Archive for February, 2013

WHOLE ROASTED GARLIC-HERB CHICKEN

Whole Roasted Garlic-Herb Chicken IMG_0715

ingredients, garlic butter

8 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

2 T olive oil

3 T fresh thyme leaves

1 T butter, softened at room temperature

½ t salt

ingredients, chicken

1 roasting chicken, 4 ½ lbs

½ t salt

½ lemon, sliced into thin wheels (reserve other half)

3 sprigs fresh thyme

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

10 cloves of garlic, peel on

directions

Blend garlic-butter ingredients into a smooth paste. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 4000 F. Wash the chicken, remove the giblets, trim the excess skin/fat and pat dry with paper towels.

Using your fingers, gently pry the skin away from the meat, creating pockets. Spray a sturdy roasting pan with olive oil spray. Salt the inside of the chicken with ½ t of salt and stuff with the lemon wheels, thyme, rosemary and garlic.

Using twine, truss the chicken (breast side up) making sure that the legs are tight. Place the chicken in the roasting pan. Rub the chicken all over with the remaining lemon half, squeezing the juice into the skin. Generously baste the chicken with the garlic-butter pushing the mixture into the pockets.

Cover the chicken loosely with foil and roast for approximately 1½ hours. (20-25 min per pound.) Remove the foil for the last 25 minutes of roasting time. Make sure that the internal temperature reaches 1650 F, the juices run clear and the flesh is firm to the touch.

(Adapted from a recipe found in “Cooking Light”, November, 2012)

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ARE YOU YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY?

Isn’t it funny how it’s much easier to see an issue on someone else rather than on yourself? Often, we are our own worst enemy and wind up contributing to an on-going problem. The other day, I met a client (let’s call her “Jane”), who was clearly her own worst enemy.

Jane came to me with a concern: She is currently training for a triathlon and Ahhhhhhh!!while she has been increasing her exercise, she strangely, is not losing the 5 lbs that she wants off of her body.

After analyzing Jane’s diet and exercise regime, it was crystal clear to me that she was making a major mistake: she wasn’t eating enough. In doing so, she wound up REALLY slowing down her metabolism, which is why she wasn’t losing any weight even though she was exercising like a maniac. She didn’t focus on what her body was telling her to eat, but instead started listening to her friends and what they were eating. (And some of them were on crazy fad diets.) Jane needed to focus on eating for her training, not what other people were doing. She lost the plot with her diet and in doing so, was greatly contributing to her problem.

After months of feeling frustrated, Jane sought out help. I say HATS OFF TO HER! It’s so easy to stay stuck in that space and let an issue fester. And of course we can self-sabotage in so many areas of our lives—not just with diet and exercise. It takes a brave soul to step forward and to make a change.

So, if you’re feeling stuck, maybe you should take the next step?

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BLACK BEAN SOUP

Black Bean Soup black-bean-ck-1879976-l

ingredients

4 oz bacon, finely chopped

2 medium onions, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes

2 T ketchup

2 t  Worcestershire sauce

1 T chili powder

3 (15 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

juice of 1/2 lime

thinly sliced scallions, for garnish

low-fat sour cream, for garnish (optional)

directions

Put the bacon into a large heavy pot and place it over medium heat. Cook until it starts to give up its fat, about 4 minutes. (SEE NOTE BELOW*)

Stir in the onions and cook, stirring, until they start to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until you can smell it, about 1 minute.

Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire, and chili powder. Stir in the black beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat so the soup is bubbling gently and cook 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

After the soup has been bubbling for 10 minutes, add the chopped cilantro and cook until the soup is thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice. Serve with the scallions. Garnish with low-fat sour cream, if desired.black-bean-ck-1879976-l

*NOTE: To make this recipe healthier, when the bacon fat starts to render, I take a paper towel and mop up the extra fat in the pan. If I need more oil, I drizzle a bit of olive oil into the pan. The recipe will still have a nice bacon flavor but with less fat. I do this whenever I cook with bacon.

(Adapted from a recipe found on foodnetwork.com)

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DON’T LET THE SWEAT FOOL YOU

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine the other day about exercise:
FRIEND: Guess what? I started doing yoga!

ME: Great!

FRIEND: And I LOVE it!!!

ME: Great!

FRIEND: And I get all sweaty.

ME: Great!

FRIEND: It’s such a great cardio workout!

ME: Uh……..maybe…….but maybe not.

My friend looked at me and wanted to kill me. How could I possibly sweatsuggest  that her wonderful, sweaty, yoga workout wasn’t a great cardio- workout?

Sweating usually happens during exercise because it’s the way the body cools itself off when it heats up. However, we all sweat differently. Men tend to sweat more than women but even women sweat differently from each other. And while sweating could be an indicator of exercise intensity, it might not be for everyone.

My husband for example, sweats profusely when he’s parallel parking and trying to get into a tight space. Does this mean his parking is a great cardio-workout?

Workout intensity can be measured in several ways. The two most common ways are to….
1.  Check your heart rate either by taking your pulse or by wearing a heart rate monitor. Then you’ll know for sure how hard you’re working.

2. Use a scale of 1-10 to rate your intensity. This is called the RPE Scale or the Rate of Perceived Exertion. Exercising at about a 5 is staying in your comfort zone. Huffing and puffing and feeling uncomfortable would be more like a 7 or an 8.

Cardiovascular workouts involve raising your heart rate and keeping it elevated for at least 20 minutes. Is my friend doing this in her yoga class just because she’s feeling sweaty? Maybe! But maybe not. To resolve our debate, my friend and I decided to go to a yoga class together. And when we get there, I will strap a heart rate monitor on her and then we’ll see what’s what. I think all that sweating is fooling her. Stay tuned……….

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CHICKPEAS AND SPINACH WITH SMOKY PAPRIKA

Chickpeas and Spinach with Smoky Paprika chickpeas-spinach-ck-l

ingredients

1 T olive oil

2 large onions, thinly sliced

4 cloves of garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 t Spanish smoked paprika

½ cup dry white wine

¼ cup organic vegetable broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 (9-ounce) package fresh spinach

2 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 t sherry vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

directions

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic to pan; cover and cook for 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the smoked paprika, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the white wine, vegetable broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Add the chickpeas; reduce heat, and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach; cover and cook for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in the parsley and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

(Adapted from a recipe found in “Cooking Light”, November, 2012)

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ARE YOU A CHRONIC RE-BOOTER?

I don’t know about you, but when my computer isn’t working, I re-boot it. ar13058194011962Now here’s the funny thing……..if it still doesn’t work after I re-boot, I do it again. And again, and again. Even with no results, I become a compulsive re-booter.

We can use the re-booting analogy and apply it to dieting. Dieting doesn’t work. While weight loss typically occurs if you follow a diet, maintaining the loss is a completely different story. In fact, the statistics are dismal: About 95% of people on diets will gain the weight back over time.

If you are a chronic dieter you need to stop the madness. Gaining and losing weight over and over is harmful to the body. Putting aside the psychological chaos, it is psychologically detrimental: It screws up your metabolism, it changes your body composition for the worse, and, tragically, you wind up losing both hunger and satiety cues. This means you have no idea when you’re actually hungry or full.

There are constantly new fad diets that look so appealing as they give us hope and promise. Try not to fall for them unless you believe that the plan will work for you as a useful tool in changing your lifestyle in the long-term.

Bottom line: stop re-booting. It doesn’t work.

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POPCORN, ANYONE?

I love popcorn but every time I eat microwave popcorn I find that it’s just too salty! This is frustrating because popcorn is a great snack. Air-popped popcorn is not only  low in calories but a good source of fiber.

Well, good news popcorn lovers……..I found a great solution: Make your own microwave popcorn. All you need are IMG_1991-600x300popcorn  kernels and brown paper bag. Put 3 tablespoons in the bag, fold the top over a few times and put it in the microwave. Pop it on “high” for several minutes until the popping stops. The result? Fabulous, fluffy popcorn. The bonus? You can control how you season it. In my case, I added just enough salt so it wasn’t too salty.  You can  season your popcorn anyway you want. If you like spice—throw some on. You can add anything from a bit of Parmesan cheese to a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

So if you’re like me–a popcorn lover AND a control freak—this is a great alternative to microwave popcorn!

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