New Changes for the New Year

By Chef Heather Haxo Phillips and Nutritionist Krissa Schwartz

When the New Year begins, many of us feel the need to create change in our lives.  The winter holidays are joyous and fun, but do often take us out of the place of listening to our own needs and our body’s intuitions. Especially when it comes to food.   January is a perfect time to sit down and ask yourself a few very important questions.  What sorts of behaviors or habits no longer serve me?   What changes do I actually feel ready to make?  How can I achieve better health in a way that really suits me?  Developing answers to these questions can lead you toward permanent positive change in your life, not just short-term resolutions. This article will help guide you through the process.

When we eat, there are many sensations that follow.  Do I feel full? Am I tired? Do I have more energy? Am I bloated? Am I satisfied? Our bodies are full of answers.  When you begin to listen to those messages, you will find it easier to know what is right for you.  When you recognize the difference between what your head is telling you and what your body is saying you will create positive change.

Once you recognize the correlation between what you are eating and how your body reacts, you can make changes.  If you find that your craving for sugar or carbohydrates is overwhelming you, try not having them for 3 days and then see how you feel.  Baby steps.  You might find you are sleeping better at night, waking up with more energy, not having that afternoon crash or even your digestion has become more comfortable.  Slowly moving into a lifestyle that incorporates whole, natural, organic, and raw foods will most definitely make you feel better and more alive.

Creating change is a very individual process.  This is true for weight loss, detoxing, or changing to a clean, vegan diet. Take one step at a time.  You can simply start by eliminating processed and packaged foods from your diet.  Replace them with whole fruits, vegetables, or nuts and seeds.  If you are already doing that, increase the level of raw foods you eat.  Start a meal with a raw soup (like the recipe below) each day.  Have raw crackers on hand instead of reaching for bread.  When you crave that salty snack have some kale chips, not potato chips.

Find a friend, family, co-worker that inspires and supports you.  It could even be a musician whose music motivates you.  Reach out to them when making changes.  Having support and encouragement are so helpful during transitional times.

Creating a healthier lifestyle does not need to be written down, calculated, or clearly mapped out.  It is an intuitive process that takes time and dedication with an ultimate goal in mind.   Saying you want to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks is unrealistic and will only lead to feeling let down. Take the time to consciously make a change.  When you listen to your body and recognize the difference in how you feel, then you’ll want to stick with these changes.

I encourage you in this year 2011 to treat your body in way you have never done before.  It’s the only one you’ve got and it is capable of running at optimal speed, just like a car.  The better fuel and routine maintenance you give it, the better it will run.

Enjoy your journey to better health!  It is worth every step!

Learn more about how to make positive changes in your diet at  You can join us for “Raw Food for Busy People” class on April 9th in Oakland.

Cream of Zucchini Soup

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 cup water, plus additional water to thin
  • 2 medium zucchini, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons mellow white miso
  • 2 small cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • Dash cayenne
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried)

Place the water, zucchini, celery, lemon juice, olive oil, miso, garlic, salt, and cayenne in a blender or Vita-Mix and process until smooth.  Add the avocado and dill and blend briefly.  Add additional water to thin the soup to desired consistency, and blend.  Serve chilled or at room temperature. Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, Cream of Zucchini Soup will keep for up to three days.

This creamy soup is delicious served chilled, at room temperature, or warmed gently on the stove or in the dehydrator.

Learn other recipes like this at the upcoming “Raw Food for Busy People” class April 9thth in Oakland.