May 2016 - Julie Green and Keen
I love encountering individuals who are eager to learn about a vegetarian lifestyle and make a change.  Last night at the restaurant I had the opportunity to chat with a couple that has just decided to embark on their vegetarian lifestyle journey.  They asked me for some helpful hints to get through the difficult first couple months.  With spring quickly approaching and BBQ’s and soccer games around the corner they were concerned about vegetarian options.  Luckily for them I have quite a few helpful hints.

Deciding to become is a big diet and lifestyle change.  There are times when it will seem impossible, but once you find your strength and keep pushing forward there is not turning back.  Here are a few tips that helped me “keep on trucking” and create a healthy lifestyle for myself.

1.    Don’t expect everyone to embrace your new lifestyle change initially.  My parents thought I was crazy when I told them I was making the change, and now they eat a primarily plant-based diet.  During the first couple months my friends and family would taunt me with my past favorite meals with meat making it a game to see if I would crack.  I stayed strong and soon everyone came to realize this was something I was doing to better myself and I wasn’t going to back down.  Stay strong!

2.    There will be times when you crave a dish with meat in it, and when that happens just watch one of the wonderful documentaries out there about the factory meat industry.  I am sure that craving will pass.  Documentaries are a great way to find inspiration to make change and find your strength from within.  Educate yourself!

3.    Try new fruits and vegetables.  There are so many it shouldn’t be hard to try a new one every week incorporating it into a new recipe.  I can’t stress enough that even “ugly” fruits and veggies taste wonderful.  Don’t overlook certain types just because you have never tried it before or it looks ugly.  Dive in head first and see what you like.

4.    If you are not a chef, take a vegetarian cooking class.  I took a class in my first couple months of becoming a vegetarian and learned so much and met a great support system.  Working and having fun with likeminded people is a great way to discover some new recipes and new friends.

5.    Eat what is in season and go to the farmers markets.  Going to the farmers markets is not only a way to get your groceries, it is an experience in itself.  Become friends with the farmers and really find out where your food comes from.  I also suggest planting your own garden.  It is such a satisfying feeling cooking a meal with all your own fresh yields.

Making a lifestyle change doesn’t have to be that hard.  Find a good support system and make a promise to yourself, you’ll be half way there.  If you have any other questions about become a vegetarian, I would love to answer them for you! :)

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Last month at Liam’s birthday party one of his good friends mothers hung around for a little bit when she dropped her son off.  It had been a while since we chatted about something other than the boy’s school or crazy nonsense.  We were talking about gardening and growing different plants.  She had recently been adding turmeric to her foods because of all the wellness properties and encouraged me to as well.

I had heard of turmeric but never really gave it much thought.  I don’t think I have ever used it to cook or as a wellness supplement in recipes.  I am sure somewhere in the back of my spice rack I have a bottle of the dried stuff lurking.  After listening to my friend rant and rave about this plant, I had to do a little research for myself.

Turmeric contains anti-oxidant, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic, AND anti-inflammatory properties….man, there are a lot of good “anti’s” there.  Turmeric also contains curcumin, a power substance that has been linked to cancer prevention.

Curcumin has been shown to slow the growth of preexisting cancer tumors and destroy cancer cells.

On top of all the “anti’s” and cancer prevention, turmeric also can relive arthritis, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, reduce the risk of heart disease, liver detoxification, reduce cholesterol, reduce weight gain, regulate insulin levels, reduce cramping, and strengthen the immune system…just in case you needed any more reasons to consume turmeric.

After my research it was clear that I needed to consciously start adding turmeric to my diet.  Instead of digging around in the back of my spice rack I decided to go out and buy some fresh roots, I found some at my local Whole Foods.

I had an idea how to prepare this root but wasn’t 100% sure so I jumped back onto the internet.  I found that peeling it and either slicing, chopping, mincing, or grating it works depending on the recipe.

I found countless recipes to add turmeric to like: smoothies, green juices, marinades, sauces, dressings, pots of rice, homemade veggie burgers, added to tofu scrambles, stir fries, in soups and stews, and so many more.  It is clear that turmeric can be added to just about anything.

I made my first turmeric added soup this afternoon and can’t wait to try it tonight.  I am surprised I haven’t experiment with this fabulous and healthy root before.  Do you use turmeric in your recipes, what are your favorites?

Go Green and Stay Keen,


Have you tried Turmeric?

by on 5/09/2016
Last month at Liam’s birthday party one of his good friends mothers hung around for a little bit when she dropped her son off.  It had been...