Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

MIndset Tricks for Healthy Eating and Scheduling Joyful Exercise

Well, hi there! I have some great mindset tricks for healthy eating and scheduling hacks for joyful exercise. You have some crazy food cravings, right? Ice cream. Cheese. Bread and butter. And I’ll bet you lack sustained energy throughout the day too. You want to make yourself healthy salads and daily green juices, but they take too much time and then end up not tasting as good as processed foods, so you make them only occasionally. 

When you have free time, you spend it distracting yourself with things like social media instead of utilizing that time to exercise, prepare healthy meals or get a healthier variety of down time. You want more energy. You would like to use your extra time to take better care of yourself but it’s just easier to turn on the television or scroll Facebook. 





There are a few things you do need in order for to move the needle on your wellness endeavors. You need more nutrients than you’re used to. You need a more efficient kind of down time and a consistent, better quality exercise routine. And you need to make it doable and attractive in order to be consistent.

I’m going to show you how to break those cycles by adopting some new mindset shifts that will give you better results and new frameworks because without the right frame of mind you’ll stay in your old patterns and continue doing things that don’t work.

Follow me? Let me give you some examples.






Mindset 1

Rethink Your Budget for Healthy, Organic Foods

Paying for organics is a big hurdle for most of us. It sure was for me. Why is that? 

Most people spend a large part of their monthly budgets on prescription drugs, top dollar wine labels, designer brand alcohol and select cuts of meat yet balk at the extra cost of healthier, more flavorful, pesticide-free produce. 

Money is a highly charged topic, I get that. It has taken me over seven years to get used to paying more for my organic food. I initially resisted paying for anything organic and eventually I overcame that to the point where now, I very seldom buy anything that’s not organic, all natural and plant based. 

Think of it this way. It’s human nature as consumers to want to upgrade, not downgrade right? With that in mind you’ll find that once you commit to buying the highest quality food, you’ll instinctively want them more often to the point you won’t want to settle for less. It’s just like when you get spoiled by name brand purses or a luxury car.

Do Your Best, Until You Can do Better

Consistently stay the course and allow yourself to keep gravitating to better and better food. I’m to the point where instead of feeling pampered by a fine bottle of wine or imported cheese (no no’s for health conscious and challenged women), I feel pampered when I treat myself to a special food item or two each week. Like this week it will be giant California artichokes with a dipping sauce of lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, cumin, fresh chopped garlic, hot chili pepper flakes and olive oil. I might even add a big dollop of Best Foods mayonnaise for the artichoke heart. This type of treat is a weekly occurrence for me and signals rewards to the brain. Reward yourself in this way at least twice a week if not more. 

So how do you overcome these mental hurdles to get where you want to be. Let’s find some ways to expand your organic-shopping-comfort-zones.





Don’t Change It…Ex-Change It! 

In addition to rewarding yourself every week in order to not feel deprived, you will also adopt a new mindset not to ‘change’ your priorities, but to ‘ex-change’ them. By that I mean instead of buying wine, cows’ milk cheese, cows’ milk, beef, lamb and pork which are highly acidifying and no longer part of your new, healthy lifestyle you are going to replace them with some ah-mazing foods and treats! Again, you will do this in such a way that promotes enjoyment, so you won’t feel like you’re giving up anything. 

Instead of unhealthy, pasteurized cow’s milk you’ll have delicious, organic, all-natural almond milk. I buy two bottles of vanilla MALK brand raw sprouted almond milk at Whole Foods weekly. There is nothing artificial in it. It’s real food. You can also make your own at home with a Vitamix and nut filtering bags which is more affordable than buying it. I have a glass of Malk in the afternoon, often with organic, real maple syrup on ice and it has replaced my iced latte habit very nicely. It’s absolutely delicious and much more affordable than Starbuck’s! 

Instead of beef, pork and lamb you’ll eat anti-inflammatory wild salmon. Instead of cow’s milk ice cream, you will love Van Leeuwen’s delicious, oat milk ice cream. You can also make homemade coconut milk ice cream and top it with macerated blackberries or cherries in season. Mash the berries up to release their juices, add lots of lemon juice, plenty of pure organic maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and a tiny pinch of sea salt. You won’t believe the flavors! These are non-addictive treats but limit sweet treats to a few times a month. 

You are also going to do away with all the expensive skin care products you’ve been splurging on. No more fancy cleansers, toners, night creams or day creams. Surprise! You don’t need them.




Read the Labels

Unpronounceable ingredients are invariably chemicals and exposure to chemicals should be limited. Everything you do going forward is to increase your nutrient intake and clear out toxins on a daily basis. 

Skin care products that you buy, by their very nature must contain at least some chemicals like preservatives and binders. They have to have chemicals, or they won’t last on the store shelf. They would separate and become unstable. So, to avoid chemicals you’ll use natural items like pure castile soap, unrefined coconut oil, raw unfiltered honey (for patting facial massages) and cold pressed olive oil right out of your kitchen. I’ve been using them successfully for years. And this is definitely a mindset trick: with the money you save on expensive skin care products, wine, meat etc. you will now redirect yourself to healthier foods which are part of the best skin care program albeit internal, in the world. 

You’ll also justify the additional costs of organic foods by the fact that you don’t have expensive hospital, doctor and prescription bills. But in the long run the real justification isn’t cost, it’s how good you will look and feel. I see so many women with chronic illnesses swollen and toxic from prescription drugs, losing their mojo and my heart goes out to them. I want so badly to tell them what a joy this lifestyle is.





Mindset 2

Scheduling for Joyful Exercise

You won’t just have issues about the expense of organic foods. You will also most likely have to overcome mental blocks about the time it takes for daily juicing, salads and exercise. The truth? Making yourself green juices every other day takes less time than making a daily breakfast. And making a big raw salad takes about the same time as making a sandwich and side snack.

Food prep is a time trade off, so don’t expect to be spending more time preparing food unless you’re currently reliant on pizzas and fast food in which case just know in advance you’ll have to make gradual, sustained changes in your life. 

I’ll be brutally honest though, the time that’s required to maintain a healthy fitness level, meaning aerobic exercise and muscle and bone building exercises takes a commitment and mindset shift. I charted my own plan below with some exercise specialists’ input: 

Here’s what my own fitness practice looks like: 

Biking or rebounding- 20 minutes daily. Walking- 15 minutes daily (with my cocker spaniel companion, Riley). Weights and Abs- 45 minutes Monday, Wednesday and Friday (I don’t go to gym currently due to COVID). Yoga- 90 minutes Tuesday and Thursday. Optional tennis, hiking, kayaking on Saturday (totally joyful, fun, non-structured activities!) Rest on Sunday/ plus David, Riley and I take a 30 min. walk. 

So that’s a total of 1 ½ to 2 hours a day five days a week plus an extra credit, optional sixth day for unstructured activities. You’ll notice I only do Yoga twice a week. It is the most demanding time wise, as well as the most demanding physically and mentally. What type of Yoga you decide on is a personal choice, but I’ve been doing Bikram Yoga at home for about 25 years. I do the Bikram postures but opt out of the extreme heat because I don’t feel it’s healthy. Also, I have low blood pressure and it makes me faint.

We All Have the Same 24 Hours in a Day 

Remember at the beginning of the book when I talked to you about doing enough of the right things? Let’s explore that for just a minute. You and I and your cousin and your dog all have the same number of hours in every day. What sets us apart is how we choose to allocate those hours. You can choose to be a television watcher; or to travel extensively, providing it’s in your budget. You could also choose to watch three hours of television and scroll social media every day. Will you have the same wellness results as someone who chooses to use their three free hours caring for their mental and physical health? Of course not. No matter how busy you are, I know you can free up the time it takes to take care of your health. Your life literally depends on it.

How to Make the Most of Your Time 

What are the most typical time wasters? You probably know the answer to this. Here they are again: scrolling social media, watching television, binging on Netflix and puttering around the home or office without clear objectives. There’s more but you get my drift. 

How can you make the most of your time? This is my favorite scheduling trick from my business coach Tobi Fairly call Zero Time Balancing which she modified from Dave Ramsey’s financial budgeting concept. This tool and concept changed my life. I can honestly say without Zero Time Balance there is no way I could do what I do in a day. 

My Own Way to Schedule Exercise

I prefer to use my iCalendar, but you can use Google Calendar too. Google has more gadgets like highlighting and color sorting for types of tasks. The concept is that you block out every wakeful hour of your day. For instance, I rise at 6:00 and I go to bed at 10:00 so I chart everything in between in increments of .50; 1; 2 and 3 hours. I have a feature on my calendar that allows me to repeat the calendar every day, so I only have to adjust my calendar on days when I’ll be veering from the schedule. For instance, today I have a 7:00 pm meeting. Normally 6:00 to 10:00 on my calendar is for reading and down time but I had to alter it for the 7:00 meeting. 

My day is constructed in such a way that the transitions from activity to activity are as smooth and efficient as possible. For instance, I group chores, bike time, walking Riley and making my green juicing all between 8:00-10:00 am. Then 10:00 to 1:00 is content writing time for my business, like I’m doing right now. I work a solid three hours on content writing blogs, articles for other online publications, and posts of Facebook and Instagram. From 1:00-2:00 I have lunch and do a few little chores. From 2:00 to 4:00 is more office time, and at 4:00 every day I stop work and either head to the fitness center or to the upstairs loft to do my Yoga.

So, my calendar says that—Weights or Yoga. See how you can work with your calendar to keep you on track for your fitness and wellness goals. It takes some practice, but I promise you will love it once you see how great keeping agreements with yourself feels. It is the biggest self-confidence booster there is. Also, you don’t even have to think about what you need to be doing. Just check your calendar for instruction. And actually, your cell phone where your calendar lives dings when it’s time to begin a new activity.





Mindset 3

Utilizing Your Medical Practitioner to Get them on Your Team

I get it. We’ve deemed doctors as deities. And they are pretty awesome people. Is there a more noble profession than helping people with their health? Not in my book! But let’s look at your relationship with your doctor another way. They are an expert who you’ve paid to be on your team. Your team, not theirs. Not the hospitals. Yours. The sad truth is unless they specialize in it many doctors don’t have a clue about maintaining your health and even then, they may be woefully behind current science. I know! Hard to believe right? Diagnose and prescribe is great for acute illness or accidents but getting and staying “healthy”? That’s a different subject. 


Integrative and Holistic Doctors

Most small towns have at least one integrative or holistic doctor, maybe two. Most cities have a small handful. They are popping up everywhere, but they are still woefully in the minority. Finding yourself an integrative doctor doesn’t mean your old doctor is bad. It means that he or she is human. Likely they will catch up with these advances later, when they realize their practice is declining due to patients looking for more progressive care. Further, they are busy and often don’t have time to study new ways of treating patients. 

About Prescription Drugs

Most illness is chronic illness, not acute and medications do not “cure” them, only mask the symptoms and create more problems. Medications for chronic illnesses are a risk filled band aid with many potential side effects. But there is so much stigma attached to even questioning the effectiveness of doctors or prescriptions. And so many people look at medication as the Gold Seal answer to every health problem. Do you understand the difference between acute and chronic illness? You need familiarize yourself with those terms.

Some people with acute illnesses are actually kept alive by medications for years. And where would we be without pharmaceutical drugs for surgeries. These are valid uses, and I am so thankful for doctors, surgeons and prescriptions in those instances. They literally saved my life years ago. But believing or suggesting that medications are meant for a long-term wellness practice is ludicrous. Make sure you understand the difference.

Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not suggesting you go off any medications such as antidepressants, statins or insulin, cold turkey. That would be dangerous! What I strongly suggest you do is find not only a nutritionist for an hour or two consultation, but also a highly reputable integrative doctor. An integrative doctor is one who mixes holistic medicine with conventional medicine. Tell them you have been reading and doing research and you are interested in making lifestyle changes with diet and exercise: that you would like his or her help in decreasing and eventually eliminating altogether your prescription drug intake. If they are informed and progressive in how they treat their patients, they will support you in this goal. If not, keep looking till you find one who will.

Be Your Own Advocate

So, from now on, please let me encourage you to be your own advocate. Read the books, not internet news which is filled with contradictions and conflicts of interest. Doctors get paid by pharmaceutical companies to promote their drugs. Do you really want to fall prey to whatever Pfizer is promoting this month? Only to find out in two years it deteriorates your jawbone or causes suicidal thoughts or oopsy, this prescription doesn’t mix with that other one and you’ve been taking them together for six months. 

When you look healthy on the outside, it’s because you are healthy on the inside. Mother Nature is no dummy. You can’t take short cuts with your health by taking pills. They backfire eventually. You gotta’ walk the walk Mama. You will get back what you put in in spades, I promise! 

There you have it! These mindset tools will get you some real results. Just remember, only you can apply them to your life. Get started today, okay? 


Shiree's Pillars to Optimal Wellness


If you found this article helpful, please share it with someone who needs this support! I love helping my readers weed through the most efficient, joyful health routines available today. And hey, if you would more mindset tricks for healthy eating and scheduling hacks joyful exercise, then you will love my free download, 5 Pillars to Optimal Wellness.

In it you’ll get …


  • Effective principles and practices to look your best, feel great and enjoy vibrant, flavorful, healthy foods!
  • Fun and easy ‘detox’ methods, to elevate your mood and energy, and fend off disease.
  • Enjoyable exercise options with the flexibility and convenience you help you with follow-through! And more…


That’s it for today! Bye for now, Shiree’

Need a few tips on making your weekly grocery list a health filled powerhouse? Get my best salads; tips for making healthy food taste super good; food shopping tricks; my favorite plant-based meals; and more in my post, My Excellent Weekly Grocery List!

Soup’s On! Four of My Favorite, Most Flavorful Vegetarian Soups

Soup’s On! Today I’m giving you recipes for four of my favorite, most flavorful vegetarian soups.


An organic, plant-based diet with lots of colorful veggies (mostly raw) and dark, leafy greens is the ideal eating plan for maintaining your health and for treating almost every chronic illness. So many of us with haven’t figured out what that really looks like. How many salads can you eat in a week, right? How many raw veggies can you eat before you become bored silly? The answer is one to two meals a day, if you make them extra delicious. 
Having a big leafy green salad with plenty of raw veggies on top is one of the most delicious and easy ways to get your daily requirements of micronutrients and enzymes. It’s anti-inflammatory too. That’s great for lunch, but what about dinner? Do you
crave something warm and heavier than salad? Notice I didn’t say substantial. A big raw salad IS substantial. It’s just not as filling or comforting, nor does it stay with you as long.
With my way of preparing vegetarian soups, you’ll never be bored. Here are my favorite vegetarian soups and how to make them extra delicious.

The Secret to Making Vegetarian Soups Extra Flavorful

So, what’s the big secret to flavorful vegetarian soup? There are actually two secrets: fat and pink salt. But how do you get fat in a vegetarian soup? Think it’s an oxymoron? Nope. Allow me to introduce you to plant based fats.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is an excellent plant-based fat. It takes great and it’s safe to heat. Start all your soups and chili recipes by melting a generous portion of coconut oil in a large stock pot and adding chopped onion till translucent. In some dishes, like coconut milk ice cream you can really taste the coconut oil. Not so with most soups.

Pink salt

Pink salt (sea salt works too) has no anti-caking chemicals and reportedly more minerals. There are conflicting reports about the difference between pink salt and table salt with iodine added. I’ve read online reports that say there is no difference yet all of
the nutritionists’ books I’ve read insist pink salt is not only safe but actually has many redeeming qualities. I use a lot of pink salt in my salads. My doctor says it’s okay because my blood pressure is low.

Vegetarian Soups are Far from Boring!

Are you under the impression that vegetarian cuisine is boring or somehow limited? You would be mistaken. There’s a whole world of vegetables and only a handful of animals that are slaughtered for eating. Vegetarian cuisine can be hearty or light. It’s highly nutritious. It’s flavorful. And it’s a much kinder way of living. These soups are husband tested and approved but to be safe, plan for him a chicken breast on the side.

Use Healthy Ingredients

I’m including the brands I buy because they have no fillers, preservatives or dangerous chemicals like calcium chloride in them. I buy all organic ingredients. According to the experts books I’ve read; this is so important. But I realize buying organic takes a mindset shift.

Justifying the Cost for Healthy Soups

It’s not so much that we can’t afford organic produce. It’s that we prioritize different things like wine, beer, travel, a better car,
etc. The reality is either you spend the money on healthy food or on hospital stays later. It took me about five years to go from non-organic to partially organic to fully organic. Now I will do without many other things (expensive clothes, new household items, trips) before I skimp on food.
I don’t use recipes for my soups. As long as I start with hot oil and onion, I know the rest will fall into place.

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Corn tortillas, sliced in thin strips and fried in coconut oil. I like the organic ones by La Tortilla Factory. Food For Life corn tortillas are all natural too.
Coconut oil for sautéing onion and for soup base, about 4-5 T.
Pacific brand vegetable stock, about 24 oz.
Red bell pepper, chopped, about half
Pomi chopped tomatoes with juice, about 13 oz.
Victoria chopped mild green chilis with juice, 2 small cans
Kidney beans, about 2 15 oz. cans, rinsed
Plenty of mild red chili powder, about 1 ½ T.
Cumin, about 2 t.
Jalapeno, about ¼, seeded and chopped
Small package frozen organic white corn roasted or unroasted (it’s important to buy organic because corn is a big GMO crop).
Red onion, about half, chopped
Garlic, about 4 cloves, chopped
Lime wedges
Red or green cabbage, sliced thin
Coyo or Cocojune all-natural coconut milk yogurt (Delicious and healthy in place of sour cream!)
avocado slices
Place coconut oil in large stock pot. Sautee onion till soft. Add spices. Toss for a few minutes till absorbed. Add beans and mild chilis. Stir to coat. Add stock and tomatoes. Simmer on low about 15 minutes.
In heavy skillet, fry tortilla strips till almost brown. Watch so they don’t burn. Transfer to paper towels to blot excess oil.
Add pink salt and additional oil at the end of cooking for more flavor is desired. I use olive oil at this point, but you can stick with coconut oil if you prefer.
Top with cilantro, cabbage, tortilla strips and lime. You’re gonna’ love it. It’s “Souper” flavorful!

Vegetarian Posole

This special recipe has been adapted by me for a vegetarian diet. It’s originally from the Ann Burch, previous owner of the Side Street Café, Los Olivos California, courtesy of my longtime friend, Karen Langley Stevens, Santa Ynez. (Karen has passed away since the initial publishing of this blog post.)
32 oz. Pacific brand vegetable stock
Coconut oil
1 med. yellow onion, chopped
2 T. mild chili powder
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 to 7 cloves garlic, chopped
1 to 2 T. cumin
1 to 2 t. Mexican or Greek oregano
2 16 oz. cans Juanita’s Mexican style hominy, rinsed
3 T. cornstarch mixed with ¼ C. water
Smokey hot chipotle powder, ½ t.
Chopped radishes, Pico de Gallo, tortilla strips, chopped green cabbage.
In a large stock pot, sauté onion in coconut oil till soft. Add chili powder, cumin and oregano. Stir till coated. Add pepper, garlic, hominy. Stir for a few minutes till pepper is softened and hominy is coated. Add stock and chipotle powder. Simmer till gently boiling. Add cornstarch and water.
Simmer gently for fifteen minutes. Top with garnishes. Posole is super delicious and filling without the meat. I like to serve mine with my homemade cornbread and honey.



Vegetarian Minestrone

You are in for a treat. Even if you’re not a minestrone fan, you’ll most likely love this one after a few bites.
28 oz. fire roasted tomatoes
4 T. coconut oil
32 oz. Pacific brand
vegetable stock
½ package Penne or Rotelli pasta
1 16 oz. can each black, kidney and navy beans, rinsed
1 oz. package dried porcini mushrooms, minus a little
3 stalks celery, chopped
½ large yellow onion, chopped
Pink salt
1 C. chopped, fresh spinach
Sautee onion and celery in coconut oil till soft. Add tomatoes, beans, stock and dried mushrooms. Then add pasta and simmer pasta according to package directions. Last, add spinach and simmer five minutes or until softened. The addition of the porcini mushrooms is incredible. Super hearty vegetarian soup.

Vegetarian/Vegan Thai Coconut Curried Carrot

Wow, super good soup! You will love this. Unless your guy is an advanced eater, he probably won’t like this one. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying this. I based it on a soup I had from the food bar at Whole Foods. Try both and see which one you like best!
Red Thai brand red curry paste, to taste (I do about 1 ½ t.)
Mild Indian curry to taste, (I add about 1 ½ t.)
Coconut oil, 3 – 4 T.
Coconut milk, 1 14 oz. can (full fat)
2 ½ C. Pacific brand vegetable stock
½ onion, chopped
5 lg. carrots, peeled and chopped
Hot chili pepper flakes
Fresh ginger, chopped fine
Cocojune or Coyo all-natural coconut yogurt
Sautee onion in coconut oil in large stock pot. Add carrots and stock and simmer 30 minutes.
Puree in blender. Return to pot and add coconut milk, ginger, curries and pepper flakes. Simmer a few more minutes and stir.
Garnish with lime juice and coconut yogurt. Super flavorful! Try not to get curry on your hands. The smell sticks with your hands for two days!
Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoy these soup recipes as much as I (and hubby and son) do!

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That’s it for today! Bye for now, Shiree’


Need a few tips on making your weekly grocery list a health filled powerhouse? Get my best salads; tips for making healthy food taste super good; food shopping tricks; my favorite plant-based meals; and more in my post, My Excellent Weekly Grocery List!