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Hands down the best yogurt on the shelf

September 11th, 2014 No Comments

Greek Pastures Yogurt

 

Flying through the Whole Foods in NYC, I did a 180 when I spotted my FAVORITE yogurt on the shelf.  ”Greek Pastures” used to be “Atlanta Fresh” so to my knowledge it was only sold there.  Until now!!!! Thankfully when I got back to Los Angeles, my little cups of protein were also stocked up in my local Whole Foods.

Besides tasting like dessert, they’re a healthy choice for  snack:

  • Made in small batches from grass-fed cows
  • 130 calories + 15 g of Protein + 11g of sugar per cup
  • The fresh berries are stewed in just a touch of sugar so there’s no “syrup”

I mix in a little plain yogurt so it’s not so sweet and increases protein.  Raw almonds add crunch and good fat.

My favorite of the flavors is the mixed berry.  Port wine and cherries I’ll eat for dessert :)  Unfortunately they no longer seem to be making Vanilla or Plain or Low-Fat….Check out their website for more info and locations.

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The key to the perfect smoothie

September 5th, 2014 No Comments

smoothie with protein

Ideally a smoothie is packed with nutrients, satisfies our hunger, and tastes great.  So…how do we go about making that happen?  Well, taste is a matter of…taste.  I tend to think if you add a little banana it will be manageable.  In this post, I’m focusing on the other two parts.  However, should you make the smoothie above, I can assure you it’s yummy.

As we learned years ago, each meal and snack needs to have the same number of protein, carbs, and fat to fill us up and keep our metabolism in gear.  (Click here to read about figuring out portions) For my body and activity level that’s:

  • 20-30g of protein
  • 25g carbs
  • 7-10 g of fat
  • About 250-300 calories total

After a workout, we need to get this in our body within 45 minutes.  Honestly, the sooner the better.  It’s also important we feed our body with protein it can easily absorb and dispatch to our muscles asap. A smoothie is our best option!

So let’s break down my smoothie:

Protein: Grass-fed organic whey is 20g of protein. If you ‘re dairy free, look for pea protein and avoid soy.

Carbs:  1/3 of a banana (9g carbs and potassium), a few frozen blueberries (10g carbs and antioxidants), and 1/2 pack of sugar-free Acai (superfood with 2g carbs, 2.5g fat).

Fat: 1/5 Avocado is 4g fat.

You need the fat to satiate your hunger.  It also slows down your digestion so your body has time to absorb the nutrients.  Since I’m incorporating two handfuls of spinach (one veggie serving for the day), I use avocado as my fat source.  Besides the fact it makes the drink super smooth, avocado has also been proven to help your body absorb 200-400% more of the nutrients in vegetables.  Another option is a dollop of coconut oil or flax seed oil.  (I try to stay away from nut butters because I eat almond butter and nuts throughout the day.  They’re really hard to digest and high in calories.)

Now that the nutritional portion is taken care of, I can add on things like glutamine or Philosophie  superfood powders which taste so good on their own.

Vega Protein Performance Pack

If I’m on the run and can’t get home to make a smoothie, I take a Vega Sports Protein Performance pack and a bottle and shake it up with cold water.  Don’t worry, it tastes great!

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You don’t need pasta when you can make veggie noodles so easily

August 7th, 2014 No Comments

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Here’s my rule of thumb with pasta:  only eat it when it’s made by hand, that day, in legit Italian restaurants.  In other words, the flour noodle (usually Parpardelle for me) has to be WORTH IT!  Same rule applies for bread. 

Last night, Kitty Ball (yes, that’s a nickname), invited me over for Spaghetti Bolognese.  Since she’s Paleo, I knew dinner would exclude gluten and be totally healthy.  I’ve posted her delicious paleo BBQ sauce in the past.  Everything she makes is hearty so you never realize how healthy it is.

Now, let me back track for a second: A year ago I had dinner party and served Raw Zuchinni Ribbons with Almond Pesto which I make using a mandolin to slice the veggie thin. Kitty was at that dinner party.  Months later, I posted my hand-cut raw zucchini noodle bolognese.

Now, as my BFF, Kitty knows I get kick out of kitchen gadgets.  When she busted out this guy, I flew out of my seat to investigate!

So…if I put two and two together…

That crazy cat just had to one-up my little ribbons with her fun spiral noodles!

Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Noodles

 

Obviously I’m kidding :)

Overall, I don’t know if the spiral noodles are “better,” per se, but I like the presentation.  The thicker spiral noodle  holds up better under the meat sauce.

If you’re asking my first question, “How much is it?” you’ll like the answer: $36 on Amazon.

You need about 3/4 zucchini per person.  I prefer the green ones.  Kitty takes the skin off and sweats them in the oven.  I prefer to leave the nutrient-dense skin on and eat them raw.  They will soften if you put a warm sauce on top.

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Like you need another reason to add avocado + recipe

February 6th, 2014 1 Comment

January's famous egg sandwich

 

You love avocado already: it’s delicious and it’s “good fat.”  But guess what, there’s more!

Studies have shown that if you add avocado to leafy greens and tomatoes, your body is able to absorb 200-400% more of the veggie’s nutrients.  Hopefully that doesn’t hold true for the “nutrients” in fried tortilla chips….that study has yet to be done ;)

January, my friend and founder of January Labs (the skincare line I rave about), puts avocado pretty much everything.  Here, she’s making her famous egg sandwich which I am treated to at least once a week (#luckygirl).  She does a few things to make the finished product more than just your average egg dish.

JANUARY’S FAMOUS EGG SANDWICH

Ingredients

Putting it all together

For the eggs:  Put the gas on medium high and get the skillet hot. Coat with a thin layer of coconut oil.  Crack the eggs into the skillet and quickly cover with a lid.  Cook until whites are done.  Now for me, the whites don’t get done enough before the sides dry out, so I’ll gently flip each egg once.

While the egg is cooking start to toast the muffin, slice the tomato, slice the avocado.

Start to stack: muffin, then avocado, then tomato.  Sprinkle with salt.  (Himalyan sea salt has a light flavor so you can be generous).   Top with egg over easy.  Sprinkle with salt, grind pepper, sprinkle with herbs (they will make a huge difference).

So easy, so simple, so delicious!

 

 

 

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Needless to say….

January 20th, 2014 No Comments

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IT’S TIME TO DETOX!

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Honestly, at this point, my body is begging for a break. From sugar, bread, booze, salt, and processed crap.  I don’t know how I got so off track with my diet…possibly Mexico?  I feel like I flew off the handle before that. It happens, I’m human :)

Now I’m off for one of my biannual cleanses.  As I said, I’m really excited about it.

Kreation Juice and Kafe, a brand I’ve loved for a while, is actually one of my new clients!  I’ve taken over their social platforms and am working with their marketing team to create a brand identity you’ll all love to follow, even if you don’t live in the Los Angeles area. Follow me @KreationJuice on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

 Marjan founder of Kreation Juice

Marjan, “The Kreator,” is such an inspiring woman.  She’s thoughtful, passionate, meticulous, and loves to share her knowledge.  We were talking the other day about gluten and she said to me, “You know, people stress about gluten and every little thing they eat. What they don’t realize is that it’s the negative thoughts they put around the food that is poisonous.  Not the food.”  I’ve never really thought about it that way.

Mary Rambin Kreation Juice

For the next three days I’ll be juicing with mostly green juice and almond milk (you can see what I chose above).  I can’t stand carrots and beets so I’ve decided to cut them out of most of the cleanse. (Plus they’re high in sugar.) Otherwise, the green juices are my favorite in town.   For two days following, I’ll continue the juice and start to incorporate steamed veggies (easiest to digest) back into my diet.  Of course during this detox, I’ll do one or two colonics depending on how I feel.

If you’re interested in cleansing, check out these posts:

 

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“Eat a banana, not a cookie.”

December 5th, 2013 No Comments

Banana Infographic

 

That’s what I tell myself when my sweet tooth starts to rage!  I keep Trader Joe’s flattened bananas in the car for that very reason.

(Click the image to enlarge.)

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New yogurt blends make for a more satisfying snack

November 21st, 2013 No Comments

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Yogurt frustrates me to no end.  The grocery store stocks TONS of it, yet there are only a few that actually meet my criteria as a “healthy” snack.  I’m looking for at least 14 grams of protein, minimal sugar (no sugar is preferable), and no additives (starches).  These criteria leave me reading labels for at least ten minutes or picking up the same old stuff when I’m in a hurry.  If I have time, I seek out new brands and get my hopes up high that when I read the nutrition label, I’ll see tons of protein and no added sugar.  Tough bill to fill.

My frustration continues after I eat a yogurt and I’m STILL hungry!

On so many levels yogurt is simply unsatisfying…until now.

Big brands and more notably local producers are making an effort to create well-rounded and satisfying yogurt cups for those of us on the go.

Chobani was the first one I spotted.  The divided dish has slightly sweetened yogurt in one side and all of my favorite additions in the other: chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts. From a nutrition standpoint, I have to compromise the 13 grams of protein and added sugar for the energy it delivers before a workout.  After eating it with half a bottle of water, I feel full and not weighed down when I have to move.  And it’s SOOO convenient to just flip one side over and mix…while I’m driving.  (It’s true!)

The Epic Seed is local and meets all of my standards for protein and carbs.  It’s lacking in fat (which is necessary to feel full) so I’ll eat a few almonds along with it.

The most “filling” feature of these cups are the chia seeds, which I’ve discussed before.  There are several brands making them now, you just have to pay attention to the protein and sugar source.

When I can, I make the mixture at home.  No measuring, I just throw what I want into the bowl.  Usually, to a small cup of flavored yogurt, I’ll add a couple spoonfuls of plain non-fat to bring up the protein.

 

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Best protein bars on the market. Both whey and vegan. Period.

October 11th, 2013 No Comments

Papa Steve's No Junk Protein Bar

 

 

Papa steve’s protein bars are about as clean and nutritious as it gets folks.  PLUS, they’re delicious AND filling.  Please note, I took the picture AFTER I devoured half of the bar :)

Papa Steve's nutrition facts

 

I sat down with Papa Steve a few weeks ago to discuss my Seedful Not Sinful granola.  The man blew my mind with his knowledge of food properties and how they work within they body.  He’s put all of that knowledge into his line of protein bars.  

He claims that Pea Protein is the best vegan protein out there.  You don’t see a lot of it because it’s new and in very high demand as it’s been deemed the best substitute for whey.  He had to buy tons worth to ensure he could continue to make these bars, which sell out almost instantly at his vendors.

In terms of protein in general, Steve is a fan of whey  because it is naturally complete, “containing all of the essential building blocks for muscle recovery and repair. Whey protein has the highest biological value of any protein, meaning it’s easy to digest and the body can metabolize and use it quickly but you must ingest it 10-30min after a workout to get maximum muscle uptake. It can help improve blood and liver cholesterol and enhances the body’s immune system.”

Read more of his thoughts on protein here.  He goes into great detail about the differences in whey proteins (concentrate, isolate, hydrolysate) and why whey is better than Soy Protein.

Papa Steve's Whey Protein v. Soy Protein Chart

He has several other bars I think you’ll love.  Browse the selection here.

I really can’t praise this product enough.  If you’re like me and insist on eating clean, you MUST try this.

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