Y’all know I love to give you the scoop on the incredible foods nature has to offer us, and I’ll continue to do so, but I think I’ll start finding other sources of evidence besides articles on the web.
Over the weekend, I went to a screening of a documentary called “Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days,” and to say was good is the understatement of the millennium! For the film, they found 5 subjects with Type 2 diabetes and 1 subject with Type 1.
All of the subjects met with a Dr. Cousens who introduced them to the raw food lifestyle and had them eat only raw for 30 days. As I’m sure you know, it wasn’t an easy thing to do because of all the sugar we Americans have in our diets: the average American consumes approximately 150 pounds of sugar per year!
One man’s story really made me want to break down in tears. Kirt was a 26-year-old African American man from Baltimore, Maryland. He shared a story about how one time he went to the emergency room and the doctors told him his blood sugar level was at 1200; the normal range for blood sugar is between 80-100!!
Kirt impressed me further when he adhered the most to the diet – he gave those 30 days 110% because he knew that that was what was required if he truly wanted to cure his diabetes.
On day one of the program, his blood sugar was about 346 and he was taking 4 to 6 insulin shots a day. By day 30, not only was he able to STOP his insulin, his blood sugar was down to 73! At the end of the movie, Kirt went to his doctor to get the results of some blood work and he was surprised to find that his doctor had reread his file and was going to rediagnose him as a type 1 diabetic and had plans to give him an insulin pump! I’m sure you all know that people with type 1 diabetes produce very little or no insulin – but after a strict 30-day diet of raw foods, his body was totally healed and started making its own insulin!
My moral of the story is, although many doctors mean well, they are definitely undereducated about the power of the food we have available to us. Granted, they take the Hippocratic Oath upon graduating from medical school, but the better musing from Hippocrates is “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.”
When I was a kid, my mother would make flounder and white rice for me. Unfortunately, I was an extremely picky eater back then and I’d refuse to try other kinds of seafood.
Now that I’m older, my desire to experiment has grown exponentially and I want to share with you one of my favorite recipes: Seared Scallops with Herb-Butter Sauce. I’ve tweaked the recipe slightly; you can find the original recipe here.
For the scallops, you’ll need:
1 lb of dry, large sea scallops
1 Tbsp Smart Balance with Omega-3
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil
Fresh ground black pepper
For the sauce, you’ll need:
3 Tbsps Smart Balance with Omega-3
1 medium shallot, diced
¼ cup of herbs (I like chives, rosemary and parsley)
¼ cup of your favorite liqueur (I like Kahlúa)
¼ cup lime zest
Fresh ground black pepper
Quick tip: Chop your herbs and the shallot for the sauce before you start cooking the scallops.
Cooking directions (scallops):
Rinse scallops in cold water then pat dry with paper towels
Warm a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes
Add oil and Smart Balance to the pan → to test if the mixture is hot enough, run your fingers under some cold water then splash it into the oil and Smart Balance. When it’s hot enough, the cold water will instantly boil off
Pat scallops dry once more before placing them in the pan (spread them around the pan for best cooking results)
Season each scallop with your choice of spices and place in the pan to sear
Let each scallop cook for 2 to 4 minutes until nicely browned (you’ll know it’s ready when it’s mostly firm to the touch)
Flip with tongs and repeat searing on the other side
Transfer the scallops to a warm plate (turn the burner down to medium and let the pan cool for about 45 seconds before starting the sauce
Cooking directions (herb-butter sauce):
Melt 1 Tbsp of Smart Balance in the pan
Add shallots to the pan and sautee for 1-2 minutes
Pour Kahlúa and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes or until it reduces by ½
Mix in herbs and lime zest and reduce heat to low
Add the other 2 Tbsps of Smart Balance to mixture and whisk briskly until it melts completely
Return scallops to the pan and roll them in sauce until warmed through
Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
Every so often, I like to take a day off and unwind from the crazy journey we know as life. When I do, that’s typically when I see a sign that the passion I have for helping women learn to love their bodies and feed it right is what I need to be doing.
Yesterday, I was lounging around my apartment because we were having our umpteenth snow fall of the season and I tuned into Bethenny. One of her guests for the day was an AMAZING woman named Torrie who lost 148 pounds in 3 years. Torrie is amazing because she did it the right way: she healthified her favorite foods so she’d never have to deprive herself of anything.
I found this recipe a while back and it’s an incredible way I can keep one of my “guilty pleasure” – Alfredo sauce – in my culinary repertoire. Another great thing about this recipe is that it uses Greek yogurt so I get a nice dose of protein and keep my immune system in tip top shape!
- 4oz plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup Silk soy milk
- 2Tbsp Smart Balance
- 2Tbsp flour
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- Warm a saucepan on medium heat
- Melt the Smart Balance
- Add your flour to create a paste
- Stir in garlic powder, black pepper, yogurt and milk
- Keep cooking on medium heat until the sauce thickens
- Add Parmesan cheese and stil until melted
- Pour over your favorite bowl of pasta and enjoy!
Finally, some no-guilt brownies 🙂
A few weeks ago I wrote about how Greek yogurt is a fantastic substitute for other cooking fats like oils, lard, and so on.
I’ve been a chocoholic for as long as I can remember and I haven’t had brownies in a very long time because of the oil content. I decided to test how well Greek yogurt and I think I may have opened a portal to heaven!
I used the following ingredients for my brownies:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1⅓ cups Vanilla Greek yogurt (I used low fat)
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- ¾ cup pecans
- Combine all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, pecans),
- Blend all the wet ingredients – vanilla extract, Greek yogurt, chocolate chips (melt for 30s in a microwave safe bowl or in a small pot),
- Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients slowly (I did it a little too quickly and had one heck of a mess to clean up!),
- After you’ve combined the wet and dry ingredients, pour the batter into a pan (8x8x2 lined with parchment paper and slightly covered in olive oil to help keep the brownies from sticking),
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean,
- Let the brownies cool for about 15 minutes, and enjoy!
I loved it when I would be in the kitchen with my Mom early on Sunday mornings to her make a big breakfast that could have two or three days-worth of leftovers. While I’m sure you can create pancake batter from scratch (which is something I think I might try someday 🙂 ), I like to use Log Cabin’s ready-to-mix dry batter. I prefer this brand because they use simple ingredients and never have more than 10 ingredients (including NO PRESERVATIVES!!) in their mixes.
As I mentioned in my post about French toast, we can use the carbohydrate content in our foods to our advantage given you want to educate yourself about the different kinds of carbohydrates and your willingness to experiment with them.
Here’s my basic pancake recipe I use regularly that is under 400 calories (which includes ¼ cup of syrup!) and keeps me full for about 3 hours.
- 1 cup of Log Cabin pancake mix
- 1 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp of cinnamon & 2 tsp of ginger
- 1 egg
- Combine pancake mix, egg, oil, ginger and cinnamon in a bowl
- Warm medium sized pan and spray with non-stick cooking spray (to prevent the pancakes from sticking, let the cooking spray warm up with the pan until it turns clear)
- Spritz a small of water into the pan to make sure it’s evenly heated (the water droplets should boil instantly)
- Pour pancake mix and cook on medium heat
A few weeks ago, I was watching Dr. Oz and he was discussing how Greek yogurt is the best kind of yogurt you can include in your diet. It’s got a taste and texture that will take a while to get used to, but once you do, you’ll never want to eat any other kind of yogurt!
Towards the end of the show, Dr. Oz had a guest explain how she substituted oils and fats in her favorite foods to make it healthier and much more flavorful. She had recipes for some of my favorite indulgences like chicken alfredo and brownies.
A special thank you to Allyson for the neat conversion chart!
I can’t wait to try this in some of my favorite recipes!
A couple of weeks ago I tuned into Bethenny and I was intrigued by her “Diet Debate” segment. She had invited Dolvett Quince from The Biggest Loser to talk about his program, the 3-1-2-1 Diet.
3-1-2-1 is a nice twist on the principle that any changes you make to the way you eat shouldn’t be temporary – 3-1-2-1 adds up to seven (it took me a few minutes to figure that out because I missed the beginning of the segment where he explained the title 🙂 ), but I digress.
Dolvett’s new method reveals how we can eat and cheat our way to lose excess weight (10 pounds in 3 weeks!). It’s a simple principle of body confusion when we reduce our caloric intake. As we all know, the first few weeks of a new diet are fantastic because we are dedicated and we’re seeing results quickly. After a few months, the exasperating plateaus start to kick in and make most of us give up.
This diet is amazing because it borrows from the principle workout rule: you have to constantly change up how you work out to keep seeing results. Our metabolisms are the same way. When we eat the same things over and over and over again, our bodies get used to breaking down those foods and go out of whack when we give ourselves a break and indulge. Dolvett recommends that you eat the “clean” foods like greens, lean meats, or legumes and indulge for:3 days (clean), 1 day (indulge), 2 days (clean), 1 day (indulge). At the beginning Dolvett stresses the importance of counting all of your calories.
Bethenny instantly challenged him by saying that the constant counting will drive a person insane and that we need to escape from that prison. However, when Dolvett agreed that the constant counting is infuriating and explained that the emphasis on counting was just a tool to help you build a solid foundation of what good calories and dense calories are, Bethenny lit up with excitement. Good calories include lean chicken breasts, fish, veggies, egg whites, and so on. Dense calories simply refers to eating foods like spinach because you can eat 2 cups of spinach and use less than 100 of your allotted calories for the day and spinach is packed with vitamins and antioxidants and minerals that will make you healthier long after you finish your meal.
I wholeheartedly agree with Dolvett’s assertion that calorie counting is a great foundation builder, but I’d also add that you should find an accountability partner that you can talk to. This partner can call you out (lovingly!) when the tool is becoming an obsession.
I should point out that Dolvett also included a workout routine to compliment his diet advice, but I didn’t really care for the exercises he recommends.