Friday, April 25, 2008

Chocolate Chip Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups whole white wheat flour or whole pastry flour (it is not white flour so don't be fooled - you can find it in the bulk section at your health food store)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder (aluminum free)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. powdered vanilla
1/2 cup whole grain oatmeal
1/2 cup macaroon style coconut (macaroon style is a thinner shave of coconut)
1 cup sucanat
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup raisins, chopped up
2/3 cup grain sweetened chocolate chips, slightly chopped (you can also find these in the bulk section at your local health food store)

Blend flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla, coconut and oatmeal. In a separate bowl mix the sucanant, coconut oil and eggs. Gradually mix in the flour mixture until completely combined. Add the raisins and chocolate chips.

Bake at 375 degrees for 9 minutes. Don't over bake.

These power packed cookies are loaded with healthy goodness! They work well for an energy snack.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Quinoa Dessert

1 cup quinoa (pronounced keenwah)
2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup milk (Coconut milk is great too!)
1/4 cup agave or honey
1/4 cup nuts, chopped
1 1/2 cups of your favorite fruit (I love a berry blend)

Add quinoa, water, salt and cinnamon to stove top on high until mixture comes to a full boil. Put the lid on and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, stir in the milk. Let simmer with the lid off for 10 minutes. Add honey, nuts and chopped up fruit. Mix and let simmer with the lid off for another 10 minutes.

*Unsweetened frozen fruit works well. If you use a berry blend, you do not need to cut up the fruit.

*Add fresh strawberries for a delicious summer treat!

Quinoa comes from a broadleaf plant and has fabulous nutritional value. It looks similar to tapioca when cooked and tastes wonderful!

The Chemicals We Eat

Do you ever wonder about the chemicals you eat from eating inorganic fruits and vegetables? If not, I hope you will now.

The EPA approved and registered many of the pesticides that are used today, long before the harmful and negative effects were discovered. The impact on our health from these chemicals is becoming more and more obvious. Our bodies were not meant to be fed poison.

In order to protect the crop, commercial farms use chemicals on the plants as they grow. The problem with this is the chemicals are then absorbed into the plant and no matter how well you clean the outside of the fruit or vegetable, the chemicals still remain inside.

None of us would intentionally eat harmful chemicals so now that you know the importance of organic foods it's time to make the switch!

Organic foods may cost more money up front but will end up saving you more money down the road in doctor and hospital bills.

Check out for more information on the harmful effects of consuming chemicals.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

9 Healthy Habits For Weight Loss

We all are probably carrying around excess weight that we would like to lose. If needed, losing 5-15% of your overall body weight can have significant health increases. If you weigh 160 pounds, 10% of your body weight would equal 16 pounds. A 2 lb loss a week is a safe rate for weight loss if you are looking to keep it off. Below are some ideas to help you lose the weight and keep it off.

  • Keep a food journal - write down everything you eat
  • Never shop when you are hungry - always use a grocery list
  • Store foods away and out of sight
  • Portion out smaller servings
  • Sit and enjoy your meals at the table - do not eat in front of the television
  • Be realistic with your weight loss goals - slow weight loss is the best
  • Get support from family and friends
  • If you mess up, quickly forgive yourself and move forward - setbacks are part of the learning process
  • Engage in regular, physical activity

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Is It Clean?

I still get many people asking if certain foods are considered clean. The best way to answer that is to ask yourself, "Could I have eaten this food if I lived a few thousand years ago and was naked in a jungle with only a stick for a weapon?" If you can answer yes, you most likely will not have any discomfort from the food you eat but will be eating to prevent disease (and sometimes treat) - The fewer the bar codes the better!

As said by Tosca Reno, if you can hunt it, gather it, pluck it or fish it, it belongs on your table.

Clean Eating=Disease Prevention (It doesn't get any easier than that!)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Heavenly Veggie Sandwich

2 T. Follow Your Heart Low-Fat Ranch Dressing (check your local health food store)
1 tsp. mustard
2 Slices whole wheat bread
1 hardboiled egg, sliced
2 T. sprouts, any variety
Romain Lettuce
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 T. red onion, sliced

Spread ranch and mustard on bread. Layer vegetables and egg as desired. Enjoy!

*I also love to add tuna fish for a protein packed meal!

Cherry Almond Chocolate Cluster by Ellie Krieger

1 cup(s) nuts, almonds, toasted in a dry skillet over a medium-high flame until fragrant, stirring frequently, 3 to 5 minutes and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup(s) cherries, dried tart, coarsely chopped
6 ounce(s) dark chocolate, 72% cacao, finely chopped


In a medium bowl, toss together the almonds and cherries. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.

Melt half the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over 1 inch of barely simmering water, over the lowest possible heat, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rest of the chocolate. Remove the top pan with the chocolate in it, gently wipe the bottom, and set it aside for a moment. Replace the simmering water in the bottom pan with warm tap water. Put the pan of melted chocolate on top of the warm water. This will keep the chocolate at the right temperature while you make the clusters.

Stir the fruit/nut mixture into the chocolate. Spoon out heaping tablespoon-sized clusters of the chocolate mixture onto the baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Put them in the refrigerator to set for 15 minutes. Store and serve at room temperature.

Serving size: 1 cluster.

Nutrient Note: Good source of fiber.

Oven Fried Chicken

cooking spray
2 1/2 cups Fiber One cereal, pulsed in a food processor to fine crumbs (about 1/2 cup)
2 1/2 cups cereal, cornflakes, pulsed in a food processor to fine crumbs (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoon sesame seeds
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 large egg whites
1 cup yogurt, low-fat plain
1 tablespoon mustard, dijon-style
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 chicken breast halves, bone in, skin removed, rinsed and patted dry
4 chicken thighs, bone in, skin removed, rinsed and patted dry


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine the Fiber One and corn flake crumbs, sesame seeds, cayenne, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl.

In a large bowl, the egg whites, yogurt, mustard, and salt. Add the chicken pieces and coat thoroughly with the yogurt mixture. Then, one at a time, dip the chicken pieces in the cereal mixture mixture, packing the crumbs evenly onto the chicken. Arrange the chicken on the prepared baking sheet and spray the tops lightly with cooking spray. Bake until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a knife, 45 to 50 minutes.

Serving size: 1 breast half or 2 thighs

Nutrient Notes: Excellent source of: Niacin, Vitamin B6, Selenium, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Vitamin B12, Iron, and Phosphorus; Good source of: Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, and Zinc.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Knowing your target heart rate zone during your work out is important in maximizing your results. To perform aerobics at your best, calculate your target heart rate zone within a range between 65%-85% of your maximum heart rate.

To calculate your heart rate zone, first find your maximum heart rate by taking your age and subtracting that from 220.

Maximum heart rate.. 220 - 30 = 190 beats per minute

Then multiply the beats per minute by 65%.
190 x 65% = 123.5 beats per minute

123 beats per minute will be the minimum range of your heart rate zone during aerobics.

Now work out your maximum range by multiplying the maximum heart rate by 85%.
190 x 85% = 161.5 beats per minute

You'll now see that you have a range of 123 - 161 beats per minute in your most effective heart rate zone. Always stay within your own heart rate zone. Exercising at the lower range enables the body to take up enough oxygen so the cells can utilize stored fat. If you workout within the higher range of the zone you will burn more calories however, for most overweight people, the majority of energy used will be in the form of carbohydrates and less used up from fat storage. You can check your heart rate during a workout, but first slow down the pace a little so you can safely check and concentrate on what you are doing. Place your index and middle finger on the inner part of your wrist. Now count how many beats in 10 seconds, then multiply the number by 6. Purchasing a heart rate monitor is the safest and most effective way of checking your heart rate during exercise.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fiber - Are you getting enough?

The recommended intake of fiber is 25g per day. If you eat at least 5 servings of fruits & vegetables as well as at least 6 servings of whole grain products per day you are very likely meeting the fiber requirements.

Types of Fiber: Soluble Fiber and Insoluble Fiber

Both soluble and insoluble fiber is undigested. Therefore, they are not absorbed into the bloodstream. Instead of being used for energy, fiber is excreted from our bodies. Soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with liquid, while insoluble fiber does not. Insoluble fiber passes through our intestines largely intact.

Soluble Fiber:

Functions Of Soluble Fiber

  • bind with fatty acids
  • prolong stomach emptying time so that sugar is absorbed and released more slowly
Benefits Of Soluble Fiber
  • lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol)
  • regulate blood sugar (especially important for those with diabetes or hypoglycemia)
Food Sources of Soluble Fiber
  • oats/oat bran
  • dried peas/beans
  • nuts
  • barley
  • flax seed
  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • psyllium husk
Insoluble Fiber:

Functions of Insoluble Fiber
  • move bulk through the intestines
  • control and balance the pH (acidity) in the intestines
Benefits of Insoluble Fiber
  • promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation
  • remove toxic waste through the intestine in less time
  • help prevent colon cancer by keeping an optimal pH in intestines to prevent microbes from producing cancerous substances
Food Sources of Insoluble Fiber
  • vegetables such as green beans and dark green leafy vegetables
  • fruit skins
  • whole wheat products
  • wheat oat
  • corn bran
  • seeds and nuts

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Soft Drinks - "The Liquid Candy"

(Here's to you, Ty!)

You feel low; your body needs a boost. You walk over to the vending machine and buy yourself a Coke. You guzzle it down as you slowly feel your energy return. You feel better knowing that your fix will last at least a couple of hours.....

Americans drink more soft drinks than ever before! Kids are heavy consumers of soft drinks and have a huge risk of being obese, weak-boned, cavity prone and caffeine dependent. It's up to you to teach your kids the truth about drinking soft drinks.

In school, we were all taught to say "No" to drugs and the adverse effects they have on the body. I can't say I ever remember being taught to say "No" to the other drinking problem that is now the drug of choice for many children and adults.

Let's jump into the dirty and hard facts on soft drink consumption!

Effects On Your Stomach:

What we may not be aware of is that sodas contain an array of chemical acids as additives, such as acetic, fumaric, gluconic and phosphoric acids, all of them synthetically produced. That is why certain sodas work so well when used to clean car engines. For human consumption, however, the effects are much less satisfying and quite scary. Drinking sodas, especially on an empty stomach, can upset the fragile acid-alkaline balance of the stomach and other gastric lining, creating a continuous acid environment. This prolonged acid environment can lead to inflammation of the stomach and duodenal lining which becomes quite painful. Over the long term, it can lead to gastric lining erosion.

Effects On Your Teeth And Bones:

Normally, saliva is slightly alkaline, with a pH of about 7.4. When sodas are sipped throughout the day, as is often the case with teenagers, the phosphoric acid found in soft drinks lowers the pH of the saliva to acidic levels. (It only takes 20 minutes for the phosphoric acid to begin dissolving the tooth enamel.) In order to buffer this acidic saliva, and bring the pH level above 7 again, the body pulls calcium ions from the teeth, making you more prone to tooth sensitivity and cavities.

You might as well plan on having dentures if you continue drinking soft drinks. :)

As with your teeth, the high amount of phosphoric acid found in soda pop also creates calcium loss in your bones making you susceptible for bone loss (osteoporosis), fractures and breaks.

Dehydration And Caffeine Dependence:

Caffeine, which is found in many soft drinks, is naturally a diuretic, meaning it increases the excretion of water from the body. By drinking a 12 oz. glass of pop, you will end up peeing out more liquid than you consumed from the soft drink alone. You will become dehydrated which will make you grab another drink to quench your thirst. Not only will you be emptying your body of water but you are also eliminating many trace minerals and vitamins as well, leaving you prone to many deficiencies.

Those of you who are counting your soft drink intake as part of your 8 glasses or more of water intake a day, think again! If anything, you are making it a lot harder on yourself.

Have you ever tried going without your usual can of pop on the weekend? If so, you may have experienced a splitting headache, a slight rise in blood pressure, irritability and maybe even some stomach problems. These symptoms describe the typical withdrawal process suffered by about half of regular caffeine consumers who go without their usual dose. Caffeine is a mildly, addictive stimulant. Those of you who drink caffeinated drinks on a regular basis will notice withdrawal symptoms when trying to cut down or quit completely.

Weight Gain:

The empty calories of soft drinks are creating health problems especially when it comes to weight gain and obesity; your body receives absolutely no nourishment from soft drinks. Weight gain is a prime risk factor for type 2 diabetes which is becoming a huge problem for teens and adults. As people get older, excess weight also contributes to heart attacks, strokes, and cancer.

Also, with the constant rise and lows in your blood sugar levels from consuming sugary drinks, your body will become very efficient at storing the " soda pop" calories as fat. Cut out the sugary drinks and watch how easy it is to lose the weight!

When consuming drinks that contain high amounts of sugar, you'll also notice you have more cravings. With the lack of balance within your body, your body is trying to tell you that it is needing something; but what? Since you are not in tune with your body, you'll most likely feed it more of something it doesn't need....creating an even bigger disaster, domino effect.

There is nothing positive I can say about soft drinks. They leave you dependent, dehydrated, weak and fat!


3 ripe avocados

Juice of 1/2 fresh lime
1 T. Cilantro
1/2 red or purple onion, minced well
1 clove of garlic passed through a garlic press
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until just combined. Don't over mix.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

White Bread Vs. Whole Wheat Bread

For any kid who grew up eating the white, doughy bread, making the switch to whole wheat bread can be tough!

Bread like any other part of our diet is an acquired taste. Starting out early helps since children are naturally picky eaters but if you only feed them healthy, whole grain foods, they won't have a chance to develop a taste for white bread or other non-nutritious foods.

So, what is the difference between white and whole wheat bread...........

White bread is made with enriched flour or wheat flour (notice the lack of the word "whole"). In the process of making white flour, the bran and the germ have been removed from the whole wheat grain; the bran and the germ contain most of the nutritional value. With the bran and germ lacking from white flour, white bread is lower in fiber, zinc, thiamin, niacin, trace elements and "good fats" and oils.

To top it all off, white bread is usually fortified with vitamins and minerals once they've all been removed. When foods are fortified, your body does not process the vitamins and minerals as efficiently as it would if the food was left alone to begin with. But wait! It gets better! Once all the nutrition is removed from the flour, the flour is then bleached using potassium bromate, benzoyl peroxide or chlorine dioxide gas.

Potassium bromate is also known as potassium salt; it is an oxidizing agent and can be fatal if swallowed, harmful if inhaled or absorbed through the skin and it may also cause kidney damage. Yikes!

Benzoyl Peroxide is another irritant that can kill animals or cause low growth rate in plants. Yikes again!

Chlorine dioxide is a pesticide and even though it breaks down very quickly, it is ranked in the USA as one of the most hazardous compounds in the environment. Triple yikes!

By the way, just because your bread may be brown in color, doesn't necessarily mean it is whole wheat bread. Look for the ingredient name "caramel" in the list of ingredients. If it is there, your bread is dyed to a nice brown color. Don't be fooled! If the first ingredient in the ingredient list does not say "whole" wheat flour or "wholemeal", your bread is most likely made up of the enriched wheat flour or wheat flour as mentioned above.

Buy a whole wheat bread that is made up of 5 ingredients or less. You don't need added preservatives, sugar and fats. Usually, the heavier the whole wheat bread, the better it is for you. This means that the bread has been processed less which ensures more nutritional value than those light and fluffy breads that are so easy to squish!

Save the white bread for the ducks!!!!!!