Hi and thank you for visiting my blog. My name is Tina, I am 42 years old and married to a wonderful man named Robert. I live in the Cleveland, Ohio area with my husband and our two pugs, Koko and Lucy and a special kitty, named Trixie.

I am of Italian decent and love to cook not just for my family but for everyone! I have a lot of weeknight dinner guest and try to keep it casual but delicious! My Mom passed away a few years ago and was my great teacher.

In 2012 I have changed the way I eat. A real lifestyle change to be healthier, eat a nutrient dense diet and remove all processed foods, refined flours and sugars from our diet. I do cook a lot healthier than my Mom did and do a lot more vegetarian meals, poultry and fish. I'm trying to find a way to keep the traditions of family, friends and good food in my house always.

I plan to post my weekly menus, update with new recipes, health information and articles and how to eat mostly organic in an economical way. I will also periodically post personal updates of my journey to regain health and hope.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kissing for HEALTH!!

It starts with a kiss!  Along with the obvious side effects like making you feel loved and turning you on, I just read an article that shows there’s now proof to back up the following other benefits of kissing:
1. It can boost your metabolism. The more passionate the kiss, the more calories it burns.

2. It helps keep your face slender.
 Apparently, making out works out something like 30 of your face’s muscles. How about that for a skincare regimen?

3. It’s an intimate way to get to know the other person.

4. A makeout a day… the saliva you produce when kissing helps to rid your teeth of bacteria and fight plaque.

5. It makes you happy
 through the release of dopamine and norepinephrine.

6. It’s a sexy de-stresser.
 Kissing also releases oxytocin which calms you down.
So when your partner gets home tonight or the next time you meet up with a hottie...break out the breath spray and get your make-out on!

Monday, March 26, 2012

I am a Nutritarian....

A what?  A Nutritarian.  In my quest for optimal health I am going to do my best to eat only those food that provide me the best nutrients.  Eating a nutrient dense diet (Diet is the Latin term for "Way of Life", not a temporary practice to lose weight.) is what I strive for.  I am trying to view food as fuel for my body and not entertainment, not out of boredom and not what the multi-billon dollar food industry tells me I should be eating.  Here is Dr. Joel Furhman's food pyramid that I am doing my best to follow.  I am still heavy on the whole grains and potatoes and trying to incorporate more green and less starchy vegetables.

So I am sitting here sipping my banana, strawberry, almond milk smoothie and thinking I should have added some spinach to this.  This is a process and I am not perfect by any means...but I am slowly moving to health.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Menu for the Week of March 25, 2012

We are a busy couple both with full time jobs, volunteer positions, an active social life and three pets.  Finding time to cook or prepare three meals per day with very little dining out is a challenge but it can be done!

Breakfast:  During the work week we generally just have a smoothie for breakfast.  We have a few standards in rotation.  I will list the recipes as we go.  On the weekends we'll take time to make oatmeal or egg dishes.

Lunch:  I generally eat a salad and left-overs from the previous night's dinner.  Robert takes a sandwich or wrap, fruit, veggies and protein bars to get him through his very busy and arduous work days at UPS.

This week's dinners are:

Sunday:  Apple, cranberry and chicken sausages from Gibb's Butcher Block and mixed green salad.

Monday:  Pasta bake with roasted veggies, ricotta salata, and mixed green salad.

Tuesday:  Slow Cooker Cassoulet with wilted garlic spinach

Wednesday: Roasted cauliflower, chickpea and quinoa

Thursday:  Crab stuffed flounder (from Trader Joe's), brown rice and steamed broccoli

Friday: Grilled cilantro chicken and sweet potatoes

Saturday:  Out to dinner on a date with my honey :)