Archives: July 2009

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Fresh fruit smoothie at Starbucks

As I was walking down my NYC block last night I passed Starbucks, which is not surprising since they are practically on every block! I noticed a sign in the window that said “Real food. Simply delicious.” I was really amazed by this since I’ve always known Starbucks to sell items full of preservatives and lots of sugar.

Maybe I’m a bit behind because I don’t really go to Starbucks so I haven’t noticed a change like this, but I do think it’s profound. The healthy community is making a difference! FINALLY!

When I went to their website to check out what they’re up to I found this:

“You told us what’s important to you – real, wholesome foods that are naturally delicious. Well, we couldn’t agree more. That’s why we removed the artificial trans fats, artificial flavors, artificial dyes and high-fructose corn syrup from everything in our food case. From sandwiches and salads to sweets and pastries, all you taste is the real goodness of pure ingredients.”

Keep your eye out for more changes like this – you will be surprised to see that America is becoming a teensy bit healthier.

Have a great day.

Blueberry, banana, gluten free muffin made to perfectionBlueberry, banana, gluten free muffin made to perfection

Moist inside and very tasty

Moist and very tasty

Here’s what I’ve noticed about cooking and baking – It’s fun! AND if you have one machine like a food processor or a blender it makes the entire process so much easier! I’ve been having a great time in the kitchen recently – last night I made banana blueberry gluten free muffins!

They are amazing!!

Don’t be turned off by the “gluten free” because they are moist and delicious.

I used my Kitchen Aid mixer and it was so painless that I definitely want to do it again. If you don’t have a mixer then you can do it by hand or however you see fit.

Makes 8 muffins -

- 2 cups of quinoa flour

- 2 tsp baking powder

- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon

- 1 cup berries of your choice (I used blueberries)

- 1 mashed banana (if you like)

- 3 tbls oil (of your choice I used olive)

- 6 tbls agave

- 1 cup almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix ingredients together in a bowl leaving the milk for last. The milk will help moisten the batter so it’s best to put it in when you’re finished mixing the rest of the ingredients. Mix well so that the batter is smooth and creamy.

Bake for 30-40 minutes and enjoy.

As you can see it is fully possibly to cook and even bake without dairy, eggs, gluten and refined sugar. So you wonder why don’t resaurants and chefs all around the country/world practice using these same ingredients? Well, personally I have no idea why but I wish there were more choices out there for those who choose to eat healthier.

Again, I’m not saying that you should make these muffins and eat the whole batch in one day or even one sitting, but it’s a great snack when your craving something warm and sweet. I say warm because they’re the best when you pop them in the toaster oven to heat them up before consuming. I hope you try this recipe because it’s quite easy and the outcome is great.

If you find that the quinoa flour is making the muffins taste somewhat bitter, try adding 2 tbs of vanilla. The recipe is fully adaptable, so if something doesn’t sit well with you then feel free to change it! Have fun.

Yesterday I went to The Food Emporium where I was looking for a few items that were missing from my refrigerator. I happened to stroll through one of the isles where they sell pancake mix and sweeteners.

I was surprised to see that mixed in with the Bisquick were healthy brands like Arrowhead and Bob’s Red Mill. I also saw Agave nectar mixed in with the Aunt Jemima’s syrup. This actually surprised me because I am used to seeing an entirely separate section for the healthy items.

When I talked to my fiancé about it, who was in the store with me, we decided that this was amazing because it may be possible that the consumers of Bisquick will go to pick up their merchandise but they will see the Arrowhead instead. It’s quite possible that these people will pick up both to look at the difference and they will surely see that Arrowhead is a MUCH healthier choice! How amazing and brilliant those Food Emporium people are!

I am thrilled to see this new display of the merchandise in their store. Maybe other supermarkets will catch on and it will become a new way of shopping for many people.

Check out your nearest market to see how they have it set up. Are the healthy foods easily accessible? Is there a section made just for the healthy foods? And if so, why isn’t it mixed with the other type of food?

If they make a special section, the people who don’t normally shop there will most likely not find themselves down the healthy section. With this new way of displaying the items, those that usually choose unhealthy choices will be faced with a choice of a healthy brand. FINALLY!

Ask questions and let yourself be heard.

Since I have ulcerative colitis I’ve had times when I’ve had what they call “flare ups” meaning I DO NOT feel well at all and it can last from one day up until three or four days. Well, I’ve done lots of research and have finally found a way to calm my mind and stomach down.

With food I’ve found that if I strictly eat fruits and veggies for at least one whole day my belly gets cleaned out and it’s magical! I immediately feel better once I start pouring the fresh fruits and veggies down into my system. I recommend this if any of you struggle with chronic pain and discomfort.

Calming my mind is another story. I try to take time out of my day to really just relax and clear my mind as best I can.

The trick to feeling better even after you finish the one-day detox is to begin a food journal to see what foods are actually bothering you. This will help pin point anything that’s causing you to feel discomfort.

If your hurting now then I really hope you feel better because believe me I completely understand. If you want to chat I’m here to talk.

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I just got back from the gym and I was thinking about something pretty important while I was on the elliptical. As I was explaining in a previous entry about how important it is to change up your food routine, the same goes for your workout! If you go on the same machine for 30 minutes every single time you step foot in the gym then you will most likely be working the same muscles over and over again. You need to change up your routine so that you use different muscles at each gym visit.

If you are listening to what I’m saying and decide to alter some things about yourself then your routines should be pretty messed up by now… but it’s a good thing! Change is very important and of course adding an excitement factor to your life will always spice it up.

Make the gym a time and place where you can let go of your everyday stresses and let out some steam! The trick is to pep yourself up before you actually go so that you don’t bail at the last minute. If you go after work then wake up in the morning and make sure you tell yourself that at this particular time you will be going to the gym – and stick with it! You have total control so don’t let your emotions or a bad day give you an excuse to skip out. MAKE IT A PRIORITY!

I’m always battling with this priority, but I’ve come to realize that if I write it down in my daily list of things to do I will definitely get it done.

Good luck and I know you will succeed in helping yourself be healthy.

Have a wonderful night.

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Fresh fruits and veggies

Fresh fruits and veggies

I recommend eating as many fruits and vegetables that you can throughout your day. Carry them in your bag so that you always have a healthy snack when you’re on the go.

Fruits and veggies are really the most pure and whole foods that you can eat. Of course, if you buy the conventional ones they will have pesticide residue on them and they may also be genetically modified. Organic produce does not contain any pesticides and will definitely not be genetically changed.

When your hungry throughout your day, grab a fruit. You will be happy with yourself that you didn’t eat the whole box of cookies, or the entire can of jelly beans – stick to eating the products that leave you feeling nourished.

P.S. Try eating fruits and veggies that are in season, they will be cheaper :)

I know that many times people think that grocery shopping is a pain in the neck, but I always try to see it as an adventure instead of a hassle. Try to think of it as a time to explore new items and foods! Be adventurous… eating the same thing gets pretty boring after a while.

Recently I’ve taken a huge liking to Trader Joes. If you haven’t explored the great options that they have I would say to get off of your computer right now and head to your nearest store.

The reason I enjoy it so much is that they have a lot of organic, natural, no added preservatives and no added sugar products. They brand most of their items except for the few labels that they bring in, meaning that they can charge less to the consumers. This makes my fiancé and I quite happy and we head to Trader Joes any chance we can.

I hope you can take this summer to enjoy the beautiful weather and also take the time to explore your local supermarkets for products that are new to you, or maybe aren’t on your usual weekly grocery list. Have fun with it!

Food is our essence and it makes us tick, so make sure to tick healthfully and happily.

Taking breaks throughout your day is proven to help you feel energized and less tired by the end of the day. I know what happens with many people – we get so busy that we forget to take care of ourselves. The next thing we know the clock reads 5:00 and we still haven’t eaten lunch.

The problem with this lack of self-care is that at that 5 o’clock time we become ravenous and will want to eat anything in sight. I know this because I’ve experienced it before and I’m sure you have too.

This is not a very good feeling especially at around 6 o’clock when we become so completely exhausted, due to an overabundance of food at one time, that we can barely walk another step for our commute home.

The way to keep yourself energized throughout your entire day would be to eat a healthy lunch at lunchtime AND to consume healthy snacks during the day.

Make sure to eat three complete meals with snacks in between. A key ingredient in maintaining a healthy body is to keep your metabolism moving.

Try your hardest to be aware of yourself throughout the day. Your clients and boss will understand if you take an hour or less lunch break. If you work independently… there really is no excuse for not taking care of your body – but if you have trouble remembering then set an alarm!

If there’s a will, there’s a way.

Enjoy your healthy day.

Spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash

I’ve found a new vegetable! It’s technically not new in the world of food but to me, its brand new.

Spaghetti squash – what a great invention! For those out there who don’t know what it is I will explain. It’s a squash that’s pretty large in size, oval and is usually yellow in color. It’s one of those vegetables that I’m pretty sure I’ve passed in the grocery store countless times but never stopped to explore what it is and how to make it.

The preparation time takes about five minutes including the hardest part of cutting it down the middle – be careful not to cut yourself! Once you’ve cut it, scoop out the seeds and place a drop of olive oil on a baking pan. Then place the cut sides down on the baking pan and put in the oven at 350 degrees for about one hour.

Even though it takes an hour to make, it’s only five minutes of prep time – so you can be doing other things while you’re making it.

When its finished use a fork to scoop out the squash. It will look like thin strings and resemble spaghetti. I mix in veggies, tomato sauce and tofu but you can use chicken, or any other type of protein that you prefer. Make sure to check the ingredients of the tomato sauce you use – it may have lots of unnecessary sugar and other needless ingredients. Whole Foods and Trader Joes have healthy brands for tomato sauce – just check the labels.

The best part about this meal is that it completes a perfect blend of the healthymix. The spaghetti squash only has 42 calories so you won’t feel bloated like you do when you eat regular pasta.

Happy exploring.

One of many Larabar flavors

One of many Larabar flavors

I’ve always had trouble finding a granola bar that’s healthy and filling at the same time. By no means am I trying to replace a meal with these bars, but I like to stick them in my purse for times when I’m desperate for something nourishing. I also like to keep them in my pantry for a snack.

The problem that I find with most of these bars is that they are filled with preservatives, sugar and unhealthy ingredients. SO, when I eat them I have now learned that I am prone to getting a stomachache.

You can imagine how frustrated I’ve been that I can’t eat these bars anymore, nor do I want to. My stomach can’t handle the chemicals/preservatives/sugar that’s used.

I have finally been introduced to a bar that is actually healthy! I am so excited about it that I knew I had to share with my blog community. These bars are filled with real, whole ingredients and are naturally sweetened without any added sugar of any sort. Not even agave!

Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a
Larabar and read the ingredients. You will be amazed that there are only about three or four ingredients in most of the bars.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say it’s healthy to eat more then one bar per day – but if you are indulging in other bars this is a MUCH healthier choice. Be advised that they do have fat, but it’s HEALTHY fat; completely different then the other stuff that’s used in the other products.

Enjoy!