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Rustic Marinara Sauce

Whether it’s whole wheat spaghetti, rice penne, shirataki noodles, or spiralized zucchini almost everyone loves a bowl of “pasta” topped with tomato sauce. Sadly, most store bought sauces are full of sugar and preservatives. But, why buy from the store when making your own tomato sauce is quick and simple. This Rustic Marinara sauce is delicious, and it only takes about 1 hour to make. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week and frozen for 3-4 months.

I love this recipe because it is hearty and full of vegetables. Roasting the vegetables, rather than cooking them down in a kettle, adds a caramelized flavor that sets this sauce apart.

No matter what you put them on, homemade tomato sauces are full of nutrition. Tomatoes contain lycopene, beta carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and folate among other vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Cooking tomatoes makes lycopene more available to the body, so enjoying a homemade tomato sauce is a great way to get this nutrient into your diet.

Rustic Marinara Sauce

  • 2 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 pound yellow squash, chopped*
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine or water, if desired
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Combine tomatoes, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, onion, garlic and basil in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Place all ingredients on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
  • Roast vegetables in the oven for 10 minutes, stir and roast and additional 10-15 minutes until vegetables are soft and caramelized.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.
  • Place 1/2 of the vegetables in a food processor or power blender and process until smooth.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of wine or water to mixture and pulse to combine.
  • Remove to a bowl and add the remaining vegetables to the sauce and stir to combine.
  • Use over pasta, spaghetti squash, spiralized vegetables or on top of bruschetta.
  • Store extra sauce in the refrigerator or freezer.

This recipe produces a chunky sauce, so if you like a smoother sauce simply purée all of the roasted vegetables to your preferred consistency.

*If you are not a fan of yellow squash, try adding 3/4 cup of chopped carrot instead. Actually, feel free to experiment with any vegetables of your choice. I like spinach and eggplant in this recipe as well.


Eat a Rainbow – Go Green

Last week I introduced you to the idea of “Eating a Rainbow“. As a brief review, eating the rainbow means consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables from 5 different color groups to ensure you get all of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients you need to keep you healthy.

This week we are exploring the GREEN group of fruits and vegetables.

Green fruits and veggies are loaded with health enhancing compounds including:

  • Lutein-an antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation, fight cancer, and protect the eye from damage from the sun, blue light, cataracts, and macular degeneration
  • Folate-also known as vitamin B-9, an important factor in red blood cell formation, health cell development, treating depression, and preventing birth defects
  • Vitamin K-a vitamin necessary in the clotting of blood
  • Isothiocyanate-a group of phytonutrients that help fight the effects of carcinogens, cancer causing agents
  • Chlorophyll-a powerful antioxidant
  • Insoluble Fiber-helps support a healthy digestive system

It is important to remember that some vitamins, minerals, and other compounds found in these fruits and vegetables can interfere with certain medical conditions and medications, so it is best to talk to your medical professional about which green fruits and veggies are safe for you to include in your diet.

Fruits and vegetables in the green color group can help prevent cancer, reduce inflammation in the body, support healthy digestion, promote eye health, and boost the immune system. They are a delicious addition to your daily diet and add 1-2 servings per day can help ensure you meet the minimum daily requirement for 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Check out these recipes designed to help you add more green to your diet:

Bok Choy and Radish Coleslaw

Brussels Sprout, Kale, and Mango Salad

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Bok Choy and Radish Coleslaw

A member of the cabbage family, bok choy, is a leafy green vegetable loaded with vitamins A and C, minerals such as folate, iron, and calcium, as well as phytonutrients.

Less bitter than kale and more flavorful than collard greens, bok choy, can help: prevent cancer, reduce inflammation, strengthen bones, and support eye health.

Bok choy goes well with most types of Asian foods, especially stir fry, and makes a a terrific substitute for cabbage in slaws and salads.

Bok Choy and Radish Coleslaw

  • 1 pound baby bok choy*, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound daikon radish, peopled ams cut into matchsticks
  • 1 bunch red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup mint, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup basil, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 6 Tablespoons soy sauce**
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Combine bok choy, onion, daikon, red radish, mint, and basil in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the lime juice, mustard and soy sauce in a blender. Blend on high. While the motor is running, slowly drizzle in the oil until it is fully incorporated.
  3. Pour the dressing mixture over the vegetables and toss to coat.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
  6. When ready to serve remove from the refrigerator and drain excess liquid.

*You can use Napa cabbage in place of bok choy

**You can replace soy sauce with tamari or fish sauce

Serves 4


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Focus on Whole Foods (and I don’t mean the store)

A diet, or more specifically a healthy eating lifestyle, that focuses on consuming primarily whole foods is the best way to ensure a healthy mind and body.

  • Eating foods in their natural, unprocessed state has numerous benefits including:
    1. increased intake of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
      decreased intake of refined sugar, saturated fat, and additives/preservatives
      increased variety of food choices that leads to more enjoyment in eating
      reduced risk of diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes

    So, what exactly is a “whole food”?

    A whole food is defined as a food in its natural state, with all of the vitamins and minerals intact. A whole food is minimally processed before it is consumed.

    What are some examples of whole foods?

    Vegetables and fruits – raw, sautéed, lightly steamed, roasted, baked, or boiled

    Avoid: Juices, canned veggies and fruits, fruit leather, jams/jellies

    Lean Protein – If you like meat:chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, lean beef, lean pork. If you prefer a vegetarian option: beans (lentils, pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas), nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc), and seeds.

    Avoid: Canned meats, jerky, bean or nut flours, bacon, hot dogs, deli meat, cheese

    Whole Grains – Quinoa, whole oats (steel cut, rolled), brown rice, bulgar wheat, spelt, kamut, buckwheat, wild rice, barley

    Avoid: anything with flour, breads, pasta, noodles, baked goods, chips, tortillas

    Healthy Fats– nuts (raw, lightly roasted), avocados, olives, seeds (flax, chia, pumpkin)

    Avoid: butter, margarine, nut flours, nut milks, processed/hydrogenated oils

    The above list is fairly simple and gives you just the basics, but it is a good guide to get you started down the path to adding more whole foods to your clean eating lifestyle.

    Now that you have some idea of what whole foods are, I challenge you to devote 1 day this week to eating only whole foods. Focus on getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein (vegetarian and/or animal based depending on your preference), some whole grains and healthy nuts or avocados.

    Have fun, try new things, notice how your body feels, enjoy eating!

    Until next time, have a happy healthy day.

    Ready for more nutritional guidance and support? Sign up for our nutritional coaching program and learn how to build healthy nutritional habits that will last you a lifetime!

    Click here to find out more. You’ll be glad you did!

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    Do You Need a Nutritional Boost?

    If the winter season has you feeling a bit tired and run down, you may need a little nutritional “pick me up”.

    Eating a diet with plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates is the best way to make sure you are getting all of the nutrients you need to stay healthy and energized. But, if your diet is lacking, you may need to supplement with a multivitamin.

    My favorite is PureTrim’s Daily Complete. Daily complete provides you with 243 vitamins, minerals, and other great stuff in a delicious liquid. Just 1 ounce each day can help assure you are getting the nutrients your body needs to be its best.

    Order your bottle of Daily Complete today! Your body will thank you!

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    Good Nutrition Can Get You to All of Your Goals

    No matter what your goals are this year: financial, career, relationships, or physical, good nutrition is a key step in achieving your goals. After all, how can you take action toward your goals if you are feeling sick, tired, and stressed out?

    Good nutrition provides the nutrients you need fuel your brain, give you energy, and keep you alert and focused on the the steps you need to take to reach your goal.

    Nutritional coaching can teach you how to eat to perform at your best mentally and physically. The better you perform, the faster and easier you will reach your goal.

    In nutritional coaching, you meet with your coach to assess your current nutritional and dietary situation and determine the next step in becoming a little bit better by introducing small achievable changes that, over time yield measurable results. With nutritional coaching you can stop dieting, learn to eat better, and be more focused and energetic.

    At Achieve Wellness, our clients meet with their coach via video conference or messenger once a month to discuss progress, identify challenges, and collaborate on what steps to take next. In addition, clients receive daily lessons and tips to help them stay on track. Coaches monitor progress and provide feedback as necessary throughout the process.

    Because I want you to achieve all of your goals this year, I am offering a special new year rate for the month of January!

    I am offering our 1-on-1 nutritional coaching program for $150/month (reg. $175/month) AND I am throwing in the initial consultation free of charge, that’s a $50 savings!

    Space in the program is limited to 10 people and at this price spaces will fill quickly, so don’t wait!

    Take a few minutes right now to fill out our new client survey and get on the path to reaching your goals in 2019!

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    Give Your Liver Some Post-holiday Love

    The liver is the largest internal organ.  It is responsible for a multitude of functions including: the regulation of glycogen stores (that’s your energy storage), protein synthesis, the production of hundreds of hormones and enzymes, regulation of cholesterol levels, and the removal of toxins and heavy metals.

    With a healthy liver you feel energetic, strong, focused, and in tip-top shape. 

    The holiday season can take its toll on your liver. Alcohol, fatty foods, sugar, over-processed treats can and caffeine can overtax our liver, leaving us feeling less than our best.

    So what are some signs of a toxic liver?

    1. Fatigue – We all get a little tired now and then.  But, if you are waking up every morning feeling tired, drained, and more exhausted than the day before, an overburdened liver could be to blame.
    2. High cholesterol – The liver regulates the production and elimination of cholesterol. The liver is in charge of it’s production and it does a good job of it.  However, we try to “help” the liver do its job when we eat foods high in saturated fats and triglycerides. When we ingest too much cholesterol the liver cannot filter it out of the blood fast enough and it builds in our arteries.
    3. Digestive issues – Liver aids digestion by producing a variety of enzymes necessary for the breakdown of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.  When the liver is not functioning properly it can result in abdominal bloating, indigestion, gas and bowel disorders.  The inability to lose weight is also a side effect of a sluggish liver.
    4. Blood sugar issues – If you frequently feel irritable, confused, or slightly nauseous if you wait too long between meals or if you have signs of high blood sugar, your liver may be part of the problem.  The liver regulates the storage and release of glucose into the blood.  Release too little and you feel weak and shakey.  Release too much and blood sugar levels rise leaving you feeling thirsty, tired, and at risk for diabetes.
    5. Weak immune system – The liver supports the immune system by storing lymphocytes and killer cells which protect against dangerous invaders, and heals wounds by making the clotting factors in your blood.  If you get sick easily the cause could be a toxic liver.

    A toxic liver can also cause mood changes, premature aging, foggy thinking, and stiff, achy muscles and joints.

    Some of these ailments can be caused by more serious conditions so if you have one or more of these symptoms it might be best to visit your doctor for a checkup.

    However, if you have an otherwise clean bill of health you may just need to detoxify your liver.

    How to detoxify the liver

    • Reduce your exposure to pollutants, cigarette smoke, fertilizers, preservatives, dyes, and alcohol.
    • Increase your intake of raw fruits, vegetables, and legumes as well as healthy fats.
    • Decrease the amount of meat you eat.
    • Drink ½-1 gallon of water per day.
    • Exercise 4-5 days per week.
    • Do a liver cleanse.  Liver cleanses are often a protocol of various herbs and nutrients designed to clean the liver. My favorite herbal cleanse is Puretrim’s Livermaster.

    Taking the time to detoxify your liver can help you look and feel your best physically and mentally as well as aid in the prevention of some diseases.  Just a few easy adjustments to your daily routine and diet can make the difference between feeling your best or feeling tired and sick.

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    Mini Meditation Day 3

    Happy Wednesday!

    Today’s meditation is focused on relaxing mind, body, and spirit. It takes about 10 minutes. It is quick and effective!

    Listen when you are able to sit or lie down comfortably and safely.



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    Good Nutrition is the Best Holiday Gift

    If you are like many of my clients, you let your nutritional and fitness goals lapse during the holiday season. If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “I’ll get back on track (or start) after the holidays,” I wouldn’t need to work.

    But the fact of the matter is, the holidays are the perfect time to start practicing good nutritional habits. Even a few small modifications to your diet (think eating slowly and eating to 80% full as opposed to stop eating carbs) can help you maintain your weight and health through the holidays and prepare you for a bigger commitment when the new year starts. For more on this topic check out this earlier post, Build a Foundation for a Healthy New Year.

    Hiring a nutritional coach is the best way to get started on building healthy nutritional habits through the holidays. A coach can help you create a set of habits tailored to your specific challenges and offer support and guidance along the way.

    Because I know the holidays bring additional expenses, I am offering my self guided nutritional plan for $60/per month! That’s a $10 discount. This special price is available for a limited time only. The price will go up January 1st, 2019! Typically this plan is self guided with no coaching feedback, however as a special bonus, I am including personalized biweekly messages for feedback and support to help keep you on track and ensure you get the best results possible.

    This holiday season give yourself a gift and invest in your health. When your are healthy, happy, and feeling great your family, friends, and coworkers benefit too! It is the gift that keeps on giving to EVERYONE!

    Remember, this offer only lasts through 2018, starting January 1,2019 the cost of the program goes up and the personal messages go away. Subscribe now, to get started! You will be glad you did!

    Self Guided Nutrition Plan

    Holiday Special – $60.00/month Invest in your health this holiday season.


    Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and have a happy healthy day!

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    Take time to Be Active This Week

    • Take a walk on your lunch break
    • Play tag with your kids
    • Start your day with a short morning jog
    • Ride your bike to Saturday morning coffee

    Choose activities you enjoy and have fun!

    Remember being physically active is good for your mind, body, and spirit!

    Have a happy healthy day!!!!

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