Savory Avocado Cucumber Soup

Savory Avocado Cucumber Soup

Savory Avocado and Cucumber Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:
3 avocados, removed from skin and cubed
One handful cilantro, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cumin
1 small shallot, peeled and diced
2 generous pinches cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about one lemon), optional
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 ½ cups water
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Garnish with olive oil, chopped nuts, olives, cracked pepper, salsa or sunflower seeds

Directions:
Blend or process all ingredients together on high until smooth.

This soup recipe will work best in a high-power blender. The recipe will work fine in a standard kitchen blender too, however it will have a chunky texture rather than smooth and you may need to add additional liquid or stop to stir it every once in awhile during blending.

Soup will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.

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These Unhealthy Habits Are Hurting Your Family’s Health

More Health Podcasts with Robin Shirley on BlogTalkRadio

I don’t mean to sound dramatic with that episode title, but I want you to understand the importance of today’s episode.

I’ll be interviewing Dr. Teresa Fuller, upcoming TBYH Conference speaker, on the top 4-5 unhealthy habits that she sees in her clients – and why these habits need to be changed as soon as possible.

We can prevent childhood illness

There are so many things we do every day without even thinking about their effect – some of these things are hurting our health and they would be so easy to stop doing if we only knew!

Many of you know that I was a child with chronic illness – so I’m super stoked to be talking to Dr. Fuller about how we can start living smarter in an effort to prevent some of the painful health challenges that our children are facing these days.

Just make the change – it’s worth it

Let’s talk about easy changes we can make today that will make a real difference. It could be the difference between raising a child that has a chronic illness and one that thrives with energy and health to spare.

Join us on today’s episode and take back your health!

xo,
robin

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Depression and What We Can Learn From Robin Williams

Today I’m interviewing Dr. Chas Gant from the National Integrated Health Associates in Washington, DC. We’re going to talk about depression – what it is, what causes it and how to reverse it.

Dr. Gant will explain exactly what is going on in the brain and body that leads to depression, including certain biochemical imbalances and nutritional deficiencies.

dr-grant

Dr. Chas Gant

He’ll also answer these questions: How is Depression related to Substance Abuse/Addictions? How is Depression related to Fatigue? How is Depression related to Anxiety? and, Where would you suggest a person get help for Depression?

Take a listen and let us know what you think! If you have a question for Dr. Gant, feel free to ask it in the comments below and he’ll respond with a brief answer.

You can come see Dr. Gant in person at the November 1-2, 2014 Take Back Your Health Conference in Washington, D.C. More info here.

xoxo,
Robin

Together we can overcome the limitations of chronic dis-ease and enjoy our lives fully! Share the love…

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Melon Basil Smoothie

Melon Basil Smoothie

I love using herbs in smoothies. Other than basil, you can also use mint, parsley, lemon balm, cilantro, etc.

Using a variety of herbs and greens gives you a nice variety of vitamins and minerals and gives your body a break from the same plant alkaloids everyday.

Alkaloids are naturally occurring chemical compounds that have a toxic or pharmacological effect on other organisms. Most plant alkaloids are safe when consumed in moderation, but can have negative effects when consumed in large quantities or for long periods of time (ex: the kale craze).

Try some new greens in your smoothies, like basil in this smoothie recipe, and let me know what you think!

xo,
robin

Melon Basil Smoothie
Serves 1

Ingredients
1/6 to 1/3 of a ripe cantaloupe, cut away from the peel and chopped into 1-inch pieces
½ cup of frozen or fresh strawberries, or other berries
1-2 handfuls fresh basil, or other leafy green
½ peeled organic cucumber, chopped into 1-inch pieces
4 drops of liquid stevia extract or a spoonful of raw honey (optional)
a dash of vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon of local bee pollen (optional)
Water to desired consistency (start with 3/4 cup)
1 spoonful each of unrefined coconut oil and almond butter for creaminess

Directions
Blend all ingredients together on high power until smooth. Add more water if needed.

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Are You Frustrated By Slow Progress? Try This…

As I was going through some rough periods in my healing journey, I tended to get frustrated and impatient. I forgot how to enjoy the small pleasures in life because all I could think about was where I wanted to be and how long it would be until I reached there.

You are going to feel this way your entire life if you aren’t careful! You will always discover some new goal or dream that you want to reach for. You will never be done with desiring new things – that is the beauty of life! That is what keeps us getting out of bed each morning.

What I’m going to talk about today is how to be okay with where you are right now – I’m not talking about accepting life as-is – I’m talking about how to enjoy the journey – the process – of healing and moving into the life you desire.

Take a listen and let me know what you think.

xoxo,
Robin

Together we can overcome the limitations of chronic dis-ease and enjoy our lives fully! Share the love…

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The Perfect Menu For A Mid-Summer Dinner Party

Robin Shirley Cooking Class

This past week I had the opportunity to teach two more cooking classes for the University of Virginia’s Club RED – a heart health initiative for women – managed by the Cardiovascular Center at UVA.

I truly love spending time with this group of ladies. We have a good time learning, cooking and chatting about health, life and Chris Hemsworth :)

So many of the Club Red members keep coming back for each of our heart-healthy classes at The Happy Cook and many of them stay in touch with me through my personal blog and facebook page.

This month we taught a refreshing summer menu of:
Fiery Grilled Shrimp 
Honeydew Cucumber Gazpacho 
Sweet and Crunchy Quinoa Salad and
Blueberry Sorbet (see recipes below)

About three months in advance of each class, I begin working with the Club Red Nutritionist and Club Red Director to develop a heart-healthy menu that includes local and nutrient-dense ingredients. It’s so great working with them because they allow me to also choose menu items that are full of super foods and free of gluten and dairy.

Honeydew Melon Veggies

Robin Shirley Blender

See recipes below…

Dinner Party Prep Plan

Shop for ingredients up to three days ahead.

Day before:
Make gazpacho and chill in refrigerator overnight.
Marinate shrimp and store in refrigerator overnight.
Cook quinoa and prep dressing. Store in refrigerator. Prep salad ingredients but do not toss salad until day-of.

Day of:
Chill drinks.
Toss quinoa salad.
Set table.
Grill shrimp just before serving.
Make blueberry sorbet after dinner, as dinner is digesting.

Honeydew Gazpacho

Honeydew Cucumber Gazpacho

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
serves 6

Ingredients:
3/4 ripe honeydew melon, seeded
1 1/2 small fennel bulbs, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 celery heart stalks, coarsely chopped
3/4 English cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
4 tbsp + 2 tsp fresh lime juice; add more to taste; set aside wedges for serving
1 tsp sea salt; add more to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut away honeydew rind and dark green flesh close to rind. Cut honeydew into 1” chunks. Should yield 6 cups.
  2. Place melon in a blender with fennel, celery, cucumber and jalapeños.
  3. Blend on low speed until almost smooth. Strain through medium mesh sieve or colander if there are large fibrous pieces that need to be removed.
  4. Stir in minced chile, lime juice, salt and sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Cover tightly and refrigerate until very cold.

Recipe courtesy of “Home Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes”

Veggie Measured Ingredients

Quinoa Salad

 

Sweet and Crunchy Quinoa Salad

Sweet and Crunchy Quinoa Salad

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
serves 6

Salad Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water OR low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup green onions (about 1/2 bunch), thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cherries*, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
* May substitute chopped apricots, cranberries or raisins

Dressing Ingredients:
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2-3/4 cup light coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp sea salt, optional
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Place quinoa and broth in large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer 15–20 min. or until liquid absorbed. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, place almonds in a small pan over medium heat and toss until lightly browned and fragrant.
  3. Whisk together dressing ingredients in small bowl until well blended.
  4. While quinoa is still warm, stir in green onions, cherries, parsley and almonds, then toss with dressing and serve.

Recipe courtesy of The Well-Fed Heart

Fiery Grilled Shrimp

Fiery Grilled Shrimp

Fiery Grilled Shrimp

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
serves 6

Ingredients:
3/4 tsp crushed red chile flakes; add more to taste
1/3 cup packed fresh mint leaves, very thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 lb. large wild-caught shrimp (24–30 count), shelled and deveined
Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. When ready to serve, heat grill on high until very hot.
  2. Sprinkle salt, chile flakes and mint over shrimp, then gently press in seasonings.
  3. Drizzle a little oil over shrimp. Grill shrimp, flipping once, until just opaque throughout, about 3 min.
  4. Divide cold gazpacho among cold serving bowls. Serve hot shrimp on small plates next to bowls. Drizzle a little oil over soup and shrimp. Garnish soup with mint and squirt a little lime juice over shrimp. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of “Home Cooking with Jean-Georges: My Favorite Simple Recipes”

blueberry sorbet

Blueberry Sorbet

Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
serves 6

Ingredients:
4 cups frozen blueberries (or other berry of choice)
4 tbsp raw, local honey or 1 tsp. green stevia powder
2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder
Pinch sea salt
1 – 1/2 cups light coconut milk (start with less; add more as needed)

Directions:

  1. Put coconut milk into bottom of food processor or blender pitcher.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients on top of the liquid.
  3. Secure lid and process/blend for 1 min. or less, until very smooth and all lumps are gone. Stop and remove air bubbles if necessary. Use tamper of blender, if necessary.
  4. Serve immediately or place in the freezer for no more than 30 min. to create firmer texture.

Recipe by Robin Shirley

Photo Credit: Robin Shirley

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How To Improve Your Digestion In 5 Steps

Today’s show is all about digestion – we’re going to talk about the connection between good digestion and good health. I’ll also share some easy steps you can take to improve your digestion.

During the show, I’ll teach you about foods you should include, foods you should avoid and how to use food to actually heal your digestive tract.

I’m also going to share a few other tips that have more to do with the mind/gut connection. We’re going to talk about how to improve your mental and emotional health so that your digestion can finally heal as well.

Take a listen and let me know what you think.

xoxo,
Robin

Together we can overcome the limitations of chronic dis-ease and enjoy our lives fully! Share the love…

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How to Reach Your Health Goals with Less Effort

There have been so many times that I’ve been motivated to make a major healthy change and gone on a Whole Foods shopping spree with the best of intentions to begin a new diet. Same with exercise – I’ve joined several new gyms over the years, only to have that fitness inspiration fizzle out after a few weeks.

What is it about trying to get healthy that is so difficult? I asked myself this question each time I “fell off the healthy bandwagon”.

The truth is that success requires strategic and intentional action on a daily basis. And I’ve got a simple method that utilizes this concept and enables you to reach your health goals without the drama.

You’re going to want to hear this one! Take a listen and let me know what you think.

xoxo,
Robin

Together we can overcome the limitations of chronic dis-ease and enjoy our lives fully! Share the love…

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Peach Pina Colada (Paleo, Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)

Imagine a hot, sunny beach day in southern California. It was July 4th and my friend and I were planning to spend the day sipping away on cool drinks by the ocean and getting a tan.

We discovered a bottle of rum and frozen fruit in the freezer and me, being the self-proclaimed Smoothie Queen, decided I would concoct a Peach Pina Colada Rum Smoothie of sorts…and it turned out to be a really good idea. This drink is delicious and refreshing!

This drink is good for you because full of antioxidants from fruit and lauric acid* from coconut. It’s sugar-free and free of common food allergens.

Enjoy! Let me know what you think of it in the comments below…

xoxo,
Robin

Peach Pina Colada

Peach Pina Colada
Serves 2
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Ingredients:
2 cups coconut milk (light or full fat depending on your preference)**
4 large ice cubes (about 1 cup)
1 banana (frozen)
1 cup sliced peaches (frozen or fresh)
1 dropper-full of liquid stevia extract, or honey, to taste
Optional:
4fl. oz of organic rum – more or less to your liking

To make things easier, you can just use 2 cups of frozen tropical fruit mix from the supermarket instead of the frozen bananas and peaches.

Directions:
1. Add all ingredients to your blender. Use the ice crush setting until ice and fruit is well-broken down. Then “puree” or “blend” until very smooth. Add up to 1 cup of additional milk or water to reach desired consistency.
2. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator (for up to 30 minutes) or freezer (for up to 15-20 minutes).

*According to mercola.com, “Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-protozoa properties.”
**I don’t buy Thai Kitchen coconut milk anymore because they are owned by McCormick who recently spent $400K opposing GMO Labeling laws in CA and Oregon according to the OCA.

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5 Reasons You Are Fatigued and What To Do About It

Chronic fatigue is becoming a widespread issue. And there is a way out. Today I’m going to explain exactly why you are fatigued and what you can do about it.

After the episode you’re going to have clear and easy steps to follow that will help you strengthen your body and mind, increase your energy reserves and identify areas where you are wasting your energy.

As I always say, taking back your health requires a lifestyle change. There isn’t going to be a healthy way to get quick and sustained energy. But there are things you can start doing today that will give your results later this week.

Take a listen and let me know what you think! You can ask questions and leave comments on my facebook page: www.facebook.com/robinnshirley

xoxo,
Robin

Together we can overcome the limitations of chronic dis-ease and enjoy our lives fully! Share the love…

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