Thursday, December 17, 2009

Eat "nutty" to boost your health

Why do you need to eat "nutty"?
Generally, we should eat more nuts and legumes (lentils, beans) than the typical American diet. As you integrate more nutrient-rich nuts and legumes into your food regimen, you'll also end up eating less of the simple carbohydrates, so you can eat well with the low-glycemic food with less effort!

Eat 1-2 Brazil nuts per day to get the selenium you need. And you need the selenium so that you can keep your body's supply of at least 3 other nutrients intact: vitamin C, glutathione, and vitamin E.

If you don't like eating nuts, there is also the ground brazil nut protein powder that I add 1 tablespoon to my gluten-free pancake batter recipe or any other baking efforts to give that nutrient boost and extra crisp.

Selenium is a very important antioxidant and is known to be a depleted mineral from U.S. soil. If you've taken medications in the cortisol family, you are particularly vulnerable to selenium deficiency. Also, you can combat heart disease and arthritis by being a nutty eater.

Read more from this great resource guide.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Help Guides for the Holidays

Throwing a holiday party? Here are some great tips from my favorite food writers and chefs, to save yourself some stress. Learn from the pros!
7 Tips for Easy Holiday Entertaining

Need a healthy cookie recipe for a cookie exchange or potluck?
Pumpkin Cranberry Protein Cookies

Need to hide veggies for your finicky eaters?
Turkey-Veggie Meatballs

No time to pay attention to cooking? Use the oven and set the timer!
Roasted Root Veggies (Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"Weight Loss for Foodies" Radio Show

I'm thrilled to be a guest on Nancy Bruning's Radio Show this coming Thursday Dec 10th 9amPST/12noonEST.
We came up with the topic "Weight Loss for Foodies" and we'll talk about low-glycemic eating with fun foods!
If you can't call in with questions, please send me questions ahead of time. Also, it will be archived if you aren't able to join us live.

From my other entries, can you tell I am a self-identified "foodie" (AKA food-lover)?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

How to fight the colds and flus

Great article by Dr. Mercola

THE Number One Way to Conquer a Cold or Flu: Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an amazingly effective antimicrobial agent, producing 200 to 300 different antimicrobial peptides in your body that kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.

In the United States, the late winter average vitamin D level is only about 15-18 ng/ml, which is considered a very serious deficiency state. It’s estimated that over 95 percent of U.S. senior citizens may be deficient, along with 85 percent of the American public.

The best source for vitamin D is direct sun exposure. But for many of us, this just isn’t practical during the winter. The next best thing to sunlight is the use of a safe indoor tanning device. If neither natural nor artificial sunlight is an option, then using oral supplements is your best bet.

Remarkably, researchers have found that 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day abolished seasonal influenza. This is somewhat surprising, as it is half the dose of what most adults need to achieve ideal levels of vitamin D

Please note that this is far greater than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) advised by public health agencies like the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recently doubled the RDA of vitamin D for children to 400 IU. This new guidance still falls absurdly short of what’s needed to keep kids healthy, especially during flu season.

In order to prevent the flu, children and adults need 35 IU of vitamin D per pound of body weight. So, for example, a child weighing 57 pounds would need 2,000 IU a day of vitamin D.

Adults typically need an average of 5,000 IU per day—but some adults have to take 20,000 to 30,000 IU daily to get their vitamin D level up to optimal levels. Exactly how adults absorb and process vitamin D so differently is still somewhat of a mystery, so the only way to know if your vitamin D level is therapeutic and nontoxic is by having your blood tested.

Not all vitamin D testing is accurate, so make sure your health care provider is ordering the correct test.

Look at your multivitamin--it is likely to have some Vitamin D, but not enough. Here's where you can get the supplement with the recommended 5,000 IU. Get started now, BEFORE you get sick this winter!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pumpkin Cranberry Protein/Fiber Cookie Recipe

Not the sexiest recipe title, but it sure makes you feel better about eating a dessert item with the extra protein and fiber!

The trick to swapping out some of the white flour, is to get good unbleached parchment paper so that your cookies hold their shape and don't go *splat*! ! I've had my share of mishaps in my multi-year experimentation with improving the nutrient density of yummy baked goods, so you get pleasure for your palette and nutrition for your body!

Supplies: Cookie sheets, unbleached parchment paper (not wax paper)


1/2 c butter, softened (unsalted preferred)
3/4 c white sugar (decreased sugar than other recipes)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg (free-range omega-3 fortified eggs are recommended)
1 c organic pumpkin puree
2 c gluten-free baking flour (if this is not available, change the recipe to be 2 c all purpose flour)
1 tsp baking powder (aluminum-free preferred)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (kosher preferred)
1/2 cup protein/fiber powder
1 c dried cranberries (unsweetened is preferred, but more difficult to find)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (great anti-inflammatory!)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbl orange or lemon zest (optional)
1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional, highly recommended--great source of Omega-3 fats)

1) Preheat oven to 375 F. Do NOT grease cookie sheets. Line with unbleached parchment paper.
2) In a large mixing bowl, cream butter + sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla, egg, and pumpkin. This is your wet mixture.
3) Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, and protein powder. Stir dry ingredients by hand with a spatula into the wet mixture. (tip: do not over-mix.) Stir in cranberries and orange zest and walnuts. If you like extra crunchy walnuts, save the walnuts for later.
4) Drop by tablespoons onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Make a size that is on the smaller side, for better portion-control and for cuteness. Yes, presentation matters! For crunchy walnut topping, sprinkle and press walnuts on top of cookies.
5) Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Enjoy after cooling on racks. Let cool completely so that the crunch on the outside is there, otherwise it gets more soft due to pumpkin moisture. Store in airtight containers or plastic bags.
Gift them to friends and colleagues so that they are eaten fresh within 2-3 days (so YOU can enjoy but you are not eating them all!)
If you want to save the dough, wrap in a log with plastic wrap, then in a freezer storage bag so that you can heat up a few cookies in the toaster oven as a weeknight post-dinner treat.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pumpkin-Cranberries Protein Cookie Recipe to come...

I'm so excited to re-configure my pumpkin cranberries protein cookie recipe. It's the perfect snack with healthy ingredients, AND I don't spike my blood sugar by the swapping out of some flour and substituting protein powder. Each protein powder works a little different, and I've found one that has extra fiber.

I'll work on that tomorrow night and post my recipe soon!!
These will be my gifts of thanks to everyone who I have enjoyed the honor of seeing your make changes in your health and fitness.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Doctors recommend Vitamin D supplements for better immunity and much more!

While it's the beginning of flu season and people are considering the swine flu vaccine, how about learning natural ways to boost your immune system for all purposes? The issues related to Vitamin D deficiency are now getting more press. Read more from the doctors' research and how the Canadian government has figured out they can save billions from their health care costs by treating Vitamin D deficiency.

How are you protecting you and your family's health? Are you taking a good multivitamin with a good level of Vitamin D?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and everyone should consider how different cancers are affecting loved ones around us and take better care of our health. All women need to think how Vitamin D can help support their bodies' immune system, as a cancer prevention measure, as well as an osteoporosis prevention. One of my dear friends who is an inspiring breast cancer survivor has long known about Vitamin D and it's relation to cancer remission. She takes Vitamin D supplements, even though she is in sunny LA. As we age, our skin doesn't produce Vitamin D like it's supposed to.

Anyone concerned about their health, and all parents, should read this article with recommendations from the Academy of Pediatrics. At least 1 in 5 kids are D-deficient, putting them at risk, especially during this flu season. Kids who are picky or inconsistent eaters will definitely benefit from a multvitamin with bioflavinoids from a range of fruits, AND it has the recommended D supplement level that also tastes great.

How do you know if you're vitamin D deficient and by how much? You don't need to wait for your next doctor's appointment, when you can do an inexpensive home blood test available through the Vitamin D Council. All my East Coast friends, think about how little sunshine you're getting during the dark winter months?

Formulated by a medical and science board, the highest potency Vitamin D supplement can be found here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Get more veggies in your life with turkey meatballs!

If you say yes to any of these busy lifestyle points, you'll love the Turkey+Veggie Meatballs recipe below.
a) I don't eat enough veggies or I don't like many veggies
b) I'm bored of protein bars
c) I'm bored of trail mix or my bag of almonds
d) I want to eat healthier and find more lean protein options
e) I'm too tired to figure out something healthy to eat

You get a lean protein, veggie packed, gluten-free, nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory, low glycemic recipe below.
If you have questions what any of these terms mean, please email me!

*****Turkey+Veggie Meatballs*****
Modify the recipe to suit your tastebuds--everything is approximate since I'm an intuitive cook.


Packet of ground turkey (easily found at Trader Joe's (kosher if possible))
1/2 pack of mushrooms (crimini or button) - diced small
2-3 cloves garlic (diced small)
1-2 cup chopped kale leaves only (no stem--small pieces) (or swiss chard, or beet leaves or stems)
1/2 c celery chopped small for extra crunch
Dry spices like thyme, parsley, paprika, spike herbs--whatever you like to put in, fresh herbs if handy
Fresh ground black pepper, be sparing with salt
Cayenne pepper if you like it hot
2-3 tablespoons parmesan cheese (optional for flavor)--this is salty
2-3 tbls corn starch or tapioca starch (holds the meat together with the veggies)
1 uncooked scrambled egg to mix in
1-2 dashes of white wine
1-2 dashes of Dr. Braggs Amino Acids if you have it

Mix in medium/large bowl in order of ingredient list
Shape meatballs btwn 2 tablespoons.
Prepare pan with preheated olive oil or grapeseed oil -- line bottom of pan with a layer
Gently place meatballs in pan (medium-heat)
Turn meatballs for browning
Cover with lid to ensure full cooking for 1 minute-- turn down heat to med low
Should be well-done by 5-7 minutes...test a meatball by cutting in half.

Yield 2-3 panfuls of meatballs.

Cool on counter before storage (preferrably use glassware, not plastic).
Add to a red or brown rice, or whole grain pasta dish. Pack some as a snack on the go.
Portion out into single portion freezer bags, if you know you need to have meatballs handy for busy wknite dinners.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

music.:breath workshop in WeHo (Sat 7/18)

Learn fun ways to integrate breath techniques from music, yoga, and other systems to help optimize your health!

* manage stress better
* relax tense muscles
* find stronger deeper abs
* gain coordinated strength
* improve your cardio fitness or yoga practice

come in comfortable exercise clothes and socks.
bubbles and balloons provided. laughter encouraged.

when :: saturday july 18
where :: humble abode spa
519 n la cienega blvd, suite 9
west hollywood, ca
all levels of fitness welcome.
bring a friend and get an extra raffle tix!

Save your spot by clicking here to register.

Check out the reviews
from the last workshop that was offered in West LA

How to prioritize when to buy Organic

While fresh seasonal wild/organic fruits and veggies are the best option, it's not always the realistic option. Whether you're prioritizing due to time or budget, here are some quick strategies to help optimize your health more easily. It needs to be easy enough so that you'll actually implement your healthier choices into your day-to-day lifestyle.

1) The freezer section has great options like Wild Boreal Blueberries, Organic Strawberries, Green Beans. And for some fruits and veggies, you don't need to prioritize them to be organic or wild. Having a stock of fruits and veggies on hand in your freezer increases your chance of more servings. And often, the frozen versions are great quality and a very positive option when you just haven't gotten to your grocery shopping!

2) If you went to the Farmer's Market and got overzealous and can't finish up your portions before it goes bad, package your fruits and veggies while they are still good and put them in the freezer for a different day! You might put the fruit in a smoothie, or the veggies in an egg scramble or mixed veggie sautee, and you will save yourself from wasting your Farmer's Market finds.

3) Prioritize buying organic for the "Dirty Dozen" list and go ahead and buy the conventional varieties from the "Least Contaminated" list.

This list below is known as the "Dirty Dozen" that you should avoid buying conventional and prioritize to buy Organic. According to the Environmental Working Group, common growing practices make these crops the most likely to contain pesticide residues:
Bell Peppers
Imported Grapes

If organic produce is cutting into your overall budget, it's okay to prioritize a bit and use non-organic varieties of the fruits and vegetables listed below, which tend to contain the least amount of pesticides. You should still make it a habit to wash them thoroughly before eating or cooking to remove dirt and bacteria. According to the Environmental Working Group, these are the least contaminated fruits and vegetables.
Corn (sweet, frozen)
Peas (sweet, frozen)

photo credit: Omer Kamran

Friday, April 24, 2009

Easy Strategies to Eat Well--Workshop This Thurs Apr 30 @ Blankspaces

Intro to Healthy Living

Get fired up with energy at our workshop on healthy living with Culinary Educator Amanda Cushman and Wellness Coach Jennifer Cheng. Learn easy techniques that you can implement into your every day for healthy living!

Thurs April 30
Hosted at BLANKSPACES in Miracle Mile
5405 Wilshire (Entrance on Cloverdale) ***
Games, shakes, and food provided. Networking and laughter encouraged.
For everyone from omnivores to vegans.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Breathing Workshop this Sat Apr 18!!

Use music techniques to breathe well!
Improve your cardio skills, heart health, ab strength, stress management, and yoga practice.

Bubbles and balloons provided. Laughter encouraged.

Sat Apr 18 11:30am-1pm
Hosted at Mosaic in W. LA (1950 Sawtelle Blvd, Suite 303, near Olympic)

Please RSVP at

REVIEWS FROM WORKSHOP (update written Apr 24, 2009)

"I enjoyed the workshop. I used the 4 count in/out breathing when I went on my walk yesterday!"

"I'm learning to notice how I sit with my posture. I catch myself leaning forward towards my computer and I'm able to sit taller."

"The bubbles were a really fun way to help me focus on breathing."

"Wow, I feel my abs differently now."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Welcome Back! Start your January off with Health and Wellness!!

Move that booty! Burn off those holiday calories!
Stretch and breathe away your stress. Make a plan with a health coach to eat better!

It's not a just a workout--work out SMARTER with strength and a yoga mind.

Stress is the number 1 issue that stops your body from working efficiently and being pain-free.
Breath techniques and other exercises can help you manage your mind-body connection so you can feel stronger and better.

Find a workshop (see the left column) or set up your intro private fitness sessions.
Give a call and set up your free intro health coaching session.