Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gourmet on a Budget

As a big foodie coming of age in Berkeley with the influences of ethnic cuisine and chef Alice Waters, the concept of eating fresh, local, and organic is not only a political and health mindset, but one of the tastebuds!

This week, I took advantage of the Gelson's mailer coupons--and saved $2 off a $10 deli purchase. What did I get? My favorites of smoked salmon and prosciutto. With the $2 I saved, I put that towards stuffed grape leaves.

At the 99 cent store, I was hunting for my bag or basket of organic salad greens and noticed a display of cactus tortillas known as "nopaltillas." If you adhere to the low-glycemic load lifestyle of eating, you probably know that corn by itself is a high-glycemic load food. So this cactus tortilla was really exciting to me-- I love nopales (part of mexican cuisine) but don't know how to cook it. The fiber and calcium from the organic nopales make the tortilla even better, with higher nutrient density and tasty all-in-one!

What yummy food creation does this create? I melted thin slices of some spanish sheep's milk manchego cheese in my new food discovery of nopaltillas, and used my kitchen scissor to cut them into quarters. Then I draped slices of my discounted but gourmet italian prosciutto on top. I also pulled out my leftover bok-choy sautee from my local farmer's market lady who has no-pesticide veggies to add more greens to my meal.

Wow! Mexican+Spanish+Italian with a side of Chinese. That's world traveling all in one meal.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Try a healthy dessert instead of ice cream

Craving something cold and sweet?

Greek yogurt is creamy and has high protein to help you slow down your absorption of sugars. Add fruit and honey to your low-fat greek yogurt and it's a great substitute for ice cream! If you don't have fresh fruit, add some frozen blueberries, or a tablespoon of natural fruit preserves (be sure you quit the preserves that have high fructose corn syrup).

Summertime seems to call for ice cream--and if you want to splurge on fatty sugary ice cream, have it after dinner when your body has a mix of lean proteins and fiber to help you slow down the high level of sugars in the ice cream. Timing your dessert AFTER a meal helps you stay to the low-glycemic load health habits. Also, you can choose brands of ice cream that have 5 simple ingredients and not so many additives.

I love ice cream, and you should see a childhood picture of little me smiling the biggest smile with my ice cream cone. And since I love ice cream so much, this greek yogurt option is a nice way to tame the cravings!

Exercise and Nutrition helps with anxiety, depression, and stress

Want to feel less stressed or worried?
Check out Dr. Mercola's comments on research reported from a June edition of Time Magazine. Join our hiking group, or register for a free 20-minute wellness/nutrition consultation. Exercise and nutrition can help you improve your brain chemistry. Why wait? Together, we can make exercise and nutrition easy and something that becomes part of your lifestyle today.

---excerpt from the doctor's blog---
Psychologist Jasper Smits is working on an unorthodox treatment for anxiety and mood disorders. The treatment is free and has no side effects. What is it? Exercise.

Research has shown again and again that patients who follow aerobic-exercise regimens see improvement in their depression -- improvements comparable to that of those treated with medication. Exercise not only relieves depressive symptoms but also appears to prevent them from recurring.

According to Times Magazine:

"Molecular biologists and neurologists have begun to show that exercise may alter brain chemistry in much the same way that antidepressant drugs do -- regulating the key neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine."