprisingly Easy Ways to Transform Your Life; I’ve done 6 so far. The very first one I did was LIVE and ONE HOUR LONG, with call-in participation from viewers. I was terrified beforehand and did a lot of sweating while I was on the call. The ones since then have been shorter but they are still a bit stressful for me, not going to lie.
During these radio interviews, I’ve been talking a lot about the overriding concept of my book…the idea of making one small change at a time. I’ve been talking about why it’s important to take things slow, and to become comfortable with the fact that permanent positive shifts in your health and well-being do not happen overnight. My feeling is that if I can convince one person to stop doing extreme things (such as lengthy juice cleanses, diets that eliminate carbohydrates, or exercising for hours a day) in the name of health, then I will have succeeded in what I set out to do in writing this book. Small tweaks to the way you eat, your lifestyle, and your attitude work just fine…they work better than fine, actually. Small changes can be really powerful if your goal is to have a happy, healthy life.
If you are wondering exactly what kind of information is in One Simple Change, you should know that while I do share my nutritional philosophy throughout the book, there’s much more to One Simple Change than that. I touch on many, many other things that come into play when you are approaching your health in a more natural and holistic way, such as sleep, exercise, and stress management. Some chapters are devoted to matters related to living in a more eco-conscious manner. There are also 15 nourishing recipes. My friend Kaela called it “The Self Help Book for People Who Hate Self Help Books” which made me laugh (but it’s really true).
I don’t expect everyone to love everything about the book, but I really do believe there is something for everyone in One Simple Change. I even find myself re-reading specific sections and applying them to my own life lately…this may seem ironic but I need to take my own advice sometimes!
The first printing of the book sold out but more are on the way. My publisher tells me One Simple Change should be back in stock Amazon.com and elsewhere next week, which is great. Once again, thank you to everyone who has purchased the book and let me know that you enjoyed it! Cheers to change! I plan to continue celebrating healthy, simple lifestyle changes on my blog throughout 2014 and I can’t wait to share many more posts with you.
As I mentioned above, there are 15 recipes in One Simple Change. These are recipes I chose to include because they are somehow related to the content of the book. This homemade yogurt recipe, for example, comes from the chapter titled “Cook More” but it’s also related to the chapter called “Get Some Culture”, which is about eating more cultured/lacto-fermented foods.
Yogurt made with live cultures is high in protein, calcium, and probiotics, which aid the digestive system. I’m a big fan of low-tech yogurt making; you don’t need any fancy equipment to make wholesome plain yogurt.
Recipe for Homemade Yogurt
- 4 cups/960 ml milk
- 1 tbsp plain live-culture yogurt
- One 1-qt/960-ml glass canning jar with a screw-top lid metal or BPA-free plastic
- ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼1. Clean the glass jar and lid in hot, soapy water, or use the hottest setting on your dishwasher.
- 2. In a small pot, heat the milk over medium heat to a temperature
- of 180°F/82°C.If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, heat the milk until it is just starting to boil; don’t let it come to a rolling boil as this will be too hot. Make sure you don’t walk away from the milk and allow it to boil over, because it makes a big mess (trust me). Use a slotted spoon to remove any skin that forms on the surface of the hot milk.
- 3. Remove from the heat and let the milk cool to 110°F/45°C, about 25 minutes. (You should be able to put a fingertip in the milk and hold it there for 10 seconds.) Put the pot into a bowlful of ice water to speed the cooling, if you’d like. Don’t let the milk cool below 110°F/45°C; it needs to be at this temperature to culture properly.
- 4. Pour the milk into the canning jar and gently mix in the yogurt. Cap the jar tightly. Preheat your oven to 110°F/45°C. Once it reaches this temperature, turn it off. If you can’t set your oven to 110°F/45°C,
- preheat it to the lowest setting possible (in many ovens, this is 200°F/95°C), and then turn it off and give it time to cool down until approximately 110°F/45°C.
- 5. Wrap your jar in a thick towel (I use a big bath towel) and place
- it in the oven on its side (remove racks as necessary so that it fits). Turn the light of your oven on (to keep it warm) and close the door.
- 6. The towel will insulate the jar, ensuring that the milk stays warm during the culturing process. Leave it there for about 12 hours (or at least overnight). Unwrap the jar and place it in the refrigerator to cool for several hours. You now have homemade yogurt!
- 7. If you end up with liquid (the whey) floating atop your yogurt, mix it in or, for thicker yogurt, pour it off. Don’t discard the whey, though; it contains water-soluble vitamins and minerals, as well as protein, and can be added to soups or used in other recipes. Homemade live-culture yogurt will keep for 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator; you can use 1 tbsp of your homemade yogurt to make another batch.