Living the WELL Life

8 Great Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Green Kids

I love gifts that keep on giving (and don’t end up in landfills)! Here are eight plastic-free, long-lasting, and instantly-gratifying gift ideas for the compassionate kids in your life. Happy holidays!  Read more

8 Tips for a Healthier Hanukkah

It’s almost Hanukkah and that means eight days and nights of festivities and food. However, the traditional dishes eaten at Hanukkah are not the healthiest. The holiday celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greeks. When the Maccabees rededicated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, they only had enough oil to burn for one day but a miracle occurred and the oil burned for 8 days. Fried foods such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) became the traditional fare for Hanukkah because they are cooked in oil and remind us of the great miracle that happened there.  Read more

The "Rainforest" Holiday Gift Guide!

The holiday gift-giving season is underway. The holidays provide a unique opportunity to give both a meaningful gift and one that will help rainforests at the same time. This month, I’ve put together great rainforest-saving ideas that will work for any number of holiday gift-giving situations. Happy Holidays!     Read more

Your Holiday Survival Guide

It’s h-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-r-e! The holiday season is in full swing. Shopping, partying and feasting have begun in earnest.

You can find lots of recipes here at Christina Cooks to create a healthy holiday feast that is as good for you as it is yummy, but I wanted to share a few dishes with you that are a tradition in our house at Christmas and the New Year. They are said to bring prosperity and luck to those who enjoy them…and being the superstitious Italian that I am, well, you can see why they have become traditions!  Read more

Trick or Treat

You do have choices on the one day of the year dedicated to eating candy. My cookies will win you raves with the little ones (we actually have the kids trade one piece of candy for a cookie…works every time!) and the soup and braised apples will keep the adults out of the trick or treat bags, too.  Read more

Tis the Season to Do Some Good

We all love the feeling of the holiday season (no, not the bargains…although they are nice…). We love the energy, if you will, of the season. Everyone seems a bit lighter, happier…kinder, more generous. We even have a day dedicated to service: Giving Tuesday, a day where we give of ourselves and/or our resources to help those less fortunate than we are.
Here at Christina Cooks, we have teamed up with TD Bank. I know; I know; who likes banks these days? Aren’t they the Darth Vadar of our lives; the Snidely Whiplash villain darkening our doors? 
Not TD Bank.
I have banked with this fine institution for more than twenty years and have loved my relationship with them. So when they told me that they had a program that could help the work of The Christina Pirello Health Education Initiative, I was all ears.  Read more

Holiday Feasting, Vegan Style

Holidays can be challenging on many levels, but if you really want to throw your family into a tailspin, tell them that a vegetarian, or worse, a vegan, will be joining you for your holiday feast.  My most amusing conversations have come from the panicked inquiries of hosts wondering what in the world to cook for me during the one season of the year seemingly dedicated to stuffing things, including ourselves.

Well, the truth is that the holiday season is my favorite time to host get-togethers and dinners.  The harvest is in; the abundance of our fields is in full, lush ripeness and the weather has cooled enough to inspire me to light the oven once again.  And I suppose I like a challenge.  I love putting a yummy and elegant meal on the table and watching my guests enjoy it and not realize…until the very end…that they haven’t missed the meat…or dairy…or poultry…or sugar.    Read more

Move It – Or Lose It!

Exercise is an important part of what I do. Regardless of what kind of a problem a person has, if they can move any part of their body, exercise will make them feel better.  Why? Because exercise gives you happy hormones!  A lack of exercise makes us more tired.  Energy creates energy! I am not talking about pounding your body to the point of exhaustion which is unproductive.  There is no reason that extreme punishing workouts have to be experienced for good health; this is true in both exercise and diet. But you do have to move your body.  Read more

With Gratitude

It’s that time of year…to be grateful for all of our blessings and to feast with the ones we love.

Here are some great recipes to add to your holiday meal that are so yummy and different, everyone will love them!

Whole Poached Artichokes (finished dish to be made by kitchenettes)
Millet-Cauliflower ‘Mashed Potatoes’ (finish to be made by kitchenettes)
Italian Biscotti (Christina to make and bring)  Read more

The Big Three

There are many factors that will determine your health through the years, including but not limited to: genetics, environment, attitude/outlook, risk taking, stress, chemical consumption (medications or otherwise,) smoking, sleep (or lack there of,) food, “food like substances”, movement ( exercise, etc...) and many others. Boy, that’s a lot of stuff. So which one is most important? Which one should I focus on and really pay attention to the most so that I can be healthy, live long, and prosper? Although all these things will surely impact your health as you attempt to age gracefully, I believe the things that we can control and do everyday will have the most long term impact on your health maintenance through the years. Namely: eating, sleeping and moving!!!  Read more

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