The Body Healer


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Very similar to salads, the major portion of any meal should be vegetables that are high in water content and less dense (75% of your plate).  These healthy, whole foods are not only nutritious, but they digest quickly, and because they are high in water content, they naturally hydrate the cells and tissues of our bodies.  The remaining 25% should be composed of denser vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.

The right combination of the right foods...

When it comes to making any meal, whether it is a salad or an entree, keep this very important point in mind:
The lighter your meal, the lighter and brighter you'll feel.  
Eat heavy, be heavy, feel heavy
High in water content
(Lighter, less dense foods)
Low in water content
(Heavier, more dense foods)

Raw Veggies

Think salad veggies such as mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, zucchini, jicama, tri-colored bell peppers, and sweet corn, etc.
Cooked Veggies
Choose those that are high in water content such as yellow or green zucchini, eggplant, peas, carrots, green beans, sweet corn, bell peppers, and onions.  Lightly cook to retain as many nutrients as possible (antioxidants are easily destroyed in high heat).
Choose 1-2
  • Avocado
  • Root veggies (potatoes, beets, yams, parsnips, turnips)
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Winter Squash (butternut, acorn)
  • Legumes (beans, peas, lentils)
  • Grains (rice, wheat berries)
  • Pseudo grains (quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth)
  • Animal products* (meat, eggs, dairy)

Avoid preparing meals that include a combination of too many of the heavier foods.  If possible, choose only one heavier ingredient to have with your veggies.  Meals filled with complex combinations of heavy foods take much longer for our bodies to digest, draining us of energy and robbing us of a clear, sharp, and focused mind.  No wonder we feel like taking a nap after a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!

A word about sauces & oils...

When it comes to sauces, watch out for packaged marinades and condiments which are often full of artificial and highly processed ingredients, especially chemical flavorings, colorings, processed sugar, and unpronounceables.  All ingredients should be those sourced from whole foods, seasonings, and natural preservatives.  See anything else?  Ditch it.
Consider making your own sauces and dressings.  Experiment with the following combinations of ingredients:
  • Citrus juice and/or rind (lemon, lime, orange...)
  • Herbs & Seasonings (sea salt, cracked pepper, oregano, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, sage, turmeric...)
  • Vinegar (balsamic, white, apple cider, red wine...)
  • Natural sweeteners (honey, coconut sugar, sucanat...)
  • Garlic / onion / shallots
  • Tomato paste
  • Ginger
  • Mustard
  • Nutritional yeast (for a cheese flavor)
  • Liquid oils* (olive, avocado, grapeseed, coconut, walnut, pecan...)
*  If you choose to use liquid oils, always choose a high quality unrefined (or cold pressed) nut or seed-based oil and use in very small quantities.  Examples include olive, avocado, walnut, coconut, pecan, pistachio, etc. 

Always make your veggies al dente!...

The less you cook your veggies the better.  Except for root veggies, aim to cook "al dente" which means your veggies are still a little firm and crunchy.  This way, you will retain a far greater quantity of nutrients.  
Always avoid burning or charring food which creates toxic and carcinogenic by-products that have been conclusively linked to cancer.  It is especially important to avoid eating charred meats which denatures the animal fat and protein content.
A Word About Animal Products

If you include animal products in your diet, always choose organic and pasture-raised, and limit portions to 2-3 times a week at most.  By choosing organic and pasture-raised, you help make sure that you avoid purchasing any "factory-farmed" meat.  If you are not familiar with what factory-farmed meat is and why you should stay away from it, read the following two articles:

Exciting Entrees

When it comes to the meals you make, there are so many different ways to make your veggie base more exciting.  Not only that, but the veggies you prepare can also make for creating beautiful presentations on your plate.  Experiment with these ideas and try using a variety of herbs and spices.  Don't be afraid to try some bizarre flavor combinations - I may have a few catastrophes under my belt but that's also how I've discovered my favorite meals!

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Veggie kebabs

Vegggie kebabs

Veggie Kebabs
Veggie kebabs are one of the most versatile dishes you can make.  Simply slice up your favorite veggies and push them onto a metal or wooden skewer!  Eat alone or on a bed of quinoa, couscous or rice.
Feel free to eat them raw or cooked, as appetizers (with salad veggies) or entrees, or snacks throughout the day.  If cooking, heat oven to 375° and cook for only 10 mins or less.  Many of the nutrients in vegetables, especially the antioxidants, are quickly destroyed in high heat.
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Spinach pancake sandwiches
Pancake Sandwiches
4 eggs
2 cups well-chopped, packed spinach
2 oz. crushed walnuts
Cottage cheese (or filling of your choice)
Sea salt
Ground pepper
Sprinkling of thyme & oregano
Heat oven to 375°.  Whip eggs and add spinach, walnuts, and seasonings.  Pour mixture into a lightly greased baking tray (pour to pancake thickness - I find 8 x 8 baking trays work great).  Cook for approx. 25 mins, or until firm.  Instead of baking, you can also heat a greased skillet on medium and cook like traditional pancakes.
After removing from oven, wait 5 mins before cutting pancakes into shapes of your choice.  Cookie cutters come in so many different shapes and sizes for different occasions:  Ghosts for Halloween, hearts for Valentine's Day, snowmen for Christmas!  Create sandwiches with cottage cheese or another favorite filling of your choice.
This recipe idea is very versatile.  Feel free to replace spinach with other veggies, or use a more traditional pancake recipe and fill with pureed or sliced fruits!
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Cauliflower pancakes
Cauliflower Pancakes
1 cup chopped cauliflower (bite-size)
1/4 cup diced onion
1 egg
1 tsp lemon juice
Sea salt
Ground pepper
You can also add cauliflower to food processor to create finer granules, which will created a flatter pancake (similar to a tortilla).
Heat oven to 375° and bake for 10 mins.  Flip each pancake and bake for an additional 4-5 mins, or until egg is firm.  Garnish with parsley and serve.
Optional:  Heat skillet to medium, add a touch of olive oil, and brown pancakes for 1-2 mins on each side. 
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Veggie frittata
Rainbow Veggie Frittata
Bell peppers, sliced/chopped (yellow & red)
Zucchini, sliced/chopped
Onion, sliced/chopped
Garlic, chopped
Tomatoes, chopped
Olive oil (1 tbsp/4 eggs)
Your favorite herbs (thyme & oregano recommended)
Sea salt & ground pepper
Heat pan on medium.  Saute veggies, seasonings, and olive oil for 3 mins.  Whisk eggs with salt and pepper and pour over veggies (spread veggies evenly across pan first).  Cover, reduce heat to low/med, and cook for 15 mins or until eggs are firm on top and in center.
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Veggie pancakes
Eggy Veggie Pancakes
Prepare using the same veggies as the rainbow veggie frittata above, except dice the veggies into smaller pieces and use just enough egg to help "bind" veggies together.  
Heat lightly greased skillet on medium and add enough mixture to create a burger-size egg patty.  When firm enough, flip over and cook on other side.
Pass on the hash browns, toast, and other heavy breakfast items and instead, serve with a salad.   Better still, begin with an appetizer of chopped fruit, followed by your egg pancakes.
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Portobello veggies

Portobello burger

Portobello w/spinach

Portobello with eggs

Portobello Combos
Portobello mushrooms make for a delicious and healthy meal.  Similar to bell peppers, they are a versatile ingredient and can be served in so many different ways.
Portobello Marinade
(for 2 portobellos)
1/4 cup cooking sherry
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Dash of hot chili oil (optional)
Sea salt & ground pepper
To prepare, wash portobellos well and marinate for 30 mins.  Place upside down on lightly greased baking tray.  Cook At 400° for 15 mins.  Remove from oven, turn over, and fill with your topping of choice.  Here are some of my favorites:
Dice and either roast or stir-fry your favorite veggies with garlic, thyme, oregano, sea salt, ground pepper, and a dash of olive oil.
Portobello & Roast Pepper Burger
Season and lightly roast red bell peppers.  Arrange portobello, peppers, and mixed greens into a burger.
Portobello w/Spinach & onion
Sauteed some spinach with garlic, lemon juice, sea salt, ground pepper, sweet onion, and very little olive oil.  Place filling in portobello and sprinkle with crushed pine nuts.
Eggy 'Bellas
After cooking portobellos, leave oven on.  Mix chopped mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, and onions with your favorite herbs and seasonings.  Add a dash of olive oil and saute for 3-4 mins.  Pour veggies into portobellos, crack an egg on top of each filling, and return to oven until eggs are cooked to your liking.
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Stuffed bell peppers w/veggies
Stuffed Bell Peppers w/Veggies

Bell peppers are one of the most versatile foods you can use in meal recipes.  Whether raw or cooked, chopped up in salads or filled with your favorite yummies, the possibilities are endless.
When purchasing your bell peppers, look for large ones that are firm and that can "sit up as much as possible on their ends.
Two of my favorite fillings are roasted veggies with either quinoa or rice.  Prepare your filling of choice.
To cook the peppers, preheat oven to 350°.  Cut off pepper tops and fill with your filling.  Place on lightly greased baking pan and cook until peppers are tender and juicy (about 30 mins).
Raw bell peppers make a wonderful salad "bowl" when sliced open.  Prepare chopped up salad veggies, egg salad, veggies with rice/quinoa, cottage cheese, or other favorite and fill both halves!
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