Thursday, December 18, 2008


The holiday season is here and for those who overindulge, the guilt trips are sure to follow. But it doesn't have to be that way. With the right strategy, you most certainly can have your cake and eat it, too.
First, remember that much of it is in your head. Rather than think of the holiday season as being five or six weeks long. Instead, focus on specific days, like Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. If you already have it in your mind that those are the days when things are going to be off course, it is going to make things a lot easier, splurging on specific days instead of specific weeks.
At the same time, an attitude of deprivation could set you up for food cravings and an unhealthy relationship with food. For example, if you know you like pumpkin pie, why would you ever tell yourself you're not going to have any?
Convincing yourself that you won't make a single "bad" choice during the holidays is self-sabotaging. It's very easy to call a food a bad choice when you don't have any food in front of you. But when you're there, and you see other people eating it and they're savoring it and telling you how good it is, it gets very hard.
Go ahead and have that pumpkin pie, but go back to your regular eating patterns the next day. Having the attitude where you say to yourself, “Well I have already eaten two pieces of pumpkin pie, guess I will just go ahead and eat two more” can be problematic…remember…DAYS not weeks!
Another trap "over-indulgers" fall into is the emotional. Be aware of why you are eating something. Be aware of your mind state, and think as you're eating. Ask yourself, “Am I eating this because I'm enjoying it, or am I eating it because I want to yell at my sister who gets on my nerves?'" If you know you tend to eat or drink due to boredom or stress, try stationing yourself somewhere other than beside the bar or the food table. Get what you want, and then take your plate or glass and go to another part of the room.
Instead of trying to "save up" your calories during the day by avoiding food before an event, have a small satisfying snack, one with some fiber and protein, before going out. Some suggestions include nuts, cereal or oatmeal. f you're not starving when you arrive, you'll have better control when you do hit the food table. Besides, it's never a good idea to drink on an empty stomach.
Alcohol can be a major source of empty calories during the holidays, particularly if drinking also leads you to overeat. The drinks themselves are generally not filling, and can have more calories than one might expect - a six-ounce glass of white wine has 120 calories, a bottle of beer has 150 calories, and cocktails can have anywhere from 125 calories in a Bloody Mary to 475 calories in a Rum Eggnog. Alternate drinks with water or seltzer to cut down on your intake.
If you're hosting a holiday event, try to be realistic about how much food you really need for the number of guests you have. If you do have snacks still around at the end of the party, try sending some home with your guests, particularly if you know the foods are problematic for you. And remember that there will inevitably be some treats left for tomorrow, which means you don't have to eat them all at once.
Most of all, it's important not to get too caught up in the details. If your diet is good on the whole, a few treats - whether during the holidays or the rest of the year - are okay, and may even help you stay on track and keep a healthy relationship with food. Instead of DIET, "LIVIT"-focus on eating within an hour after waking and every 4 hours throughout the day, eat a high fiber carbohydrate (e.g., apple,whole wheat crackers, sprouted grain bread) and a low fat protein (e.g., mozzarella cheese, almonds, edamame (soybeans), all-natural peanut butter, tuna) every eating time to keep yourself satisfied and energized throughout the day.

The main key to stay lean during the holidays with enjoyment: Have the primary holiday focus be: spending time with your friends and family and having fun (including moving-e.g., dancing, going on walks)! When you're at the holiday meals, ask yourself what is the priority food that I want to have, have it with some protein the size of your palm and some vegetables, savor your food by eating slowly and walk away from the table before your tummy hurts! Enjoy LIVITING! Have a great vacation!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lean, Healthy and Tasty: Thanksgiving Recipes!

Here are a couple of my Thanksgiving Recipes that are my patients' favorite.


1 cup organic “Sucanat” (natural sugarcane)
4 egg whites
½ teaspoon salt
1/3-cup water
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
4 cups organic skim milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ to 1-cup brandy or rum
Dash of Nutmeg

Directions: Combine sugar, egg whites, water, and cream of tartar in a large non-aluminum metal bowl. Whisk to blend. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water; please make sure, the bowl does not touch the water. Beat with an electric mixer on medium about 10 minutes, until the mixture is very thick and fluffy. Continue to beat 3 more minutes; remove from heat and beat until mixture has cooled slightly. Pour milk and vanilla into another large bowl. Add egg white mixture and brandy or rum; combine gently with a whisk. Serve chilled and dusted with nutmeg.

Total servings: 8
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
216 calories, 31 grams Carbohydrates, 6 grams Protein, <1 gram Fat


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

1 can (15 ounces) pureed pumpkin
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 package (10.5 ounces) organic Silken tofu, * packed in water, rinsed, processed in blender until smooth
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
*Choose tofu made with soybeans rather than soy protein concentrate

Directions: Preheat oven to 425° F. In a blender (**Vitamix), blend the pumpkin and sugar. Add salt, spices, and tofu into the pumpkin mixture and blend again thoroughly. Pour the mixture into a pie shell and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 350° F and bake for an additional 40 minutes. Chill before serving.

Total servings: 9
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
216 calories, 37 grams Carbohydrates, 3 grams Protein, 7 grams Fat

**To purchase a Vitamix®, the power blender for making smoothies and soups, etc., go to and select the products tab.

Turkey Roast, Simple with Pizazz!

1 Tbsp. Earth Balance Margarine in a tub
2 Tbsp. Coniac or Brandy
5 Bay Leaves
1 cup Organic Orange Juice
2 to 3 Organic Oranges (depending how large your turkey is)
2 Tbsp. Organic Dried Cranberries
1 tsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
other seasonings of choice-optional

Gourmify Your Turkey Roast This Year:

Put on your hands some vinyl (latex free) disposable gloves to promote sanitary turkey preparation. Thoroughly wash your organic, Free Range Turkey Roast, under some cold water then hot water then finish with some cold water. Pat dry with some paper towels, then place your turkey in a roasting pan or large pyrex dish, laying it down on it's back, then lift the skin on the top of the turkey, please be careful not to tear the skin, while you are lifting it, put some Earth Balance margarine in a small dish, put your gloved hand in the earth balance spread it underneath the skin and over the skin, until you have some shine present, not clumped, just shine.

Then pour that delectable coniac or brandy using a teaspoon, underneath the skin of the turkey, pour about 2 Tbsp. underneath the skin. Then, wash the bay leaves, and place the bay leaves underneath the skin, in a flower shape. Put 1 bay leaf underneath the skin at a time, angling the bay leaves into a circular flower. Cut one of the bay leaves into a circle for the center of the flower, it looks gorgeous, tres gourmet when you bring out the turkey to the table, everyone will see your beautiful flower underneath the transparent skin.

For the top of the turkey, pour some orange juice on top, then sprinkle the turkey with some paprika, garlic powder, pepper and whatever other seasonings you want.

Inside the turkey cavity, instead of overloading yourself with stuffing, want to save your carbs. for the yummy pumpkin pie or yams/sweet potatoes: use some oranges and cranberries. Peel the skin off the oranges, then cut them into sections, stuff your turkey with the oranges and some dried cranberries.

Bake at 325 degrees for about 3 hours, depending on the size of your turkey, check out the link below for particulars.

Check out this link for Turkey cooking safety tips: temperatures, length of time for stuffed versus unstuffed, thawing tips, etc:
You will have a gorgeous, moist turkey, enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving from Your Livitician,
Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Boost Your Brain Function!

Increase your brain power!! Eat foods that are high in choline. Choline helps protect your cells from oxidative damage. Choline is involved in the production of acetylcholine. Acetylcholine must be present in the body for proper function of the nervous system, including mood, behavior, orientation, personality traits, and judgment.

Also, when your pregnant, it's especially important to provide your baby with not only folic acid but choline, also helps prevent neural-tube defects and helps prevent cleft palates.

High levels of choline in adults not only helps brain functioning, but also may help reduce homocysteine, which will help reduce inflammation and reduce heart disease risk.

Get your choline from foods rather than supplements. Excess choline that can result from over supplementation can cause a "fishy" body odor, definitely don't want that! Dietary Sources of Choline: Found in all animal and plant products. Choose organic and local produce whenever possible.

1.) Eggs(Choose organic, omega-3 eggs; have 2 to 4 yolks per week, aim for 1 yolk per meal, have the rest of your protein from egg whites).
2.) Beef (In moderation, choose lean cuts of beef, ground sirloin, or round-aim for max. 1 time per week).
3.) Salmon (Choose wild-alaskan).
4.) Wheat Germ (Organic, raw)
5.) Broccoli (organic raw or frozen)
6.) Cabbage
7.) Cauliflower
8.) Garbanzo Beans
9.) Green Beans
10.) Lentils
11.) Rice (Choose Brown or Wild Rice)
12.) Soybeans
13.) Split Peas

Men aim for at least 550 milligrams of choline per day and women, have at least 425 milligrams a day, according to the National Academy of Sciences.

A single egg contains about 130 milligrams, 3 ounces of beef contains approximately 70 milligrams, a cup of steamed broccoli contains approximately 60 milligrams. A glass of milk contains about 40 milligrams.

Enjoy LIVITING! Your Livitician,

Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Eat foods that are high in iodine to promote normal function of the thyroid gland. I have patients who have had a nodule on their thyroid and ate food that were high in iodine and their thyroid nodule decreased in size significantly. I just had a patient today who is so thankful that I told her to eat seaweed (1 heaping teaspoon daily of Wakame dry seaweed available at whole foods,soak it in water for a few minutes until it is soft; eat it straight or put it in soup). Her nodule decreased from 3.5 cm to 1.5 cm in 3 months. Her Doctor said it's amazing and thank G-d it is completely benign. She is going to keep eating foods with Iodine to try to decrease it more. Please consult with an endocrinologist to provide you with complete medical treatment for any thyroid dysfunction.

Dietary sources of Iodine:

Cod-liver oil
Salmon, canned (try to get wild alaskan canned salmon-available at Trader Joe's and health food stores)
Salt, table (iodized) and sea salt
Seaweed (dried seaweed-available at whole foods or any healthfood store-soak a heaping teaspoon in water for a few minutes in a cup then eat it as a vegetable plain or add some flavor to it, e.g., with Bragg's Liquid Aminos (great soy sauce replacement that is low in sodium)or add the seaweed to soup
Sunflower seeds

Benefits of Iodine:
Iodine helps shrink the thyroid prior to thyroid surgery.
Keeps skin, hair, neails healthy.
Protects thyroid gland after accidental exposure to radiation.
Prevents goiter.

Reference: Complete Guide to Vitamins Minerals And Supplements (H. Winter Griffith, M.D.)

Optimal Health To You,

Your Livitician,
Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD
(Please contact me if you have any questions:

Monday, October 13, 2008


About the only time most people give any thought at all to pumpkins is during the fall. And even then, most pumpkins are only bought for the express purpose of being stabbed with a carving knife and mutilated to resemble some gap-toothed vampire freak. Or, possibly, to be used for pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Doubtlessly, few people for whom the lowly pumpkin is used for these purposes have ever even given thought to mashing the filling up and using it to stuff ravioli or tortellini.

Like the carrot, the pumpkin is overflowing with beta-carotene; as little as a half-cup can get you 400 times the RDA of Vitamin A. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant and studies indicate a diet high in pumpkin can help stave off some forms of cancer. As if that weren't enough, pumpkins also contain Vitamin C, so if you're tired of downing several glasses of orange juice and you've got a taste for pumpkin you are in luck. Not only will eating more pumpkin boost your RDA figures for Vitamin A and Vitamin C, but pumpkin is also low in calories; boil a pumpkin and you'll take in even fewer calories. And as if THAT weren't enough, pumpkins are also a great source for fiber; so you've got that going for you. Of course, if you're going to be taking that route, avoid the big pumpkins that make great jack o'lanterns and opt for the smaller ones, also known as sugar pumpkins.

Monday, September 29, 2008


By: Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD, Your Livitician

Stress can increase nutrient needs and decrease nutrient absorption, jeopardizing your strength and optimal function. What we eat can influence our brain chemistry, improving the way we feel! The anterior hypothalamus, an area of the brain has a special nerve network that generates a sense of wellbeing and encourages us to repeat behavior that has previously caused its stimulation. Sweet foods, for example, have historically been safe, so the anterior hypothalamus makes us seek more sweet foods. Substituting ripe fruit for candy will create a sense of wellbeing without the highs and lows, which induces fatigue.

Certain food combinations raise the brain’s levels of serotonin (“happy hormone”). Tryptophan- an amino acid (a building block of protein) converts to serotonin. Turkey is rich in tryptophan, which can improve your mood. Having some carbohydrate in the same meal, such as whole grain bread or fruit helps the brain to use tryptophan. Milk also supplies plenty of tryptophan and since warm foods release endorphins (other feel-good brain chemicals), warm milk acts as a mood-enhancing drink. Starch (high fiber sources: whole grain bread, green peas, yams, brown rice) triggers a slow release of insulin, which lowers blood levels of most large amino acids and increases blood levels of tryptophan = Long term increase in brain serotonin levels.

Vitamin B6 – aids in the manufacture of serotonin. A deficiency of this vitamin reduces serotonin production and affects mood and food cravings. Dietary sources of B6: Banana, avocado, chicken, wheat germ, collard greens, spinach, tomato, brown rice, green peas, broccoli, nonfat or 1% organic milk, orange, all natural peanut butter, apple, whole wheat bread.

A lack of iron, which is found in red meat, fish, sesame seeds, dried apricots and fortified breakfast cereals, has also been linked to low moods.

A magnesium deficiency raises stress-hormone levels, cortisol and epinephrine, resulting in stress-related depression and irritability. Magnesium rich foods: peanuts, bananas, low-fat milk, wheat germ, Phytotherapy supplement (available at Whole Foods -calcium, magnesium, and Vit. D supplement).

Antioxidants: Vitamin C, E, and Beta-Carotene: help regulate the immune system. Both emotional and physical stress increase your need for antioxidants. Aim for 7 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day: Have fruit twice per day and vegetables with lunch and dinner. As an insurance policy: take Juice Plus™ whole food nutrition supplement, available on -select the products tab, then juice plus.

Overall stress relief: Do deep breathing, breathe in the count of 10, and exhale the count of 20, a couple times a day. Fit moving into your day, ideally 6 days per week, minimum 4 for 30 to 45 minutes, e.g., walk, dance, go up and down stairs, bike, swim, have walking meetings, turn on the music and dance when you get home-fit moving in wherever you can, do calf raises while you are waiting in line. Eat within an hour and a half after waking up and every 4 hours throughout the day. Keep sipping water; bring a water bottle with you wherever you go. Eat predominately a vegetarian diet, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, low fat dairy and legumes.

Relax and Enjoy Liviting!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Go to any local grocery store right now and you will find the fresh produce aisles plentiful with plums. Plum is a fruit that is related to the family of peaches and cherries. It is one of those fruits which are rich in dietary fiber that is effective in improving the digestive system. There are thousands of varieties of plums that are available throughout the world, ranging in colors like red, blue-black, purple, yellow, green or amber. Plums are believed to have originated in Asia and since then have been grown all over the world. The fresh and juicy taste of the plum makes it refreshing to eat on a hot summer day!

Nutrition Benefits of Eating Plums
Plums (the dry form is prune) are high in unique phytonutrients called neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid. Their function is that of an anti-oxidant and is of much benefit.
Consumption of plums helps in the production and absorption of iron in the body, thus leading to better blood circulation in the body, which further leads to the growth of healthy tissues.
Regular consumption of plums will prevent macular degeneration and any other infection of the eye in the long run. Your eyes will be healthy and strong for long time and you can also retain a sharp eye-sight.
Researchers have found that plums have anti-cancer agents that may help prevent the growth of cancerous cells and tumors in the body.
Eating plums also reduces your chances of contracting a heart disease in the long run. Plums have certain cleansing agents that keep the blood pure and also prevent complications of the heart.
Plums have high content of Vitamin C, which means it helps protect against health conditions like asthma, colon cancer, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Nutritional Value of EGGPLANT!!!

Long prized for its deeply purple, glossy beauty as well as its unique taste and texture, eggplants are now available in markets throughout the year, but they are at their very best from August through October when they are in season.

Eggplants belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes. They grow in a manner much like tomatoes, hanging from the vines of a plant that grows several feet in height. While the different varieties do range slightly in taste and texture, one can generally describe the eggplant as having a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture.

In addition to featuring a host of vitamins and minerals, eggplant also contains important phytonutrients, many which have antioxidant activity. Phytonutrients contained in eggplant include phenolic compounds, such caffeic and chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids, such as nasunin. Nasunin is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage. In animal studies, nasunin has been found to protect the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes. Cell membranes are almost entirely composed of lipids and are responsible for protecting the cell from free radicals, letting nutrients in and wastes out, and receiving instructions from messenger molecules that tell the cell which activities it should perform.

One may wonder how to chose an eggplant in the grocery store. Choose eggplants that are firm and heavy for their size. Their skin should be smooth and shiny, and their color, whether it be purple, white or green, should be vivid. They should be free of discoloration, scars, and bruises, which usually indicate that the flesh beneath has become damaged and possibly decayed.

The stem and cap, on either end of the eggplant, should be bright green in color. As you would with other fruits and vegetables, avoid purchasing eggplant that has been waxed. To test for the ripeness of an eggplant, gently press the skin with the pad of your thumb. If it springs back, the eggplant is ripe, while if an indentation remains, it is not.

Although they look hardy, eggplants are actually very perishable and care should be taken in their storage. Eggplants are sensitive to both heat and cold and should ideally be stored at around 50 degrees Farenheit (10 degrees Celsius). Do not cut eggplant before you store it as it perishes quickly once its skin has been punctured or its inner flesh exposed.

So how should one eat an eggplant?
When cutting an eggplant, use a stainless steel knife as carbon steel will react with its phytonutrients and cause it to turn black. Wash the eggplant first and then cut off the ends.

Most eggplants can be eaten either with or without their skin. However, the larger ones and those that are white in color generally have tough skins that may not be palatable. To remove skin, you can peel it before cutting or if you are baking it, you can scoop out the flesh once it is cooked.

To tenderize the flesh's texture and reduce some of its naturally occurring bitter taste, you can sweat the eggplant by salting it. After cutting the eggplant into the desired size and shape, sprinkle it with salt and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes. This process will pull out some of its water content and make it less permeable to absorbing any oil used in cooking.

Rinsing the eggplant after "sweating" will remove most of the salt.

Eggplant can be baked, roasted in the oven, or steamed. If baking it whole, pierce the eggplant several times with a fork to make small holes for the steam to escape. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (about 177 degrees Celsius) for 15 to 25 minutes, depending upon size. You can test for its readiness by gently inserting a knife or fork to see if it passes through easily.

Some delicious eggplant eating tips include;
-For homemade babaganoush, purée roasted eggplant, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil. Use it as a dip for vegetables or as a sandwich filling.

-Mix cubed baked eggplant with grilled peppers, lentils, onions and garlic and top with balsamic vinaigrette.

-Stuff miniature Japanese eggplants with a mixture of feta cheese, pine nuts and roasted peppers.

-Add eggplant to your next Indian curry stir-fry.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I mentioned in the previous post different sources of Vitamin D. Today I came across an article about men not getting enough vitamin D, so I thought I would write another blog about a study that was done.

New research published in the June 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine links low levels of vitamin D -- the "sunshine vitamin" -- with a higher risk of heart attack in men.

AS mentioned previously, you can get vitamin D by drinking milk and eating foods fortified with the vitamin. But the body also makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Studies have shown spikes in heart disease-related deaths at higher latitudes and during the winter months - areas and times of less daylight -- and decreases in such deaths at lower latitudes and during the summer.

For the current study, Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD, of Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and colleagues reviewed medical records and blood samples of 454 men aged 40 to 75 who had heart attacks and survived or who had died of heart disease. They compared the information with similar data from 900 living men who did not have a history of heart disease, also noting the men's diet and lifestyle factors.

The researchers learned that men who had vitamin D levels of 15 ng/mL or less in their blood samples -- an indication of vitamin D deficiency -- had an increased risk for heart attack compared to those whose vitamin D level was considered sufficient (30 ng/mL). The twofold increased risk remained significant even when adjusting for other factors known to contribute to heart disease, such as high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of heart disease.

Men with intermediate levels of vitamin D also were more likely to have a heart attack than those with adequate vitamin D levels.

"Vitamin D deficiency has been related to an increasing number of conditions and to total [death]. These results further support an important role for vitamin D in [heart attack] risk," the researchers say in a news release. "The present findings add further support that the current dietary requirements of vitamin D need to be increased to have an effect on [vitamin D] levels substantially large enough for potential health benefits."

The typical American diet often does not provide enough vitamin D since few foods naturally contain the vitamin. Eating plenty of vitamin-D-fortified foods, such as milk, cereals, and certain brands of orange juice, and getting lots of sunshine are key to maintaining adequate vitamin D levels.

Some people may need to take vitamin D supplements, especially those over 50. Older adults have a higher risk for vitamin D deficiency because aging itself makes it harder for the body to make vitamin D and convert it to a useable form.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Vitamin D and Healthful Diets

According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, "nutrient needs should be met primarily through consuming foods. Foods provide an array of nutrients and other compounds that may have beneficial effects on health. In certain cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful sources of one or more nutrients that otherwise might be consumed in less than recommended amounts. However, dietary supplements, while recommended in some cases, cannot replace a healthful diet."

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans describes a healthy diet as one that:

-Emphasizes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.

-Milk is fortified with vitamin D, as are many ready-to-eat cereals and a few brands of yogurt and orange juice. Cheese naturally contains small amounts of vitamin D.
Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.

-Fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are very good sources of vitamin D. Small amounts of vitamin D are also found in beef liver and egg yolks.

-Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
Vitamin D is added to some margarines.

-Stays within your daily calorie needs.

For more information about building a healthful diet, refer to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans ( and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's food guidance system, My Pyramid (

Friday, August 29, 2008


If you are snapping at co-workers or feeling anxious about an upcoming social event or just plain cranky, it could be something you ate. Or didn't eat.

Food has a direct effect on your stress levels. According to a March 2008 study, women with high levels of the stress hormone cortisol tend to eat more calorie-dense sweet foods and far less fresh meat, fish and vegetables. A survey launched by the U.K's Food and Mood Project in 2001 showed that people who consume more sugar, caffeine, alcohol and candy felt more stress, while those who ate more vegetables, fruit and oil rich fish, felt the least stressed.

Here is a list that was complied of 7 calming nutrients and the foods they can be found in;

ANTIOXIDANTS-Blueberries, broccoli, cantelope, carrots, citrus, collards, eggs, fish, shellfish, garlic, green peppers, kale, nuts, red cabbage, squash, sweet potatoes and tomatoes

B6-Avocado, chickpeas, peanut butter, prok, salmon, spinach, sunflower seeds, tomato and walnuts

B12-Beef,eggs, lamb and poultry

MAGNESIUM-Almonds, bananas, broccoli, buckwheat, cashews, dates, dried figs, green beans, kidney beans, mangoes, oats, shrimp, soy and spinach

FIBER-Apples, avocado, barley, broccoli, brussels sprouts, dates, green peas, lentils, navy beans, oat bran, pears, prunes, raspberries, spainch, split peas, whole grains

IODINE-Cows milk, eggs, mozzarella cheese, strawberries and yogurt

PROTEIN-Almonds, beef, cashews, cheese, chicken, cows milk, eggs, fish, kidney beans, tofu, turkey and yogurt


More laternative flours catering to gluten free diets and expanding palates are appearing on market shelves. Although it can be tough to make pizza dough without the wheat (gluten proteins give the crust its characteristic chewy texture), alternative flours can be substituted for part oif the wheat flour (one part alternative flour to three parts whole wheat) to give your crust, or your breads, muffins, enticing new flavor, as well as extra nutrients;

ALMOND FLOUR-made from finely ground blanched almonds, almond flour is high in vitamin E and magnesium and delicate in flavor and texture. This is ideal for dessert pizzas, or perhaps banana bread.

COCONUT FLOUR-in protein and fiber, coconut flour may be harder to find, but its distinctive rich flavor makes it worth the hunt.

CHICKPEA FLOUR-Chickpeas(or garbanzo beans, as they are often called) are rich in protein and iron, and are fragrantly earthy when ground up and baked into a chewy whole grained pizza dough.

HAZELNUT FLOUR-replacing a quarter of your whole wheat flour with hazelnut flour gives your dough a sweet nuttiness as well as fiber and iron.

CORN FLOUR-Mixing one part corn flour with three parts whole wheat flour adds a signature sweetness. Stone ground corn flour, with its high fiber content, is best.

RICE FLOUR-Both brown and white rice flours are available and either may be used in pizza dough, but borwn flour is made from the whole kernel, bran included, so it is high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Don't Swear Off Soy Yet, Guys!

In the wake of the recent study linking soy to reduced sperm concentration in men, newspaper and Internet headlines proclaimed the health food a cause of male infertility. While it is true that the study was the largest so far to examine soy's effects on sperm, the finding don't mean male fans of tofu burgers and soy milk need to abandon the foods just yet. The reasearch on soy and sperm is still in its preliminary stages-and so far is highly conflicting.

The 99 men involved in the study had visited the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center between 2000 and 2006, where they answered questions about the types and amounts of soy foods they had eaten in the last three months. Sme of the items on th list were tempeh, tofu, soy cheese, miso soup, edamame and protein shakes.

In the final analysis, men who reported eating the most soy products had an average or 35-41 million fewer sperm per milliliter of ejaculate than those who reported eating no soy. (Men who eschewed soy had an average of 82 million sperm per milliliter; according to the World Health Organization, anything above 20 million sperm per milliliter is normal.) The effect was particularly marked in overweight or obese men, who made up to 72% of the men in the study.

The researchers, who published their findings online in th journal Human Reproduction, had fairly good reason to think soy foods might harm sperm. Soy and soy foods are rich in isoflavones, plant chemicals that mimic the activity of the female sex hormone estrogen. When lab rats are exposed to plant estrogens (known as phytoestrogens) in utero or in early life, they have smaller testicles and lower testosterone levels than their phytoestrogen-free peers.

However, phytoestrogen does not always have such detrimental effects. In rabbits, consuming plant estrogens has been shown to improve sperm quality and improve sex drive. Also, a 2001 study of 14 men concluded that phytoestrogen intake had no effect on men's reproductive organs or semen. Similarly, a 2006 study of 58 men found that phytoestrogen consumption increased sperm count and improved sperm motility.

Andrew La Barbera, the scientific director of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, claims that phytoestrogens have very weak estrogenic activity in humans. He claims one would need to consume enormous quantities to affect anything. La Barbara also adds that current studies do not prove a causal relationship between soy and sperm, they just suggest a correlation. Also, although the study accounted for men's smoking, caffeine and alcohol consumption and differences in age, it did not rule out other dietary or behavioral factors that may have accounted for the variations in sperm.

Soy has come under fire before. Studies of varying quality have linked tofu to dementia, soy infant formula to immune system damage and soy products to an increased risk of bladder cancer. Soy has also been praised as a way to prevent prostate and breast cancers, osteoporosis, hot flashes and heart disease.

It is likely the pendulum on soy research will continue to swing back and forth as researchers undertake studies of different sizes, designs and lines of inquiry. A case in point: Since 1999, the Food and Drug Administration has allowed soy foods containing at least 6.25 grams of soy protein per serving to bear labels claiming they can help prevent heart disease, based on soy's demonstrated ability to lower levels of LDL or "bad" cholesterol. But in 2006, an American Heart Association Committee revisited the evidence and concluded that soy protein has only minimal cholesterol lowering abilities.

Still, the committee said, soy foods could be a plus to those hoping to reduce their risk of heart disease. Tofu, tempeh and soymilk may not be "superfoods," but they are still pretty healthful, naturally low in saturated fat and high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Top Fiber-Rich Foods

In recognition of fiber's many benefits, the magazine Today's Dietician looks at some of the best ways to boost fiber intake-from whole to fortified foods, using data from the USDA National Nutrient Data-base for Standard Reference.

1. Hop on the Bran Wagon! Bran from many grains is very rich in dietary fiber. Oat bran is high in soluble fiber, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. Wheat, corn and rice bran are high in insoluble fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Bran can be sprinkled into your favorite foods-from hot cereal to pancakes, cookies and muffins. Many high fiber cereals such as All-Bran and Fiber One are also packed with bran.

2. Going to Bean Town- Beans are one of the most naturally rich sources of fiber, as well as protein, lysine, vitamins and minerals. Some people experience intestinal gas and discomfort associated with bean intake, so they may be better off slowly introducing beans into their diet. Encourage a variety of beans. Some of these high fiber options include lima beans, adzuki beans, black beans, garbanzo benas, kidney beans and lentils.

3. Go Berry Picking- Since berries are packed with tiny seeds, their fiber content is typically higher than that of many fruits. You can enjoy berries year round by making the most of local berries in the summer, and eating frozen, preservedand dried berries during the other seasons. Berries make great toppings for cereals, yogurt, salads and desserts. Elderberries boast the highest fiber content at 10 grams per cup, followed closely by blackberries, loganberries, raspberries and boysenberries.

4. Wholesome Whole Grains- A grain in nature is essentially the entire seed of the plant made up of the bran, germ and the endosperm. Refining the grain removes the germ and the bran, thus fiber and other key nutrients are lost. Te Whole Grains council recognizes a variety of grains and defines whole grains or foods made from them as containing "all the essential parts and naturally occuring nutrients of the entire grain seed." Some different whole grains to incorporate into your diet include amaranth (6 g of fiber per 1/4 cup), barley, rye flour and buckwheat. Oats and Popcorn are some of the more familiar sounding grains that are included in this list.

5. Sweet Peas! Peas are naturally chock full of fiber, Split peas pack an amazing 16 grams of fiber per cup when cooked. Frozen peads are not far behind with 14 grams per 1 cup serving. Some other are black eyed peas and pigeon peas.

6. Green, the Color of Fiber- There are more than 1,000 species of plants with edible leaves, many with similar nutritional attributes, including high-fiber content. Cooked turnip greens, mustard greens and collard greens contain 5 grams of fiber per cup.

7. Squirrel Away Nuts and Seeds- One ounce of nuts and seeds can provide a hearty contribution to the day's fiber recommendation, alng with the bonus of healthy fats, protein and phytochemicals, Some great picks to go nuts over-almonds, pistachios, cashews and peanuts.

8. Play Squash! These nutritious gems are part of the gourd family and contribute a variety of flavors, textures and colors, as well as fiber, vitamins, minerals and carotenoids, to the dinner plate. Brush squash with olive oil and grill it in the summertime for a healthy, flavorful accompaniment to grilled meats.

9. Brassica or Bust! Brassy beauties, including broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and brussel sprouts, are also full of fiber. Brassica vegetables have also been studied for their cancer protective effects associated with their high levels or glucosinolates.

10. Hot Potatoes- The top vegetable crop in the world is plump with fiber. There are numerous potatoes that can provide a rainbow of colors, nutrients and flavors-and remind you to eat the skins to reap the greatest fiber rewards. ome favorites are the russet, the red potato or the sweet potato, packing 4 grams of fiber in one medium potato.

Some other top fiber rich foods include every day fruits such as pears, apples, bananas and dried fruits such as prunes and figs. Exotic foods such as avocado, edamame and jicama also pack a whopping 6 grams of fiber per cup serving. There are also many foods fortified with fiber-Silk Soy Milk is fortified with 5 grams of fiber per cup and high fiber bars such as Gnu High Fiber bar has 12 grams of fiber per bar! So you can see there is no excuse to not get your fiber going!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Often overshadowed by the brighter colored veggies that boldly showcase their phytonutrients, the mushroom seems to pale in comparison. However, the mushroom's reputation as a nutritional lightweight is beginning to change.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released nutrient data for the seven most commonly eaten mushrooms-cremini, enoki, maitake, oyster, portabella, shiitake and white button. The data reveals that mushrooms contain surprising levels of nutrients including fiber, B vitamins and the minerals selenium, potassium and copper. Providing about 4 percent of the daily value per serving, mushrooms also are one of the only plant sources of vitamin D. A single serving of white button mushrooms could contain almost nine times the daily value of vitamin D after exposure to only five minutes of UV light. This would make it a richer source than two tablespoons of cod liver oil, one of the best current sources of the vitamin.
Scientists are unearthing more potential health benefits linked to mushrooms. There are a number of mushrooms that appear to help the body fight cancer and build the immune system - Shiitake, maitake, reishi, Agaricus blazei Murill, and Coriolus Versicolor. These mushrooms contain polysaccharides, especially Lentinan, powerful compounds that help in building immunity. They are a source of Beta Glucan. They also have a protein called lectin, which attacks cancerous cells and prevents them from multiplying. They also contain Thioproline. These mushrooms can stimulate the production of interferon in the body.
Mushrooms can also aid in weight loss. They are about 90 percent water, making them low in calories (about 20 kcal per serving)and virtually fat free. One study found that participants saved 350-400 kcal a day using mushrooms in place of meat in lasagna, chili and other entrees.
So how can you incorporate more mushrooms into your kitchen? Add crunchy raw enokis to salads or soup. Stir-fry almost any fresh mushroom or saute with garlic and toss with pasta. op steaks, chicken and omelets with sauteed mushrooms. Creminis, which resemble brown button mushrooms, may be eaten oven roasted with a drizzle of olive oil and eaten hot or allowed to cool and toss into a salad. Portabellas are perfect for brushing with sesame oil and soy sauce and grilling. Dried mushrooms, such as porcini and shiitake, add flavor to stocks, sauces and risotto. Just cover the mushrooms with hot(not boiling) water and soak them for 15 minutes before using...then eat up!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Grapes...Good things DO come in small packages!!

If you are craving something sweet, a handful of grapes just may do the trick, and a little bit more. California grapes of all colors-green, red and blue-black-are packed with phytonutrients that are beneficial for good health. Phytonutrients are compounds found in plants that enhance health and protect against chronic disease. Grapes contain a unique combination of antioxidant phytonutrients, including resveratrol, which is found in the skin of all grapes and a variety of flavonoids. Grapes are also a good source of vitamin C and they contain potassium, which has been shown to help reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Grapes are a portable,convenient snack and rank with apples and bananas as the top three most frequently purchased fruits. A 3/4 cup serving of grapes contains only 86 calories, so eat up!!
Some quick tips on increasing your consumption of grapes include adding grapes and Mandarin oranges to salad greens or spinach leaves for sweet flavor, packing grapes in plastic containers for a healthy on-the-go snack or make a breakfast smoothie by blending grapes, bananas, orange juice, soymilk and ice cubes...Delicious!
Check out for more information on this fabulous little fruit!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Livit instead of Diet!

UCLA researchers report in the journal of the American Psychological Association: "You can initially lose 5 to 10 percent of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back," said Traci Mann, UCLA associate professor of Psychology and lead author of the study.  "We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more.  Sustained weight loss was found only in a small minority of participants, while complete weight regain was found in the majority.  Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people."  Mann and her co-authors conducted the most comprehensive analysis of diet studies, analyzing 31 long-term studies of people who were on diets for two to five years.  They concluded that "most of them would have been better off not going on the diet at all."  Their weight would be pretty much the same, and their bodies would not suffer the wear and tear from losing weight and gaining it all back." At least one-third to two-thirds of people on diets regain more weight than they lost within four or five years, and the true number may well be significantly higher (since many participants self-reported their initial weight).  "Several studies indicate that dieting is actually a consistent predictor of future weight gain," said Janet Tomiyama, a UCLA co-author of the study. One study found that both men and women who participated in formal weight-loss programs gained significantly more weight over a two-year period than those who had not participated in a weight-loss program. People in control groups who did not diet were not that much worse off and in many cases were better off than those who did not diet.
So if diets do not work what does? A "Livit" coined by Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD, the one and only Livitician(tm)describes as a way of doing lifestyle changes that are livable, practical and satisfying. Deborah Klein, says the definition of a successful weight loss program is one that a person can follow for life, the way that a person loses the weight needs to be the way that a person can live with for life. Diets are depriving, which is the main psychological reason that diets don't work. A "livit" is eating what you enjoy with a balance. Eat every 4 hours to keep your metabolism up and aim for exercising 4 to 6 times per week. Think of moving rather than exercise. Enjoy being able to MOVE!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Five Fabulous Anti-Aging Foods!

Do you have a friend looks 21, but is well over 35? Or a 70 year old grandmother with the spunk of a 15 year old? You could chalk it up to good genes or even plastic surgery. But, SURPRISE!! Slowing down the aging process is something YOU have control over. It all boils down to...SURPRISE again...your diet.The foods you eat make a huge difference in how your body responds to all aspects of aging, including your strength and stamina. Not to mention consuming the right foods can also fend off ills such as cancer and heart disease. Here are five foods you should have in your refrigerator that are guaranteed to help you turn back the clock.1. Spinach- Not only does spinach provide your body with calcium,but one cup of this fresh leafy green provides more than one and a half times your daily vitamin K requirement. Adequate intake of vitamin K can keep your bones strong and prevent fractures. Eating more spinach will also keep your eyes sparkling and clear because spinach is also a number one source of lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that make up part of the retina. 2. Curry Powder- Curry helps maintain your mental muscle because it is packed with tumeric, a spice that is rich in curcumin. Researchers believe that curcumin wards off Alzheimers by preventing the growth of amyloid plaques, sticky proteins that are toxic to brain cells. Curcumin also shields us from free radicals (formed when we metabolize oxygen).3. Tomatoes- Filling up on tomatoes may help protect your skin due to their main component, lycopene, which protects skin from oxidation that results from sun damage and leads to wrinkles. Eating tomatoes with olive oil can also aid in lycopene absorption.4. Almonds- Almonds are packed with hard to get vitamin E. One small handful delivers half of your daily dose! This nutrient keeps you graceful and agile. Some good ideas to incorporate almonds into your diet include spreading almond butter on a whole wheat English muffin along with a sliced banana and honey, sprinkling slivered almonds into low fat yogurt, or making your own trail mix with equal parts chopped almond and dried, chopped fruit.5. Chocolate- The flavonols in dark chocolate lower blood pressure, encouraging blood vessels to relax, keeping them youthful, supple and pliable. This is heart healthy news considering blood pressure typically rises as you get older. However, you don't need much chocolate to benefit from blood pressure lowering effects. Researchers recently found that just a quarter of an ounce of dark chocolate per day trimmed two to three points off hypertensive patients' blood pressure. Look for dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Kelp Can Help!!

Have you ever consumed alginate, carrageenan or beta carotene? If you have ever eaten store- bought ice cream or salad dressing, you have! These ingredients are derivatives of kelp, which has ben used for thousands of years in locations such as Japan, Greece and China as a food source, medicine and fertilizer. Since the 1980s, Americans are using kelp as a supplement to promote lower cholesterol, burn fat, manage thyroid problems and prevent cancer.

Kelp is a type of seaweed that is part of the algae family. It is one of the most common and largest types of seaweed. There are many species of kelp, including kombu, bladderfucus, wakame, cutweed and bladderwrack. Kelp is rich in various minerals such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iodine. It also contains vitamins B12, C and E, protein, and healthy, indigestible carbohydrates/ lignans.

So what can Kelp do for you? There are various reported benefits to kelp supplementation. There are antibacterial and antifungal benefits. Researchers believe that the halogens, iodine and bromine found in kelp are effective antiseptics and disinfectants. It is also alleged that kelp has anticoagulant effects due to the fucans or fucoidans, which are sulfated polysaccharides found in brown seaweed. The fucoidans in kelp are also thought to provide antioxidant activity, although no human clinical studies have been completed to validate whether kelp provides sufficient antioxidant activity.

Kelp may play a role in cancer prevention. This claim stems from epidemiological studies showing a relationship between sea vegetable consumption and a decreased incidence of breast cancer in Japanese women. Some researchers are now investigating kelp and other sea vegetable consumption.

Supplement makers claim that bladderwrack can lower blood insulin levels and therefore may be an alternative or complementary treatment for diabetes. Kelp has also been used to treat goiter for hundreds of years. However, kelp contains a significant amount (500-8,000 micrograms per gram!) of iodine, and too much iodine can cause thyroid and skin problems and research does not indicate that kelp supplements are any more effective at preventing goiter than iodized salt.

Kelp has also been said to help with weight loss, cholesterol reduction and cardiovascular disease prevention. This is due to fucoxanthin, a pigment found in brown seaweed that appears to stimulate a protein that causes oxidation and conversion of energy to heat. This protein happens to be found in white adipose tissue in the abdominal area. Fucoxanthin also has been found to stimulate animals liver to produce docosahexaenoic acid which in turn reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol ("bad cholesterol") levels. Researchers hope to find similar reactions in human clinical trials.

While kelp supplements are a good source of iodine, the variability of iodine content makes regular kelp supplementation potentially harmful. Potential adverse effects are related to iodine content and heavy metals, Overdosing on iodine may trigger, as mentioned above, abnormal thyroid problems and acnelike skin lesions.

At this time, including edible kelp and other sea vegetables as part of a healthy dietary regimen is fine, but solely using kelp supplements for thyroid management, as a cancer preventative or to lose weight is not recommended.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sensible Snacking for Your Busy Lifestyle!

So, you wake up and have a healthy breakfast at 8am. You get to work and things at the office start to get busy, before you know it, the clock is ticking down to 1pm and you havent even had lunch....the vending machine is calling for you to sabotage your healthy habits with sugary candy and salt laden chips...what should you do? Here are some sensible snacking tips knowledgeable RDs have found to help you through your day...
1. Plan ahead! Preparation is key to healthy work snacking and making proper food choices. Store your staple foods in the refrigerator and use a toaster oven to heat your leftovers (please forego the microwave) and bring foods from home to snack on, for lunch and even dinner, depending on how long you think you may be at the office. What you don't end up eating can be saved for the next day's snack! Some good options are fruits such as apples, pears, or bagging fresh pineapple or melon chunks, whole wheat crackers, sprouted grain tortillas for some carbs and some low fat cheese, cottage cheese, nuts, edamame (soybeans) for your protein source).

2. Brake for breakfast! If you have not eaten breakfast in the morning before racing off to work, start keeping some healthy items at the office in case you find yourself stopping off for a doughnut. Oatmeal and walnuts, peanut butter and whole wheat toast, or low fat yogurt and fruit are easy to store and prepare!

3. Packing Tips! For packing your snacks-sandwich baggies, plastic wrap and foil work the best. Reusable glass containers save money and waste and can be used safely to reheat foods. A good tip is to prepare snacks at home while you are preapring dinner. You are already in the kitchen anyway, so why not get things together beforehand? Also if you buy dried fruits, nuts, or trail mix in general, it is a good idea to portion these items out when you bring them home, especially if you buy them in bulk. This will also help prevent overeating when snacking.

4. Portion Sizes! Moderation is the key to healthy living. With chips and crackers, preportion the amount rather than sitting down with the entire bag. Portion out foods into small bags or containers. Another option is to buy preportioned products, such as the 100 calorie packs, and then go on to portioning your own food choices once you have become in tune with your appropriate portion sizes.

5. Out of the Ordinary Options-Unusual options such as sundried tomatoes or pomegranate seeds can be a real treat. Or even eggplant or squash dipped in some hummus. An artichoke is a balanced snack dipped with a little Italian Dressing or organic mayonnaise. This can be a trick to healthier eating, because it varies up your selections, eating some atypical tasty foods.

6. Junk Food Fixins- If you absolutely must have chips, look for the ones that are baked, not fried. Try to find whole grain chips with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and less than 30% of calories from fat. Try to avoid flavored foods. This just adds a lot of unnecesary artificial ingredients. Also, chips made with heart healthier oils such as sunflower and corn oil are higher in the good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

7. Brewin Beverages-Coffee is not necesarily bad news if you are looking for a lighter snack, but make sure you pay attention to when you drink it as well as what you put in it. Drinking coffee anytime after 11am or 12pm may cause sleep disruptions later in the evening. For those who want to steer clear of the coffee bar, there are other drink options such as herbal tea or flavored water. You can even make your own by putting raspberries or cucumber in refrigerated water for flavored "spa water."

Overall, the Livitician says, "make every eating time count, make the most of your snack time with an optimal balance of high fiber carbohydrates and low fat protein, e.g, fruit and a handful of nuts, or Stony field farms low fat yogurt (has fiber in it)". Snacks help prevent over eating at meals and to keep the metabolism working out along with us during the day. If snacks are good, wholesome foods, then no worries about spoiling your appetite. In fact, appropriate and strategic snacking
can help bridge the hunger gap between meals and help keep you better focused and more productive, and help achieve your health and weight goals!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Vertigo, are you feeling dizzy?

Vertigo- is a sensation of dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness that results from an impaired sense of balance and equilibrium; it is usually due to an inner ear problem.

Dietary and Overall Recommendations:

  • Limit your total sodium intake to less than 2,000 milligrams (2 grams) per day. Aim for eating foods that are less than 150 mg sodium per serving. Excess sodium can disrupt the inner ear's functioning power.
  • Try to stay clear from alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, and all fried foods.

  • To subdue dizziness, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and stare at a fixed object for a few minutes.

  • If you begin to experience dizziness soon after taking new medication, assume that the problem is drug related, speak to your Physician or Pharmacist.
  • If vertigo is a problem that keeps coming, consult your health care provider. It may be a sign of an underlying concern that requires treatment.
  • Air contains less oxygen at altitudes high above sea level. Lower oxygen levels can cause mild, temporary dizziness or lightheadedness - so increasing your water intake is key overall to help increase your oxygenation no matter what altitude you are at.
Also, to increase your oxygenation vascularly which will help prevent dizziness, drink alkalanized water, which increases your oxygen count and increases your overall immunity. To purchase: Contact Dr. Daniel Rude, (310) 867-3923 or 1-866-261-9500 mention Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD referred you, for a water filter to increase your oxygenation and alkalinity.

Health and happiness to you.

Your Livitician,

Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Having trouble getting your veggies in?

Here's a quick way to get your veggies in. Put them in your smoothie, make it the night before, keep the blender in the refrigerator and just press whip before you leave the house, and you have a quick on-the-go shake full of antioxidants. In a Vitamixer (the best powerful blender available on the products tab of, select the vitamix link) place all these ingredients in and blend: Ingredients: 1/2 cup of frozen chopped spinach (pesticide free or organic-just throw it in frozen, no pre-cooking needed), 3/4 cup frozen organic strawberries, 1 cup organic frozen wild blueberries, 1/2 cup organic vanilla yogurt, 3 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk, 1 Tbsp. Bob's Red Mill All Natural Powdered Egg whites, 1 banana. Enjoy 1 cup to 12 ounces as a snack full of calcium, vitamin C, potassium, iron, high fiber carbohydrates to fuel/energize you, and high biological value protein to sustain you optimally for 3 to 4 hours.

Also, disguise your veggies in some brownies (blend some spinach or zucchini in your chocolate brownie mix, it sounds bizarre but it does work, anything tastes good with chocolate)! Have one indulgence a day is part of the Livit plan, if you desire it, the best way to fit desserts in is as part of a meal, or eaten within 2 hours after a meal, by decreasing some of your carbs. For example, replace 1 cup of pasta with 1/2 cup of dessert or a 4 inch brownie. Enjoy LIVITING!!!

Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

Monday, April 7, 2008

Artificial Sweeteners: Not as sweet as you think!

A common question that my patients ask me relates to what artificial sweetener is ok to use, "Is sucralose ok..., is splenda ok..., aspartame, sorbitol..?" Here's the quick bottom line on my recommendations relating to what the best sweetener is: Choose the sweetener that is in it's natural state. Agave Nectar is my top choice recommendation. It's the sap from the Agave cactus plant, you know what they make tequilla from. Agave sweetener is naturally extracted from the pineapple-shaped core of the Agave, a cactus-like plant native to Mexico. With a 90% fruit sugar content, it absorbs slowly into the body, decreasing the highs and lows associated with sucrose (table sugar) intake. Agave nectar, "Sweet Cactus Farms" is my favorite brand, available at Whole Foods, or Agave nectar is at least 35% sweeter than sugar, so you can use less and save on calories. When baking with Agave Nectar: Reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees, replace 1 cup sugar with 3/4 cup Agave. Reduce recipe liquids by 1/3.

Great news for people with diabetes, Agave nectar is a suitable sweetener for you. Since, agave is more slowly absorbed, it will not stimulate overproduction of insulin, thus it won't overwork the pancreas. A little squirt of agave is all you need, and 1 tsp. of agave is only 4 grams of carbs, thus a diabetic exchange free food. It's great in tea, or your 1 cup of coffee, or on whole grain waffles.
The next best sweeteners to agave is raw sugar, "Sucanat", natural sugar cane, very vitamin and mineral rich, thus more slowly absorbed, and organic maple syrup, and raw honey, specifically manuka honey is good.

Bottom line: stay alla naturalle when it comes to all your food choices as much as you can. I do not recommend artificial sweeteners, they have been linked with the obesity epidemic because they are so sweet, they make people hungrier and they are not food, they are synthetic, splenda by the way, what a lot of people think is natural is derived from sugar and chlorinated-thus can be carcinogenic.

Enjoy your food naturally, the real stuff tastes better.

Health and happiness to you,
Your livitician,

Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Higher belly fat increases risk for dementia!

Belly fat is toxic fat! When the fat is in your stomach it is in your organs, it's visceral fat, when it's in the hip area it's not a big deal in terms of your health, because it's subcutaneous (just under the skin). Research has shown that having more fat in your abdominal area, increases your risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and this week a study published in the journal Neurology showed that it is also associated with declining brain function as well.

Using medical records, researchers examined the belly size of 6,583 middle-age people between 1964 and 1973 and then looked to see whether they were diagnosed with dementia an average of 36 years later. THE RESULTS: Just being overweight or obese nearly doubled one's risk of dementia in old age. Having high levels of central-body (tummy) fat increases the risk more, boosting an obese person's risk 3.6 times higher than a normal-weight individual with low belly fat. And, even people who were at a normal weight with high levels of belly fat showed an elevated risk of dementia. WHAT'S THE CAUSE for this association? Fat is known to produce a variety of potentially harmful substances that cause inflammation, disrupting blood flow to the heart and possibly the brain, which could be the link to dementia, but we don't know for sure.

Bottom Line: Focus on decreasing that belly fat, by moving more (aim for 6 times a week of 45 minutes of cardio (can break it up 15 minutes up and down some stairs, 15 minutes walking and 15 minutes dancing) and eating when you are hungry, smaller meals every 4 hours including high fiber carbohydrates (e.g., fruit, whole grains, starchy vegetables-yams, peas, butternut squash) and low fat protein (e.g., low fat organic dairy, fish, chicken/turkey breast, egg whites with 1 yolk, beans with some guacamole for good fat) at each eating time. Bring that glass (rather than plastic leaching) water bottle around with you wherever you go, keep sipping all day, a lot of times we think we are hungry, we may really be dehydrated. Enjoy LIVITING!

Your Livitician,

Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Black Tea May Help Fight Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is the fastest growing epidemic in the world. According to World Health Organization, more than 350 million people worldwide will have the disease by 2030. Type II diabetes is a disease where the body's cells have become resistant to insulin, an essential regulator of blood sugar.
Dr. Graham Rena and his team at the Neuroscience Institute of the University of Dundee have found that the compounds theaflavins and thearubigins present in black tea may help combat Type II Diabetes. Rena and colleagues are researching these compounds that have the potential to replace insulin in type 2 diabetics. His team has found that the black tea compounds behave like insulin. "There is definitely something worth exploring in these natural substances in black tea, and they may have health giving benefits, not just to people with diabetes" says Rena.
The research is in the beginning stages but Dr. Rena is hoping to get more funding in order to continue his study.

(Medical News Today, March 4, 2008)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Vegetarian Values

Going vegetarian is not as hard as it may seem. Here are some of my FAVORITE vegetarian recipes to assist you on your journey toward a healthier lifestyle.



6 ounces of tofu (organic soft or “silken” packed in water, rinse and drain) or ¼ cup nonfat dry milk powder or whey protein powder
6 ounces organic plain low fat yogurt
1 small banana
½ cup strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
½ cup fruit of your choice (e.g. frozen peaches, mixed berries, or cherries)
4 cups of organic vanilla soy milk (try “Silk”)
Optional –for added fiber and omega-3 essential fatty acids, stir in a Tablespoon of ground flaxseed (try Organic Bob’s Red Mill whole ground flaxseed meal) to the cup you drink, so it doesn’t get rancid, you need to drink it right away.
Directions: In a blender, put all ingredients together. If you like a thinner shake, add water and use less milk. Put the top on the blender, chop, blend, and whip. You’re all set for an energizing breakfast or snack. Add a piece of whole wheat/grain toast or a small bowl of >5 grams dietary fiber cereal with the shake for even more sustainable energy. Make this shake the night before, keep it in the blender and store it in the refrigerator. The next morning, just press whip, and you’ve got a quick and easy “on-the-go” energizer.

Serving size: 1.5 cups
Total servings: ~4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
239 Calories, 31 grams Carbohydrates, 16 grams Protein, 6 grams Fat


Olive oil spray
1 package of macaroni (whole wheat), cooked
2 Tablespoons “Earth Balance” margarine (no hydrogenated oils)
1 ½ Tablespoons organic all-purpose flour
2 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk or nonfat milk
Salt - pinch
Freshly ground pepper - pinch
Cayenne pepper – pinch (optional)
½ cup grated mozzarella cheese (made with part-skim milk)
½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (made with part-skim milk)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Melt the margarine in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit (it will be a medium thickness), don’t let it brown-about 2 minutes. Add the soymilk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring to a boil. (Trick: If the sauce doesn’t thicken, then in a cup make a mixture of a ½ tablespoon of flour and 2 tablespoons of cold water that is thin liquid, no bumps, then slowly add to your sauce until the sauce is just the thickness you want). Add salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste, and stir in grated mozzarella cheese, lower the heat, and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat, (To cool this sauce for later use, cover it with wax paper). Spray a 9X13 casserole dish with olive oil. Put the cooked macaroni into the casserole, pour the cheese sauce over it, and mix gently with a fork. Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese evenly over the top and spread the crumbs over the cheese. Bake, uncovered, until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes.
Total servings: ~4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
231 Calories, 20 grams Carbohydrates, 15 grams Protein, 9 grams Fat



½ cup of organic black beans or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 ounce of shredded part-skim milk mozzarella cheese
1 whole-wheat or sprouted-grain or corn tortilla
1/8 avocado cut-up
salsa to taste

Directions: In a toaster oven at 350° F place a tortilla on the oven rack, scoop the beans on top then sprinkle the cheese on top of the beans fold the tortilla over and cook until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Then place the burrito on a plate, lift up the tortilla, place sliced avocado and salsa inside. Have with a side mixed green salad; you have an optimally balanced quick meal for lunch or dinner. Make another one for your significant other. Serves: 1 to 2

*Another option: Have an egg burrito with some steamed spinach and basil and tomato. In a bowl put an egg and 2 egg whites and sprinkle some seasonings of choice (try 21 seasoning salute from TJ’s or lemon pepper, onion powder, pepper), whip with fork. Then pour into a non-stick sauté pan greased with a drizzle of canola oil and mix in some fresh spinach, fresh basil, and tomatoes. Scramble everything together until the spinach and basil are wilted. It’s delicious put into a whole-wheat tortilla or mixed with some brown rice/barley. Again, optimal quick and easy cooking at it’s finest.

Serving size: 1 burrito
Total servings: 1
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
314 Calories, 44 grams Carbohydrates, 17 grams Protein, 8 grams Fat



1 (15 ounce) can of organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can of Mexican-style or Italian-style (your choice) stewed tomatoes
1 ½ cups cooked brown rice or whole-wheat couscous
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 ounce yogurt cheese (Trader Joe’s sliced Yogurt Cheese)

Directions: In a medium saucepan, sauté ½ cup onion and garlic in oil until the onions are translucent and the garlic in tender not brown. Stir in the drained beans and undrained stewed tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer. Cover pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in yogurt cheese into mixture to melt. To serve, mound rice on individual plates; make a well in the centers. Spoon black bean mixture into centers. Add steamed vegetables on the side to make an optimally balanced meal.

* Another option is to make a pasta primavera with beans by mixing beans (Italian white kidney beans or small white beans) with Italian Style stewed tomatoes and steamed vegetables of your choice, e.g., zucchini, spinach, yellow squash, red bell peppers, sundried tomatoes, etc. over whole-wheat pasta (rotelle or penne), and sprinkle with parmesan cheese or melt shredded mozzarella on top.

Total servings: 4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
256 Calories, 48 grams Carbohydrates, 11 grams Protein, 2 grams Fat



1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 large onions, chopped (2 cups)
3 carrots, coarsely grated
¾ teaspoon marjoram, crumbled
¾ teaspoon thyme leaves, crumbled
1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes with their juice, coarsely chopped
7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (packed in a carton on a shelf at Trader Joes or Whole Foods)
1½ cups dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
¼ to ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste
6 ounces dry white wine
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
4 ounces part-skim milk organic cheddar cheese, grated

Directions: Heat the oil in a large sauté pan, sauté the onions, carrots, marjoram, and thyme, stirring the vegetables, for about 5 minutes. Then pour the mixture into a large soup pot, add the tomatoes, broth, and lentils. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer the soup for about 1 hour or until the lentils are tender. Add the pepper, wine, and parsley and simmer the soup for a few minutes. Serve with cheese sprinkled on each portion.

Total servings: 8
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
168 Calories, 17 grams Carbohydrates, 9 grams Protein, 5 grams Fat



2 lb. Leeks
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 small carrots, halved and sliced
2 Tbsp. Uncooked brown rice
1 ½ tsp. raw sugar
½ tsp. salt
Juice from half a lemon
1 ½ cups water

Directions: Trim leeks and remove a few of the outer layers and slice. Wash well several times to get rid of all dirt. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet. Stir in leeks and carrots. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, shaking the skillet occasionally. Blend in the remaining ingredients one at a time. Cover and simmer again for 30 minutes, checking occasionally. Add more water if necessary. When fully cooked, it shouldn’t be watery, but moist. Serve cold with lemon juice.

Total servings: 4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
267 Calories, 41 grams Carbohydrates, 4 grams Protein, 11 grams Fat



1 egg and 2 egg whites (2 egg replacement)
6 Tablespoons whole-wheat flour
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained well (squeeze water out by pressing down with large serving spoon)
16 ounces (2 cups) low fat cottage cheese
6 ounces Organic Cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or just a sprinkle to taste
Pinch nutmeg (optional)
3 Tablespoons raw wheat germ

Directions: In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the flour until the mixture is smooth. Add the spinach, cottage cheese, Cheddar, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg; mix the ingredients well. Pour the mixture into a well-greased 13X9X2-inch baking pan (grease by drizzling canola oil, wipe with paper towel). Sprinkle the top with wheat germ, and bake the mixture into a preheated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Let the spinach and cheese mixture stand for about 10 minutes, and then cut into 1.5 inch squares for serving.

Total servings: 10
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
166 Calories, 7 grams Carbohydrates, 14 grams Protein, 8 grams Fat



1 lb. Swiss Chard
½ cup Lowfat Milk
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
1/8 tsp. Pepper
1/8 tsp. Salt
8 oz. Fettucine, cooked according to package directions
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup chopped onion
2 large tomatoes, chopped
½ cup plain yogurt (lowfat)

Directions: Wash swiss chard, cut into small pieces. Heat oil in large 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, 1-2 minutes. Add Swiss Chard, garlic and onion; cooking 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, yogurt, milk, parmesan cheese, cooked fettucine, pepper and salt. Stir well. Serve warm.

Total servings: 4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
206 Calories, 27 grams Carbohydrates, 11 grams Protein, 7 grams Fat



1 small onion, chopped (1/3 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 (14 ½ ounce) can peeled Italian-style tomatoes, cut up
1 teaspoon dried oregano or basil, crushed
8 ounces soft silken tofu, drained
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach thawed and well drained or 10 ounces of fresh spinach or fresh vegetable of choice (e.g., zucchini, yellow squash or chard)
½ cup shredded Swiss Cheese made with part-skim milk (2 ounces)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon pine nuts or toasted sesame seed

Directions: In a large saucepan with a drizzle of canola oil, sauté the onion until translucent and the garlic until tender not brown. Add undrained tomatoes and oregano or basil. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, place tofu in a blender, whip until smooth, add a little water if needed. Add blended tofu to tomato mixture. Stir in cooked rice, spinach or vegetable of choice, half of the Swiss cheese, salt, and pepper. Grease one 2 –quart rectangular baking dish with a shine of canola oil. Spoon mixture into dish and spread evenly. Bake, uncovered in a 350 oven for 30 to 40 minutes until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and pine nuts or sesame seed.

Total servings: 4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
258 Calories, 35 grams Carbohydrates, 12 grams Protein, 8 grams Fat



4 ounces small curd low fat cottage cheese
8 ounces low fat ricotta cheese
2 cups of shredded part-skim milk mozzarella cheese
1 egg whipped with fork
1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
1 package frozen mixed vegetables (broccoli, zucchini and carrots mixture is good)
1 large clove garlic minced
¾ teaspoon ground oregano
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
¼ teaspoon salt-free seasoning (try 21 seasoning salute from TJ’s)
1 jar Organic Spaghetti Sauce (try Organic Marinara sauce from TJ’s or 365 Organic Spaghetti Sauce from Whole Foods)
1 package (8 ounces) whole-wheat lasagna noodles
Optional: 1 eggplant, thinly sliced

Directions: Put a pot of water on to boil for lasagna. In a steamer, steam the spinach and mixed vegetables (and eggplant) just to defrost. In a large bowl mix the cottage cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella, egg, spinach, mixed vegetables, garlic, and additional seasonings. In a 13X9X2 baking dish, layer 1 cup of sauce, ½ of the noodles and ½ of the cheese and vegetable mixture. Repeat. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour until bubbly and for the last 15 minutes cook without foil to get the cheese golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Total servings: 8
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
292 Calories, 17 grams Carbohydrates, 24 grams Protein, 14 grams Fat



1 ¼ pounds thin, skinless fish fillets
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 or 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard, to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1 lime, cut in wedges

Directions: Preheat the broiler. Arrange the fillets on a greased baking sheet (grease with a shine of canola oil). Then brush them with olive oil and spread the mustard evenly over them. Sprinkle the fillets with pepper. Place the fish in the broiler, about 4 inches from the heat. Broil the fish for 2 or 3 minutes until it’s golden brown. The fish is ready when it turns opaque. Serve the fish sprinkled with chives and with a wedge of lime on each plate.

Total servings: 4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
222 Calories, 2 grams Carbohydrates, 31 grams Protein, 9 grams Fat



Canola Oil Cooking Spray
2 Skinless Fillets of Fish of Choice (e.g., Orange Roughy, Sole, Wild Alaskan Halibut, Wild Alaskan Salmon, Tilapia, Sea Bass)
1/8 teaspoon Lemon Pepper Blend
1/8 teaspoon seasoning of choice (e.g., minced garlic, onion powder, cayenne pepper)
2 Fresh Lemon Wedges
1 Tablespoon Hummus Dip or Guacamole


Set the oven on broil. Spray broiler pan with canola oil cooking spray. Rinse fillets of fish, shake off excess water, and place on broiler pan. Sprinkle with seasonings. Put in oven, broil for 5 minutes on each side or until slightly golden on edges. Use a spatula to remove fish from broiler pan, place on a dinner plate, squeeze fresh lemon over the fish and dip in a little hummus or guacamole and salsa. For a complete Livit™ balanced meal, eat with some brown rice and steamed veggies.

Total servings: 2
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
163 Calories, 3 grams Carbohydrates, 20 grams Protein, 7 grams Fat



Drizzle of canola oil
1/3 cup coarse, fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
½ tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, made with skim milk
1/8 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/8 teaspoon lemon pepper
3 Tablespoons egg whites or egg substitute
½ pound white fish (e.g., orange roughy, sole, halibut, cod)
2 teaspoons earth balance, melted
2 thin slices fresh lemon
2 small sprigs fresh parsley (optional)


Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly drizzle a small, shallow baking pan with canola oil, use paper towel to spread. In a small, shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, cheese, dill, and lemon pepper. Put egg in another shallow dish; beat lightly. Dip fish in egg, then in crumbs, repeat until all crumbs are used. Place fish in the prepared baking pan; pour margarine over fish. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with a fork. Garnish with fresh lemon wedges and parsley.

Total servings: 2
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
268 Calories, 13 grams Carbohydrates, 29 grams Protein, 9 grams Fat


1 package (12 ounces) organic extra-firm tofu
1 teaspoon canola oil
6 ounces “Bone Suckin’ Sauce” BBQ sauce
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions: Rinse tofu well with filtered water. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Pour oil into nonstick pan and distribute evenly with paper towel. Heat oil on medium heat. Add tofu and stir-fry until golden brown (about 5 minutes on each side). Pour BBQ sauce into pan and continue cooking. Add garlic powder, onion powder, and ground black pepper and simmer for 5 minutes to soak up liquid.

Another option: Use 6 ounces Robbie’s Hawaiian Style Sweet & Sour sauce instead of BBQ sauce.

Serving suggestions:
•Pour over 1/3 cup whole wheat cous cous or rice and serve with 1 ½ cups steamed vegetables.
•Serve tofu (sans the BBQ or Sweet & Sour sauce) with ½ cup whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce and 1 ½ cups steamed vegetables.
•Make a tofu burrito by throwing 3 ounces tofu, 1 ounce shredded Mozzarella cheese, and teriyaki sauce in a whole wheat tortilla. Melt in toaster oven for 5 minutes and serve with 3 cups fresh salad.

Total servings: 4
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
90 Calories, 7 grams Carbohydrates, 7 grams Protein, 3 grams Fat


1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 cup minced onion
1 10-ounce package frozen spinach or frozen vegetable of choice (e.g. zucchini; tomatoes)
1 pound firm tofu, drained
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg
½ cup soy milk
3 cups cooked pasta shells or other small, shaped pasta
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, until soft. Squeeze the liquid from the spinach, chop, add to the onion, and set aside. In a Vitamix, combine tofu, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Blend in the soy milk. Combine the tofu mixture with the spinach mixture. Combine with the cooked pasta and transfer to a lightly greased casserole dish. Top with mozzarella. Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly.

Total servings: 6
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
239 Calories, 26 grams Carbohydrates, 16 grams Protein, 10 grams Fat



12 whole wheat tortillas
1 ½ pounds tempeh, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
1 small white onion, cut into strips
1 small red onion, cut into strips
1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 large green bell pepper, cut into strips
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped cilantro, if a fan
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 250°F. Stack tortillas, wrap in foil, and place in oven to warm. In a steamer basket set over boiling water, steam the tempeh strips for 5 minutes and set aside in a bowl. Add onion and bell pepper strips to the tempeh. Heat oil in large skillet over high heat and sauté the tempe, onions, and bell peppers until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Saute for 3 more minutes. Serve immediately with warm tortillas.

Total servings: 6
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
443 Calories, 58 grams Carbohydrates, 28 grams Protein, 19 grams Fat



1 can (15 ounces) black beans
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans
1 can (4 ounces) organic tomato paste
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 whole wheat or 2 corn tortillas
1 ounce shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Tablespoon guacamole or 1/8 of an avocado
1 Tablespoon salsa

Directions: Rinse beans in strainer until foam is gone. Place beans, tomato paste, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and cayenne pepper in a nonstick pot. Heat over medium heat until just starting to bubble. Mash with potato masher. Distribute cheese on tortilla and heat in toaster oven until cheese is melted. Put tortilla with melted cheese on a plate. Add ½ cup bean mixture, guacamole or avocado, and salsa. Fold in half and cut into 3 triangles. Serve with 3 cups salad.

Total servings: 6
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
242 Calories, 43 grams Carbohydrates, 15 grams Protein, 2 grams Fat



1 package (6 ounces) organic mixed greens or baby romaine
½ cup organic grape tomatoes
1 small organic avocado, diced
6 organic strawberries, sliced
½ English (unwaxed) cucumber, cubed
¼ cup organic dried cranberries
1 Tablespoon slivered raw almonds
Fresh lemon wedge
Optional Caloric Free Ingredients: Apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar and lemon pepper or Trader Joe’s “21 Seasoning Salute” or herbal seasoning of choice

Directions: Rinse all ingredients well and place in large bowl. Squeeze fresh lemon, mix vinegar and seasonings over salad, and toss. For a salad dressing, please refer below.

Serving size: 2 cups salad
Total servings: ~3
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
73 Calories, 15 grams Carbohydrates, 3 grams Protein, 2 grams Fat

NOTE: This is a side dish. To make the salad a complete meal add additional carbohydrate and protein with e.g. ½ cup rinsed, organic black beans and ½ cup organic frozen corn, defrosted and I ounce fresh sliced mozzarella, or 3 ounces canned, rinsed Wild Alaskan salmon or tuna with ½ cup mandarin oranges.



1 Tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons Apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon agave nectar
Juice of ¼ lemon
¼ teaspoon lemon pepper
Optional: for honey-mustard dressing, add 1 teaspoon organic Dijon mustard;
For creamier dressing, add 1 Tbsp. low fat plain yogurt or plain soy yogurt.

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl or jar and toss together with salad.

Total servings: 3
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
52 Calories, 2 grams Carbohydrates, <1 gram Protein, 4 grams Fat



2 large organic tomatoes
1 bag organic pre-washed spinach, rinsed well
2 medium organic zucchini squash
½ bag (8 ounces) frozen organic corn
1 cup organic fresh green beans, ends removed
2 large organic carrots
½ cup frozen organic peas
2 cloves organic garlic, minced
Seasoning to taste (e.g. salt, pepper, onion powder)

Directions: Place all ingredients into large steamer. Steam for 10 minutes. Blend half the steamed vegetables in a Vitamix and repeat since it fills the Vitamix twice. Season to taste. Makes 16 cups. Keep in the refrigerator for up to three days, then freeze remainder.

Serving size: 1½ cups
Total servings: About 10
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
67 Calories, 14 grams Carbohydrates, 4 grams Protein, 1 gram Fat



1 organic medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cloves organic garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon organic canola oil
1-2 teaspoons chili powder, per preference
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can organic red kidney beans or chili beans, rinsed and drained
1½ cups cooked organic brown rice
1 cup shredded organic cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
¾ cup nonfat milk (lactose-free if needed)
2 organic omega-3 eggs, beaten
Small amount of Earth Balance, enough to coat casserole pan
Optional: Low-sodium salsa

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add canola oil to a small nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Spread with paper towel to coat the pan, no puddles, just shine. Stir-fry onion and garlic until onion is translucent and garlic is tender but not brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer into medium pot. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and salt. Cook for 1 minute more. Stir in beans, cooked rice, cheese, milk, and eggs. Grease a square baking dish, pour in mixture. Spread evenly. Bake uncovered about 25 minutes or until the center is firm. Remove from oven, let stand 10 minutes. Serve with salsa if desired. For a complete balanced meal, serve with a mixed green salad.

Total servings: 6
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
237 Calories, 22 grams Carbohydrates, 13 grams Protein, 11 grams Fat


Note: Don’t be alarmed by the long ingredient list! Most ingredients are seasonings. This is still a quick and easy recipe.

1 Tablespoon organic canola oil
2 medium organic onions, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 organic green bell pepper, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (wear latex-free disposable gloves)
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 15-ounce can organic tomato sauce
½ teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of ground Allspice
2 teaspoons ground oregano
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups cooked brown rice (or cook while chili is cooking)

Directions: In a large pot, heat oil and sauté onions, garlic, green pepper, and jalapeno pepper until tender, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and puree, coriander, cloves, allspice, oregano, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, and beans. Bring chili to a boil, reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve chili over rice.

Total servings: 8
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
251 Calories, 48 grams Carbohydrates, 10 grams Protein, 4 grams Fat



1 cup Earth Balance Margarine
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar (try Organic Sucanat (sugar cane natural)
1 egg and 3 Tbsp. egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups uncooked oats
1 cup raisins

Directions: Heat oven to 350° F. Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir together, then add to the sugar mixture stirring thoroughly. Stir in oats and raisins; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to serving plate. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

For Bar Cookies: Bake 30 to 35 minutes in an ungreased 13 X 9-inch metal baking pan.

Serving size: 2 cookies
Total servings: 30
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
167 Calories, 24 grams Carbohydrates, 2 grams Protein, 6 grams Fat



1 cup Earth Balance Margarine
1 cup sugar (“Sucanat”)
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg and 3 Tbsp. egg substitute
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups unsifted flour (Try half the quantity with whole-wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
drizzle of canola oil

Directions: Preheat oven to 375° F. Cream together margarine, sugars, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Combine flour, salt and baking soda; stir into creamed mixture. Stir in one package of chocolate chips. Drop from teaspoon 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets (grease with a shine of canola oil, wiping with paper towel). Bake for 10 minutes. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

Serving size: 2 cookies
Total servings: 30
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
190 Calories, 25 grams Carbohydrates, 2 grams Protein, 10 grams Fat



2/3 cup Earth Balance Margarine
1 cup sugar (“Sucanat”)
¼ cup water
2 cups (12 oz.) Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (try Trader Joe’s chocolate chips)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg and 9 Tbsp. egg substitute
1 ½ cups flour (try mixing half with whole-wheat pastry flour for more fiber and nutrients)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
drizzle of canola oil

Directions: Preheat oven to 325° F. Combine 2/3 cup margarine, 1 ½ cups sugar, ¼ cup water in small saucepan and bring just to boil. Remove from heat. Add 2 cups (one 12 oz. package) of chocolate chips with 2 tsp. vanilla extract and stir constantly until chocolate melts. Place chocolate mixture into a large bowl. Beat in egg and egg whites slowly pouring eggs in. In a small bowl, combine 1 ½ cups flour, ½ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. baking soda. Gradually add the dry mixture to the chocolate batter. Spread batter into greased 13”X9”X2” baking pan (grease with a little canola oil, wipe with a paper towel, have shine on the pan rather than puddles). Bake 50 minutes. Cool and cut into squares. Serves: 24

Total servings: 24
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
184 Calories, 23 grams Carbohydrates, 2 grams Protein, 10 grams Fat


Canola oil vegetable spray (put canola oil in a spray bottle so you don’t have that propellant smell from store bought sprays)
¾ cup unbleached organic all-purpose flour
1/8 cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup oat bran
¼ cup sugar (“Sucanat”)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 egg whites, slightly beaten
¼ cup mashed, very ripe banana
½ cup Organic nonfat milk
1 Tablespoon canola oil

Directions: Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray muffin tin with canola spray. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, bran, sugar and baking soda. In a small bowl, combine egg whites, banana, milk and oil; add liquids to the dry ingredients; stir just until well blended. Spoon into muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full or more. Bake in a 400 oven for 18 minutes.

Another option: Add ½ cup blueberries or chopped fresh apricots.

Total servings: 6
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
175 Calories, 32 grams Carbohydrates, 5 grams Protein, 3 grams Fat



¼ teaspoon organic Earth Balance
¼ cup organic unsweetened applesauce
½ cup honey
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups mashed organic bananas (~3 large bananas), mash w/ fork
1 cup organic whole grain pastry flour
1 cup organic unbleached flour
¼ cup wheat germ
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 X 5 inch loaf pan with organic Earth Balance with a paper towel. Combine applesauce, honey, eggs, vanilla, and mashed bananas in a medium sized bowl. Stir and whip with a fork. In a large bowl, mix flour, wheat germ, salt, and baking soda. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the banana mixture. Mix together until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes in preheated oven. Ready when golden brown. Remove from loaf pan with rubber spatula and cool on wire rack. Slice, serve, and enjoy the bliss!

Total servings: 12
Nutrition Analysis per serving:
169 Calories, 36 grams Carbohydrates, 4 grams Protein, 2 grams Fat