Summer is upon us and the hot, humid days are dictating the way we dress. My guess is that until September you will mostly be opting for simpler and lighter pieces instead of putting on layers of sweaters and coats. Because my approach to food is through fashion, I would like to propose that we: EAT THE WAY WE DRESS!
When the heat index is high, focus on simpler, lighter meals that cool down your body. Choose options with fewer ingredients and try to eat foods in their natural, unprocessed state.
After all, if you don't want to wear heavy clothes because your body will sweat outside, why would you want to eat heavy meals that will heat up your body inside?
SUMMER EATING IDEAS:
Breakfast: During the summer I like to indulge in tropical fruits such as jackfruit, lychees and champagne mangoes. Enjoy an assortment of your favorite cooling fruits, create decadent smoothies or try cold coconut yogurts.
Fabulous Eating Tip: Fruit is best when eaten alone. Melons should always be eaten by themselves and not combined with anything, for proper digestion.
Lunch/Dinner: Treat yourself to a gourmet salad with the freshest, high-quality organic ingredients. Then accessorize your meals with sprouts or sea veggies such as dulse or kelp to boost your mineral intake and add flavor. Just like you create your own original fashion style, create your own delicious masterpiece with each meal! For recipes, sign up for my newsletter by clicking here.
Snacks: Keep your cool by snacking on juicy fruits, sorbets or iced smoothies.
Drinks: To stay hydrated, sip on young coconut water. Because 1 cup of this delicious drink has the potassium of 1.5 bananas, it can keep bloating away and help you achieve the a slender beach body!
Fabulous Eating Tip: Buy local produce that's in season and you will save extra money and support local economy.
SUMMER SPECIAL OFFER
Create your own Fabulous Food Style and sculpt your body slim by learning how to make decadent dishes with my Designer Raw Food Classes! All dishes are tailored to your needs and can include favorites such as:
Let Yourself Blossom With Fabulous Food!
I know how busy you are and this is why I encourage you to go for the ultimate fast food - Fruit! It is easy to grab-and-go, it is on the budget and unlike processed foods, fruit actually has amazing side effects like longevity, optimum weight, abundant energy and balance.
Fruits are filled with fiber and liver stimulants, which act as natural, gentle laxatives. Whenever possible, buy fresh, locally grown fruit as opposed to imported fruits shipped from far-off places. This keeps you eating in season, and more in harmony with your environment and climate.
Eating raw fruit in summer months is highly cooling. Frozen, whole, puréed or juiced fruit can make great summertime cool-down treats. Try frozen grapes, banana-coconut smoothie popsicles or lime juice ice-cubes in iced tea!
Here are a few summer fruits and their health benefits:
BANANA ICE CREAM
3-4 Frozen Bananas (peel them before you freeze them)
Blend bananas in a Vitamix blender (other blenders may not be able handle frozen bananas), using the plunger to move them around.
You will see the color change to white and the texture become just like soft-serve ice cream Put in your favorite glass and enjoy!
PS. I am happy to offer FREE shipping on Vitamix Blenders. To take advantage of this offer, use this link: Vitamix.com
If you love pancakes but don't have time to make healthy ones yourself, skip the IHOP and hop on to WholeSomeMeal.com. The walnut pancakes are absolutely delicious - boasting only 326 calories for 3 delicious pieces AND a berry sauce. They also have over 20 grams of protein and loads of healthy carbs and fats, making them not only decadent in flavor, but good-for-you as well.
I must say they are not vegan, as they are created with organic farm-fresh eggs (You can visit the farm yourself -- check out MarandoFarms.com and you will see how well chickens are treated as they roam around) and they have non-gmo, organic whey protein. So, if you are up for a perfect breakfast treat that costs less than chain restaurants, then check out chef Elisa's treats. And for my vegan friends, she does some great vegan snacks as well -- delish!
To buy the pancakes, visit MarandoFarms.com. They are open 6-days a week and this gem of a farmers market is quickly becoming my favorite. After all, if you want to look fabulous, you gotta eat fabulous food!
I know what it feels like when vendors or guests bring you delicious food that you know you shouldn't be eating. The smell of cookies, brownies, chips and other treats seem to call your name, especially around 3pm. I used to think: "Well, it's right there. I need a pick-me-up and this food is free. I might as well have a bite." And then one bite would lead up to 100 bites. With that in mind, I created 5 tips on how to avoid jeopardizing your waist line without feeling deprived. No willpower needed.
1. The FREE-GIFT-WITH-PURCHASE Trick
When you go to a department store and they offer you a FREE gift with purchase that you really don't need, do you still give in just because you don't have to pay for something? In the end, there is a price we pay for everything and when it comes to free fattening food, what you are really getting as a free bonus is high risk of discomfort, extra weight and health problems. Ask yourself if the food still looks appealing if you know what it will really cost you.
2. The BUDGET Trick
Give yourself an allowance. Just like you watch your monetary budget, do the same with food. Allocate 10% of your food to be simply for pleasure. That means 2 full meals a week or one small 150 calorie snack a day. If it is a 300-calorie cookie that you crave, then have ONE every other day. Don't jeopardize your budget and go into calorie dept when you don't have to.
3. The JOY Trick
Sometimes our cravings for free food are simply because we crave the joy of receiving a gift. We want to feel special and worthy of accepting it. In that case, why not spread that joy? Take the food and on your way from work give it to someone who doesn't have enough to eat, like the homeless, for example. They will be thrilled with the gift and you will get extra rush of serotonin (the feel-good hormone) from making someone else's day.
4. The EAT-MORE Trick
Look back at your day and remember what you ate. I know from my experience that when I am feeling satisfied with my breakfast and lunch, I don't have any desire to eat anything else even if it is free and is sitting on my desk. If sweets seem too tempting, that could mean that you didn't have enough good carbs, protein or healthy fat during the day. In that case, have a snack that is low in sugar but high in protein and good fat, such as hummus with brown-rice crackers or your favorite mixed nuts.
5. The GUILT-FREE Trick
If all fails and you find yourself reaching for the cookie, then make the best out of it. Brew a cup of tea or decaffeinated coffee. Put the dessert on a nice plate. Look at it. Take a deep breath in to feel the aroma. Take a small bite and chew it slowly, feeling every morsel. Take your time and don't rush. Let go of any guilt and truly savor the food. I believe that if you eat when hungry, eat with awareness and savor the flavor in every bite, then the food will not do the harm it would have if you inhaled it and then felt guilty about it. Remember, guilt and shame actually slow down your digestion!
When it comes to Halloween, I believe adults deserve some fun snacks that are not limited to sugar-loaded candy bars. Here are 3 of my guilt-free treats that will make your inner child smile.
1. Spooky Salmon Tea Sandwiches Recipe
To make a spider, cut black olives in halves. Take one half, slice length-wise and then cut 4-5 times across to make the legs. Assemble as shown on the picture below.edit.
2. Chocolate Apricots Recipe
3. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Parfait Recipe
HALLOWEEN CANDY ALTERNATIVES
Many clients ask me about zero-calorie sweeteners such as stevia. If you are regularly using zero-calorie sweeteners and yet you find yourself gaining weight, then it is time to reexamine some factors. Unless you can't have sugar for medical reasons, here are the top 3 reasons why I encourage real sugar.
1. Zero-calorie sweeteners can send a message that you are not good enough to have the real thing. Does this self-conversation sound familiar?
8AM: I am being good! Taking stevia, I just saved 30 calories with my coffee!
11AM: I am not drinking regular coke, and having diet instead, because regular sugar has calories and I can't have these calories
2PM: I want to lose weight so than I can look good and be loved and love myself. Hmm..does that mean I don't love myself right now?
3PM: I deserve something yummy and good. Like regular cake. I want to show myself that love that I am craving. Who cares about calories!
5PM: Now that I screwed up the day, I might as well have whatever else I want.
It is not uncommon that one can overindulge in the afternoon to release the stress that accumulated from not allowing yourself to have 30 calories of real sugar! I believe it is better to have the real thing and leave the stress behind. Tell yourself you are worth looking and feeling fabulous and you deserve to have real food.
2. Zero-calorie sweeteners can change your taste buds
Because zero-calorie sweeteners have a different flavor than real sugar, our taste buds can change the way they react to real foods. Those who are used to zero-calorie sweeteners are more likely to overeat when they are given a real sugar dessert simply because it doesn't taste sweet enough.
3. Zero-calorie sweeteners can add toxins to your body
Because our bodies are not naturally programmed to deal with zero-calorie sweeteners, they view these sugars as foreign objects. If your digestive system is working on other foods, zero-calorie sweeteners can be stored as toxins in your tissue, in order to protect your body. This in turn, can lead to extra pounds, not to mention other health issues.
SWEET TREAT IDEAS:
We only live once, so we might as well live fabulously!
With the cold, rainy autumn days upon us, many of my clients are looking for warm comfort foods. If you are looking for an easy, healthy meal that is on the budget to warm up your day, then here is one of my favorite recipes. You can get all the ingredients in any grocery store.
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 Round Box of Laughing Cow Cheese (for vegans, use Nutritional Yeast)
1 Jar of Tomato Basil Marinara or Spaghetti Sauce (I prefer Amy's Organic, Low Sodium)
1 Package of Baby Bella Mushrooms (Optional)
Below are the directions for either using the oven or the microwave.
Use a microwave if you don't have more than 10 minutes to spend on making dinner. I am not a fan of microwaving, but it is better and faster than getting drive-thru takeout. If you do have more time, then use conventional oven at 350 degrees. I prefer to use the oven and while the food is cooking, I use that time to workout.
Step #1: Make a slit with knife in the squash and put the whole thing in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Carefully remove it and then cut length-wise in two halves. Scoop out the seeds and then place a wet paper towel on each half, facing up. Put back in the microwave for 6-7 minutes.
For Oven Users: Cook the whole squash for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, carefully remove (it will be very hot) then cut in two halves. Scoop out the seeds and then place a wet paper towel on each half, facing up. Bake for 45 minutes.
Step #2: While the squash is cooking, sauté mushrooms in the pan and then add tomato sauce and Laughing Cow cheese or Nutritional Yeast. Per 1 cup of squash, you will need about 1/2 cup of the sauce and 1 wedge (or 1 table spoon of Nutritional yeast).
Step #3: When the squash is cooked, scoop it out with a large metal spoon and add to the ingredients in the pan. Mix well and serve. Garnish with fresh parsley.
A few days ago I was talking to a woman who was asking me about diets (shocker, I know) and wanted to know which one I would recommend. It sounded like she was trying to find an answer that would fit her and solve her eating dilemma. This got me thinking, why do so many of us want to find one solution in diets? Let's take a closer look on how runway can help us shed some light on our diet dilemmas.
This weekend I decided to spend some time looking at the latest issue of French Glamour Magazine to find what fashion trends I want to incorporate this summer. There were so many to choose from: color blocking, white lace, soft pastels and neutrals. There were solids and prints, mini shorts and elegant maxi skirts, there were flowing, fluid fabrics and fun edgy looks. Gotta love fashion, right?
Usually one's decision on the trend will depend on their height, weight, skin tone, body type and personality. Then, one has to consider which are the best body parts to show off, what mood the person is in, what occasion to dress for, what the weather outside is like, etc. There are so many factors that influence our decisions with fashion and we often don't stick to just one look for the entire season, not to mention our entire lives. One day I may wear a white lace skirt and the next day I will be in the mood for bright solids. It depends. I think those two words are key when it comes to fashion and food.
It depends. Most of us follow our instinct when we choose what to wear, so why not do the same when it comes to food? Sure, I love to incorporate Ayurveda and Blood Type principles when deciding how to eat, but that's where flexibility and ability to mix and match comes in. For example, if you know certain looks are better suited for your body, you are most likely to stick to those principles, but still there can be flexibility in your day-to-day outfits. Same with food. If you know you have a Vata Dosha and a B Blood Type, then you know some foods will be better for you than others. Make your choices according to your bio-idviduality and then tailor them to a specific day, season, occasion, etc. Don't feel like you are obligated to have the same food day in and day out. You wouldn't with clothes, right?
I hope this blog encourages you to look at food just like you do at the runway fashion and follow your inner instinct. Listen to your body and see how different foods affect you. Just like we experiment with clothes, do the same with food. Yes, you may learn that some foods are not so good for you, but don't give yourself a hard time and don't feel guilty for indulging. After all, if you made a fashion faux-pas, would you feel like a failure and decide to make the same mistakes again? Be gentle with yourself and enjoy the process of learning about new foods!
Even though Kale is one more of the most nutritious products in the grocery store, it often has a pretty boring rep. As a Nutrition Designer, I know the benefits this dark leafy vegetable offers, and as a Parsons School of Design graduate, I show my clients how to make greens glamorous. So, to spice up this great-for-me leaf into baby-you-are-fabulous, here are a few simple tricks.
First, let's take a look at why Kale is so fabulous:
1. It has the highest ANDI score, meaning that it gives you the most nutrition for the least amount of calories. Compare it to spinach for example - Kale gets 1000 and Spinach gets 739
2. It is high in chlorophyll that helps purify your blood
3. It is anti-inflammatory and can help fight again auto-immune disorders as well as aiments that end on "itis" such as arthritis.
4. It is high in vitamin K that helps prevent blood clotting
5. It is high in calcium, helping you build stronger bones
6. It is high in antioxidants that fight free radicals and help you prevent cancer and slow down the aging process
7. It's high fiber content helps you clean our your digestive system and aids in detox.
How do we use Kale? I prefer to eat raw Kale because when you heat up your veggies vital digestive enzymes and vitamins can be destroyed. So, use your kale raw or put it into dehydrator for the maximum of 105 degrees. That way you will get 100% benefits from this superfood. Why settle for less?
Protect Your Manicure. Forget about cutting knifes, use your food processor to shred your kale! Roll up the leaves and push them down the processor to be cut with the Julienne Disk. It will take about 1 minute to get your kale shredded to perfection. I am all about easy and quick recipes.
Dress up your Kale. Think of Kale as a simple cotton t-shirt. It looks and feels great, but it is pretty boring. Use fancy accessories, a silk skirt and a fabulous pair of heels, and voila, you are ready for a party. Same with food. Dress up your kale with fun ingredients and then serve them in unexpected ways, such as Margarita glasses, Ice-cream glasses or a fine china.
And finally, here are some of my favorite recipes and a video. You can Sip Kale, Slurp or Savor it. The choice is yours!
One of the biggest challenges my clients face when they start working with me is discovering that deep inside them there is a voice that sabotages their successes. Somewhere deep inside there is a voice that keeps telling them that they are not good enough… Continue reading here.
One of my favorite Disney movies is Beauty and the Beast. Little girls from an early age are taught to look through the looks and love people for who they are. I think we all consciously try to do that. Except for one person. In my line of work I often see women who can't fall in love with themselves. Continue reading here.