Sunday, December 2, 2012

Quinoa porridge

This is a wonderful, high protein breakfast or anytime meal!  Great for those who are avoiding gluten and oats as well.  This will keep you satisfied for hours.

1 cup cooked quinoa
1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
a dash of maple flavoring
a sprinkle of raw slivered almonds
a few banana slices
cinnamon to taste
one packet of Nectresse sweetener

Add everything to a small bowl and microwave until heated through.  You can also add about a half a scoop of vanilla protein powder for more flavor and protein.  I used vegan plant based powder.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chocolate peanut butter vegan balls (no bake)

A vegan diet is naturally pretty low on fat if you aren't eating a bunch of junk food, so I like to make little treats that are loaded with good fats.  I can pop one here and there to keep my energy levels up while breast feeding and chasing a crazy little baby!

(makes about ten balls)
4 tbsp Trader Joe's vanilla hemp protein
4 tbsp raw agave
4 tbsp Naturally More peanut butter with flaxseed
3 large dates, pitted and chopped

Combine all ingredients until it forms a big, sticky ball.  If its too dry, add a tablespoon or two of unsweetened  almond milk.  Grab tablespoon sized bunches out and press and roll into balls a little smaller than a ping pong ball.  Refrigerate or freeze

Monday, August 20, 2012

"Kitchen Sink" Salad!

I often throw together big, yummy salads with whatever is on hand at the house.  This salad is a bed of spinach, kale, swiss chard.  The additions are soy cheese, chickpeas, crimini mushrooms, sunflower seeds and multi-color dried grapes.  Sometimes I will throw a veggie burger on top for an even heartier meal.  The dressing was a home made vegan cashew dressing:

1/4 c raw cashews
2 tbsp chopped shallot
1/2 c almond milk
1/4 c rice vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp agave
3/4 tsp salt
pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients in the blender until smooth.  This makes enough for a few salads, store in the fridge.

Vegan carrot cake recipe

This carrot cake is vegan (no animal products) and gluten free.  Its a little healthier with coconut oil, carrots and unsweetened shredded coconut.  I made it with real sugar, but you could certainly substitute agave nectar, stevia or Nectresse if you wanted to avoid the white stuff!  I have to say, it turned out moist and delicious and even the non-vegans at the party had to have the recipe! Just don't tell anyone the frosting is made of tofu.....its so awesome they will never know!

1 c soy flour
1 c brown rice flour
1 c white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
3 c shredded carrots (Trader Joe's has these ready to go)
1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 c orange juice (no sugar added)
1/2 c golden berry blend dried fruit(Trader Joe's)
1/2 c shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1 c firm tofu
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp agave
1/2 tsp vanilla
mix in blender until fluffy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking dish, set aside.
Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  Add carrots and coconut oil.  Add OJ, then stir in the nuts, raisins and coconut.  Smooth evenly into greased pan.  Bake 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate for one hour.  Smooth on the icing, then return to the refrigerator for it to set.

Dark cocoa and coconut haystacks

Here is a quick, easy vegan recipe, literally five minutes!  It produces little balls of healthy fats- which is important to get in your diet, especially if you are eating a plant-based diet which is naturally lower in fat.
The fat is from coconut, which is a saturated fat, but a healthier one!

No baking required!

1.5 c raw, shredded coconut
1/2 c agave (I used Blue Agave)
3/4 c dark cocoa powder
splash of vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil

In a large bowl, mix ingredients together well.  With wet hands, form into small, packed balls about 2" across.  Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet and pop in the freezer.  I leave them in the freezer and grab one when I want one.  You can also wrap then individually in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Processed meats declared too dangerous for human consumption

Check out this article from national review online:

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has just completed a detailed review of more than 7,000 clinical studies covering links between diet and cancer. Its conclusion is rocking the health world with startling bluntness: Processed meats are too dangerous for human consumption. Consumers should stop buying and eating all processed meat products for the rest of their lives. Processed meats include bacon, sausage, hot dogs, sandwich meat, packaged ham, pepperoni, salami and virtually all red meat used in frozen prepared meals. They are usually manufactured with a carcinogenic ingredient known as sodium nitrite. This is used as a color fixer by meat companies to turn packaged meats a bright red color so they look fresh. Unfortunately, sodium nitrite also results in the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines in the human body. And this leads to a sharp increase in cancer risk for those who eat them. A 2005 University of Hawaii study found that processed meats increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67 percent. Another study revealed that every 50 grams of processed meat consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 50 percent. These are alarming numbers. Note that these cancer risks do not come from eating fresh, non-processed meats. They only appear in people who regularly consume processed meat products containing sodium nitrite.

"They can take my bacon from my cold, dead hand. Which, is exactly what they say will happen."— Greg Pollowitz

..........this isn't new information.  Unfortunately, it is just now getting out to the general public.  How these practices continue to be swept under the rug by the FDA is maddening.  Do you think we will see this inedible garbage removed from store shelves?  Doubtful.  Cancer causing acrylamide is also known to be in processed foods, such as fast food fries.  We have known this for years, and nothing has been done to address it.  Here is a list of common foods and their acrylamide levels:

Food Serving                                           Acrylamide (mcg)

McDonalds French Fries, large 6.2 oz.                          82

Burger King French Fries, large 5.7 oz.                         59

KFC Potato Wedges, Jumbo 6.2 oz.                            52

Wendy’s French Fries, Biggie 5.6 oz.                            39

Ore Ida French Fries (baked) 3 oz.                               28

Pringles Potato Crisps 1 oz.                                           25

Fritos Corn Chips 1 oz.                                                 11

Cheerios 1 oz.                                                                7

Honey Nut Cheerios 1 oz.                                              6

Boiled Potatoes 4 oz.                                        less than 3

Water 8 oz.                                               0.12 (EPA limit)

Saddest part of all of this is that this has been all over the news, and most people are still completely unaware of it.  As a nutritionist this not only saddens me, it is sometimes overwhelming.  When it is my job to help people, and educate them on these things, and I don't even know where to begin!  I want to help people to learn to take care of themselves, but at the same time I don't want to promote fear and anxiety over everything they put in their mouths.  Sometimes by receiving this information, people who don't cook and subsist on these convenience foods withdraw and figure its a lost cause.  The lack of knowledge is evident every time I drive past McDonald's and the drive through line is wrapped around the building.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Learn the Basics of Nutrition

One of the biggest problems I face as a trainer and nutritionist is people's complete lack of  basic nutrition knowledge.  It is such a journey, for both the client and myself- to teach them the reasons that what they are eating is making them fat.  They are being bombarded with advertisements for "healthy" and "natural" products that are full of sugars and other simple carbs.  Most Americans believe that granola bars are healthy because the box says so.  That box of cereal is healthy because it tells them it will "lower your cholesterol".  Bagels, muffins and breads can be eaten freely as long as they are "whole grain". 
  We are more obese than ever as a society, in spite of buying more and more of these "health foods".  Problem is, these foods displace fruits, vegetables and lean proteins to the point where many of us are eating virtually no REAL food.  These fake foods also cause us to release a flood of insulin every time we consume them, and insulin is the fat storing hormone.  Most people (other than Lance Armstrong) can't utilize the large number of carbohydrates these foods provide, they simply aren't active enough to burn them off.
  Another issue is the unawareness that things that may be good for you (or at least better than a big greasy burger) can still have lots of calories.  I  met a friend at one of our local health food restaurant hot spots the other day.  I was there a little early, and while I sipped my green tea I couldn't help but notice the table of young ladies in front of me.  They had massive amounts of food on their table.  Huge pitas with piles of hummus, fried falafels, and each one also had their own colossal sized gyro wrap or chicken pita.  If I had to guess, each girl probably consumed well over a thousand calories in that one meal.  Your body doesn't care if its 1500 calories of health food, or 1500 calories of Burger King, both kinds of excess calories will go straight to fat storage.  And that was just lunch.  Similar scenarios were taking place at all but one other table around me, where a lady ordered a large salad with the dressing on the side.  Even her friend had a lavosh pizza the size of a place mat.
  In my business ladies like this will come to me upset that in spite of only eating healthy foods, they simply cannot lose weight.  They say their metabolism is messed up, or they think they might have a thyroid problem.  I always encourage them to get tested, and nine times out of ten they are fine.  Then the arduous task begins to re-train their way of thinking about what they should be eating.
  At the very least, I would encourage everyone to pick up a book such as "Nutrition for Dummies".  Having a basic knowledge of proteins, carbs and fats as well as how to read a food label is so important.  Secondly, track a few days worth of calories to see what is really being consumed.  There are great, free databases online that even have the calorie counts of most restaurant foods.  The support of a professional is also helpful, not only to learn how to help yourself, but for emotional support in changing your health and way of life forever.