Thursday, November 29, 2012

Almond Butter Made Easy

I am on a three day detox that calls for almond butter.  My local stores do not carry almond butter I did not have time to go to my regular health food stores.  You know eating healthy takes a lot of time and planning.  I have to go to 3 to 4 separate stores, sometimes on opposite ends of the city, to get everything I need.  Sorry that was just a random thought.  I decided to grab some bulk almonds and make my own.

This took a little patience, but very easy.  Just two ingredients roasted almonds and salt.  Because this was an experiment I did a small batch.  I used one cup of roasted almonds and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  I used my Ninja blender, you can definitely use your food processor.  Place your ingredients in your blender and blend.  The trick is that you have to scrape down your sides often.  Blend and scrape your sides, blend and scrape your sides.  I would say it took a good 20-25 minutes to get a creamy consistency.  Keep going it takes patience but it is worth it and I promise it will become creamy.

Blend and scrape sides, blend and scrape sides...



Finally creamy!  I took mine a little further, you can stop when you reach your desired consistency.




Store in a mason jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Let me know what you use your almond butter for.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Skillet Nachos


I cook at least 5 days a week.  Sometimes I run out of ideas for new and creative meals so many nights of the week.  Sometimes I am just too tired to be imaginative.  One night I had defrosted some Naked Ground Turkey from Stew Leonard’s and I was just too tired to think of some new to do with ground turkey.  I had already prepared pasta, meatloaf and meatballs that week so I was completely out of ideas.  While sitting on the couch contemplating my ground turkey dilemma, a commercial came on for tacos.  Now while I never use those taco seasoning packets I took the inspiration, Mexican.  I cook many Mexican dishes including enchiladas and Mexican lasagna, however these require a lot of work.  I needed something tasty, quick and low maintenance.  I began to peruse the pantry to see what I have on hand and I had just purchase some organic tortilla chips.  It was decided, we are having nachos for dinner.  I know nachos are usually a snack food not a main course.  I had to add some ingredients to create a main course to satisfy the big appetites in my house.  Believe me I had my skeptics.  As my husband walks in from work, before he says hello, he says “nachos for dinner really?”  After his first bite, all skepticism went right out of the window.

This dish really turned out to be a healthy hearty meal.  You can even serve with some shredded lettuce and chopped tomato.  I did not bother in my house because I would have been the only one to eat it.  I hope you try this quick weeknight meal and enjoy it as much as we did.


In a large skillet, brown your ground turkey.  Toss in your diced onion and cook for 3 minutes.  Add all of your seasonings (onion powder, garlic powder, red chili flakes, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper).  I said salt and pepper to taste because I cook with very little salt, not enough for most people, and a lot of pepper, too much for most people.  Stir that around for a few minutes to allow the seasonings to become fragrant.


Now you can add your salsa, water, corn and cooked brown rice.  Stir well.  Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Add your cheese, cover again and let the cheese melt.  I only used about ½ cup of the cheese.  Feel free to use as much or as little to fit your dietary needs.  Side note - in the ingredient list I said one jar of all natural salsa.  I did not specify because there may be a particular salsa you like.  Any salsa will work.  Here I used Newman’s Black Bean and Corn Salsa.  Yes, it has actual black beans, which added fiber and protein.  If you cannot find this particular salsa, you can always add ½ can of black beans to your dish.  Also for the brown rice, I used the 10-minute boil-in-bag rice.  I boiled it, set aside then added it to the dish.


Arrange nachos on a plate and top with mixture and sour cream.  Oh wow, think I need to make this dish again!  Enjoy…


Ingredients

1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion diced
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ cup water
1 16oz jar all natural salsa
1 ½ cup frozen corn
2 cups brown rice (precooked)
1 cup shredded Mexican or taco cheese blend
Sour Cream
Tortilla Chips


In a large skillet, brown your ground turkey.  Toss in your diced onion and cook for 3 minutes.  Add all of your seasonings (onion powder, garlic powder, red chili flakes, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper).  Stir that around for a few minutes to allow the seasonings to become fragrant.

Add salsa, water, corn and brown rice.  Stir well.  Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. 

Add cheese, cover again and let the cheese melt.

Arrange nachos on a plate and top with mixture and sour cream.

Can also be served with shredded lettuce and chopped tomato.



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Yummy Baked Apples

Living in New York City you have access to just about anything you could imagine.  As I finished my degree in Holistic Health Counseling I began to appreciate the infamous farmer’s market in Union Square.  This farmer’s market was a regular stop for me and when I stopped working in the City, it was the thing I missed most.  That is until I discovered a fabulous farmer’s market close to my home.  Every Sunday morning during the summer and fall this farmer's market is my first stop.  They have fresh veggies, dairy, fish meats, fruits, honey and specialty cheeses.  There is one farmer that I have become fast friends with because he brings me the best apples and pears I have ever tasted.  They have a large variety of apples each with distinctive flavors good for just eating or a plethora of dishes.  I have also completely fallen in love with the brown sugar pear!  Oh my goodness, it is so sweet it is like eating candy.  When you bite into it the juice just runs everywhere.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Inspiration for these baked apples came from a recipe Crumbs &Crafts published.  Of course I added my flavors and came up with another winning recipe.  I knew exactly where I was going to get my apples and which kind I was going to use.  I decided to use the Crispin Apple.  They are sweet with a slight tang, which is perfect for baking.  Of course, I picked up some pears for eating and baked one of those also to see how it would come out.  The kale was also vibrant and green, used it to make some kale chips, oh that’s another recipe.

As you will see in the picture, the apples and pear are huge.  So, instead of coring and stuffing them I cut them in half which still made a very generous portion.  I love baked apples it is like have apple pie with a lot less guilt (guilt referring to the fat and calories).  I topped the apples with a little homemade vanilla ice cream and I was in heaven.  This is apple season and there is nothing like having this sweet warm treat on a chilled fall day.

Preheat your oven to 350.  You very few ingredients to make a delicious baked apple.  Apples (here I have apples and one pear do you see the size), butter, oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, walnuts, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and ginger.


In a medium size bowl add all of your ingredients.  Can't get any easier than that.


Combine ingredients with a fork, I actually use my fingers.  The mixture should be moist and slightly stick together.


Wash and dry your apples (and pear).  Cut in half and with a teaspoon remove the stems and seeds.



Fill your apples (and pear) with your streusel mixture.



Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes depending on the size of your apples.  Apples will be softened and the streusel will have browned.



I topped with my homemade vanilla ice cream.  Yum, yum, yum...  By the way the pear turned out great also.


Ingredients:

5 medium to large apples
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium size bowl add all of your ingredients.  Combine ingredients with a fork.  The mixture should be moist and slightly stick together.

Wash and dry your apples.  Cut in half and with a teaspoon remove the stems and seeds.  Fill your apples with your streusel mixture.

Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes depending on the size of your apples.  Apples will be softened and the streusel will have browned.



Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


No, I am not a vegan nor am I contemplating becoming one.  I work with some people who follow a vegan diet in my holistic health practice and have been contemplating creating recipes for my vegan clients.  Of course, with my life being so hectic these recipes were pushed to the back burner.  That is until one night when my husband had to have red velvet cupcakes.  I know, I have holistic health practice and my husband has a sweet tooth the size of his head.  I can’t take his sweets away from him, that would be like asking for a divorce.  So I am teaching him everything in moderation. 

As I began to fulfill his request, I realized I had no eggs.  Okay what do I do now?  There are a few options.  I could continue the recipe without the eggs but I did not think I would be happy with the texture.  Bananas or applesauce are also an option but not with red velvet.  Something with a neutral taste and will add moisture, flaxseed!  Of course, I could not let him know until after he ate it.  Anyway, I used the flaxseed as replacement for my missing eggs and the cupcakes were light, moist and downright delicious.  I will be posting that recipe soon.  My successful vegan cupcakes inspired me to try making a vegan cookie, again another success!

This was unchartered territory for me, but I must say I enjoyed experimenting and achieving something nutritious and delicious.  I also received the approval of my husband the connoisseur of sweets, my 14-year-old son who is critical of everything and my daughter who attends a culinary high school.




You will need brown sugar (organic and pure cane brown sugars are available but this is what I had on hand), natural shortening (I prefer Earth Balance, however Smart Balance is what was in the fridge), vanilla, molasses, ground flax seed, water, quick-cooking oats, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, vegan chocolate chips or 70% dark chocolate chips or sweetened cacao nibs, and nuts (which are optional I used walnuts here, guess why – they were in the freezer).  Yes, some of the items are missing from the picture, I am sure you know what they look like ;).



Preheat oven to 350˚. In a small bowl combine the flaxseed and water.  Mix and set aside to achieve a jell consistency.  Many people like to boil the flaxseed and water, it is not necessary the warm water works just fine.



In your mixing bowl combine brown sugar and shortening until well blended.



Add vanilla, molasses, flaxseed, and mix until light and fluffy.  Gently stir in oats, flour, baking soda and salt.




Add your chocolate chips and nuts.



Place heaping tablespoons of cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet.



Bake 10-12 minutes.  Cool slightly and transfer to a wire rack to complete cooling.   Still working on my final product presentation, but that does not take away from the taste.  Enjoy!


Ingredients

1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
1 cup natural shortening (e.g. Earth Balance, Smart Balance)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
3 tablespoons warm water
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 ½ cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup vegan chocolate chips, 70% dark chocolate chips or sweetened cacao nibs
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350˚.

In a small bowl combine the flaxseed and water.  Mix and set aside to achieve a jell consistency.

In your mixing bowl combine brown sugar and shortening until well blended.  Add vanilla, molasses, flaxseed, and mix until light and fluffy.  Gently stir in oats, flour, baking soda and salt.  Add your chocolate chips and nuts.

Place heaping tablespoons of cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 10-12 minutes.  Cool slightly and transfer to a wire rack to complete cooling.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Good Health Avocado Oil Potato Chips


Is it possible to become addicted to a potato chip?  Well I may need rehab!

Before I began my healthy eating lifestyle potato chips were one of my favorite snacks.  I stayed away from them completely because I felt there was no healthy alternative that was palatable for me.  I hate the baked chips and am leery of the chips fried in Olean, so I just stayed away completely.

While wondering around the supermarket on day I stumbled up Good Health Kettle Style Avocado Oil Potato Chips.  My first thought, these couldn’t possibly be good…avocado oil not so sure about that.  Being the foodie that I am, and the fact they were on sale, I decided to try them.  I bought the Sea Salt and Barcelona Barbecue flavors (on sale 2 for $5).  Even after getting them home I was still hesitant and let them sit in the cabinet for a few days.  I finally decided to take them to work with me to eat with my sandwich.  Love at first bite and they are good for you too, I am in heaven.

I started with the Sea Salt flavor and it was absolute perfection.  The chip was hearty and crisp but not as hard as some other kettle chip brands I have tried.  You absolutely do not taste any avocado flavor and there is no after taste.  I watch my salt intake due to high blood pressure and have become very sensitive to too much salt.  Each serving of these chips come in at around 100mg of salt per serving and it is the perfect amount of salt for the chips.  The next day I tore into the barbecue flavor and it did not disappoint.  The chips have the right amount of barbecue flavor again without being too salty.

These potato chips are kettle cooked in all natural pure avocado oil. The Avocado is an amazing fruit full of anti-oxidants, monounsaturated fat (“the good fat”) and loads of nutrients.  By cooking the chips in all natural avocado oil, Good Health Natural Foods harnesses the energy of the "good fat" in Avocados that is helpful in reducing LDL cholesterol while maintaining HDL cholesterol levels important for a balanced diet.  The mild flavor of Avocados provides no funny after taste and leaves room for great flavors, like Chilean Lime. Cooking the chips kettle style ensures a hearty, crispy chip, which is what I love when it comes to potato chip eating.

Who is Good Health Natural Products?  “Based in Greensboro, NC, Good Health® Natural Products, Inc. is a leading innovator in the natural and organic markets producing healthy snacks such as Olive and Avocado Oil Potato Chips, Veggie Stix® and the new HUMBLES™, a baked hummus chip. Good Health® Natural Products has developed a reputation for healthy living and creativity that has always resulted in products that are beyond ordinary! The company began with Veggie Stix® pioneering the veggie snack category of consumer foods. Next came the revolutionary Olive Oil Potato Chips (another first of its kind) providing the consumer a delicious source of mono and polyunsaturated fats.

Why We Exist:  We believe that individuals should have the right to live healthier lives if they so choose.  We believe that this right can only be exercised if people have access to affordable, all natural, superior performing and healthier-for-you products, products that Good Health is committed to creating in order to realize the vision of a world in which one can make the best choices for themselves and their families.”  http://www.goodhealthnaturalproducts.com/

Good Health has developed proprietary technology to kettle cook potato chips with avocado oil without transferring high fat content resulting in 30% less fat.  Each serving (of the 5 oz bag) has 140 calories, 7 grams of fat (Saturated fat 1g), Sodium 115 mg, and no cholesterol.  They also use all natural seasoning in their other flavors.

I must say the only caveat I have with these chips is that I can’t stop eating them.  I am not proud of this, but I ate the entire 5 oz bag.  Hence, my reason for rehab!  Good Health Snacks are widely available at health food stores including Whole Foods, most supermarkets, even Walgreens and of course online at Amazon and Drugstore.com.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do…

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Green Pina Colada Smoothie

Green Pina Colada Smoothie...

2 good handfuls of organic baby spinach
1 cup pineapple, diced and chilled
1 banana sliced and frozen
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1 cup cold coconut water
2 teaspoons agave nectar, optional
2 teaspoons of shredded coconut, optional

Add coconut water and spinach to blender and process until all leaves are liquefied. Add remaining ingredients and continue blending until smooth. Enjoy!

Autumn Brittle



I so must try this after our challenge...adapted from Adventures in Cooking with tweaked ingredients.

Autumn Brittle
Ingredients:

1 Cup Almonds
1 Cup Cashews
3/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
3/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds
2/3 Cup Dried Cranberries
2 Cups Sucanat
1/2 Cup Agave
1 Cup Water
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Butter

Heat the sucanat, agave, water and salt in a large pot over a low-medium flame. Use a pot that is larger than you would think necessary because when the mixture begins to boil it will foam up and increase in size. Stir every five minutes or so. Using a candy thermometer, continue to heat the mixture until it reaches a temperature of exactly 302 degrees Fahrenheit. This is very important because this is the temperature at which sugar hardens into a rock-like state after it cools. Pay close attention not to go very far above 302, otherwise you will burn the sugar. It can take up to an hour for the mixture to reach that high of a temperature, so don't get too worried if 15 minutes go by and the thermometer is still at 175.

While the sugar mixture is boiling, place a sheet of parchment paper on top of a shallow pan, about 9 x 13 inches in width and length, and grease the parchment paper. Set aside. Once the sugar mixture reaches 302, immediately remove it from heat and stir in the butter, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries until they're coated in the mixture.

Immediately pour the mixture onto the parchment paper and spread it out into a large rectangle using a rubber spatula. Try to keep the surface relatively even and about 1 inch in height. Place the pan in the refrigerator and allow the brittle to cool for one hour. Once it has finished cooling, remove the sheet of brittle from the parchment paper and break the brittle into pieces and enjoy. Store excess brittle in a cool dry place.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

7-Day Challenge: Eating Clean


7-Day Challenge: Eating Clean
Can we go one week without processed food?

I challenge those who are willing to eat clean for one week starting Sunday, August 5, 2012.
During that week stop by and let us know how you are doing, what you have changed and how you feel.  I will be posting tips to help us along the way.

For those new to the terminology, clean eating is the practice of eating whole foods.  Foods as close to their natural state as you can get them like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins instead of pre-packaged, processed or fast food. Clean eating is also committed to replacing saturated fats with healthy fats.  Here are a few steps to make your week a success:

Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid canned or processed products. Processing fruits and vegetables reduces their nutritional value and fiber content and adds salt, fat, sugar and chemicals.  In a pinch if you must choose a processed vegetable or fruit, frozen is always better than canned.  Read your labels and make sure there are no additives.

Balance protein and complex carbohydrates.  Incorporate whole grains like brown rice or quinoa, avoid over processed grains like white rice.  Eat lean meats, and choose organic or grass fed meats when possible, as these foods are usually clean of pesticides, hormones and additives. Grill, broil or steam your meats rather than frying which will add extra fat.

We are aiming to remove refined sugars from the diet, so avoid sodas and high calorie, sugary drinks.  Choose water, seltzer water, tea or juice your own fruits and vegetables.

Trade bad fats for good fats. A key aspect of clean eating is removing saturated fats from the diet. Lower your saturated fat intake by avoiding fast food, choosing lean cuts of meat and getting your fat calories from foods like nuts and fatty fish.

Eat
5-6 small meals to keep blood sugar stable and to avoid overeating. Choose snacks like nuts, low-fat or fat free dairy, fruits and vegetables.

Clean eating also includes cooking healthy meals; packing healthy meals when you are on the go; healthy choices when dining out; drinking a lot of water; eliminating alcoholic beverages; always start your day with breakfast.

Many of us want to lose weight or improve our overall health.  The biggest challenge in improving your health is cleaning up your diet.  A huge portion of the American diet consists of processed foods and breaking away from that can be difficult.  Eating clean can be a major transition for a majority of people due to addictions to sugar, white bread, and fast food. It takes discipline in order to make eating clean a habit but it is possible and has so many long-term health benefits.  Eating clean can be difficult but it is not impossible and soon it becomes a part of your life.



Sources:
http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/healthy-eating-23-ways-eat-clean
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/livestrongcom/clean-eating-5-simple-ste_b_632545.html

Friday, July 27, 2012

2nd Ave Deli's Health Salad


I love this recipe.  I had it at the actual 2nd Ave Deli and it was love at first bite.

Ingredients:
1 small head green cabbage (abt 2 lbs.)
2 medium carrots, peeled
1 small green bell pepper
1 large rib celery, cut into thin slices
3/4 C. distilled white vinegar
2 T. extra virgin olive oil, peanut, or canola oil
1/2 C. sugar
1 T. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
Directions:
Makes about 8 cups

Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Shred the cabbage as finely as possible and transfer to a large bowl.  Using the coarsest side of a box grater, shred the carrots; halve the green pepper and remove the seeds, ribs, and stem, then cut them into extremely fine strands; cut the celery thin and crosswise and add all ingredients to the cabbage.

To make the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the slaw. Toss well.

Refrigerate the slaw, tightly covered, for at least 8 hours before serving. As the slaw will not wilt much, it should remain crisp and fresh tasting for 2 to 3 weeks. 

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Skinny Drank

I found this recipe on a local farmers market site. If you drink a glass of this a day it’s supposed to promote weight loss. 

I love the way it tastes! Refreshing on a hot day!

Skinny Drank

Ingredients:

2 Liters of Water
1 Cucumber
1 Lemon
10-12 Mint Leaves
Directions:

Slice cucumber and lemon and put in a 2 liter container. Muddle the mint leaves and throw those puppies in. Pour in the water.
Let it sit overnight before serving.

Weight Loss Plateau?


Have you experienced a weight loss plateau?  I have and it is very frustrating!

Since I began my new lifestyle to lose weight, I have been more than happy with my results.  I started in January of this year and have lost over 35 pounds.  A month ago I hit a plateau.  My research confirmed this as a normal occurrence.  However normal it may be it is very frustrating to continue to work hard and the scale not move.  I refused to get discouraged and started looking for ways to get me back on track.  I posted the question on my FB page and received some great suggestions.  One of my FB friends suggested Calorie Confusion.  I had heard of this and did a little research on it, but I did not believe I needed to incorporate this into my eating plan because I was doing fine.  After two weeks of my scale not moving, I decided to look at Calorie Confusion a little closer.

The basic premise of Calorie Confusion is to outsmart your metabolism.   When your body adjusts to a certain amount of calories over an extended period of time, your metabolism also adjusts accordingly and you hit a plateau. Calorie Confusion is a technique that aims to confuse your metabolism so that it does not adjust to any specific caloric intake. If your body does not know how much food it will receive, your metabolism will not have time to adjust or slow down.

My daily caloric intake is between 1280-1630 calories.  My average daily caloric consumption was around the 1200-calorie range.  I did this thinking it would accelerate my weight loss.  This consistent caloric intake caused my body adjusted to my daily 1200 calories and my metabolism slowed down bringing my weight loss efforts to a screeching halt.

It seems the best way to incorporate Calorie Confusion into your diet is to alternate high calorie days and low calorie days.  One day I would consume around 1200 calories and the next day I would consume 1630 calories.  With this schedule and my normal workout routine, I dropped three pounds in two weeks.  I am back on track.

Now let me just say high calorie days does NOT mean go crazy and eat cheeseburgers to meet your caloric goal.  On high calorie days just add a little more healthy foods into your eating regimen.  For example, on a low calorie day I would have a greek yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast consuming about 200 calories.  On a high calorie day, for breakfast, I would have roasted veggie scrambled eggs, 2 slices nitrate-free turkey bacon, fresh squeezed juice and whole-wheat toast consuming about 380 calories.  I even incorporate a healthy dessert consisting of low-fat frozen yogurt.  Remember to spread your calories throughout the day to include your three meals and two snacks (and on high calorie days your dessert).

Since I was counting calories, anyway Calorie Confusion was very easy to incorporate into my lifestyle.  This calorie range is what my body needs.  Begin by finding your personal caloric range.  If you have reached a weight loss plateau or if you just want to try something new, give Calorie Confusion a try…please let us know about your success.

Healthy eating…

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Orgain - Creamy Chocolate Fudge


In my continuing quest to lose weight I recently began considering adding more protein to my eating regimen.  I am not talking about a “high-protein” diet; I just want to add a little more protein to keep my metabolism running and help keep me satiated.  There are numerous reports that indicate starting your day with a good amount of protein will get your metabolism going.  I am not a big breakfast eater on the average day.  I usually have my coffee and a greek yogurt for breakfast.  So I decided to add more protein as a “snack” or post workout.  My goal is to maintain lean muscle tissue while burning fat for fuel.  I also want the right combination of nutrients for overall health.

I tried a few whey protein powders, none of them were something I looked forward to drinking.  After a few weeks of research, I have found what I call the miracle protein shake, Orgain.  This shake is packed with protein and all the nutrients from fruits and veggies it can possibly handle.  Not only is it good for you, it is organic and it actually tastes DELICIOUS.

“Orgain is the world's first doctor developed ready-to-drink nutritional shake. Orgain uses only the highest quality organic ingredients to provide perfectly balanced nutrition by blending organic whey protein, organic brown rice, omega-3's, fiber, organic green tea and pomegranate extracts as well as 24 vitamins and minerals. If that wasn't enough, Orgain has the antioxidant equivalent (ORAC value) of 10 servings of fruits and veggies.”
Besides all of the nutrition, Orgain is convenient.  I normally do not buy convenience foods because there are all kinds of junk in them.  This one convenience food is now a regular part of my daily routine.   In one 11 ounce serving of Orgain, you can drink 255 nutrient dense calories with a perfect 2:1 complex carbohydrate to protein ratio that gives you a delicious, organic meal anytime, anywhere.
Orgain offers three flavors Sweet Vanilla Bean, Iced Café Mocha, and Creamy Chocolate Fudge.  I have only tried the Creamy Chocolate Fudge.  It very similar to an under sweetened chocolate milk.  It is creamy and chocolaty; I love it because it does not give you that protein after taste you get from most protein shakes.

“Orgain was formulated to provide perfect, organic nutrition for anyone's health needs. If your desire is to lose weight, simply replace an unhealthy meal with a serving of Orgain. With only 7 grams of healthy fat and 16 grams of organic whey protein, Orgain can keep you full and satisfied with balanced nutrition.  Orgain has no saturated fat or excess sugar, helping you reach your weight-loss goals organically.  Orgain provides 255 nutrient-dense calories with a perfect 2:1 ratio of organic complex carbohydrates to organic protein, giving you sustained energy without the sugar crash associated with energy drinks. With no caffeine or stimulants, Orgain is the natural and healthy way to increase your energy levels.  Post workout at the gym, replenish your body with antioxidants, fruits, vegetables, and the highest quality organic whey protein to help you build lean muscle and keep you going through your day. Just chill, shake and drink a serving of Orgain to provide a perfect post-workout recovery drink that will help nourish your muscles and keep you performing at your peak.”

Orgain’s nutritional value is extraordinary and their list of ingredients does not disappoint either.
INGREDIENTS: Water, Orgain Organic Protein Blend (Organic Whey Protein Concentrate, Organic Milk Protein Concentrate), Orgain Organic Complex Carbohydrate Blend (Organic Brown Rice Dextrins, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup), Organic High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Organic Cocoa Powder, Organic Natural Flavors, Cellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Xanthan Gum, Soy Lecithin, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sea Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Inulin (from chicory root)
Orgain Vitamin Blend: Tocopherol Acetate, Sodium Ascorbate, Zinc Sulfate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Chromium Citrate, Biotin, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenate, Potassium Iodide, Cholecalciferol, Cyanocobalamin.
Orgain Organic Veggie Blend: (Organic Kale, Organic Beet, Organic Spinach, Organic Carrot, Organic Tomato) 50mg
Orgain Organic Fruit Blend: (Organic Blueberry, Organic Banana, Organic Acai, Organic Apple, Organic Raspberry) 50mg
Orgain Organic Antioxidant Blend (Organic Pomegranate Extract - 50% polyphenols and Organic Green Tea Extract - decaffeinated, 90% polyphenols, 45% ECEG) 30mg

Orgain was developed by Dr. Andrew Abraham who is a cancer survivor and practicing physician that has dedicated his life to improving the health and well-being of others.  Dr. Abraham spent years searching for a healthy, nutritious drink made with only high quality organic ingredients only to come up disappointed.
"I created Orgain with the intention of developing a drink that would far surpass any product on the market. The truth is, a majority of drinks offered today are filled with sugar, corn syrup, and very low quality non-organic ingredients in order to keep costs low and profits high."  Dr. Andrew Abraham

After being diagnosed with cancer, he learned firsthand the importance of organic, wholesome nutrition and the vital role it plays in supporting the body in times of stress. Not only did he want a drink that would support those fighting an illness, but he wanted a convenient, delicious organic drink for people like himself as a post-workout shake or a healthy meal on the run.  He spent years formulating and re-formulating a drink that finally met his very strict standards. It had to be low in sugar, high in organic protein, have complex carbs, fruits, veggies, omega-3's, fiber, immune boosters and be in a ready to drink, delicious package free from artificial sweeteners, preservatives and colorings. He wanted a drink where people would actually feel a difference in their health. After exhaustive work and research, he finally developed the perfect formulation that would later become Orgain.  http://drinkorgain.com/orgain_html/index.html

None of the protein shakes or meal replacement drinks on the market come close to Orgain.  I sincerely hope you decide to give it a try.  You can purchase Orgain online at http://drinkorgain.com/orgain_html/buy.html.  It is a little more expensive around $42 for a case of 12.  I purchased my case of Creamy Chocolate Fudge at the Vitamin Shoppe it was on sale for $30.  The Vitamin Shoppe sells cases online as well.  Other retailers who carry Orgain include Whole Foods and Fairway Supermarkets.

Let me know what you think.

Healthy eating…

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta


 Recently the health community has recognized wheat intolerance as a serious health concern.  There have been more cases of Celiac disease diagnosed than ever before.  With all this new information more people are becoming gluten-free to be healthy.  If you stroll the aisles of the supermarket you will see the growing selection of gluten-free products.

I wanted to try some gluten-free options after reading the book Eat Right for Your Type.  I discovered that my family’s blood types do not agree with wheat products.  So while searching for gluten-free items to begin including in our diet I came across pastas made from brown rice.  Sounded like a dream, only the reviews on brown rice pasta said that it tended to be mushy.  My health food store carried Tinkyada Brown Rice which claims right on the bag that it does not get mushy.

I bought a bag of Tinkyada Brown Rice Spiral Pasta.  I cooked according to the instructions and it came out perfect.  It cooked up nicely and still had that slight bite we love in our pastas.  So I decided to overcook the bag of spaghetti I purchased to see if it then became mushy.  Even when overcooked the pasta still did not become mushy, there was less of a bite but it still held its form.  I highly recommend Tinkyada Brown Rice for those who are gluten-free.  You will not miss regular pasta at all.

The ingredients in this pasta are very simple, brown rice, rice bran and water.  It's also cholesterol free and low in fat and sodium.  Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta is manufactured in a wheat-free factory premise.  The bag itself boasts being wheat free, gluten-free, cholesterol free, low fat, low sodium, trans fat free, and Kosher certified.  Tinkyada have several pastas to choose from including spirals, spaghetti, spinach spaghetti, penne, elbows, fettuccini, and fusilli.

In mainstream supermarkets and health food stores a bag of this pasta can cost almost $5.00.  I did find it at a bargain in Fairway Supermarket for $3.89; however the best price I have seen was on www.swansonvitamins.com.  Their prices vary from $2.59 to $3.69 for the organic pasta.

If you are trying a gluten-free lifestyle give a bag of this pasta a try.  Share your recipes with us.  Let me know how you like it.

Healthy eating…