Thursday, October 31, 2013

Inventive, Healthy Avocado Recipes

Do you love avocados like I do? They’re so creamy and decadent-tasting. Avocado is one of the best sources of healthy fats and it's nutrient-dense, containing vitamins A, C, E, and K. Full of antioxidants that protect your skin from environmental damage, avocado's raw monounsaturated fats give your skin a youthful, beautiful appearance because they help moisturize from the inside out - and the healthy fat improves blood cholesterol levels (protects against heart disease), benefits insulin levels (steadies blood sugar, especially good for diabetics). 
Avocados are a healthy raw plant fat, and half of an avocado (or one small one) a day will provide what your body needs. There are so many different ways you can use avocados, from foods to drinks, snacks to full meals, as the highlight of a dish or a component that makes the recipe creamier and tastier. Here are a few delicious avocado recipes to check out:

Avocado Spirulina Spinach Smoothie

This is a great and filling when you are on the go, and can serve as a meal replacement as it is so nutritionally dense.
spinach handfulIngredients:
  • Flesh of 1 small avocado or half of a medium one
  • 1 big handful spinach
  • 1 scoop spirulina powder (about a teaspoon)
  • ½ banana (frozen, or add ½ cup ice)
  • 1.5 cups coconut water
Toss everything into a high-powered blender and gradually increase the speed to high. Blend there until it’s smooth and creamy. Top with a sprinkling of bee pollen or raw honey for an extra energy boost.

Creamy Parsnip Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” with Avocado

Serves: ~6
  • 1 head cauliflower, steamed
  • 4 parsnips, steamed until soft
  • 3 small avocados
  • Pepper to taste
  • High-quality sea salt (optional)
Place all the ingredients into a high-powered blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Instant Guacamole in the Shell with Zucchini Chips

This one is perfect for when you walk in the door and you’re so hungry, you’re willing to grab just about anything. You need something with almost zero prep time, so here you go:
  • 1 small avocado, halved
  • Sliced zucchini or other sturdy sliced vegetable (even gluten-free, low-oil crackers will do in a pinch if you have them in your house)
  • Seasoning of your choice (chili powder, paprika, lemon pepper, lime juice, etc)
Once the avocado has been halved and the pit thrown away, sprinkle your seasoning of choice onto the surface of each half. Dig straight in (yep, while skin’s still on—it’s like a mini little bowl!) with your veggies or chips and enjoy your “instant guacamole.” If you don’t have anything on hand for dipping, use a spoon. This is my favorite "fast food"!

California Quinoa Rolls

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 Tbsp low sodium tamari (gluten free/GMO-free soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3-4 sheets nori
  • 1 carrot, sliced long and thin, not peeled
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, sliced long and thin
Rinse and cook quinoa, then set aside to cool for about 30 minutes with the lid on (you don’t want to let it get completely cool!). Add tamari and lemon juice, stir.
Position a sheet of nori close to the edge of a counter. Spread the quinoa across the nori strip, about a quarter inch from the edge of the nori closest to you. Place your vegetables and avocado along the middle of the nori (horizontally, from your perspective).
Grab the edge of the nori sheet closest to you and begin rolling toward the center. Make sure all the vegetables and avocado are safely tucked in and continue to roll until the end. The steam from the quinoa should seal the roll shut, but if not, wet your finger and run it along the open edge of the sheet of nori, then press it down to seal it.
Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into slices. Repeat for all the nori sheets.
~Thanks to Kimberly Snyder

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Re-Think Buying from these 35 GMO Supporting Companies

We’re now just days away from the next big GMO-labeling vote in the United States; this time in Washington State, where citizens will cast their votes for the people's initiative 522, "The People's Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act," on November 5.

Who’s Trying to Block Your Right to Know What’s in Your Food?

CompanyAmount donatedCompanyAmount donated
Abbott Nutrition$127,459Bimbo Bakeries USA$94,693
Campbell Soup Co.$265,140Bruce Foods Corp.$3,006
Cargill Inc.$98,601Bumble Bee Foods$36,073
Coca-Cola$1,047,332Bunge North America$94,993
ConAgra Foods$285,281Clement Pappas & Co. Inc$21,043
Dean Foods$120,245Clorox Company$12,024
Bush Brothers & Co.$16,233Flowers Foods$141,288
Del Monte Foods$86,576Hormel Foods$52,908
General Mills$598,819J.M. Smucker Co$241,091
Hershey$248,305Knouse Foods$14,429
Hillshire Brands$97,398Welch Foods$28,859
Kellogg$221,852Land O'Lakes$99,803
Moody Dunbar$1,804McCormick & Co$102,208
Nestle USA$1,052,743Mondelez Global$144,895
Ocean Spray, Cranberries, Inc.$55,313Pinnacle Foods Group$120,846
PepsiCo$1,620,899Rich Products Corp$24,049
Sunny Delight Beverages Co.$21,043Shearer's Foods, Inc.$25,251

~from Dr. Mercola 

YOGA! How it Transforms your Body

yoga infographic

Monday, October 14, 2013

How many calories are you really burning?


The notion that calories in and calories out is all that matters when it comes to being healthy and slim is totally passe. Even so, when it comes to workouts, lots of people from those starting a weight-loss journey to fitness junkies still constantly want to know: How many calories am I burning?? Turns out, the answer’s a little complicated—and super subjective.
To get in the ballpark, more women than ever are sporting discreet trackers like the Up by Jawbone, the Fitbit, and the Nike Fuelband. And some workout hotspots, like Bari Studio and The Studio by Remorca Fitness, have sophisticated tracking systems that allow you to see your heart rate as you sweat and chart your burn progress after.
“Every class is different, but no matter what, it should be an efficient hour of your life,” says Barihead trainer Michelle Pellizzon. “The tracking system’s really kept us honest, and it keeps our clients honest.” That’s important, since lots of workouts will try to tempt you with overarching claims that can’t possibly be accurate, i.e., “You WILL burn 800 calories in 45 minutes without even working hard!”
The truth: You will burn a completely different number of calories than the woman sweating to your right and the dude on your left.
We tracked our own calorie expenditures, chatted with trainers from these metrics-focused studios, and got the scoop from a top exercise physiologist to bring you this simple break down of the many factors influencing your actual—and very personal—calorie burn:
1. Body weight. The list of factors is a long one, but “the biggest thing is your body composition,” says Ciaran Friel, medical director at fitness-meets-medicine center La Palestra. The more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn as you increase your heart rate, because more mass means more energy needed to get moving. In an example with one person weighing 100 pounds, and another 200, the heavier person “could almost be burning twice as many calories, if they’re working just as hard,” Friel explains.
The results from my recent BariMACRO session. Next time: Less tripping over my feet, more cardio calorie-burning.
The results from my recent BariMACRO session. Next time: Less tripping over my feet, more cardio calorie-burning.
2. Muscle massMore muscle mass just equals more calorie burn, which is why lots of trainers advocate heavy weight lifting as an essential part of any weight-loss plan. “When we’re building muscle mass, we’re creating more metabolically active cells,” Friel explains. This is one reason men tend to burn more than women.
3. Fitness level. As you shed pounds and become, say, a better runner, you’re moving through space in a mechanically efficient way that requires less energy, and, therefore, less calorie burn. Remorca co-owner Nedra Lopez says her clients often get frustrated as they get in shape and watch their calorie counts go down. “They complain and say, ‘Now I’m in better shape, but I don’t burn as many calories, and I get drunk faster!’” she laughs. “I tell them, ‘Yes, but you look great and you’re healthy!’”
4. How hard you work. This one’s obvious, but more important than you may think. During class, you’ve got to push it. In my Bari class, for example, a regular client about my size burned 50 more calories than me. But she knew the dance moves and could rock them out, while I kept pausing to try to get the steps right. Working really hard at high levels of intensity has also been shown to increase afterburn, meaning you’ll keep burning more calories once you’re back at your desk (which is one reason HIIT workouts have taken off).
In the end, “calorie burn is pretty individual, and there are lots of variables,” Friel says. “We just have to be realistic about how we arrive at that number of total calories burned.”  
~Thanks to Lisa Elaine Held

Your Go-To Guide to Greens


Greens have had a serious moment in the spotlight this year, with restaurants from coast to coastbeefing up their leafier side of the menu, and not to mention kale, the current queen of greens, earning its very own national holiday on October 2.
But with so much sprouting up in greens, it can be hard to chew through all the juicy news. 
Dandelion greens and green juice1. Can the food industry handle our addiction to kale?
Restaurant owners and chefs dish on how they’re (barely) keeping up with kale demand.
2. Why wellness experts love dandelion greens
Dandelion greens have been playing understudy to spotlight-hogging kale for seasons now. Why experts say they should regularly star in the center of your plate.
3. 90-Second Interval: Dr. Drew Ramsey on his new book Fifty Shades of Kale
Drew Ramsey, MD, reveals the nutrition-packed green’s sexier side with fifty kale recipes that are “bound to please.” Ahem.
4. Green juice vs. green powder: How they really compare
How does a cold-pressed bottle of green juice stack up to a packet of greens powder? Busy, time-pressed healthy types want to know.
5. 4 juice recipes for great skin from celeb facialist Joanna Vargas
The holistically-inclined facialist behind such celebs as Michelle Williams and Naomi Watts explains why you’re a green juice away from great skin.
6. How to grill greens: A top chef explains
Galen Zamarra, the owner-chef of Mas Farmhouse and Mas La Grillade, demos a grilled spinach technique that’ll make you the star of every summer barbecue.
~Thanks Jamie McKillop

Blog Archive