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personal advice ● crowning concepts By Susie Castillo and Shandi Finnessey Recipes for Healthy Success You don’t have to sacrifice your favorite foods as long as you eat them responsibly and mixed in with a variety of equally tasty healthy snacks and meals W e would love to eat perfectly 24 hours a day, but the truth of the matter is we don’t. We both are suckers for anything with cheese— mac and cheese, cheesy nachos, cheese and crackers, grilled cheese—heck, cover a shoe in cheese and we just might eat it! We all know how bad cheese or processed food is for us, but dang it, how do we steer clear from its gooey and yummy powers? Well, that’s where the 75/25 rule comes into play. As long as the majority of the time (75%) we’re consuming fresh, live, wholesome and organic foods, a little slip-up here and there is easily handled by your body. We’ve found ways to make sure we start the day right by getting in a good portion of fresh fruits and veggies in the morning and giving our bodies tons of nutrients, vitamins and enzymes. That way, if our day ends with a few yummy finger foods, we don’t feel as awful as we would have otherwise. Here are some health tips and simple recipes straight from our Pageantology TM Pantry that are staples in our diets. SUSIE’S VEGAN SPLIT PEA SOUPERZ This split pea soup is something I make often, especial- ly during the holidays when I’m visiting family in Massa- chusetts and it’s freezing outside. It makes enough for about 4 people and is AWESOME when reheated on the stovetop the next day, too. Ingredients: 3 cups dried split peas 76 PAGEANTRY 8 cups vegetable stock (This turns out to be 2 containers of the Pacific Organic Vegetable Broth. Get an extra container just in case you need more.) 3 bay leaves 1 teaspoon of cumin 1 teaspoon of coriander 1 tablespoons of Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt 1 medium onion, minced 4 medium garlic cloves, minced 3 stalks celery, minced 4 medium carrots, sliced Optional Toppings: Avocado Heirloom tomatoes, diced Extra Virgin Olive Oil Fresh ground black pepper Fresh parsley, minced Directions: 1. Put all ingredients in a large pot (you can sauté the onions, celery, and carrots first or add them in directly if you want a fat free soup). 2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer, cov- ered for about 30-40 minutes (until all the veggies and split peas are soft), stirring occasionally to prevent split peas from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 3. Season to taste with the additional toppings if you wish. PS—I like to let the soup sit in the pot for about 30 minutes after it’s cooked so the flavors are more abundant. CROWNING CONCEPTS continued on page 112