2017-01-29 / Sports

Getting Healthy in 2017

A Healthy Life
By Dana Johnson
Special to the Journal Tribune

This is the year that I plan to make some changes; ok plan isn’t the best word to use, this year I am making changes.  At times in our lives we need to look closely at what we want and need, we need to regroup, to think, and move forward with new goals.  Maybe they are health goals, or relationships, maybe it’s a new career, maybe it’s as simple as running more, whatever they are, today is the day to make it happen.

I started this year planning a cleanse for a friend, a client, and myself.  We are all doing it together, as a way to keep each other motived and on track.  There are many types of cleanses and I would suggest talking with a professional first.  We are doing one that removes things like sugar, alcohol, and dairy, from our daily diets and adds more whole foods, grains, vegetables, and fruits; it’s a way to add more nutrients into our bodies and a reminder to take a break from the bad things that come into our lives especially over the holidays. Adding more whole foods into our days has given us more energy, sleeping better, and feeling fitter.  It’s amazing what good foods can do for you.  

There are different reasons to do a cleanse, maybe you want to detox your body, maybe you want to boost your immunity, or get off sugar, or feel less bloated, or maybe you just need a kick in the pants to start your health and exercise program.  Whatever it is, just taking a look at what you are adding into your body, and removing from your diet the junk, helps us to reassess our health this year.  

As part of this cleanse we are drinking more water and making more meals from home.  One of the recipes that we all love is this spiced ginger carrot soup.  It is filling and tasty.  I add a cilantro pesto on top, cilantro helps to detoxify our bodies and it looks beautiful on the soup.  

Spicy Carrot Soup

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 tablespoons ginger, minced

2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

6 carrots, washed and chopped into 1⁄2” pieces 1 can coconut milk (12-14 oz)

1 cup vegetable broth

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Sea salt and black pepper 

1. Heat coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent. 

2. Add the ginger and garlic to the onions, and cook for another minute. Add the cumin and stir well for 30 seconds. 

3. Add the chopped carrots and sauté for a few minutes, and then add the coconut milk and vegetable broth. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are just tender. 

4. Puree soup with an immersion blender or standard blender. (Use caution when using a standard blender. e soup will be hot!) If soup is too thick, add extra broth or coconut milk. 

5. Add the desired amount of lemon juice plus a little sea salt and black pepper. Serve hot. 

Cilantro pesto

2 cups cilantro, tightly packed, 2 tablespoons pepitas,

3 tablespoons Brazil nuts,

2 tablespoons lemon juice 

1⁄2 cup olive oil,

2 garlic cloves, peeled,

1 teaspoon (or to taste) miso paste or tamari.

Wash cilantro well and combine with olive oil and blend using a blender, stick blender, or food processor. Drizzle in the rest of the oils and blend until everything is combined well and has transformed into a beautiful, vibrant, multi-purpose pesto to use as a dip, topping, dressing or sauce. 

Lets make 2017 all about healthy changes and looking at ways that we can do that in our daily lives.   

Until next time…keep on getting fit for life!

Dana Johnson is a local health coach with a practice on Main Street in Biddeford. She also runs a local beach exercise boot camp. For more information visit www.biddefordsacobootcamp.com.

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