Another great recipe for the entire family.  These savory pancakes are quick, easy and nutritious.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup finely ground cornmeal

1/2 cup grated low fat cheddar cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup milk

2 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup corn

1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 Tbsp canola oil

 

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix cornmeal with cheese and salt.
  2. Heat milk in a small saucepan until steam rises, then add butter and stir until butter is dissolved.
  3. Pour milk into cornmeal mixture and stir.  Fold in corn, scallions and cilantro.
  4. Heat oil in a large skillet.  When hot, pour about 2-3 tablespoons of mixture into pan and flatten.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes and turn over.  Cook other side another 3 minutes or so until golden brown. Continue with rest of batter.
  5. Serve as is or with black beans.

 

Arepas


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Banana Ice Cream with Roasted AlmondsIt’s as delicious as it sounds and the best part of it is, you don’t have to feel guilty eating it.  My 2 year old daughter devoured it, along with my husband.  The topping is from Gwyneth Paltrow’s book “It’s All Good” and it’s awesome even on its own.

Ingredients:

4 very ripe bananas

1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk

2 Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup

 

Topping:

1/4 cup chopped roasted almonds

2 tsp maple syrup

pinch of coarse salt

 

1. Slice bananas into thin rounds and lay on a tray lined with parchment paper.  Place in the freezer until frozen.

2. Combine almonds with the maple syrup and a pinch of the coarse salt and set aside.

3.  Place the frozen banana slices, almond milk and agave nectar in a food processor and pulse until mixture is creamy.

4. Serve banana ice cream with roasted almonds and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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You’ve been eating right and exercising for weeks now,  yet the scale just won’t budge.  You’re getting frustrated and about to throw in the towel, it must be your slow metabolism, right? Wrong!

I hear this complaint often from clients and while it may be easier to blame your metabolism,  the truth is, it’s simply too many calories eaten.  Quiet frankly,  often the metabolism of heavier weight individuals is actually higher than with normal weight individuals.  The body is carrying more weight around and requires more strength, strength means more muscle, more muscle means a faster metabolism.

So, what exactly is the problem?  Here are the three most common weight-loss mistakes people make:

 

Mistake #1:  Too much of a good thing.  You have been doing all the right things, eating breakfast in the morning,  having a healthy mid-morning snack, salad for lunch, then a healthy afternoon snack, followed by a nutritious dinner. But the scale will not budge.

Solution:  You may want to look more closely at the portion sizes of what you are eating.  Having a cup of almonds as a snack, although healthy, contains about 530 calories!! A salad with too many toppings can turn a low-calorie meal into a calorie bomb.

The best way to keep track of what your eating is measuring out your food portions and tracking it with a food tracker, such as Fitnesspal, Lose it or any other food tracking device you want to use.  You will learn new portion sizes and discover a slimmer you.

Mistake #2: “Rewarding” your workout with food.  Even though it was a lousy day and you didn’t feel like working out you just finished 30 minutes on the Treadmill.  Exhausted you come home, eat a healthy dinner and as a reward for making it to the gym, you have a bowl of  ice cream after dinner.  After all you worked out and the workout will “take care” of the calories.

Well, only 1/2 cup of chocolate ice cream can have 250 calories, and we all know that no one eats 1/2 cup, right?  A 30 minute workout on the treadmill may have only burned 250 calories.    In other words, you pretty much cancelled out all that hard work you did in the gym plus some, all in just minutes…

Solution: Try to reward your workouts with non-food items, such as new workout clothes, a spa treatment or a new book.

Mistake #3: You’re drinking your calories.  Your having your pumpkin spice latte for breakfast, a coke with your lunch and a Sports drink with your workout.

While liquids may seem innocent enough, you’re not even chewing, they can be huge calorie bombs.  A 16oz iced white chocolate mocha carries 340 calories!! But even sports drinks are not guilt free, one 12 oz Gatorade “Quencher” has 200 calories!  A 20 oz coke has 240 calories.  That is a total of 780 extra calories,  and they don’t even help you feel full afterwards.

Solution:  Keep your beverages simple, coffee and tea don’t have calories but watch what you add to them.  Water is perfectly adequate for a workout under 1 hr, no need to reach for designer drinks. And if you’re still drinking regular coke, switch to water or diet drinks.

 

 

Oversized portion of raw almonds

Oversized portion of raw almonds


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Zucchini Pancakes

Pancakes made with shredded zucchini, onions and flour.

Pancakes made with shredded zucchini, onions and flour.

This is an easy and quick lunch recipe for your children and family. You can serve these as is for your kids or with a salad or soup for the adults. My daughter devours these.  They are also great to take for a picnic, so you might want to double the recipe.

 

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini

2 tbsp onion

3 Tbsp cornmeal

3 Tbsp garbanzo bean flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1-2 Tbsp canola oil

 

Directions:

  1. Grate the zucchini and onions with a food processor or box grater and place into a large bowl.
  2. In a smaller bowl mix the cornmeal, chickpea flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add the flour mixture into the zucchini mixture and add the egg. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  4. In a large frying pan ( I use cast-iron pan for the added iron), heat the oil until hot but not smoking.
  5. Scoop 2-3 tablespoons of batter into the frying pan and flatten into a pancake.  Cook until brown, about 2 minutes on each side.  Continue with the rest of batter until all gone. Serve warm.

 

 

 

 

 


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Should you drag yourself out of bed at the crack of dawn or should you push yourself to work out after a long day at the office? When to exercise is probably one of the most common questions I get when it comes to exercising.  And the answer may surprise you.

The best time for you to exercise is ANYTIME!

Sunrise

Sunrise

If mornings are not your thing and never have been, the likelihood of you making exercise a long-term habit (which is the goal) is unlikely. And if you are a morning person, like I am, getting yourself to exercise in the evening, when you are tired, is a losing battle.  Exercise when it’s the best time for you;  it can be in the morning, at lunchtime, in the afternoon or evening. And for people who just don’t have a “chunk” of time for one long session, I often recommend splitting up exercise sessions throughout the day, such as 10 minutes mid-morning, 10 minutes for lunch and 10 minutes in the afternoon.  Studies show that if the intensity stays the same, the benefits are equal to a single 30 minute session.

You may have heard people who exercise in the morning are more likely to stick to their routine than people who exercise in the evening. However, there is no magical time of day. This is only because it’s less likely that other appointments, such as getting groceries, meeting up with friends, or a long meeting at work, etc, will get in the way in the morning. So, if you don’t let anything get between you and your workout, there is no reason to switch your time or routine.

So, my advice is, workout at whatever time works for you!

 

Happy workout!

 

 


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SaladDid you know that the Bruschetta Chicken salad at Applebee’s has more calories than a sizzling steak and cheese? The salad has an unbelievable 1110 calories and the steak and cheese “only” 1000 calories.  To avoid adding loads of unwanted calories on a seemingly innocent salad, make your own by following  these simple guidelines.

1. Start with a variety of leafy greens.  Move beyond iceberg lettuce and try different types of greens, such as spinach, arugula, endive or Boston lettuce, to name just a few.  Three cups of lettuce has only 40 calories, so don’t be afraid to load up. Make it easy on yourself and buy the “triple washed” bagged salad varieties, this will save you time by eliminating the washing, drying and storing of greens.

2. Add some lean protein.  This is the part most people forget to do, but it’s the most important part because it turns a side salad into a satisfying meal.  Choose grilled chicken or turkey breast (without skin), boiled eggs, tuna fish, sliced sauteed tempeh, garbanzo, canellini or any other type beans.

3. Give it some crunch.  Instead of the oil drenched croutons try a tablespoon of nuts.  Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts or sunflower seeds contain heart healthy fats, vitamin E, manganese and many other minerals and vitamins. Studies show that adding moderate amounts of nuts into your diet lowers your risk of heart disease.

4. Add unlimited non-starchy vegetables for variety. Additional toppings such as roasted bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, asparagus will boost the nutrition of your salad without adding a lot of calories.

5. Choose your Salad dressing wisely.  You’ve done well up until now, don’t let the dressing be your downfall.  Just two tablespoons of full-fat salad dressing can have 150 calories. That is more calories than 9 cups of leafy greens.  You can either use a squeeze of lemon, a spray salad dressing (which only has about 10 calories  per 10 sprays) or choose one of my favorites below:

 My picks contain only a few ingredients, are all natural with no artificial colors or flavorings.  They are less than 100 calories, less than 300 mg sodium and less than 10 g fat, per 2 Tbsp serving.

  • Annie’s Organic Buttermilk dressing (2 Tbsp: 70 cals, 6g fat, 250mg sodium) Gluten free.
  • Annie’s Lite Goddess Dressing (2Tbsp: 60 cals, 6g fat, 240mg sodium) Vegan and Gluten free.
  • Brianna’s Lively Lemon Tarragon (2Tbsp: 35 cals, 0 fat, 150mg sodium) Also great as a marinade on seafood.
  • Bragg Ginger and Sesame dressing (2 Tbsp: 90 cals, 9g fat, 170mg sodium) Gluten free.

 


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Nutrition Label

Eating cereal for breakfast can be a quick and healthy way to help you lose weight or maintain your weight loss; but only if you choose the right cereal! Studies show that breakfast eaters are leaner than those who do not, and are more successful at loosing weight (National Weight Control Registry).

But with the huge number of breakfast choices available, choosing the right breakfast cereal can be a challenge.  Learn how to make the best choice by reading the Nutrition Facts Label.

Here’s how:

1. First, look at the “ingredients” list, located at the bottom of the Nutrition Facts panel.  Ingredients are listed in order from largest to smallest amounts. Whole grain should be listed as the first ingredient.  Avoid cereals that have sugar listed as a first or second ingredient, and avoid those made with artificial coloring.

2. Next, check the serving size and number of servings at the top of the label. All the information on a Nutrition Facts label is based on one serving, but beware, this can vary from ½ cup to one cup for different cereals.

3. Then, look at the calorie amount.  This is the amount of calories per serving. When you compare calories between different cereals, make sure the serving sizes are the same.

4. Percent Daily Value (% DV) can help you determine if a food is high or low in a nutrient.
5% or less means a food is LOW in this nutrient
10-19% is a GOOD source of a nutrient
20% or more means a food is HIGH in this nutrient

5. Limit total fats, saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol and sodium. Choose cereals with less than 3 g of fat and zero trans and saturated fats. Sodium should be less than 210 mg per serving, ideally even less than 140mg.

6. Next, check Total Carbohydrates. Dietary fiber and sugar are types of carbohydrates.  Choose cereals with at least 3 g of fiber per serving (more is better) and less than 8 g of sugar per serving.

Examples of some good choices are (listed in no particular order):

Post Shredded Wheat Original

Cheerios

Kellogg’s Unfrosted Mini Wheats

Kashi Go Lean

Prepare with skim milk or unsweetened soy milk and some fruit, and you have a winning meal.


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