Nori Veggie Wraps

nori veggie wrap obw credit

We are about to blow your minds: nori isn’t just for making sushi. In fact this seaweed can be used to make what is arguably one of the best wraps. Ever. In fact, someone here loves this so much she ate it for lunch every single day last week and then again today. There is something about the blending of all these flavors and yet still being able to taste them separately that drives our taste buds wild. Hopefully it does the same for you.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4  (or two hungry people)

Ingredients
4 sheets of dried nori (typically found in the ethnic section of the grocery, or pick some up at your local Asian market)
4 big romaine or red leaf lettuce leaves
1.5 cups mung bean sprouts (we advise against canned; go for the fresh ones- we found some at Raisin Rack)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 radishes, sliced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/2 cucumber sliced
1 tomato, diced
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup peanuts (optional)
Dressing:
2 Tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce, or use regular if you’re not gluten-sensitive)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tsp toasted sesame seed oil

Instructions

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Chop all your veggies. Put each leaf of lettuce on a place and place nori sheet on top before filling with all the vegetables listed. For your dressing, mix the tamari, apple cider vineger, and toasted sesame seed oil all together in a small container and then pour over each open-faced veggie pile. Keep as-is to eat or roll up into a wrap. Caution: it’s a bit messy (mainly because we were devouring it) so keep a napkin or paper towel handy.

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This is before we put even more veggies in!

Bad to the Bone- 6 Tips to Prevent Osteoporosis.

photo source & permission from:  American Recall Center

photo source & permission from: American Recall Center

Osteoporosis is a ‘silent’ disease in which the bones become weak and brittle; unfortunately, it usually only becomes evident when one fractures a bone. One reason why it is paramount to avoid such fractures is because it can involve surgical replacements that can be defective and cause needless pain. It’s better to protect yourself by learning about risk factors and making diet and lifestyle changes.

The disease has quite a few risk factors:

  • being female
  • age, older age increases risk of osteoporosis
  • family history of osteoporosis and/or fractures
  • having a small, thin body frame
  • being caucasian or asian puts one at higher risk
  • low estrogen for women, low testosterone for men
  • having an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa
  • poor diet & lifestyle habits
  • certain medications can increase risk of osteoporosis
  • lack of exercise

Here are 6 tips you can follow to help protect yourself against the disease and healthily age:

1. Eat your greens! Leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and swisschard are packed with bone-building calcium and vitamin K. Try some spinach in your morning smoothie or mustard greens chopped up in your favorite chili.

2. Avoid smoking & drinking alcohol – both are detrimental to general health and to your bones.

3. Get your vitamin D. This nutrient helps calcium’s absorption in the body, preventing your bones from being fragile or misshapen (think rickets). Even a small amount of sun exposure a few times a week can help your body produce vitamin D, according to the National Institutes of Health. During the winter months, consider a high-quality vitamin D supplement.

4. Kick soda to the (trash) can! You know that cola is detrimental to your teeth, but it can also harm your bones. Studies have suggested a link between soda and lower bone density. Some experts accuse the phosphoric acid in cola being responsible for leeching calcium from bones. Others say caffeine can lower the absorptive capacity of calcium. In any case, it’s best to focus on hydrating yourself with water.

5. Eat more nuts! Not only do nuts contain healthy fat, they also contain the calcium and protein essential for strong bones. Protein deficiency, particularly in older adults, can also cause a loss of bone mass. Consider adding in almonds, walnuts, pistachios and some brazil nuts.

6. Body movement builds bones! Strength-training can assist you in building muscle, losing weight, and creating stronger bones. A gym membership isn’t required for walking, jogging, push-ups, squats, or climbing stairs – so feel free to incorporate this into your daily life and in your home. With these weight-bearing exercises you can strengthen your bone tissue and maintain bone density. Additionally, exercising can help with balance and coordination both of which can prevent falls and fractures.

Remember, we start losing bone mass in our early 30s so do your best to create a strong, osteoporosis-free future!

Call to the Nation: Take your Vacation!

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Of all industrialized nations, America has the least number of vacation days. A far cry from the 30+ days offered as annual leave and paid holidays by other countries such as Germany, Austria, Spain, and Italy, some Americans are lucky to get (and use) the roughly two weeks given as a ‘benefit’. However, quite a few of us are not even taking this small amount of time off, in the true sense of the word. To ask for a week or *gasp* two off requires advance notice of a few months, large efforts to secure work while away (though about a third of us do work during vacations), and tends to bring a decent amount of anxiety as we worry about being perceived as disloyal or lazy.

Often vacation time is now mostly utilized as personal days, taken here or there, to run errands and ‘catch up’ with life’s demands or to take a mental break from the severe stress of over-work. Do you know anyone who works 40 hours a week? Rarely do we at One Bite Wellness encounter a person who works 40 hours or less at a job; most people answer their work ranges from 45- 60 hours per week. Because of this over-working, we have higher levels of stress and depression and less recreational time with friends and family, much less time to cook and exercise.

Americans may be economically more advantaged than other countries in the world, but we seem to have lost our health and longevity. We have some of the poorest health rankings and spend more money per capita on healthcare than almost any other country. In 1980, we ranked 11th in the world for longevity; now we’ve fallen to 42nd, according to the Central Intelligence Agency.

How did we get here? Well the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 regulates the maximum number of working hours, over-time, child labor, and minimum wage but never mentioned paid time off. There was never a baseline set for vacation or sick time and now it’s up to the employee and employer to negotiate. Many companies will give workers about 1-2 weeks off per year, but they can also stipulate that you cannot use more than a certain amount of days in a row. About a quarter of Americans don’t get any vacation time at all.

Benefits of a Break

  • Studies suggest that those who take vacations are less likely to suffer from heart disease and other illnesses.
  • Taking a vacation from work is associated with better health, relationships and social life, productivity and creativity, and general well-being.
  • Replenishment and life-enriching experiences, preventing ‘burn-out’
  • Stronger social and familial bonds
  • Improved patience and tolerance, less anxiety and depression

These benefits really take place over a block of vacation time, not a day taken here or there.

Focusing on this issue of vacation time forces us to examine our values, as individuals and as a country. What do we value? Economic progress over all else? What about our health and our families? Our mental well-being? We work hard and long for progress and production, but if we want to improve our quality of life and well-being, we have to fully realize that vacations matter greatly.

Do it for your sanity and your health. Be ‘time rich’. Take a vacation– holistic nutritionist’s orders. :)

Fridge Refresher – Clean in 4 Easy Steps!

How often we forget the feeling of freshness and inspiration a clean fridge brings. Take advantage of a rainy day where the first impulse is to curl up on the couch and waste a bunch of time on Facebook. In a short period of time, you can transform the fridge from a dingy graveyard for rotting vegetables to one where the white interior and the splash of colors from all your fresh produce invigorates you.

It seems like an arduous task, but we assure you that it can be completed in about 30 minutes. In the spirit of walking you through this, we’re about to get up-close and personal with this nutritionist’s fridge.

Step 1: Determine the ‘when’
When do we think the best time to do this mini-project is? Well, if we’re on top of our game before a trip, this is when we use up all our produce (or freeze it) and get dirty cleaning the fridge out. It’s always nice to come back home, pick up some groceries, and fit everything neatly into your fridge. *Contented sigh*. Otherwise, wait until you have returned from your travels or are running empty on groceries. Rainy days help with staying inside and focused.

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Our ‘before’ photo. We agree, it’s a bit horrifying and very motivating. Let’s get on to the good stuff!

Step 2: Throw it out!
Remove all items from the fridge and take a look at each one for the expiration date. Old deli meat? Hard-boiled eggs from last week? The little bit of mayo left in an expiring bottle? Bin it. If you can’t remember when you opened the salsa jar or hummus dip, it’s best to throw it away.

Keep food safety in mind. This whole project should take about 20-30 minutes; it may be helpful to have a cooler handy for your perishable items, especially for raw chicken and meat.

Step 3: Interior Wipe-down
This is where one can get a bit obsessive over little rust marks and ensuring every little crevice looks the way it did when the refrigerator came off the assembly line. Set a timer for 20 minutes and get busy with a bit of dishwasher soap, hot water, and elbow grease.

Energizing dance music doesn’t hurt.  20150702_130030

Step 4: Exterior Overhaul
Take down carry-out menus, out-dated mementos or announcements, and thank you notes. Then give the outside surfaces and door handles a nice wipe-down. Pop on a few magnets and keep your favorite items on the fridge.

Congratulations! Wipe your brow, do a little dance, and bask in the glory of your clean fridge. You deserve it.

clean fridge obw

Strawberry Summer Salad

strawberry summer salad
 
We find having an idea and two (or more) minds coming together can create such delicious synergy. Our shared goal was to create a summer salad to enjoy on the back patio; what turned out was even better than expected. A friend brought over some strawberries, avocado oil and vinegars; we paired them with salad mix, nuts & seeds, and spices to create a masterpiece. Enjoy this strawberry summer salad along with some good conversation!

Serves 2
Ingredients
4 cups salad mix
1/4 almonds (sprouted)
1 cup strawberries (sliced)
1 cup carrots (chopped)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp avocado oil
Salt & pepper
Optional: add chicken and/or pumpkin seeds for additional protein sources

Instructions
Wash salad mix and rinse all vegetables. Soak almonds in water for a couple of hours if you want them sprouted, otherwise use them dry. Chop carrots, slice strawberries. Mix white wine, balsamic vinegars with avocado oil and drizzle over salad. Use a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
 

Singing the Sugar Blues

sugar blues

Sugar. It’s a common ingredient added into countless food items – from cereal and condiments to baby food and supposed ‘health foods’. According to the USDA, the average American is consuming close to their own body weight in pounds of sugar each year. This is not because of purchasing and eating the bags of sugar found in the grocery store baking aisle; it’s partially because sugar has many different names which makes it easier to be ‘hidden’ in various products created by the industrial food machines. It’s also because…

Sugar is a drug. Like nicotine, cocaine, or heroin, it is addictive and even considered poisonous by many health experts. Look up the definition of the word ‘drug’ and you’ll see sugar fits. It is a nutrient-less substance – so not only does it add extra calories, but it’s actually responsible for depleting the body of certain vitamins and minerals needed to break down and essentially ‘detox’ the sugar.

Added sugars are typically found in processed or prepared foods – sugar-sweetened beverages (which doesn’t just include sodas or juice, but some non-dairy milks!), breakfast pastries, dairy desserts, candy- to name a few. Naturally occurring sugar, such as that found in fruit, is not included as an ‘added sugar’.

Recommendations for added sugar consumption vary widely. The Institute of Medicine reports that added sugars should not exceed 25% of total calories consumed. World Health Organization takes a more conservative approach and recommends less than 10%.

Studies have shown that people who consume higher amounts of added sugar, especially sugar-sweetened beverages, tend to gain weight and have a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, unfavorable lipid levels (i.e. cholesterol, triglycerides), hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Blood sugar equilibrium is one of the most important keys to health.

Getting rid of sugar in your diet takes more than passing on dessert. It involves a multifaceted approach to being a ‘sugar detective’ and becoming creative in how we can healthfully live without it.

Are you ready to take the One Bite Wellness ’25 Sugar Detox Challenge’? Join us in revitalizing life and health by breaking the bonds that make us slaves to sugar. We will explore hidden sources of sugar, re-creating healthier home and work environments, understanding & combating cravings, and learning how to have delicious meals.

Recipe: DIY Almond Milk

Have you read the ingredients label for almond milk? Eek! It’s not just almonds and water, kids. Take a look at this common, unsweetened version:

Ingredients: almond milk (filtered water, almonds), calcium carbonate, sea salt, potassium citrate, carrageenan, sunflower lecithin, natural flavor, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin d2 and d-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin e).

Pshaw. Who needs all those additives? Here’s how to make your own. It’s easy, I swear.

Yields: half-gallon of almond milk

Ingredients & Equipment
1 cup raw, organic almonds
8 cups of water
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Strainer & cheesecloth
Blender
Optional: pure vanilla extract and/or natural sweeteners like stevia and maple syrup

Instructions

1. Soak almonds in 2 cups of water and salt for at least 3 hours or overnight.
2. Toss in a blender with 8 cups of water and run on high for about a minute, until it’s creamy and frothy.


3. Pour 1 cup of almond mixture through double cheesecloth-lined strainer and then use cheesecloth to squeeze into a large bowl. Repeat until all almond mixture has been transferred to bowl.

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Note: keep the almond ‘pulp’ and use it to make gluten-free almond flour or for smoothies. It would be a shame to throw this out.
4. Optional: for sweetened milk, put liquid back in the blender and add preferred sweetener (above).
5. Pour liquid from bowl into large jug or containers.

Lasts about 6 days in the fridge. Product will naturally separate; just shake it before serving.