April 23, 2012

Simple & Healthy

I've been in a weight loss - healthy green eating - kind of mood lately.  Inspired by Julia Warr's short video about Maia Helles, a 95 year-old ballet dancer who has been doing her exercise routine for over 60 years, I am turning to the old fashioned way - simplicity, every day exercises and healthy eating. 
I have never been on a diet, but I love experimenting with food, so while I was watching this wonderful, soulful film, some truly awesome things captured my attention.  First, the simplicity and the warm comfort of Maia's surrounding, then, her precision in executing the exercises and persistence of doing it every day (but, she is a ballet dancer after all) and finally, the simple healthy food cooked by Maia herself - few yellows (squash) and few greens... 

More than determined to follow Maia's advice for living a good life, I unfolded my yoga mat, dug out my apron and dug into books to search for the healthiest recipes. What I found out was something we have all known for ages: there are tremendous benefits of eating raw, fresh vegetables and fruits, but eating SPROUTS, a "living food", is superior among habits for maintaining good health. They are an excellent source of protein and vitamins while also being highly digestible. Sprouts (alfalfa, barley, chickpeas, fenugreek, lentils, beans) provide readily absorbable enzymes that produce nutrients effortlessly.
As a health-conscious, eco-friendly enthusiast (with to much time on my hands, according to my sister), I was willing to go even further and germinate my own legumes. It turned out that there is no deep mystery when it comes to home-grown sprouts because lentils, in my case, do seem to sprout as if by magic, easy, simple, and fast ....

 Here's what I did to germinate lentils :

After I rinsed the lentils, I placed them in a glass gar. I covered the seeds with water, three times their volume.

I lidded the jar with a cheesecloth to allow oxygenation. This also facilitates the rinsing process.

I placed the jar on the kitchen shelf to let the lentils soak in water for about twelve hours.

After discarding the water used for soaking, I placed the jar at approximately a 45 degree angle to allow the water to drain. This way avoids mould growth. (I used the soaked water to water my plants.)

Since darkness helps roots growth, I covered the jar with a cloth and let the lentils germinate at room temperature. To prevent seeds from drying up, I rinsed them morning and night, using warm water.

The sprouting process is complete when the sprout appears with tiny leaf attached to it.  
Isn't it incredible?!!!

These lentil sprouts can be stored five to seven days in the refrigerator.
Aren't they the cutest, tender, nutritional sprouts ever? They are equally fun and easy. In a matter of couple of days and a few pennies, you could make enough sprouts to feed the neighbourhood. They make a great salad, soup, sandwich... Just be creative!
My imagination came up with a vitamin boosted version of 

Lentil Sprouts Salad  

This is a very simple and easy-prep salad that is as beautiful as it is delicious.

You will need a part of the germinated lentils, 1 mango, 1 carrot, 1 zucchini squash (optional), 1 red beet. Cut the mango and vegetables julienne style. Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing zest and juice from one lemon and one orange, 1 tbsp honey, 3 tbsp hazelnut oil (optional), finely chopped green onion, salt and pepper. My husband suggested sunflower seeds on top. 

I can have only the salad for dinner with a glass of wine and a heel of bread. Quite simple... as Maia's secret for long life: simplicity, work and enjoyment. 
Sprouts are just one of the things I have done to improve my diet and I am impressed by the easy sprouting procedure. Surely anyone can do that and if you try it once you'll be hooked. I Certainly Am!

I would love for you to share with me what you do to improve your eating habits.  

                                                                 Live simply, work honestly, eat healthy and Enjoy Life!

                                                                                   (isn't it a great formula for a good life ?)


  1. I watched the video, completely awe struck, such an elegant and beautiful lady. I am coming around to the idea of a diet consisting only of things grown in their natural state, no packets of this and that, and as little sugar as it possible. Your salad sounds divine, also my daughter would love it. Sprouting here I come.xx

  2. I love this. "It is always the simple that produces the marvelous."

    First of all, that is what I will always keep in mind when I approach my writing and communication. Keeping things simple, unadulterated as MUCH as possible in order to get to the heart of the matter and human being.

    Secondly, I truly believe in what this beautiful woman does. Just reflecting on my life, and having turned a certain age just yesterday, I am grateful that over 35 years ago, I decided to NEVER EAT JUNK FOOD AGAIN. The result has been a wonderful feeling of BEING ALIVE because of the LIVE food I eat. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole foods. The only thing I cook is my chicken and an occasional stew of vegetables and small amounts of turkey.

    This is EXTREMELY INSPIRATION my dear Sylvia; thank you so very much for this birthday gift to me, showing me that I have chosen a good path for whatever age I achieve....

    Blessings! Anita

  3. Sylvia this is so interesting because after 2 major surgeries; I don't have an appetite for meat anymore, chicken or fish once in awhile. I am going to try the sprouts!

    ....I wanted you to know...I am featuring Anita,our Friend, Designer and Paper Artist with Castles Crowns & Cottages, & her Giveaway on my site!

    Art by Karena

  4. Wonderful inspiration and motivation, Sylvia. Thank you for this gentle but important reminder! I know when I've been eating bad - my body certainly tells me. So....with you as my role model, I'm changing my ways as of tomorrow and cleaning up my act! Healthy hugs to you, girlie! xoxo laurie

  5. This is such a fantastic post that inspires my dear. Thank you for your kind birthday wishes my sweet friend!!! Anita

  6. Your salad looks delicious Sylvia! What an interesting lady Maria Helles is. I enjoyed watching the video very much. It's so peaceful!

    Happy day,

    Madelief x

  7. What a wonderful inspiring video. Maria Helles is my idle. What grace and presence she has, as though she has this energy within that is so peaceful. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm spreading the word. Love growing your own sprouts, will try tomorrow.


  8. Hello, dearest Sylvia!
    What a beautiful, inspirational film...thank you so much for sharing this with us! What 95 should really be, yes???
    I am a big fan of sprouts, dear friend, and so happy that you have discovered it...
    gorgeous photos, yummy salad.
    You and Anita are both such an inspiration to me!!
    Sending so much love, dear sister...
    - Irina

  9. I viewed your beautiful blog full of admiration.
    Beautiful photos.
    Enjoying know!

    Happy week!

  10. Just stopping by to wish you a beautiful week, dear friend!
    - Irina

  11. Thanks so much for stopping by. Have been thinking about your post all week. Good healthy thoughts! Have a wonderful week.


  12. Having just returned
    from an indulgent
    three days of not-so-
    healthy eating, I am
    VERY ready to embrace
    this post!!! Thank you
    for introducing us to
    this inspiring lady and
    for the sprout "recipe"
    and salad recipe : )!

    Happy Tuesday,
    xx Suzanne

  13. Yummie! I just found your blog on Foodie Friday. I'll host my own party every month called My Sweet Party and I would love you to join. Please visit my blog for mor info.


    Have a nice day!



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