One Healthy (or not so much) Paris Recap

Travel does wonders for the mind and soul, especially traveling to Paris! Here’s a quick recap of our trip along with some healthy tidbits we can all learn from the Parisians.

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Say this three times fast: fresh French food. Food is fresh in France. Whether it’s fish, fruit, veggies, meat, bread, or wine, fresh and locally made is the standard. You can taste the difference, from the simplest salad to a baguette to a gourmet meal.

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Restaurant menus change often because seasonal goods are preferred and expected. Everything is less processed. Interestingly, people sensitive to gluten or dairy often don’t feel the effects abroad, which leads us to believe that it may actually be the processing and not the food itself.

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During the cooking class we took, the first 90 minutes was dedicated to walking through the market, the butcher, the cheese vendor, and the fish market, seeking the freshest of fresh, which included dover sole, asparagus, tomatoes, and the herbs in the vinaigrette.

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As a nutritionist, I often encourage clients to grocery shop with a list; having a strategy as to avoid extras like Oreos sneaking into the cart. Interestingly, the people of Paris shop for groceries almost every day. Instead of stocking up on bulk items, they tend to buy just what they need for that nights’ meal, every day. Less freezing, thawing, bulking, and money. Smart.

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Regulations on meat and poultry are also more specific and there are simply no antibiotics or GMOs allowed…at all. Again, smart. As for wine,  there’s a push for biodynamic/organic wine, made without sulfates or chemicals. The wine tastes cleaner, goes down smoother, and doesn’t result in a headache or hangover the following day. Super smart.

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Being that we live in such a young country, it’s amazing to see such extensive history, like the palace of Versailles. Paris exemplifies the statement “worth the wait.” From the architecture to the wine and cheese, Paris is about the end result, not instant gratification.

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Cheese and refined sugar. Two things I rarely indulge in, but vacation (especially Paris!) calls for  complete indulgence. And with that, it’s time to get back on track with all things green.

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Last note: one thing we’ve far surpassed is our incidence of smoking. Ew. But if sitting is the new smoking, all of the walking around the beautiful city may just cancel it out? Definitely not promoting smoking – less smoking, more walking. And remember, Paris is always a good idea.

One Healthy Breakdown: travel, learn, drink, and eat your way around the world!

 

All About Meal Prep

Meal prep is a great way to set yourself up for success. With no time to make a healthy meal when we’re hungry, we’re likely to resort to processed food, take-out, fast food, mindless eating, and overeating. With a kitchen full of healthy snacks and balanced meals on hand, it’s a lot easier to eat healthier. With one simple change, healthy eating becomes a whole lot happier.

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  • Schedule one or two days a week to prep. While it doesn’t have to be the same day each week, plan to take some time to prepare some meals and snacks to last you throughout the week. Think about the times when you cave and come up with some good preventative strategies. For example, if you’re always starving mid-afternoon, pack an extra snack to tide you over until dinner. This will keep your energy, blood sugar, and mood in check and help you to slow down and enjoy dinner because you won’t be famished when you finally sit down. If you struggle with breakfast, prep something simple that will fuel your day, like yummy muffins, berry bars, a frittata, or healthy bread.
  • Have a plan, make a list, and stick to it. Whether you’re using a meal template (google what you’re looking for, like “family meal plan” or “paleo meal plan.”) or creating your own, be sure to map it out. You’re less likely to throw those impulse cookies in the cart when you shop with a clear grocery list. Start collecting recipes that you’d like to make; use Pinterest or collect magazine pages so that you remember them. Another fun tip is to use themes, like taco Tuesday or breakfast for dinner. Lastly, remember to check the weather because it often impacts our cravings (think soup on a chilly day and BBQ when it’s warm.)

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  • Get your nutrients. Be sure that your plan includes carbs, protein, and healthy fats. For example, your energizing carbs could be oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and quinoa. Protein may be a chicken, hard-boiled eggs, and/or tempeh. Maybe you make individual portions of trail mix and some guacamole for healthy fats. Cater to your personal preferences, but be sure to prep produce, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats in bulk.
  • Leftovers are your friend. There’s nothing wrong with a good ol’ L/O. Leftovers come in super handy, so double your recipe or make a little extra knowing that you can have it the following day or freeze it for another time. You can even make leftovers ‘like new’ by adding them to a fresh bed of greens for a big salad or reinventing the meal.
  • Have fun. Prepping is not miserable! Turn on music, get your fam involved, and have fun!

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One Healthy Breakdown: if you care, P R E P A R E !

*For more meal prep tips, check out the queen of food prep, theleangreenbean.com

“We Go Together Like” Tempeh & Coconut Oil

photo 1(3)I love tempeh. I love the taste, unique texture, and not to mention, nutritional content. Tempeh is made from soybeans; it’s high in protein and essential phytonutrients. Like tofu, tempeh takes on the flavor of other ingredients, spices, oils, etc., so it’s very versatile.

Tempeh is good stuff, but tempeh sauteed in coconut oil is a whole other level. I make this at least once a week, if not more, and it never gets old. Best of all, this recipe couldn’t be easier…in fact, it doesn’t even need a recipe at all. You can buy tempeh at any health food store (and most grocery stores) and it’s precooked, so you’re just crisping it up for pleasure. Just put a tablespoon or so of coconut oil in pan to heat and add bite-sized pieces of tempeh and your favorite vegetables (broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, any leafy green, cabbage, mushrooms, green beans, bean sprouts, just to name a few of the endless possibilities) Once tempeh turns a golden brown, it’s crispy and delicious enough to eat. This meal takes all of about six minutes to prepare and did I mention it tastes ah-mazing?! And you can make it as simple or complicated as you want. I usually just do tempeh and broccoli, but here’s a recent stir-fry I made with tempeh, coconut oil, peppers, onions, bean sprouts, and liquid aminos (soy sauce alternative.) All gone.

photo 2(10)One Healthy Hamptons: seriously, this one’s tempeh-tastic.

Valentine’s Day Dinner for Two

Enjoy this special Asian salmon for two followed by decadent (healthy!) brownies, the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner, thanks to Teresa and Believe in Nutrition!

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Asian Salmon for Two

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon miso, preferably white
  • 1 tablespoon mirin, asian rice wine vinegar found in ethnic aisle
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • Hot pepper sauce, to taste
  • 8 ounces center-cut salmon fillet, skinned (shrimp or scallops)
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Position rack in upper third of oven. Preheat broiler. Line small baking pan with foil and coat lightly with cooking spray. Whisk miso, mirin, soy sauce, ginger, and hot sauce in a small bowl until smooth. Place salmon fillets, skinned-side down, in the prepared pan. Brush generously with the miso mixture. Broil the salmon until just cooked through in the center, 6 to 8 minutes. Garnish the salmon with scallions, cilantro and sesame seeds. Serve with grilled vegetables and a salad and enjoy, but save some room for dessert!

 

browniesHealthy Brownies

Each of these brownies is only 100 calories and tastes divine! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup of agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A couple teaspoons chopped walnuts (optional for topping)

Mix all the ingredients for a couple minutes in a food processor or blender, except the walnuts. Pour the mix into an 8×8 pan sprayed with cooking spray, and sprinkle the walnuts on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Bake at 300 degrees for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool before cutting.

One Healthy Breakdown: made with LOVE!

World Peace Cookies

Cookies Fresh Out of the OvenWhat could be better than a cookie recipe entitled “World Peace?” A chocolate cookie recipe titled “World Peace,” that’s what! These cookies are sweet enough for any holiday occasion without going overboard on sugar…the perfectly peaceful combination you can feel good indulging in!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (or half whole wheat flour)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar of choice
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or ¾ cup bittersweet mini chocolate chips

1. Sift flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

2. Working with a stand or handheld mixer in a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, salt and vanilla and beat for two more minutes.

3. Turn off mixer. Pour in dry ingredients and pulse mixer at low speed for a few seconds, about five times. Mix for about 30 seconds more, just until all flour is incorporated. Add chocolate pieces or chips and mix only to incorporate. (Dough should be worked as little as possible for best texture.)

4. Turn dough our onto a work surface, gather together and divide in half. Working with one half at a time, shape dough into logs and 1 ½ inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours (or up to three days).

5. To bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

6. Using a sharp, thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are ½ inch thick. Arrange on the baking sheets, leaving about one inch between them.

7. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes (they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s as they should be). Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let rest until only just warm, then carefully remove the cookies to a rack to cool completely. Store in airtight cookie tin.

One Healthy Breakdown: these cookies are sure to create some peace and quiet in your house this holiday season, enjoy!

Recipe submitted by Emily Herrick, adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours

Roastin’ up Veggies

photo 4Roasting veggies is often on my Sunday or Monday agenda. It’s a great way to have veggies ready for the week and makes dinners a breeze. I mix it up and use whatever I have; broccoli, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, asparagus, potatoes, eggplant, kale, brussel sprouts, onions, cauliflower, tomatoes, onions, cabbage, carrots, beets, peppers, garlic…anything goes when roastin’ up veggies.

Put ’em all together, or separate, (your call) on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Add your favorite herbs and spices and spritz with your choice of oil, vinegar, lemon juice, etc.

photo 1My go-to’s:

1. Drizzle with olive or coconut oil, fresh lemon juice, and a little vinegar (apple cider or balsamic) add garlic, (minced, whole cloves, or garlic powder) pepper, and a light sprinkle of sea salt. I like to use this combo when roasting any green veggie, summer squash, broccoli slaw, etc.

2. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary, oregano, basil, and a little sea salt and pepper. I use this for eggplant, squash, tomatoes, etc.

Cook at 400 degrees for about 15-45 minutes depending on the vegetable, check to see when veggies start to brown and broil for a few minutes at the end if you like ’em crispy. Use veggies as a side, a main dish with protein or a grain, make a veggie salad, or keep on hand for healthy munchies throughout the day. It’s limitless. It’s simple. It’s easy, healthy, and yummy.

One Healthy Breakdown: roastin’ up lots of veggies will ensure you’re stocked up, which makes choosing veggies over french fries an easy YES!

Happy July!

July

The month of July brings lots and lots to celebrate! From our upcoming Independence Day to summer’s peak, blueberries, UV safety, picnics, country music, culinary arts, and, last but not least: ice cream! Let’s kick off the ‘dog days of summer’ right! Embrace your patriotism and commemorate our country’s birthday with family and friends – check out our pinterest board “Fireworks” for healthy inspiration! Celebrate ice cream by taking a walk to your favorite local ice cream shop after dinner this week or try these healthy frozen yogurt recipes!

Three Ice Cream Cones

Pack your diet with blueberries this month and try some new blueberry recipes! Wear your SPF everyday and spend as much time outside as possible! Blast your favorite country music tunes. Amp-up your culinary skills; stay in and cook and take advantage of summer grilling! Set a new goal this month. Try something new, check off that summer bucket list, or find a daily physical challenge to step up your activity (like our one-month push-up challenge!) Have a picnic! One of my favorite warmer weather activities is packing a picnic, heading to the beach, and enjoying the evening. What’s better than a meal on a blanket on a beach?!

One Healthy Breakdown: wishing you a happy, healthy month full of fireworks, fitness, and lots of fun!

Bring on The Spaghetti!

“Everything you see I owe to spaghetti” ~ Sophia Loren

Bowl of Tomatoes on Tricolored Pasta

One thing we may miss about clean eating is a good ‘ol plate of spaghetti. Good news! Just like any other meal, there are nutritious and delicious alternatives to this classic comfort food! Try these upgrades and feel good knowing that these pasta dishes are just as good for the body as they are for the soul! First, just sub half of your normal pasta, you will learn to love it!

  • zucchini (make ribbon-like noodles with a julienne peeler or knife – just be careful!)
  • spaghetti squash
  • shiratake noodles
  • Miracle noodles
  • broccoli slaw
  • cabbage/cabbage slaw
  • whole wheat pasta
  • eggplant slices (great sub in lasagna!)
  • black bean noodles
  • rice noodles
  • quinoa pasta
  • spelt pasta
  • soba noodles
  • udon noodles

Throw in your favorite veggies to add fiber and volume! And the sauce? TOMATOES!!! Yes, just tomatoes and spices! (Who woulda thought that tomatoes make up tomato sauce?!) Just cook tomatoes in a pot with a teaspoon of olive oil, oregano, basil, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper! And if you’re really feeling brave, try nutritional yeast instead of cheese, it’s tasty and packed with nutrients! Voilà!

One Healthy Breakdown: Just like anything, pasta can be super healthy! Buon appetito!

Light Up the Grill, it’s BBQ Season!

It’s barbecue season, baby! In addition to soaking up the sunshine, take advantage of grilling outside. Everything just tastes better on the grill, doesn’t it? Light it up and bring on the bbq’s!

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Burgers and dogs aren’t the only things to barbecue, there are so many yummy, healthy options. Grilled veggies taste amazing and are super easy too. All you need is a grill pan. Here’s how:

Eggplant: slice into thin round pieces. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with dried herbs for more flavor. Flip periodically. Grille about 10 minutes.

Zucchini/summer squash: slice into thin round pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Use a grill pan.  Grille about 5-10 minutes each side.

Asparagus, broccoli, or brussels sprouts: cut if needed, drizzle with olive oil, and grill away. It’s that simple and SO delicious! Shake them up so that they grill evenly. These smaller veggies only take about 5-10 mins.

Lettuce or cabbage: drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice or red wine vinegar. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Romaine works great, it’s a simple delicacy! For cabbage, cut into four wedges and grille sides evenly for about 10 minutes. Lettuce only about five minutes.

Mushrooms: drizzle mushrooms with balsamic vinegar and a little oil. Grille for about eight minutes, flipping halfway through. Place over a salad or use whole grilled portobello mushrooms in place of burgers. Talk about a healthy upgrade!

Onions and peppers: slice onions and/or peppers. Drizzle olive oil and flavor with salt and pepper. Grille in tinfoil or on a grille pan. Great as a side with fish or sausage.

Corn on the cob: Brush with olive or coconut oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. If you like a little spice, add cayenne pepper and fresh lime juice. Grille for 15- 20 minutes total.

Garlic or scallions: Using whole bulbs, cut the root end off and brush bulb with olive oil. Grille for about 10 minutes until skin in brown. The perfect addition to flavor any dish.

One Healthy Breakdown: Grab a cold drink and light up the grill. No heavy sauces, no complicated recipes. Just fresh veggies meet grille, nothin’ better.