Archive for August, 2013

CHEESY MUSHROOM QUINOA WITH BOK CHOY AND KALE

Cheesy Mushroom Quinoa with Bok Choy and Kale (serves 6) 014_thumb

ingredients

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 t vegetable oil

1 head of baby bok choy, chopped

handful of washed kale leaves, stems removed

1 cup of chopped portabella mushrooms

1 t ground coriander

salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

directions

Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions.

In a large wok or pan, add the oil and heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Then add the boy choy, kale, mushrooms and the coriander.* Sauté over medium heat for several minutes or until the kale is wilted and the mushrooms and boy choy are softened. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the cooked quinoa and stir. Adjust season if necessary. Remove from the heat, add the Parmesan cheese and serve.

*NOTE: If you want to make this a full meal instead of a side dish, add 1 (15-ounce) can of cannellini beans (drained and rinsed).

(Adapted from a recipe found in “Food and Nutrition”, July/August, 2013)

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THERE’S YET ANOTHER REASON TO LIFT WEIGHTS!

Study after study shows how valuable weight training is:

  • It builds muscle (keeping you metabolic)
  • It makes your bones stronger (preventing osteoporosis)
  • It keeps your brain sharp (warding off dementia)
  • It helps control blood sugar (if you’re diabetic)

But here’s another obvious benefit………it makes you STRONGER. And this additional strength is extremely beneficial when you’re doing regularly , daily “life” activities: carrying in the groceries, lifting the laundry basket, picking up your children, gardening, cleaning your house, changing a water bottle on your cooler, or lifting luggage when traveling.

I’m currently in the middle of a move, where I had to be an active  IMG_1086packer, lifter and unpacker. I was thrilled to be able to lift heavy boxes on my own and to never have to ask my husband for help. I used all of my good training techniques and applied them when lifting those heavy objects. And while I did this day after day for several days, I never hurt myself because I am STRONG.

So yes, lifting weights yields so many health benefits. But the greatest gift is that it also allows you to KICK ASS when you need to!!

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WHY YOUR GUT NEEDS A WORKOUT

We all know that processed foods are not as healthy as whole upset-stomachfoods. If you ever looked at a nutrition label of something processed, you will see a very long ingredient list with strange, long, chemical-sounding words that are not recognizable food ingredients.

Aside from the bizarre chemicals, processed foods affect your digestion.

A great example would be looking at Wonder Bread vs. a whole-grain-high-fiber-bread with ground nuts and seeds. Bite into the Wonder Bread and it almost dissolves in your mouth. This is because all the fiber has been stripped away and so that bread is in a pre-digestive state. When it hits your stomach and intestines, your body doesn’t have to work all that hard to break it down.

The whole-grain-high-fiber-bread is a much different story. The digestive tract will have to work much harder to break down all that fiber attempting to extract the nutrients.  In doing so, your body will expend more energy and get a “workout”.

Clearly this is another reason to reduce processed foods from your diet. Not only does it lack nutrients, it makes your digestive tract lazy.

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TOMATO WATERMELON SALAD

Tomato Watermelon Salad (serves 4) EW_258_01_REC

This salad tastes like SUMMER!!!

ingredients

1 pound red watermelon, rind removed and cut in 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 pound yellow watermelon, rind removed and cut in 1 1/2-inch chunks
4 heirloom tomatoes, halved
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons small fresh basil leaves
2-3 ounces mild fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped unsalted cashews

directions

Divide the watermelon pieces and tomatoes among four salad plates. Drizzle each plate with olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the basil, goat cheese, and cashews before serving.

(Adapted from a recipe found in “Yoga”, Sept, 2013)

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WOMEN, WINE AND WEIGHT

Let’s face it……..we all have our weaknesses and for some you, that  imagesweakness is alcohol. Perhaps you LOVE a glass of wine (or two) with dinner. Or how about thoroughly enjoying some fun cocktails when you go out?

There is nothing wrong with drinking moderately. The problem with moderate drinking is the definition of moderate:

“A drink is one 12 oz. beer, 4 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits, or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits.”

For many of you, you are NOT drinking 1, 4-oz glass of wine per night. Maybe it’s more like 1-2, 6-oz glasses? Or 3, 4-oz glasses? (Sorry, but filling up a large wine goblet all the way, just doesn’t count.)

There are a few “issues” with alcohol:

1. Certain food seems to taste better with alcohol: Wine and cheese, beer and chili, a juicy steak with a glass or red wine.

2. There are calories in alcohol, which add up.

3. Alcohol makes you feel relaxed. And with your guard down, it usually makes you less likely to be vigilant about what you’re eating.

These 3 factors can lead to weight gain.

Most of my female clients focus only on the issue of weight gain and alcohol. I, on the other hand, like to zoom in on the HEALTH issues related to too much alcohol consumption. Study after study show that chronic alcohol consumption is linked to disease states. The American Heart Association says the following about drinking out of the “moderate” guideline:

“Drinking more alcohol increases such dangers as alcoholism, high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, breast cancer, suicide and accidents.”

So if you are a regular indulger, please understand that it’s not just your weight that might be an issue–it could be your health. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up alcohol. However, a  great goal would be to work towards keeping your alcohol consumption to MODERATE.

One last thing: I was just about to post this blog when I saw an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal called “Alcohol and Appetite: Does This Drink Make Me Look Fat?”. I wanted to share the link:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323446404579008943480587408.html

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WILD RICE AND CORN SALAD

Wild Rice and Corn Salad (serves 4-6) IMG_1009

ingredients

1 cup white, brown, wild and red rice mix*

2 ears of corn, corn cut off the cob

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

¼ cup scallions, thinly sliced

¼ cup dried cherries, chopped

3 T balsamic vinegar

1 ½ T extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

directions

Cook the rice following package directions omitting any spice packs. Spread the rice out on a baking sheet to cool. (You can also make the rice ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator.)

In a large bowl combine the rice, corn kernels, celery, scallion and dried cherries.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, and oil. Toss with the rice and corn mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

*NOTE: Royal Blend makes several varieties of mixed rice. You can also buy rice blends that come with spice packs and simply omit the spices.

(Adapted from a recipe found in Family Circle, July, 2013)

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“BEEP BEEP”, INJURY COMING

You know those trucks that let off loud beeping sounds when they’re imagesbacking up? While that beeping sound is awfully annoying, it IS beneficial because we   know that the truck is coming. Too bad we don’t emit some type of alert sound when we are on the precipice of an injury. Once we’d hear that beep, we’d be able to quickly adjust ourselves to avoid any damage.

Here’s what I’m noticing: Many people get injured NOT during exercise. This is because when we are exercising, we are paying attention to our body position, to our form and to the way we move in general. But when it comes to things like gardening, shoveling snow, picking up heavy household items, or even twisting to put down a purse………BANG……..that’s when our form starts to unravel. And that’s when we get injured.

Since we can’t get that “BEEP BEEP” alert, we need to be more vigilant in the activities that we do every day. So pay attention to the turning, the twisting, the lifting, and the pushing. Who needs an injury from that!

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