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.