I am going back to work, hear why.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 8.18.10 PMLast week I hinted on my Facebook page that I was going back to work. Earlier this week I sent out an email to friends and family about what I was up to, and today I want to share it with everyone. I am never one to jump into things too quickly or loudly announce something but since so many of you have been asking, I thought I would share. As of last month, I am now a consultant for Beautycounter, a direct retail brand based out of Santa Monica, CA.  The decision to go back to work part-time is a personal one for me.

Three months before my wedding I was diagnosed with a Malignant Melanoma on my right leg.  At the time of my diagnosis, I was in the best shape and health of my life. I was running marathons, eating healthy and teaching others to do the same in my career as a Health Coach. After learning more about my diagnosis and having surgery to remove the cancer, I started to educate myself as much as possible about the toxins and harmful chemicals I was putting on my body.  I was so well educated about eating healthy, but I hadn’t realized how much I was neglecting my skin, the largest organ on my body. I tried every “organic” beauty product out there, but nothing felt or did exactly what I needed. So my hunt continued.

This past winter I was introduced to Beautycounter, a new skincare and cosmetic line that is setting new standards in the industry.  As I learned about their passion for transparency and their mission to get safe beauty products in the hands of every woman – I knew that I had to get my hands on these products as soon as possible.  Not only were they truly safe for my body, they were elegant and exceptionally high quality.

As a new mom, I want my daughter to feel confident that the ingredients in the skin care products she uses everyday are not harmful. Becoming a consultant and leading by example is my first step to making that happen. I also want to share with others what I have learned and enable them to make the best decisions possible for their bodies and their families. We can’t control all of the toxins in the environment around us. But I CAN control the ones I buy.

As a Health Coach, this seemed like such an natural fit because I talk to so many people about the importance of self care, but never so much about the compromise as women we make in the name of beauty.

If you are interested in trying out the products, please email or call me and together we’ll decide which one are the best for your skincare needs.  Or if you’d like to get a group of friends together for a Beautycounter social, I’d love to come over and share the product line with you and your friends.

To learn more about Beautycounter, visit stephcohen.beautycounter.com

Wishing you all a wonderful day!

Spicy Mexican Fish – March Recipe Club Entry

As March came to an end my recipe club members were once again filling my inbox with delicious recipes. It is so fun hearing from them throughout the month and learning about what is inspiring them around the kitchen. This month I decided to feature a recipe that a neighbor of mine submitted. What I liked about this recipe is that she cooked once and ate twice (I love when that happens) and she decided to make her own taco spice. If you have ever read the back of a taco seasoning packet you will learn that most of the ingredients are pretty terrible. Actually, I wouldn’t call them ingredients at all, they are more like chemicals. But THAT is is a whole other blog post.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. And don’t forget if you are interested in joining the club, which by the way is FREE, (this is my service to you because I love you all so much) click here to learn all the logistics.

Meet Melanie! Not only is she whipping up amazing things in the kitchen, but she is also a Social Media expert. Find Melanie on Pinterest & Twitter: pinterest.com/melanieburger & twitter.com/melsieburger

Meet Melanie! Not only is she whipping up amazing things in the kitchen, but she is also a Social Media expert. Find Melanie on Pinterest & Twitter: pinterest.com/melanieburger & twitter.com/melsieburger

I chose fish again because I’ve been on such a fish kick. This one is a mexican spiced haddock recipe that I made for my son and myself for dinner. We both loved it, but it was even better the next day when I shredded the leftover fish and mixed it with brown rice and salsa for lunch!

Spicy Mexican Fish

Ingredients:MexicanFish

36 oz haddock
36 oz cod fish fillet
0.50 cup  lime juice
0.50 cup  all-purpose flour
2 tbsps taco seasoning
0.50 tsp ground cumin
0.25 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsps vegetable oil

Directions:

In a dish, arrange fish in a single layer.

- Pour lime juice over fish.
– Let stand for 15 minutes.
– Combine the flour, taco seasoning, cumin and cayenne.
– Remove fillets from juice and pat dry with paper towels and discard lime juice.
– Coat fillets with flour mixture.
– In a large skillet, cook fillets, in batches, over medium-high heat in oil for 6-8 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
– I served mine with a dollop of salsa on each fillet which made it extra yummy. I also made my own taco seasoning instead of using store bought. You can find the recipe here.

Original recipe from the Food Network

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos – February Recipe Club Entry

Last week my recipe club members submitted their February recipes. I have to say, as they filled my inbox I got overly excited thinking about all of these amazing people cooking up new healthy recipes for their friends and families. In the end I received over 10 recipes and created a pamphlet full of photos and scrumptious recipes. This week we will be starting up the March club, so if you are interested in joining please email me at thehealthybeannh@gmail.com and I will send along instructions on how to get started.

As promised, today I will be featuring my favorite recipe from the month. This was actually much harder to do than I had originally thought. All of the recipes were sooooo good, I wanted to feature them all! I chose this recipe because I liked how it was created on a whim.  She took an ordinary recipe and changed it up a bit to create something that was surprisingly delicous that her whole family loved. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :)

Rhianon

Rhianon

I had a few sweet potatoes lying around my kitchen and had no idea what to do with them. I’d never done anything with them besides roast them! But I had planned to do black bean burritos that night and thought I’d experiment a little and see if I could make sweet potatoes work with the meal. I’m glad I did – they were delicious! The sweet and spicy balanced out really nicely.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos

Delicious

Action shots!

Ingredients:
1 package of whole wheat tortillas
8 cups of water (for boiling)
2 cups brown rice
2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
3 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cans black beans
3 avocados
2 tomatoes
Mexican cheese

Directions:
1) Cook 2 cups of dry rice according to instructions on bag (I used a rice cooker. So easy!)
2) Boil about 8 cups of water. While water is coming to a boil, peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
3) Put sweet potato cubes into boiling water and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft.
4) While sweet potatoes are cooking, dice tomatoes. Set aside.
5) Cut avocados in half lengthwise and scoop avocado out of the skin. Place in bowl with the tomatoes, 1 tsp salt and pepper. Mash with a fork.
6) Heat black beans in their juices on stove.
7) When sweet potatoes are soft, drain, place back in saucepan and add butter, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne and salt. Mash with a potato masher.
8) Wrap tortillas in a damp kitchen towel and microwave for 15-30 seconds.
9) Assemble: Spread sweet potato puree on tortilla, top with cheese, and add black beans, guacamole & rice. Roll and eat!

Ribollita Soup

RibollitaSoupI live in New Hampshire, which means February is pretty freakin cold! For the past 3 weekends we have had snowy, cold and rather windy weekends. I have to say, I used to hate the snow and truly despise it. But this year something has changed, I actually like it (I don’t quite love it yet, but liking it is a big step). There is something so calming and soothing watching the snow fall.

In order to keep warm without making the propane bill go through the roof (yes honey – I actually think about that before I jack up the heat) I have taken to cooking comforting soups and stews this winter.

Last weekend I decided to cook a Tuscan Ribolita Soup that took me back to my semester abroad in Florence, Italy. I was 19, living away from home for the 1st time and excited about my new European life. I even cut my hair really really short to be more like the glamorous Italian women which ended up being a BIG mistake, HUGE! But that is a topic for another blog post ;)

Back to the soup, I have to say it was delish! It isn’t the “healthiest” soup because of the pancetta and the white bread (GASP!) but I am a firm believer in balancing out the healthy with the not so healthy in order to live a truly healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

I used Giada’s recipe because I have to say, she is one of my favs and her recipes are always delicious and simple.

We are anticipating another storm today, you might want to pick up the ingredients to have a cozy soup to curl up next to the fire with.
RibollitaIngredients
 
All bundled up for a walk through the neighborhood

All bundled up for a walk before dinner :)

Love is in the air!

I have to admit, Valentine’s Day caught me totally off guard this year. Usually I am ready with cards, sweet treats, and gifts all picked out.  But this year, my husband and I have been so busy that I kind of forgot. But yesterday turned it all around.

As I was leaving work, a woman asked me for directions. After I kindly pointed her in the direction of her destination she said “You know what, here” As she reached her hand out, I thought she was going to shake my hand to say thank you. But instead, she gave me a rock that was painted with a heart and the word love. She then said “Happy Valentine’s Day”RockThis sweet act of kindness and love from a complete stranger put a smile on my face all the way home. I don’t know if she had more of these rocks, or if someone had given it to her. But for some reason she thought I would appreciate this beautiful little gift, and I did.

You see, this is what Valentine’s Day should be all about. Showing love and kindness to everyone you encounter, not just your significant other. So go out there and share the love with complete strangers today, you never know who might need it!

Healthy Food Prep. No Sweat.

Today’s post comes from Chef, Health Coach and Friend, Teri Hull.  Teri graduated from The West Culinary Institute, a Le Cordon Bleu School in 2008. She recently moved to Portsmouth from the west coast, where she ran her own company called the Good Plate. Her mission at the Good Plate was to provide fresh, healthy and wholesome home cooked meals for busy families.

Teri reached out to me shortly after moving to the Seacoast and I had the pleasure of getting to know her over tea. As February rolled around I wanted to provide the members of my Recipe Club, as well as people who resolved to cook more this year, with some tips and tricks to easy and healthy cooking. Teri told me some of hers and I knew everyone would benefit from them as much as I did! Here are Teri’s tips:

Teri Hull, CEC

Teri Hull, CEC

I love cooking almost as much as I love eating.  And like so many, I too resolve to cook more this year.  A little strange coming from a chef, but having cooked healthy food for a living at my small business on the west coast, family mealtime often meant fending for oneself after a long day of me cooking for others.  Now that I’m settling into life on the east coast sans business, I’m eager, no ecstatic for the mind space to focus on nourishing my own family with delicious, healthy food.

Back to the shared resolution.  Changing old habits or starting new ones is a daunting task but this needn’t be with cooking.  Let’s break it down with a few pointers.

Start with something you’re comfortable with.  Whether it’s making a salad, grilling meat or frying eggs, try adding a few new ingredients to the salad, grilling more lean, organic animal protein or veggies, or fry an organic cage-free egg in a healthy cooking fat like coconut oil or a light olive oil.

Find a recipe buddy, or better yet a cooking buddy.  Your spouse, your children, Mom, Dad, sister, brother or best friend.  Swap recipes.  Assign tasks.  Share horror stories.  Even if your buddy lives in a different time zone, technologies like Skype make it easy to connect.  Support and accountability are key but more importantly, friends make it fun.

Plan a prep day with your buddy or enlist the help of family and friends. Chop veggies and store them in the fridge to be eaten raw, roasted, steamed or stir-fried.  Hard boil a dozen eggs for a quick breakfast, protein for your salad or a snack.  Make a large batch of quinoa or brown rice.  Clean chicken breasts and pop into a freezer bag with a homemade marinade of fresh citrus juice or balsamic vinegar and light olive oil.  You can freeze for up to three months or refrigerate if you plan to cook it in the next few days.

If it grows together, it goes together.  This is almost always a fail proof method for planning and preparing a meal.  Think seasonally and regionally.  Any mix of autumn root vegetables is fantastic chopped and roasted.  Luscious summer crops like cucumber, tomato and watermelon are a delicious combination eaten raw.  But don’t try mixing golden beets with watermelon. That’s what fancy restaurants are for.

Find a flavor combination that works for you and stick with it.  My favorite is lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic, which works on almost any roasted or grilled veggies, as a marinade for poultry and fish, as a salad dressing and even mixed into certain grains.  Keep it simple.

Experiment with new foods but if you don’t like it, don’t force yourself to eat it.  I can’t stress this one enough.  Eating well is supposed to be a pleasant experience.  The same rule applies for feeding your children.  You want them to develop a healthy relationship with food, not one of anxiety.

Take risks and make mistakes.  Don’t be afraid to fail.  We learn by doing.  The more recipes you try, the more relaxed you become in the kitchen and the more you build your intuitive sense of cooking.

Have fun and avoid self-criticism!  Why is it we nurturing souls are so hard on ourselves?  Relax, appreciate your strides toward better health and give yourself and your cooking buddy a warm hug.

No sweat.

Now tell me, which one of these tips will you be implementing?

A Lemon a Day

aLemonADayEach morning I start my day off with a glass of lukewarm lemon water. This is something I started shortly after becoming a Health Coach and look forward to every morning. Mentally it is a way for me to hit the reset button every morning. No, it doesn’t erase any “bad” food I may have consumed the day before, but it sets an intention for me to love and care for my body throughout the day.

I also drink it for its health benefits too. Lemon water has been known to aid in digestion, boost the immune system, balance the body’s PH, help purify the body by increasing urination and may help keep skin clear. All that from just lemon water, pretty cool right?!

To get the best out of my morning tonic, I make sure to do the following:

1) I only use real lemons not bottled lemon juice. It tastes better and I know it isn’t processed.
2) I only buy enough lemons that will last me 1 week. Lemons will harden and the juice will deteriorate after that.
3) I roll out the lemon before cutting it with the palm of my hand against the counter. This will help the juices start moving, which will yield more juice.
4) I usually cut the lemon and juice either ½ or 1/4, depending on how big my water glass is.
5) I  drink it with a straw to protect my tooth enamel from the lemon’s acid.

No go ahead, try it out! Believe me, you will be shocked at how great you feel!

Join The Club!

Just some of my favorite cookbooks

Some of my favorite cookbooks

This year I want to cook more. Well, I already cook a lot, but I want to branch out and cook new things. Not just the same ole stuff.

So I have resolved to cook at least 1 new recipe a week. I know this isn’t ideal for everyone, but I work from home and don’t have kiddies so I have more time than the average person to spend in the kitchen.

This is where you come in. I would like to invite you to cook with me! Well not “with” me, but with me. Don’t worry – you don’t have to cook something new every week, but instead once a month.

Interested? Then join me for my 1st ever Recipe Club starting February 1st.

Here’s how it will work:
– Each month, each member of the club will cook 1 new recipe of their choice.
– At the end of the month they will submit their recipe to The Healthy Bean.
– My favorite recipe of the month will then be featured on The Healthy Bean with a picture of you and your dish.
– I will then gather them all together in one PDF.
– The PDF containing all the recipes will be emailed to those participating in the recipe club.

Sounds fun, right?

If you are interested in joining the Recipe Club, email The Healthy Bean at thehealthybeannh@gmail.com before January 31st. Once I receive your email I will send along everything you will need to get started along with links to some of my favorite sites for healthy recipes.

Now get your apron on and let’s cook up something fantastic!

A Walk in The Park

Resolution Update

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to enjoy the outdoors more, so when I woke up and saw this yesterday morning, I knew it was a perfect opportunity to get started.

Sunrise over the PiscataquaPhoto by Philip Case Cohen

Sunrise over the Piscataqua
Photo by Philip Case Cohen

I originally had planned to work out at home before prepping for upcoming client sessions but I immediately changed my plans, bundled up, and got in the car to head to Prescott Park for a morning winter walk.

It felt so invigorating leaving everything behind and doing something a little different before the craziness of the day got in the way.

Here are some pictures from my morning adventure.

Snowman enjoys the park

Snowman enjoys the park

Snow covered trees

Snow covered trees

Bundled up

Bundled up

The South End covered in snow

The South End covered in snow

Tea @ The Portsmouth Book & Bar to finish off the morning

Tea @ The Portsmouth Book & Bar to finish off the morning

I plan on doing this a lot more in the coming weeks and I’ll keep sharing my stories and progress. What are you doing to stay on track for your resolutions for 2013? I’d love to hear about it – comment below!

Butternut Squash Soup

Photo by Philip Case Cohen

Photo by Philip Case Cohen

Yesterday was a snowy, grey but gorgeous day here in Portsmouth, NH. I wouldn’t say I LOOOOVVEE it when it snows, but there is something about waking up to a fresh blanket of snow that is just so beautiful.

Apparently snow also brings out my domestic side, because throughout the day I found myself doing things around the house that had been on my to-do list since before the holidays. Who knew?

For dinner I decided to make Butternut Squash soup. It is the perfect soup for a cold New England night. Over the years I have tried a bunch of Butternut Squash recipes but found that they were either over complicated or just not good. The one here is my iteration of the great soup that is both simple and delicious.

The trickiest part is preparing the squash. You could buy pre-peeled and cut squash, which is the absolute easiest. But if you buy the whole squash, give yourself some extra time to peel and cut the squash.

ButternutSquashIngredients