Archive for November, 2010

Serves 15

5 packages of extra firm Mori-Nu Silken tofu
3 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 Tsp. kosher salt
2 c. Sucanat (dehydrated cane juice)
4 c. vegan, kosher, non-dairy chocolate chips
1/4 c. canola oil

In a large food processor, place tofu, Sucanat, vanilla extract and salt. Process for about 7 minutes until all ingredients are fully mixed.

In a saucepan, place chocolate chips and canola oil and melt ingredients slowly so the chocolate will not burn or get bitter. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. When chocolate is smooth and silky, place melted chocolate in the food processor with all the ingredients and process for about 5 minutes. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the food processor.

Place in refrigerator for about 4-5 hours. Serve topped with fresh raspberries or cocoa nibs.

Good luck, healthy girl!

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From Wellsphere.com

I have struggled with my weight and feeling good for my entire life.  I’ve never been obese – just about 20 pounds overweight – and I’ve definitely eaten horribly and not taken care of myself.  I admit it, I haven’t been the best to my body.

I’ve been trying to get healthy for a long time and have struggled to find something that works or helps me stick to a light, clean diet.  I finally found a way to get there, and here’s my journey.

First, a short history of my battles with digestive issues and weight loss:

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had tummy problems.  I won’t go into much more detail than that, because I bet you can guess what I’m talking about.  I just didn’t digest food like everyone else.  I went to several GI docs who all had me keep food journals and cut out one little thing after another.  Losing dairy helped.  Ditching sugar helped.  Nothing really seemed to WORK.

Then I got diagnosed with Celiac Disease – it’s basically an autoimmune disease where your small intestine is damaged from too much awesome carbohydrate enriched delicious foods. It turns out, most of us have it in some kind of way, some more severe than others.  Sigh.

Meanwhile, I’ve always felt at least 15 pounds heavier than I wanted to be.  I’ve been an avid exerciser for as long as I can remember, but could never lose weight.  I’m not a very fast runner, granted, but at least I try.  I try to run at least 2 miles/day with weight training.  I’m trying to get to an 8 minute mile.  Currently at a 10 minute mile.  Ugh!

I’ve completely given up meat and dairy.

It’s that stupid gluten.  I love bread.  Yes, I admit it.  I love cookies, I love cake, I love sugar.  I love all things horrible for someone with Celiac Disease.  And I do try my absolute best to cut it out, but I crave it.  Constantly.

Anxious to finally lose the weight and feel better before the year 2050, I was reading on a Celiac blog and came across the idea of a gluten free detox.  Basically you force yourself to go gluten free and vegan for X number of days while still giving your body protein and nutrients.  In other words, don’t fast, don’t starve yourself, but force your body to reset and get adjusted to life without animal products or gluten.

There are plenty of you who are like “what the french, toast?  what can you possibly eat that is both vegan AND gluten free other than vegetables and rice?”  GREAT QUESTION.

A girlfriend told me about a simple detox program she found – you basically go raw vegan for 6 days and she used a meal replacement shake called Kaeng Raeng to help get her through it.  It’s just raw fruits and veggies and unsalted nuts for 6 days.  Nothing cooked above 118 degrees, no salt, no animal products, no gluten.

Could I do this??!!!

I ordered the Kaeng Raeng 6-day Beginner program to give it a go.  I was skeptical at first.  I don’t believe in colon cleansing given that my colon takes enough of a beating with all of my freakin’ stomach problems AS IS.  The last thing I wanted was to be in worse shape.

I also wanted to be able to keep working out.  This same GF had done the master cleanse and almost passed out on a treadmill once.  NO THANKS!

When I got the Kaeng Raeng package in the mail I was pretty excited.   It comes in a little white box and even had a note from the CEO wishing me good luck.  It was a little gimmicky, but I believed her.  This was going to be great!

Inside was a product card with basic instructions and helpful tips, including a list of recipes they offer on their web site.  You basically drink one pouch per meal time for the entire program.  Each pouch looks small, but don’t let that fool you.

I started with my first packet on a Friday morning.  I made the mistake of mixing it with tap water (not very cold), stirring it with a straw, and attempting to drink it.  Not what I had expected.  The product is real fruit chunks with fiber, protein, probiotics (a staple for anyone who suffers from digestive issues), and vitamins.  When you add just water, the fruit floats around and it’s hard to get down.  The shake wasn’t sweet – more tart and sour, which I actually liked.

I decided to throw the mixture into a blender with some ice and a banana.  Ahhh, much better.  It tasted like a healthy version of a Jamba Juice.  It took me all morning to sip it down – I made nearly 40 oz of it and it was incredibly filling.  I had to pee about every 15 minutes – thank goodness I work from home on Fridays!  I didn’t know how I was going to be able to do that at work.

Within an hour I had my first “you know what” and felt pretty good.  I wasn’t hungry at all til around 1 pm when I had shake number 2.  The blueberry one.  It wasn’t as good as the one before, but I blended it with a little bit of apple juice.  The site recommended water over juice, but I liked it a lot this way.  Again, a very filling shake, and it took all afternoon to drink it.

I headed to the gym in the afternoon and felt fine.  I was getting plenty of protein and carbs from the shakes and I had a little bag of carrots once I finished my workout.

For dinner I busted out the blender yet again and tried the mango flavor.  I added some frozen pineapple and sipped it down.  Had another “you know what” moment – the second of the day!! – and headed to bed.

I woke up the next morning with a gnarly headache.  I am guilty for grabbing a chai soy latte from Starbucks in the mornings and downing it immediately to get that sugar-caffeine rush.  No caffeine on this detox.  Ouch.

I started with the first shake and went in the same flavor order as the day before, but changing it up in the blender each time.  I did miss gluten.  I thought about making pancakes but resisted the urge somehow.  Must get through this.

I got through the second day with one “you know what” moment and several trips to pee.  All that water and vitamins!  I stayed full and had plenty of energy.

Day three was difficult, but not because of the shakes or the lack of gluten.  I was actually doing great with the raw foods.  I was eating strawberries and veggies as snacks and the shakes were going down great.  It was being around other people.

I got invited to a girlfriend’s house for a party.  The table was covered in all of my favorites – potato chips, pretzels, cupcakes – a Celiac freakin’ nightmare.  I had to resist.

Luckily I had planned ahead and brought veggies with me in little bags.  I also drank a shake right beforehand so I was actually super full.  My mind wanted the food, but my stomach didn’t.  So, overall, the party sucked because I watched everyone drink alcohol and eat goodies and I was that overweight girl on a diet.  It’s like everyone looks at you with pity – aww, she tries so hard to lose weight yet can’t.  Sad.

Day four I woke up feeling better.   But the most amazing thing happened.  I went to put on my work clothes for a foggy Monday morning and the pants were too big!!  I checked the tag to make sure – yup, the same pants I normally wear.  Crazy!!!  I figured it was probably water weight and colon weight, but still, what a victory!

I happily took my shake with me to work and started sipping away.  It didn’t even occur to me that this was my 4th morning without caffeine until I smelled coffee in the office.   Ugh, tempting.  Not to mention the Monday morning meeting complete with PASTRIES.  Are you people trying to give me a freakin heart attack?  ARGH!!!!

I couldn’t wait for shake 2 – at this point, I was getting addicted.  I think the best part about them is that they’re so natural and healthy tasting.  It’s not vanilla or chocolate flavored.  It’s not “fruit flavored” with artificial crap.  It’s just real stuff from the EARTH.  The fruit is sour, not sweet.

Having the variety was key going into day 5.  At this point I had had at least one “you know what” moment each day, but by day 5 in the afternoon I was getting a little bored and decided to just drink half of a shake and eat more veggies.  Honestly, I forgot to drink water.

I had read on the label and the web site that water was key to the program.  If you didn’t drink enough water, be prepared for cramps.  And I learned that the hard way.  I started to feel a little sick.  I emailed the company and the owner actually responded within minutes (this was at 10 pm at night!) telling me to up my water intake and the stomach pain and nausea would go away.  She reminded me that I was flushing all of those toxins out of my digestive system – stopping too short was going to get me backed up.

I drank about 4 cups of water before bed (had to get up to pee 3 times) but felt much better by morning.

The most amazing thing happened on day 6 – a woman in the office asked me what I was doing because my skin was GLOWING.  I hadn’t noticed it on my own, but when she said it I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror.  I was glowing!  My skin had never looked so smooth!

Overall, it was a great program.  I weighed myself the morning of day 7 and I had lost 8 pounds.  I realize that it’s mostly water weight.  It’s impossible to lose 8 pounds of FAT in 6 days.  But feeling less bloated and backed up was my main goal, not necessarily to lose fat.

I didn’t even realize it, but on day 7, I didn’t eat any gluten, even though I was off of the program.  I didn’t even crave it.  There were cupcakes in the break room at work and I didn’t even look twice.  A week ago I would have fought off a wild boar to get a hold of a cupcake.  But now, I didn’t want one at all.

I won’t lie, a detox did not completely cure my struggle with gluten, but it certainly helped.  I did gain a couple of pounds back, but 5 of the 8 have never come back on.  I’m eating way more fruits and veggies instead of bread and haven’t turned back to any meat or dairy either.

The program isn’t the cheapest out there – I paid around $99 with shipping because I found a coupon code online, but it’s also a lot less expensive than some of the cleanses that cost $85/day.  But it definitely worked and it was easy to do.  No having to make your own juice! I felt much better after my detox week and would recommend a gluten free detox to anyone struggling with Celiac or weight loss.

Now, if only I could master that 8 minute mile!

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It’s enough to drive you batty: A guy will grab his gut, announce it’s got to go, and—presto!—a month later, he’s a slim Jim. What is it about a man’s approach that’s so successful? We found out! Steal their strategies and you’ll get firm in a flash, too. Watch out, boys!

Have a one-track mind

Whether it’s for sex, sports or slimming, men tend to have laserlike focus. “They’re wired to concentrate on a single thing, whereas the female brain evolved to approach tasks from a wide perspective,” says Helen Fisher, Ph.D., a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University at New Brunswick, New Jersey. So a guy might decide to cut out beer or run sprints—that’s his big plan. Most women, however, try to multitask, vowing to nix dessert, go vegan, ban soda, halve portions, hit the gym at dawn…. No wonder we fail; it’s a chore reading that list! Instead, pick your worst diet habit (bingeing on bread?) and a challenging fitness goal (regular Spin classes?) and attack only those for four weeks. Already seems doable, right?

Act oblivious

It’s no shocker: Men worry less than we do about what random Joe Schmoes think of their body (aka social physique anxiety). You can’t simply decide to adopt a dude’s lack of self-consciousness, but flattering workout clothes can nudge your confidence enough that—like the XYs—you’re able to focus more on you: taking the class, lifting the weights or playing the sport that will get you fit.

Grunt, groan and sweat

Those Neanderthal noises you hear from the guy one treadmill over? They signal intensity, and he’s on to something: You burn more fat and tone muscles in less time with gasp-inducing cardio intervals—short, go-all-out stints interspersed with stretches at a slower pace—than with a steady-as-she-goes approach. Researchers at McMaster University noted that cyclists who did 15 minutes of interval training three times a week were as fit as those who biked at a moderate speed for an hour five days a week. Imagine how trim you’d be doing 30 minutes of intervals! See for yourself: Pepper your cardio with 30-second sprints, or sign up at Self.com/goal for access to fun plans. How do you know you’re pushing full-throttle? If you can talk, you’re not going hard enough; if you’re grunting, you’re there!

Feed your ego

We are just as competitive as guys, but our ego isn’t as tied to how fast we run or what we bench-press. Maybe it should be! Ego is a powerful motivator. The next time you have an amazing workout, brag—even if to yourself. Or work out with a superfit friend and don’t let her out-exercise you.

Ditch the dinner drama

A guy sees pizza and thinks, Yum, pizza for dinner. We think, Uh-oh, pizza is my weakness, or, Ah, pizza will make me feel better, says Heidi Skolnik, former team nutritionist for the New York Giants. One study found that women binge eat more than men do. And when emotions, not your stomach or brain, drive choices, it’s a diet disaster. Treat food as fuel. Take bites because you’re hungry or need energy, not because of stress or boredom. Think about what your choices will do for your health and let yourself indulge occasionally, holding the guilt. (Pizza? Yum! Period.)

Pump iron

Start thinking of your gym’s weight room as the lose-weight room. Strength training, which only about 17 percent of women do, revs metabolism, torches calories and sculpts sexy muscles. It’s so effective, in fact, that you should put cardio on the back burner and make strength training 60 percent of your routine—no joke, says Holly Perkins, an ExerciseTV trainer in Los Angeles. Another dude to-do: Spend less time on machines and embrace free weights, especially barbells, which work more muscles. (Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to use them on the next page.) Remember that the muscle you’re gaining weighs more than the fat you’re losing; you may not drop pounds, but you’ll be smaller and firmer. You’ll also—yes, there’s more!—get a hit of self-esteem. Strength training increases body satisfaction, a study from the University of Houston reports.

Don’t (over)think—do

Remember Rocky? The Italian Stallion didn’t worry about when or where he’d train or whether he’d win; he began boxing sides of beef. “Most men throw themselves into an exercise program without much planning; most women ask a lot of questions and overthink things, which can create excuses and lead you to put off starting,” says Tracie Rogers, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Arizona School of Health Sciences. Skip right to the action—and results! Why not lace up and go for a quick jog right now? Curious about CrossFit? Sign up for a class right now, and pay so you can’t talk your way out of it later. Your new mantra: Here today, pounds gone tomorrow!

Eat real food

Guys don’t usually munch on things like 100-calorie snack packs; research shows men are less likely to eat goods labeled diet or low-cal. And that’s fine because you get more nutrients and avoid sneaky saturated fat by fueling up on whole foods, which are also more psychologically filling, Skolnik says. Hungry? Reach for snacks such as nuts, turkey, cheese sticks, fruit and vegetables.

Care about your stats

Like us, a guy might use a celebrity’s ripped body as motivation to get to the gym. But what men tend to do, which many women don’t, is supplement their look-better goals with performance-based ones, Perkins says. In other words, although Roger Federer’s physique may be a long-term target, a guy will also set out to do 10 more squats than last week. Approaching a workout this way—naming specific performance goals rather than seeing your session only as a means to a tighter rear end—makes you more successful, says Mark Anshel, Ph.D., a professor of health and human performance at Middle Tennessee State University. Why? You are engaged and have something achievable to strive for during each workout. And because goals constantly change, you get to revel in mini-successes over and over, versus waiting and waiting for the scale to budge. These benchmarks also push you to try harder in the moment, which translates to a harder body later. “When I move a woman’s mind-set away from the scale and challenge her to drop a minute from her mile time, she trains better,” says Pete McCall, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise. Put it into practice: Set a new goal before every workout, whether it’s raising the treadmill incline or knocking out an extra set. Outside the gym, find activities you’re passionate about mastering, like yoga. (Tomorrow, ace Crow pose!) This tactic can even work for your diet. Each A.M., choose an eating goal (an extra serving of veggies, water instead of soda), then make it happen.

Be a bit studly

Whether they are driven by ego or healthy self-esteem, guys believe they’re doing great and rarely doubt their ability to succeed, even in the face of setbacks, says Robert Pennino, president of Terrier Tri coaching in New York City. “My female athletes become distraught or beat themselves up if they don’t notice results right away.” Ban that thinking! Keep telling yourself that not every day will be a winner but that you will win at weight loss. A chocolate overdose or skipped jog doesn’t mean failure—your next meal or sweat session is another chance to keep at it. We promise you’ll love your results at the finish line!

Good luck, healthy girl!

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The Los Angeles chef Chloe Coscarelli is best known for winning the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” with her dairy- and egg-free cupcake recipes. But Ms. Coscarelli, a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, also has a passion for vegan savory foods, particularly at Thanksgiving.

“I have served an all-vegan Thanksgiving to the most die-hard carnivores and no one misses the meat,” she says. “You don’t need animal products to capture the spirit and savory flavors of Thanksgiving on your table. I personally think that a vegan Thanksgiving is more exciting than a regular one — there’s always something new and it’s not just the same old spread. The plates are pretty darn clean when we get up from the table.”

Ms. Coscarelli, whose recipes can be found at ChefChloe.com, has offered two favorite savory dishes and one dessert for the Eat Well Vegetarian Thanksgiving series. Here are her recipes for portobello mushrooms with a lentil-cashew stuffing, maple-roasted brussels sprouts with hazelnuts and a vegan chocolate-pumpkin bread pudding.

Chloe Coscarelli’s
Harvest-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

This hearty Thanksgiving entree is made of savory lentil cashew stuffing baked in juicy portobello mushrooms infused with aromatic herbs. It’s topped off with a sliver of sweet tomato and fresh thyme leaves. This dish is packed with protein and fiber and will hold its own on the Thanksgiving table.

1 large yellow onion, small dice
1 cup cashews
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cooked brown rice (or grain of choice)
1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves plus extra for garnish
6 portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
1 tomato, sliced in thin rounds
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In large skillet, sauté the onions and cashews with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until onions are soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes.

3. In a large bowl combine onion mixture, brown rice, lentils, breadcrumbs, vegetable broth, basil and thyme. Mix together and season to taste with salt and pepper. (The stuffing can be made up to three days in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator.)

4. Brush both sides of mushroom caps lightly with olive oil and place top-side down on an oiled sheet pan. Stuff mushrooms with about 1/2 cup lentil cashew stuffing, then press one tomato slice on top of the stuffing. (The mushrooms can be stuffed and assembled on a baking tray the day before you plan to bake and serve them.)

5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the stuffing is browned and the mushroom begins releasing juices. Garnish with extra fresh thyme leaves.

Yield: Serves 6.

Chloe Coscarelli’s
Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Toasted Hazelnuts

The brussels sprouts are roasted at a high heat to bring out the natural sugars and caramelize the edges, then tossed with toasty hazelnuts and a kick of maple syrup.

1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon (or 10 grinds) black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. To prepare the brussels sprouts, remove any yellow or brown outer leaves, cut off the stems and cut in half.

3. In a large bowl, toss the brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt and pepper together. Once all of the brussels sprouts are coated in oil, spread them into a 9-by-13-inch (or larger) baking dish or sheet tray to roast. Note: You may want to line your sheet tray with foil for easy cleanup because the caramelizing process leaves a sticky residue.

4. After 15 minutes, stir the brussels sprouts with a spatula or large spoon to even out the browning. After 30 minutes, stir in the maple syrup. (Steps 1 through 4 can be done a day in advance; store covered in the refrigerator. Continue with Steps 5 and 6 right before serving.)

5. Continue to roast the brussels sprouts for about 15 more minutes, or until they are fork tender (about 45 minutes total roasting time).

6. Toss the roasted brussels sprouts with the hazelnuts and devour!

Yield: Serves 6.

Chloe Coscarelli’s
Chocolate-Pumpkin Bread Pudding

This warm pumpkin bread pudding has a dash of spice and is studded with chocolate chips. It’s a rich and creamy dessert that’s free of dairy and eggs but will leave everyone feeling indulged.

1 cup coconut milk
1 can organic pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar (can use maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
10 cups cubed day-old bread of your choice (about 10 to 12 slices of sandwich bread, depending on the thickness of slices)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Guittard and Ghirardelli are among those that are nondairy)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 14 4-ounce ramekins (single-serving ceramic dishes) or a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking dish.

2. In a blender, process coconut milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt and spices until smooth. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the pumpkin mixture and chocolate chips until each bread cube is coated.

3. If using ramekins: Evenly sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar into the bottom of each greased ramekin. Fill each ramekin to the top with the mixture and lightly press it down with the back of a spoon. If using a 9-by-13 baking dish: Fill the baking dish with the mixture and lightly press it down with the back of a spoon. Evenly sprinkle about 2 tablespoons brown sugar over the top of the bread pudding. The brown sugar will help the pudding to caramelize on the edges. (Steps 1 through 3 can be done up to three days in advance; store covered in the refrigerator.)

4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until top is lightly browned. If using ramekins: Let the pudding cool a few minutes, then carve around the edges with a knife to loosen and unmold. Garnish with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm. If using a 9-by-13 baking dish: Let the pudding cool a few minutes before serving. Cut into portions, then garnish with powdered sugar if desired and serve warm. The pudding can be baked right before serving or earlier that day and then reheated for 8 to 10 more minutes right before serving.

Yield: Serves 14.

Good luck, healthy girl!

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Fake nails are a bitch to remove.  So are the five pounds you put on multi-tasking the buffet at your BFF’s Jersey Shore party.

But before you hit the gym this week, we want you to think about food again. Food that doesn’t come in a neon-colored wrapper. Why? Because eating the right foods before and after a sweat session can make all the difference Snooki.

No matter if you are vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, your body requires the correct amount and balance of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) for optimum performance. What most people don’t realize is that not eating enough calories, or the right foods for the type and intensity of workout, can be detrimental. In fact, the body will start to break down its own fat, followed by muscle. Talk about being counterproductive.

So What Should You Eat?

There is much confusion over how much protein an individual needs, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. In the U.S., the average adult gets about 15 percent of their calories from protein. But all proteins are not alike. Vegetable sources of protein such as beans, nuts and whole grains do not contain all the essential amino acids needed to build new proteins, so it’s essential for vegans to eat a wide variety of food sources including:shake

  • Legumes
  • Soy
  • Quinoa
  • Almond butter
  • Hemp protein powder (makes a yummy shake)
  • Rice protein powder (good in smoothies)

Protein Is Not The Whole Story

According to Lisa Austin, elite trainer at The Pinnacle, a unique desert wellness retreat focusing on personalized fitness and nutrition plans, both the timing and the type of food consumed can impact the benefits of exercise. Here’s Lisa’s Pre- and Post- Workout Food Guide:


Glucose, the main type of sugar in the blood created by the breakdown of carbohydrates, is the preferred energy source for most exercise. So a good pre-workout meal should include foods that are high in carbohydrates. We’re not talking highly processed carbs, but nutrient-dense complex carbs. So if you only have about 15 minutes before hitting the gym, the best bet would be a high glycemic carbohydrate such as a brown rice cake, paired with an easily digestible source of protein like a slice of soy cheese.

On the other hand, if you have a few hours before working out, and want to make sure you’ll have enough energy to make it through all the Asanas, a combo of protein, carbs and fat will do the trick.  Some ideas include:

  • A handful of walnuts, a pear and a glass of almond milk
  • 20 grams of hemp protein mixed with 10 oz of orange juice
  • Almond or favorite nut butter with apple or grapes
  • Nut and seed mix with coconut shred and dried fruit
  • Kale salad with avocado and green peas


The best time to replace and replenish your energy stores is within 30-45 minutes after ending your workout. Ideally, your post-workout snack should come from a high glycemic starch coupled with a protein like:

•    A yam and some quinoa
•    Butternut squash soup with roasted brussels sprouts and pecans
•    Roasted parsnips with black beans
•    Spinach and arugula salad with sweet potato and alfalfa sprouts
•    Any legume fits the bill since legumes contain both protein and carbohydrate

The key to healthy eating while working out is to focus on consuming a wide range of plant-based foods, grains, nuts and legumes.

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Nectarine Sorbet
Note from Sara Kate: The only tricks to sorbet are that you need to make a simple syrup to sweeten it (straight sugar won’t have a good texture) and the mixture needs a dash of alcohol to inhibit the freezing process, otherwise your sorbet will be a brick. I like a little brightness, hence the lemon juice. This is a really easy formula, so experiment. It will work with any fruit — just be sure to taste the mixture for sweetness. Some fruit needs less sugar, and less acid. In some cases (melon, for example) I prefer the acid to come from lime.

Makes: One quart

What to Buy:
3/4 cup sugar (evaporated cane juice)
1 cup water
2 pounds (about 4 large) nectarines, skinned, pitted
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons rum

How to Make It:
Prepare an ice bath. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium and cook until the sugar has completely dissolved, or 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the syrup to a small metal mixing bowl set over an ice bath. Stir occasionally until cooled to room temperature.
Slice the nectarines into chunks and place in a food processor with the syrup, lemon juice and rum. Process until smooth.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Good luck, healthy girl!

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The traditional Thanksgiving table is filled with comfort foods like cheesy casseroles, creamy potatoes and marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes. But cookbook authors Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough offer a new spin on traditional comfort foods by packing them with fall vegetables.

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

“Our goal lately is more vegetables in every spoonful,” says Mr. Scarbrough, whose latest book with Mr. Weinstein is “Real Food Has Curves: How to Get Off Processed Food, Lose Weight and Love What You Eat.’’

Although the duo isn’t planning to go vegetarian this Thanksgiving, they do want to amp up the vegetables in the side dishes they serve. “I would prefer my plate not be a huge slab of turkey and a tablespoon of this and that around it,” said Mr. Scarbrough. “I’d rather it be the other way around. People get more creative at Thanksgiving, and that’s the stuff that I want to eat.”

For the Eat Well Vegetarian Thanksgiving series, Mr. Weinstein and Mr. Scarbrough have offered four of their favorite comfort foods from three of their cookbooks. Included are recipes for crisp zucchini cakes, a veggie-laden skillet macaroni, a garden vegetable gratin and a winter squash pizza that Mr. Scarbrough suggests be served as a pre-meal snack.

“I think kids would be thrilled to have pizza show up at a Thanksgiving table,” Mr. Scarbrough notes. “And in my house, we tend to eat at 2 or 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and there’s always the need to for a snack from about 11 to noon. It would be nice to have this out, cut into little squares in the hours before the meal.”

Zucchini Cakes (Adapted from “Real Food Has Curves”)

These savory patties are delicious on their own or with a little mustard slathered on the side. They are also a great after-Thanksgiving leftover, re-crisped in the oven and served for breakfast or in whole-wheat pita pockets for lunch.

4 medium zucchini
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 small yellow onion, peeled
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta
5 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 large egg, beaten with a fork in a small bowl
1/2 teaspoon mild paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Trim the ends off the zucchini, then shred them into a colander, using the large holes of a box grater. (You’ll need about 4 cups shredded zucchini.)

2. Sprinkle the zucchini shreds with salt, toss well and set in the sink for 15 minutes to drain.

3. Rinse the zucchini shreds under cool water in the colander. Then pick up handfuls and squeeze them over the sink to get rid of almost all of the moisture. Set the shreds in a large bowl.

4. Grate the onion into the bowl using the large holes of the box grater.

5. Stir in the ricotta, whole wheat flour, egg, paprika, dill and pepper, just until the mixture is uniform and there are no streaks of dry flour anywhere.

6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Swirl in the oil, then use a 1/2-cup measuring cup to scoop up the zucchini mixture and plop it into the skillet, scraping out any mixture left in the cup. Flatten the mixture into a thick cake with the bottom of the cup and continue making more.

7. Cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes, then turn them with a large spatula and continue cooking until lightly browned on the other side and a little firm to the touch, about 4 more minutes. If you can’t fit all six into your skillet, you’ll need a little more oil for the second batch.

Yield: Serves 6.

Skillet Macaroni and Broccoli and Mushrooms and Cheese (Adapted from “Real Food Has Curves”)

This skillet-supper version of the classic is quicker and easier to make. This hearty comfort food easily functions as the main dish for vegetarians.

4 ounces grated Cheddar
2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
6 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3 cups low-fat or fat-free milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced tarragon leaves or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces dried, whole wheat pasta shells (not the large ones for stuffing), cooked and drained according to the package instructions
4 cups small broccoli florets, cooked in boiling water for 1 minute (broccoli can be added to the pasta during the last minute of cooking, then drained with the pasta in a colander)

1. Mix the Cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a large, high-sided, oven-safe skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid and it comes to a simmer, and then reduces by about two-thirds, about 5 minutes.

4. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables in the skillet. Stir well to coat.

5. Whisk in the milk in a steady, thin stream until creamy. Then whisk in the mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper. Continue whisking until the mixture starts to bubble and the liquid thickens, about 3 minutes.

6. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in three-quarters of the mixed cheeses until smooth. Then stir in the cooked pasta and broccoli.

7. Preheat the broiler after setting the rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source. Meanwhile, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the ingredients in the skillet. Set the skillet on the rack and broil until light browned and bubbling, about 5 minutes. (If your skillet has a plastic or wooden handle, make sure it sticks outside the oven, out from under the broiler, so the handle doesn’t melt.) Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before dishing up.

Yield: Makes 6 side-dish servings.

Garden Vegetable Gratin (Adapted from “Cooking Know-How”)

A layered potato casserole, a gratin is a French dish (pronounced grah-TAN) named for both the technique and the dish it’s baked in: a fairly shallow, oval, oven-safe baking dish. Nonetheless, you can make it in a standard, 9 x 13-inch baking dish, more in keeping with standard American cookware. Here’s a perfect version for your holiday table: a side dish that just may even conquer the main course!

3 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces shallots, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons stemmed thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated or ground mace
3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup low-fat or fat-free cream

1. Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. Place the slices in a bowl, cover with cool water and set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

3. Add the shallots, carrot, zucchini and peas. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.

4. Add the garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and mace. Stir well to warm through. Remove from the heat.

5. Layer the potatoes and vegetable mixture in a 10-cup au gratin or 9 x 13-inch baking dish by first blotting some potato slices on a paper towel, then layering them across the bottom of the dish. Add some of the vegetable mixture, spread it over the slices, then blot dry more slices and add them as another layer. Keep layering the casserole, like a lasagna, ending with a layer of potato slices.

6. Whisk the broth and cream in a large bowl. Pour it over the contents of the baking dish.

7. Bake, uncovered, basting occasionally, until golden and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 hours.

Yield: Makes about 8 side-dish servings.

Winter Squash, Onion and Pine Nut Pizza (Adapted from “Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It!”)

This flavorful autumnal pie uses winter squash purée as the pizza topping; the purée is spread like a sauce on the crust. You can find puréed winter squash (sometimes labeled as “puréed acorn squash” or “puréed butternut squash”) in the freezer section of most markets — thaw according to the package instructions before using.

Yellow cornmeal to dust the pizza stone (or nonstick spray to grease the baking sheet)
1 pound fresh dough (from a pizza shop) or a frozen dough, thawed; or pre-baked pizza crust
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, halved through the stem, then thinly sliced
3/4 cup frozen winter squash purée, thawed
2 teaspoons minced sage leaves or 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, or Grana Padano, or Pecorino, finely grated
1 tablespoon pine nuts

1. Preheat pizza stone or oven. If using a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 45 minutes; if using a pizza tray or a large baking sheet, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Prepare the crust. If you’re using fresh dough on a pizza stone, dust a pizza peel lightly with cornmeal. Add the dough and form it into a large circle by dimpling it with your fingertips. Pick it up and shape it by slowly turning it by its edge, stretching that edge all the while, until the circle is about 14 inches in diameter. Set it cornmeal side down on the peel.

To use fresh dough on a pizza tray or a large baking sheet, grease the tray or baking sheet lightly with nonstick spray. Lay the dough on the baking sheet and dimple it with your fingertips — then pull and press it until it forms a circle about 14 inches in diameter on the pizza tray or a 12 x 7-inch, somewhat irregular rectangle on the baking sheet. If you’re using a pre-baked crust, place it on a cornmeal-dusted pizza peel or on a greased pizza tray or a large baking sheet.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then swirl in the oil. Add the onion slices, reduce the heat to very low, and cook, stirring often, until soft, golden and very sweet, 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, stir the squash purée, sage, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until uniform. Spread this mixture evenly over the prepared crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border at its edge.

5. Top with the caramelized onions, then sprinkle the finely grated cheese and pine nuts over the pie. Slide the pizza from the peel to the very hot stone, or place the pie on its tray or baking sheet with the pie either in the oven or on the section of the grill grate that’s not right over the heat source.

6. Bake or grill with the lid closed until the crust is golden and somewhat firm to the touch, perhaps even a little darkened on its bottom, 16 to 18 minutes. Check fresh dough occasionally to prick any air bubbles that may arise so you’ll have an even crust on the pie. Slip the peel back under the pie to get it off the stone, or set the pie on its tray or baking sheet with its pie on a wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes before slicing. If you want to make sure the crust stays crunchy, consider transferring the pie directly to the wire rack after a minute or so.

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