Feature: Alaina Muckell

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2012 was the year I took ownership of my health, and it all started with having a health coach. After three months of working with my dear friend, Alaina Muckell, I transformed the way I view food. Alaina is an incredible inspiration, she may be slight in stature but she is a powerhouse.

I asked her to share a little about who she is in her rawest form, what she is up to, and some things she loves.

Here is what she had to say:

I’m here to move people in a positive direction… to help create a vibrant community of educated women who realize they have a say in the future of their bodies. I’m here to help women take control of their lives by education. I’m here to shout from the rooftops that disease doesn’t just happen, as a lightning bolt would strike only the unlucky. I’m here to inspire and to educate. I’m here to help women discover that there’s no ceiling for helping themselves.

Right now, I’m really loving homemade dance parties as a form of exercise. I’m really focused on the thought of living an authentic life, where you shed the things that hold you back, and create new paths that make sense to your heart and intuition. I’m embracing the fact that you must listen to your body and forgive yourself. Also, I love December because it’s pomegranate season. I’m devouring those little red jewels by the fistful!

Find more about what she is up to: www.believerinfood.com

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Post Juice

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I can now see the allure of a juice cleanse.  I was expecting to feel hangry (hungry + angry) but instead I felt clear, well fed, and my actions were direct.  I had a graceful day.

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By only drinking juice I was able to look at the food choices I habitually  make, and think if they were the most powerful choices I could make.  The day of juice also was like a space holder, a clearing, a way to think mindfully about what I wanted to put in my body the next day after this work.  Just like when you clean your house… you want to keep it that way as long as possible.

Probably the best part about the experience was how I woke up the next day: refreshed & alert.  The difference was this: Instead of coming home eating dinner and then a little bout of random snacking until close to bedtime.  I came home, drink cashew milk and that was it.  My body had time to digest before I went to sleep, so there wasn’t this extra energy spent digesting while I was resting.

A day is not long, but it was long enough for me, especially in the winter.  I look forward to the next cleanse, whenever that may be.  And until then I am continuing to enjoy a green juice a day.

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Juice

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photo-30I am doing a juice cleanse tomorrow, for just one day… taking it slow.  I love food too much.  I never thought I would drink only juice between my waking and sleeping hours.  I figured if you have a healthy diet, that should be good enough.  And I still believe that, but I am realizing there is always another level of health for me to explore.  Something shifted, so I must be ready and in the right place to have 6 juices to sustain me throughout my Monday.  I’m a little concerned about my energy level, so I will be munching on carrots & apples if the juice isn’t enough.

After being a part of a month long detox tele-class I began to understand the vast benefits of giving your digestive system a rest so your body can clear up the gunk and arrive in a balanced state.  My intention is to create space in the internal workings of my body so I can enter this holiday season of parties galore grounded and centered.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

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I’ve bent thinking about this a lot lately, what did the 8 year old me love?

Dancing, playing with my brothers, hanging out with my friends, playing outside, being with my family, making art, sneaking cookies, laughing, running to the ice-cream truck, hanging upside down, campaigning for a dog, and making myself beautiful with whatever make-up I could find.

What would that little girl think of the grown up me now?

What did you love to do?  Are you still doing it in some way?

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What’s for Dinner?

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I was talking with my sister-in-law about the challenges of getting dinner together during the week.  I can’t even begin to think about what to make for dinner after a long day, but I do great when I spot a recipe I want to make and bookmark it on my computer and in my brain.  Today for lunch I made a recipe that came through my inbox (I love those – it is half the battle) and it was delicious.   It was quick, easy, light & healthy.  I can foresee it being a staple Tuesday dinner.. Plus, it felt nice to take a break from meat & dairy which I had a bit too much of over this weekend.

The Leftovers ^

Serves 4

1/2 pound fresh or dried udon noodles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium red onion, sliced into half-moons
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
2 tablespoons mirin (optional) * I didn’t use and it was fine
2 cups water
3 tablespoons miso (see tip)
4 cups chopped kale * (I used baby bok choy)
2 teaspoons soy sauce, or to taste * I actually didn’t use any of this                                                                                                    Instead I added some spicy garlic sauce for some added flavor

 

 

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the udon according to the package directions. When done, drain and rinse with cool water until ready to use.
  • Meanwhile, preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and mushrooms in the oil for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are softened but still have some crunch. Add the garlic and ginger, and saute for another minute.
  • Add the mirin, water, and miso, and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the kale. Toss the mixture around with tongs until the kale has wilted. Add the noodles and use a pasta spoon to stir them into the broth for about 2 minutes.
  • Divide the udon and vegetables among bowls and spoon some broth over each serving.

 Tip: In this recipe, use a strong, dark miso. If you are using a light, mellow miso, you may want to add another tablespoon or so.

Recipe from Vegnomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.

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