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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Quinoa & Shrimp Salad; A Healthy, Lowfat & Gluten free Lunch or Dinner!

I missed you guys last week! I had company and so I took a little break from CSG!  But I am back, and today I am sharing another great recipe with you; Quinoa & Shrimp Salad!  This makes a yummy Lunch or Dinner and once again, it has the perfect combination of protein to fat to low glycemic carbs!  This recipe serves 4 people.  You will love this dish!!!
Note: If you are not a fan of shrimp, you can use Salmon or Tilapia, and flake 4 ounces of that over each plate of salad. 

Quinoa & Shrimp Salad (Serve cold)
1 pound of Baby Shrimp (wash, place in a storage container, and refrigerate)
1 cup of cooked Red Quinoa (You can find both Red & Brown Quinoa @ Trader Joe's)
1 cup of cooked Brown Quinoa
3 stalks of chopped celery
1/2 finely chopped red onion (or onion powder)
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1 large chopped Avocado
1 chopped Tomato
1/2 cup of finely chopped Cilantro
1/2 cup of sliced Cucumber (optional)
2 Tablespoons each of Lemon & Lime juice
3 Tablespoons of Olive or Flax Oil (I prefer Olive Oil for this recipe)
Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper
In a large bowl mix together; Quinoa, Celery, Onions, Avocado, Tomatoes, Cilantro & Cucumbers.  Add a generous amount of Garlic Powder, Lemon & Lime Juice, and salt & pepper.  Drizze Olive Oil over the mixture and stir.  DO NOT ADD THE BABY SHRIMP.  It is best to add 4 oz. of baby shrimp to each plate, this way you know you are getting the proper amound of protein.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes and serve.  Top off each plate with 4 ounces of chilled baby shrimp.  This is one of my favorite recipes and it's another well balanced meal, with just the right amount of healthy fat, healthy carbs and lean protein.  It's yummy and quite satisfying as well.  Enjoy this yummy salad while losing weight, and getting lean & healthy!
Until next time,
Be well :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Coconut Shrimp & Roasted Green/Yellow Beans; A Healthy Lowfat Meal!!

I've had so many requests for healthy meal ideas with weight loss in mind,  so today I am sharing a great recipe with you!!  :)  A lot of you are not used to eating low glycemic carbs, and have been wondering how to incorporate them into your diet, without having to sacrifice taste.  It's not as difficult as it may seem.  The following recipe serves 2, and makes a complete meal, with the perfect balance of protein, healthy fat and low glycemic carbs.

Coconut Shrimp (or Mahi Mahi boneless Fish fillets) w/ a side of roasted Green & Yellow beans. Serves 2.  (Green Bean preparation should be first, as the Shrimp or Mahi Mahi takes only a few minutes to make.)

Roasted Green & Yellow beans;
About 20 oz. fresh cut & cleaned green & yellow beans (which is enough to generously cover a large cookie sheet)
Fresh chopped garlic, (or garlic powder)
salt & pepper
Olive Oil
Pam Olive Oil Spray
Preheat oven to 450
Spray a cookie sheet with Pam Olive Oil spray OR line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Arrange the Green/Yellow beans on the cookie sheet and season generously with garlic, salt and pepper.  Drizzle Olive oil over the top and bake for about 25 minutes, depending on how well you like them cooked.  While the green beans are baking, start your fish preparation.

Coconut Jumbo Shrimp (or Mahi Mahi fish)
12 jumbo peeled & cleaned Shrimp, or 2- 4 oz. pieces of Mahi Mahi boneless fish fillets.  If you're using Mahi Mahi fish, I prefer to buy it from Trader Joe's; the portion size is perfect and they're not too thick, which is important when we're using so little oil to fry the fish.
1/4 cup coconut flour OR gluten free bread crumbs
3/4 cup egg beaters or egg substitute
Garlic powder and Lemon pepper.
4 teaspoons of Coconut Oil
Saturate each piece of shrimp or fish in the egg beaters, then lightly roll them in the coconut flour or gluten free bread crumbs.  Season with garlic powder & Lemon pepper.
Turn stove on medium high heat and spray a medium sized skillet w/ Pam Olive Oil spray.  Add 2 teaspoons of Coconut Oil.  Once the oil has melted, place fish in skillet and fry on one side for about 3 minutes.  When you turn them, you will need to add the other 2 teaspoons of Coconut Oil.  Cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Each plate should contain 6 shrimp or 4 ounces of Mahi Mahi, and about 10 ounces of the roasted green beans.

This meal is well balanced and geared towards weight loss, with the perfect combination of protein to fat to healthy carbs.  The fish is your protein, the Coconut Oil and Olive Oil are your healthy fats, and a 10 oz. serving of the green beans is the perfect serving size of low glycemic carbs.  This is also a prime example of using complex carbs to accent your meal; as I did with the Coconut flour, to batter the fish.

Enjoy this extra yummy meal while losing weight, & getting lean & healthy!
Until next time,
Be well :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lowfat & Healthy Dressing Recipes! Not Just For Salad Anymore!!!

As promised, I have a few Dressing/Sauce recipes for you!!  I experimented with my new find; Coconut Secrets Coconut Aminos, which is a Soy Sauce Substitute and is dairy, soy & gluten free.  If you don't have an allergy or intolerance to Soy Sauce, you can use that in place of the Coconut Aminos! This girl doesn't eat Soy anything!!  But that's your call.

You can use the following Dressing recipes over a salad or as a sauce; I like to put a Tablespoon of it over my protein, or over a side of sliced tomatoes, cucumbers or Bell Peppers! It adds tremendous flavor and for me, it prevents boredom, and we all know that boredom usually leads to failure when it comes to weight loss! Right????  

The following recipes are not my own; They are the recipes of Susana Belen, Founder of The We Care Holistic Spa, and author of the book, "Detox & Revitalize, The Holistic Guide for Renewing Your Body, Mind and Spirit." She is truly an amazing person and unbelievably creative in the kitchen.  You can order her book at http://www.wecarespa.com/ I highly recommend it!

A good quality blender is needed for these recipes!  I have a Vita-Mix Blender and to me, this is the best blender ever made. It is of commercial quality and it does amazing things!  It's an investment, but well worth it. The Magic Bullet Blender is also a good blender for making Dressings, if you're looking for something that costs a little less! (Actually a lot less)

You will lose your mind over these yummy recipes!  I'm not kidding! Soooo good!

Cilantro Dressing/Sauce
Juice from 2 Lemons
1 cup of Water
1 chopped Red Onion
2 fresh green Chile's, seeds removed
1 small bunch of Cilantro
1 pinch of Cayenne Pepper
2 cloves of garlic (or Garlic powder)
1 small bunch of Parsley
Mix in a blender until chopped coarse, and serve.



Avocado Green Dressing/Sauce
2 teaspoons of Coconut Aminos or Lite Soy Sauce
1 medium ripe Avocado
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
1 clove of Garlic (or Garlic Powder)
1 pinch of Cayenne Pepper (optional)
Mix in a blender until smooth and serve.

Lemon Garlic Dressing
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 clove Garlic (or Garlic Powder)
1 Clove
1 chopped Yellow Onion
1 tsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp. kelp
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
Mix in blender until smooth.  Refrigerate for 1 hour, and serve.

Tahini Dressing/Sauce
12 oz. Raw Tahini Sesame Butter
Juice from 3 Lemons
1/2 cup of Coconut Aminos or Lite Soy Sauce
dash of Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper, & Kelp
Mix well in blender until smooth.  Keep refrigerated.  This is yummy over Quinoa, in soups, as a salad dressing, and as a sauce served over your protein.  This dressing/sauce would count as added fat to your meal, so keep that in mind. Due to the fat content, I prefer to use this one as a sauce only, pouring 1 Tablespoon over my protein or over a side of sliced cucumbers, Tomatoes, or Bell Peppers. It's great over steamed or roasted veggies as well.

Italian Herbal Dressing
2 Large Tomatoes
1/2 peeled Cucumber
1 chopped Yellow Onion
1 Clove Garlic (or Garlic Powder)
1 tsp. Dill
2 Tbsp. of Organic Lemon Juice
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
Pinch of Sea Salt
Pinch of White & Black Pepper
2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil (optional, but I think you need it)
Mix in blender. Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve.

Remember this; Dressings aren't just for salads anymore!  They can be used over your steamed veggies, over your protein, or over a side of sliced raw veggies as well! 
Please note: If you suffer from IBS, you should avoid the recipes that call for onions, or you can substitute with onion powder. Everyone is different, but most people with IBS cannot tolerate onions, or raw garlic.  I do well however, with both garlic & onion powder.
Enjoy these yummy Dressing/Sauce recipes while getting lean & healthy!!

Until next time,
Be Well :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

FINALLY! A Soy, Dairy & Gluten Free Soy Sauce Substitue!!

I have so many yummy healthy & lowfat salad dressing and various sauce recipes I want to share with you, but for me the problem has been finding a soy, dairy & gluten free soy sauce substitute!  My diet does not allow for fermented foods as well, so this has been quite a challenge for me.

Today, I FINALLY found the perfect Soy Sauce Substitute!  And this product does NOT contain a fermentation booster.  I am so excited about this!!
It is certified 100% organic
Raw-Enzymatically Alive
Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free
Contains 17 naturally occurring Amino Acids
Vegan

It is Coconut Secret's Raw Coconut Aminos and you can find it at Whole Foods or you can find a store locator online at coconutsecret.com  They have a list of online stores as well!!

I just noticed they have Coconut Flour too!!  How cool is this? Here's what they have to say about Coconut Flour:
40% Dietary Fiber
100% Organic
Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free
Raw- from unheated Coconut
Unbleached
Unrefined
Low calories, Low carb, & Lowfat
Aids Digestive Health
Helps Balance Blood Sugar
promotes lipid oxidation (helps burn fat)
Vegan

I am going to experiment with both of these wonderful new products and in my next post, I will have some yummy, healthy & lowfat recipes for you!!
Until next time,
Be well :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Deadly Diet Sin; Eating High Glycemic Carbs with Fat; Failure at its Best!!

There are so many fad diets out there, that people often get confused and forget about the basics of nutrition!!  Based on my experience, the Deadly Diet Sin is this:  Eating meals that are high in complex carbs and other high glycemic carbs high in fat,  at the same time!! In my opinion, this is the quickest way to gain weight; This is Failure at its Best!!!
AVOID EATING HIGH GLYCEMIC CARBS WITH FAT!!!  But there is nothing wrong with eating low glycemic carbs with fat!  Complex carbs and other high glycemic carbs are meant to accent your meal, not be the primary source of it.  I'm not saying you should never eat complex or high glycemic carbs, but when you do eat them, be sure you are eating a minimal amount of fat with them.  I make it a habit to eat complex carbs only once a day, and usually for Breakfast or ocassionally for Lunch, but never for Dinner!!
In a previous post, I provided you with a list of healthy proteins, healthy fats, & healthy carbs.  I have also explained the importance of eating healthy fat to lose fat!  Just remember to eat your fat with low glycemic carbs, and add 4 ounces of protein for a well balanced meal.  For me, this is a Golden Rule!!
Many years ago, I discovered a book called, "A Week in The Zone."  The book is written by Barry Sears, and you can find it at Amazon.com and probably at most bookstores as well.   And no, I am not getting paid to promote his book.  This book changed my life and my views in regards to eating.  It became my food foundation so to speak, and I have since learned how to work with and around my complicated issues to develop a perfect eating plan.  This plan will result in a leaner, more fit, healthier and happier YOU!!  It's a lifestyle for me, and it really works!!  I believe in it because I have lived and experimented with it for over 15 years!  I have made modifications to make it a better fit for me, but it all started with this book.  Barry Sears has written many books, but this one is my favorite because it is the condensed version, while providing you with a wealth of information!  I highly recommend this book. It's also a great way to familiarize yourself with good and bad carbs, fat and protein.  

So the bottom line is this: Avoid eating complex carbs and other high glycemic carbs with fat if you are on a mission to lose weight!!  While something that works for you may not work for others, this one is a definite Golden Rule and in my opinion, applies to everyone!
Avoid "The Deadly Diet Sin!"  It is failure at its best, and a great way to pack on the pounds!!
Until next time,
Be well  :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Thoughts on the HCG Diet; Don't Waste Your Time or Money!!

I'm sure you've all heard about the latest, greatest fad; the HCG Diet! If you're a fan of this diet, you may want to pass on reading my opinion on this!  I have been researching HCG since 2006, and the outcome of my research is less than positive!! 
For starters; HCG is only available through a licensed M.D.  That's right you must see a Medical Doctor; it is available by prescription only, and you will most likely undergo a physical examination, as well as a series of blood tests before receiving HCG injections.  The FDA has not approved HCG for weight loss, and if your doctor does approve this weight loss method, you will more than likely be monitored on a regular basis!  This is no joke!

And then there's the over the counter, so called HCG drops sold at Health Spas and also available online, at ridiculously high prices!  Beware of these products!  Because here's the deal; Why on earth would HCG be available over the counter, when it is a serious drug and available by prescription only?  If you or someone you know is losing weight with the so called "HCG Drops," I'm pretty sure you are only losing weight because of the ridiculous 500 calorie a day diet, which has little or nothing to do with HCG!!  Who on earth wouldn't lose weight on 500 calories a day???  Honestly!!  You are also putting your health at risk if you are attempting to survive on 500 calories a day!! If you are purchasing HCG without an actual prescription, chances are, you are receiving only a trace if any, of the actual HCG!  In my opinion, this is a huge ripoff!!  Again, this is only my opinion, but my opinion is based on years of research and actual conversations and experiences with Medical Doctors!  

In 2007, I was able to get the HCG injections through a medical doctor, as I was wanting to lose 10 pounds.  The sad part of this story is that the doctor worked at a Health Spa and was less than honest; meaning she diluted my injections!  This meant I was not receiving enough of the HCG to benefit in any way.  I, of course stayed on the ridiculous 500 calorie a day diet, so I did lose weight, but I can tell you; it was not pleasant; it was not easy; and at no time was my hunger curved in any way.  I did it on pure will power.  I do feel that a pure HCG injection can probably assist you in weight loss, but only when supervised and prescribed by a medical M.D.  It is quite costly as well.

This is MY opinion, based on MY research!! My suggestion is this; Do your own research!  I would love to hear what you learn about HCG!! I am confident you will draw the same conclusions as I have! 
Feel free to give me a shoutout; I would love to hear what you have to say about HCG!
Until next time,
Be well  :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Eat Healthy Fat to Lose Fat!!!! Yep; It's True!!!

Healthy Fat plays a vital part in our diet!  I know this scares a lot of you, but it IS absolutely necessary!  Healthy fat can actually delay hunger pangs; yes it's true! Healthy fats & oils are a concentrated source of energy & are necessary for good health & fitness! Too much fat in our diet isn't healthy, but too little fat can have some serious consequences. For the most part, I add 9 grams of healthy fat to each meal, but it also depends on what my meal consists of.  For example; If I am eating Salmon I do NOT add fat because 4 ounces of Salmon contains roughly 12.5 grams of fat, in which case the Salmon would serve as both my protein and my fat in my meal.  If I am eating 2 eggs for Breakfast, I add only 5 grams of fat to my meal, because each egg contains 4.5 grams of fat.  Do you get what I am saying?  Am I making any sense to you! So use your common sense on this one! 
Healthy fats also add tremendous flavor to our meals, making it easier for us to stay on track, but more importantly, healthy fat when combined with healthy protein and low glycemic carbs will actually delay your hunger!  Believe it!! 
In one of my previous posts, I provided you with a list of healthy fats.  Pictured below are just a few of my favorite healthy fats:
From left to right; Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pam Olive Oil Spray, Follow Your Heart Lowfat Ranch Salad Dressing, Cold Pressed Sesame Oil, Coconut Oil, Tahini, & Almond Butter! My  favorite healthy fats also include Barleans Flax seed Oil, Cold Pressed Walnut Oil, Coconut Milk Plain Yogurt, Lite Butter, Follow Your Heart Vegenaise (tastes like Mayonnaise) Avocado's and Lowfat Rice Cheese.

I do not cook with Sesame Oil, Walnut Oil, or Flax seed oil; I usually drizzle this over my protein or add it to a hot bowl of soup, or I use it to make salad dressings.  You will ruin the integrity of these oils if you cook with them.

As far as opting to use Lite Butter and just a few other lite products; This is a personal choice for me.  I am a clean eater, but I wouldn't say I'm perfect!  What I know is this; 1 Tablespoon of Butter has 14 grams of fat, and 1 Tablespoon of lite Butter contains 5 grams of fat.  I will get much more flavor out of 2 Tablespoons of the Lite Butter, than I would using 2 teaspoons of regular Butter.  This girl needs flavor!  My organic lite Salad Dressing contains 1.5 grams of fat for 2 Tablespoons, which means I can have 1/4 cup of this dressing on my salad, rather than less than 2 Tablespoons of Regular Salad Dressing!  There is just no way less than 2 Tablespoons of regular Salad Dressing is going to add any flavor to an 8-10 ounce salad!  Are you with me on this?  By choosing to use just a few lite products, I am adding tremendous flavor to my meals, therefore making it easier for me to stay on track!!  Again, this is a personal choice!  Do what works best for you!

Until next time,
Be well  :)