January…it’s cold, it’s dark, it’s time to focus on health

January 11, 2015 § 3 Comments

I’m recovering from a night with a sick kid which evens it out to two sick kids in the house.  January is always a busy month for me both personally and professionally.  And after a wonderful 2 week vacation the kids ended up with three inclement weather days where they called off school.  What to do?  We have already gotten rid of the Christmas cookies and candy from the holidays.  My resource guide this week is the January issue of Bon Appetit.  It is chuck full of great healthy ideas for the new year.  After a trip to Whole Foods I’m stocked up for a detox week.

For an afternoon snack at work I like to have baggies full of my own trail mix of raw walnuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, cocao nibs, and raw sunflower seeds.

Breakfast is a tough one for me, so I can pre-cook grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice to make a quick easy porridge with seeds, nuts and/or berries.  Or I can make ready-made freezer bags with berries, and greens (kale, spinach, mustard greens- whatever is available) to blend with  coconut water (or coconut milk) and raw unsweetened protein powder.  It’s all about making it simple.

I like to have at least one 8-10 oz glass of Unfiltered Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (With The Mother) in my water during the course of the day.   I drink anywhere from 64-96 ounces of water every day.

Here are a couple of the recipes I used this week:

Seedy Cherry-Quinoa Bars


Servings: Makes 12

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • ½ cup raw quinoa, rinsed
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Coat 8×8” baking pan with nonstick vegetable oil spray; line with parchment, leaving overhang on all sides. Toast almonds, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds on a rimmed baking sheet, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 200°. Process cherries, brown rice syrup, salt, and 2 Tbsp. water in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in toasted almond mixture. Press firmly into prepared pan and bake until no longer sticky, 20–25 minutes. Let cool, then cut into bars.
  • Do Ahead:Bars can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.


Brothy Poached Chicken With Mushrooms and Fresh Chile


Servings: 4

  • pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large)
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 whole allspice
  • teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
  • 8 ounces maitake or shiitake mushrooms, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 fresh red chile (such as Fresno), thinly sliced
  • 1 1” piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sliced scallions and cilantro sprigs (for serving)


active: 40 min total: 40 min
  • Place chicken, garlic, bay leaves, allspice, and 1½ tsp. salt in a medium pot. Cover with 6 cups water and bring to a bare simmer over high heat. Immediately reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and cook 8 minutes. Remove chicken from liquid and let cool slightly, then shred into bite-size pieces.
  • Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pot; discard solids. Add mushrooms, chile, ginger, vinegar, and soy sauce to stock. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until broth tastes rich and flavorful, 8–10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add shredded chicken and simmer just until meat is warmed through.
  • Divide soup among bowls and serve topped with scallions and cilantro.
  • Do Ahead:Chicken can be poached 2 days ahead. Let chicken and broth cool separately. Wrap up chicken and transfer broth to an airtight container; chill.


AND NOT on the Detox plan were these muffins for Vince:

Cranberry Lime Olive Oil Muffins from Baker Street

  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅔ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • ¾ cup chopped dried cranberries
  • Powdered sugar, for sifting
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.
  3. In a medium bowl, blend together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Using an electric mixer beat the sugar, eggs, and zests in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vinegar and milk. Gradually beat in the oil. Add the flour mixture and stir just until blended.
  5. Crush the almonds with your hands as you add them to the batter and stir in the dried cranberries until mixed. Fill the muffin tin almost to the top of the paper liners.
  6. Bake until golden on top and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Remove the muffins onto a platter and let cool for 5 more minutes. Sift powdered sugar over the muffins and serve.



“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

– John C. Maxwell

I want to thank my friend Heather for motivating me to getting started blogging again.  Happy 2015 All!




§ 3 Responses to January…it’s cold, it’s dark, it’s time to focus on health

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