The Organic Heart Cookbook and an Interview

Our health is everything, and while we can all do the best by eating right and exercising, sometimes the unexplainable happens and people get sick. Breeana Pooler, creator of the popular Instagram account @the_organic_heart and the food blog, www.the-organic-heart.com, experienced this in her life, when at only 26 her husband, Jason, was unexpectedly diagnosed with severe heart failure. Following his diagnosis, she set out to regain his health by throwing out everything in the refrigerator and dedicating 100 percent of her time, energy, and passion to creating healthy, nutrient-filled recipes. Now, he no longer needs a needs a heart transplant and is healthier than he has been in his entire life, and his heart is within normal range—all due to a healthy diet.

She recently launched The Organic Heart Cookbook, a book that shares how she helped to cure her husband through healthy eating, plus 75 clean and delicious gluten- and dairy-free recipes that helped her do so. This includes delicious recipes like Sweet Potato Breakfast Sliders, BBQ Chicken Zucchini Noodle Bowl, Mango-Mint Salsa with Cucumber Chips, Shrimp and Kale Fettuccine in a Cauliflower Cream Sauce and tons more! To learn more about her journey and this book, we had the chance to chat with Breena who shared more about their path to healthy eating. Read on to learn more:

Breeana Pooler Interview on The Organic Heart

The Organic Heart Cookbook and an Interview

Wellness Patterns: Tell us about the Organic Heart.

Breeana Pooler: The Organic Heart started back in 2014 when my husband, Jason, was diagnosed with heart failure caused by a rare virus. We met with a naturopathic doctor who recommended we go on an anti-inflammatory diet to bring down the inflammation in his heart and this consisted of gluten and dairy-free, clean, un-processed organic foods. I created an Instagram account to share the recipes I came up with for Jason and share our journey of Jason’s recovery and I quickly gained a following on my Instagram account. Flash forward a few years later I then decided to come out with a cookbook filled with all the healthy and healing recipes that saved my husbands life. Jason’s heart fully recovered and I am now determined to share our story and my recipes with the world.

Wellness Patterns: Can you really regain your health by changing your diet?

Breeana Pooler: Yes, you can 100%. I saw my husband go from nearly dying and us being told he needed a heart transplant to just a few months later (after going on this all organic, anti-inflammatory way of eating) feeling so much better and no longer needing a heart transplant. Food truly turned his health around and saved his life and I got to see the amazing results first hand.

organic heart cookbook interview

Wellness Patterns: What did you learn about health and food after your husband’s heart issues?

Breeana Pooler: My view of health and food completely changed. Before his diagnosis, I never thought of how chemicals in our food actually effect or bodies or how if our system is constantly inflamed from the toxic foods we consume it’s more susceptible to disease and sickness. Jason’s diagnosis of heart failure caused us to take a magnifying glass on our food choices and really put thought into what we put in our body and in turn how that food can nourish and actually heal you.

Wellness Patterns: What are some of your favorite heart-healthy recipes?

Breeana Pooler: My favorite go-to weekly recipes are my turkey Asian lettuce wraps, Italian meatballs with spaghetti squash, Collard green wrapped fajita burritos, apple-cinnamon oatmeal with almond-coconut drizzle, tropical green smoothie and homemade chicken broth for different soups. And all of these recipes can of course be found in my cookbook!

Wellness Patterns: Tell us more about the community you grew on Instagram?

Breeana Pooler: My followers on Instagram have been such a support system through out the years. At times when I felt like giving up they always lifted my spirits and inspired me to keep going and fulfill my dreams of having a cookbook. I’ve had followers all the way from South Africa to Australia to Mexico tell me how our story and my recipes have changed their life and this has meant so much to me. I feel such a connection with my Instagram community and I’m so grateful for each one of my amazing followers.

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New Book Tackles the Importance of Friendship and an Interview!

There’s no denying that friendship is crucial part of our health. Whether it’s having someone to vent to, cry with or share a private joke, meaningful friendships can enhance your life and even heal. The new book, Friendship Matters addresses some of these issues as told by two clinical psychologists, Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein, and “best friends” as the celebrate the story, values and healing powers of friendship. In fact, good friendships are seen to be a good predictor of health, overall well-being and longevity.

New Book Tackles the Importance of Friendship and an Interview!

The book addresses their 47 years of friendship, as they examine the complexities of maintaining a good friendship through its many ups and downs. The book, a combination of memoir, life lessons and laughter, is a foray into understanding and further strengthening these ordinary yet extraordinary relationships. To learn more about this exciting new book, we chatted with authors, Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein, as we discovered more about the power of friendship and how having this connection is so crucial to our lives.

The Importance of Friendship in Friendship Matters

The Importance of Friendship in Friendship Matters

Wellness Patterns: Why was it important for you to cover the topic of friendship?

Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: Who doesn’t want to brag about what they are good at? Seriously, we are so capable in our friendship- utilizing all the skills which we help inform patients everyday to use in their lives. We know that friendship has made us more effective in our interactions with others (spouses, work, families, other friends) and besides that, our laughter and wisdom which we share back and forth is a pleasure. Sometimes it is better to give than to receive and sometimes vice versa…and we do both. We want others to “have what we are having.” Truly we enjoy it everyday.

Wellness Patterns: What have you learned about yourself through your friendship with one another?

Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: Plenty of self awareness and acceptance. We don’t feel ashamed…we feel accepted and understood and normal. Wendy has learned to be more precise and go deeper and Sandy notes Wendy’s persistence in her choices. Safety first is what we learned as kids: that’s what our friendship provides.

Wellness Patterns: What advice would you give to someone who has a toxic friend?

Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: Notice it and check it out with your friend..so you are not “assuming” you understand their intent and you are letting them know how it feels. That makes you skillful for yourself and a good friend for the other. And if deliberate and conscious conversations don’t work, let them know what was so wonderful and what you will miss in your “dear john” letter (which you might or might not send…depending on the type of toxicity)

Wellness Patterns: What do you think friendship is so complex?

Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: We have much in our pasts that contribute in a positive or negative way to our friendship, including our growing up experiences, relationships with siblings, experiences with friends as a young person and , self-perceptions (which can be wonderfully enhanced by a healthy friendship.) In some ways, if we communicate honestly, openly and kindly, it is very simple…and rewarding. When it is work, it’s worth the effort. Friendships are a big payoff.

Wellness Patterns: What can a reader expect in your new book, Friendship Matters?

Dr. Wendy Rapaport and Dr. Sanda Bernstein: Entertainment, knowledge, skill, and growth. Not fattening, except for growing in comfort and capability.

For more information on the book and authors, visit www.friendshipmattersbook.com

 

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Zen at Home for National Yoga Day

happy national yoga day with learn to be lean

Happy National Yoga Day! Maybe you found your inner zen at one of the many yoga events around NYC, at a local studio, or in the comfort of your own home. For those in the home category we just discovered Learn To Be Lean: A Yoga Based Approach to Healthy Weight Loss, a fantasic reference to help you hone in on your yoga skills today and pretty much whenever you can. Not only a yoga guide, this book will provide you with the tools and expert skills to live a healthy live–all of which includes tapping into your physical, spiritual and emotional self.

Written by Nutritionist and Trainer Shannon Leavitt, M.S.,R.D., Learn to be Lean features a yoga-based approach to living healthy called the Yogalift. A clear and very specific plan, we loved how this provides a sustainable wellness and holistic plan through practicing yoga, strength training, meditation, and personal reflection to help bring every aspect of being into harmony. Featuring a workbook style guide (summer homework?), the book features very guidelines and personal questions to help you achieve your inner zen as well as provides the tools to losing weight.

This includes a daily action plan with a body-mind spirit journal where you assess your daily meals, movement, sleep and even your intention. The actual yoga part comes in through daily practice, which Leavitt states: “With practice, we become more and more aware of and present in our body.” This section provides tips and insight for staying in the moment during yoga as well as a better understanding of why yoga is so crucial to Leavitt.

A clear guide with real solutions to enable you to live and practice the yogi lifestyle, we love how proved us with the tools to learn how to better embrace wellness and health through self-awareness, physical fitness and spiritual growth.

A must-have for National Yoga Day, and beyond!

We were provided a sample for review. All opinions are our own.

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Book Review: Fitter Faster: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day

fitter faster book

Working out is one of those challenges that we are all trying to figure out. We know that we are supposed to work out but the list of excuses (kids, no time, work, and so on) can rule whether we get our sweat in or not. We have been and are always looking for more ways to making exercise easier while still reaping the benefits. Tall order? Not so much, especially with the release of Fitter Faster: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day, a new book by award-winning health journalist Robert J. Davis, PhD and celebrity fitness trainer Brad Kolowich, Jr, that is designed to provide you with tips to get in shape in as little as 15 minutes a day! Sounds amazing, right?!

We had the privilege of reading through this guide book, soaking in their easy-to-digest tips and step-by-step workout plans that highlight the aerobic, muscle-building, and fat-burning benefits that are similar to—or even greater than—what you’d get from much longer regimens.

This include high-intensity interval gaining, which alternates vigorous and gentler exercises in shorter hurts, with circuit training that works multiple muscles. Not only providing tips to work out your entire body, the book squashes the boredom aspect of working out where you can actually add in some much needed choice and variety to our routine!

Divided into four exercise programs (Get Ready, Get Smart, Get More Out of Exercise, Get Going), you’ll find a plan to help you tackle every aspect of working out. We really loved the Get Smart section that included tips on strength training, stretching and how to increase cardio.

A guide that’s all about shorter, more focused routines, Fitter Faster is a great way to revamp your thinking about working out with a guide that actually makes fitness fun, focused and really convenient!

For more information, please visit: https://fitterfasterplan.com

We were provided with a sample for review. All opinions are our own.

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Cookbook Review: Farm-to-Table Desserts: 80 Seasonal, Organic Recipes Made from Your Local Farmers’ Market

Farm-to-Table Desserts: 80 Seasonal, Organic Recipes Made from Your Local Farmers’ Market review

As much as we try to do our very best when it comes to eating healthy, we have to admit it: we have a huge sweet tooth! And while we are all about wholesome eats, we still want a treat every now and again, cause, really, life is too short to not have dessert! However, these days even desserts have upped their healthy game where you can now find tons of variations that even include vegetables in your beloved chocolate cake!

To help us learn more about healthier desserts, we’ve been soaking up the delicious goodness from the new cookbook Farm-to-Table Desserts: 80 Seasonal, Organic Recipes Made from Your Local Farmers’ Market. Written by Lei Shishak, an established pastry chef who trained at the CIA in New York and has worked at restaurants in Sun Valley and Los Angeles, the book features a guide to learning how to bake seasonally with a focus on locally sourced, organic ingredients featuring recipes that are better-for-you and the environment!

Featuring more than 80 sweet recipes, divided by season, we loved diving into this resource featuring yummy desserts using fresh and local ingredients, such as stone peach cobbler, fig jam, sweet corn panna cotta, strawberry hand pie, sweet potato cake, blood orange pot de crème, among many others! A clear and concise book, the recipes are also complemented by a gorgeous series of mouth-watering images that will have you longing to create some of  Shishak’s sweet treats. We were certainly inspired after reading this cookbook and tried out a few of the sorbets, including the incredible Navel Orange Rosemary Sorbet.

The cookbook also includes a clear explanation to better understand choosing organic and purchasing produce at your local farmers’ markets that serves as a straight-to-the-point read for anyone curious to learn more, or on the fence about using these type of products.

A must-have read for a home cook, Farm-to-Table Desserts is a fantastic guide for anyone who is looking to eat healthier and better understand how to shop local while still enjoying sweet treats.

Check out Farm-to-Table Desserts on Amazon, or at your local bookstore. 

We were provided with a sample for review. All opinions are our own.

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Book Review The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth

Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth: Book Review for Natural Mamas

Becoming pregnant is huge life-changing moment in your life. As the understatement of the year, this is your time to nurture your body and growing baby, hopefully taking things easier, eating right and getting enough rest. But this time is also really stressful as you face hormonal ups and downs and never-ending questions about what’s going on inside your body. To help you navigate through this time, you’ll need a lot of insight from your doctor, friends, spouse, and unwittingly from your mother to get you through this precious nine-months. Another guide to get you through this time is books and we have the perfect suggestion for you with the new release of Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth.

Written by Genevieve Howland, founder of mamanatural.com, this comprehensive guide for the natural mama that goes away from the ‘old school’ a.k.a dated ways of thinking about pregnancy that is strictly related to medical management. In this empowering book, natural mamas-to-be are given an incredible guide as they navigate how their bodies are changing through pregnancy. This includes tons of information on pregnancy nutrition, how to perform a toxic swept of your home, natural remedies for pregnancy ailments, tips on how to set yourself up for an intervention-free labor and delivery, information on tests and screenings, delicious recipes, insight from other natural mamas, medical insights from doulas, info on how to pick your birth team and so much more.

While the book is packed with so much information and concise learnings, you won’t get lost along the way. The book is cleverly organized with clear paragraphs, imagery and a nonsense writing style that gets to the heart of what you want to learn more about it. One of our favorite parts of the book is the post-baby section where Howland provides new mamas with a plan of what eat during those first (bleary-eyed) seven days. We also loved the lists that she provides where you can educated yourself on what questions to ask when you tour a birthing center, hospital, interview a midwife and more. And while the root of the book lies in focusing a natural path to motherhood, Howland also outlines the scenarios of what happens if your birth plan doesn’t work and methods to deal with depression.

Encouraging, well-researched, thoughtful, and really fun to read, this new book is bound to make its way on the shelves of every new mama-to-be that serves as her trusted guide and companion during this life-changing period.

The book comes out on April 25th.

We were provided a sample for review; all opinions are our own.

 

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Book Review: Eat with Intention and a Recipe!

Book Review: Eat with Intention

Without sounding too basic- we all have the power to make positive choices everyday. Both with food and our overall disposition. So why isn’t that always the case? Well, obviously there are a lot of other annoying things are at play that can influence our decisions to live a healthy life from stressful work situations to our friends to even being alone. However, after reading the new book Eat With Intention: Recipes and Meditations for a Life that Lights You Up by Cassandra Bodzak, a global meditation and wellness teacher, we feel better equipped to mentally tackle the many facets in our lives, enabling us to better connect to our minds and bodies.

Book Review: Eat with Intention

Though this gorgeous healthy living cookbook, Bodzak charts the course for a life-changing experience through the combines daily meditation with plant based recipes. This mind/food connection is the focal point of the book where you will discover some amazing recipes that start with various mediations. This was particularly eye-opening as Bodzak doesn’t focus on eliminating food groups or a trendy cleanse, but rather, her program is targeted towards listening to your body, quiet your mind, and quite literally, eat with intention.

With our busy lives that are only growing busier by the minute, we found the thoughtful mediations to be super specific, easy to follow and actually didn’t take that much time to try. Even taking a minute to focus on our breathing, mind and body, as charted by Bodazk, left us feeling lighter and more energized. Each mediation was also followed up an uplifting quote (we are suckers for those) that you can write down and refer to throughout the day. Overall, the book served as a gentle guide that nudged us along way, providing us with easy-to-understand guidance and resources in how live abundantly and more healthfully. And more so then that provided us with the tools to navigate the rocky terrain of our minds.

And of course we couldn’t do a review without mentioning the recipes. The pages of the book are filled with an incredible collection of delicious meals ranging from soups to salads to healthy bites for breakfast. Oh, and the desserts are not to missed where we loved trying out the key lime pie bars and cocoa cupcakes.

Below, we are happy to share a recipe from the book that demonstrates Bodzak’s mind/body/food practice.

eat with intention book and juice

Focus Potion

Distractions are everywhere these days, especially with smart phones and social media vying for our attention throughout the day. My daily focusing weapon is always my meditation and reciting what I’m here to do. What’s your mission statement? I’ll give you a hint: For all of us, at its core, it is being a living example of love incarnate. When we adjust our focus through our divine purpose, we have a lot more power when it comes to steering clear of mindless distractions. This potion is a bit of a secret weapon of mine for days when shiny objects are getting the better of me. The sweet combination of grapes with the alkalizing punch of kale and celery perks you up while magical rosemary focuses all that good energy in the area you need it!

DIVINE PURPOSE VISUALIZATION

Sit in easy pose with your eyes closed and focused on your third-eye point (the space between your eyebrows). Take long, deep breaths in through your nose and out your mouth. Feel your body come into a calm balance. Now, bring what your purpose on this planet is to the top of your mind. If you are unclear of what your purpose is, use “I am here to be love,” because that is all of our main purpose. Allow it to be your mantra for a few moments, letting it roll around your head, down your spine, and through your breath flow. Now bring to mind what this would look like to you. How do you behave? How do people around you feel and act? What’s the ripple effect in the world? Allow these images to flood your mind for the next 3 to 5 minutes before bringing yourself back to your original purpose statement, taking a deep breath in, holding it, and releasing it.

Yield: 1 serving INGREDIENTS 3 celery stalks 2 cups (134 g) baby kale 1 cup (150 g) grapes 3 drops rosemary essential oil 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, to garnish

1. Put celery, kale, and grapes into a juicer and juice into a large glass. 2. Stir in the rosemary oil, garnish with sprigs of rosemary, and serve immediately.

We were provided a sample for review. All opinions are our own.

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Book Review: 28-Day Plant-Powered Healthy Reboot

28-Day Plant-Powered Health Reboot book

There are aspects in all of our lives that we want to change, in one way or another. While some things may seem out of our control, there are many things that we can change with the right tools, motivation and help. Once such aspect is changing the way we eat (remember that New Year’s resolution?!). For us at Wellness Patterns, this means less sugar and more wholesome foods without feeling restricted a.k.a miserable all day long.

To help us out, we recently got tons of awesome advice from the new book, 28-Day Plant-Powered Health Reboot. Developed by registered dietitians, celebrated bloggers behind Food Heaven Made Easy and bi-coastal best friends (love that!) Jessica Jones and Wendy Lopez created a non-intimidating guide to a calorie-controlled, budget-friendly, and vegetarian approach to hitting the reset button and revving-up your body’s natural detoxification process. Over the course of their 28-day plan, Jones and Lopez attest that their program can help detoxify the body as you learn how to fuel your body with delicious and wholesome plant-based meals.

This includes tons of helpful sample meal plans, grocery lists, and mouth-watering recipes–all designed to empower the reader to get organized and find the best plan for your taste preferences and lifestyle. A fantastic primer if you want to better understood food, the book kicks off with an informative guide to calories, nutrients, and the plant-based lifestyle. And, and of course, our favorite part – the book is filled with 100 amazing recipes that are around 300 and 500 calories per meal and designed to be “simple, delicious, nutritious, and fun.” This include Savory Quinoa Egg Muffins, Sweet Potato Burrito Bowl with Green Rice, Quick and Easy Huevos Rancheros Tostadas, Chewy Cranberry Energy Balls and much more!

A comprehensive guide to resetting your body, eating right and feeling amazing, this one must-have book to check out as you kick-off your 2017 goals.

 

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Expanded ‘2017 National Green Pages’ is an Awesome Holiday Gift Guide and Resource

New and Expanded ‘2017 National Green Pages’ is an Awesome Holiday Gift Guide and Resource

We just finished reading the National Green Pages, an incredible guidebook for socially responsible shopping, living, and tons more! With the holidays coming, you’ll find tons of useful information on the greenest businesses in the country and more you’ll discover an extensive range of ideas for greening your lives, work, and community.

What You’ll Find in the National Green Pages:

Featuring thousands of socially and environmentally responsible businesses, the 2017 National Green Pages is a great resource for those who wish to create a safe and healthy home, promote peace and justice, protect the environment, and support a living wage for workers.

We also loved reading all of the informative articles such as how to shop for organic clothing, a product comparison to help you decide to buy green or make cleaning products on your own, eco-friendly body care, green remodeling, eco-travel, responsible banking and investing, and much more.

Another cool aspect about the companies featured in the 2017 National Green Pages is that they have to go through a careful certification process to ensure that their environmental and social responsibility claims are accurate. These businesses are certified by Green America for their social and environmental impacts, so you can rest assured that they actually back their claims. In addition to providing information on specific companies, the 2017 National Green Pages details the types of green businesses “you need in your life,” as well as the types of business “sucking the life out of your community,” and helps readers avoid greenwashing.

Hard copies of this year’s National Green Pages can be ordered for $12.45 per copy including shipping at http://www.greenamerica.org/pubs/order/ or by calling 1-800-58-GREEN. Green America members also receive the National Green Pages for free. Membership is available starting at $20 at: http://bit.ly/2fi0YUR. Information about companies certified by Green America can be accessed online at www.greenpages.org, which includes a search feature to find green, healthy, and ethical products and services.

Enjoy and happy green shopping!

 

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