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Awesome Kid & Adult-friendly recipes

1 Mar

Like many, I love watching NBC’s Biggest Loser. It is inspiring, motivational and simply, it makes my heart happy to see people fighting for their health. On the show’s website, I came across a section for “Kid-Friendly Recipes” and liked the name immediately. Parents are responsible for educating their children on healthy eating habits and the first step is to lead by example. REMEMBER, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR CHILD’S HEALTH and a great step you can take towards the right direction is to provide them with notoriously well-balanced and tasty foods.

Click here to view all the recipes.

The ones that caught my eyes especially are:

152112910_0Garlic & Chive Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Click here for the recipe

Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin C, potassium and B6. But it outweighs regular potatoes as a fantastic source of Vitamin A and beta-carotene. It also has more dietary fiber to help the digestive system.

140758590_0Creamy Carrot Soup
Click here for the recipe

Carrot is one of the top super foods. But it’s often hard to incorporate it into our kids’ diets besides the usual raw baby carrot sticks (and that’s if your kid actually eats them)! Some benefits are: Improved vision (rich in beta-carotene), cancer prevention (Falcarinol, a natural pesticide produced), great for preventing infections, healthy teeth and gums (consumed raw) and much more!

This recipe is also create because the low-fat buttermilk substitute over your typical cream-based soups.

Enjoy!

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Start clean with a detox

4 Feb

A lot of us have heard of detox and detoxing. But why? How? Think about all the  junk foods we eat and the harmful things that we come in physical contact with on a daily basis. Your body is not a garbage can, so it is absolutely important for you to detox once in a while to give your body the proper ‘rinse’ it deserves. Detoxing can lead to better skin, balanced energy, better night’s sleep, improved sex drive, weight loss and so much more.

In my opinion, the easiest way to detox is in a smoothie form. You take all the ingredients you need, put it in a blender, give it a whirl, then you’re good to go! Better yet, if they actually taste good! This is one of my favorite recipe for a kale, pineapple & ginger detox smoothie inspired by Dr. Oz.

What you’ll need (Makes 4 servings, so you can drink it all day long or share it with the family):

  • 1/2 pineapple chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale (remove stems)
  • 1/2 lemon freshly squeezed (you can add the zest in too if you like the texture)
  • 1 small knob of ginger (sliced or shaved)
  • 1 cup of ice
  • Extra: throw in a few mint leaves for a refreshing kick!

DetoxSmoothie

Flat bread pocket for the win!

16 Jan

My clients and friends often ask me for recommendations on healthier carb options when it comes to making something quick, nutritious and delicious. I came across Arnold’s ‘Pocket Thins.” These flat bread pockets are 100% whole wheat and are great for a quick lunch fix.

The flat bread pocket is packed with:

  • 100 calories
  • 1.5 grams of fat (0 grams of saturated fat)
  • 20 grams of carbs
  • 5 grams of Dietary Fiber
  • 5 grams of protein
Arnold's 'Pocket Thins' flat bread stuffed with honey turkey, cheese, pesto spread, lettuce and tomatoes.

Quick lunch fix under 5 minutes using Arnold’s ‘Pocket Thins’ flat bread

This turkey pesto tomato flat bread, inspired by Arnold’s ‘Pocket Thins’ lunch is less than 200 calories and took less than five minutes to put together!

  • 1 ‘Pocket Thins’ flat bread
  • 3 slices of Board’s Head honey turkey 
  • 1 slice of American cheese
  • Diced tomatoes
  • shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of pesto

I toasted the bread, meat, cheese and pesto first then stuffed it all along with tomatoes and lettuce in the pocket.

Breakfast of Champions

10 Jan

We can all remember our moms saying “Eat your breakfast before school!” Well guess what, she was right! Now you’re way into your adults years with children of your own, it is more important than ever for you and your family to start the day right with a healthy breakfast. Some of make poor choices for breakfasts and some of us don’t eat breakfast at all. Do you honestly expect your body to run on empty until lunch time?

Eating a proper meal in the morning can attribute to many benefits for you and your family such as improved concentration level at work and at school and more strength and energy for physical activities. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat a healthy breakfast perform better in the classroom and in the playground, hand-eye coordination and also problem-solving skills.

Weight control: Studies show that breakfast skippers are more likely to gain weight than breakfast eaters. Why? First reason is that eating breakfast controls hunger levels, causing you to eat less at lunch and throughout the day; Therefore, by lunch time you won’t be wolfing down a super cheesy melt sub. If you think you are ‘saving calories’ by skipping breakfast, then you are clearly mistaken my friend! Also, by eating a healthy breakfast links to making smarter food choices in general. (P.S. Hunger causes mood swings. Do yourself and the people around you a favor by feeding your body properly in the A.M. before you unleash your wrath on those around you, yikes!)

Now that we’ve got the concept down you need to eat a healthy breakfast, let’s explore what kind of breakfast you should and should not be eating.

Here are some suggested breakfast ideas that you can make in less than 5 minutes:

Breakfast_toeat
Eggs:
Hard-boiled (You can save time and prepare the night before), scrambled, sunny-side up, or even on a piece of toasted whole-wheat toast. Add some lean protein such as turkey bacon. Pair that with a glass of water or 100% fruit juice.

Fruit Smoothies: In a blender, combine 1 cup of ice, 1 banana (perfect time to get rid of those bananas that might be a little too ripe), and 1 cup of fresh fruit (It can be any kind, or even the frozen ones from the store), 1/2 cup of milk and 1 cup of plain yogurt.

Oatmeal: Quaker’s instant packets are the best! You can store a stash at the office for convenience. Throw in some fresh fruit in there and a handful of granola for an extra kick and extra protein! Pair with a glass of water or 100% fruit juice.

Cereal: Now that was easy! But the good kind, I’m talking about Kashi Go Lean! Special K, Granola cereals. No lucky charms, frosted flakes, resees peanut butter, forget about it! Pair that with a piece of whole wheat toast.

Breakfast burrito: Scramble Eggs, prepare 2 slices of turkey bacon, dice a handful of tomatoes and sprinkle shredded cheese, all wrapped in a whole wheat flour tortilla.

The No No’s for the morning:

donuts

Soda: I never understood why people drank soda, especially in the AM! It will not only make you bloated and soft, and let’s cut to the chase, the nutrients just aren’t there. The human body is 75-80% water, stay thirsty my friend! With H20 that is.

High fat & cholesterol meats: Bacon, scarpple, ham and sausage. Choose turkey products instead, they are low in fat and higher in protein. And yes, you don’t have to sacrifice taste, turkey is just as delicious.

Dough: Eating dough and floury products will give you a doughboy body! Donuts, muffins, cakes should be avoided at all costs. These carbohydrates will spike your blood sugar temporarily and later on give you the ‘crash’ feeling. That is no way to start a day.

Sources: Web M.D., American Dietetic Association.

Caesar The Great? Or your greatest downfall?

26 Dec

caesar_saladBy now, I think we can all agree that Caesar salad dressing is although delicious, yet famously fattening! Just to put things in perspective, each serving (2 tablespoons) of store bought, prepackaged dressing contains about 150 calories, 18 grams of fat and 360 milligrams of sodium. And let’s be honest, who can eat a decent-sized salad with only just 2 tablespoons of dressing? A generous pour could easily double the portions.

Another reason why you should stay away from prepackaged dressing is because of the preservatives. Flip to the back of the bottle and read them, does it still look like English? My rule of thumb is, if you don’t know/understand the ingredient, it’s probably not something you want to put in your body. Remember, you body is a sanctuary, not a trash can. Watch for these ingredients when shopping:

  • Calcium Disodium (EDTA): A preservative that presents air from spoiling food, known to cause skin reactions and upsets the GI (gastrointestinal) system. Also currently under FDA investigation for harmful reproductive effects. 
  • Caramel color: Food coloring known to be an immune suppressant and a carcinogen.

Enough scary talk, try to quick and easy U1st version of homemade creamy Caesar dressing, inspired by Alton Brown. You will cut about 80 calories yet keeping the tasty flavor.

What you need (Makes 1 cup):
1. 1 1/2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
2. 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
3. 1 1/2 teaspoons of white wine vinegar
4. 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
5. 2 cloves of garlic
6. A pinch of kosher salt
7. A pinch of black pepper
8. 2 ounces of grated parmasan cheese
9. 1 cup of silken tofu (Yes, tofu! but trust me, you’ll love it)
10. 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients besides the olive oil, pulsing in low speed until desired consistency. Slowly add and mix in the olive oil. Enjoy!