The New Year is a great time to assess where you are at in your life and determine what seems to be working (or not). It offers us an opportunity to expand, grow, stretch and move more into the life and person we desire to be. It is very tempting to hit January 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.

I believe in the power of making smaller changes one step at a time, which results 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 into 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 you to eat whole, real, plant-based foods to tap into your inner wisdom and intuition, and keep you well.

Start here with a comforting, warm, simple soup recipe that your body will love after all the holiday over-indulgences. Pair with a green salad and toasted gluten-free bread. Happy 2017!

LENTIL QUINOA SOUP

1 T Olive Oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 T ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp sea salt
5 c veggie broth
3/4 cup dried red lentils
1 tsp dried thyme
28 oz. can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
2 carrots, chopped
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
3/4 cup unsalted cashews
Juice of 1 lemon
Parsley for garnish

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add diced yellow onion, cook 4 minutes. Add cumin seeds, minced ginger, minced garlic cloves and cayenne, ground cloves and sea salt, heat 1 minute. Add vegetable broth, dried red lentils, dried thyme, tomatoes and carrots, simmer 20 minutes. Stir in cooked quinoa, unsalted cashews and lemon juice, heat 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

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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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