Skinny Sexy Fashion ~ Grow your own Food!!!!!!!!!!!

This is my mantra and has been for so many years. Now I can wear it on my sleeve! Even if you're a city dweller and you have a window you can grow some herbs! If you've got a little terrace you can grow lots of herbs, lettuces, strawberries and tomatoes...if you've got a bit of sunshine anything is fair game. You'll be so proud the first time you serve your guests a salad that you've grown yourself and just think of the pleasure that you'll get when you stuff a chicken with fresh rosemary from one of your own plants!

Grow Your Own Food Women's T-Shirt - $22.00

If there's a saying we can get behind, it's "grow your own food". If you support gardening, local food, and cultivating a green thumb, then wear this t-shirt with pride. You'll probably make some cool new friends if you do. Made in: California. Made of: 50/50 cotton/polyester blend with water-based ink. Size: Choose from women's S, M, L or XL; see care & notes for exact size dimensions -- t-shirts are American Apparel, order at least one size larger than normal -- these do run small!.


Skinny Sexy Snacks- Homemade Hummus

Skinny Sexy Snacks- homemade Hummus

One of the benefits of having a husband who's taking the year long Integrative Nutrition Certification course is that suddenly I have the best prep cook in the kitchen ALL of the time! He's always wanting to try new recipes and although at first it felt a little bit like having my space invaded , now I absolutely love it! I did say that he's the best prep cook I know right? (And, he's rearranged my kitchen as only an engineer can!

Jim's a "snacker"  and always hungry so I'm really enjoying teaching him how to make the foods that he's normally buy for himself. He loves hummus so I woke up yesterday and decided to teach him how to make it.  Off I went to Whole Foods to get some canned garbanzo beans.  You should know that my husband and Alton Brown are twin brothers from a different mother. He took one look at the canned garbanzo beans and pretty much made my life hell until this morning I went back to the store for a bag of dried garbanzo beans! The things we do for love!

Preparing the chick peas isn't nearly as tough as you'd think because I learned a wonderful secret to share with you! Two cups of dried garbanzos to 6 cups of water and one teaspoon of salt in the slow cooker on low for 6 hours and that's it! I came home to find perfectly cooked nutty flavored and not soggy textured garbanzo beans ready for the cuisinart. Before I started to add the ingredients though I did a taste test. There is now question that the extra step of cooking the dried garbanzos versus using the canned ones produces a superior product. I'll never use the canned ones again unless I'm really in a pinch! The flavor is completely different!

What you see before you are two different types, Hummus being essentially the easiest  and one of the healthiest snacks on the planet to make! All you need for the base is 2 cups of garbanzo beans, 3/4's of a cup of sesame tahini and lots of extra virgin olive oil.  Place the beans, tahini and some olive oil in the bowl of a cuisinart and pulse for a few seconds. Then  you'll begin to add the flavorings. Tonight we made caramelized onion with turkish seasoning, fresh lemon juice, fresh parsley and truffled olive oil AND sundried tomato with sweet olives (these have mustard seeds and chopped dried fruits), lemon juice, garlic, mint and pistachios. Add the flavoring ingredients and then add more olive oil in a stream as the cuisinart pulses. When it's ready to eat is a matter of taste. I love my hummus to have a smooth texture and that requires a bit more olive oil. Next week I'm going to use fresh ramps and dillweed!

Serve with fresh pita bread or if you're gluten free like me, fresh vegetables and corn chips!

 


Skinny Sexy Beauty: You are everything you need!

 

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Have you ever received good advice that made sense but that you were unable to follow? Has your doctor ever recommended a lifestyle change that you found completely valuable yet unsustainable? Have you ever wanted something different for your life, but found you couldn’t achieve it alone? Did you know that there are over 100 diet books released every year and that in the United States alone the weight loss market alone is worth over 60.9 billion dollars?  

 

In the face of those statistics how are you ever able to navigate the world of contradictory nutrition and lifestyle advice to determine what changes are necessary for you?  Here's what I think!  There's absolutely nothing keeping you from having the life and health that you've always wanted except for one tiny little thing. I want to teach you the easiest health secret that I know and that is the ability to make a choice for yourself that works. My job is to help you smash  the gap between dietary  dogma and delight, so let's make room for the impossible and see what happens next! A skinny state of mind  has nothing to do with size or denial , but everything to do with health!  Losing the weight that you want to is only one of the results and only then if you want it to be!

 

 

 One of the most important things that I tell all of my clients is to set goals for themselves and make easily sustainable changes that will slowly improve their health and happiness. There is no one size fits all and needs are different for everyone. As an example I describe my diet as flexitarian.  I generally eat a vegan diet 80 percent of the time and the other 20 percent of the time I let myself have whatever I want, within reason and always in small portions. This works very well for me.  I'm a devoted foodie and I never thought that I could do this, but the changes that I've noticed in my health and my body are what continuously keep me inspired!   

 

I always encourage my clients to cultivate a whole foods, whole body lifestyle. If you want to eat meat , fish or fowl, no problem. Eat out in fancy restaurants or diners? No problem!  Even wine isn't off limits, nor dessert. Fast food? Probably not but if you wanted that you probably wouldn't be reading this article!

 

Many clients come to me with strict orders from their physicians to lose weight. Some don't even need to lose weight, but need help learning to eat in a way that helps them reduce their blood pressure or cholesterol. Many are  in despair  because of their diabetes. I  don't tell them what to do, I seduce them into trying something new. 

 

How do I do this?  I teach them to how to choose to be successful creating a new lifestyle, because the reality is that for many of them life has been an endless circle of diet plans, unrealistic hopes and disappointments. Making a choice without creating any sort of story or drama around that success is a completely empowering act. Learning to make simple choices will radically improve your capacity to experience ongoing health and happiness. A choice that comes straight from the depths of your personal desires will help you discover the tools you can use to create lifetime of balance and joy.  Choosing to lose weight or simply create a healthier lifestyle and relationship with yourself just because you can is empowering and exciting! It's also easier to do than you'd think.  One of life's purest joys is giving yourself the blessing to taste, use and enjoy whatever you'd like, indulge yourself and love the results while denying yourself nothing, choosing only what you truly desire from the freshest and most compassionate sources. Food is sustenance for your body, nurturing for your soul and a wonderful way to connect deeply with your family and friends!

 

Food is fabulous and it's definitely not the enemy. Out of fear of failure we create all kinds of stories that keep food and experience at a distance; for example denying ourselves something occasionally that we really love because we believe that we haven't the willpower to resist. This can't this be healthy for anyone because it's a bit like biting off the hand that feeds you.  No wonder our diets continue to fail.

 

 The next time that you are faced with having to lose a few pounds or create a healthier lifestyle for yourself, I encourage you to try this simple exercise. Stop for a moment and ask yourself if  you are truly ready to create these changes in your life. Listen to the answers and acknowledge yourself for having the courage to face them. Then toss away all of the past diet dramas with all of their previous disappointments and simply choose to do this because you can. I know that it's very hard to ignore the voices of the past , but treat yourself as if you have just this moment. We spend our lives making every little thing mean something, whether it should or not.  

 

Doing this is as simple as choosing an ice cream cone  flavor. Ask yourself which would you like, chocolate or butter pecan? If you are like most people you will choose a flavor;  for example " I choose the chocolate" and if asked why you will have a reason such as "because I like it better or because its what I liked as a kid" or some version of all of that!  Pay attention because these are the emotional stories that we tell ourselves that derail us every time.  The real answer to the question is " I choose chocolate, because I choose chocolate". It's just another choice and keeping your choices as simple as possible insures that you will be able to choose your goals every time something or someone comes along to throw you off guard.  I know from watching so many people that as you embrace a healthier and more fully expressed way of living that you'll drag everyone you know right along with you and I can't think of anything better than a healthy, delicious and self expressed world!  Make a choice for yourself today that will  leaves you completely alive and ready for anything and now that you know that the choice is yours, make the choice of courage. Always remember that you are everything you need to make the difference that you want. That's the real secret to your success!

 

Photo from womenshealthmag.com


Yoga Snacks- Strawberries and Cream

 

Yoga Snacks- Strawberries and Cream

So, I have this fabulous neighbor Lainie, who is taking Yoga teacher training! Every tuesday night I go over to her house where she and several other teacher trainee's (is there such a word?) meet and we practice their homework which is an absolute blast! We always have healthy appetizers yummy wine and some pretty incredible conversation.

Last week I was in the mood for something light, so I brought this plate of luscious, California strawberries (they were huge, sweet and perfect!) and a fruit dip. You can buy this premade but why bother when it's so easy to make. Just mix a cup of vanilla yogurt, 1/2 a cup of mascarpone, several tablespoons of cream or half and half , 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract and honey to taste. That's it! Simple and delicious!


Skinny Sexy Snacks - Homemade Guacamole with "cheese " quesadillas!

 

Homemade Guacamole with "cheese " quesadillas!

I love homemade guacamole! I think that it's such an easy treat to make and so good for you too! Everyone makes theirs a little bit differently and I love tasting them all ! Even the ones with bacon , sage and blue cheese!

This batch I made for my husband who's currently suffering from a nasty winters end cold. Full of chopped garlic , poblano pepper and lots of onion , I don't think that you could ask for a healthier , brighter snack to lift sagging sun deprived spirits !

I served it to him in bed with melty vegan cheese quesadillas cut into triangles and he declared it perfect! I think the kiss helped too! ( at least I hope so!) If he hadn't such a nasty cold, they would have been goat cheese quesadillas...too much dairy, too much kleenex !

The key to a great guacamole ? The avocados of course! They should be giving to the touch , but not too soft. For a good sized batch you should use about 4 of them.

Scoop them into a bowl and mix them until creamy with 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic, the juices of half a lemon and half an orange , 1/2 a diced onion, sea salt to taste, cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon of cumin and two tablespoons of chopped green chiles! I also add diced cucumber , simply because I can!

To serve, take a few corn tortillas, warm them in a pan and add some shredded vegan cheese. Let it melt and fold each tortilla in half. Crisp on both sides and cut each one in half. Serve them with salsa and the guacamole which you've sprinkled with salted pepitas. ( pumpkin seeds!)

Ps. If you've got some dip left over, put it into an airtight bowl along with two of the avocado pits.This keeps the guacamole from getting brown! Quite a nifty trick!


 


Skinny Sexy Cocktails- Not so very Margarita! (But delicious!)

 

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I love a good Margarita, but they usually have a bit more sugar in them than I'd usually like. What I discovered is that mostly I love the tequila, so I decided to make one that was a bit more to my taste! What I came up with is easy, healthy (er) and really refreshing. All you need are a few simple ingredients, most of which you already probably have on hand! It's hardly original (except for a few additions!), but it's really very good!

To begin you'll need a martini shaker.  Then you'll need a slice of an orange, complete with a peel and several fresh genovese basil leaves and several mint leaves. Put them in the bottom of the shaker and muddle them with a tablespoon of agave nectar. (More if you like it sweeter!) To this shaker you'll add about 5 ice cubes, the juice of one fresh lime , a shake or two of ancho chile powder , a dash of green chili sauce ( or jalapeno tabasco ) and a couple of jiggers of your favorite tequila or mezcal. Shake hard for about a minute and then strain into an old fashioned rocks glass or margarita glass that you've rimmed with chili salt. Garnish with a spear of cucumber and a slice of orange! These go down easily...so enjoy-them  safely!


Skinny SexyTools - Creating Delicious meals with the Morrocan Tagine

Skinny Sexy Cookware- the Tagine

I finally did it! I broke down and bought a Moroccan Tagine. If you've never seen one, it's a conical shaped piece of cookware with a bottom and a lid.The beauty of this is that you can layer the ingredients, pour the liquid in ( approximately 1 cup of broth with all of the spices and 1 tablespoon of butter and two tablespoons of oil) and bake it slowly at 325 degrees for about two hours. The result is incredibly tender meat and vegetables dressed with the most sumptuous and concentrated sauce that I've ever tasted.

Essentially the Tagine is self basting, so as everything cooks, the rich aromatic steam rises and flows back down into the casserole.

What you see here is my first attempt at creating a meal with the Tagine. Onions, sweet potatoes, Medjool dates, cilantro , garlic , pistachios and mango Tandoori chicken sausage. The whole thing is cooked with a mixture of blood orange juice, broth, lots of Moroccan spices , butter and olive oil . I served it with a blend of super grains cooked with peas and pecans. The aroma was incredible and the flavor impressive. I'll be experimenting with this for awhile! the video below is of Chef Hamid Idrissi demonstrating the appropriate way to create a delicious lamb tagine.

If you'd like the recipe, leave a request in the comment section!

 


Skinny Sexy Short Order Cook-Breakfast Wraps

 

 

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You've heard it a million times..breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I concur...breakfast is definitely one of my favorite meals! I don't eat much meat given my 90% Vegan- 10 percent Sinful diet , but every Sunday Jim and I make pancakes (Gluten Free!) slathered in maple syrup, and we dive headfirst into sinful by enjoying 2 pieces each of apple cinnamon bacon that we buy from Whole Foods!


Skinny Sexy Breakfasts-Breakfast Wraps

The rest of the week though? I try to keep it really healthy and wraps like the one shown above are a  really satisfying meal for me. I don't eat gluten as a rule, but these ancient sprouted grain wraps from Engine 2 don't hurt me at all and they make a wonderful container for so many diferent tastes. The wrap shown is very simple; Avocado , Tomato, Red Onion and a bit of shredded vegan rice cheese with some siracha sauce and a teaspoon of my new favorite "Mayonnaise", a wonderful product that I discovered this weekend called Just Mayo! I've tried many vegan mayonnaises and I do like Vegannaise alot, but Just Mayo is soy free which is important to me! It's also absolutely delicious! If I'd had a handful of arulgula I would have added that too. The sky's the limit when it come to yummy fillings! Another favorite is red onion, sliced mango, cilantro, chipotle mayo or "mayo" and a bit of shredded chicken or a vegan substitute. Thats delicious too!

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So there you have it...the basic Skinny Sexy Wrap. Try other fillings and see what you like the best and let me know. Tomorrows breakfast wrap will be a vegan Banh Mi, a Vietnamese treat which is possibly  one of the best sandwiches on this earth. They are normally on a baguette and filled with cucumbers and onion, pickled cabbage and daikon radish and flavored tofu or shreds of spicy roasted pork or chicken. The whole thing sits on a bed of spicy mayo and is sprinkled liberally with cilantro. It is divine! Mine will be all of the same ingredients on a wrap instead of the baguette (which I miss dearly but does not miss me!) substituting spicy chinese flavored baked tofu for the pork. This is why I don't miss eating meat all of much. I've learned to make most of my favorite foods vegan and if I can do it so can you. I'm a former junk food queen and trust me, you want my vegan Mr. Hero "Cheesesteak" recipe. You won't easily know the diference and as a matter of fact ,one of my clients almost completely fooled her husband with one! I say almost because halfway through eating it he remarked that he wasn't feeling as full as normal. That's when she told him!

 

Have a wonderful day, my fellow Skinny Sexy Foodies!