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50 recipes. 50 days. No additives

The Pure Health 50 Project promotes healthy — and flavorful — meals

By Michael Summers

michael_summers@fortwaynereader.com

Fort Wayne Reader

2010-08-08


Erica Justice is on a mission.

She wants to show you that preparing healthy, nutrient-dense meals can be easy, inexpensive, and taste a whole lot better than you might imagine.

To do this, she’s launching the PureHealth50 Project, a blog where Justice will prepare 50 meals in 50 days, all using pure, nutrient-rich ingredients. “I wanted to find recipes where you could feel good about every single ingredient, where every ingredient in the recipe I’m cooking is good for you,” she says. “They’re nutrient dense, there’s nothing artificial added. They’re foods you can feel good about putting in your body.”

Justice works for PureHealthMD in Fort Wayne, an integrative medical and technology practice run by Dr. Jeff Gladd that focuses on empowering patients towards healthier living. "By adjusting our lifestyle we can often take a preventative approach to health,” explains Justice who is completing her certification as a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. “Instead of managing disease, we want to prevent it. What we don't realize is that many times the medications we are on actually deplete our bodies of important nutrients. So it's very important to look at our lifestyles from a holistic perspective."

The PureHealth50 Project was inspired by the book/movie Julie & Julia, where author Julie Powell blogs about her attempt to cook all the recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. “I wanted to do a healthier spin-off of that,” Justice says. “The problem was, I couldn’t find a single cookbook that fit the mold. There aren’t a lot of cookbooks out there that you can feel good about from start to finish. They start with asparagus and they end with heavy cream.”

Justice collected recipes from a variety of sources, all with “pure” ingredients. She’s committed to preparing meals that anyone can make. “You don’t have to go to a health food store and find this obscure spice. I want to make them easy but nutritious.”

Justice says she’s always been interested in nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle, and finds that the biggest challenge for a lot of people is that often they just don’t know where to start. “I think it’s overwhelming to think ‘ugh, I have to eat fruits and vegetables and nuts and whole grains, but I don’t know what to do with them.’ People walk into the produce section and all they can think of is making another salad.”

Followers of the PureHealth50 Project will probably be spending a lot of time in the produce section, but one of Justice’s goals is to show that that eating healthy is more than just salads. As an example, one recipe she wants to tackle is salmon with roasted tomatoes, asparagus and onions — all foods that are readily available, flavorful, and… well, just a lot more appetizing than a salad.

The blog will also go into detail about how to choose your foods and what to look for when you’re shopping. “Knowing what to buy is really important,” she says. “I’m also going to be utilizing our local growers and farmer’s markets; as much as you can know where your food is coming from, the better off you are.”

And, readers will learn why Justice is using certain ingredients in her recipes. “The blog will teach people about nutrition, and give information about those nutrients — why you need omega 3s, why you need vitamin E, why you need to eat these things. What about it is good for you? What is it doing to your body when you eat it?”

But above all, Justice says she hopes readers will realize how much variety is available in these nutrient-dense, whole foods. “That’s always the biggest challenge for people who want to eat healthy — getting creative,” Justice explains. “A lot of times people think they’re going to feel deprived. But whole foods are so flavorful and so good for us; we just don’t know what to do with them.”

Visit the PureHealth50 Project at:

www.purehealthmd50.blogspot.com.

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