Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Candy candy candy....Halloween is in 5 days!

With Halloween right around the corner we need some healthy diet reminders; it is so easy to get caught up with all the festivities!  And this holiday is our first test.  Soon we will be faced with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years....the most frustrating times to keep on the diet train!

Things to watch out for:

Halloween Parties-
Be sure to eat a well balanced high protein and high fiber meal before arriving to keep you full and satisfied and away from the chips and dip, cupcakes, candy, and other high calorie low nutrition snacks!  Allow yourself one to two treats then STEP AWAY FROM THE SNACK AREA!!!  As far as drinking, try to keep it to some blood red wine (high in antioxidants and low in added crappy sugars) or a vodka/rum/gin/whiskey on the rocks with a splash of diet soda, lime, or fresh juice....steer clear of the fun mixed mystery punch; loaded in sugar, calories, and various types of alcohol...usually leaving you with a terrible hangover the next day.  Be smart and have fun!

Hey parents go out with your kids!!  This activity is great to get the heart rate up and the legs moving.  But remember this is an added bonus exercise....not a reason why you can ravage through your kid's candy....listen to them "No Mom/Dad that's mine!!"...and thank them for the reminder.  Yes it is Halloween and in life we deserve little treats.  So once home, pick 2-3 SNACK SIZE pieces to sit and savor. 

Good luck!! Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vitamin-Packed Sweet/Spicy Stir Fry!

Looking for a healthy lunch or dinner that’s low in fat, calories and high in vitamins??? Try this tasty combo:

Servings: 2

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 4 bunches of baby bok choy
  • 1 c chopped mushrooms
  • 1 c chopped tomatoes
  • ½ c chopped onions
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp trader joes soyaki sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder (if desired)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Olive oil

1. Coat a large fry pan with olive oil, heat to medium high. Add garlic and chopped onions, sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, baby bok choy, kaleand water. Cover and let simmer for 2 minutes.

3. Add chili powder, soykai sauce and sesame seeds. Stir evenly. Cover and cook for approximately 5 minutes.

4. Plate and serve.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cooking Oils….get the DL…

Why are there so many different types of oils? And which oils are best for your health and taste buds?? How do different oils vary?

Well besides where the oils come from, which is obvious by the label; here’s what defines them:

1. Smoke point: this is the temperature when the oil begins to smoke. When the oil starts smoking it begins to break down and loses it’s nutritional components. Here’s some good stuff to go by:
  • Oils great for high heat cooking (searing or frying):
          -Grapeseed oil: 420
          -Refined sunflower oil: 450
          -Olive oil, virgin: 420
          -Coconut oil, refined: 450
          -Canola oil, expeller press: 464
          -Avocado oil: 520
          -Almond oil: 420
          -Corn oil, refined: 450
          -Hazelnut oil: 430
          -Macadamia oil: 413
          -Sunflower oil, refined: 450
          -Peanut oil, refined: 450
  • Oils great for light stir-frying:
          -Olive oil, extra virgin: 375
          -Unrefined walnut oil: 320
          -Coconut oil, unrefined: 350
          -Corn oil, unrefined: 320
          -Peanut oil, unrefined: 320
          -Sunflower oil, unrefined: 225
          -Walnut oil, unrefined: 320

2. Refined/ Unrefined: unrefined oils have not been changed and still contains all pre-existing     nutritional facts. Unrefined oils also have a much lower smoke point than refined.

3. Extraction methods: oils originate either from a seed or a plant. Conventional oils are extracted thru a chemical process. Natural oils are expeller pressed or cold pressed (NO CHEMICALS!).

It is important to have various oils in your home; for different preparations and flavors. Here are a few examples:

1. Olive oil: a great all purpose cooking oil, with a smoke point of 375 (extra virgin) or 420 (virgin). Olive oil is also great to use as a salad dressing or a dipping oil (balsamic and olive oil).

2. Sesame oil: great for stir fries and baking vegetables….the full nut flavor adds a punch to your veggies!

3. Coconut oil: this oil has a high smoke point and a long shelf life. This oil is a great replacement for butter in baking. It can also be used for those Thai inspired stir frys. Refined coconut oil is great for roasting and frying.

4. Walnut oil: strong nutty flavor and full of omega-3 fatty acids. This oil can be used for high heat cooking, but does loose that strong nutty flavor so be sure to try it as a finishing oil for salads, soups, grains, or pasta.

5. Grapeseed oil: is very light and clean with a high smoke point. This can be used for a variety of cooking since it doesn’t have much flavor.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sweet Grilled Squash

It's fall time!!!  What better way to kick it off then creating a healthy side dish or appetizer for your family to enjoy!!  Try this delectable treat!

Servings: 2

  • 2 yellow squash
  • 2 zucchini squash
  • 5 mushrooms
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cumin
  • ¼ c herbed goat cheese

1. Slice squash and eggplant about 1/4” thick.

2. Heat barbecue or Forman grill to medium high.

3. Marinate squash, mushrooms and egg plant in olive oil and balsamic. Season with salt pepper and cumin evenly on both sides.

4. Place marinated and seasoned veggies on grill. Cook until softened. Approximately 4 minutes per side (on grill) or 8 minutes in Forman.

5. Plate veggies and top with crumbled goat cheese.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Temescal Canyon Hike

This has quickly become my new favorite hike!! This hike poses some steep climbs and various choices of trail lengths. Best of all the views from the top are breath taking; Santa Monica coastline, beautiful mansions, and on a clear day downtown LA. In the spring and winter hikers can cross the tranquil waterfall. Best of all is the location of this hike, only 10 minutes from Santa Monica….makes it for a perfect morning work-out before enjoying a day at the beach, shopping on 3rd street, or chowing down at one of Santa Monica’s healthy eateries!

Location: Pacific Palisades, Temescal Gateway Park. 15601 Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272