Tag Archives: food

Rise and Energize

19 Feb

If breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, why do one out of four adults skip it and one in six adults never eat it? In my practice, I’ve heard it all…not hungry, too lazy, no time, nothing in the house, not a morning person…sounds familiar?

Prior to my profession, I fell into the above no breakfast excuse category. Now, I am a proponent of breakfast. Not necessarily eggs benedict with a side of bacon, but a little something to get you going. Here’s why:

Break-the-Fast:  The word breakfast itself means to break the fast (from the night before). Skipping breakfast only slows the metabolism making it harder to shed those pounds. Fasting eventually puts the body in fat storage mode (not what we want with bikini season next in the seasonal line-up).

Eat more, weigh less:  Skipping breakfast only makes you more hungry at lunch (or before lunch, equaling mindless snacking), thus overeating and/or eating foods you wouldn’t normally eat. This is so very true (from personal experience and what I see in my office daily). Same theory for not going to the grocery store hungry.

Boost your mood: Eating in the morning improves your mood and may make you happier throughout the day. Going long periods without food (we all do this throughout the evening, during sleep) lowers your blood sugar which often has a negative effect on mood.

Increase Daily nutrients: Breakfast foods are excellent sources of nutrients such as calcium, iron, B- vitamins, fiber, and protein. Think about adding veggies to omelettes, whole grain cereals and steel cut oatmeal with berries and chopped nuts, or whole wheat toast with almond or peanut butter (my personal favorite- it’s perfect in terms of nutrition and as a bonus it’s quick when I’m rushing out of the house to get the kids to school).

Take two minutes to make breakfast or plan ahead the night before. Bring food to the office in the beginning of the week so your covered for the week. Eat a turkey sandwich if you’re not the breakfast type, but eat something! I refuse to believe you don’t have the time to coordinate breakfast yet the time to snack excessively.

Evolutionary Eating

3 Jul

My Instagram blows up daily with photos of food. Lately, the hashtags are touting the latest “hunter-gatherer”  diet creations- chicken sausage with spinach and eggs, bef stews, filets with sauteed mushrooms and other animal proteins encompassing the majority of our 12″ dinner plates.

Ancient eating is certainly on the rise (mostly due to Crossfit- the gym concept that swept America faster than the Macarena).  The Caveman, Paleo, Stone Age, and Warrior diets are some of the most popular. Proponents believe that eating foods during Paleolithic era such as wild meats, fish, shellfish, nuts, vegetables (mostly root), and fruits is biologically and geneticaly how we should eat to bring us closer to optimal health, in terms of ideal body weight, and reduction in chronic diseases.

Is this just another diet d’jour? Or could there be some truth to evolutionary eating? Here are my thoughts.

caveman

The Industrial Era, including the introduction of refined foods, processed sugars, and fatty meats made a steep (negative) impact in the quality of our eating habits, compared to the minimally processed foods of our ancestors. Our ancestors also ate a wider variety of whole foods compared to our current highly processed (mostly corn) selections. I do believe that our bodies are not designed to process such low quality foods. Are the caveman diet lovers just loving the justification to eat more meat? It’s important to note that the meat of our ancestors were much lower in saturated fat and much leaner compared to todays feed lot, muscle lacking animals.

While I don’t fully condone the diet of our ancestors, we can take a few lessons regarding their diet pattern to incorporate into our modern diet. First, move more, much more (enough said). Second, there is enough evidence supporting a mostly plant based diet for better overall health (our ancient ancestors ate a wider variety of plants). Third, include more Omega 3 fatty acids (fish, nuts, seeds). Fourth, purchase grass fed meats. Lastly, avoid any and all processed foods – whole is the way to go.

Zucchini Patty

24 Jan

1  15- oz can chickpeas (salt-free) drained and rinsed

1 cup plain whole wheat breadcrumbs

1 zucchini, grated (I recommend organic)

1 small red onion

1 egg, lightly whisked

1 tsp corse salt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup low fat Greek yogurt- for dipping

1. Mash chickpeas in a bowl until smooth. Stir in breadcrumbs, zucchini, onion, egg, and salt. Form into small patties.

2. Saute the patties in olive oil until golden brown and crisp. 2-3 minutes per side.

3. Dip in yogurt

Per serving (2): 275 calories, 8 g fat, 26 mg cholesterol, 40 g carbs, 12 g protein, 8 g fiber

Meatless Mondays

24 Jan

The Meatless Monday movement is here. Forcing us to take stock in the notion that we may really be what we eat.

The Health benefits are numerous: reduce cancer risk, reduce heart disease, fight diabetes, curb the obesity epidemic, live longer, and improve overall health.

The environments benefits are staggering: Reduce carbon foot print - it’s estimated that the meat industry generates one fifth of the man-made green house emissions accelerating climate change. Minimize water usage - an estimated 1800-2500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound. Reduce fossil fuel dependence - it takes about 54 calories of fossil fuel to produce 1 calorie of protein from beef compared to 2 calories of fossil fuel from 1 calorie of protein from soy.

Los Angeles became the largest city to embrace the movement. If the spiritual home of the hamburger (In & Out Burger) and the health conscious fanatics can do it- we can all do it. No excuses.

Most of us end up cooking the same old reliables week after week. Performance anxiety prevents us from thinking outside the box to even give meatless Monday a try.  And NO, Meatless Mondays does not mean rice cakes and carrots.

And while we’re on the topic, not every meal needs to be laden with animal protein. Beans, tofu, quinoa offer lots of protein with out  the saturated fat. Plus most Americans consume double, even triple amount of their daily protein requirements (because our portions are too large).

A dietary overhall isn’t necessary- we’tre talking one day a week. Chefs generally don’t work Mondays, so eating out is sub-par, fish never arrives at the market on Mondays, so who wants to purchase days old fish, and you have most likely come off the weekend pushing the calorie-alcohol-splurge envelope.

Below are some of my house hold favs to get you started:

- Zucchini and garbanzo bean fritters along with a salad

- Roasted seasonal veggies with quinoa

- Tofu and asparagus stir fry

- Whole wheat pizza (you can even buy the dough at Whole Foods – all you have to do is roll it out)  topped with a little cheese and roasted or grilled veggies. Accompany with salad.

- Bean and corn whole wheat burrito with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and small portions of cheese.

*For recipes check out my recipe tab

 

Basil-Grilled Tuna with Bitter Greens

13 Jun

1 ½ pounds fresh tuna, cut into ½ inch-thick steaks

2 cloves garlic, peeled

12 fresh basil leaves

salt

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch arugula, washed and stemmed

1 small bunch radicchio, broken into leaves

2 Belgian endives, broken into leaves

  1. Trim and bloody spots or sinews off the tuna. Arrange the fish steaks in a glass baking dish. In a mortar and pestle, combine the garlic, basil, and salt and pound to a smooth paste. Work in 3 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ tablespoon olive oil, and the pepper. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, puree the ingredients for the marinade in a blender or finely chop them and stir to mix.) Pour the mixture over the fish and marinate for 20 to 30 minutes, turning the steaks two or three times.
  2. Slice all the bitter greens crosswise into ¼-inch strips. Place the greens in a bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and salt and pepper, but do not toss. Preheat the grill to high.
  3. Grill the tuna steaks until cooked to taste, about 1 minute per side for medium rare, basting with marinade. (Alternatively, the fish can be cooked in a ridged skillet or under the broiler.) Just before serving, toss the bitter greens with the dressing, adding salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the tuna on a platter or plates and top with the bitter greens. Serve at once.

Serves 4

246 calories per serving, 40 grams protein, 7 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 4 grams carbohydrates, 70 milligrams sodium, 74 milligrams cholesterol

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