Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolution: Eat One Superfood Everyday!!!

New years is the perfect time to give your diet a makeover.

Try to incorporate one superfood in your diet every diet. An apple a day really does keep the doctor away." Apples are loaded with powerful antioxidants, quercetin and catechin, which protect cells from damage - that means,reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, especially if you eat the skin. The apple peel contains five times more polyphenols than the flesh. Apple skins pack a lot of fiber, too , which may help fight the battle of the bulge and rid your body of harmful toxins.
Try slicing apples and serving them with a spread of nut butter, cinnamon, and a touch of good quality honey. You can also sprinkle with some flax seeds.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sofia's Gluten Free Brownies

These brownies are a hit in my house! They are simple to throw together, making them a great baking activity to do with your kids. 

Makes about 12 brownies

1 cup almond butter
2 eggs
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut crystals
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup 70 percent grain sweetened chocolate chips

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the all ingredients until well combined and pour into a greased 9×9 oven-safe baking dish.
3. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until fully cooked.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Perfect Holiday Treat--- Healthy Fudge

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup organic cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw honey
dash of vanilla
1/4 cup goji berries, chopped almonds or cocoa chips

1. Mix ingredients in a medium glass bowl until smooth. 
2. Spread into a small glass container and refrigerate until solid, or about an hour. 
3. Cut into squares and serve.

Meatless Monday--Curry Chickpea Stew

This is a perfect dish for Meatless Monday. Pair it with some quinoa, or brown rice and you have an easy, inexpensive vegetarian dinner. You can also put it in a thermos and send it with your kids for lunch or a snack. Great source of protein, fiber and omega three fatty acids.

Did you know? Coconut Oil is superfood for kids
Long used for its hair and skin beautifying properties, coconut oil is now gaining popularity thanks to all the amazing ways it helps to create optimum health. One of the key ingredients of coconut oil is lauric acid, an amino acid that helps support high level brain function, soothes stress, aids in digestion as well as boosts the immune system to help fight off colds and flus and other infectious illnesses. Lauric acid, which the body converts to monolaurin, helps fight viruses, parasites, yeast overgrowth and bacteria. It’s a popular ingredient in the autism recovery community, where it is believed to help normalize brain function.

2 tablespoons coconut oil oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 pound peeled pumpkin or other squash, cut into 1” chunks
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 15-ounce can plum tomatoes, chopped (reserve juice)
1 fresh bay leaf
1 thyme branch
2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups cooked chickpeas
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Warm coconut oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
2. Add pumpkin and curry, stir for 5 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, broth, chickpeas . Bring curry to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes, until squash is tender.
4. Discard bay leaf and thyme branches and adjust seasoning.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hearty Lentil Stew

Makes 8 servings

1 pound of green lentils
3/4 pound carrot
1/2 pound of onion
1/2 pound of celery
1 big can of crushed tomatoes
Salt, black pepper, and fried basil flakes/whole fresh basil leaves

1. Boil a pot of water to cook the lentils. The water should cover the lentils but not so much that it becomes too soupy.
2. When the lentils are almost done, add the chopped carrot.
3. When the carrot becomes soft, add chopped onion and celery (takes about 40 min to cook the lentils and vegetables.)
4. Add crushed tomatoes and mix well when the onion and celery are soft.
5. Add salt, pepper and basil (you can use a few whole basil leaves when you cook the beans).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How to Avoid Dry Parched Winter Skin

The Best Tips, Tricks, and Eats

In winter, low temperatures, low humidity and strong, gusty winds deplete skin of its natural lipid layer, which keeps the skin from drying out. The dry air from heating sources also sucks the moisture out from our skin.

To keep skin soft and glowing this winter season can be simple; and does not have to involve pricey store bought creams.

Your goal is two fold, not only to add moisture to skin, but to keep the skins natural moisture in. Moisturizing, staying hydrated and eating an omega rich diet will help your skin to glow this winter.

Keep Skin Smooth with Omega’s - To relieve your cracked dry winter skin, look no farther then your local health foods store. Organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil is ideal for skin; both topically and when ingested. Topically it helps protect your skin from the drying effects of free radicals, and can help improve the appearance of skin. Coconut oil will not only bring temporary soothing effects to your skin, but it will aid in restoring your skin’s soft feel. The coconut oil will aid in exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, making the skin smoother. It also penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin to strengthen the underlying tissues. So slather it on your face and body. Best used at night since it is heavy and needs to absorb.

Eat an Omega Rich Diet - Eating a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids is the best way to nourish your skin from the inside out. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, almonds, olive oil, salmon, halibut, tuna, sardines and scallops are wonderful sources for helping your skin to look great

Sunscreen - Sunscreen isn't just for summertime. Winter sun -- combined with snow glare -- can severely damage and dry your skin. Try applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands --- buy only oxybenzone & paraben free

Keep Water Lukewarm - Hot water robs skin of moisture causing dry skin, so it's best to shower in lukewarm water. The same rule applies to hand washing: Wash hands in lukewarm, never hot water. If your skin turns red, the water is simply too hot.

Take your vitamins- Ideally; one should maintain a healthy diet and immune system. Taking a multivitamin as well as vitamin D, C and omegas will not only help you to look and feel great

Exercise - It reduces stress levels, and increases circulation that helps skin to glow.

Stay hydrated - Dehydration combined with dry weather humidity levels leave skin parched and dull looking. Drinking at least eight to ten 8 oz. glasses of water keeps your complexion looking bright.

Sleep - Allowing yourself a solid 8 hours of sleep, especially after a long evening out, lets your body (and your skin) recuperate for the next fun-filled event.

Monday, December 13, 2010

No Bake Coconut Brownie Balls

Makes 15 servings


15 pitted dates
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (plus extra for dusting)
1 cup unsalted
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons water
confectioner's sugar/ coconut/ cocoa powder if desired


Add almonds to food processor or vita mix and and pulse until ground. Add dates, cocoa powder, honey, and water. Mix until it just forms a sticky mass. Wash hands and attempt to make a ball with the dough (it may need more water to get to the perfect consistency). Put a tablespoon of cocoa or confectioner's sugar or coconut on a plate. Roll balls in your hand and then dip in sugar / cocoa coconut (or all).

Friday, December 10, 2010

Raisin Coconut Cookies

1 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
6 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp ground flax seeds
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

1. Pre-heat oven to 300. 

2. Combine oil, maple syrup, flax seeds, eggs, and vanilla. Add shredded coconut, raisins and coconut flour. 
3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
4. Make golf ball size balls and then flatten with fork. I wet my hands before forming the cookies to keep the batter from sticking. 
5. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sofia's Heart Healthy Holiday Cookies

Makes 32 cookies

4 teaspoons cacao powder
2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup coconut oil, melted
5 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda and cacoa powder.
2. In a smaller bowl, mix together coconut oil, agave and vanilla.
3. Mix wet ingredients into dry, then chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.
4. Place dough in between 2 large pieces of parchment paper and roll out until ¼ inch thick.
5. Remove top piece of parchment paper and cut out cookies with a small cookie cutter.
6. Using a metal spatula, place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet.
7. Bake at 350° until lightly browned around the edges, 7-10 minutes.

Quinoa Super Food Pudding

3 cups soy, dairy, nut, or almond milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of raisins, goji berries, or choice of fruit
1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut for topping

1. Rinse quinoa. 
2. Mix milk, vanilla, raisins or goji berries maple syrup and salt in a saucepan and set on simmer. 
3. Add quinoa and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently (but not constantly).
4. Once thickened, remove from heat and allow to cool. 
5. Sprinkle with coconut. Serve warm, or refrigerate.

Quinoa in this application results in a cross between rice pudding and tapioca, with more protein than either.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Carrot Soup

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup shallots, chopped
4 tablespoons ginger, minced
1 1/2 pounds carrots, diced
1 quart chicken broth
A dash white pepper
4 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
Dill for garnish

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and ginger. 
2. Cook until the shallots become translucent. 
3. Add the diced carrots and enough chicken stock to cover them. 
4. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. 
5. Skim off any scum or fat which floats to the surface, cover the pot tightly, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the carrots are very soft.
6. Place the carrots and chicken stock into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper. Serve immediately and garnish a little plain yogurt and fresh dill.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fall Spiced Granola

Ingredients: 8 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups almonds, chopped
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 
2. Combine the first four ingredients and mix well.
3. Using a food processor, combine all other ingredients and blend until smooth.
4. Pour pumpkin mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until the nuts and oatmeal are completely coated. 
5. Divide the granola into two pans.
6. Bake the granola for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through. 
7. Serve with yogurt. Healthy and yummy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Makes 4 servings

2 acorn squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
Sea salt and pepper
½ cup toasted pumpkin seed, chopped
½ cup parsley, chopped

Stuffing Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon curry
¼ cup golden of currants
1 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup parsley, chopped
1 zucchini, diced

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut acorn squash in half and clean out seeds and fibers. Cut a very thin slice off bottom, so that acorn squash halves can sit flat like soup bowls.
3. Brush with olive oil and distribute garlic evenly over 4 halves.
4. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes.
5. While squash is baking prepare stuffing.
6. In a skillet heat oil and sauté onions, curry and raisins for 3 minutes. Add cooked grains and stir for 5 minutes.
7. Remove skillet from heat and mix in parsley and zucchini.
8. Fill each squash cup with stuffing and top with chopped pumpkin seeds.
9. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the squash is soft (when a butter knife sinks into the squash with ease).
10. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Fish Safety and Pregnancy

One of my friends who was pregnant asked me to help with some of the confusion around fish and fish safety.

Basic guidelines:
  • The larger the fish, the more mercury has accumulated by way of the food chain. Bluefish, marlin, swordfish, and canned albacore tuna are on the “high” mercury concentration list. 
  • Halibut, lobster, canned chunk tuna, and mahi mahi are among the “medium,” and sardines, scallops, shrimp, tilapia, wild salmon, and trout are on the “low” list.
  • Raw tuna and other sushi fish are also something to watch out for” because they have a high concentration of mercury.
  • California Roll? Watch out for the imitation crab—it’s full of sugar and low on protein. Pregnant? “Women with elevated mercury levels should ideally begin avoiding or restricting their consumption of mercury-laden fish as much as a year before they become pregnant.”

Quick Power Pancakes

These pancakes are great to make as a special weekend breakfast, but without all the work of most pancakes from scratch! With only six ingredients, these aren't hard to throw together for a yummy meal. With warm berries on top, they don't even need syrup to taste sweet and delicious!

2 cups low fat cottage cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oat flour
1 1/2 tablespoon oil of choice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cups berries of choice


1. Mix the cottage cheese in a blender until smooth. Combine all ingredients except fruit in a bowl, add the cottage cheese, and mix until blended.
2. Cook on a nonstick griddle over medium heat until browned on both sides, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat the fruit in a saucepan with a little water or juice until melted. Heat for 2 minutes. Pour over hot pancakes to serve.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Load up your kids diet with fruits and veggies

Some of the complaints i get from my clients is that by the time they get to eating their fruits and veggies they have gone bad. So below i have posted some guidelines.

Guidelines for storing vegetables and fruits:
Apples: At room temperature for up to seven days or refrigerated in a plastic bag
Bananas: At room temperature, both ripe and unripe.
Grapefruit: At room temperature for one week or refrigerated for up to two or three weeks.
Peaches: At room temperature in a paper bag if unripe; remove from the bag when ripe and eat within a day or two.
Strawberries: Refrigerated for one to three days without washing.
Oranges: At room temperature for a day or two or refrigerated for up to one or two weeks.
Broccoli: Refrigerated for three to five days.
Carrots: Refrigerated, stored in a bag with the green tops cut off
Lettuce: Refrigerated in a plastic BPA bag after rinsing and drying.
Tomatoes: At room temperature, out of direct sunlight — they quickly lose their taste if refrigerated.

If you have had a busy week and overbought your veggies---throw them in a pot with water, stock beans,and herbs and make a soup. If you over bought on your fruit, throw them in the blender and make a smoothie or chop them up and bake them and make a cobbler

Pea Soup
6 cups vegetable broth 
1 cup water, plus more if needed 
2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped 
2 stalks celery, finely chopped 
2 large carrots, finely chopped 
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
2 1/2 cups dried yellow split peas 
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste 
1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional) 
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional) 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

1. Place the broth, water, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic in a large stock pot over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. 
2. Add the dried split peas, turn down the heat, and simmer for 35-35 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the peas are very soft. 
3. Add the salt, cumin, red pepper, and black pepper. 
4. Using a potato masher or the back of a metal spoon, mash the peas for about 3-5 minutes, or until the soup is creamy, adding more water as necessary. (Alternatively, you can choose to puree a little more than half of the soup in a blender and then mix it with the un-pureed portion). 
5. Add more salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with bread or rice.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

To Get, or Not to Get the Flu Shot During Pregnancy?

There are two sides to every issue. How to make the right choice for you and your baby this flu season is very personal.
While Walgreens, Duane Reed and Rite Aid all have their big signs outside pushing the flu shots and the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice recommending the flu vaccination as well as many doctors, It is hard to decipher what to do and how to make the most educated decision on protecting yourself and your baby this flu season. However below are some facts that may help you decide?
Flu infection is rarely a threat during normal pregnancy.
There is no "convincing evidence" that the flu vaccination is effective during pregnancy.
Studies have not adequately assessed the risk of flu vaccination during pregnancy.
Thimerosalgarlic, a mercury-based preservative present in most flu vaccines, has been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, in humans.
Thimerosal has been linked to a number of animal reproductive toxicities including teratogenicity, mutagenicity and fetal death.
For me as a mother and holistic Health counselor I always try to opt for the most natural approach and I tend not to put things in my body without knowing the origin….. To this extent, I avoided the flu shot while I was pregnant and recommend the same for my clients unless they work in a high-risk environment.
However, this does not mean I take the risk of the flu lightly.
Below are the precautions I recommend. Vitamin D, C, E and zinc are the big super star during flu seasons. Eat food that contain them as well as supplementing them. A person with a low vitamin levels is more vulnerable to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections.
Vitamin D is found in many dietary sources such as wild salmon, mushrooms, eggs, fortified organic milk, and cod liver oil. The sun also contributes to the daily production of vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure is thought to be enough to prevent deficiencies. You can also take it as a supplementVitamin C is found in broccoli, strawberries, citrus fruits, green peppers, brussel sprouts, honeydew, and cantaloupe. Vitamin E is found nuts, seeds, and wheat germ. Zinc an important mineral is found in pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, oysters ; (however not recommended when pregnant) garlic, sesame seeds, wheat germ, and grass fed red meat and nuts. Also make sure to get plenty of rest, wash your hands frequently and avoid processed foods, caffeine and sugar.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Coconut Covered Almond Balls

Makes roughly 45 balls

If you want to do something different at your next school bake sale, these are an excellent choice. They are easy to make and are delicious and nutritious. With such an easy recipe, these almond coconut balls are great to whip up in mass quantities!

1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 cup almond butter/cashew peanut or sunflower butter)
1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
1/8 cup goji berries or cacao chips or a mixture

1. Place the oats in a food processor or blender until finely ground.

2. Stir the butter and honey in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

3. Add the ground oats and continue to stir until thoroughly combined.

4. Using 1 teaspoon of the mixture at a time , roll into balls.

5. Place the coconut goji and or cacoa in a separate bowl or plate and roll the balls in the mixture to completely cover.

Grab and Go Mini Banana Muffin

Makes 12 muffins

1 cup of quinoa Flour

1/2 cup Wheat Germ
1/2 flaxseeds

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 medium ripe bananas

1/2 maple syrup

3 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 large egg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt in a bowl.
3. In a standing mixer combine the bananas, maple syrup, oil, vanilla and egg. Beat until combined and bananas are mashed.
4. Gently mix in the dry ingredients
5. Grease or line mini muffin cups with the mixture.

6. Bake for 15 minutes.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Pumpkin Chip cookies

With temperatures dropping and Halloween approaching these healthy , easy delicious cookies are the perfect for an afternoon snack with a cup of hot tea or warmed almond milk.

3/4 cups pumpkin puree (about 1/2 of 1 15-oz can)
8 ounces dates, finely chopped
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup, grade B
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cups finely ground almonds
1/3 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 t. sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon ground flax seeds

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine the pumpkin puree, mejool dates, oil and maple syrup until creamy. Set aside.
3. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, ground almonds, coconut, cinnamon, flax seeds, sea salt and baking powder until well combined. Stir in the pumpkin mixture until combined. Fold in the dairy-fre chocolate chips.
4. Use a tablespoon to spoon dough into balls.
5. Bake on the top rack for about 13-15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown.
6. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Baked Mini Chicken Meatballs

For lunch my kids like anything mini; anything that they can eat with their fingers or can be served on a stick. These meat balls are nutritious, easy to make, they freeze well, and can be served hot or cold or with tomato sauce for dipping.

1 cup zucchini, chopped (about 1 zucchini)
1 cup carrots, chopped (about 2 carrots)
½ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
3 medium cloves garlic
¼ cup flour of choice/oatmeal
1 egg
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a food processor, pulse together the zucchini, carrots, parsley and garlic.
3. Add flour, egg, and chicken.
4. Then add salt, pepper and and process until thoroughly combined.
5. Drop tablespoon sized balls of the chicken mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
6. Bake meatballs for 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Ready to serve!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Acorn Squash Bowls

Makes 2 servings

This is the most beautiful time of year, with the leaves starting to change and a bit of a chill in the air at night. I love the produce at this time of year…the pumpkins, apples, squash, all warming sweet and delicious.

One of my favorite dishes is acorn squash bowls and they are easy to prepare and there are so many different ways to serve them, based on what you have on hand, or what you are in the mood for. 

I like to make a couple of them and then fill them with different fillings each night. Or I serve them on a platter and put out a couple of different fillings then my kids could make their own creations.

1 acorn squash

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup apple sauce, goat cheese, cottage cheese, ground turkey, or chopped tomatoes


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut squash in half and remove seeds with a spoon.
3. Place squash halves skin side down on a baking sheet.
4. Rub olive oil over squash halves.
5. Fill squash halves with filling of choice.
6. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of each.
7. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a fork inserts smoothly through squash meat.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Veggie Quiche Muffins

While Congress is investigating the operators of two large U.S. egg companies thought to be responsible for a major outbreak of salmonella, many Americans have either stopped eating eggs altogether or have drastically reduced their intake since the massive recall last month.
As a mother, I was especially concerned because my kids love eggs and eat them a few times a week.

So I went to my local farmer's market in Harlem and began asking questions.
One of the farmers I spoke to, whose family farm was just one hour away from New York City, assured me that his eggs were safe because they were free roaming, grass fed and not shipped into the U.S from another country. He also told me that the eggs were safe because they were not pumped with hormones or antibiotics and were produced on a much smaller scale than conventional supermarket eggs.

So when you shop for eggs, it's reassuring to learn that the farmer who raised, packaged and transported the chickens was the same person selling them.

Contrast that with the conventional purchase of supermarket eggs in which we have no clue about their origins or how many miles and days they traveled before reaching us.

While the eggs at the local farmer's market might be $1 more than the supermarket, it gives me peace of mind to know that there is a human face behind the product.

Whenever there is a health scare related to food, the responsibility almost always lies with faceless, giant corporations who cut corners on safety and quality in order to maximize profits. So whenever there is a scare/recall on food, I don't stigmatize the type of food but the source of the food.

With this said, I felt good buying eggs and was excited to go home and make my kids a mini quiche muffins.

Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups ground oat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold almond milk
1/4 cup olive oil

Filling Ingredients:
4 eggs
3/4 cup almond milk
Herbs of choice
Salt and pepper to taste
Filling options: Cherry tomatoes, steamed broccoli, sautéed spinach, steamed cauliflower, roasted sliced peppers, roasted or grilled zucchini, chopped ham, turkey or grilled chicken

1. Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients, mix liquids, and then mix together. Knead, and spread into a pie pan or individual muffins cups
3. Whisk together egg and almond milk. Whisk in herbs, salt and pepper.
4. Choose filling ingredients and place in bottom of pie shell. Pour quiche batter over filling.
5. Bake until set, which is about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What's For Lunch?

Packing a delicious, nutritious, lunch that children will eat and parents feel good about, is often a challenge.

What I have learned as a parent at the school; is that the lunch period is not very long and kids get very excited about seeing their friends and often do more chatting then eating. So I try to pack one entrée that is yummy and easy to eat; as well as, one crunchy fruit or veggie such as sliced cucumbers, carrots, apples or whatever is in season.

Ideally a lunch combines nutrient-rich foods from several food groups to supply protein, a healthy fat and a complex carbohydrate.

Children who eat this way, are able to sustain energy and concentration for several hours which benefits both students and teachers.

Below is one of my kid’s favorites lunch options. Easy to eat, easy to prepare. And if you enlist the help of your kids in the kitchen, I guarantee there will be less waste!

Cornflake-Crusted Baked Chicken Fingers

Makes 6 servings
6 boneless breasts pounded thin and sliced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large egg
2 cups organic crushed cornflakes ( I like whole grain)
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons of fresh orange juice for taste

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.Rinse chicken, and pat dry. Season generously with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk egg with 1-tablespoon water.
 3. In a large bowl, mix cornflakes with oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
4.Working with one piece at a time, dip chicken in egg mixture, then coat with seasoned cornflakes, pressing flakes to help them adhere.
5. Transfer coated pieces to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes.
6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving. To coat chicken, working with one piece at a time, dip chicken in egg mixture, then coat with seasoned cornflakes, pressing flakes to help.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Appetizer Tuesday's: Quality Quesadillas (Cheese,Chicken,Steak)

School in session!!! Now it is more important then ever to eat right to fuel our bodies and brains. Try this easy yet magnificent quesadillas, that will make your taste buds go insane! If you really want to get the best of the Mexican experience be sure to prepare some guacamole to dip your quesadillas in (Look out for the recipe tomorrow). So get your "Mexican" on and dip yourself into this delicious dish, that will have you satisfied for days! Great for kids of all ages!

College Tip: I am sure you are sick of your campus dining, and I understand it might be hard (or you're too lazy) to go out and get all these ingredients; but you can really make this meal with any bread you have laying around! ;)

Ingredients:4 tablespoons cooking oil
Eight-8-inch whole-wheat tortillas or corn tortillas
1 cup cheese of your choice
2 tomatoes chopped
1 cup of black beans
1 organic avocado, sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon sour cream or yogurt (optional)

Directions:1. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat for 1 minute.
2. Place a tortilla on skillet.
3. Top, cheese beans, chopped tomato, avocado, chicken and steak if using.
4. Cover with another tortilla. Cook about 2 minutes until the cheese begins to melt. Flip 
and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. 5. Cut into wedges and garnish with sour cream or plain yogurt.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Do You Like To Snack?

Here Are Some Tips For Better Snacking:
Do you love to snack? Most people do. As a matter of fact, snacking is a major past time for kids and adults. Good quality snacks help maintain a healthy wait and good immune system. Kids who snack do better in school, stay focused, and are more likely to participate in physical activities. Adults who snack are less cranky and better able to deal with their kids; maintain their energy, moods and weight. However, most people associate snacks with something that is convenient, comes out of a box and is sweet, salty and brightly colored with zero nutrients. Below, we provide you with some tips to help your kids become smarter snackers.

  • Give your kids a say! 
  • Have your kids help assemble snacks such as celery or carrots, whole-grain toast or whole-grain crackers, apples or oranges.
  • Have your kids help at the grocery store when you're selecting snacks or in the kitchen when you're assembling things to eat.
  • Think beyond a bag of potato chips. Offer string cheese, hummus and crackers, nuts and raisins and goji berries.
  • Don't be fooled by labeling gimmicks. Foods marketed as low-fat or fat-free can still be high in calories. Likewise, foods touted as cholesterol-free can still be high in fat, saturated fat and sugar. Check nutrition labels to find out the whole story.
  • Go for the grain. Whole-grain snacks such as whole-grain pretzels or tortillas and low-sugar, whole-grain cereals can give your children energy with some staying power. Especially with homemade guacamole or salsa.
  • Out of sight, out of mind. If the cookie jar is full, your children will probably clamor for cookies. But if there aren't any cookies in the house, fresh fruit or raw veggies may seem more appealing.
  • Think outside the box. Offer something new such as fresh pineapple, cranberries, red or yellow peppers or roasted soy nuts. Slice a whole-wheat pita and serve with hummus.
  • Mix and match. Serve baby carrots or other raw veggies with olive oil. Top celery, apples and bananas with peanut butter.
  • Revisit breakfast. Many breakfast foods such as low-sugar, whole-grain cereals and whole-grain toast make great afternoon snacks.
  • Use the freezer. Mix mashed bananas and peanut butter, spread between graham crackers and freeze. For a new twist on old snack-time favorites - freeze grapes or peeled bananas, or fill an ice cube tray with fresh watermelon juice or smoothies.
  • Have fun. Use a cookie cutter to make shapes out of low-fat cheese slices, whole-grain bread or whole-grain tortillas. Eat diced fruit with chopsticks. Give snacks funny names. Try the classic "ants on a log" - celery topped with peanut butter and raisins - or make up your own.
  • Pull out the blender. Make your own smoothies.
  • Promote independence. Make it easy for older children to help themselves. Keep a selection of ready-to-eat veggies in the refrigerator. Leave fresh fruit in a bowl on the counter. Store low-sugar, whole-grain cereal in an easily accessible cabinet.
  • Remember your leftovers. A small serving of last night's dinner might make a great snack.
  • Drinks count too. Offer your children plenty of water between meals. Liven it up with shaped ice cubes, a crazy straw, or a squirt of lemon, cranberry or other fruit juice.
  • -Practice what you preach. Let your children catch you munching raw vegetables or snacking on a bowl of grapes.
  • -Be patient. Your children's snacking habits may not change overnight. Look for positive changes over weeks or months.

Teaching your children to make healthy snack choices now will determine how they eat in the future.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What To Do On A Rainy Day?

It started pouring rain and I found myself very hungry with very little in the house. Luckily I had just purchased Purely Elizabeth Gluten Free Blueberry Maple Muffin Mix. As I started pulling out the ingredients, I realized I was missing a few. Since I only had a 1/4 of a cup of blueberries, in order to make the required cup of blueberries, I did a combination of blueberries, bananas and peaches. Instead of a 1/2 cup of olive oil I used a 1/2 cup coconut oil. Also, instead of a 1/2 applesauce, I used 2 eggs since I'm not vegan and this weekend I had made a trip to the farmer's market and stocked up on fresh eggs, peaches and blueberries.

They turned out delicious and just as we took them out of the oven the sun came out. I dont know if there is a moral to the story but good things happen when you make your own food. I've made Purely Elizabeth before, whether following the recipe exactly or swap in my own ingredients, it is an excellent base and you can never go wrong with her mixes. Also since they are free of sugar, wheat and gluten I use her mixes when in a hurry to make something for a school bake sale. The kids never know the difference and they are always a big hit!

Foods On A Stick: A sure fire way to get your kids to try new fare

If your kids are hesitant to try new foods that are fresh and healthy, try a new approach. I take a new approach when I want to break up the monotony of my kid’s camp lunch box i.e. the normal sandwich or regular piece of fruit. For instance, try making a fruit salad and put it on a stick for desert and accompany it with a yogurt sauce on the side for dipping.

For the main coarse, I have done diff types of proteins from chicken to tofu, lamb and beef interspersed with different raw and cooked veggies. It is always a hit, and best of all it is a good way to get your kids involved in the preparation. Even the pickiest eaters are more apt to try things if they are on a stick.

The very nature of a skewer, lean meat or fish interspersed with a variety of fresh vegetables and maybe brushed with a simple sauce, all but guarantees healthy eating. Best of all, food on stick (kebabs) take just a few minutes to assemble and the potential for deliciousness are limited only by your child’s imagination.

Rules if you are going to cook with the skewers:

Step 1. Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 20 minutes before loading them up. The moisture will prevent the wood from catching fire.
Step 2. The protein you're cooking will determine the size of the produce on your skewers. Shrimp and scallops cook quickly, so fruits and veggies should be cut smaller. Chicken and pork take time to cook, so pair them with larger chunks.
Step 3. You can marinate the loaded skewers in sauce before cooking, up to two hours for meat, but no more than 30 minutes for seafood.

1 1/2 to 2 pounds of salmon, cut into 2-inch pieces (largish-bite sized pieces)
The cloves from 1/2 head of garlic, peeled, crushed, minced
2 Tablespoons of fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon of coarse salt
2 1/2 teaspoons of dry cumin
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
Olive oil

1. Mix garlic, lime juice, salt, , cumin, salt and pepper, and cilantro together. Pour mixture over salmon chunks and marinate more than 24 hours. I’ve found that 2 nights is ideal.
2. Remove salmon from mixture and blot out any extra liquid residing on the salmon with a paper towel. Keep any garlic/cilantro on the salmon! Drizzle 1 tbs of olive oil to lightly coat the salmon.
3. String salmon onto skewers. If the salmon chunk is fairly thin, fold the salmon in half and pierce through the middle.
3. Heat grill plate on medium heat and spray the pan with non-stick spray . Grill salmon skewers on one side for 3 minutes (do not flip during the 3 minutes!) Flip the skewer over and cook for another 2 minutes.If you do not have a grill you can broil them with same instructions in your oven.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Gluten Free Grab and Go great Banana Muffins!

Gluten Free Baking!

Experimented today with some gluten free baking. The recipes turned out delicious and were extremely quick to make and had a minimal amount of ingredients. I was especially excited about this particular recipe because almond flour and coconut oil are sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s are great sources for improving concentration and help with learning, and also helps with maintaining beautiful skin and happy moods. Almond flour is also a great source of protein and the bananas in the recipe are a great source of potassium. This recipe is fast, easy, delicious, nutritious and gluten-free; perfect for snacks and breakfast on the run.

Gluten Free Banana Bread/Muffins


1 cup teff flour
1 cup of ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder (make sure gluten free)
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup of maple syrup
pinch of salt
4 bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup of coconut oil
optional: add ¼ cup of chocolate chips


-Preheat oven to 340f/170c
-Grease a bread pan and sprinkle some almond meal on it, or just line it with baking paper, this will make it easier to take the bread out of the pan
-Mix the wet ingredients together and mix the dry ingredients together
-Combine these two without over mixing them
-Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean
-The bread is edible right away, but it will be firmer after cooling

Nutritious and Delicious fun for kids for 4th of July

Here is a fun, delicious and fun activity for kids of all ages to enjoy for this 4th of July!It will make your kids feel liberated.

Involving your children in the preparation of food can help gain their interest in trying healthy foods they might normally turn up their noses at. This is the perfect activity and recipe that will get your kids involved in food preparation and get them to eat all their fruits and maybe even try a few new ones. Definitely better for a bbq party then chips and cookies this holiday weekend.

The fruits we will be using for this recipe are strawberries (red), blueberries (blue), and chucks of fresh coconut (white). Strawberries have a wide range of nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C,
Blueberries are very high in fiber and and are rich in Vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene as well as rich in the minerals potassium, manganese, magnesium.
Coconut is a tropical fruit that is rich in protein and is also a great body builder . It is a super omega 3 fatty acid.So your kids will be happy and will not have the usual holiday meltdowns from to much sugar and processed foods

Here are the simple steps for this 4ht of July Fruit Kabob:

Chucks of Fresh Coconut, Apples, or White Peaches
Bamboo sticks/chop sticks

Cut up all the fruit and place it in a bowl, then let the children make their own kabobs! You can also substitute watermelon or banana's and still have a festive fruit kabob. Let your kids be creative and make any designs they want!

Monday, June 28, 2010

5 tips to be a pretty summer mommy

For starters, anytime you choose a whole-grain product over one made from nutrient-stripped white flour, you wage war against belly fat. Quinoa contains twice the belly-filling protein as regular cereal grains, fewer glucose-raising carbohydrates, and even a handful of healthy fats. So start your day off with a cup of cooked quinoa combined with a 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of blueberries!

Green Tea:
Natural tea is one of the richest sources of flavonoid antioxidants which protect your body against free radicals-molecules that can damage cells. The powerful antioxidants found in tea are believed to help prevent cancer, lower cholesterol, stregthen the immune system and promote weight loss.

Eggs: Per 1 large scrambled egg,
A british study found that people who increased the percentage of protein-based calories in their diet burned 71 more calories a day (that’s 7.4 pounds a year!) Jumpstart your metabolism as soon as you wake up with a protein-rich breakfast of scrambled eggs!

A grapefruit a day in addition to your regular meals can speed weight loss. The fruit’s acidity slows digestion, meaning it takes longer to move through normal cells alone.

Organic Greek Yogurt, protein-packed is a belly-blasting essential. Beyond the satiety-inducing protein, the probiotics may also speed weight loss. British scientists found that these active organisms boosted the breakdown of fat molecules in mice, preventing the rodents from gaining weight.

Avocados are a good source of healthy fats, omega-3, and are rich in monounsaturated fat, which is easily burned for energy. This creamy, green fruit is abundant in essential oils and B-complex vitamins that nourish your skin, inside and out and the nutritional value of avocado makes it good for indigestion, hair care, heart health, skin care, psoriasis, and bad breath.

Try adding these tips into your diet this week to look and feel better. Your kids will appreciate your super hero energy

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Mini Muffins

Recently my son has noticed he is sensitive to gluten. Whenever he eats muffins, bread, or pasta, even though we use healthy whole grain versions, he seems to get a stomach ache. Even though he tested negative for celiac, we think he might have a gluten sensitivity, so we are trying to experiment with more gluten free recipes. We are going to take some typical gluten free recipes and try and make them healthier. This recipe is one of our first experiments. We were suppose to use two different types of flour, but by accident my 5 year old daughter put in 2 cups of teff flour- so we only used teff flour. We will let you know the results of this recipe, if you have any great gluten-free cooking tips we would love to hear them!

2 cups teff flour
1/2 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons high-quality, unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 very ripe bananas
6 oz plain yogurt (make sure it's gluten free if desired)
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons melted butter, applesauce, or coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Tip: According to my daughter, if you don't have an ingredient in the house, try something else! We did not have applesauce, so we are substituting in coconut oil.

1. Preheat the oven to 350° degrees. Move the rack to a position in the lower half of the oven to prevent the crust of the bread from burning. Grease the pan you intend to use with coconut oil.
2. Stir together all the dry ingredients, making sure to tame the lumps of cocoa powder with a fork. Set aside.
3. With a standing mixer or hand mixer, beat the eggs lightly. Then, add the yogurt, vanilla extract, and melted butter. 
4. When the wet ingredients are completely mixed, gently add in the dry mixture.
5. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until they are just mixed.
6. Scrape the batter into your the muffin pan. Pat down the top to make a flat surface. 
7. Place into the oven and bake for about forty minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 
8. Let the muffins sit in the pan for five to ten minutes, then add chocolate chips on top, eat and enjoy!

Gluten Free Flour Substitutes
If you care for your recipes to be gluten free, you can try oat flour, which we love. We make our own by putting oats in the blender but you can also buy oat flour; its a great healthy alternative!

Another great gluten free flour is almond flour, which you can also make yourself by blending the almonds until it turns into a powder. Almond flour is low in carbohydrates and a great source of protein. It is an excellent substitute for regular flour. It's all natural, loaded with nutrients, in particular, vitamin E and magnesium and it's low in carbohydrates (about 24 net carbs per cup for fine-ground and blanched as opposed to 92 per cup of wheat flour), making a very good choice for low carb flour.

Coconut flour is another great flour to use. It has fewer digestible net carbs than other flours, and it even has fewer digestible carbs than some vegetables! With as much protein as wheat flour, coconut flour has none of the specific protein in wheat called "gluten." This is an advantage for a growing percentage of the population who have allergies to gluten or a wheat sensitivity.

You can also substitute up to 1/4 cup Teff Flour per cup of wheat flour in your recipes. Teff is packed with nutrition. It is higher in protein than wheat and has a high concentration of a wide variety of nutrients, including calcium, thiamin and iron. The iron from teff is easily absorbed by the body.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Easy Grab and Go Breakfast!

Easy Grab and Go Breakfasts

The Most Important Meal of the Day
It turns out your grandmother was right. A balanced breakfast is critical to start the day. It can better your child’s progress in education, sports and attention. The word breakfast literally means break the fast; the point of eating breakfast is to break the fast from an overnight sleep. A balanced breakfast includes a good carbohydrate, protein, and a healthy fat. These essential micro -nutrients supply the right mix of energy to sustain your child’s hunger until lunchtime.

However with our busy schedules, breakfast can feel like a chore. We often will resort to fast food on the run but fast food can be high in sugar and does not provide the necessary nutrients our bodies need.

If your child eats breakfast but still feels tired and hungry shortly after, it’s likely they are not getting the right energy fuels from the foods they’re consuming. A breakfast consisting primarily of sugary foods like fruit and fruit juice will just give them a quick, short, burst of energy. After an hour or so, their energy will plummet from the surge of sugar, leaving them hungry again and lacking energy.

try making these on a sunday ,freeze and eat throughout the week. Better then Kelloggs
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups milk
1 (8 ounce) container plain yogurt
¼ cup applesauce
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour-- or flour of choice--if wheat sensative try coconut or a nut flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 apple (peeled, cored and finely grated)


In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, yogurt and applesauce until well blended. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in another bowl. Stir into the milk mixture until smooth. Fold in grated apple. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddl, using approximately ¼ cup for each cake. Cook until bubbles form in the cakes and the bottoms are golden brown. Flip and cook the other side. Serve warm with syrup or jam.

Foods that make your skin glow!

Firm and Bright skin: Fruits and veggies! They prevent wrinkles. The colorful pigments that produce bright orange and red also refill antioxidant levels in your skin. The top 4? Sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and berries! Replenish your skin’s supply of antioxidants, so they’re ready to scarf up free radicals whenever they make an appearance. Free reds are highly reactive oxygen molecules that damage cells and contribute to just about everything that can go wrong with skin, from dryness to crinkles.

Fresh and Juicy skin: Your body can’t store much wrinkle-fighting vitamin C, so you need to keep your supplies stoked. The easiest, simplest way? Have some citrus every day. Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit. Actually, ounce for ounce, oranges are the top citrus C source but you can only eat so many, right? For variety, make lemonade, squeeze limes on melon. Keep skin’s vitamin C levels high. While C’s a nifty antioxidant, that’s not the key reason it’s here. It helps keep collagen- the supportive protein fibers that stop skin from sagging- strong and resilient.

Smoothing and Soothing: There’s a particularly potent antioxidant known as EGCG that does all kinds of good things for skin. The best place to find it is green, or white tea (not herbal). Brew a teapot full every morning, so that sipping four to six cups throughout the day is easy. Green tea “the roasting process that turns this green tea a brownish color also lowers its caffeine content”--handy if you’re caffeine sensitive. Give your skin a healthy dose of EGCG, which is a great multi-tasker. EGCG puts a damper on inflammatory chemicals involved in acne and sun-related skin aging; it also helps prevent skin cancer; and it has a loin-tamer effect on amino acid- and anything you can do to staunch the flow of the stress hormone cortisol helps keep collagen fibers intact.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The First Day of Summer

It is now officially summer. Making small adjustments to your to diet and daily routine can help your body adapt to the change in season. Summer is a great time to incorporate more produce and raw foods into your diet. Our bodies naturally crave more cooling, lighter foods like salad and fresh-picked fruit in the warmer months. Enjoying locally grown produce is also a great way to honor the natural environment in which you live. It helps you feel at home where you are, reduces your carbon footprint and supports your local community.

Also consider how your lifestyle reflects seasonal changes. In the summer, many people play outdoor sports, go on vacation and engage in high-energy activities. Make the most of these longer days and take your exercise outdoors. And don't forget to schedule some relaxation time for yourself. Summer is a great time to recharge your battery!

Kick off summer with a tasty recipe incorporating in-season produce. This sweet soup is a perfect appetizer at summer parties and barbeques.

Carrot Fruit Soup
Recipe from IIN grad Terry Walter's Clean Food cookbook

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Yields: 6 servings

1 cantaloupe
2 peaches, peeled and cut into chunks
1 mango, peeled and cut into chunks
1 ½ cups carrot juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of salt
Blueberries for garnish

1. Halve cantaloupe, scoop out seeds, remove outer skin and cut melon into chunks
2. Place in large pot and add peaches, mango, carrot juice, lemon juice, cloves and salt.
3. Bring to a simmer and cook 3 minutes to soften fruit.
4. Puree with handheld blender and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.
5. Garnish with blueberries and serve.

The Integrative Nutrition team

Making the Perfect Burrito!

A burrito is a great idea for a quick, easy, and delicious meal. And, it’s very inexpensive!

Step #1: The ingredients

All the ingredients you need for a homemade burrito are whole-grain tortillas, organic shredded mozzarella cheese, and organic black beans. Guacamole, or sliced avocado, and salsa are optional to add in. I have included great recipes for guacamole and salsa below.

The ingredients sounds simple right? They are! Just be aware of the ingredients in the whole-grain tortillas. It is very important to understand what ingredients are really in the foods we are eating. A great rule to follow: do not eat anything you cannot pronounce! Labels and advertising can be very deceiving. For example, my intern bought whole-grain tortillas thinking they were a great choice for homemade tortillas because they were labeled “Carb Balance” “Heart Healthy” and “A good source of dietary fiber for your healthy lifestyle”. But once we turned the package over and started reading the 30+ chemicals that were actually in the tortillas, she realized that they were not “heart healthy” at all! Whole-grain tortillas should have 5 ingredients, all of which you can pronounce, not 35.

Food is suppose to nourish our bodies, not harm it! The foods we eat contribute not only to the quality of our health, but also to our susceptibility to disorders. While the right foods can be a source of nourishment, the wrong foods can lead to a variety of disorders and problems so it is important to learn how to label read and avoid the wrong foods!

Step #2: Cooking
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Warm the tortilla in a toaster oven then sprinkle it with organic shredded mozzarella cheese
Add the black beans and place the burrito in the oven until the cheese starts to bubble
Take the burrito out, add the guacamole and salsa (optional)
Fold and enjoy!

4 avocados - peeled, pitted, and mashed 
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon orange juice
1-tablespoon pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
Blue corn chips for dipping

1. In a large bowl, stir together the avocados, lime juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, cumin, cilantro and salt.
2. Mix in hot pepper sauce if using. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving. Place one of the avocado pits into the bowl to help keep it fresh. 

½ can chopped tomatoes (store leftover tomatoes in a container, never leave them in the metal can)
¼ cup chopped green onions
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves chopped (or the equivalent)
1 tablespoon of oregano
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (extra virgin is much healthier than pure olive oil)
3 teaspoons of lime juice
Add a bit of salt and pepper depending on how much you like.
Blue corn chips for dipping

Saturday, June 19, 2010

This Saturday, come out and join the fun!

Today from 11:00-3:00 join me at the 5th Annual Health Fair at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine on Amsterdam and 112th! Bring the kids too, I will have fun activities for them to try and great health tips to share!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

85% of Kids' Drinks, Snacks Could Contain High Levels of Lead

Testing by the Environmental Law Foundation found that 85 percent of the nearly 150 kids' juice and fruit products it tested contained levels of lead that exceeded federal limits for children. This is a great link with a lot of very important information.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Camp lunch

Kids love to eat what they help prepare. So instead of bearing the burden of what to pack for your children’s lunches each day, only to find that half the food comes back uneaten, enlist their help. It’s a win, win situation! You will find they eat healthier, have less waste, and you save time, aggravation and money.
While at first this might seem time consuming and inconvenient, with some proper planning and a couple of easy tricks it can be fun and easy. It also enables us to share some great quality time with our children.

Sit down once a week and plan lunches together. If kids have a vested interest in their lunch, they’re more likely to eat it.

Slip them a note. A simple note to say I can help make their day.

Invest in “cool” lunch equipment. An insulated lunch bag and a thermos will enable your child to take a wider variety of foods for lunch, such as chilled pasta, salad

Send favorite left over dinner foods

Occasionally include home-ade--items like cookies, or muffins chips,

Delicious Recipe for Oat Bars!

3 cups raisins
¼ cup lemon juice
2 T honey
Pinch of salt

For the dough:
2 cups oat flour
2 cups quick rolled oats
½ cup oat bran
½ cup sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. salt
1 ½ cups soymilk

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9x13” baking dish with parchment. Set aside.
In a small saucepan mix the raisins, lemon juice, honey and pinch of salt until well combined. Add enough water to cover and turn on the heat to medium. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat and let the filling simmer until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed and raisins are very tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the crust. In a medium-mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, bran, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon and salt until well mixed. Stir in the soymilk, mixing until just combined.

Assemble the bars. Spread half of the dough into the prepared dish. Spread the raisin filling evenly on top of the crust, followed by the remaining dough. Sprinkle with extra sugar if desired, and bake until golden brown, about 25-35 minutes. Remove, cut into bars and serve warm or cold.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Magnificent Mommies Tips For A Flatter Summer Belly

I decided to write this newsletter because this is the time of year my phone starts to ring off the hook. Everyone wants to lose weight fast before they reveal themselves in their bathing suits. While I have many great tips I wanted to relay, some simple, effortless, and surprisingly unknown effective tummy-flattening secrets.

Tip 1: Breathing. It is one of the most effective ways to relieving stress. Stress is the culprit to late-night binging on pints of Ben and Jerry’s. There is scientific evidence that stress in itself can lead to developing excess belly fat. The stress hormone cortisol may cause your body to store more fat cells around your waist. Try taking 10 deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth ten times a day. This seemingly easy tip produces amazing results.

Tip 2: Sweeteners and Sodas. Another misconception I come across everyday is that if you consume a lot of artificial sweeteners and consume a lot of diet soda that you are saving calories and will lose weight. That’s a huge misconception. Aspartame and Splenda are what I call “Frankenstein foods”. Our body screams in horror when we digest it and does not recognize it, so in effect does not know how to break it down.

Tip 3: Fat does not make you fat. In actuality, a little bit of fat everyday helps to reduce fat in your body. My favorite fats are coconut oil, my new addiction. I use it for baking, cooking and even spread it on my toast. Some of my other favorite fats are almonds, avocados, nut butters, and olive oil.

Tip 4: Water. When you are craving sweets drink a large glass of water and squeeze your favorite citrus in it (orange, lime, or lemon) and drink and see within 15 minutes if your sugar craving goes away.

Tip 5: Sleep. Try to get a full 8 hours of sleep.

Tip 6: Swap your morning coffee for a cup of green tea.

Tip 7: Fill your plate with as many antioxidant fruits or veggies at every meal as possible. They replenish the body and brain, full of fiber, making you feel satisfied, unlike a quick bag of chips that would leave you craving more.

For more helpful tips: visit us on at or Dawn Lerman on Facebook.

Dawn Lerman, MA, CHHC, LCAT

Monday, May 24, 2010

Westchester Weekend Cooking

Had a great time baking/cooking with my friend Michelle and our kids in Westchester over the weekend. We decided to take some classic recipes; brownies, oatmeal cookies, macaroons and hummus and amp up the nutrition by adding in and swapping out various ingredients. In our hummus we added sweet potatoes, in our brownies and oatmeal cookies we used coconut oil instead of butter, and our macaroons were based on a raw food recipe. So, instead of baking we just chilled the batter in the freezer. We also made a sandwich with ratatouille and goat cheese and an amazing bean dip. Four kids two moms and a lot of delicious food!