Archive for September, 2009

Crunch Time Decisions

When it comes to satisfaction, a lot of times all we need is a good crunch. Yet keeping the “good” in ‘good crunch’ can be challenging in stores and often cupboards stocked with less good quality crunch options.

Here are some ideas for Crunch Time:

  1. Jicama – toss it in lime juice and cayenne pepper (for a metabolic boost as well)
  2. Celery and cucumber – these water-based veggies help hydrate and are great scoopers for everything from hummus, pesto, salsa, guacamole, mustard, egg salad etc
  3. Radishes – great for you, these tart tasties are also crunchy when made into chips
  4. Popcorn – DIY (do-it-yourself) and add oil after its popped (shake it up in a paper bag so excess gets soaked off the corn), and spices or even parmesan cheese. Practice portion control with 2 handfuls being a good portion
  5. Apple and Pear slices: Fall is there season and if you top them with nut butters like Nuttzo you get a complete eating occasion as well as a high fiber snack.

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Recently, I’ve been asked frequently about agave – is it the greatest thing ever or as bad as that HFCS stuff?? So,I thought I would share some thoughts to help you make an informed decision.

When it comes to assessing the benefits / potential risks of agave syrup today there are two key issues to explore: 1)quality of product, 2) quantity consumed. (more…)

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Originally posted on The Huffington Post.

For many parents, back-to-school presents mixed emotions tipping the balance in favor of anxiety ….There’s one part Elation: Yeah, they are back in school! But two parts Concern- 1)What do I send them that they will eat (and enjoy) and 2)How do I prevent them from getting the colds and flus that run through the classroom?

Here are some tips to tip the Back-to-School recipe in favor of Elation:

A) Immune Support: rather than try to cover them with anti-bacterial everything, work now to support their immune system.

  1. Keeping added-sugar intake low (for example, add sliced strawberries to a waffle with nut butter vs jelly),
  2. Aim for daily intake of all the different colors nature provides (you can make this a game with the kids using a color calendar on the fridge to see if they eat a “rainbow” each day) by making kid-friendly snacks such as baked sweet potato cubes, a Gorilla sandwich (hummus in a hollowed out cucumber or zucchini), and fruit / vegetable skewers (using straws).
  3. Eat Organically: whereas chemicals can interfere with the body’s immune system, organic food does the exact opposite making sure we get as much of nature’s intended immune-supporting phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins as possible.
  4. Consider supplementation of vitamin D and a probiotic. Typically my recommendations are food first, but in these two instances I recommend supplementation to ensure adequate levels in the body. (more…)

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Since helping with the launch of coconut water here in the US, I’ve wanted everyone to know about the benefits of this “Nature’s Gatorade.” And just last week the Wall Street Journal covered the growth and popularity of the product.

Thus, you can imagine how SAD and MAD I became when I recently saw the new product launches by ONE coconut water. Are these just naturally flavored coconut waters? No!

Soooo NOT-AKA.

These new products now contain Cane Juice – a fancy name for sugar. What was always good about coconut water was that it was a diluted source of natural sugar – we only got what nature intended for us, natural sugar plus electrolytes. With these new products, ONE enters the world of sugared beverages, a definite NO on the path of nutrition for optimal health. So much research and medical anecdotal evidence today points to the fact that added sugar, especially in the beverage form puts us at risk for obesity, is negative for our immune system, negatively effects triglyceride levels as well as insulin sensitivity, and may irritate the digestive system.

AKA recommends skipping these beverages and sticking with the original, plain coconut water. You can always add your own frozen (so they are like ice cubes) organic berries or fruit to it for some extra sweetness and antioxidants- from nature.

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My friend, a nanny, recounted a story for me the other day. She took her charges (two boys 5 and 2) to the grocery store for a snack and they stopped in front of the frozen aisle and said “Seeeweeed, we want the seeeeeweeeed.” She stopped, confused, knowing that the snack pack of Sea’s Gift seaweed on the head of the aisle was a favorite of mine, hers, and other adults, but were these kids, at the edge of the ice cream aisle crying out for seaweed, truly?? Indeed, they were. They like many other kids from ages 3 to 16 are discovering seaweed – not just at the sushi bar – but in a convenient little snack pack and clamoring for it in place of other favorite snacks. I recently helped a mother send 2 cases of it to her daughter at camp because her friends were eating the ones she brought for herself as a potato chip alternative. (more…)

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