Archive for October, 2016


I am a HUGE fan of Giada De Laurentiis because her recipes are super easy and delicious. Here is an example of a recipe with less then 5 ingredients and wonderful flavors. If you are a fennel fan, this is a MUST!  If you’ve never tried fennel, this is your opportunity!


3-4 tablespoons olive oil

4 fennel bulbs, cut horizontally into 1/3-inch thick slices, fronds reserved

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Lightly oil the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange the fennel in the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then with the Parmesan. Drizzle with the oil. Bake until the fennel is fork-tender and the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Chop enough fennel fronds to equal 2 teaspoons, then sprinkle over the roasted fennel and serve. (Note-the fronds,  on a fennel bulb,  are the dill-like greens at the top.)

(Adapted from a recipe, found on



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Imagine this: You’re sitting in the kitchen, when all of a sudden your refrigerator starts making strange noises. You have a sinking feeling that something isn’t right. After getting nowhere with the manual, you immediately call for a service appointment and by the end of the week, the repairman is in your house diagnosing and fixing the problem.

Unfortunately, we don’t pay nearly as close attention to our digestive tract, when it is woman-suffering-from-a-stomach-achehaving an issue. While it doesn’t clunk like a broken appliance, it certain tells us a lot. And yet even when we have heartburn, bloating, gas, indigestion and occasional diarrhea, we don’t do much with this information. At most, we take a few Tums or a swig of Pepto Bismol and carry on.

Just like the noisy fridge, an upset stomach IS a problem. Often, GI issues are coming from the foods that we are eating. Foods that typically cause GI distress and inflammation are

Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Corn, Sugar

If you want to see if your problem is a food sensitivity, the first step is to start a food journal. Write down what you’re eating and drinking and how you’re feeling. This way, you will be able to detect patterns. If you discover, for example, that dairy is the culprit, eliminate (not reduce) ALL dairy products from your diet for 2 weeks. (This includes processed foods that contain milk solids.)  By the end of those 14 days, you will definitely have clarity. You can do this with any food/food group that is making you feel lousy. If you wind up feeling significantly better, you’ll know that you have a sensitivity.

Gut inflammation is a REAL problem that can greatly impact your health, so just like the noisy fridge, pay attention!

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This is a delicious chili! I used black beans instead of pinto beans and added some grass-fed, ground beef. (A request from my husband.)  I couldn’t believe how a small amount of grated orange peel added so  much flavor.  It’s a perfect side or main dish!

ingredients img_3348

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 cup canned vegetable broth or water

1, 10-ounce red-skinned sweet potato, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch  cubes

1, 14 ½ to 16-ounce can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes

1, 15 to 16-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 ½ teaspoons grated orange peel


Heat olive oil in heavy medium sauce-pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and stir 1 minute. Add broth and potato. Cover pan; reduce heat to medium and simmer until potato is almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices and pinto beans. Simmer uncovered until chili thickens and potato is very tender, about 10 minutes. Mix in cilantro and orange peel. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

(Adapted from a recipe found on

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Here is a great new take on making winter squash! YUM!


1 winter squash of choice (delicata, kabocha, butternut, hubbard, etc.), cubed or thinly sliced

2 tbs. coconut oil

2 tbs. curry powder

2 tsp. ground turmeric

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the squash on a baking sheet with edges. Rub the squash with the oil and sprinkle with the curry powder, turmeric, and some sea salt. Spread the squash out, making sure there’s space between the pieces.

Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the squash. The squash should be a rich golden-yellow color and browned a bit. Taste and add more seasoning, salt, or pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

 (Adapted from a recipe found in Experience Life, September, 2016)

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My husband and I recently went on a bike trip to Napa Valley, where we rode every day for a week, climbed big hills, and were cycling for hours and hours each day. Did we lose a lot of weight from all of this exercise? Uh………NO! For most people, exercise increases appetite.img_8349 In our case, we were HUNGRY!! While I burned a minimum of 1000 calories per ride, I also carried sustenance with me: a small bag of nuts that had chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, raisins and dried cranberries mixed in. That little baggie must have held a minimum of 500 calories. And that’s only what I ate WHILE riding.

I’m writing about this because I recently read an article about a study done on weight loss with people using fitness trackers, like the FitBit, vs. people who didn’t. The FitBit users actually lost LESS weight than the people who used nothing. This is not surprising. Seeing that you burned 500 calories at the gym might give you the false sense that you can eat more than you need to.  Just like the caloric trail mix that I carried, it’s effortless to add back what you have burned off. In fact, it’s easy to put even MORE in!

So, if you’re looking to lose weight, pay attention to your food intake. Exercise is a  wonderful thing to do for your body and your brain. However, exercise alone won’t do the trick.

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