mcmahon-wideThe New Year is a great time to assess where you are at in your life — what seems to be working, and what may not be working so great — and it offers an opportunity to expand, grow, stretch and move more into the life and person you desire to be. It is very tempting to hit January with full steam towards all sorts of new goals and aspirations, but all too often we try to change too many things at once instead of honoring the personal journey we are on.

As a holistic health coach and founder of Sound Nutrition, I believe in the power of making smaller changes one step at a time, which result in big changes over time. When looking at your overall health, it is good to consider a variety of factors related to nutrition, exercise, stress management, spiritual practice, relationships, job satisfaction and, in general, where you are at and where you would like to be.

As a nutrition educator, I am all about the food and believe that what you put in your mouth daily greatly affects all the other areas of your life. I teach from the perspective of balance and believe that if we give our body the nutrients it needs, it will remain free of cravings, mood swings, hormonal issues, illness and disease that come from imbalance.

So how do we achieve this balance in a world that is constantly in motion and where food choices abound? It can be difficult! It seems that every time we turn around, there is a new diet trend or fad that everyone seems to be embracing. Instead of trying the latest fads, diets or counting calories or points, I encourage my clients to eat whole, real foods and to tap into their inner wisdom and intuition to really assess how different foods make them feel.

I’m a plant-based, eat-local, ditch-the-packaged-and-processed kind of gal. I am also a busy business owner and mother of five who understands that good food options need to be quick, tasty, nutritious AND pass for your more picky family members.

Check out Sound Bites monthly for food ideas and recipes that will assist you on your journey to health! Start here with a comforting, warm, simple soup recipe that your body will love after all the holiday over-indulgences.

Chickpea Soup with Tomatoes and Greens

3 T Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 Celery Stalks with leaves, stalks diced and leaves chopped
2 Large Garlic Cloves, one smashed and one halved
2 T chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
One 15-oz can organic diced tomatoes (look for BPA-free cans)
One 15-oz can or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or water
Several cups torn greens, such as beet greens, chard, or spinach
2 slices gluten free bread

In a soup pot, heat the 3 T olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and celery leaves, smashed garlic, parsley, oregano and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and chickpeas and season with 1 tsp salt. Add stock. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the flavors meld and soften, 30 minutes to 1 hour. (The soup can be refrigerated overnight at this point.) Re-warm soup, if necessary, and stir in greens, cooking them until softened and tender. Season to taste. Just before serving, toast the bread. Rub toasts with halved garlic clove, brush with oil, and tear into pieces. Ladle the soup into bowls. Submerge some torn toast pieces in the soup so that they soak up juices and add texture. Garnish with parsley. Serves 4.

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Nutrition Julie
Nutrition Julie is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Raw Food Nutrition Educator who is passionate about Nutrition, Health and Wellness. Julie believes that real, whole, nutritious foods are a powerful tool in living a healthy, conscious, disease-free life and works to educate, inspire and empower the people she works with through her step-by-step Food First System. For more information, visit www.NutritionJulie.com.

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