healthy

All posts tagged healthy

Staying Healthy During COVID19 Lockdown

Published April 15, 2020 by Maryanne

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One of my salad dishes with homemade dressing of raw buckwheat honey, coconut aminos, and apple cider vinegar.

When I go to my Facebook feed, I see many friends are turning to comfort foods during the COVID19 lock down; especially since many are raving that now they have more time to cook. I see types of dishes I love like pastas, pierogies, and even homemade pizzas.

But where are the greens? This is the time we should up our intake of green food to keep our immune system strong.

I get it. Sometimes there are slim pickings at the supermarkets. It seems like the produce section is usually the first to clear out. We need to get to our favorite stores as soon as  shipments come to get not only what we want, but what is fresh.

And during these unpredictable times, our moods can fluctuate from, “I got this!” to “When is it going to end?” or something in-between. One day we’re ready as warriors, able to face the world and tackle the grocery shopping. Other days staying in confinement is just fine because the outside is scary. People walking around with masks, six feet away from each other. It’s not natural. And it can be depressing.

The thing is, our diets don’t have to be depressing. Sure, indulge in a treat, but make it once a day, if that. The rest of your meals should be something that’s giving you energy and contributing to your positive attitude.

For me, I feel it’s easy to get the health stuff out of the way first thing in the morning. That’s when I like to work out, take my supplements, and make a fresh smoothie. I’ll always have frozen organic fruit in the refrigerator, for those days when I can’t get to the supermarket. Since COVID19, I’ve been trying to limit it to once a week, during a time where I see as little people as possible.

In my smoothies, I’ll add greens. It could be anything like a handful of kale, parsley, or an avocado. A great add-in is moringa. I’ve been using the powder for years! It has so many health benefits, including fighting against bacterial diseases–which is especially important during this time!

I’ve been intermittent fasting during COVID-19, so a smoothie holds me over until I have food at lunch time, which is usually a raw salad with nuts. At night I might have a pasta dish, or another salad, depending on how active I was during the day.

There are many fun recipes on line, so eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, now is the perfect time to learn something new. Perhaps you might find yourself creating some delicious dishes that are good for you? Let me know, below, if you’ve found yourself hooked on something healthy!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

Love

Published July 9, 2019 by Maryanne

Facetune (4)

Photo of Dennis and Maryanne by Jayne DiGregorio (https://www.jaynedigregorio.com/)

This year is my eighth year married to my husband, and 14 years together in total.

We are still so in love; still in the honeymoon stage. This is not something I just realized, nor is it something I take for granted. It is real, and we are blessed.

As an independent woman who wasn’t in a hurry to get married, I knew from our first date my husband was “the one.” What made him different than others were three things: 1. He was supportive of my career. 2. He’s not a jealous type. 3. His love for animals and music. These were the top three things on my list for love and I wouldn’t settle for anything less.

But then, there is so much more, as we continue to live, learn, and love. I can honestly call my husband my best friend. Around him I feel safe because he loves me unconditionally. Around him I feel growth because there’s never dull conversation I’m seeking to avoid. Around him I feel entertained because together we are fun, funny, and never boring! Around him I feel happy because from day one, every single night we’ve spent together, we wake up with a smile on our faces. Around him I feel deep because our shared thoughts are always that way.

We both have incredible energy and are always up for a fun time.

We both love our kitties with all our hearts and miss them when we are far from home.

We connect on the four major levels: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

And we miss each other when we are apart, even if it’s just for a few hours.

We’re amazing people and we deserve each other. Together we attract the greatest friends too. We collect other rock ‘n’ roll couples to share the good times. Even our single friends are unique people we adore! We’re in our own little world with the select few, and we love it!

This is why I say to all people — men and women alike — do not settle. Wait for the one who is worth waiting for. I met my husband later in life and never gave up on the fact that I’d meet my special someone; my forever person.

When I was young, in my 20s, I had this theory, that whoever was in unhappy relationships (settling)… if they would just leave, that would open up the door for the right person to show up.  And that, I did!

I was told I was “fickle” and “too picky.” And the most insensitive (and WRONG) was when someone once said, “You think you are too good for anyone, that’s why you are single.” No, I was just waiting for it to be RIGHT before I got married.

Love is not something that happens on command, in your ego’s time. It happens in God’s time; or the time of the universe or a higher spirit. When you wait, you reap the all the beautiful rewards a relationship has to offer. As time goes on, your love continues to grow. It doesn’t disappear or fade, as some may suggest if you are with the right person.

There we are, the middle-aged couple happily holding hands. Someday we will be the old couple happily holding hands. And that’s all I ever wanted, someone to grow old with.

My biggest dream came true! ❤ Thank you, Dennis, my forever love!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books (in which she mentions Freddie Mercury in both, and how he inspired her as a child, teenager, and still today!):

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Asparagus Christmas Tree

Published December 26, 2017 by Maryanne

DSCF1199Asparagus Christmas Tree

At our yearly Christmas party we always have “naughty” and “nice” food tables. But just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean it’s not delicious! Guests loved my asparagus Christmas tree, which was easy and incredibly tasty. I got the idea from a woman’s magazine, but their version was a bit bland, so I truly made it rock — my way!

Here’s how:

Stir fry, in olive oil, a bunch of asparagus, along with diced red peppers, shallots, and lemon pepper to taste. Cook to your liking. (I did it about 5.5 minutes, so it’s still crunchy).

Add white balsamic vinegar and chill.

One hour later, arrange asparagus and peppers to resemble tree.

ENJOY!

(Suitable for most diets/lifestyles).

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta is an award winning journalist and has written for several health publications and had her own health column “Here’s to Your Health.” She’s available for Healthy Foodie Library Lectures. Contact at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Soft Skin Scrub

Published September 27, 2016 by Maryanne

sam_1359Soft Skin Scrub

Winter is on it’s way and now is a great time to start prepping. You can make your skin super soft with this wonderful recipe.

Mix the following:

Two cups sea salt

10 drops Orange Young Living Oil

Base of one cup coconut oil

Rub in circular motions all over your skin. Shower.

You’ll feel super fresh, clean, and your skin will be its softest ever!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a writer and public speaker. She gives many lectures on health in libraries throughout New Jersey. She is also a Young Living distributor. Contact Maryanne at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

UjENA Swimwear, Now and Then

Published August 7, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_0869Age 52

Several months ago I won a $100 gift certificate from UjENA: https://m.ujena.com/

I don’t know how this company slipped off my radar over the years, because their swimsuits are truly the best! I should know, I’ve been buying them since I was in my early 20s. And now, just 11 days short of 53-years-old, I’m still a fan!

The suit is comfortable, classy, and age-appropriate. Today at the beach my husband couldn’t keep his eyes off me. He kept saying, “That’s a great suit!”

You too can be the belle of the beach with UjENA! You deserve it! ❤

And now for a little retro action, here I am in 1986, age 22, wearing my UjENA suimsuit!

SAM_5900Age 22

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513

Healthy Pasta Alternatives at William E. Dermody Library, Carlstadt, New Jersey

Published April 7, 2016 by Maryanne

SAM_9882Cold sesame noodles made with Dreamfields pasta

Last night I had a blast presenting my lecture “Healthy Pasta Alternatives” at the William E. Dermody Library (http://carlstadt.bccls.org/) in Carlstadt, New Jersey.

We had a great turn out, including my sister!

The next “Healthy Pasta Alternatives” lecture will be presented Saturday, April 16, 2016, 1 p.m. at the Fairfield Library, Fairfield, New Jersey. To sign up, call 973-227-3575. The lecture is free, but you must call to sign up.

SAM_9885Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, former lead market editor DiningOut

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Here is the synopsis for “Healthy Pasta Alternatives”

Pasta: A Healthy Staple Food

Pasta, a typical dish of unleavened dough of a durum wheat flour, has been a traditional Italian staple, dated back to 1154 in Sicily.

It can be presented in a variety of shapes and made with flour from cereals or grains, and eggs. It’s a simple dish that can be served hot or cold, varying in taste, color and texture.

Discover how pasta evolved and changed over time – from a small simple item to an elaborate culinary dish.

Learn about the nutritional value of pasta, which contains complex carbohydrates, essential nutrients such as iron, vitamin B and folic acid. And depending on the flour, may also be a good source of protein.

Gather information about healthy pasta options such as: brown rice noodles, soy noodles, seaweed noodles, buck wheat noodles, squash pasta, and more!

This presentation will include a cold pasta salad made with one of the healthy noodle alternatives.

For cost and availability, contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the former editor of New Jersey Health & Fitness and former lead market editor of DiningOut (Bergen/Hudson County edition).

Favorite Healthy Eats in Ocean City, New Jersey

Published October 10, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8693Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

My husband and I treated ourselves to a beautiful three-day stay in Ocean City, New Jersey. We scored a penthouse suite overlooking the ocean with a heated pool and a jacuzzi in the room (we absolutely adored the place, but I’m not saying where we stayed because we love our privacy and do plan to go back — very soon!)

So, while being vague about our actual vacation, I will give a shout out to some places that had great eats!

Crab Trap: https://www.thecrabtrap.com/

The Crab Trap, after a 45-minute wait for a table, was a very good time. They had live entertainment and excellent service. Standouts include the crackers and horseradish on the table (very addicting!) and the clams on a half shell.

Yoasis: http://yogurt-oasis.com/

Right on the boardwalk! The signature Original Acai bowl was to die for: pure acaí, banana, almond milk blend, topped with granola, sliced banana, and honey. This is so delicious, after the first one I went back three hours later for another — and added spirulina the second time. I’m only home one day and I am missing this already! (And again excellent service!)

Rojos Tacos: http://www.octacos.com/

Wanting something simple and healthy, I opted for a large serving of guacamole. Theirs was fabulous. It was made with cilantro. Another place with excellent service!

Bashful Banana: http://www.bashfulbananacafe.com/

Also on the boardwalk. I love this place because I was able to get lunch for breakfast! I had a veggie burger with hummus, salad and fresh fruit; and a kale/carrot/celery juice. Delicious, fresh food and more great service! We ate outside, but when I went inside, it was super cool to hear The Archies playing “Sugar Sugar.”

And I have to give a shout out to Pamela’s (health food) in Margate: http://www.pamelashealth.com/

Pamela is a doll! I just stopped in for some zinc because I was a little under the weather. We ended up talking about cats for about 10 minutes! So I must say, they have some organic cat food I wasn’t able to find anywhere else. And you just can’t take a vacation without bringing a treat home to the little guy! ❤

Why the Word “Moderation” Has Got to Go!

Published July 19, 2015 by Maryanne

motivational-tipsKeep at it!

When it comes to health goals, the phrase “everything in moderation” has got to go. Would you tell an alcoholic to drink in moderation? Would you tell a diabetic to consumer sugar in moderation? To get from point A to point B you have to be extreme and say “no” — and sometimes for a very long time. Maybe forever. If I did things in moderation, I wouldn’t achieve such great health goals — I’ve freaked out more than one doctor in my lifetime with my health success by being an extremist.. So, don’t talk to me about “moderation.” You ain’t gonna win.

Now, this post isn’t about healthy people going on vacation and bringing food into their hotel rooms because they’re afraid to eat at a restaurant. This post is about people who have a health goal — whether it’s reversing diabetes or losing weight. If you’re serious about something, you gotta stick to it until you get to where you want to be.

As followers know, I’ve been doing the paleo diet for over a year now. For the first few months I was pretty rigid in it. During those first months, I developed fab abs (in my 50s!) and was able to raise my blood pressure to “normal.” That thrilled me because all my life my blood pressure was “too low.” Doctors said “too low” was better than “high” — but for me, I like to be perfect. I also impressed the ladies in the front office at my dentist. They thought I had my teeth whitened! No, my teeth got whiter from eating paleo!

But like anything else, when you’re feeling good and happy, you start to slack off. I’ll never forget, it was around Halloween when I had my first fun-sized bag of chips after four months of avoiding them. They just didn’t taste the same, but I ate them anyway. Then came Christmas and like everyone else, I indulged. Of course the little belly came back, but the blood pressure stayed normal because I was able to get right back into eating paleo. The paleo lifestyle is a win/win because it’s one of the few lifestyles that is so easy because you’re never hungry. The reason you’re never hungry is because you’re feeding your body with beautiful nutrients from good fats (grass-fed butter, avocado and coconut oil). So, now at this point I was eating about 80 percent paleo but also some grains.

 Now, if I didn’t know a thing or two about health/nutrition, I wouldn’t have had my own health column in The Patch online. Nor would I have had the opportunity to present lectures on the paleo diet at local libraries. (You can see this awesome article about me that ran in the Observer: http://www.newjerseyhills.com/observer-tribune/news/caveman-diet-discussed-in-long-valley/article_225401a6-6fcd-5968-8968-355e730c439a.html?mode=story

This week, I got into a sweet groove again after buying a package of paleo coconut wraps. I started making avocado/tomato sandwiches with them and also putting some extra grass-fed butter into my bulletproof coffee. Still not 100 percent paleo, but because of the extra fat — I noticed I lost about three pounds in a matter of a few days! The belly was going down again!!

My mistake was sharing this on Facebook.

Leave it to a “joy stealer” to come along and shoot me down. (NOTE: I coined the phrase “joy stealer” to define this sort of asshole: When someone is speaking positively of something they love, whether it be food, their husband, their career, etc. and another person shoots it down, it’s called “stealing joy.” And that is not a live-and-let-live mindset. If you do this, shame on you!)

A woman who drinks three yeasty beers with her lunch had the nerve to tell me “Everything in moderation. Fat is unhealthy.”

It cracks me up. People can drink like fish. Smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. Go to McDonald’s on a regular basis. Put chemicals on their hair. Avoid exercise. No one bats an eye. Then because I had an avocado in a coconut wrap — I have to hear, OH MY GOD I gotta watch my fat intake or I’m gonna die!!!

It’s pretty silly, right? I first said that back in 2004, defending my raw food diet (which is pretty close to paleo, actually … ever since I became paleo, my raw food intake increased dramatically). On day after a minor surgery, before I was self-employed and was still working in an office, I was eating a pineapple for lunch because pineapple is great for healing.

A snooty woman turned her nose up at me, scrunched her face, did the Elvis lip thing, and whined, “You’re gonna eat ALL THAT?”

But she never ever questioned the man who had three slices of pizza for lunch ever day. And she never questioned the ladies who had buckets and buckets of Chinese and Mexican take-out — not once ever making a fresh salad.

No, no, no … it’s the HEALTHY PERSON that people are skeptical of!

Thinking about all this, I came to the conclusion that people who say, “Everything in moderation” are those who feel guilty about their own shortcomings like the yeasty beer chick.

So, before you act like a JOY STEALER when you see someone eating 100 percent raw, or paleo or vegan … or doing the Master Cleanse … Don’t be an asshole and shoot down their goals with the ultra ridiculous “moderation” comment. Let people be and come to their lovely place on their own time. “Moderation” will always be around. Your health, maybe not.

SAM_7938Healthy me!

Thanks to grass-fed butter, coconut oil and avocados — consumed daily!

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta is an author and public speaker. She is available to present the lectures “Paleo for Beginners” and “Eat Well During the Holidays.” Will travel. Email Maryanne for pricing and availability: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Maryanne is also the author of “Love Cats” — a romantic/erotic fiction story that takes place in the 1980s and is definitely not for the moderation-minded! “Love Cats” is available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/

Celebrating Mom and Pop Health Food Stores

Published May 15, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7343Basil Bandwagon (Photo by Maryanne Mistretta)

I took a much needed day off today and went on a little adventure and ended up, for the first time at two amazing health food stores I was never in before! Big Bear Natural Foods (http://www.bigbearnaturalfoods.com/) in Pennington, New Jersey and Basil Bandwagon (http://basil-bandwagon.tumblr.com/) in Flemington, New Jersey.

Basil Bandwagon has been around since 1993 and Big Bear since 1971 (with locations in Pennsylvania too!)

Since the mid-1980s when I first became health conscious, I was all about supporting the local health food stores. Back then, they were a real novelty. You go to the Mom and Pop stores and find amazing items you couldn’t find elsewhere. Then fast-forward to modern times and now all the big corporations like Shop Rite, Stop & Shop, A&P sell the goods, even the goods you’d least suspect: grass-fed beef, Miracle Noodles, kombucha and non-homogenized grass-fed milk. And that is a good thing, but not for the Mom and Pop stores. So I like to continue supporting them as much as possible.

The thing with Mom and Pop stores though is that they do jack their prices up, so my game plan is to look for sales or very unique products that are not yet in supermarkets.

Both stores went beyond my expectations!

At Big Bear I purchased Brad’s Kale Chips which were on sale. These raw chips are my favorite, but extremely pricey. So kudos to Big Bear for having a sale!

Then at Basil Bandwagon my favorite score was Nick’s Sticks (http://www.nicks-sticks.com/), grass-fed beef snacks with no nitrites, no added antibiotics or MSG (and no sugar either, I might add). These treats were absolutely delightful! As a little girl I favored Slim Jims (an unhealthy treat) and I gave them up in my early 20s learning how bad they were for you. Nick’s Sticks is the first grass-fed beef snack I ever had that was just as fabulous as Slim Jims — but they are GOOD for you. With 10 grams of protein, a fairly low sodium content for a snack, zero carbs, zero grams of sugar and nine grams of healthy fat — you can’t go wrong! This brings me back to the day of eating beef snack sticks on the porch, reading comic books, while my Grandma and Aunt Sophie chatted. What a great thing to have a healthy version of a favorite childhood treat!

And I’m ecstatic to say, the service at both Big Bear and Basil was excellent!

At Big Bear, the woman who helped me went out of her way looking for other health food stores in the area to help me find a product I was looking for. That’s how I came upon Basil Bandwagon, which was huge — possibly the biggest health food store I was ever in, including those in NYC. They had a counter where I ended up having a bean burger without bread. They put it on a huge salad platter, accompanied with fresh salsa. The greens were super fresh too. They had Bragg’s amino liquids on the counter and balsamic vinegar, as well as pink Himalayan sea salt. It’s so nice when health food stores go the extra mile for you and you don’t have to ask for stuff. Everyone in the store was extremely helpful and I spent a lot of time there.

You can guarantee I will be back at both health food stores

(Even though they are not in my area, they are well-worth the trip!)

And I gotta be honest too. Even though I’m a Young Living Oils distributor, I do LOVE a diffuser that was being used at Big Bear by a company called NOW. So I will be going back to get that diffuser. (No disrespect to Young Living, but hey, you gotta love my honesty! I still spend over $100 a month on Young Living products and always will. I’m just madly in love with that diffuser. Tee-hee!)

KUDOS to TWO AWESOME MOM AND POP HEALTH FOOD STORES!

YOU GIVE NEW JERSEY A GOOD NAME!

SAM_7349Looking forward to eating my Sea Snax!

Live Kombucha Soda

Published May 6, 2015 by Maryanne

Live kombuchaLive Kombucha Soda Series

I think I’m in love!

I’ve written in the past about my love for kombucha. Today I discovered, Live Kombucha Soda (which is really kombucha with evaporated cane juice, stevia and natural flavorings). It’s a fabulous treat. I had the “Pure Doctor.”

According to the label, the founder had a dad who was a soda addict so he wanted to create something healthy and tasty.

I look forward to trying the Cola and Limon flavors.

I found mine at Stop & Shop in Clifton, New Jersey. If you go to their website, you can put in your zip code and find out where they carry it in your area: http://livesodakombucha.com/