Friday, April 30, 2010
1 cup shredded cabbage or turnips
Sea salt and pepper to taste
OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 TBS coconut oil (or butter) for frying
Shred veggie. In a medium bowl mix the veggie, egg, salt, pepper and cheese if using. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add veggie mixture to the pan and form a rectangle with the spatula. Gently chop along the length of the hashed brown. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes, checking turnips occasionally. When firm enough, flip the hashed brown. Cook for 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
1 cup Potato Hashbrowns 116 calories, 28 carbs, 2 sugar, 4 fiber
1 cup Turnip Hashbrowns 36 calories, 8 carbs, 5 sugar, 2 fiber
1 cup Cabbage Hashbrown 29 calories, 3 carbs, 0 sugar, 2g fiber
Thursday, April 29, 2010
FYI...Craig liked it better made with tomatoes.
EGGPLANT STYLE (Yes, Tracey, I know I am getting to be like "Bubba" on Forest Gump...Eggplant sandwich, eggplant pizza, eggplant breadsticks...)
NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per serving)
Traditional Grilled Cheese = 400 calories, 26 carbs, 1 fiber (25 effective carbs)
"Eggplant" Grilled Cheese = 240 calories, 9.7 carbs, 5.4 g fiber (4.3 effective carbs)
NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per serving)
Traditional Grilled Cheese = 400 calories, 26 carbs, 1 fiber
"Tomato" Grilled Cheese = 233 calories, 5.3 carbs, 2 g fiber (3.2 effective carbs)
Monday, April 26, 2010
Everyday I see clients dealing with emotional eating, which lead me to write the book Secrets to Controlling Your Weight Cravings and Mood. Anxiety and depression may be the result of shortages of key brain neurotransmitters, one of which is called GABA, which can be restored naturally. Give the brain the amino acids it needs and feel your mind start to glow again. If you're one of the millions who suffer from anxiety or depression, the next time you reach for the Valium or Prozac; consider amino acids as a safe alternative. These protein building blocks may be the key to reversing long-standing anxiety and depression.
Mood, behavior, and brain biochemistry are intricately linked. Depression and anxiety may be the result of flawed message-sending in the brain, flawed because key brain chemicals called neurotransmitters are in short supply. They're short because the body's amino acid pool, from which they're made, is itself low (dieters and vegetarians are often lacking certain amino acids). For example, deficiencies in the amino acid GABA are strongly correlated with states of anxiety.
By using a theraputic dose of GABA you don't get the serious side effects commonly associated with pharmaceutical medications. These can typically include a decrease in metabolism, blurred vision, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, nausea, headaches, constipation, memory loss, impaired concentration, and brain fog. In contrast, the clinical use of amino acids produces no side effects or health risks and generates better, more lasting healing results.
• Up to 500 mg 3 times daily on an empty stomach
• 1 gram before bed can increase human growth hormone
Thursday, April 22, 2010
16 jumbo shrimp (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and de-veined
1 TBS ancho chile powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1-2 TBS coconut oil or ghee
1 1/2 TBS coconut oil or butter/ghee
1/2 cup finely diced onions
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups Cauliflower converted into rice
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt plus more to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
1 large zucchini, trimmed, seeded, and diced, optional
1 cup coconut oil or ghee
1 large bunch fresh basil, leaves only, well washed and dried
Shrimp: Rinse the shrimp under cold running water. Place the chile powder, garlic salt, coriander, oregano, cumin, and pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Let the shrimp marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Add coconut oil and preheat pan to medium-high heat. When the pan is hot a drop of water will skitter in the pan. When ready to cook, place the marinated shrimp in the hot pan. They will be done after cooking 1 to 3 minutes per side. When done the shrimp will turn pinkish white and will feel firm to the touch.
Lemon Rice: Place cauliflower flowerettes in a food processor. Pulse until small pieces of "rice." Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and allow them to sweat their liquid for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sweat for an additional 3 minutes. Stir in the "rice" and zucchini and sauté it for 3 minutes. Add the stock, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the "rice" has absorbed most of the liquid.
Fried Basil: Heat the oil to 350 degrees on a candy thermometer in a large saucepan over high heat. Standing as far back from the pot as possible and wearing an oven mitt, drop the basil leaves into the hot oil. The oil may bubble and splatter. Fry for about 1 minute, or until the leaves are crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the leaves to a double layer of paper towels to drain. Adapted from Epicurious.com
White Rice = 242 calories, 53 carbs, 0 fiber
Brown Rice = 218 calories, 46 carbs, 4 fiber
Quinoa = 222 calories, 39 carbs, 5 fiber
Wild Rice = 166 calories, 35 carbs, 3 fiber
Cauliflower Rice = 28 calories, 3 carbs, 1 fiber
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Calamari can be cooked one of two ways: For the blink of an eye, or for a long, long time. Anything in between and it is rubbery. I found mine at Kowalski's Grocery Store for only $4 for 8 large bodies.
8 large squid
1 pound Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 TBS chopped parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 jar no sugar added marinara sauce
Clean calamari body. Remove tentacles and fins (if needed, I purchased mine with just the body shell). In mixing bowl, combine ricotta, egg, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Stuff calamari with cheese mixture. Close each end with a toothpick. In roasting pan, place squid and pour over marinara sauce. Cover pan with foil, bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.
NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per cup)
1 cup Manicotti Noodles = 246 calories, 43 carbs, 5g fiber
1 cup Calamari "Noodles" = 120 calories, 0 carbs, 15g protein
Monday, April 19, 2010
CRAVING PASTA??? Have you tried Shirataki Konjac Noodles. They are mostly composed of a dietary fiber called glucomannan and contain very few calories and carbohydrates (sometimes even zero). They do not have much flavor by themselves, but absorb flavors well from other ingredients you can combine them with. Shirataki noodles are made from Konjac flour, which comes from the roots of the yam-like Konjac plant grown in Japan and China.
Shirataki noodles are packaged "wet", that is, you purchase them pre-packaged in liquid, and they are ready-to-eat out of the package. You can prepare them by boiling them briefly or running them under hot water, then combining them with other dishes, or adding things like tofu, garlic, spinach, or soy sauce to enhance the flavor.
They come in a VARIETY OF SHAPES:
-LOW CARB - only 3g of carbs 3 grams of fiber per serving
-LOW CALORIE - 20 calories per 4 oz serving
GUILT FREE ALFREDO
2 packs Sheritaki noodles (fettuccini)
8 oz shrimp and scallop or boneless skinless chicken breast
3 TBS butter
8 fluid beef broth
Salt to taste
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1 egg yolk
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
Drain and rinse noodles, pat dry and set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add broth, stirring constantly. Stir in salt, nutmeg, grated Parmesan cheese, and grated Romano cheese. Stir constantly until melted, then mix in egg yolk. Simmer over medium low heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Garnish with additional grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Meanwhile, prepare noodles, by draining and patting dry. Steam noodles in microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Add coconut oil to a pan on medium-high heat. Pat shrimp and scallops dry. Fry seafood and mushrooms for 3 minutes (or until cooked through). Serve with noodles and sauce! Serves 4.
NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per serving)
White Pasta = 190 calories, 40 carbs, 2g fiber
Sheritaki Pasta = 0 calories, 0 carbs
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I received a comment on my Facebook timeline yesterday that totally made my day. She gave me permission to post here so everyone could be inspired by her amazing success. Way to go Gretta! Stories like this motivate me to help as many people as I can! :)
"Maria, I have been following you on FB and your blog since I started my weight loss/get healthy journey in Nov. of 2010. With your help, guidance, ti...ps, and phenomenal recipes, I can proudly say, I am down 112 pounds and not only do *I* eat healthier, but so does my family (husband and 2 daughters - ages 3 and 6). We've enjoyed so many of your recipes and I am constantly putting your books on my... "wish lists." Well, Monday, I decided I was going to fill my own wish list, just dove right in and ordered ALL of your books at once through your link.. they came in today and I spent the entire evening reading Secrets to Controlling Your Weight, Cravings, and Mood! So much insight in that little book! You touched on many of the problems I still struggle with and have given me even MORE insight to fight my "issues." I just want to say THANK YOU for all you do.. all you've shared for FREE.. and helping me AND my family find a healthier way and STILL be able to enjoy what we eat without feeling deprived! Love to you!!"
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup vanilla whey or egg white protein
3 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp stevia glycerite
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Separate the eggs and whip the whites and cream of tartar until very stiff (I use a stand mixer and let it go for 5 minutes). Slowly sift in the whey protein to the whites. Combine softened cream cheese and stevia. Using a spatula, gently fold the cream cheese into the whites. Spray a lasagna pan with coconut oil spray and spoon the mixture into it. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove pans from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
½ cup whipping cream (whipped)
4 TBS cream cheese (softened)
1 tsp stevia glycerite
Whip the cream, add cream cheese and stevia. Place in a ziplock bag. Cut the corner of the bag and pipe the mixture into the éclairs.
1 ChocoPerfection Bar
2-3 TBS unsweetened almond milk
In a double boiler or microwavable bowl, combine ingredients. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well. Drizzle onto éclairs and let rest on cooling rack until glaze has set.
NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per serving)
Traditional Eclairs: 262 calories, 16g fat, 6g protein, 25g carbs, 0.6g fiber (24.4 effective carbs)
"Healthified" Eclairs: 121 calories, 9g fat, 8g protein, 4g carbs, 3.4g fiber (0.6 effective carbs)
Friday, April 16, 2010
Here is a small segment from my book Secrets to Controlling Your Weight Cravings and Mood:
Anxiety, depression, and obesity are issues I see every day with clients, each reinforcing the other. They don’t understand why they feel the way they do and want to “snap out of it.” Our brain biochemistry plays a huge part in our moods; which can drive us to unhealthy eating behaviors. A nutritional supplement called 5-HTP (5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan) has been a miracle cure for my clients. According to scientist Michael Murray, N.D., "Numerous double-blind studies have shown 5-HTP to be as effective as antidepressant drugs, but it is better tolerated and is associated with fewer and much milder side effects. The body converts tryptophan, an amino acid (protein) found in food, into 5-HTP, which is used to make serotonin; an important brain chemical regulating mood, behavior, appetite, and sleep.”
In Europe, 5-HTP has been used for decades as a standard treatment for depression, sleep problems, weight loss, and other medical problems. It is now starting to be used in the USA. Scientific studies find that 5-HTP is a safe, natural way to increase the brain serotonin levels. Interestingly, 5-HTP has been found to produce results equal to or better than those of standard synthetic drugs used in the problems arising from serotonin deficiency or depression. Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D., author of "5-HTP: Nature's Serotonin Solution," believes 5-HTP holds a great deal of promise. He states, "5-HTP helps control appetite, improve mood, and reduce anxiety.” Sounds good to me, sign me up!
HOW DOES 5-HTP WORK?
Mood and sleep disorders are imbalances in monoamine neurotransmitters. Having low levels of serotonin is an acknowledged factor in depression, obesity, and anxiety. Serotonin is a monoamine compound, chemically related to amino acid derivatives such as 5-HTP. This supplement also increases levels of endorphins and many other neurotransmitters, which help decrease our recurrence of depression and low moods.
When levels of serotonin fall, your body senses starvation. To protect itself, your body starts to crave carbohydrates. Serotonin levels fall after you go too long without eating, and that encourages your body to start filling itself. People who use 5-HTP to keep their serotonin level up have more positive experience when dieting.
Dr. Oz’s book, “YOU! On a Diet,” had a six-week study of 5-HTP and dieters. The group of dieters using 5-HTP lost an average of 12 pounds, while a control group lost an average of four. Ninety percent of women taking at least 300mg of 5-HTP report satiety while on a diet.
Fat Burning Tip:
Irony of Antidepressants:
Weight gain is a common side effect with many antidepressants and mood stabilizer medications. All antidepressants have the potential to cause weight gain; most people are unaware that weight gain is one of the most common side effects associated with Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, Zyprexa and many other behavioral drugs until it is too late. Ironically, this common side effect causes an increase in depression as it can seriously impact self-esteem. 5-HTP is a natural antidepressant that can actually help decrease cravings to assist in weight loss.
NOTE: Please talk to your doctor or nutritionist before starting any supplement regime.
Monday, April 12, 2010
One of my favorite treats (in my past life) was a Panera Cinnamon Crunch Bagel topped with sweet pecan cream cheese! Yikes check out the nutrition facts on ONE bagel. YIKES 81 carbohydrates!!!
I now enjoy my homemade bagels. All of the carbs in this bagel comes from a fiber. It is also FILLED with omega 3s and it tastes great. TIP: make a larger batch, keep in freezer and toast when you are having a Panera Bread Relapse!
4 TBS parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup egg whites
3/4 T macadamia nut oil
dash of salt/onion powder/pepper
NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON (per bagel)
Panara Asiago Bagel = 350 calories, 60 carbs, 2g fiber
"Healthified" Parmesan Bagel = 88 calories, 2.1 carbs, 1.8g fiber
Saturday, April 10, 2010
I also have a kids cookbook that is filled with great recipes and tips for keeping our kids healthy and thriving. Click Here to get "The Art of Eating Healthy - Kids."
High Protein Peanut Butter Balls
2 cups NATURAL crunchy peanut or almond butter
2 scoops Jay Robb chocolate whey or egg white protein powder
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 TBS freshly ground flax seeds
1 tsp psyllium husks (optional thickener and fiber for the little tikes!)
In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Mold the mixture into small balls (like a large marble), and place them in a container lined with parchment to separate the layers. Freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
Flaxseeds: You can’t hide a lot of super-healthy foods...I don't think I could disguise salmon in an ice cream and my nephew will never try "KALE CHIPS" again:) But flaxseeds have an agreeable flavor and texture for kids. Flaxseeds are great sources of omega-3s (proven to help with improved learning capacity as well as many other health benefits), they are also affordable and tasty. Try adding them to trail mix or making “healthy candy” by mixing them with xylitol honey and toast them on low heat. Once your kids get used to the nutty flavor, you can work them into other not-so-sweet recipes: salads, my waffle or flax muffin recipe:)
NUTRITIONAL INFO (per ball) = 216 calories, 18g fat, 10.8 carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 11 g protein
Did you know that if you gain 10 pounds of muscle, you will burn an extra 3500 calories per week? To burn that many calories doing cardio, you'd have to run for an hour each day of the week! To build 10 pounds of muscle, feed your body a high quality whey protein 1-3 times a day, and increase strength training. Whey protein is my favorite addition to my diet in the past few years. It provides me with the muscle maintaining protein I need when I work out or don’t consume the calories I need in a day.
Whey is a form of protein that is naturally-present in dairy products. Two issues I often see in athletic clients are they either do so much cardio that they tear down their muscles which kills their metabolism or they dip too low in calories which eats up their valuable muscle for energy (catabolic state). Whey protein is a popular protein supplement for fitness fanatics mainly because of its high concentration in the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs are the key players in maintaining muscle tissue and help to preserve muscle stores of glycogen and can help prevent muscle protein breakdown during exercise; again…let’s keep that metabolism humming. Consuming whey as a protein source for a post-exercise snack is awesome for our exhausted muscles.
Whey protein is also very low in fat and carbohydrates (some brands can be high in carbs so read the labels!). This is because the refinement process used to create whey protein powder removes nearly all of the fat and sugars in the liquid, leaving a final product that is almost 100% protein by volume. This makes whey protein great for dieters who want to hold onto their valuable muscle. Athletes, fitness enthusiasts and vegetarians find that whey protein helps them attain specific training goals and enhanced energy levels.
Whey protein has other properties that have health benefits, including the presence of certain biologically active nutrients that enhance the immune system and even stave off muscle wasting.
Whey Protein Benefits:
Whey Protein is not stored as fat as easily as carbohydrates.
Whey Protein decreases your hunger between meals.
Whey Protein helps strengthen your immune system.
Whey Protein increases energy levels, especially during low-calorie dieting and helps shorten recovery time between exercise sessions.
Whey Protein helps repair and build new muscle.
Each type of protein has a specific biological value. The higher the value, the better it works. Whey protein has the highest biological value (bv) of any protein, 104. Beef has a bv of 80 and soy protein with a bv of 74. That means whey protein is 23% more effective than beef and 29% more effective than soy protein at helping you body build lean muscle! Unlike other proteins, like casein, which is another form of protein in milk, the speed at which whey protein is digested makes it an ultimate source of protein following exercise when your body requires amino acids promptly to aid with recovery.
Top 10 reasons to consume WHEY:
1. Boost Immune System – Whey protein includes high levels of the amino acid cysteine, which produces glutathione, a potent antioxidant that maintains immune health. One of the first indications in patients with autoimmune diseases is a decrease in glutathione levels. Many studies have proven adding whey protein to patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, and HIV can greatly enhance their immune system. Scientists discovered that whey proteins stopped the growth of breast cancer cells in test tubes. It was also proven that when patients ingest at least 24 grams of whey a day they had a noteworthy reduction in the size of cancer tumors.
2. Enhance Infant Formula– Whey protein contains alpha-lactalbumin and is the main nutrient in human breast milk. This makes whey protein a very important nutrient to include in infant formulas and should be the first protein consumed by babies. Good news to mothers, the Journal of Pediatrics, found that formulas with whey protein have been shown to help reduce the length of crying spells in babies with colic. Always check the ingredients list on your infant formula, not all contain whey because it costs more.
3. Benefit Cardiovascular Health –Adding whey along with your doctor’s prescription can be a great balance to help your heart. Clinical research discovered that whey protein reduces blood pressure in individuals who are borderline hypertensive.
4. Increase Lean Body Mass– Our muscles need branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) during long periods of exercise and added stress; which can also have a negative effect on the immune system. Whey proteins are naturally high in BCAAs that are easy to digest. It immediately supplies the muscles with high quality protein it is screaming for; which directly correlates to an increase in physical performance and enhanced body composition.
5. Contribute to a Positive Mood– Stress is a well-known cause of a decrease in serotonin levels in the brain; which can cause depression. Clinical studies found that including whey protein is helpful in enhancing moods and in boosting serotonin levels because it is high in tryptophan, a natural relaxant. Whey is great for people with high stress lifestyles and elevated cortisol hormones.
6. Superior Protein Source for Lactose, Casein or Gluten Free Diets- Whey protein isolate is the purest form and is over 90% protein. Whey protein isolate contains only trace amounts of lactose, therefore people with lactose allergies can safely enjoy whey. It is also a great protein source for people with Celiac disease who are on gluten or wheat protein-restricted diets.
7. An Appetite Suppressor – One of the nutrients in whey protein, glycomacropeptide, stimulates the release of cholecystokinin, which is an appetite suppressing hormone.
8. Stave off Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis affects over 25 million Americans. We have the highest rate of hip fractures, yet we have the highest intake of calcium in the world, next to Sweden. Studies show that low protein intake, including low levels of animal protein consumption, was directly related to increased levels of bone loss. Impact exercise, such as walking, and sufficient amounts of protein in the diet can enhance bone health and may help to reduce the frequency of osteoporosis.
9. Help Protect against Ulcers and Acid Reflux – Lactoferrin, a nutrient in whey protein, is a known inhibitor of many forms of bacteria that is responsible for digestive problems; such as gastritis and ulcers. In addition, recent animal studies show promising results that it also kills the bacteria responsible for acid reflux.
10. Aid Wound Healing – People who have burns or are recovering from surgery require additional protein in their diet. Exciting new studies indicate whey protein nutrients promote the growth of new body tissue.
When buying a whey protein product, “Whey Protein Isolate” is the highest quality you can buy; which has at least 90 percent protein with only trace amounts of fat and lactose. Also check the sugar count; some brands add way too much sugar to make whey taste like candy and get you hooked on their product…and that sugar isn’t going to help our waist line! If you do decide to try whey protein powder, it’s important to read the ingredients on the product closely. Some whey protein powders have added ingredients that can be counter-productive to your goals. For example, whey protein “gainer” powders have tons of extra calories added to them in the form of sugar in order to increase their calorie content for people who are trying to gain weight. Jay Robb is a superior weight loss brand that uses stevia to sweeten their whey. Whey protein can be purchased in health or nutrition stores, in many large grocery stores, or directly from suppliers on the Internet.
There are many ways to consume whey protein as it can easily be added to water, unsweetened almond milk, or coconut milk. It can also be added to softer solid foods, such as cottage cheese, or used as an egg replacement in many baking recipes.
I'm not one to "drink" my calories...I like to eat! So, I use whey in many of my recipes, including chocolate chip cookies, animal crackers, bread sticks, cinnamon bread...
I always use Jay Robb Whey because:
1. Sourced from grass fed cows not treated with rBGH (Growth Hormone)
2. 25 grams of protein per serving!
3. No sugar, No aspartame, No fat
4. No artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners
5. No casein, msg or gluten
6. Made with stevia
Friday, April 2, 2010
Staying away from starches can be hard when finding a restaurant. There is usually a a lack of choices from establishments when it comes to being able to eat out healthfully and within a budget.
A step closer to lower-starch dining bliss with the Guiltless Grills, Chili's promises a lower calorie count, if not always a lower carbohydrate count.
For many folks, some of the Guiltless menu options are too high in starch, pushing into the 50+ carb range. But, there's great news in terms of their guiltless Grill in the form of three particular dishes: the Guiltless Carne Asada, Guileless Cedar Plank Tilapia, and the Guiltless Grilles Salmon. Other options include main course, kids meals and sides.
- The New Guiltless Cedar Plank Tilapia is a seasoned tilapia fillet tossed with house-made pico de gallo and a lime wedge. The fillet is cooked and served on a cedar plank.
- The New Guiltless Carne Asada Steak Sirloin is flavored with our signature carne asada rub, flame-grilled and topped with house-made pico de gallo and a lime wedge.
- Guiltless Grilled Salmon – An eight ounce salmon fillet lightly seasoned and seared to perfection.
Check the table below for some other low starch options.
|Guiltless Carne Asada||5 net carbs|
|Guiltless Cedar Plank Tilapia||3 net carbs|
|Guiltless Grilled Salmon||5 net carbs|
|Triple Dipper Wings over Buffalo w/ Bleu Cheese||2 net carbs|
|Caesar Side Salad (Hold the Croutons)||about 6 net carbs|
|Cup Chicken Enchilada||8 net carbs|
|Spicy Garlic & Lime Grilled Shrimp||7 net carbs|
|Chili's Classic Sirloin||1 net carb|
|Pepper Pals Grilled Chicken Platter (kids)||4 net carbs|
With choices for everyone of soups, to salads, to their latest Guiltless Grill, Chili's is a place the entire family can visit for a great meal that won't break the bank--and you don't have to wear "stretchy pants."