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Clara Seren Amram

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Filozifi My purpose in Clarita's Way is to share the passion I feel for creating beautiful,colorful and most important, healthy delicious and FIT food!!!

What can be more intimate than eating?

Every piece of food we put in our mouths becomes sooner or later part of our system. Part of our flesh,our bones our blood?

You are putting in to your body,YOUR BODY because each human has been granted ONE body to live in this WORLD. Each human has the responsability to take care of that body thats was granted. Not to take for granted the LİFE that was gien tohim/her as a GİFT from ABOVE.

How did CLARİTA'S WAY start?

Turning your passion into action!

For years my friends and family have been asking me to write down all the healthy, delicious recipes that I enjoy creating and cooking. I always promised them I would, but never found thetime to really sit and start, until finally...

I started my Clarita's Way book in the year 2006 when I was obliged to slow down and sit at home for a while because of an injury in my right foot. This problem turned out to be a real blessing and an amazing opportunity for self-development and growth: a fantastic lesson for me. In addition, I could finally stay still and calm and really concentrate on writing my first book.

When we are too busy and distracted by the world around us, we often fail to see the rich, interesting world inside us; missing the great potential that is waiting to be discovered and developed within. We may be searching for the Light outside when the Light is always there,

inside each of us. During my moment of enforced calm and relative stillness and silence, I was finally able to discover this Light that I so much want to share with everyone who is willing to accept it.

My purpose in Clarita's Way is to share the passion I feel for creating beautiful, colorful and most important, healthy delicious and FIT food!!!

I'm not a professional nutritionist,but good nutrition, healthy living and healthy cooking have always been a passion

I LOVE EATING and I CELEBRATE THE PLEASURE THAT EATING BRINGS.

Even though eating is one of the great pleasures in life, I will not put anything in my mouth that I know is not going to be beneficial. I would rather just have a glass of warm water with lemon,

or simply water, and wait until there is something WHOLESOME to eat. And this is what I mean when I say FIT food. This is a term I use for everything we eat that is beneficial for our bodies. Food that is FIT will make us FIT in every aspect: feeling good, energized, healthy, slim, sleek, and alive (automatically, this makes you feel and look beautiful as well).

The opposite of FIT, in this book, is EMPTY: unhealthy food that just stuffs us without giving us any real benefit. Why should we fill ourselves with unhealthy stuff, empty food, empty words, and negative thoughts and (the most dangerously) EMPTY of all: Mrs. GOSSIP!!!

Just simply stay away from her! She is just as unhealthy for our minds and souls as junk food is for our thighs, abs, arteries and hearts. Don't waste your time on EMPTY words. Remember that silence is golden!

Clarita's Way is based on the firm belief that every soul has been granted a physical body for living in this physical world, and each life has a purpose. We're granted a body but we are not just a body! When I say body, I mean the three bodies that human beings are made of: the physical body, the spiritual body (our selves, the soul) and the mental body (the intellect).

We are not the beautiful toned legs or attractive faces that we might have. We're not the status or the mansion or the amazing clothes, shoes, bags and jewels that some might possess or enjoy. Each of us is also a beautiful soul, a center of Love, Purity, Peace and Strength. Each of us is also a mind, an intellect, fed by all our senses and like the body and the soul, can be almost infinitely developed and educated.

Each of us is part of a huge group called humanity. We have come, and at a certain moment we will also go to, the same place. The difference that we make in this world, the impact that we have in this earthly experience, is thanks to the body we have.

So by taking care of this beautiful body that each of us was granted (and by not taking for granted what you and I were granted!), we are already thanking the Supreme and Omnipotent Force that created us, for being alive.

When you feel good about yourself and you are at peace, you can transmit that peace and love to others. When you feel good and satisfied about the way you look, it makes a difference; it automatically makes you feel good also inside (corpos sani=mente sana).

Let's not wait until tomorrow to do something good for ourselves. When we start helpingourselves then automatically we can help and give more to others! We cannot give to others what we do not possess ourselves.

When we are pleased with the way we look, the way we feel, the way we think (in others words being in full integrity) then we are going to transmit peace and harmony. I strongly believe that if each person found peace within him/herself, then really no hostility, no aggression, no anger and no wars would exist. Remember the Wise  say: "Peace at Home, Peace in the World" each of us is a country. If each of us works at changing what needs to be changed, develops the potential that each one has and finds that internal peace and harmony we are all looking for, then our family, our community and our world will become a peaceful place. Think about it...

Throughout CLARİTA'S WAY İ'll share with lots of JOY my little tips and life style to show you how easy it is to lead a healthy, fit and happy life without starving yourself or making huge sacrifices with the way you eat.

Clarita's Way is about learning what to eat and how to eat it and when to eat it.

The aim of this book is not to make you loose weight. Rather, it's about enjoying life to its fullest, in the healthiest way possible. I hope to be able to show you the infinite alternatives for healthy eating, so if you have any excess of fat or weight, it will simply go away and you'll feel great.

With Clarita's Way you will get lots of tips and recipes which are tasty, will give you energy and will not make you feel guilty. In case you have extra fat or your muscles are "sleeping, or on standby", this will definitely benefit you.

Through this I hope, first to inspire you to learn how to develop a lifelong practice of healthy eating, with "moderation in all things". It is never too late to change for the better (your eating habits).

And I hope you will adopt a philosophy of being "FIT" and active all through your life. Staying fit- not only physically but mentally and spiritually as well -will definitely make you happier and more energized. And remember that when we are happy, we can make others around us also happy; and those others to others and on we go...! I hope with all my heart that you will enjoy reading it, find it useful, practical and fun, so that you will want to share it with those you love.

SETTING PRIORITIES

AND GETTING STARTED

To be fit, slim and sleek, eating correctly must be at the center of your lifestyle. You may need to change the way you feel about food. Ask yourself: "Why do I eat? Do I eat to live, or do I live to eat? Do I eat more when I'm nervous? Sad? Lonely? Feeling ugly? Do I eat to please others? When bored? Stressed? Or do I eat just when I feel hungry? (This is the correct way to eat, in my opinion.)"

Listen to your body! It is such an intelligent machine and everything it needs is within your reach; all the answers are inside you. Just let your intuition about what's good or not so good for you guide you. (This is what is called intuitive eating.) The more you really get to know yourself, the more you listen to your body, the more you become an intuitive eater. It's about coming back to basics; it's about adopting a lifestyle that, instead of harming you, will rejuvenate and energize you. You definitely CAN change anything you wish to improve in your body, if you are disciplined enough to work for it. So believe that you can make a change, and you will achieve your goal to be FIT and healthy forever.

It's important to eliminate phrases like "I can't eat that!", " I'm on a very strict diet!" or " If my dietitian saw how I'm eating, she would kill me!" Instead, change that program in your mind about dieting or starving yourself for a month. (no offense to all the dietitians!) Just forget about all that! This is about YOU and only YOU can make a difference in YOU!!! Think about it! From now on, forget about counting calories, or "pigging out" all weekend (no offense to these cute pinky animals), so you can begin abusing your body with some strict regimen on

Monday! Do you realize the harm you are giving to your metabolism by acting this way? Eliminate the word DIET from your vocabulary. Clarita's Way is not about a certain regime you'll follow strictly for a limited period of time, nor about spending tons of money to make you loose weight. No at all! Nevertheless, if you are overweight, Clarita's Way will definitely help you eliminate those extra inches or centimeters...

Now where do we start? Let's see what we can get rid of... I believe that we start by doing a good cleansing, getting rid of all the unnecessary clutter. Start from your closet. Look at things you haven't use for a long time and only keep because one day ‘you might need them'. If you haven't used them all this time, most probably you won't ever use them! Instead of taking up space in your closet, take them out and share them with someone who really can make good use of them. Then, if you have children, you probably have lots of things to give to families or children who are less fortunate.

Once you clear some space in your house you will already start seeing the difference. I guarantee you will feel lighter; that's the way it works. Everything that surrounds us has certain energy, and clutter takes away our energy, a sort of "Empty food for the soul". Then go to the kitchen. Here is where the real clean-up starts! Here you will clean closet-bycloset, cabinet-by-cabinet. First of all you'll get rid of any conserves, cans, soft drinks, and junk foods. OUT! Make space for all the fresh and fit foods I'll tell you about. In The Healthy Kitchen section, you'll read the easiest way to make your kitchen a healthy sanctuary. Once this is done you already will start feeling good, proud of yourself. Then you can start the cleansing of your body. Now when do we start? Let's start with the morning...

The first thing is to wake up early. Whatever you do, it's always best to wake up early. As soon as you wake up, say a little prayer to the Supreme for granting you one more day of life.

Then go to the bathroom brush your teeth and do the tongue cleansing: with a special gadget called the tongue cleaner, scrape the surface of your tongue to eliminate any dirt or toxins accumulated there. (This removes bacteria deposits from the mouth and throat, provides a well balanced and healthy oral flora, gives a fresh and healthy feeling, and improves the sense of taste. It is very different from brushing teeth, and is important to do it every morning when you brush your teeth.

Wash your face with cold water. Wash your nostrils with saline solution. Practice some deep breathing exercise to help your bowels work better. Drink one or two glasses of water: plain, or with a slice of lemon (with the skin), or even a small slice of fresh ginger (great against nausea). I prefer warm water. Then depending of how busy you are, do some yoga positions.

Have your breakfast (or take it with you). The first food you put in your mouth should always and always be FRUIT! Then you can eat any of the foods I suggest in the Breakfast section. Being slim and fit may take some little adjustments in your daily routine, but once you practice these disciplines, and you start seen the positive changes, it will become as natural and essential as when you respond when someone calls your name. It will be part of YOU. So let me give you some of the tips I practice myself and always suggest to my friends and beloved ones around me.

Tips for healthy eating

  • Eating should always be a pleasurable and natural experience. Always eat sitting down at a table and be mindful of what you're doing. Concentrate. Savor and enjoy each mouthful.
  • Don't "multi-task"; you may forget about what you're eating, and eat more than you want to.
  • When eating at home, even if you are eating alone, set a beautiful table, light some candles, play soft music (the slower the music, the slower your eating pace will be). Avoid telephone, television, computer, etc.
  • It's definitely not healthy to approach eating in a mood of tension, strain or selfconciousness. So when you are feeling angry, nervous or tired, it's best to wait until you calm down (take a few deep breaths), and begin with something easy to digest, like fruit.
  • Don't use food to fill other emptiness rather than the one of your stomach. Never use food as a comforter for depression, loneliness or boredom: this is just a way of punishing yourself. But after you finish the whole box of chocolates or empty the whole fridge, you'll feel even worse. You'll continue looking for external satisfactions to lift your spirits, and you are in a vicious circle that has trapped you, and requires more energy, self-discipline and willpower to exit. (It's normal to feel like this sometimes, we are humans after all. But we also are granted an intellect, which allows us to be the masters of our thoughts and decisions, and ultimately we are the only ones who really have control over our bodies and our lives.)
  • Concentrate on eating as slowly as you can. Remember that your taste buds are on your tongue, not in your stomach! Gobbling your food takes away your chance to really taste it! Eat without hurrying; chew until each mouthful is well smashed and mixed with your saliva. (This way you will digest better and of course you will really enjoy the food you are savoring; and your natural intuition will let you know when your body is satisfied. This way you will be able to stop when you are full)
  • One of the keys to healthy eating is to eat when you are hungry and stop when you're satisfied comfortable without feeling heavy. Yoga teaches us to fill our stomachs about half with food, a quarter with water, and keep the rest empty. That's the natural way we all know when we are born: eat when hungry and stop when satisfied. But society makes us forget that (mothers over feed their children, use food as a reward, food advertisements).

Tips for the workplace

Whatever your work is, a teacher, a lawyer, a nurse, or a government employee - whatever you do for a living - you can still become and stay fit and healthy at work.

  • Fill your pantry and fridge with lots of different snacks: dried nuts (dry roasted hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts, walnuts), dried apricots, figs, and prunes; fresh green apples, clementines, grapes, cherries (in season).
  • Bring your lunch to work; you have a lot more control over what you eat and you can save money, too! There are plenty of sandwich and salad options with wholesome, homemade ingredients. Yogurt, hummus, hard-boiled eggs, raw veggies - be innovative! Maybe you'll start a trend!
  • Always and always have extra reserves of water at your desk, and in the trunk of your car.
  • Don't be chained to your chair; get up, move around, stretch, walk, take the stairs instead of the elevator, use a rest room on a different floor, etc.
  • If you can, close your door and take a cat-nap after lunch - it's practiced by many of the world's most successful people.
  • When it's someone's birthday at the office, that doesn't mean you have to eat the cake and all the other "empty" goodies that might be offered to you. Congratulate the person, wish him or her "Happy Birthday" but instead of eating the cake, have an apple.

Tips for social events

  • Never eat just to please others or to be courteous. Many people at social or family events eat more than they can or should because they think it is not polite not to finish and clean their plates.
  • At buffet parties serve yourself lots of salads and drink lots of water. If there is a grilled piece of meat or fish, that's fine, but stay aware of all those heavy sauced dishes, burgers (you don't know for sure what's inside unless you made them at home), and greasy rice and pasta dishes.

Tips for singles

Living alone and cooking just for yourself isn't always fun, but if you can dedicate few hours each week to your kitchen, then more than half of the job is already done; it's just a matter of getting organized, as long as you/have the right tools and ingredients handy. So when you do your "big" shopping, be sure you have all the necessary staples on your list. Keep a jar of "Adobe" (check the Sauces section) and various other sauces for pastas and salads ready to use in your fridge.

Then, during your "kitchen time", cook various kinds of beans (chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans), cool and then put them in small plastic containers or freezer bags, label and freeze. Then you can remove them from the freezer and re-heat, with the ready Adobe, for only 20 minutes (instead of 2 hours). Add some fresh herbs and/or chopped vegetables at the last minute.

While this is cooking you are preparing the salad (the dressing is also ready in the fridge). You have a container of brown rice from the other day (just heat it up in the micro) and your spicy sauce is also ready in the fridge, and a red pepper salad (antipasto) is also ready to serve. Prepare your table, with a little flower, some candles, et voila, believe it or not; your meal is ready in no time. This can only happen when your fridge and freezer are stocked with healthy foods. Otherwise, you arrive home, hungry and tired, and there is nothing to eat. What happens? Of course, you call closest take away, and fill yourself up with empty food. That may be OK once in a while, but not everyday.

Foods than can be prepared in advance:

  • Adobe
  • Salad dressings
  • Carrot salad (can be prepared even 2 days in advance)
  • Lentil salad (up to 3 days in advance)
  • Tahini (lasts up to 5 days in the fridge)
  • Hummus (either home made or a good commercial one)
  • Minestrone
  • Leek, broccoli and pumpkin soups
  • Pesto sauce
  • Chicken soup (make a big batch and freeze it in small bags or ice cube trays)
  • All kinds of beans and legumes - cook and freeze
  • Flax seeds crepe dough - ready to be cooked
  • Crepes, cooked ahead, in a container in the fridge - just microwave and fill
  • Marinated chicken breasts, frozen in separate freezer bags.
  • Pickles
  • Chopped chives and spring onions (keep them in small plastic container, covered)
  • Sliced or crushed garlic cloves in a little bit of olive oil in a jar
  • Make your meat, chicken and even fresh fish burgers ahead of time, freeze them and they are ready to defrost and cook.

IN SUMMARY

  • Food should be for enjoyment as well as for nourishment. Being healthy shouldn't be seen as an obligation, but an enjoyable part of life.
  • Avoid extreme diets which are bad for your health and also will cause you premature ageing.
  • Go back to basics. Take advantage of the wonderful gifts that Mother Nature is offering us. Try to eat more and more raw fruits and veggies.
  • Eat the right foods at the right times and in the right combinations.
  • Enjoy your body. Honor it! Make the best use out of it, by feeding it well, and exercising regularly!
  • Eat for enjoyment and also to prevent ailments and cure what ails you!
  • Eat slowly!
  • Avoid overeating. Moderation!
  • Eat more nourishing food, slowly, spread your food intake in smaller meals several times a day, and exercise (a good combination of aerobic exercise + weight training + stretching + yoga + meditation).
  • Eat a balanced diet: about 50% should consist on raw fruits and vegetables, 20% whole grains and 10% high protein foods.
  • Eat fruits on their own: fruits eliminate toxins from the body and are the most nourishing, easily digested food ever. Try to eat them apart from other foods, not after eating other foods, but 30 minutes before.
  • Try to drink a glass or two of water before meals, and try to avoid drinking water during meals. Sip warm water or warm herbal teas throughout the day; this is a very beneficial habit because it enhances digestion and cleanses the body of toxic build up.
  • When you feel you need a lift, instead of turning to food or caffeine, try exercise. When feeling tired or kind of down, that instead of having a cake or a cookie, a walk outside or fifteen minutes of aerobic dance, some abdominals and stretching exercises, will do the trick very well and you will immediately feel better, and, instead of adding on you are even burning off some extra calories; what could be better than this?)
  • Say NO to processed and canned food.
  • Say NO to white refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, refined grains & flours, hydrogenated fats and transfats.
  • Practice moderation in alcohol and caffeine.
  • Say NO to cigarettes.
  • Once more: Love your Body.