Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fruits and Veggies: What's in Season?

One of my main mottos: Eating fresh, eating local, eating what's in season.
Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet is easy when you know what tastes delicious now; it's also budget friendly!
Check out this link to find out what is in season now and eat up!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Refreshing Summer Salad

A delicious salad using up veggies from the garden for your dinner table tonight...

2 large cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
3 green onions, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded or very thinly sliced
1/8 cup fresh mint, julienned
1/8 cup reduced fat Bleu Cheese or Feta Cheese
1 tablespoon raisins, chopped
Juice of one lime
1/8 tablespoon of chili powder (optional)
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients. Add lime juice, chili powder and salt to taste, mix well. Chill in the frig. Sprinkly grated parmesan cheese for garnish. Enjoy!

Nutritional Info: (for 2 very large servings) 127 calories, 3.3 grams fat, 23.3 grams carbs, 3.8 grams fiber, 5.5 grams protein
(for 4 servings...only 63 calories)

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Cure for the Sugar Bug

Fourth of July is over. Thank goodness...well, I'm kidding...kind of. I love the fourth, but the Fourth for us is a weekend filled with bar-b-ques, rodeo tickets, time on the boat and plenty of occassions that just happen to include street vendors selling the most tempting things. Think: elephant ears, corn dogs and the like. Well, I do my best to stay away from the evil vendors, but a bite of the hubby's elephant ear, and a lick of my daughter's ice cream gives me the sugar bug. And once it bites, I have a hard time stopping at a "bite." So I find it the most easy to decide to cut any and all sugar out of my diet for a week...then voila! I'm cured. The craving are gone. (I don't count fruit as a it gets processed differently by our bodies than refined sugar.)
I like to make a big batch of veggie soup during this week. It helps keep me full and seems to cut the cravings for junk food. Coupled with eating this soup and plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, I feel wonderful and energized! After about 3 days, I have no sugar cravings at all! Try it as a first course to dinner and I bet you'll feel fuller and satisfied sooner.

Veggie Soup
1/2 bag of cabbage and broccoli mix already shredded
1/2 bunch of green onions, white and green parts, diced
1 large can of diced tomatoes (make sure it's just tomatoes, with no added anything)
1 large green pepper, diced
1 large red pepper, can roast it first to give the soup even more flavor.
1 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 bunch of celery, tops included, chopped
8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
8-12 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 package of Lipton's onion soup mix
30 ounces of additional water
Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish
(I also like adding a sprinkle of red pepper flakes on top of my bowl as garnish as well.)

Add everything except the parsley to a very large pot. Boil for about 12-15 minutes and simmer for another hour. Great recipe to stick in the frig and then reheat when you are ready.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cucumber and Mango Salad

Even on night when I am out teaching a kickboxing class, I am determined to make sure there is a hot and well-balanced meal on that dinner table. As I was experimenting with the produce I just purchased at a local produce stand, a new creation was born out of my kitchen this morning. It will be a side dish tonight and I think the family will like it. I know I already do. It's fresh, healthy and a perfect side dish.

Cucumber and Mango Salad

2 English cucumbers, peeled and sliced into thin slices
1 ripe but firm Mango, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3-1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)
Juice of one lime
Drizzle of honey (1-1 1/2 teaspoons)
Tiny pinch of sea salt

Mix cucumbers, mango, cilantro and onions together in a bowl. Squeeze juice of one lime over ingredients. Drizzle with honey, toss. Sprinkle with salt and toss again. Serve cold. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Scream for 22 Calorie Ice Cream

Who doesn't love ice cream? Only weirdos don't. Who loves really snug fitting jeans that a couple pints of Ben and Jerry's can give you? Not me.
So when I really want a big bowl of ice cream, I turn to my trusted friend, Carb-A-Whey Ice Cream. Tried and true, it pleases my intense sweet tooth. And you can have more than just a tiny blob in the bottom of your bowl. When I sit down to eat ice cream, I want a lot in that bowl...but I don't want a ton of calories. (I'm not picky, huh?) I can fill up a big bowl guilt free with Carb-A-Whey ice cream. (Wow, I should make a commercial for them...) (Carb-A-Whey ice cream has 22 calories for a 4 ounce serving size.)
Anyway, you can buy it soft serve style right off of I-5 near Bridgeport at a store called Lo-Carb Nation. They usually always have Vanilla and Chocolate and often will have a flavor of the week. Right now they have Peanutbutter-Chocolate. It's simply yummy. You can also buy it in quart size containers. I like to serve myself up a big bowl of it (like 1/3 of the quart...not pint, quart!) and drizzle some sugar-free maple syrup over top with a couple of sliced strawberries and a squirt of whip cream. It looks almost as beautiful as it tastes. And all of that deliciousness comes in at less than 95 calories for the entire serving. 1/3 quart of Ben and Jerry's....well, let's not go there...okay, let's do...more than 1,800 calories! Um, no thanks.
So, next time you're craving the cold stuff, try some's pretty scrumdidily-umptious...

For more info...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Better Egg Micky D's Muffin...

I have never gone to a drive-thru for breakfast. Never. The thought of greasy food in the morning is enough to make me barf up whatever I ate the night before. But I know several people like the idea of grabbing something drive-thru quick to scarf down before work or school. So in effort to replace a popular "food" product from the almighty Golden Arches, I created a replacement Egg McMuffin you can make at home. You'll need a handy-dandy contraption I recently found at good ol' Freddy''s a egg-cooker-thing-a-ma-jig you can use to cook eggs in the microwave. It cooks eggs in this nice little circle formation that fits oh so perfectly in between two slices of toasty english muffins. This little must-have contraption is super cheap...I think about $4-5 and you can use it over and over again.

1 Double Fiber English Muffin
3/4 cup Liquid Egg Whites
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. pepper (optional)
6-7 spinach leaves
sprinkle of feta cheese (optional, but quite delish)

Toast muffins. Cook egg whites in Microwave in special contraption for 1 minute. Stir. Stir in salt and pepper or whatever creative spices you may desire. Cook for one more minute or until eggs are set. Make sandwich...put eggs on top of muffin, top with spinach and feta. Replace top of muffin and wrap tightly in foil so you can take it with you.
If you're really interested in this contraption I talked about, let me know and I'll look up the official name of's pretty cool...we've used it almost daily for about 3 weeks!

Golden Arches Muffin with Egg...300 calories, Mine...243 calories and much more satisfying!

You can get creative with this muffin combo. I like to use pizza sauce and a couple slices of turkey pepperoni for a pizza-like twist. Or greek it up with some sliced olives, roasted red pepper and feta. Or Mexi it up with some taco seasoning, shredded lettuce and fresh salsa. Or....?? You get the idea...Yummy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pick me, pick me!

I am giving some upcoming lectures to a local school's high school health class this Friday. As I was preparing a section on healthy food substitutions, I thought, "Oooh! A great blog topic!" But instead of boring you with a bunch of reasons why the substitutions are healthy, I am just going to list them. I'm really pooped after teaching a kickboxing class tonight but for some reason really wanted to make a quick here goes....

~Instead of ground beef, use ground turkey, or even better, use ground turkey breast. Okay, I can't resist, I have to tell you why. 3 ounces of 85% lean beef has 218 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 5 grams of saturated fat. The same amount of ground turkey breast contains just 91 calories, 1.1 grams of fat, and 0 grams of saturated fat. You can replace ground turkey breast for so many things...think tacos, soups and stews, burgers, etc.
~Instead of Mission's Flour tortillas, use La Tortilla Factory's High Fiber Tortillas. Each 10" Mission tortilla has 220 calories, 5 fat, 1.5 sat fat, 5 protein, 36 carbs, 2 fiber. La Tortilla's Large Tortilla's have 80 calories, 3 fat, 0 saturated fat, 8 grams of protein, 18 carbs, 12 fiber! Remember how fiber is indigestible by the human tum-tum? So, really you only have 6 effective carbs...and 8 grams of protein in a wrap....wha? wha? I'm amazed. And they taste pretty darn good too.
~Instead of potato chips, just skip these. No good comes from them anyway. I carry a bag of fresh spinach with me in the car to nibble on. Now, I know most of you won't do that, but if you did, you would inevitably reach your quota for vitamin A and K for the day.
~Instead of Jif or Skippy's peanut butter...which have added sugar, by the way. Try natural nut butters...and almond is just delish...
~Instead of applesauce, go for the real deal. You know what they say about apples...
~Instead of traditional pancakes, make your own healthy version! Mix egg whites, oatmeal and some blueberries together. Be creative and try some spices like cinnamon or nutmeg with it. Use this as your new replacement batter. Cook as normal. Top with a natural nut butter and you have a really good breakfast.
~Speaking of pancakes...just forget the "syrup." Regular table syrups have over 400 calories for just 1/2 cup...and let's face it, by the time we are done pouring it on...well who knows actually goes on those pancakes. Instead, my favorite replacement is Cary's sugar free syrup. It has 30 calories for a 1/4 cup...which is the amount I actually use. So, 1/2 cup would be 60 calories...much better than 400, I say.
~Instead of white rice, go brown.
~Instead of regular pasta, go for whole wheat.
~Instead of regular pasta, go for my new favorite, House Shirataki Noodles...only 20 calories per serving. (I eat the whole package, which is 40...)
~Instead of a regular muffin, try Vitatops. They are about 100 calories a piece, high in fiber and contain a tons of vitamins. Deep chocolate is my new fav. I serve it with 1 cup of sliced strawberries and a drizzle of Cary's sugar-free syrup for a delicious 150 calorie dessert. It makes a lot and I would rather eat that then a left-over Cadbury Creme Egg which also contains 150 calories and takes me 2 seconds to eat.
I really could go on and on all night long, but I really need to get a shower in.
Sub away!