Tag Archives: nutritious america

Central Park’s Edible Urban Garden is Ripe for the Picking

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

Living in an urban environment one can frequently go for long periods of time without getting intimate with nature. Maybe even a lifetime. It is rare to see urbanites digging in the ground or planting a garden. And when envisioning a Mecca of wild edible plants, most likely a concrete jungle does not come to mind.

Think again.

As it turns out, Manhattan’s Central Park is home to more than 100 species of wild edible plants. Edible and free!

It takes an expert in what is called foraging, searching for food sources, to point out which species are edible and which are not. I met a foraging expert this Earth Day, his name is Wildman Steve Brill. He has been offering foraging tours of Central Park for nearly 30 years.

I joined Wildman for one of his four hour Central Park tours where around 30 participants plucked plants right from the ground and popped them in their mouths, and sampled flower buds off of a low hanging branch to savor their flavor profile. Spring is the season of greens, and small budding flowers. In four hours we all consumed plenty of wild greens and small budding flowers. (more…)

3 Crap Excuses For Not Getting Healthy Destroyed!

By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com

On one’s journey to wellness there is knowing what to do and then there is actually doing it. Between the knowing and the doing is a great divide that is filled up with a variety of elements that prevent the “doing.” Mostly, it is filled with excuses.

I have heard them all, but through the years there are a few that religiously resurface over and over and over again.

#1 I don’t have time

Yes, I know we are all extraordinarily busy. Life is moving at a rapid pace these days and it oftentimes seems nearly impossible to have a minute to breathe, never mind a minute to steam some kale. Seriously, a MINUTE to steam some kale. Listen, we all have issues with time management, but that’s all it is, management. Give yourself the greatest gift ever, drop all that you are doing and invest just 10 minutes in a healthy activity. Drink a glass of water, plan a weekly menu, stand up and do some squats. When faced with a time challenge it is within you to manage it. Healthy does not mean slaving away in the kitchen for hours each day. Fit does not mean spending an hour in the gym every day. Begin with a 10 minute commitment each day and fill it with 10 minutes of nourishment. Gradually you will see that healthy activities actually grant you more time. It’s magical. As you feel better you have more focus and energy to do better. (more…)

Spring Cleaning? Don’t Neglect Your Freezer

By Abra Pappa For Nutritious America

Although my brain thinks it is time for spring produce we are still some time away from asparagus, leeks, artichokes, and other glorious spring goodies. This “in between” growing season is the perfect time to tackle that freezer.

If your freezer is like most I’ve seen it is a virtual wasteland of “good intentions.” We fill our freezers with the best of intentions to get to that which was purchased or prepared. Containers of soups, stews, chili, organic chicken, grass fed beef, mom’s meatloaf and aunt Susie’s Christmas fruit cake are all lovingly packed in and frozen to be quickly forgotten.

It is estimated that 40% of all food produced in America is thrown away. That is nearly 1400 calories per person every day that is wasted! How much of your hard earned money is thrown away with freezer burn?

This spring spend just a bit of time to re-evaluate your use of the freezer and try these tips to keep your freezer food fresh all year long. (more…)

Hungry for Change Leaves Viewers Utterly Satisfied with a Healthy Lifestyle

By Karen Sherwood for NutritiousAmerica.com

Last week nearly half a million people tuned in to see the free online premiere of a new documentary, Hungry For Change. Happily, I was one of them.

Hungry For Change challenges your perception of food, diet, wellness, sickness and happiness. This film is a must see for every person old enough to eat and conscious enough to care.

It is narrated by a team of wellness warriors, namely Kris Carr, Christiane Northrup, David Wolfe, Jason Vale, and others who gently push the film along by highlighting the urgency to change what you eat and how you live. They call for a new hunger, one for real food and self love.

The film follows the daily routine of a struggling thirty-something career woman whose lackluster routine and poor food choices fail to support her. Her routine is all too familiar as she throws away the remnants of last night’s dinner; pizza box, tub of ice cream, and liter of diet soda, only to find herself filled with self loathing, and body rejection as the new day begins. We connect with our heroine’s food regret, and self consciousness. As the film progresses we become emotionally invested in her struggle and desire for change.

The message of the film is quite clear; there is no diet, pill, surgery, or quick fix that will bring you true everlasting health. Health is so much more than fitting into your skinny jeans, it is in fact, a new lease on life. (more…)

Healthy Across America on a Budget: The Nutritious America Road Trip

By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com

3000 miles, 8 days, and 500 bucks to get across the country. Could you do it?

Last week my business partner (and best friend), Karen, and I embarked on an adventure across the country to see if it was possible to eat healthy in as many states as we could for as little money as possible.

For nearly a decade Karen and I have been counseling clients on the benefits of a natural, organic, whole food diet. Our company, Nutritious America, works to inspire people around the country to lose weight and clear up various health problems by changing how and what they eat.

In our work we tend to hear a lot of the same “issues” from clients about their struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Topping the list is, “It’s too expensive” and, “Healthy food is not convenient or readily available.” It was time Karen and I put these “issues” to the test.

We have both lived in large urban environments for over 15 years, where healthy food is readily available. I have a farmers market literally 3 blocks from my apartment, not to mention multiple juice bars, organic restaurants, and a Whole Foods Market all within walking distance. Is healthy food expensive? It depends on how you look at it. I spend money on food. I spend money on healthy food. I live by the philosophy, “pay the farmer today or the doctor tomorrow.” I choose to spend my money on food rather than expensive clothes, shoes, or bags. It’s a choice I make. However, I have always firmly believed that healthy food should be affordable for all people in this country. Is it possible to eat healthy and not break the bank? Is healthy food readily available in small towns across the country?

We wanted to find out. This was clearly just a small sampling. In 8 days we stopped in 8 different cities and had less than $30 per day per person for food. (more…)

Abra Pappa’s Plate for National Nutrition Month

Each time I prepare a plate of food I see it as an amazing opportunity to build layers of functional ingredients that work to keep me at my optimal healthy best.

My plate, seen here, is filled half full with a raw kale and chia seed salad, dressed with cold pressed organic olive oil and lemon juice, to the left is baked dijon salmon atop roasted garlic millet. This was my dinner the evening before a long flight. I wanted to be sure that I had immunity boosting foods on my plate (kale, lemon for vitamin C and roasted garlic), and mood boosting and anxiety reducing foods (because I don’t love to fly). (more…)

Reduce Cravings with Tongue Scraping

By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com

There is a science behind food cravings, and I don’t use the word “science” lightly. It is an honest to goodness, white-lab-coat-Bunsen burner-protective-goggles science. Food “scientists” know exactly what it takes to create a food that is “crave-able.” They research and experiment and come up with specific addictive qualities or additives that food must contain in order to rank as a food that you will keep reaching for.

Salt, sugar, and fat, or chemical products that taste buds recognize as salt, sugar or fat, are key flavors that enhance a foods crave-ability.

When you eat, food residue or food particles can be left behind on your tongue. When those particles mix together with the bacteria in your mouth a coating or film is created. This coating “feeds” our craving mechanism. For instance, if you eat a fast food hamburger on a Monday, on Tuesday you may find yourself thinking about that burger again. This is not a sign of poor “willpower” or an “inability” to eat healthy food, rather it can literally be your tongue coating that is sending a signal to your brain that you want more of the food that has been left behind.

This is one of the key reasons fast food restaurants advertise to children. They know when a child “develops a taste” for their food at a young age they become life long customers.

Furthermore, when your diet is full of processed “food-like” products that are loaded with extra fat, sugar, and salt your taste buds suffer and become desensitized. Desensitized taste buds are greedy little buggers, requiring more and more food for you to feel satisfied, as satiety is signaled by flavor.

Enter the tongue scraper. (more…)

No-Tox “Botox” at Home with a Kale and Brazil Nut Pesto Recipe

By Abra Pappa for Nutritious America

Skin is the body’s largest organ working in partnership with the liver, kidneys, and colon to remove waste and toxins from your system. Wrinkles, blemishes, clogged pores, acne, and poor skin color or tone are all the result of the body’s elimination process not functioning properly.

If you are struggling with dull, blemished skin and looking to achieve a dewy, youthful glow you are closer than you think. Take a few steps into your kitchen and get to work!

Yes, what you eat absolutely affects what your skin looks like. You can certainly go out and spend hundreds of dollars on potions and lotions, but if you aren’t nourishing your skin from the inside out you are fighting a losing battle (and wasting a ton of money in the process).

Let’s get cooking. Here is a recipe for amazing skin rejuvenation that is jam packed with essential skin-beautiful ingredients. I recommend adding this to your weekly meal plan and as spring blooms you will have the youthful glow you are looking for.

For optimal beautiful skin health focus on these four nutrients (and the foods they are found in): (more…)

Switch Hands During Meals or Snacks to Prevent Mindless Eating

By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com

Have you ever sat in front of the TV with a full pint of ice cream and before you know it your spoon is scraping the bottom of the container, yet you have no memory of tasting beyond the first five bites? Or, how about that full bowl of popcorn that you were just going to have a few nibbles of, why is there nothing but salt and butter residue on the bottom of the bowl? How did it happen? How did you go from knowingly consuming a few bites to unknowingly finishing the entire thing? This, my friends, is mindless eating. Mindless eating is one of the biggest dietary pitfalls that keeps you trapped in an unhealthy relationship with food and your body.

Mindless eating happens for a variety of reasons, from eating out of boredom to eating out of sadness. The eating functions to block an uncomfortable emotion and as its name suggests it happens without any awareness at all, it is of course, mind-less.

Mindless eating is best addressed with a good healthy dose of mindfulness. Bringing a sense of mindfulness to all instances of eating can literally stop the compulsion in its tracks. Geneen Roth, New York Times Bestselling author and weight loss guru, says it best, “Awareness and compulsion cannot coexist.” As we begin to tap into awareness, or mindfulness, eating compulsion can begin to subside.

As it turns out, tapping into mindfulness can be as simple as the ‘ol switch-a-roo. (more…)

Throw a Dip Party for Super Bowl Sunday

Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com

I am not a sports fan… but I do love a great football movie (like Rudy, oh I cry and cry). I imagine that’s what the actual game feels like to sports fans? Regardless, I am a healthy food advocate and I know what goes on at Super Bowl parties. The food is typically a wasteland of processed, packaged food, filled with weird chemicals and fake flavors, and of course tons of unhealthy fat, sodium and sugar. I don’t want to spoil your Super Bowl fun, I want to increase it. After all, wouldn’t it be better to eat food that gives you tons of energy to emphatically scream at the TV screen all the way through the fourth quarter?

I love the idea of hosting a Super Bowl dip party, snack-y food that you can continue to munch on throughout the game. Just don’t tell your guests they are healthy dips, that’s your little secret. So put down that pre-made grocery store dip (food-like-product) and walk away from the shelf.

Here are some healthy dips and dipping agents worthy of an endzone dance. (more…)