Tag Archives: health

Berries. Berry cubes. And berry smoothies.

It’s summertime, which means lots of delicious berries.

I recently attended a training on nutrition and mental health (for counselors), and it got me thinking about how I could easily introduce more healthy foods into my day. I don’t like fish, and tree nuts are out because of the food allergies, which means I don’t get a lot of omega-3s. (It’s okay if you want to tune out the nutrition nitty-gritty details here, I usually do). Anyway, those of us with food restrictions and picky palates can easily miss out on important aspects of our nutrition. For me, an easy fix to this is adding in ground flax seed to my diet. Doesn’t bother me, and it tastes kind of nutty, so I’m all for it! Also, blueberries are really good for you. So I decided I should eat more blueberries.

If there’s something you find you are missing in your diet, there may be an easy way to introduce it.  Even for the most complicated of eaters.  (One more complication for me: in the summertime, I get Oral Allergy Syndrome, which means that fresh fruits and veggies can make my lips swell up with hives because of the pollination process. The solution? Cook the fruits and veggies first.)

I don’t love the idea of adding supplements instead of real food, but I do love the idea of making healthy food easier. Which is why I decided to do some berry-smoothie prep.

So here’s what I did: cooked up some berries in a delicious manner, immersion-blended them, and froze the results in ice cube trays. It’s amazing what you can do with ice cube trays. The freezer is a lazy healthy person’s best friend. Now I can make healthy smoothies that won’t give me Kardashian lips!  And I don’t have to rush to eat 30 smoothies in a week before the berries go bad.

Here’s how it’s done:

FIRST, the berry cubes.

Heat a bit of vegetable oil in a pot with a dash of cinnamon and a little splash of vanilla. Add a bunch of blueberries and strawberries, simmer on low for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Next, either use an immersion blender to puree, or transfer to a blender to puree.

Berries.jpg

Let the whole thing cool and then pour into ice cube trays to freeze.

Berries2.jpg

SECOND, to make Johanna’s healthy berry smoothie:

Into a blender add several berry cubes, a glug of milk, a healthy squirt of honey, a cup of your favorite yogurt, and 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of ground flax seed. And a bit of peanut butter if you’d like. Bananas optional. Blend, add some more water or milk for the right thickness, and YUM.

Berries. Berry cubes. And berry smoothies.

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Filed under Cooking, Recipes

What I want my clients to know when they start from scratch

I recently posted a new blog to Huffington Post (which can be found here) about what I want individuals to know when they walk in the door to their first day of counseling. Each thought is something that I’ve wished, at one point or another, that my new clients could know before walking in the door.  They are things that I think could make counseling – and me as a counselor! – less intimidating.  It’s written with my therapist hat on, rather than my food-allergy hat.  Sometimes starting from scratch means cooking, and sometimes starting from scratch means allowing someone else in to help – which is what I hope to do in my work as a mental health counselor.

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Filed under Health, Social issues

Allergic Living and Adult-Onset Food Allergies

Allergic Living recently did a piece on adult-onset food allergies with a couple of quotes from me about living with food allergies.  The article provides some helpful statistics and a great overview of some of the challenges adults face with the onset of food allergies!  It both validates the experience of adult-onset food allergies and provides a positive framework to consider them.  To quote the article, “Despite past bad reactions and numerous social challenges, not one of those interviewed with adult-onset allergies finds the condition is unmanageable.”

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Filed under Health