Alia Crum, PhD is this genius of a human who has cracked the code on "mind over matter." Dr. Crum researches the placebo effect and how mindset influences human experiences.
In one study, she measured ghrelin - the "hunger" hormone - after research participants drank milkshakes. One group was told that their milkshake was indulgent while the other group was told their milkshake was good for them. Ghrelin was lower in the group that thought their milkshake was a yummy treat, meaning that they were more satisfied by it than the other group.
In another study she conducted, Dr. Crum educated housekeepers at a hotel that their job was physically exerting. Prior to that conversation, the housekeepers really just thought that everyday they went to work, not that their work was exercise. After their mindset shifted, they lost weight.
If thoughts can change hormones and promote weight loss, what else can they do? Can changing your mindset be the piece missing from your wellness plan?
Could your thoughts be the root cause of your dis-ease?
If you have an autoimmune disease, how you can mute your inner critic?
If you suffer from constipation, what do you need to let go of?
If you have acid reflux/heartburn, what are you forcing yourself to swallow? What are you not saying/expressing?
If you have heart disease, how can you free the emotions you have repressed?
If you have eczema/psoriasis/acne, what experience have you had that you need to talk about? That thing you went through that's trying to get out?
If you experience any physical symptom, what mindset do you need to adapt to change it?
To watch a 5 minute video from Dr. Crum, follow this link.
I love me some dinner in a bowl.
One of my favorite memories from traveling in China was eating with a bowl of rice in one hand and chopsticks in the other, serving myself bite after bite of spicy green beans and crispy tofu. There may be fewer chopsticks in my weekly meal plan, but the principle of rice paired with a few flavorful dishes has persisted.
This recipe highlights my favorite things about summer eating: seasonal veggies and lots of herbs. Shop at the farmers market for the best ingredients.
*Soaking whole grains for 6-12 hours provides two nutritionally beneficial gifts:
1) It starts breaking down phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that has anti-cancer properties, but also binds to zinc and other minerals in our food, prohibiting their absorption in our digestive tract, and
2) It shortens the cooking time by almost 50%! That means you might be more likely to choose brown rice and other whole grains over their refined counterparts. To soak: Measure your rice into a large bowl or saucepan and cover with 1-inch of water. Cover and leave on your countertop for up to 12 hours. Longer soaking is fine, but you'll want to rinse and refresh your water after 12 hours and/or move the soaking mixture to your refrigerator.
**Soy is one of the most heavily engineered crops in the US, making buying organic soy products a priority.
With meatballs and a good broth, a simple and delicious soup is steps away from perfection. This recipe brings together ingredients of my favorite Thai wonton soup in a gluten-free and Paleo fashion.
For this recipe, you will need:
This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled for the freezer. Plan ahead and leave out the Mediterranean spices (bay, basil, etc.) of a broth recipe, swapping cilantro and ginger in instead.
Makes 2 servings
Shrimp + Pork Meatballs
These meatballs can be easily frozen for a quick weeknight meal.
Makes 8 servings
Assembling Wonton-less Soup
For each person, serve:
Make this recipe and post a pic! Tag @jessehaasnutrition on Facebook or Instagram.
Recipe from Vegetarian Times
I've been holding onto this recipe since it was published in 2009 and just finally got to making it today. I LOVE green burritos. I wish to the vegetable gods that they weren't so painstaking to make. I feel so fresh and nourished when I eat them.
I ate my first green burrito in Nevada City, CA with my bestie. It wasn't too different from this version, actually: sweet potato puree and lots of ginger (always a winner). We used Swiss chard for our wrapper, stuffing thinly sliced carrots, bell pepper and cucumber in for a veggie-packed meal.
This recipe can be used to build a formula for green burritos of the future:
Ginger-Miso Yam Wrap ingredients (serves 4)
For the complete recipe, go to the Vegetarian Times.
One step I would encourage you to add to the instructions is blanching the collards before wrapping the filling in them. Collards are dense, bitter greens that are awesome for detoxification and hormone balance, but not super duper pleasant to eat raw. Blanching them for 30 seconds or so has no negative impact on their health benefits, while promoting greater enjoyment of the meal. Insert this step after instruction #2.
For a greens-blanching and green burrito-wrapping tutorial, check out my colleague Amber Hanson's Instagram highlight on the topic.
Word to the wise: double or triple this recipe. A) It's delicious and you'll want more, and B) maximize the time you spend blanching and wrapping.
I love food.
I love thinking about it, talking about it, writing about it. I love growing food, cooking and eating food. I use this space to try to convey that. Follow me on social media for more day-to-day inspiration on these topics.