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September 2012

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This recipe is dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

I had made a large batch of pearled barley the other day and after using some of it in a soup, I still had a lot left over and wasn’t quite sure what I could do with it. Since beets are in season right now – and are antioxidant superstars containing compounds that fight inflammation and help neutralize toxins making them easily flushed from the body – I was inspired to create a roasted veggie barley salad. Since I had already cooked the barley, this dish was quick and easy to put together for a weeknight meal.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cooked barley (room temperature)
  • 2-3 beets with stems and greens
  • 1 lb. baby brussels sprouts
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 lemons, halved crosswise
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus 2 Tbsp. for sautéing
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425° and place a rimmed cookie sheet in the oven while it’s preheating.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the stems and trim the bottoms of the beets, then wrap each beet with foil.
  3. Trim the stem ends of the baby brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Place in a bowl and toss with 2 tbsp. olive oil, salt & pepper.
  4. Once oven is preheated, turn prepared sprouts out onto the hot cookie sheet along with foil-covered beets and halved lemons, cut side up.
  5. Roast for 20-25 minutes. Beets may need longer depending on size – check for doneness by piercing largest beet with a knife, if it goes in and out with ease—they’re ready, if not—remove sprouts and set aside and continue cooking the beets until done.
  6. While beets, sprouts and lemons are cooking, rinse beet greens and cut the greens away from stems then slice into ribbons. Chop garlic and sauté for about a minute in 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the beet greens and sauté until wilted, about 5-7 minutes.
  7. When beets are cooked, let cool slightly and remove outer skin. Dice into bite-size pieces.
  8. Finally, in a large bowl, combine barley, diced beets, sautéed greens & garlic, roasted Brussels sprouts and toasted walnuts. Squeeze roasted lemons over the salad and add salt and pepper to taste.

This entrée salad is delicious served at room temperature and although it may seem slightly involved, if you can get an extra hand in the kitchen it can be ready in no time. I added the leftovers to fresh greens the next day with just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon for a lunch-ready meal!

Happy Fall Eating!

Holly

It’s hard to believe, but LiveWholeBeFree.com launched over a year ago already! In the past year, this blog has served as a resource for people looking to make healthier choices on a day-to-day basis as well as long-term, providing health, fitness and nutrition tips as well as recipes and motivational insights. Through teaching group exercise classes and now through personal training, I meet so many people with so many questions as they each embark on their own unique fitness journey. LiveWholeBeFree.com is a place that everyone can go to learn more about how to make that journey the most fun and successful as possible. I’m proud to say that in the past 14 months, it has turned into so much more.

Not only does Live Whole Be Free’s (LWBF) blog serve as a wonderful resource, but we are now also offering personal training sessions in the Dallas area, online nutritional consultations, all-natural, chemical-free products such as deodorant and laundry detergent (coming soon) as well as…well…you’ll have to wait a couple weeks for the next announcement. Get excited—it’s a biggie!

Also noteworthy this year, LWBF welcomed Vegan, foodie, athlete and healthy mom Holly Alexander, who has contributed some amazing blog posts. Look for more from her in the next 12 months as she pursues her Personal Training Certification!

With all of this growth, we’re celebrating with a brand new website! Our new site is now much more than just a blog. We’ve rolled out the initial new layout, but plan on incorporating many new exciting features over the next several months.

Most importantly, I want to send a very sincere thank you to all of Live Whole Be Free’s friends, family, followers and supporters. Your support for me and my healthy lifestyle along with the desire to become healthier yourselves is what got LWBF rolling and what continues to allow it to flourish. I can’t put into words how appreciative I am of everyone’s love and support. There are some amazing things in the works, so please stay tuned! Also, if there is more of something you want to see/hear/read, please let us know!

These past 14 months have been so much fun! I’m so excited about what the future holds for us and of course, for you! If you haven’t already, but sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for motivational quotes, nutrition facts/tips and boot camp updates, product releases and more!

Live Whole and Be Free dear friends!

Melissa Villamizar, Founder of LWBF / Certified Personal Trainer / Certified Group Exercise Instructor

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, grain-free and vegetarian.

When shopping at my favorite local farm in Austin, I picked up a few baby eggplants and asked one of the farmers for recommendations on the best way to cook these beautiful little gems. She suggested to not cook them at all, but to slice them raw into thin slices to best enjoy they’re sweet, light flavor. Wanting to balance the sweetness of the eggplant, I paired them with quick-pickled onions and arugula for a slightly sour and spicy contrast.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2-3 baby eggplants, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, pickled (see Quick-Pickling recipe below)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 10 oz. washed arugula
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Quick-Pickling Recipe

  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 allspice berries (or ¼ tsp. ground allspice)
  • 5 whole cloves (or ¼ tsp. ground cloves)
  • 1 small, dried chile pepper

Directions for Pickling

  1. In a small, non-reactive saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, salt, seasonings and chile until boiling.
  2. Add the onion slices and lower heat, then simmer gently for 30 seconds.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  4. Transfer onions and liquid into a far and refrigerate until ready to use.

seasonal summer salad eggplantDirections for Salad

  1. Rinse quinoa and cook according to directions. Let cool.
  2. Toss arugula, eggplant, pickled onion (along with 1 tsp. pickling liquid), quinoa and oil in a bowl.
  3. Add salt & pepper to taste.

I made this salad part of a satisfying meal by serving it alongside baked sweet potato fries. For an extra flavor and protein boost, add shavings of parmesan cheese before serving the salad. Using local, seasonal ingredients like eggplant and arugula are a great way to ensure your getting the most nutrition and flavor from your produce, not to mention the environmental advantages of buying local!

If you like this recipe, try our Grilled Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad.

Happy Eating!

Holly

Many of you have reached out to me with such amazing, positive feedback from our all-natural, chemical-free deodorant line and we want to thank you for that feedback! We are thrilled with the results and effectiveness and even more thrilled that it’s working for you too! We’ve decided to put a short post together containing tips, tricks and what to expect for using the all-natural deodorant to help you further enjoy the experience. Enjoy!

  • If possible, do the 3-day tea tree oil detox to rid your body of toxins from commercial anti-persperants such as aluminum zirconium.
  • If the product melts, mix the product to redistribute the ingredients, then stick in the refrigerator just long enough for the product to resolidify, then use and store at room temperature. This will not impact effectiveness. Because coconut oil is one of the main ingredients, it will melt in the heat and solidify in cooler temperatures. Be sure to travel with it in a ziplock bag to prevent leaks. If the product is very cold, you can take a small amount out of the jar with your finger and hold it in your armpit (arm closed) until it begins to melt. Use and store at room temperature.
  • The deodorant is best applied using your finger. I recommend using a small amount. I use an amount smaller than the size of a dime.
  • Ladies wearing tank tops—after applying, check your armpit to ensure the product is fully absorbed. If you see anything white, just brush your armpit and the white will brush right off or rub into your skin. If you’re not wearing a tank top, you don’t have a reason to be concerned.
  • Ladies that shave—if you experience any stinging after shaving and then applying the deodorant, try shaving in the evening instead, then waiting to apply the deodorant until the morning.
  • Irritation—if you experience any irritation, I suggest trying several things: 1. Make sure you didn’t just shave your pits.  2. Reduce the amount and/or frequency of use of the product and the irritation should subside. 3. Try using a different scent or try the Sensitive Original (unscented), as sometimes people can have sensitivities to essential oils. 4. Try our Sensitive Advanced formula, which does not include baking soda, which can cause irritation in some people. UPDATE 12/6/15: I have been using this deodorant every single day for over 3.5 years. I have only experienced 2 small and brief periods where I had some irritation under my arms. It was easily remedied by using the Advanced formula for a couple weeks, then I went right back to the same scent I was wearing before without issues.
  • This is a deodorant, not an anti-persperant. We want to sweat. Sweating is a natural body response and helps to eliminate toxins. Some people have mentioned that at the beginning of making the switch to all-natural deodorant, they were sweating more than usual. They have also reported that this is only temporary, and the results were fantastic! I actually sweat LESS now with this deodorant (not an anti-persperant) than I was before.
  • If the deodorant dries out at all (this can happen if it leaks/spills or is kept in a hot place) just add a touch of organic sunflower oil and remix. Voila! Good as new!

Hopefully those tips and tricks will help you as you embark on your chemical-free deodorant life! We can honestly say we love this product so much, we will never go back to store-bought brands! I wore commercial anti-persperant for 15+ years before doing the 3-day detox and making the switch. I have tried a couple of other “natural” deodorants in the past such as Jason’s and Tom’s brands, but neither of them worked at all for me. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who has told me either of these brands have actually worked for them. How they are still on store shelves is beyond me. The deodorant is the only thing my husband and I have worn for years now. My husband loves and it, and he’s not nearly as “crunchy” as I am!

Buy it on Etsy!

Peace, love and healthy bodies,

Melissa

This recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and dairy-free.

This recipe is one of my favorites from CLEAN by Dr. Alejandro Junger. The halibut is light but filling and the zucchini, lemons, olives and rosemary add a unique and refreshing touch! And best of all, it’s EASY to make!

Notes

  • Recipe yields: 2 servings
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 12-15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 (5-ounce) portions of halibut
  • ¼ cup of pitted, halved kalamata olives
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary (or thyme if you prefer)
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced in discs (skin on)
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Parchment paper cut into two 12-inch circles (if you do not have parchment paper, use a covered ovenproof dish)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 425°F.
  2. Brush each parchment sheet with olive oil.
  3. Place one piece of halibut in the middle of each sheet and season with sea salt.
  4. On top of the fish, first place three slices of lemon, then three slices of zucchini, then top with a sprig of rosemary.
  5. Sprinkle the olives over the top and drizzle with olive oil.
  6. Pull the sides of the parchment together like a calzone. Fold paper over and crinkle together to seal.
  7. Place each package on a baking tray and place in the lower third of the oven.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes. The paper will puff up and brown lightly.
  9. Remove from oven and place on plates to serve. Open packages at the table and enjoy!