Sunday, December 15, 2013

New and improved website!

GOOD NEWS! I have a new and improved website!
Join me at
Thanks! :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Guilt-Free Hot Chocolate

I cannot believe it has been weeks since I have posted! March has been filled with changes for me. Some good, some not so good, but I am learning to roll with the punches! Including this winter-like weather. I am NOT a fan of cold weather and considering the fact that it is suppose to snow in NY on Friday, I needed something warm and chocolate-y to cheer me up!

Guilt-free Hot Chocolate:
-1 scoop Amazing Grass Chocolate Super food Powder
-1-2T Cocoa powder (depending on your taste)
-pinch salt
-1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
-3/4 cup milk of choice (I use unsweetened vanilla hemp milk)
-Stevia to taste

Not only is this sugar-free (if sweetened with stevia) and low-calorie, but it has super foods in it as well! Drink up!

xoxo Tina

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Avoiding GMOs

Hello health nuts!

I loved reading your comments on my angry shopper post. I see that you all are just as outraged over poor food labeling regulations as I am! Now onto another topic that angers me: GMOs.

GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are crops which have been inserted with genetically modified genes from other plants, viruses, bacteria, animals, etc. This is done to make the crops more stable and resistant to drought, disease and pesticides.

Health risks of GMOs include infertility, immune system problems, accelerated aging, disruption of insulin and cholesterol regulation, gastrointestinal problems and organ damage.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, 93 % of all soybeans, 78% of all cotton, and 70% of all corn grown in the US in 2010 were genetically modified to be herbicide intolerant. The fact that GM foods are not labeled leads to many shoppers consuming them unknowingly.

How to avoid GMOs:
1. Buy organic
Certified organic products cannot intentionally include any GMO ingredients. Look for labels that say “100% organic.”

2. Look for products with a Non-GMO Project seal. Products that carry this seal are independently verified to be in compliance with North America’s only third party standard for GMO avoidance, including testing of at-risk ingredients.

3. Avoid the top GM food crops and products that contain them if they are not labeled organic or non-GMO. The four major GM crops are Corn, Soybeans, Cotton and Canola, so try to buy them only organic.

Also, beware of dairy products which may be from cows injected with GM bovine growth hormone. Look for dairy products labeled “No rBGH or rBST” or “artificial hormone-free.”

Vote against GM foods, by choosing to buy the major 4 GM crops only organic or look for foods specifically labeled "non-GMO."
How do you feel about GMOs?
Do you look out for them when you buy food?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Angry Shopper


I did some food shopping yesterday and while passing through the cereal aisle I couldn't help but notice the large check and rather ridiculous claims on many of the General Mills cereals.

General Mills has dubbed many of their cereals as "Whole Grain Guaranteed" with a large check on the box. Are they lying? No. The first ingredient is Whole Grain Oats, but unfortunately that is the only healthy ingredient. Take Lucky Charms for example,

Ingredients: Whole Grain Oats, Marshmallows (Sugar, Modified Corn Starch, Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Gelatin, Calcium Carbonate, Yellows 5&6, Blue 1, Red 40, Artificial Flavor), Sugar, Oat Flour, Corn Syrup, Corn Starch, Salt, Trisodium Phosphate, Color Added, Natural and Artificial Flavor. Vitamin E (Mixed Tocopherols) Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), a B Vitamin (Niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin A (Palmitate), a B Vitamin (Folic Acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.

Gag-worthy. Well at least they add vitamins right? (sarcasm). They definitely make sure to promote that on the box as well by stating that Lucky Charms are a "good source of Calcium and Vitamin D!"

Side Note: Did you know that Cascadian Farms, Muir Glen (two organic brands) and Lara bar are owned by General Mills?

So I continued with my shopping. I was looking for a jar of tomato sauce and the go-to brand I usually buy was all out. When looking for tomato sauce I always look for one that contains no added sugar, this is a harder task than one would think. I saw a brand called Organicville. On the label it stated Gluten free, Organic and no added Sugar.
Being the nutritional detective that I am, I always checks the ingredients despite what labels may state because I know better.
Did I mention Lucky Charms are packed with Whole Grains?
So I read the label and was surprised at what I found.


Come again? I thought you said no added sugar? Oh, you meant no white sugar, or even raw sugar, but no one said anything about agave!

Yes, agave is a natural sugar and may be considered to be a better alternative to white sugar. It is a low glycemic sweetener so it doesn’t send your blood sugar such a roller coaster the way other sugars do. But, lets get real here, sugar is sugar and there happens to be a lot of controversy surrounding Agave.
In fact, in this article, Dr. Joseph Mercola states that "most agave syrup has a higher fructose content than any commercial sweetener -- ranging from 55 to 97 percent, depending on the brand, which is FAR HIGHER than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which averages 55 percent. This makes agave actually WORSE than HFCS."
Knowing this, I clearly did not buy that jar of tomato sauce. Am I being a little obsessive? Maybe. However, I quite honestly feel that the labeling of food products is so out of control. The company is called Organicville, they clearly state no added sugar, yet they add a type of sweetener. I do not agree with this, therefore choose not to purchase their product.

This article by Mark Bittman says it all. McDonald's newest menu item, their wholesome whole grain oatmeal, which is really just oats plus heavy cream and tons of sugar, “contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger or Egg McMuffin.” Disgusting? Yes. Surprising, not really. I mean have you seen how a chicken nugget is made?:

As Bittman said, “there are barely any rules governing promotion of foods,” so it is up to each of us to be nutritional detectives because quite frankly, our health depends on it.
I would love for you all to weigh in on the subject!
How do you feel about the false labeling/promotion of products?
What makes you an angry shopper?

vitamins and supplements
Have a blog? Want to win a $100? Check out the Swanson Health Blog.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Setting Intentions for March

Happy March everyone!

We are getting closer and closer to spring and summer! At the fresh start of every month I like to set some goals and intentions for that month.

This month I plan to do some Spring Cleaning. In the same way you clean and maintain your home, you must take care of your body, mind and spirit. I will be doing a separate post all about my spring cleanse and what it entails.

For me cleansing and detoxing doesn't have to be as extreme as some make it out to be. In addition, I like spend time "cleansing" my mind as well. Getting rid of negative thoughts is such an important part of good health. The winter tends to make us shut off and become more introverted, but spring is all about opening up, and letting your energy out as well and being open to new energy coming in.

I also want to try some new recipes. Not only do you all have me drooling from pictures of your delicious creations, but I also recently got the cookbook, Appetite for Reduction, which is filled with low fat vegan recipes. I am excited to get in the kitchen and try some of these recipes out!

Your goals and intentions don't have to simply be a list, they can also be in the form of a mantra or statement, like so:

I plan to go through March with an open mind and an open heart. I will let go of any negative energy or thoughts because they no longer serve me. Throughout the month I will stay in a positive mind set, which will attract amazing people and opportunities into my life.

Form your own personal statement and repeat it throughout the month. By doing so your are reaffirming your intentions and keeping your mind focused.

What are some of your goals and intentions for March?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Low fat, Tahini-free Hummus

Hi Friends! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekends!

Hummus is one of my all-time favorite foods. However, tahini (sesame seed paste) bugs my stomach. Apparently, I am allergic to sesame seeds, and I know that this allergy isn't uncommon. While store-bought hummus is very convenient, it almost always contains tahini, so I just make my own hummus!

Low Fat, Tahini-free Hummus
-1 can Garbanzo Beans, liquid reserved
-2T fresh Lemon Juice
-1 clove Garlic
-1/3t salt + ¼ tsp pepper (or to taste)
-½T Olive oil
-1/2 tsp Cumin
Makes about 1 cup

Drain and rinse the chickpeas, reserving the liquid. In a blender or food processor, combine garbanzo beans, cumin, lemon juice, garlic, oil. Add the reserved bean liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, until there is enough liquid needed to fully combine the ingredients. Blend until smooth.

*Note: I recommend peeling the "skins" off the chickpeas. Although this is time-consuming, it results in a creamier hummus.

Do you have any food allergies or sensitivities?

What is your favorite way to eat hummus? Crackers, baby carrots, cucumber slices, in a salad, I'll use any food as an excuse to eat hummus!

xoxo Tina

Friday, February 25, 2011

Satisfying cravings

Happy Friday!

My boyfriend is obsessed with Mexican food. Although he is Italian and loves his pastas, he can eat burritos every single night of the week (I've seen him do it too). I on the other hand, am not really a fan of Mexican food, but surprisingly I have been in the mood for it lately.

My version of a taco(less) salad:
In the mix:
-Red onion
-Black bean
-Topped with homemade guacamole
-Cumin salad dressing (apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil + cumin)

I made the guacamole lower in fat by replacing some of the avocado with edamame. This also adds some extra protein.

Healthier (and vegan) quesadillas:
Brown rice wrap filled with organic refried pinto beans, black beans, about 2 tablespoons of salsa and cumin plus a side salad with shopped baby carrots, tomatoes & leftover guacamole.

What is your favorite type of cuisine? I love Mediterranean food since it is what I grew up eating, and I am also a big fan of Asian cuisine.
Has your taste changed from when you were younger? Mine definitely has! I use to eat processed foods and fast food, basically JUNK! Now I love natural, whole foods. Everything else just doesn't appeal to me!