Lime-Spiked Asparagus

February 2, 2010

Here’s a real food item for you! If asparagus isn’t a mainstay in your diet, then it’s time you make it one. Asparagus is packed with folic acid, which is necessary for blood cell formation. Fresh squeezed lime makes this dish refreshing and delicious. This recipe only takes 15 minutes, perfect for weekday dinners.
Yield: 2 servings

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Mix in garlic and shallot, and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the asparagus spears, cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Squeeze lime juice over asparagus and season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 80 calories, 2g fat, 8g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 3.5g protein.

Moroccan Stew

January 27, 2010

This stew is perfect for a cold winter day. It is packed with antioxidant-rich vegetables and fragrant spices. Serve this stew over a scoop of cooked quinoa or whole grain brown rice. Yield: 6 servings

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons water or vegetable stock, divided
  • 1 large size yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large size red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron
  • 2 medium size sweet potatoes or garnet or jewel yams, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 can (15oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 3 tablespoons water in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, peppers and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes. If the water begins to evaporate, add a little more.
Stir in the maple sugar, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, ginger and saffron and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add sweet potatoes, and stir to coat. Stir in tomatoes, remaining 1 1/2 cups water and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
Simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then serve over quinoa or brown rice.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 141 calories, 1g fat, 29g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, and 6g protein.

Coconut Flour Pancakes

December 18, 2009

Proof that you can eat well without Grains!

The best way to insure fluffy pancakes is to separate the egg whites, whip them until you have fairly stiff peaks, and then blend the egg whites back into the batter.

Ingredients

*this made enough pancakes for Tim, myself, our 15 year old and 9 year old boy.  I used the 1/4 for each pancake and we each had 3-4 pancakes.

  • 9 large eggs (separate them as stated above)
  • 3 teaspoon of olive oil (or your oil of choice)
  • 1.5 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cooked sweet potatoes or yams
  • .75-1 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional – that’s what I used because I LOVE cinnamon!)
  • 1.5 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 3 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons of coconut flour

Preparation

  1. Whip egg whites until fluffy.
  2. In a bowl, add all the wet ingredients except the egg whites and whisk together until well blended.  
  3. Add dry ingredients
  4. Next cut in the egg whites to the mixture
  5. Add oil or butter to a frying pan on medium to low heat and let warm for a few minutes. Next, pour the batter into small circles in the frying pan without letting the edges of each circle touch. Keep the heat fairly low and let the pancakes heat up slowly and rise – about 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Wait until there are several bubbles appearing on top of the pancake circles and the edges are cooked, and then flip each pancake to cook the other side. Watch them carefully
  7. Enjoy!

Topper:

To top this off I put  an apple, cranberries, a banana and a couple dates in the Blender and blended until fine and creamy.  In a frying pan I added butter (smart balance), the blended mixture and three sliced apples.  I cooked this on a low heat until the apples were soft.  We topped our pancakes with this and a little maple syrup.

EVEN OUR 9 YEAR OLD SAID THESE WERE YUMMY and said he wanted these for breakfast on Christmas morning.

FESTIVE HUMMUS

December 15, 2009

While the red and green speckles give this homemade hummus a jolly look, it’s the taste that makes it unforgettable. This dip makes the perfect party take-along. Serve it up with whole grain pita bread or fresh cut veggie sticks. Yield: 12 servings

Here’s what you need:
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans
1 Tablespoons tahini
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon water
2 garlic cloves, mashed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup basil leaves

Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and combine until smooth.
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 55 calories, 2g fat, 6g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 2g protein.

Veggie Power Juice

November 28, 2009

Remember how Popeye would drain a can of spinach and half a second later his muscles would begin to bulge?  Think of this recipe as your own can of spinach.  While your muscles may not instantly grow to three times their size, your body will surely experience a nutritious surge.

Yield: 2 servings

 Here’s what you need…
1 cup packed fresh spinach
2 green apples
4 large carrots
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger
Juicing machine or blender

Wash the vegetables, cut the ends off the carrots and peel the ginger. 
Run each item through the juicer.  Mix until combined, pour into two glasses and enjoy. 

Nutritional Analysis: One serving (using juicer) equals: 139 calories, .5g fat, 34g carbohydrate, .8g fiber, and 2g protein.

Grilled Fruit

November 26, 2009

We are entering the holiday season, a time when sugar-and-fat laden desserts will materialize wherever you go. Wait! Before you forego your fitness goals for another piece of pie, try this simple recipe.

Fruit is nature’s candy – it’s sweet, delicate and delicious. Grilling fruit extracts the natural sugar, making it a warm, tasty treat. Serve seasonal grilled fruit for dessert this holiday season – you’ll lose weight without depriving your taste buds.

Here’s what you need:
1 mango (or apple, pear, melon, pineapple)
1 banana (or fig, apricot, papaya, peach, nectarine)
Dash of cinnamon *optional*
Grill pan
Non-stick cooking spray
Wooden skewers

Submerge wooden skewers in water for 15 minutes. Cut fruit into chunks, thread onto skewers.
Lightly spray a grill pan over medium heat. Place the fruit skewers in the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.
Grill for 5 minutes, or until dark grill lines appear. Flip the fruit over and grill the other side.

Yield: 2 servings
Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 120 calories, .5g fat, 31g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, and 1g protein.

Give Thanks, Get Fit

November 24, 2009

The year’s most calorie-dense day is almost here—are you ready? Use this game plan on Thanksgiving to avoid gaining extra weight:

  • Start your day of thanks with a fiber-filled breakfast.
  • Take 30-60 minutes for a brisk walk or jog before the big meal.
  • At the table, fill most of your plate with lean cuts of meat and vegetables. When you’ve filled up on the healthy stuff then simply taste the heavier dishes, rather than eating a large serving.
  • Wait at least 20 minutes before you get a second helping. This is very important since it takes at least this long for your body to register how full it actually is. You may realize after 20 minutes that you don’t want seconds after all.
  • Enjoy a warm serving of Grilled Fruit for dessert instead of pie.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

November 19, 2009

Chicken Soup

INGREDIENTS:
1 c. Mire Poux (equal parts: diced onion, carrots and celery)
1 lb. Chicken Breast (No Skin,  cut into 1″ pieces)
1 Zucchini
1 Yellow Squash
5 Cloves Garlic Diced
8 Leaves Fresh Sage Diced
Salt and Pepper
1 Tsp. Olive Oil
Low Sodium Chicken Stock

PREPARATION:
Spray Pan with one teaspoon of olive oil and heat until it just begins to smoke.  Cook chicken.  Add mire poux.  When the onions are clear, add the rest of your soft veggies, garlic and sage.  Add chicken stock and heat on high.  Add a pinch of pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Add a couple pinches of salt.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 15 more minutes, or until carrots are done.  When the carrots are cooked, the soup is ready.

*Option to a add 1 cup cooked rice during the last 5 minutes of cooking. 

Per 1 Cup Serving: Calories 60, Total Fat 1.0g (sat 0.5g), Cholesterol 6 mg, Sodium 250 mg, Carbohydrate 6.8g, Fiber 5g, Protein 5g

Three Healthy Foods that are not so Healthy

November 17, 2009

By: Dave Schreck

Sustainable salmon

salmonSounds delicious and it’s politically correct.  I wonder if the fish are massaged like Kobe beef.  It’s also deceiving, sustainable usually means farm raised, however, there are a few companies that specialize in ocean-raised salmon, which guarantees a specific amount of EPA for every 100 grams of salmon.

What’s wrong with farm-raised fish?  Their feed is high in contaminates from chemical pesticides and fertilizers, it’s low in EPA, high in arachidonic acid (the building block of “bad” eicosanoids) and colored with pink pigment chemicals.  Wild salmon are higher in EPA and acquire their deep red color consuming cold-water plankton.  What you find in most fish farms are soybean oil and other vegetable oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids that fuel those “bad” eicosanoids causing chronic disease, such as obesity, heart disease, arthritis and dementia.

Alternatives:

• Purchase wild salmon.
• However, the best source for your daily omega-3s (EPA plus DHA) is to supplement with OmegaRx.  It’s convenient, concentrated and pure.  1,000mg of EPA plus DHA from OmegaRx is about 60 cents.  Wild salmon at $13.99 pound will cost about $15 per 1,000mg plus contaminates!

Whole Grain Products

You mean bread, cereals, rice, even the mother of all grains, quinoa?  Yes, but they’re organic, stone ground, harvested on a full moon, free trade from responsible, humane, and passionate growers and bakers.  I applaud these individuals for their hard work and delicious products, but more than 75 percent of the population would be better off consuming much less than our government’s daily recommendations.  Why?  We are not genetically designed to consume grains.

But a seven-year German study recommended seven servings of whole grains daily for a longer life!  (Healthy Living Is the Best Revenge: Findings From the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition–Potsdam Study
Earl S. Ford; Manuela M. Bergmann; Janine Kröger; Anja Schienkiewitz; Cornelia Weikert; Heiner Boeing Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(15):1355-1362.)

You know whole grain breads, cereal, pasta, popcorn and brown rice.  This goes against what Dr. Sears has written about since his first book, “The Zone.”

Unfortunately, the Germans have a preconceived notion that eating lots of rye bread is good for you.  If they had looked at a population eating high levels of fruits and vegetables, small amounts of whole grains, a lot of fish and using primarily olive oil, they would have had even better results.  It’s like comparing Americans to Samoans and stating that Americans are healthier because they have less obesity.

You’ll get far more nutrients and better insulin control from a plate of non-starchy vegetables than from one filled with whole grains and starches.

Don’t take Dr. Sears’ word.  Have your blood checked.  See the “The Anti-Aging Zone,” “The Anti-Inflammation Zone,” or “The OmegaRx Zone” for specific blood test parameters.  Don’t have the time and want to know right now if you have elevated levels of insulin?  How are your clothes fitting?  A little snug?  Or look in the mirror.  If you’re overweight, you could be headed for trouble.

Alternatives:

• Zone Pasta and Cereal, which are balanced with proteins, carbohydrates and fat.
• Small amounts of low-carb products along with portion-controlled “unfavorable” carbohydrates.  See the Zone Food Block lists at www.zonediet.com
• Stick to mostly non-starchy fruits and vegetables.

Packaged Diet Foods

Food manufacturers are following the lead of the government promoting products low in fat but high in carbohydrates, artificial taste enhancers and sweeteners.  Unfortunately, fat is not the enemy.  It’s too many carbohydrates that stimulate your appetite by raising blood sugar and insulin levels.  Two hours later, you’re reaching for another low-fat Danish treat.

The more carbs you consume, the more insulin you make — a sure-fire way to increase your waist size while increasing silent inflammation, the root cause of chronic disease.

Alternatives:

• Become aware of your food choices.  Whole, fresh, non-starchy foods are best.
• If you need convenience consider products that are crafted to balance proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
• The ultimate solution is a more balanced diet, like the Zone, consisting of virtually equal calories coming from low-fat protein, carbohydrates (primarily fruits and vegetables), and non-inflammatory fat, such as olive oil.  This is basically a modified Mediterranean diet that gives superior anti-inflammatory results, according to recent research from Harvard Medical School.

With all the misinformation and slick marketing techniques, following a diet that enhances the quality of your life can be a challenge.  Your choices have consequences, and positive change is the result of small choices.  Choose wisely and you’ll reap all the benefits the Zone has to offer.

From ZoneDiet.com.  For more articles about healthy eating or to learn more about the ZONE go to http://www/zonediet.com.

Glucose Levels and Energy Levels

November 15, 2009

Large group of foodsMost Americans skip breakfast, grab a cup of coffee and a muffin at the local chain store, and hit the office vending machines for an extra boost of “energy” (code word for sugar) in the late morning.  The long-term result of these morning habits is blood sugar levels that fluctuate wildly throughout the day.  Insulin levels spike and drop in tandem with blood sugar levels, and over time many people develop “insulin resistance.”  The next likely stage is developing type 2 diabetes, a chronic disease with many potentially severe consequences.

Blood sugar and insulin highs and lows leave a person’s body worn out.  Much energy is wasted in compensating for these metabolic swings, and people wonder why they “have no energy.”  Without knowing the real cause, people actually make things worse by loading up on candy and nutrient-depleted carbohydrates as they attempt to gain sufficient energy to get done the work they need to do.

The good news is healthful energy sources are available.  One important energy source is making the time to eat a real breakfast.  That probably means getting up 15 minutes earlier.  But the benefits of those 15 minutes are huge.  A half-cup of real oatmeal combined with a pear or quarter-cup of blueberries provides servings of valuable protein and complex carbohydrates.  Your body uses this nutrition to provide you with energy for the next two to three hours.

That’s all it takes to have an energy-filled morning.  If you eat similarly smart meals at lunch and in the late afternoon you’ll have as much energy as you need for a highly productive day.