Monday, February 22, 2010

Finally, A Great New Pasta Alternative!

I am often asked by family, friends and clients, who are looking to reduce sugar and processed carbohydrates in their diets, what would be an alternative to to the high glycemic pasta that many eat in abundance. My answer was usually to have them try making zucchini noodles by peeling the raw vegetable, heating it in the microwave and topping with their favorite sauce. It's a great way to add more vegetables, fiber and vitamins, but for most it didn't quite scratch that pasta itch - up until now. I am so excited to have discovered this amazing pasta alternative called Shirataki Noodles, made by House Foods Corporation. Shirataki Noodles are made from blending the root of the Konnyaku (a member of the yam family) with non genetically modified soybeans. The result is a low carbohydrate, high fiber, low calorie, fat free noodle that takes on the flavor of whatever you decide to combine it with. Last week I topped the Shirataki with homemade meat sauce and fresh parmesan cheese, for a totally authentic Italian dish. Tonight I am combining the noodles with broccoli, chicken and cashews for an Asian stir-fry. These gluten free, vegan noodles come pre-cooked in 8 ounces bags and are packed in liquid, so all you need to do is give them a quick rinse and add to a hot sauce. They can be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores and you can see if they are available in your area by going to the House Foods site (click here). So, give Shirataki Noodles a try - would love to hear your comments!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Loving My Sketchers Shape Ups

Last week I went to the mall and picked up an early Valentine's Day gift for myself - a pair of Sketcher's Shape Ups. I had been eyeing these and the similarly designed MBT sneakers that promise firmer thighs and a shapelier backside just from wearing them while you walk. Although I do engage in a regular fitness routine that consists of power yoga, cycling and resistance training, I thought that these might be a welcome addition, just to make sure I don't succumb to the dreaded, "blogger butt", as my friend and fellow blogger, Dawn Sandomeno at lovingly refers to the affliction.
I had been comparing the Sketchers Shape Ups and the MBT sneakers, both of which are designed with a rolling sole, giving wearers the feeling of walking on sand. This revolutionary technology helps to strengthen muscles, improve posture, promote weight loss and reduce stress on knee and ankle joints. I decided to go with the Sketchers rather than the much higher priced MBT's after finding similar online reviews for both brands. I immediately felt comfortable in the lightweight shoe, which really cushioned both my bunions and flat feet and the rolling heel made me feel as if I was walking uphill even when on flat ground. I have been wearing my Sketchers Shape Ups daily for over a week now and feel a tightening in my thighs and backside, as I am probably working some different muscles, which is always a good thing. I will continue to wear these cute and functional sneakers and give you all a full report in a few months to see what changes, if any, I notice. Would love to hear any feedback from readers who have had experience with this funky fitness footwear.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Transforming the Morning Rush

Trying to get the kids ready for school and getting yourself out the door for work can be enough of a challenge, never mind making a healthy, satisfying breakfast to jump start your day. Most of us just end up grabbing a coffee drink at the local drive-thru window, which ends up wreaking havoc on our waistlines and hampers our ability to focus and concentrate because of the high amount of sugar most of these coffee concoctions contain. As I wrote about in last weeks post, "Fat Does Not Make You Fat", I discussed how controlling sugar intake can really be the driving force in weight control and many health issues. So, how can you create a quick, easy, good for you morning meal that will get you and your family out the door in record time? The solution - a delicious shake that contains protein, fruit, fiber and healthy fats to give you a natural energy boost from nutrients, not stimulants, keep you satiated and help keep blood sugar levels balanced - which is really the key to maintaining healthy body fat levels. So, here's one of my favorite adult and kid-friendly protein shake recipes that helps give me the energy to power through my morning workout and get myself, my husband and my kids going on a healthy note, really setting the tone for our day. You can either make this in a blender or use my favorite - The Cuisinart Smart Stick. Feel free to use this recipe as a base, coming up with your own favorite additions and creating your own unique signature shake. Would love to hear about what interesting combinations you come up with!

Chocolate-Banana Butter Shake

1/2 cup hormone free skim milk

1/2 cup water

1 packet SweetLeaf Stevia (optional)

1/3 piece of banana

1 scoop Colonix fiber powder ( - optional

1 tablespoon raw almond butter ( I use Trader Joe's brand)

1 scoop Jay Robb chocolate egg white protein powder

Mix all ingredients in blender or Cuisinart Smart Stick and enjoy!

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