In With Autumn, Out With Healthy?

The arrival of Autumn weather does something to our internal clocks that just screws with our eating.  Suddenly, instead of cooling, fresh and light meals, we want hearty, filling, warm meals.  Bring on the chili and the mashed potatoes!  It is something that unfortunately, we cannot completely control.  Our bodies are so in tune with our environments that our natural instinct is to go into survival mode...and EAT.  Eat plenty of meals that will plump us up so that we can stay warm and hibernate if need be -- with stock piles of food- in the cold winter months.

How do you avoid the natural urge to overeat the seemingly plentiful, large and heavy meals?  Maybe, you just move to a warm climate? OR the more realistic way might just be that you give in -- just a little bit -- with an understanding that it is only natural (and healthy) to eat a little extra with the coming of the colder months.  When spring arrives next year, we will be naturally inclined to move in the opposite direction. So not to worry, just don't go crazy!

Here are some words of wisdom (I like words of wisdom) for surviving the onslaught of the colder winter months - also known as the Eating Season.

1) Accept the fact that it is only natural to want to eat more and also that you need to eat more.  Unless of course, if you are already over weight...YOU NEED TO EAT LESS. Sorry. 

2) Drink lots of water (this rule never changes)

3) Take a multi-vitamin AND vitamin-D.  We NEED our VITAMIN-D especially in the winter time. 

4) Incorporate more root vegetables (and less meat) on your dinner plate.  Hearty vegetables are pretty satisfying and filling.  And they are way healthier than overdoing it on the animal protein.

5) Eat your greens - spring, summer, winter and fall - without fail. The more nutrition we get, the less we crave. It's simple math.

6) Avoid Girl Scout Cookies.  I'm sorry, these cookies are terrible for you! Yes, the little girls are cute. If you have to buy them, bring them into work and put the box in the lunch room. 

7) Maintain your gym routine. Yes, it is cold and dark in the winter, but if you don't work off those extra calories...you know what the consequence will be.  Maybe it's time to find a gym buddy?

8)  Hmmm,  I'm really struggling here for another.  Okay....Drink hot tea instead of coffee.  I love coffee, don't get me wrong, but I try to limit myself to one cup a day.  The next hot beverage you should reach for should be green tea, or any old decaf tea of your liking. It's just better for you and not addictive.  

9) Nosh on carrots and other veggies w/ tasty dips at those friendly gatherings. More easily said than done, right?

10) Fill up with soup before your main meal.  And NO, that does not include the dairy and cheese laden soups.  A nice broth based soup will be just fine.

I'd love to know if anyone has any suggestions or recommendations of their own.  Please share your thoughts!

And remember, please take these suggestions in stride. I would be a BIG hypocrite if I admitted to never eating any kind of "bad for you food." I love all food.  It's about finding a good/bad balance that works for you -- with the good outweighing the bad.

 

Quinoa Salad ON THE GO



Get inspired by your local restaurants and save some money.  This was my idea recently when I popped into a particular new hummus restaurant by my office in Murray Hill.  On the menu was a dish called "Quinoa Salad." I thought, I can make this...don't spend $8.99 on the one dish. So, instead, I bought the ingredients for about $10 and had lunch for a week.  A delicious (and healthy) lunch that is :)

Quinoa Salad

1 Cup cooked quinoa
Chopped red onion
Chopped red pepper
Cranberries
Raisins
Chopped Walnuts
Splash of olive oil (abt 2 TBSP)

** Use about 1/2 to 3/4 of the red onion and the entire red pepper.  Use as many cranberries, raisins and walnuts as you please.  

Eat your quinoa salad however you wish.  I ate it on a bed of mixed greens and experimented with honey mustard dressing (still looking for a tasty dressing to go with -- might be good with a raspberry vinegrette). The salad is delicious on its own but would also make a really nice side dish for say, a light fish. ENJOY!

Potassium & Protein Refresher...



I just got back from vacation in California where the weather was mild and the air was dry.  Already one day in NYC and I wish I was back in sunny CA.  In New York it's hot and humid...and the jet lag sure isn't helping. Walking home from work I developed a craving and there was no way I was going to ignore it. My body was clearly telling me that I needed something...something that could only be found in a COLD banana smoothie.

So I made one...and unfortunately fell a little short of the ingredients I planned to use, but I sufficed with what I had and it was delicious and sooo chillingly refreshing.   

One banana (chopped in chunks)
About 1/4 to 1/2 C of OJ
Ice cubes
Squirt of agave nectar
About a TBSP of chia seeds
....blend away....

In my mind I had envisioned possibly using Greek yogurt and some vanilla along with my bananas...or maybe a wad of peanut butter...OR freshly chopped peanuts.  Then I got to thinking...a dash of coconut oil... I was just dreaming up the possibilities.  Unfortunately, I was missing most of those ingredients.  I made due, and couldn't have been more satisfied. I just needed a little umbrella to bring me back to the "vacation mind-set."

What do you like with your bananas in a smoothie??? 

Spring Visit Blue Hill at Stone Barns

A Friendly Hen


This past Saturday, Jimmy and I returned to Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, NY. We went with friends for an afternoon of walking the grounds and an evening of eating and, um, lots of um, eating.  Blue Hill at Stone Barns is a working farm that feeds its restaurant with locally grown seasonal foods. All the food and animals are grown and raised humanely without the use of fertilizers, hormones or anything else you wouldn't want turning up on your plate and in your food. Everything you eat is fresh, delicious and totally REAL. 

I have already written two posts on Blue Hill (see here and here) so I won't go on about how wonderful and amazing of a place it is to visit.   But I will share some of the pictures we took last weekend...  :) 


Grazing Hens

Jimmy in one of the gardens...



A really good salad with flowers and foam.

A little blurry, but that is a fried fish on a stick!

With that, I want to announce the winner of the Vemma Give Away...Lindsey! Unfortunately, Lindsey, in your comment, I was not able to link back you your blog.  So, please leave a comment and a way for me to get in touch with you.  I will choose another winner when I get back from vacation in the beginning of June if we do not connect :(

Health Coaching for Women


As a Health Coach I work one-on-one with women to help them reach their health & wellness goals.  I focus is weight loss/management and stress reduction, with a strong passion for helping pregnant ladies lock in 9 months of healthy, balanced eating.  I truly believe that eating healthy foods and being fit is FUN, which ultimately leads to greater happiness.


A major part of being healthy is finding the time. If we only had all the time in the world to devote to ourselves, life would be grand and we would be healthy and svelte, right?   In this busy life, we all want to be healthier, leaner and more attractive. If we were to work together, I can support you to become the "better you", through gradual changes that work with your schedule and fit your lifestyle.  My program offers the following:

  • Two, one-hour sessions per month
  • E-mail support between sessions
  • Session notes and handouts
  • Gifts, food samples and self-care items
  • Health food store tour
  • A monthly newsletter
During the course of the program you will:
  • Set and accomplish goals
  • Explore new foods
  • Understand and reduce cravings
  • Increase energy
  • Feel better in your body
  • Improve personal relationships
If you are interested in setting up a free consultation, contact me today at hotmamahealth@gmail.com


For more information on my education and training click here.

A Lovely Millet Mash


Life is busy -- work, class, clients, love, the ups and downs and the ins and outs of everyday life. Does it ever slow down? I guess it depends, but when you really think about it, life is busy AND life is good!   One struggle I deal with daily in this hectic and busy life is finding time to cook the healthy meals I love and enjoy.  When it comes to finding the time, it usually boils down to Sunday evening.  Sunday, with a little bit of planning, can be the best day to fit in cooking for a week's worth of eating. 

This weekend I bought Andrea Beaman's The Whole Truth, a healthy eating and recipe guide. I bought her book after completing her in person cooking class:  Eating for Sexual Vitality & Fertility.  Yup, that's right.  It was such a fun class! But that is a story for another time.  Anyway, I was thumbing through her book and found a recipe that made its way onto my table last night, with enough leftovers to last 2-3 more meals...now that is time and money well saved! The dish (or side, depending on how you want to eat it) is called MILLET MASH, which was perfect because millet has been on my "to try" list for some time.  Millet is considered the 6th most important grain, so being a health coach, it's simply something I must know about! And it is pretty good by the way...

Andrea Beaman's MILLET MASH
(with some additions)

1 Cup Millet
3 Cups Water
1/2 - 3/4 Head of Cauliflower
1 Onion
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp Butter
Sea Salt to taste

Add-ons: Chopped Parsley & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

The recipe is simple...Cook the millet in water for 25-35 minutes. Saute the onions in the olive oil until translucent. Add the cauliflower florets w/ 3 Tbsp of water and cover for 10 minutes, until they are soft. Once the millet and the cauliflower are done, combine in a large bowl, sprinkle with some salt, add 1 Tbsp of butter and mash away!  Add on the parsley (2-3 Tbsp) and sun-dried tomatoes (about 3 Tbsp) and mash a little more.  Voila.  Delicious and healthy.

Just a little more on millet, wonderful millet.  As I mentioned it is considered the 6th most important grain in the world.  It has been around forever, and it is even referenced in the Bible. Millet, along with rice is a traditional grain of Asia. It is gluten-free, high in fiber and protein, and has a plethora of important minerals like manganese, phosphorus and magnesium.  It even has tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is needed to synthesize protein.  Besides synthesizing protein, we all recognize tryptophan as a Turkey Day special.  Tryptophan helps us to sleep better, it regulates our eating, and it enhances our moods (www.whfoods.com).  Ahhh, isn't millet wonderful?

These are some great links to check out if you would like to learn more about millet:





Pizza & Yoga & On the Go!



Pizza and then some yoga...that is how the night progressed.  I wouldn't recommend it in that order necessarily, but nonetheless, it happened and it was very pleasing. First there was the pizza, but not just any pizza -- it was healthy pizza.  Of course it was. I only had an hour to eat, change for yoga, and then drive to yoga....so the eating as well as the prep time had to be fast.  For the quick and healthy pizza, I reached for a spinach wrap...and then put to use whatever veggies I could find -- minced garlic, arugula, and fresh tomatoes...

Quick, Easy & Cheese-Free Pizza

Wrap of any kind
Veggies of any kind
Tomato sauce of any kind
Salt & Pepper or spice of any kind
An oven at a high temp

I had the oven at about 475 degrees. I toasted the pita on both sides for about 2 minutes. Then I spread out the sauce and decorated the pie.  Then popped it back in the oven for about 5 -8 minutes. Voila.  


And then there was yoga...
My sister and I went to Yogaworks for a "Yoga Basics" class and it was fantabulous.  We got some great stretching in and some very nice (and slow) instruction.  When we arrived for class the lights were dimmed and there was tranquil spa-like music playing.  The lights came on for class and then as class ended they dimmed again and the music came on to close out the evening.  It was lovely and relaxing and oh so enjoyable.  And now...with the eleven o'clock hour fast approaching, it is time to get some shut eye.

I'd love to know...what are some quick and healthy meals that you turn to when you are on the go?  I think a lot of people struggle to eat healthy foods when the the clock is ticking against them.  It would be so great to have options that are 1) healthy 2) easy and 3) tasty....



The End of the Eating Season...

So Long, Farewell...

As the Easter holiday comes to a close, it is time to celebrate or mourn the end of the eating season. The weather is getting warmer, the birds are chirping and it is time for the animals and us humans to emerge from hibernation.  It is time to shed our winter coats and the extra pounds our bodies embraced in the colder months.  As we spend more time outdoors under the sun, our natural inclination for heavy, hot and filling meals declines. Thank God. Our bodies now crave lighter, cooling foods, like fruits, vegetables and of course the dreadfully irresistible ice cream.  


This is the time of year to embrace our bodies natural tendencies to want to lighten up --both physically and mentally.  Take advantage of the great outdoors -- soak up some of the sun's mood-enhancing vitamin-D. Go for a run, go for a bike ride, plant a vegetable garden.  Enjoy lighter foods like fresh pineapple, cantaloupe, mango and strawberries. Eat more salads.  Drink more water!  And yes, maybe, just maybe, an occasional bowl of ice-cream.  Now is the time when the body and mind actually work in our favor...


So let today be the day you eat your last jelly bean or chocolate bunny or Robin's Egg.  It's time to shape up, ship out and shed some layers...


What is one food that you will say farewell to this month?  What is one new food you cannot wait to enjoy in the warmer months?



Recipes

Nothing like a Wednesday night and a little recipe reorganization...


Breakfast Foods


Vegetable Dishes


Snacking Foods (Sweet & Savory)


Desserts

Nutty Chocolate Dream Balls


Smoothies

Banana Smoothie (like a daiquiri only healthier)
Green Smoothie

Be A Fruit Whore


When it comes to fruit, the phrase "less is more" need not apply.  Fruit is the only food group, other than vegetables, where we can indulge and be free from the rules of portion control and calorie counting.  Have you ever heard of someone getting fat from eating too many blueberries? Strawberries? Apples? I don't think so...


Why is fruit so amazing?  Well, for one, it is low-fat and low-calorie.** Fruit is water based, hence it is hydrating.  Because of the high water content, fruit moves through the digestive tract quickly, cleansing our system, while also nourishing it with vitamins and minerals. 


Fruit does contain sugar, but if sugar were ever good for you, it is good when it comes in the form of fruit.  Fruit is naturally sweet, unlike the sugar you find in packaged snacks and candy.  The fiber in fruit, slows the absorption of the sugar into the bloodstream. The slow absorption of sugar keeps blood sugar balanced, rather than spiking it up high, and then dipping it down low. Candy on the other hand, is high in concentrated sugar and most of the time processed sugar.  It never contains any vitamins and minerals. In fact, high concentrations of processed sugar, like high fructose corn syrup, leach nutrients from our body. 


What kind of fruits should you be eating?  The answer is obvious, right?  -- All of them!  If you are eating a lot, aim to eat fruits that have a high water content like apples, grapes, kiwis, pineapples, strawberries, and melons.  And as a note,  fruit is always healthiest in its natural form, either blended in a smoothie or eaten just as is. 

What is your favorite fruit and/or smoothie recipe?



Yum!


**Avocados and olives are two fruits that contain fat -- and a lot of it for that matter.  The fat is all healthy and good, but as we know, too much healthy fat can become bad if our body is consuming too much to burn it all off.  Moderation is key when it comes to these two fruits.


** What about coconut? Coconut is not technically a fruit, but a nut.  And, it sure is fatty.  It contains the good fat, which the body quickly puts to use, but again moderation is best when you're dealing with a nut of any kind. 

A Sunday To Recover... & PB Winner!



Happy Sunday!  The weekend weather has been absolutely beautiful in NYC and those that were running in today's half marathon certainly lucked out weather-wise.   I wish I had known about it because a half marathon is something I would enjoy and survive (I am not so sure I feel the same about a full on marathon).  And timing worked its magic because instead of running the marathon, there was brunch to be had at the Atlantic Grill.  Eggs Benedict to be exact.  Breakfast was enjoyed with my sister, her fiance and Jimmy.  We all thoroughly enjoyed our brunch as we were recovering from last night's 3-bottle-of-wine-dinner celebrating my sister's engagement. 


Last night was a night to forget about fat, carbs and calories and a night to enjoy some of the best food in the city.  We received the royal treatment at Eleven Madison Park and I have to say that there is no better restaurant in NYC when it comes to food, service and overall experience. Jimmy certainly thinks so, and he has written a review on his blog, Golden Eats. Truffles, lobster, prawns, pork, chicken, amuse-bouches, butter from France, macaroons, complimentary cognac...these are just some of the foods we enjoyed.   It was a perfect night with perfect flavors and perfect company.   So today is a day to recover and of course, a day to plan for a week of healthy eating! 


I'd like to pose a question... Are there moments or occasions in your life when you let go of your healthy ideals?  And then afterwards, what do you do to get back on the healthy track?


For me, there is nothing like the power of a green drink to get back on the healthy bandwagon.  It revitalizes the system and shoots it with much needed nutrients, especially folic acid.    Candle Cafe has a fantastic Green Goddess drink with mixed greens, apple, lemon and ginger.  Today it is calling my name....


And with that, I want to announce the winner of the Peanut Butter and Co. Give Away! Congratulations to Naomi of One Fit Foodie whose homemade protein bars are not only creative, but also delicious, easy to make and most importantly, healthy!!  I love the incorporation of the chia seeds and protein powder.  My question to Naomi is, what protein powder do you recommend for this recipe? And do you have a link to the recipe on your blog for exact measurements? 


Off for a Green Goddess! 

Essential Oils vs. Purell


Last weekend at IIN I was chatting it up with some new found friends in the bathroom. As we were leaving the bathroom for the start of class, I walked over to the Purell Hand Sanitizer and pushed twice, dispensing 2 dollops of the clear liquid gel into my hands.  Before I could enjoy the disinfecting bliss, I heard a loud shout, "NOOOOoooo!" My heart jumped. "NOOOOoooo!" It's 8:30 in the morning on a Saturday! Why was my new acquaintance yelling at me?  What could I have possibly done?  Little did I know, I was about to get a lecture on Purell Hand Sanitizer: the hows and whys that it is terrible for you.  I left the bathroom thinking I was going to die because I had used it. Perfect...


So here is what my new friend told me:


1) The alcohol content in Purell is SOO high that it is toxic, especially when absorbed through your skin. She even went as far as to say that the alcohol is absorbed into our organs and poisons them.


2) Purell kills all the good bacteria on your hands as well as the bad.


3) Howie Mandel's (aka germaphobe) excessive use of hand sanitizer has made him highly susceptible to warts and other fungal bacteria on his hands.


4) Use essential oil, like lavender, or softer forms of packaged disinfectants (see Burt's Bees) to naturally sanitize your hands.


When she finished her rant, I was officially horrified by my history of Purell use and decided that some research must be done to substantiate my concerns. Here is what I found....


The alcohol content in Purell is 62%, which is the necessary amount needed to kill bacteria.  "Two ounces of Purell is equal to 4 shots of alcohol" (www.homespalady.com) or 120 proof liquor...so already, if you ingest it, the alcohol content is considered potentially harmful, and more so life threatening to young children.  The only information I could find about organ toxicity was on the Skin Deep website.  This information was enough for me to want to do a switcheroo to more natural forms of hand sanitization. Click here to be brought to Skin Deep's page on Purell.


Purell does in fact kill both the good and the bad bacteria.  While, it is good to kill the bad, it is not so great to kill the good.  The good bacteria protects our body from infection as well has helping it to fight the bad bacteria. If we get rid of the good, how will we fight the bad??


As far as the Howie Mandel claim, I have not found any information talking about his susceptibility to warts due to Purell overuse.  I did read that he wears rubber gloves, but only to avoid the germs from day to day contact with surfaces and people. Supposedly.


In researching essential oils as natural antiseptics, I discovered that this claim is true! And not only is lavender a natural disinfectant, but so are clove, cinnamon, rosemary, thyme and pine. There are a lot of interesting websites out there that talk about the use of essential oils for home cleaning and air purification in addition to their antiseptic qualities.  I will list some of these sites at the end of this post.  I do feel obligated to question whether or not a medical professional would support the use of these "natural" or "holistic" disinfectants in a hospital. I HIGHLY doubt it, and so with that said, please use essential oils as you see them pertaining to your life.  For me - a person not wanting to kill the good bacteria - I tested out lavender oil and plan to try Burt's Bees product for potential use after my rides on the NYC subway. 


To summarize my thoughts on this subject:


Purell = BAD FOR EVERYDAY USE
Essential Oil/Natural Health Store forms of hand sanitizers = BETTER & FUN TO TEST OUT


I now use lavender essential oil and my boyfriend likens me to some kind of witch, or potion maven apothecary. Whatever. It smells good and it is soo relaxing! I have taken to dabbing a bit behind my ears and on my neck before bed and it is lovely.


There are lots of ways to enjoy essential oils other than as sanitizing agents.  They relax and energize, and can be used to support our health in many ways.  This is just the tip of the iceberg - I plan on reading more and more on this subject and promise to share the interesting tidbits along the way.


Here are some of the interesting sites I stumbled across:


Stream of Consciousness


Essential Oils - Their Properties


The Real Essentials


Do you use essential oils and if so, which ones and why? 

Peanut Butter Love and Special PB & Co. Give Away


Yummmm, nothing conjures up memories of comfort and childhood contentment more than peanut butter...and jelly on Wonder Bread...but we don't do the refined white carbs anymore.  Peanut butter is a comfort food like none other and because of its high fat content it has been dubbed by many - a food to be avoided.  I'd like to argue for peanut butter, as I am sure many of my nut butter loving blogger friends would as well.  So despite peanut butter's heavenly taste and obnoxious fat content, what is there to love about this vegetable based food? 


Well, maybe it is just that. Peanut butter is vegetable based! It comes from the legume or bean family, which means it is a great source of vegetable protein. Peanut butter also has vitamin E, folate, potassium, magnesium and an array of other vitamins and minerals. Yes, peanut butter is high in fat, but the majority of it is the unsaturated heart healthy fat, while a small portion of it is saturated fat.  The ratio of saturated to unsaturated fat in peanut butter is similar to that of olive oil, and olive oil is the main component of the healthiest diet in the world (the Mediterranean Diet).  In addition to ALL the vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fat, peanut butter is SOO filling.  Incorporating peanut butter into any healthy meal suddenly gives the food staying power equal to that of two meals. Enough said.  Onto the PB snack...



A tasty, easy and healthy peanut butter treat... Nutty Chocolate Dream Balls. All you need is a jar of PB & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams and some oats!

Pour some oats and a spoonful of the Dark Chocolate Dreams in a bowl. 
Mix together well and then roll into small balls.  
Set to chill in the refrigerator. 
Eat them as early as 30 minutes later!! 

These treats are so easy to make that it's hard to believe that they taste as delicious as they do.  The taste is something close to that of chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough. I guarantee that you and your family will love them, and even better, if you have kids, they will LOVE to make them :)  The addition of the oats not only adds to the texture, but it incorporates whole grains and additional fiber.  Peanut Butter & Co peanut butter is  all natural, gluten-free, vegan, free of refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup and trans fat.  


The only issue with this peanut butter is that it is soooo good that you really have to open the jar with some serious self control.  Also, I recommend setting aside a small number of Chocolate Dream Balls so that you do not overeat.  I like to pack 3 for my lunch time dessert.  

Peanut Butter & Co. has graciously offered to give away three jars of their delicious peanut butter - Dark Chocolate Dreams, Cinnamon Raisin Swirl (A-mazing!) and White Chocolate Wonderful! Enter to win by leaving a comment with your favorite peanut butter creation, also if you are on Twitter follow the Peanut Butter & Co @PeanutButterCo. 

I will contact the winner next Saturday to get your shipping info and phone number so that the Peanut Butter & Co. can send out your gifts!  Please note that the gifts can only be sent to a US non PO Box address.  If you do not have a blog to link back to, please leave your email address in the comment box. 

Check out more flavors by the Peanut Butter & Co. here.


** Peanut Butter has a high calorie density, meaning there are a high number of calories per pound.  Make sure you consume peanut butter in moderation for healthy weight maintenance. 


Nothing Like A Little Nutritional Yeast





I first heard of nutritional yeast when my friend Natalie mentioned it in a post on her blog, Lil Runner.   Curious, but not yet convinced, I heard it mentioned again two weeks ago during class at IIN . SOLD...Two reliable sources pushed me over the edge.  I hit the health food store running and bought myself a bottle of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certified NOW Nutritional Yeast Powder. Always willing to test out a healthy food or food-like substance, I was in heaven with this new assignment. 


First off, many of you might be wondering what is nutritional yeast? If you are female, you might ask, will it cause excess yeast to grow in my body?  Gross... but, no, apparently it does not*.  Nutritional yeast is a supplement, that comes in the form of powder or flakes that can be added to foods to boost its nutritional content. Many vegans and strict vegetarians consume it for the protein and wide array of B vitamins, most importantly B-12.  It is also a good source of folic acid, so all you pregnant ladies, or soon to be pregnant ladies, might enjoy trying a tablespoon or two.  Beside the folate and B-12, nutritional yeast has a good amount of fiber and potassium PLUS it is gluten-free. I know, I know...you just want to run out and get yourself some!! 


Let me tell you about the taste.  Yes...I'd love to hear from some of you on your thoughts regarding the taste of nutritional yeast.  Natalie told me that it is great sprinkled on popcorn because it adds a kind of a "powdered cheese-like" taste and feel.  This morning I sprinkled just a little bit into my scrambled eggs as they cooked.  And it totally enhanced the flavor to be richer and yes, almost a little cheese-like! In the reading I have done, I am learning that nutritional yeast mixes nicely in liquids, so it could be great added to a smoothie or salad dressing.  It can also be used to flavor grains like brown rice or quinoa. If you are a user, please do share some ideas on how and where to use this great stuff! 


Nutritional Facts NOW Nutrtional Yeast Powder
(based on serving size of "2 Heaping Tablespoons")


Calories: 60
Fat: 1g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Sodium: 5mg
Potassium: 320mg
Total Carb: 5g
Fiber: 4g
Sugars: 0g
Protein: 9g 


On another note, last week I received some Purely Elizabeth Apple Spice Muffin Mix thanks to last month's Super Breakfast Bowl Challenge. This is a new line of baking mixes that was founded by a fellow IIN'er, Elizabeth Stein.  The muffin mix is free of sugar, dairy, wheat and gluten.  In addition to the actual muffin mix, the recipe calls for applesauce, olive oil, maple syrup, an apple, water and some vanilla. 




I also received a wonderful Mighty Leaf stainless steal mug.  Hooray!! I promise to soon post the recipe for the Nutty Flax 'n Granola that luckily won me these fun prizes (oh, wait, you can find it in the Breakfast Bowl link above).  Anyway, I will be sure to let you know how the muffin mix works out once I give it a whirl! Night all. 




*Nutritional Yeast, based on the research that I have done, is considered safe for those following the Candida Diet. It is not active yeast and does not cause yeast infections/Candida albicans overgrowth.

1 Siggi's = Better Than the Rest...



I recently noticed a new brand of yogurt floating around Stop & Shop and a few local health food stores.  Yesterday, after weeks of curiosity, I decided that it was time to give it a whirl and with that I tossed it into my cart. I tried it today - consensus - Siggi's yogurt could be the king of all "healthy" yogurts.  When it comes to taste....ehhh, I'll just say it is an acquired taste, especially if what you are used to is Dannon's Light n' Fit. The vanilla flavor, which is what I tasted today is semi-sweet and slightly bitter with deep vanilla undertones.  It tastes (and is) REAL and NATURAL, which is what we should be going for when it comes to all of our food. With that said, I had no problem finishing the 6 oz container. The texture is rich and thick and impressively, the vanilla clearly has vanilla beans whipped in. Yes, real vanilla beans! 


Siggi's is an Icelandic style yogurt that is low in fat and high in protein.  It is sweetened with agave nectar (low glycemic index sweetener) and is low in carbs and sugar, making it a great treat for anyone on a low carb diet. The yogurt container is adorable and it comes adorned with an endless list of reasons to buy this brand over any other brand...

-All natural
-Milk from grass fed cows
-No aspartame
-No sucralose
-No gelatin
-No artificial colorings
-No preservatives
-No high fructose corn syrup
-No rBGH (which means the milk has been produced without the use of recombinant bovine growth hormone

Okay, now we know what Siggi's does not have. Here is what it DOES HAVE...

A plethora of live cultures, and to be exact:

-B. Lactic, L. Acidophilus
-L. Delbrueckii Subsp. Bulgaricus
-L. Delbrueckii Subsp. Lactis
-S. Thermophilus

This yogurt, because of all the live active cultures is a must for anyone taking antibiotics. The active cultures keep the antibiotics from killing the good bacteria that your body needs and loves :)

Nutritional information based on a single serving size (one 6 oz. container):

Calories: 120
Fat: 0g
Sodium: 65g
Carbs: 12g
Sugars: 10g
Protein: 16g !! 

Siggi's takes healthy yogurt to a whole new level. Do you have a favorite yogurt that you use for baking, mixing or just plain eating? What do you love about it? 


Vegetable Mash and Pretty Hearts


Hellooooo! It has been way too long since I last posted anything, so I wanted to share my dish from last night. But before I do, let me explain why I have been so absent -- my sister got engaged last weekend :) So last week was one of happy distractions and wedding talk. Now, things for me are fluttering back down to reality (not so much for my sister) and the kitchen has returned as my weeknight sanctuary.

So onto last night's "kitchen creation," a combination of the vegetables that I was craving.  It was less of a combination and more of a mash...a vegetable mash if you will, of cauliflower, parsnips and sweet potatoes!   It actually was quite tasty and mucho healthy!

This dish comes packed with beta carotein and vitamin C (both potent antioxidants), vitamin K, folate, fiber, B vitamins (thanks to the parsnips) and an abundance of minerals.

Here's how to make the dish, but it is better (and more fun) to experiment with the vegetables that you like the most or happen to be craving at the moment.

Ingredients:
-Half a bundle of cauliflower, cut from the main stalk.
-1 large parsnip, peeled and cut down into large pieces
-2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut down into large pieces
-TBSP of thyme
-Parsely, finely chopped (abt 2 tablespoons)

Place the above veggies into a large pot and let the water come to a boil.  Leave veggies in the boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes - OR - until they are soft.  Pull a parsnip or sweet potato out and stick with a fork to test the tenderness.


Meanwhile, while the veggies are boiling, toss the thyme and parsely in a pan w/ canola oil.  Let this lightly saute for 5 -10 minutes.  Once the veggies and saute is done, drain the veggies, and run cold water over the top to stop the cooking.  Mash the veggies together with a masher!  Add the sauteed thyme/parsely and some salt and pepper to taste.  Mix together and eat it up.  This makes enough to last for 3 meals.

Ohhhh! And I know it has been some time since Valentine's Day, BUT.....check out this adorable beet salad from our V-Day dinner.  The restaurant, Harvest, in Cambridge, Massachusetts used a heart-sharped cookie cutter to cut the beets!  Sooo creative and a great way to have fun with your food!

Beet Salad w/ Blue Cheese Terrine

About Me

Christine
New York City
Welcome! My name is Christine and I have landed here to share my love of healthy living and eating. I live in NYC where I am currently enrolled in the School of Integrative Nutrition. I am already certified as a holistic health coach and I have started seeing clients to help them reach their wellness goals. I started hot mama health to share the idea that it is fun to be healthy! Health is an adventure with endless foods to taste, exercises to explore, and challenges to meet! If you do not already feel this way, I hope that I can bring you into the light or at least stir a little inspiration here and there.
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