Jan 29, 2016

Lulu's Latin on Bowman Curve

My husband and I finally made it to Lulu's Latin Rotisserie and Grill a few weeks ago.  It is delicious!  I hope you will make time to support a local restaurant with real food.  

You can eat in or carry out.

We shared a 1/2 a rotisserie chicken that comes with 3 different - wonderful - sauces.  For our sides, we chose sautéed veggies and a small bowl of beans and rice (for $10.50).  My husband got a small side salad that came with feta, avocado, and house made dressing (for $4).  Yes, we ate dinner for under $20!

Check them out!

Lulu's Latin Rotisserie & Grill
315 N. Bowman Rd.
Little Rock, AR 72211
(501) 228-5564

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Jan 25, 2016

Have You Been to Natural Grocers Yet?

Have you been to Natural Grocers yet?  I love the store!

One of the things I love most about the store is their commitment to education.  When you check out, they have a flier of all the class offerings.  Natural Grocers has an incentive program going now that if you go to 4 classes, they will give you a $10 gift card to the store.  WHO does that?!  I think this speaks volumes of the company's philosophy.

I have heard all of the upcoming speakers and will recommend their FREE classes.  They're first come, first served.

Tuesday, Jan. 26 noon-1:30pm Dr. Traci Kieran, DC will dive into the dangers of sugar, GMOs and processed foods.  Our bodies are designed to run and thrive off of whole and nutrient-dense foods.  However, our culture has accepted an "overfed and undernourished" trend that is leading to a drastic increase in metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases and heart disease.

Thursday, Jan. 28 6:30-8pm Julie Majors (yours truly) I'll be talking about the power of probiotics. Did you know that 90% of the cells in your body are bacteria?  Eating fermented, probiotic-rich foods keeps these bacteria & YOU healthy.  Join us as we sample and learn about these living foods.

Saturday, Jan. 30 11am-12:30pm Caroline Cheong Learn easy, sweet and savory grain-free recipes that will allow you to take gluten free to the next level.

Last Saturday I went to a fermentation workshop at Natural Grocers by Cat and John Swenson. Wow.  It was excellent!  She knows so much about the subject, I want her to come back to Little Rock and teach again!  Cat and her husband, John, live in NW Arkansas and are Chapter Leaders for the Weston A. Price Foundation there.
They also are the proprietors of Great Fermentations, an Arkansan company dedicated to filling your gut with beneficial bacteria.  In the picture above, you can see two different flavors of the cultured veggies that are offered at Natural Grocers.

Along the same vein of education, the store provides a Nutritional Health Coach (NHC).  Angeline is the NHC for the Little Rock store.  She will meet with you for 30 or 60 minutes (FREE!) and give you tailored food and supplement information for your lifestyle.  I talked with Angeline on Saturday and she is a fan of Nourishing Traditions, which immediately put her on the top of my list. :)

Another thing I love about the store is their commitment to pastured based (grass-fed) dairy.  You will find non-homogenized milk there, as well as pasteurized cream - not ultra-pasteurized...read about the differences here.  If you are paying more for organic milk, PLEASE check that it is only pasteurized.

If you haven't checked out the store, I hope you will stop in soon.  I would love to see you at the free probiotics workshop THIS Thursday, Jan. 28 6:30-8pm.

- Julie
PS - just a reminder: I do not make money from this blog.  The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.  

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Jan 22, 2016

Reasons Why I Drink Kombucha

Click here to sign up for a kombucha class!

What is kombucha (pronounced: com BOO cha) and why should one drink it?
1.  Kombucha is a probiotic drink made from sweet black tea that has been fermented to proliferate the creation of beneficial bacteria.  These beneficial bacteria fight the bad bugs and can keep you from catching colds, flus and whatever junk is being passed around.

2.  There are enzymes in it that help break down and digest food for optimal nutrition absorption.   With each trip around the sun, our bodies are slowing down.  As we age, the body needs more enzymes for proper digestion.  Enzymes, taken with a meal, prevent gas and bloating (hope that's not too much information for the under 30 crowd!)

3.  It contains glucuronic acid, which is also produced by your liver for neutralizing or binding with toxins so they can be flushed from the body.  Everyday we are bombarded by chemicals.  I don't want those toxins to remain in my body.

4.  Best of all, kombucha tastes delicious and refreshing on a hot day.  Your body absorbs mineral ions (electrolytes) from it faster and retains them longer than plain water.

My favorite story to tell about kombucha is from a sidebar on page 587 in Nourishing Traditions.  Russian scientists, post World War II, were trying to understand why some cities were having large outbreaks of cancer while others did not.  All the cities had this in common: toxin exposure from lead, mercury and asbestos mining, etc.  These scientists were stumped until one hot summer day they knocked on the door of a babushka, an elderly woman.  She invited them in for a drink of kombucha. The scientists enjoyed the drink then asked if everyone in (this cancer free) town made and drank this drink.  Why, yes they did.

People often ask how much our family drinks.  The answer?  It depends on the supply.  They will drink as much as I would allow, especially on hot days.

You don't have to make kombucha to enjoy it.  Many grocery stores including Kroger, sell kombucha in 16oz bottles for about $3.  Like most things, it can be made in your own kitchen for much less!  And, if I could be so brazen to brag -- mine tastes better than store bought.

Want to learn more?  Come to a kombucha class on Thursday, February 4 at 6:30pm.  Details here.


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Jan 17, 2016

What to Expect from Natural Grocers

Here are some of what you can expect from Little Rock's newest health food store when it opens this Tuesday, January 19 at 8am:

Highest quality organic and natural groceries, dietary supplements and body care products
EDAP – Every Day Affordable Price®
Locally sourced products as well as national brands
Free science-based nutrition classes, health coaching, cooking demos
No artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives and harmful trans-fats
100 percent USDA Certified Organic produce
Strict Meat Standards – raised without antibiotics, growth promoters or feed containing animal by-products
Pasture-Based Dairy Standard – Dairy products that come exclusively from confinement-free dairies
Bag-free checkouts and commitment to sustainability (I love that they use BPA-free cash register tape!)
A Nutritional Health Coach (NHC) in every store
Support for local community organizations

Family-run Natural Grocers was built on the premise that consumers should have access to affordable, high-quality foods and dietary supplements, along with nutrition knowledge to help support their own health. The company operates 107 stores in 18 states.  There's already a store operating in Fayetteville.  Founded in Colorado in 1955, the company celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015.

Be sure to snoop around on their website.  I love that the company desires to educate people about good food.  One of the articles I read that was spot on was this one about choosing the best fats and oils.  This one was about healthy on-the-go snacks, complete with recipe links when needed.  If you have allergies, or are avoiding certain foods, be sure to check out this page with a GREAT list for substitutions.

Remember, if you're one of the first 60 people at the opening, you will receive a gift card for up to $100.


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Jan 7, 2016

Culinary Classes on Fermentation at Pulaski Tech

Did you know that Pulaski Tech offers lifelong learning classes?  I have only recently become aware of them and am excited to share them with you!

Just take a look at the many things you can learn.  A friend told me that she took a class on planning for retirement and is sure that she saved their family $50,000!

I will be teaching two classes on fermentation in February.  The first one is on kombucha, the popular probiotic and detoxifying drink.  The second class is on culturing vegetables and we will make sauerkraut in class for you to take home.

For clarification, Pulaski Tech has a few campuses.  The one in North Little Rock hosts many classrooms and administrative offices.  There's another campus near Saline County that sits just off of I-30 which is the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute.
That's the one I want to show you around. It's quite impressive.  The camera phone pictures won't do justice so please sign up for a culinary class and go see for yourself.

Would ya look at that teaching kitchen?! Complete with gas ranges and mega vent hoods!

And here's a peek of the bakery classroom.
I was very impressed with the facilities.  Especially when I saw the placard to this classroom.  
As you can see from the electronic fobs on the wall, the entire facility is state of the art.  Truly a piece of art in itself.  A hidden treasure in the Natural State, I think.

If you haven't already clicked over to look at the offering of culinary classes, I am teaching two classes in February.  The first is on Thursday, February 4 at 6:30pm.  I am teaching a class on kombucha making.  

The second class, the following Thursday, is about cultured vegetables and we will make sauerkraut in class.  Everyone goes home with a jar of 'kraut AND the knowledge + power to make it at home!

Class size is limited for both classes so sign up, today.


PS - One more little secret: you can go to the PTC Culinary Institute for a fancy lunch or dinner for a suggested donation of only $15.  Reservations are a must.  Details here.

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Jan 6, 2016

New Health Food Store in Little Rock

I'm so excited!  Little Rock is getting another health food store.  For those of us who live in mid-town and drive past a new construction on Rodney Parham near Reservoir, we've been anxiously waiting to learn what will be there.  The actual address is 9210 Rodney Parham.

The doors open Tuesday, January 19 at 8 am.  The first 60 customers will receive a gift card worth up to $100.  Gift cards will be in the amount of $5, $10, $25, $50 and $100. Customers won’t know the amount of their gift card until they check out. The store will also offer a tasting of healthy and delicious food from its Paleo Wraps class.

Did you read that?  The store is giving away money AND offering classes?!  The classes aren't just for the grand opening, either.  They have a teaching kitchen in the store in order to provide on-going education for the customers.  *awesome*

The first four Saturdays the store is open, they will have demonstrations and tastings.  All activities will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on the following dates:

Saturday, Jan. 23: Taste the Difference Food Standards Make
Saturday, Jan. 30: Gluten-Free Tasting Expo and Health Fair
Saturday, Feb. 6: Paleo Fair
Saturday, Feb. 13: Sweet Sensations Health Fair

Natural Grocers will provide the Little Rock community with fresh produce that is exclusively USDA Certified Organic, as well as other healthy, affordable, organic and natural products. The store will feature a mix of national brands and locally-grown, raised and manufactured products from Arkansas in a small, neighborhood market environment. The Little Rock store will also feature a Nutritional Health Coach and offer free nutrition education classes to the public. Here's a 90 second video for a tour of a Natural Grocers store.


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Dec 28, 2015

Chicken and Collards Pilau (easy & delish)

A foodie-friend of mine with small children passed along this recipe for Chicken and Collards Pilau.  I made it within the week of her recommendation and wonder why I waited so long.

Everyone in my family liked it.

It's a one dish wonder and comes together rather quickly.  Win-win!!

After reading the recipe you can see it is quite versatile.  I used kale instead of collards, doubled the pork (used Italian sausage) and reduced the amount of chicken.   I omitted the celery because I didn't want to make another trip to the store and used homemade chicken broth instead of vegetable broth. Next time I will use two bunches of greens instead of one.  I think mushrooms would be nice in this too.

Does anyone follow a recipe exactly?  :)

A word about pork: if you are not able to buy local pork, consider purchasing at Whole Foods or other reputable source.  Industrially raise pork is given routine doses of antibiotics whether or not the animal needs it.  The residual antibiotics in the meat is transferred to your body.   If you ever need to take an antibiotic, you don't want to have a tolerance built up to antibiotics because of the meat you're eating.

If you're looking for a new-easy-yummy dish to add to your repertoire put this one on the list.  Don't wait more than a week or you will be kicking yourself.


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Dec 10, 2015

Free Pizza at New Pizza Joint

Hey Little Rock foodies!  There's a new pizza place in town.  Blaze Pizza opened Thursday (yesterday) in Pleasant Ridge and is offering free pizza today (Friday 10am-10pm) to anyone who follows them on social media and can prove it on their phone.

Blaze Pizza boasts of made from scratch dough, artisanal ingredients, and fast-fired for 180 seconds.  Check it out!

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Dec 9, 2015

10 Easy AND Healthy Party Snacks

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

But not exactly the EASIEST.

Here are some ideas to make your party going a bit easier on your conscience health.

1.  Real Food Cheese Dip:: don't tell your family there's no Velveeta in it!  I've been making HB's recipe for dinner and taking it to parties (crowd favorite!) In the comments, I wrote a minor change I've made to the recipe.

2.  Low carb and nutrient dense:: Pull out a pretty platter and take a quick plate of cheese cubes, olives,  nuts, and dried fruit.  Kroger and Whole Foods makes this really easy.  They have an olive bar and a giant cheese selection.  Of course you can use jarred olives.  Bonus points if you buy cute toothpicks.

3.  High carb and kid friendly::  Fruit platter - quick rinse grapes, berries and slice up oranges or buy a bag of Cuties (easy to peel!).  Remember if you take apple slices to sprinkle them with lemon, orange or pineapple juice.  This step will keep the apples from turning brown.

4.  Pop popcorn stovetop in coconut oil.

5.  Hummus and veggie sticks, chips, or whatever strikes your fancy.  You can make it homemade or grab a container at the store.  Alton Brown adds baking soda when cooking chickpeas in a crock pot.  This makes for creamy hummus.

Lori's Pineapple Cheese ball
6.  Growing up, it seemed there was a cheese ball at every function of worth.  Lori makes a yummy one.

7.  Grab a jar of salsa and your favorite chips.  Bonus if you wanna share some of your probiotic salsa.

8.  Energy bars or balls take a bit more energy to make than opening a jar, but man, they are good.  Best of all, you can feel good about your family snacking on them!

9.  If you want to have a bit of sugar but not go overboard, coconut macaroons are an easy and relatively good for you cookie.

10.  I've also been making low sugar no bake cookies and substituting some of the oats with coconut for easier digestion (grains, unless properly soaked or sprouted are difficult for the body to assimilate their nutrients).  Of course you can make those cookies completely gluten free by using all coconut and no oats.

What have I missed?  What do you like to take to parties?


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Dec 1, 2015

Pasture Raised Eggs (at Kroger)

Buying local pastured eggs is one of my food priorities.  Sometimes however, I can't always find local eggs... or, enough to fill my family's demands.  I have an egg share with Farm Girl but lately my people have been eating a lot.  Unfortunately I think this is a trend that will only continue.  My 11 year old son grew three inches last year.

After talking with a knowledgeable friend, I decided to try the above pictured "Pastured Raised" brand eggs that my Kroger carries.   This morning I was delightfully surprised at the color of the yolk.  The bright orange hue is telling of the chicken's living conditions.  These ladies ate a bit of green grass in their lifetime.  

The dark color in the yolk is evidence of nutritional density.  If you are looking to sneak some nutrition into your family, buy the best quality of eggs you can afford.  Quality eggs taste better, too.

Buy local when possible.  When in a pinch, I will now recommend and buy Pasture Raised brand from box stores.  


Related:: Why you should pay more for eggs and the difference in wording on the cartons.

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