Detox Day 1: The Green Juice Formula

Happy Day 1, Detoxers! How was that cayenne pepper water this morning?!? I bet you’re already feeling like you can move mountains, right?

As you jump into Day 1, I wanted to jump into a couple quick and easy juicing tips. Here’s last year’s Day 1 post where you can see my Green Apple Juice-making video from a few years back, and also learn about juicing vs. blending. In addition this year, I wanted to throw you Kris Carr’s Green Juice Formula pictoral (click on it for a bigger brighter view). It sums up juice recipes so beautifully.

Formula by Kris Carr

Formula by Kris Carr

Now put on your lab coat and create some winning juice combos. Let us know which ones you love! And for a great juicing and smoothie e-guide, check out this one. See you tomorrow! xoxo

Grab Your Garbanzos! 7-Day Detox Starts on Monday!

Detox Begins!Calling all ladies of the lettuce and men of the maca! Join us as we celebrate 2014 by saying good riddance to the lingering goo of 2013 and hello to more energy, clarity, and green supremacy in the New Year. The Skinny Dish 7-Day Detox will start—rain or shine—on Monday, January 6th. Make room in your fridge, stock up using the shopping list, and warm up your Vitamix. It’s time give your body a real party!

Look forward to new quick recipes, tips, and a long-term plan that will keep you detoxified all year long. See you Monday! xoxo

Sweet Potato Mashup: A Thanksgiving Must

Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet Potato Mashup

Hate to admit it, but sweet potato mush is the one thing I continue to pass at the Thanksgiving feast. Even with its beta-carotene-rich orange goodness, it just doesn’t tickle my tofu.

Until now.

Determined to one day fall in love with denture-friendly sweet potatoes (of course sweet potato fries have always been a favorite), and inspired by Kathy’s Famous Sweet Potato Mash, it has happened. I am in love with this sweet potato mush!

Sweet Potato Mashup
Makes 5-6 cups (about 10 ½-cup servings)

2 large sweet potatoes, baked or boiled
1 cup vidalia onion, chopped

1/3 cup garlic hummus
3-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh tangerine or orange juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt/pepper to taste

1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.

2. Mash well, but leaving some chunks.

3. Heat/reheat over the stovetop, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes. 

Nutrition info per serving: 68 calories, 2 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3.5 g sugar, 2 g protein, 43% vitamin A, 3% iron

My version has fewer ingredients than Kathy’s, but please check hers out. Her photos are profesh and her ingredient combos (in this recipe and others) are uniquely gut-pleasing. I don’t know if it’s the garlic hummus, the fresh garlic, the raw onion, or the parsley, but this is definitely a must-try. Hello, Thanksgiving, and hello, orange taters!

Happy healthy holidays!

“Mom, You Make the Best Brownies”

Simple Bean Brownies

Simple Bean Brownies

Hello vitamin friends! It’s been a while! Look for many new tips and recipes because I’ve been conquering the BEST quinoa chili, homemade slow-cooker applesauce, and countless healthy concoctions for picky kids. But, for now, I must post our new favorite dessert. Just 2 ingredients, it’s low-fat, gooey, crowd-pleasing, and includes beans. Booyah! I knew you’d be sold when I said ‘beans!’

Simple Bean Brownies
Makes 16 squares

1 package brownie mix (my favorite is Trader Joe’s Brownie Truffle Baking Mix, reviewed and pictured here)
1 15-oz can black beans (or 1 3/4 cups cooked black beans plus 3/4 cup water), blended (including liquid)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Stir mix with blended beans.

3. Lightly oil the bottom of a 9-inch by 9-inch baking pan, and pour/spread brownie batter into pan evenly.

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until fully cooked in the center.

5. Once cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar (I do this through a sifter) – Optional. 

Surprise and scare all your favorite family and friends! 

Nutrition info per mouth-watering square: 144 calories, 3 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 146 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 2.5 g protein, 11% iron.

Note: For an extra health punch, stir 1/2 cup shredded zucchini or carrots into the batter, OR blend a handful of spinach or kale with the beans. 

You can’t even taste the beans (or the veggies). And, I kid you not, my kids won’t eat ANY other brownie. Chocolate cheers!

Gone Bananas! Peeling the Love with Spirulina

Spirulina Colada

I spent a good part of my childhood hating bananas simply because my brother loved them. Sibling rivalry at its strangest. In reality, I liked the taste, but the strings (technically called phloem, pronounced “FLOM”) scared me. All that chatter about peeling the banana upside down and not getting any strings is a bunch of banana bologna!

Fast-forward to today and I cheerlead for what bananas do for creamy smoothies, how they turn so nicely from frozen chunks into ice cream, and how important they are for banana bread. Ever made banana bread without bananas? It’s REALLY hard. Plus, who doesn’t love a fruit that has its own online museum?

So, when DOLE asked me to host a “Peel the Love” banana fest, I was psyched for an excuse to get a little bananas with bananas. They gave me banana recipes on a banana-shaped flash drive (dude!). But, the dietitian and direction diverter in me had to put a green spin on the yellow. Enter, the green Pina Colada….

Spirulina Colada
Makes 3

2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
2 medium bananas
2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (the kind in the fridge section of the grocery store)
2 teaspoons spirulina powder (I like this one, and I get it at Whole Foods Market)

Blend and drink. Freeze leftovers in popsicle molds.

Nutrition info per serving: 188 calories, 3 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 431 mg potassium, 33 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 20 g sugar, 6.5 g protein, 470% vitamin A, 300% vitamin B12, 85% vitamin C, 40% calcium, 87% iron

Why Spirulina? It takes any smoothie from zero to hero. Check out the nutrition info again! Look at all that iron! Sorry Colada, but that is from the Spirulina alone. Spirulina is a TASTELESS blue-green algae that does everything from cleaning your house (well, your body’s house), boosting your immune system, getting your sex hormone situation in order, to lowering high blood pressure. It even helps prevent cancer. Did I mention it’s tasteless? So you can add it to pretty much anything. Annnnd, it has *more* complete protein than meat! Spirulina is 65-71% protein. Red meat is 22%. Just 2 tablespoons of spirulina per meal gives you all the protein you need. I know, I know. Green powder on your dinner plate is even a little too extreme for a dietitian. But, throw it in a smoothie, stir it into a fresh juice, add it to pancakes on St. Patrick’s Day, or mix it into your brownie batter. You *could* take it in pill form, but where’s the fun in that? :)

Next up… Brownies made with bananas, pecans, and black beans. And you thought eating algae was weird! XOXO

Thyroid Demystified

Hd-butterfly-pictureWondering about soy, cruciferous veggies, all the different types of thyroid hypers and hypos, why there’s a picture of a butterfly here, or just want some new cocktail party convo material? Check out this new post on Thyroid Demystified!

2 Must-Drink Summer Power Smoothies

I’m on a new kick this summer — I’ve dropped the breakfast oatmeal and bran flakes and have become a blending maniac! EVERY morning, I throw a bunch of colorful plant matter plus some seeds and perhaps a yummy powder into my Vitamix, blend it, and go. If there are leftovers, I pour them into sealed glass jars and guzzle later in the morning. Here are my 2 favorite blendcoctions:

Daiquiri Power Tower

Daiquiri Power Tower

Chia Daiquiri
Makes 3 12-ounce portions

2 cups frozen organic strawberries
1 banana
Handful organic kale leaves (lacinato or dinosaur kale are my fave), spinach if the kale is too kale-ey
1/4 cup chia seeds (get them at Costco: $10 for a 2-lb. bag): Awesome source of LDL cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber and heart-healthy Omega-3′s
3 cups fortified non-dairy milk such as unsweetened coconut milk: Great source of calcium and vitamin D
1 scoop Vanilla Almondilla Vega One Energizing Smoothie powder: Superstar for protein, fiber, and sweetened with stevia so low-sugar too!

Blend, pour, and go!

Nutrition Info per 12-ounce serving: 246 calories, 12 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 22 g carbohydrate, 14 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 11 g protein, 90% vitamin A, 141% vitamin C, 30% vitamin D, 25% calcium, 14% iron.

Brown Hippie
Makes 3 12-ounce portions

Not pictured, because you might not try it! It’s brown, people. Close your eyes and enjoy!

1 cup frozen organic blueberries
1 cup frozen mango chunks
Handful organic spinach leaves
3 cups fortified non-dairy milk such as unsweetened soymilk: Great source of calcium and vitamin D
1 scoop vanilla hemp protein powder (such as the one from Trader Joe’): Super rich in protein, Omega-3′s, and insoluble fiber
1 frozen cube wheatgrass juice (optional): adds nature’s richest edible source of chlorophyll – a natural detoxifier and blood pressure reducer

Blend, pour, and go!

Nutrition Info per 12-ounce serving: 220 calories, 5 g fat, <1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 33 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 19 g sugar, 12 g protein, 31% vitamin A, 37% vitamin C, 30% vitamin D, 32% calcium, 25% iron.

Ta da! :)

Cholesterol-Lowering Breakfast Cookies

Cookies for Breakfast

Cookies for Breakfast

You’ve heard of breakfast for dinner, so why not cookies for breakfast? This life is worth LIVING, people!

Inspiration for this creation: 1) Everyone’s cholesterol is high, especially the LDL (“Lousy”) one, 2) No one has time for breakfast, and 3) People want to eat cookies constantly.

Happy to help! I’m a People too. Introducing the Cholesterol-Lowering* Breakfast Power Cookie. It’s got bran flakes!, chia seeds which are massively rich in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, and oats which are moderately rich in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber.

If you need a refresher on the 5 easy tips for lowering your cholesterol, soluble fiber is harder to find in the diet — it’s only in oats, flax, chia seeds, beans, lentils, and berries. It works like this:

Soluble fiber reduces the amount of bile reabsorbed in the intestines. The liver (aka ‘bile maker’) freaks out and snatches LDL cholesterol out of the bloodstream to make more bile salts. Down goes your LDL cholesterol, and the party starts. Take home message: Eat more chia seeds,  flax seeds, oats, beans, lentils, and berries and you may have much healthier arteries.

As a side note: You should also eat lots of INSOLUBLE fiber found in veggies and fruit skins because without it, your poops won’t be as plump and won’t be able to carpool out as much bile. Although I love both, a lot less bile fits in a mini-Cooper than a mini-van. Bile can get reabsorbed into your bloodstream through your intestines and there’ll be very little effect on your LDL cholesterol.

Cholesterol-Lowering* Breakfast Power Cookie
Don’t be turned off by the list of 15 ingredients. Most of them are in your pantry.
Makes 13 cookies

1/2 cup chia seeds (or ground flax seed meal if you must)
1/3 cup unsweetened soymilk
2 Tbsp Earth Balance margarine, softened
1/4 cup coconut oil, or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup bran flakes
1/4 cup sugar (optional, or use 1/4 cup of calorie-free sweetener)
2 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut (optional) 
1/3 cup (40g) dried cranberries or raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, soak chia seeds in milk for 5 minutes. Add remaining wet ingredients and let sit until dry ingredients are mixed. 

3. In a separate and larger bowl, combine dry ingredients minus the coconut (if using) and the dried cranberries. 

4. Add wet to dry, stir to combine, and then stir in coconut and cranberries. 

5. Form into 1 1/2-inch round patties, and place on a cookie sheet with about 1 inch between cookies. Press down slightly with a fork to flatten.

6. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool completely before removing with a metal spatula. 

Nutrition info per cookie including sugar and coconut (2 cookies recommended for a complete breakfast meal): 176 calories, 9.5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 20 g carbohydrate (6 g sugar), 4.5 g fiber, 4 g protein, 6% calcium, 9% iron.

*Please don’t come find me if your cholesterol doesn’t go down after 3 months of eating these cookies. There’s no guarantee, but the research looks quite promising, and why not give them a shot?*

WAFFLE HOUSE in the House

First Belgian Waffle Experiment

First Belgian Waffle Experiment

I have fond and scary memories of that Belgian waffle maker in the Penn State dining hall… gooey batter dripping all over the floor, steamy eggness evaporating into the air, and then plates upon plates floating by with waffles buried beneath sugary frozen yogurt, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry (fruit! fiber! health?). I knew then that I picked the right major. At that rate, I’d never be out of a job as a dietitian.

So only just today, after a hand-me-down waffle maker arrived chez moi, did I fully embrace the beauty and wonder that is the fresh, steamy, Belgian waffle. Of course I took a basic waffle recipe and removed the eggs, added flaxseed meal, used unsweetened soymilk, and topped them with frozen organic strawberries heated into a hot syrup. I mean, I bought jam made out of tomatoes last week for crying out loud! BUT. They were still REALLLY good! And basically good for you. Next time I’ll add chia seeds and perhaps some shredded zucchini and goji berries. But until then….

Belgian Waffles Gone Good-for-You

Makes 7 waffles
Materials: A fantastic mother-in-law who is done with her waffle maker

Sift these together:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Stir these in a separate bowl, then add to sifted bowl:
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or any flavorless oil or melted margarine)
2 3/4 cup unsweetened soymilk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/4 cup flaxseed meal (optional, but gives a fiber punch and a cholesterol-lowering boost!)
1 Tbsp vanilla (optional)

Heat waffle maker according to package instructions. On the Sunbeam, it’s about 5 minutes plugged in until the light goes off.

Spray top and bottom with cooking oil, or if you don’t have a sprayer, pour one teaspoon on the bottom and wipe a little oil on the top with a paper towel.

Pour 1/2 cup batter into waffle maker and close, lifting only after at least 3 minutes, or when the steam emersion stops. (You’ll know.)

Top with heated strawberries, maple syrup, powdered sugar, or eat plain.

Nutrition Info Per Waffle (all 4 sections): 260 calories, 11 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 366 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, <1 g sugar, 8 g protein, 4% vitamin A, 12% vitamin D, 13% calcium, 12% iron.

Raw Food 3-Day Recap

nutsWell, I *just about* survived 3 days of raw. I had one minor, and very conscious slip-up on Day 2: a handful of multigrain pita chips.

All in all, it went well and I felt very light and energized. I get such a rise out of trying new things and challenging myself to leave my cozy zone. To be honest, my biggest worry with 3 days of raw, was how I was going to curtail my nightly PB & banana open-face sandwich habit. During Detox days, I have natural PB on a rice cake with banana slices, which is completely easy. Turns out, a sliced green apple with cinnamon and a cup of tea is a delicious substitute. But also turns out that a return to my PB & banana open-face sandwich on Day 4 was complete and total heaven. Sorry raw!

So, what I actually really learned is that I wasn’t properly prepared for 3 days of raw. I figured I could handle 3 days of raw fruits, veggies, dried fruit, raw nuts and seeds, and smoothies without doing any extra grocery shopping or fancy new food prep. But, by Day 2, I got tired of the limited raw fruits and veggies I had on hand, felt unsettled, and grabbed pita chips. I also found that I was eating a ton of extra calories by snacking on nuts, seeds, and dried fruit all the time. As a dietitian, you acquire an inner calorimeter, with alarms. Those alarms kept going off!

In retrospect, I probably picked the 3 toughest days to try anything new–they were super busy and full of deadlines and extra tasks. I made green smoothies in my son’s preschool class (which were raw, and fun!, but I had less time to focus on my rawness). I didn’t even have time to juice, let alone make my scrumptious Pulp Crax. My breakfasts were fruit and a Larabar every day, and that felt like cheating, especially all 3 days!

I *did* try a raw soup recipe the first day: blended raw hemp milk, mushrooms, kale, raw cashews, hemp milk, smoke seasoning, and water. It was AMAZING on Day 1, but simply did not last in flavor for Day 2. I trashed the rest and had trail mix and salad that day. Followed by the aforementioned pita chips — my excuse is that I was at work and didn’t have enough other raw gear on hand.

I also tried (but haven’t yet perfected) raw kale chips in my oven, although I learned that my oven only goes as low at 170 degrees, which is technically too hot. Why did I garage sell that food dehydrator that I insisted upon as a high school graduation present!?

On the complete upside, I discovered my new favorite non-chocolate dessert: Medjool dates, pit removed, and stuffed with raw almond butter. OH. MY!!!!

So, next time, I will plan better, and take more advice from this Raw Pantry Essentials list. I didn’t realize I could’ve eaten Nori sheets. I have a 25-pack in my pantry and could’ve totally gone to town on those!!

Raw Diet: I am not done with you!

Anyone else try/ succeed/ learn?




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