Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a good Easter and enjoyed a bit of candy, but not too much ☺

I caught my wife letting our son eat some candy with a friend of his.  I didn’t jump in and take it away.  No, I’m not the meanest dad in the world.  However, my son doesn’t really have a sweet tooth because he doesn’t get candy or juice.  He eats a good variety of foods and drinks super greens with me every morning.

I was thinking this weekend about my weekly articles and thought that I would do something fun moving forward.  First Monday of each month I’ll try and make about food.  A lot of people ask me what I (actually) eat.  Different topic from what I supplement with or what my daily nutrition routines are.  We are hardwired to want food, to eat, to share meals with family and friends, so I figure it’s a good idea to share.

After all, cooking is one of my true loves.  I like to grow my own food as an amateur gardener and I try to cook food at home as much as possible.  Few things are as rewarding as fulfilling your basic need for sustenance and doing so with high-quality, organic ingredients.

All this goes along with my philosophy on health: Try and keep the bad stuff out (of your body), and try and get it out once it gets in.

Making your own food that you know what the ingredients are and where they came from is the frontline of health.  That doesn’t mean you need to eat raw kale all day long.  Let’s have some fun with these food columns.  I like comfort food as much as the next person.  I just like to make it myself.  Bon appetit!

Last night I made a baked pasta that was really good.  Remember the philosophy I wrote about previously?  Try a little harder to be a little better.  Same goes for my healthy approach to cooking.  Instead of using premade pasta sauce that has preservatives and non-organic ingredients, I just created my own real quick on the stove.  Instead of conventional wheat pasta, I use Trader Joe’s organic quiona and brown rice pasta.  It’s higher in protein, higher in fiber and still delicious.

Homemade sauces don’t have to be a big deal and they don’t have to take a ton of time or effort.  I just sautee garlic, chopped onion, mushroom and celery in a pan with olive oil.  Then I add my seasonings of sea salt (please don’t use table salt!), dried oregano, paprika, cracked pepper (with the exception of salt, be liberal with your herbal seasonings).  I add some marinated artichoke hearts to the pan and keep it over medium heat while the flavors infuse.  If the sautee starts to stick to the pan, add a splash of water to keep it from burning.  Then I add the last ingredients, veggie meat crumbles, and organic tomato paste.  Add water so that the sauce in the pan is not “thick” anymore.  Then just cover, reduce to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Cook the pasta for half the recommended cooking time and drain.  Toss with a bit of olive oil to avoid too much sticking.  Then add the pasta to your baking dish.  Top with a layer of cheese, then pour all the sauce on top and spread it out, then top with another layer of cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  The baking and moisture from the sauce will finish cooking the pasta.

Tips: Use organic veggies and pasta if you can.  I am vegan so I use Daiya cheese shreds (for pasta I prefer the mozzarella flavor).  If you can’t give up cow cheese, PLEASE consider using organic cheese so to not expose yourself to the hormones and antibiotics, blood and puss of regular dairy products, yuck.  If wanting meat try a lean option like ground turkey, or even the heartiness of ground bison would be good with this sauce.

Who doesn’t like a little garlic bread on the side?  I like to drizzle with olive oil, and spread crushed garlic right on the bread, along with a pinch of sea salt, dash of oregano and paprika.

Sure you can get a frozen lasagna and pop it in the oven, but when you make your own food, YOU control the ingredients, and the total nutrition.  Add more celery and onion for higher fiber content.  Use shaved squash, or spaghetti squash instead of the pasta if you are that kind of person.  I recommend adding a green salad on the side for a raw element to the meal in addition to making sure you get your veggies.  Happy Monday!

I’ll try and post a lot of my recipes on Instagram too.  You can follow me at:


Russ Marchewka’s commitment to better nutrition has earned him the nickname “Mr. Healthy” on the tour. He has spent the last eight years studying how nutrition affects his volleyball game. For more, visit his website, or connect with him on Facebook,

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