Archive for June, 2013

WARM EDAMAME AND TOMATO SALAD

Warm Edamame and Tomato SaladIMG_0852

ingredients

1 T extra virgin olive oil

3-4 scallions, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups edamame (fresh or thawed frozen)

1/8 t hot pepper flakes

1½ cups chopped ripe tomatoes

salt and ground black pepper

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

directions

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2-3 minutes or until the scallions are soft.

Stir in the edamame and hot pepper flakes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for about 4-5 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and serve.

(Adapted from a recipe found in Mark Bittman’s cookbook, “How To Cook Everything Vegetarian”)

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THE BIGGEST “FOOD MISTAKE” PEOPLE MAKE

When it comes to healthy eating, the greatest mistake that I see people make, is not eating frequently enough.

Here’s the tricky part: In order to eat healthy and frequently, you need to 196819_173300072722748_4153699_n-1be prepared. If you’re working, it means bringing snacks to work. If you’re running around with your kids, it means bringing snacks with you. In both cases, you’ve had to do some prep work by bringing food that is not only good for you but that you like! Don’t underestimate the “satisfaction factor”……… it goes a long way. Eat foods that you love and enjoy!  If you don’t get organized, two things will happen:

1. You will get hungry in between meals and search for something to eat. Often the choices that you will stumble across will not be healthy or satisfying.

OR

2. You will wait until your next meal and inevitably overeat because you’ll simply be too hungry. For most of us, that “too hungry” feeling makes us miss the signal that we’re full. Without that, we eat too much.

So stop the cycle of getting too hungry and eating too much. Prepare snacks. Make them healthy and make them satisfying.  Staying organized and on top of this is the key to healthy eating.

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A NEW WAY TO COUNT CALORIES?

The other day I got a text from a client of mine, asking me how many calories were in a slice of pizza. Well that’s a tough one! How big is the slice? Thin crust or thick? Stuffed crust or not? Lots of cheese or just a sprinkle? Vegetable toppings or meat toppings? The answer could have been anywhere between 250 -800 calories depending on the responses to the questions.

We live in the age of technology, where more and more gadgets and gizmos are cropping up to help us figure out energy expenditure and calorie intake. There are pedometers, fitbits, and fuel bands for exercise and hundreds of apps and websites for calorie counting. These calorie-counting websites have enormous databases helping us to figure out what’s going in. Initially, they take time to figure out and use but over time get a bit easier.

Wouldn’t it be simpler if someone could invent some type of scanner? No Integrated-Circuit-aka-Microchipbig deal………we’d simply imbed a microchip into our mouths for complete accuracy! No fuss, and no time wasted. (KIDDING) I wonder if this existed if people would actually do this?  Based upon the neurosis that I see, I think so!!

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BALSAMIC STRAWBERRIES WITH ARUGULA SALAD

Balsamic Strawberries with Arugula Salad IMG_0842

This salad is not only beautiful to look at but so simple and wonderfully delicious!

ingredients

3 cups of strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered

1 T balsamic vinegar

freshly ground pepper

4 cups arugula leaves

salt

1 T extra virgin olive oil

directions

In a large salad bowl, toss the strawberries with the vinegar. Season with the black pepper and let stand for 10 minutes.

Add the arugula, sprinkle with salt and toss again. Drizzle with olive oil and toss gently one more time. Taste and adjust the seasoning (You might want to add a bit more balsamic vinegar.) and serve.

(Adapted from a recipe found in Mark Bittman’s cookbook, “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian”.)

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BAD HABITS………. WHY WON’T THEY GO AWAY?

Bad habits are extremely difficult to break. Once we’ve FINALLY broken imagesthat bad-habit-cycle, there is such a huge sense of accomplishment that we feel as if we will NEVER go back to our old ways. EVER.

So we proudly march on with our changed routines and good habits. And we can actually maintain this for quite a long time thinking that we’ll never see that crappy behavior again. But then, from out of nowhere, we slip back into our old ways.

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? It’s simple: we’re human. We’re fallible. Crap.

I don’t think it’s worth dwelling on why this happens. Instead, we need to build this into our expectations and understand that lapses are part of the learning curve, too.

So don’t spend time beating yourself up…..that’s just wasted energy. Get back on track and move on. And before you know it, you’ll be in that wonderful mental state where you will think that the bad habit will never get you again.  Isn’t amnesia’s a wonderful thing?

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SWEET BROWN RICE WITH CURRY, CARROTS AND RAISINS

Sweet Brown Rice with Curry, Carrots and Raisins (Serves 6) IMG_0797

ingredients

1 cup long-grain brown rice or brown jasmine rice

1 medium carrot cut into matchsticks

¼ cup golden raisins or diced apple

2 cups of water or vegetable broth

1/3 cup unsweetened apple juice

1 t mild or hot green curry paste

directions

Place the rice, carrots and raisins in a medium saucepan. Add the water/broth and apple juice. Then add the curry paste and swirl to combine. Heat until the liquid boils and then reduce to a low heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Gently fluff the rice with a wooden spoon. Serve hot.

(Adapted from a recipe found in”Food and Nutrition” magazine, May/June, 2013)

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THE SCREAMING CHOCOLATE CHIPS

I have a client who is a FOODIE.  She loves to eat, and eats a huge variety of foods ranging from extremely healthy to………..hhhmmm………not so healthy. She’s also an exercise junkie—she is consistent about her exercise and works VERY hard when she does, which is very commendable. Her weakness is chocolate chips. Chocolate-Chips

She tries to eat those chocolate chips in moderation but somehow loses the battle. Since she refuses to get eliminate them from her diet, she’s tried everything from measuring out portions of chocolate chips to hiding them. No matter what she does, those chocolate chips SCREAM at her saying, “HERE I AM……….EAT ME.” And she does.

The frustrating thing is that those rotten chocolate chips are sabotaging all of the hard work my client is doing in terms of exercise. A mere tablespoon of semi-sweet chocolate chips has 70 calories and 4 grams of fat. ONE TABLESPOON!!!! Imagine the calories in a nice handful?

Bottom line: Certain foods are extremely calorie-dense. Those foods need to be eaten in teeny-tiny portions. If you can’t do that, you have to come to terms with eliminating them from your diet or knowing that you won’t be able to make the weight-loss progress that you’d like to.

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