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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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Breakfast boredom leads to healthy bagel replacement + LA hotspot gourmet version

June 19th, 2014 2 Comments

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I’m always trying to think of ways to reinvent breakfast, in my opinion, the most boring meal of the day.  If I were eating waffles and bacon, breakfast would be my favorite.  However, such is not the case.  My options are oatmeal/quinoa with seeds and nuts, yogurt with seeds and fruit, or hard-boiled eggs.  If I’m being honest, on the days I teach at SoulCycle, I eat whatever looks appetizing in my fridge: usually half of a banana slathered with almond butter or just almond butter and jam in a bowl….I’m eating it with coffee so it doesn’t need to be healthy, just small and slow-burning.

 

Recently I’ve been craving bagels.  Recently I’ve also been trying to cut out gluten.  Not a good pair, but an admirable challenge!

 

Being single, there are only so many things in my house, so the recipe for this hearty treat almost put itself together.

 

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Brown Rice Cake + Raw Almond Butter + Non-Fat Greek Yogurt + Home-made Jam

Carbs + Fat + Protein + Deliciousness

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Now, there isn’t enough protein (about 20g per meal for me), but the combo is quick, easy, light, and satisfying for 2 hours.  That’s really all I need in the morning.
At first glance, I know, it makes you cringe, but think about it….the recipe makes sense.  Sub rice cake for bagel, yogurt for cream cheese….It’s really a solid combo that coincidentally I’m not the only loving.
Bon Appetit clipping

 

A couple weeks ago, I’ve just made my little substitute bagel breakfast and I break open Bon Appetit. (Literally. As you see at the top of this post.) I flip through a few pages and I see a feature on Squirl, the latest LA hotspot. The hipsters apparently line up around the block for their fresh toast and homemade jam.  The owner and chef is Jessica Koslow, who reigns from Bacchanalia (one of my favorite restaurant in Atlanta).  Guess what her signature dish is: a version of my little biscuit!  Granted, Koslow is much more resourceful, but she has the same concept.  Her version is quite decadent: rye toast, ricotta cheese, and raspberry jam.  YUM!
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Is Timing Everything When It Comes To Fertility?

March 5th, 2014 No Comments

Considering how our bodies function, the answer is yes.  And being the people we are, we want to control every minute of it!

Several of my girlfriends are having problems getting pregnant.  There don’t seem to be an similarities between their genetics or past lives.  What’s consistent is how they have changed their diets to paleo. In other words: no processed foods, dairy, grains, or sugar.  Pretty much how we should all eat, but somehow convince ourselves we don’t need to be so meticulous ALL the time.

There is a new study that takes this a step further: when you eat.

Author of “The Big Breakfast Diet,” Daniela Jackubowicz studies how the timing of meals affects insulin levels.  She found that obese women who ate a breakfast of 3,000 calories lost considerably more weight than those who were on a low carb diet.  She then went on to study women who have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

“PCOS is a common disorder that impairs fertility by impacting menstruation, ovulation, hormones, and more, is closely related to insulin levels. Women with the disorder are typically “insulin resistant” — their bodies produce an overabundance of insulin to deliver glucose from the blood into the muscles. The excess makes its way to the ovaries, where it stimulates the production of testosterone, thereby impairing fertility.” — Science Daily

The women in the study ate only 1,800 calories a day.  Half ate big breakfasts, the other half large dinners.  The women who ate more in the morning showed decreased insulin levels which resulted in an increased rate of ovulation and lower testosterone levels.

Whether we have the syndrome or not, the timing of our meals seems to greatly affect our body chemistry.  Plus, we could lose a few pounds on the way.  Someone pass me some bacon please!

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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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DIY Granola

January 10th, 2013 No Comments


I’ve been wanting to make my own granola for years now.  Bagged granolas have so much extra crap in them that load in fat and unnecessary sugar.  Finally, I came across a healthy home-made granola at Roots Juice Bar in Houston; it was a little sweet, a little crunchy, with a hint of cinnamon, and very light.  Thankfully, Rebecca O’Brien, the genius vegan chef who created it, was happy to share her recipe for “Kitchen Sink Granola.”  The name basically means that after you make the base of oats, you can add whatever else you want to it.

I’ve posted her recipe exactly below, but that’s not the way I ended up making it.  I couldn’t get a syrup to form with coconut oil and sugar so I subbed in maple syrup instead and it worked out great!

After I made the first successful batch, I instantly knew that this would be my holiday treat for friends and family.  I sent in bags and mason jars with Avery labels I bought at Office Depot and designed online to say “Merry Munch – a healthy holiday treat.”  I am glad to say it was a huge success; most of my friends emailed me and said they had eaten the whole mason jar in a day!

 

DIY GRANOLA

from Rebecca O’Brien, Roots Juice Bar, Houston, TX

 

You won’t need this much stuff, I was making granola for a lot of people!

 

Base Ingredients

Yields about 9 cups or 3 mason jars.

  • 6 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar, or other sweetener of your choice.
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 1 t vanilla
  • Parchment Paper
  • Big baking pans with sides (Glass is best, but metal will do)

**MR NOTES: I used chopped almonds instead of pumpkin seeds, maple syrup instead of coconut sugar.

Additions

  • 3/4 cup any dried fruit
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger (optional)

**For the additions I made these combos, all chopped up:

  • Apricot + Hazelnuts
  • Peaches + Hazelnuts
  • Dried and flatted bananas – sliced
  • Pistachios (just the meat)
I didn’t measure any additions.  You just have to make sure not to put in too much. This is a too much:

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

1.  Mix your rolled oats, coconut, and seeds in a large bowl.

2. Heat the coconut oil and sugar/maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until a syrup forms.  Careful not to burn it! Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon and vanilla.

3. Add syrup to the dry ingredients, making sure every last bit is coated. (MR note: I could just eat this raw!)

4. Spread evenly on 2 or 3 baking pans lined with parchment paper.  Bake 15 minutes, pull your trays out and move the granola around with a spatula.  Return to oven for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.  (MR note: you really need to watch it carefully after you mix it.  It goes from brown to burned pretty quickly.)

5. Remove from oven and immediately mix in your additions.  Allow to cool, then transfer to a large jar or container and enjoy for up to a week!

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Your healthy morning muffin

September 27th, 2012 No Comments

We all know muffins aren’t the healthiest choice for breakfast, but sometimes you just feel like a muffin!  Below is a health-conscious Oat Cakes recipe from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson (@101Cookbooks on twitter).  You all seemed to like her recipe for Quinoa Cakes, and I think you’ll enjoy this one too.

With an oat cake and scrambled egg whites, you have a well-rounded breakfast for you and your kids. My friend susan’s kids loved them!

You might not have all of the ingredients below, but if you buy them I promise you’ll use them later. (Example: extra-virgin coconut oil which you should use instead of EVOO in most recipes, marinades, and to grease pans.) The great part about this recipe is you can play with it. Next time I make them, I will add cinnamon and a fruit – like sauteed bananas or apples –  for additional moisture and sweetness.

Because these muffins are hearty and filling, I suggest using a small muffin pan as I did here. Since you’ll have 24 small muffins, you can share the goodness with the neighbors, your kid’s teachers, co-workers at the office, and throw one in your purse for a snack later.

Oat Cakes

by Heidi Swanson, Super Natural Everyday 

Makes 12 regular muffins, 24 small muffins

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt (fine-grain sea salt or Kosher salt)
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup  ml maple syrup (some people split this w/raw honey)
  • 1/2 cup  natural cane sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 deg C). Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

Combine the oats, flour, baking powder, salt, flax seeds, and walnuts in a large mixing bowl.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the coconut oil, butter, maple syrup, and sugar and slowly melt together. Stir just until the butter melts and the sugar has dissolved, but do not let the mixture get too hot. You do not want it to cook the eggs on contact in the next step.

Pour the coconut oil mixture over the oat mixture. Stir a bit with a fork, add the eggs, and stir again until everything comes together into a wet dough. Spoon the dough into the muffin cups, nearly filling them.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges of each oatcake are deeply golden. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for a couple of minute. Using a small knife or an offset spatula, tip the cakes onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Your Favorite New Side Dish

June 14th, 2012 1 Comment


Quinoa Cakes

 

I made these quinoa cakes 3 times last week!  Healthy, hearty, and delicious by everyone’s standards.  Make these instead of a potatoes for your next bbq or even breakfast.

The recipe is from my new cookbook, Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson.  (You can also find the recipe on Epicurious here.)  All of her recipes are vegetarian but look to be so rich with a variety of flavors I wouldn’t normally put together.

Quinoa Cakes

Makes enough for 12 cakes.  Store the unused uncooked mix for for up to 5 days in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped chives
  • 1 yellow or white onion finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan  or Gruyere cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (I used organic gluten free made from rice)
  • Water, if needed
  • 1 Tbspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Optional: Any veggies you have available.  Finely chopped.

Preparation

1.  Combine the quinoa, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in the chives, onion, cheese, and garlic. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture.

2.  At this point, you should have a mixture you can easily form into twelve 1-inch/2.5cm thick patties. I err on the very moist side because it makes for a not-overly-dry patty, but you can add more bread crumbs, a bit at a time, to firm up the mixture, if need be. Conversely, a bit more beaten egg or water can be used to moisten the mixture.

3.  Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, add 4- 6 patties, if they’ll fit with some room between each, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are deeply browned. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes and continue to cook until the patties are browned. Carefully flip the patties with a spatula and cook the second sides for 7 minutes, or until golden.

4.  Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties.

MR Note: I went for a wetter patty so they would be moist inside.  When I initially put them in the pan, they looked like they were going to fall apart.  A couple minutes in, I flattened them with the spatula to get more browning and the cake formed back into one piece.  You really can’t mess these up.  The more burned the better in my opinion :)

 

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Sunday morning deliciousness

April 1st, 2012 No Comments

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Without the guilt :)

And I mean it, they’re really yummy. Suitable for men and kids. Add bananas for the win!

(Mix and maple agave from Whole Foods.)

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