A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

Recently, a client of mine, let’s call her Samantha, was contemplating losing weight. I made a suggestion: I told her to start a food journal and to send it to me. Journaling is the best way to understand what’s going on. Plus, if Samantha had to send it to me, she would naturally start cleaning up her diet. She wasn’t happy with this suggestion—food journaling, if done right, is tedious. I would not only need to  know what she was eating, but would also need to have an idea about portion sizes and how the food was prepared. Once I saw the look of horror on her face, I came up with another idea that was MUCH easier: I wanted Samantha to send me a photo of everything she was eating. She was in!

Within a day or two, I got clarity!  Where were the fruits and vegetables? There were some, but not nearly enough.  Once I pointed this out to her, within days, her photos started to change! Look at this before and after:

Here, she was eating some Japanese food, which is fine—this was seared tuna and beef rolls. But look at her plate! No colors.

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Compare that to this colorful plate!

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These photos told us a lot!  Samantha was starting to change her habits, and was religiously journaling through photos. I was thrilled! It’s too early to know if Samantha will lose weight but I know for sure that she’s eating healthier and that’s what’s most important. (Stay tuned for Samantha’s progress! 😉)

Unless photos are photoshopped, they don’t lie.  If you want to figure out what’s going on, start taking photos with your phone. The pictures will tell a great story, which might help you get clarity on where you’re going wrong.

 

 

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BRAISED CHICKEN WITH ARTICHOKES AND MUSHROOMS

In spite of the warm weather, I made this recipe last night and all I can say is that you MUST try it! This one is a keeper. Next time, I’m adding more artichokes and mushrooms. HEAVEN!!! (I want to make it again tonight!) 
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ingredients

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon paprika

One 3 pound chicken, cut into pieces (or 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces)

6 tablespoons butter

8 ounces mushrooms, quartered

2 tablespoons flour

⅔ cup chicken broth or bouillon

3 tablespoons sherry

1 (12-to-15-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained

directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix together 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and the paprika and sprinkle on all sides of the chicken.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over high heat. Brown the chicken prettily on all sides, in batches, adjusting the heat as needed. Transfer the chicken to a large Dutch oven or casserole.

Pour off the butter from the skillet, wipe it clean and return it to the heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. When the butter starts to foam, add the mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over them, stir in the chicken broth and the sherry and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Halve artichoke hearts and arrange them between the chicken pieces. Pour mushroom-sherry sauce over them and cook in the oven, covered, for 40 minutes to an hour.

(Recipe found in the New York Times, August 23, 2020)

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SIMPLE MARINATED CHICKEN THIGHS

Fire up your grill and try this!!! YYYYYUUUUUMMM!!

ingredientsdownload

Vegetable oil (for grill)

2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed, tough outer layers removed

1 serrano chile

3 garlic cloves

1, 1″ piece ginger, peeled

1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. fish sauce

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1¼ lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Kosher salt

2 scallions, thinly sliced

½ cup cilantro leaves with tender stems

Sesame seeds and lime wedges (for serving)

directions

Prepare a grill for high indirect heat (for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off; for a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side); oil grate. Using a Microplane, finely grate lemongrass, chile (seeds and all!), garlic, and ginger into a medium bowl. (Alternatively, you can chop very finely, then mash to a paste using the side of your knife.) Add brown sugar, oil, fish sauce, and soy sauce and mix well.

Season chicken with salt and add to bowl. Turn as needed to coat completely. Let sit at least 10 minutes and up to 2 hours. (If marinating longer, wait to fire up the grill.)

Grill chicken over hottest part of grill, moving to cooler zone as needed if browning too fast, until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Transfer chicken to a platter and top with scallions and cilantro and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

(recipe found on https://www.bonappetit.com/)

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CORONAVIRUS: TRY IT ON

The other day I got a text from a client. She asked, “What do you think about the keto diet for me?” I thought about it and responded to her. Like every decision in life, there are always pros and cons, which I outlined for her. In addition, I wanted her to really imagine what her life would look like following a high-fat/low carb diet and sit with that for a while. In other words, I wanted her to mentally TRY IT ON. I didn’t want her to focus on the pros because that’s the easy part. Instead, could she live with the cons?download

Focusing on which con you can live with better is how I go about making decisions. I’m finding this strategy even more useful now that we are living in this strange, Covid-world. Depending upon where you live and what the infection rate is, should you go out to dinner and sit outdoors? Get your hair cut? See friends in a socially distant way? Stay mostly in your house to keep safe?  Visit your parents? Go on vacation? All of these have pros and cons.  I say, TRY IT ON for a while. Then, figure out which con you can live with best.

You might find this strategy helpful in these very challenging times. 🙏🏻❤️

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GRAPEFRUIT AND AVOCADO SALAD WITH SEARED SALMON 

How’s this for summer deliciousness??? Packed with nutrients–a must try!!

ingredientsdownload-1.jpg

1 large grapefruit

2 large bunches arugula, stems removed (10 cups)

1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

Cooking spray

3 (5-ounce) wild salmon fillets (skin on)

¼ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

directions

Peel and segment grapefruit with a sharp knife on a cutting board; reserve juice in a bowl. Toss grapefruit segments and juices with arugula and avocado; divide salad among 4 serving plates. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Sprinkle remaining salt and pepper over both sides of salmon. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add fish (skin-side down) to skillet, and cook until skin is golden and fish releases easily from pan (about 4 minutes). Using a spatula, gently flip fish and cook about 3 minutes more. Break each fillet into 4 pieces; top salads with 3 pieces fish. Drizzle salads with reserved dressing; sprinkle with walnuts.

 (recipe found on http://www.health.com/health/recipe)

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