Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Shrimp with Serranos

Makes: 4 servings
Prep: 25 minutes
Start to Finish: 25 minutes


  • 1 pound fresh or frozen peeled and deveined medium shrimp (thawed if frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 to 3 fresh serrano or jalapeno chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


1. Rinse shrimp and pat dry with paper towels; set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat. Add shallots and garlic; sauce, stirring, 1 minute. Add peppers and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, until they become opaque, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in juice and cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings Per Recipe 4 servings
  • Calories 195,
  • Total Fat (g) 9,
  • Saturated Fat (g) 1,
  • Cholesterol (mg) 172,
  • Sodium (mg) 171,
  • Carbohydrate (g) 5,
  • Fiber (g) 0,
  • Protein (g) 24,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Recipes from the Sonoma Diet

These recipes, all excerpted from The Sonoma Diet, are a tasty guide through Wave 1 and Wave 2 of your new food lover's diet.

Steak and Blue Cheese Wrap


  • 3 ounces leftover grilled Marinated Beef Flank Steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded romaine or whole fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained and cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 8-inch whole wheat flour tortilla


1. Arrange sliced beef, romaine, roasted sweet pepper strips, and blue cheese atop the tortilla. Roll up (tortilla will be very full). Makes: 1 serving

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 390,
  • Total Fat (g) 19,
  • Saturated Fat (g) 6,
  • Cholesterol (mg) 46,
  • Sodium (mg) 775,
  • Carbohydrate (g) 21,
  • Fiber (g) 13,
  • Protein (g) 33,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 c alorie diet

Spinach and Lentil Salad with Toasted Walnuts

Makes: 4 servings
Prep: 30 minutes
Start to Finish: 30 minutes


  • 1/2 cup brown or French lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 6 cups torn spinach leaves, tough stems removed
  • 12 ounces cooked, boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Sonoma Red Wine Vinaigrette (see Recipe Center)


1. Bring lentils and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain lentils and place in a medium bowl. Stir in bell pepper, scallion, parsley, and walnuts.

2. Divide spinach among 4 serving plates. Top with lentil mixture and chicken. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings Per Recipe 4 servings
  • Calories 341,
  • Total Fat (g) 14,
  • Saturated Fat (g) 2,
  • Cholesterol (mg) 72,
  • Sodium (mg) 166,
  • Carbohydrate (g) 19,
  • Fiber (g) 10,
  • Protein (g) 36,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Making the Cut with Jillian Michaels

The Biggest Loser team trainer shows us some basic moves that are part of her 30-day diet and fitness plan from her book, Making the Cut.


Muscles Targeted: Rectus abdominis, lower back, chest, shoulders

Starting Position: Start in push-up position, but keep your hands directly under your shoulders instead of outside your chest. Keep your legs straight behind you and your feet together. You are balancing on your palms and the balls of your feet. Hold this position for as long as you can, working your way up to one minute.



Performance Description: Nothing to perform here. Just hold this static contraction as long as you can. It's a lot harder than it sounds!

Tips: Be conscious of keeping your spine straight. Keep your eyes focused on the ground in front of you. Don't arch your back. Imagine you are pulling your belly button up toward the ceiling.


Mountain Climber: Up

Muscles Targeted: Cardiopulmonary system, chest, shoulders, lower abs, transverse abs

Starting Position: Start in a plank position with your feet hip-width apart.

Performance Description: Bend your knee and jump up, bringing your right thigh under the right side of your torso and leaving your left leg out behind you.

Tips: Keep your pace as fast as possible, and don't stick your glutes in the air.


Mountain Climber: Down

Quickly jump your right leg back to starting position while simultaneously jumping your left knee in toward your torso. Try to work up to a minute of Mountain Climbers in a row.


Boat Pose: Up

Muscles Targeted: Abs, lower back, quads

Sit on the floor with legs straight out in front of you; keeping them straight, raise your legs until they are at a 45-degree angle from your torso. Your torso will naturally fall back, but instead of letting the spine collapse, make a V shape with your body.


Boat Pose: Down

Bring the arms out straight in line with the shoulders to balance yourself. Beginners, bend your knees if necessary, bringing the calves parallel to the floor; this is a Half Boat Pose.


Dumbbell Fly on Body Ball with Crunch: Up

Lie with your head, neck, and shoulders on a body ball. Both feet should be planted firmly on the ground, with your legs at a 90-degree angle, knees positioned over the ankles. Bridge your torso so it's parallel to the floor. Raise the dumbbells over your chest with your arms extended toward the ceiling, both palms facing each other.


Dumbbell Fly on Body Ball with Crunch: Down

Inhale, open your arms and chest, and slowly lower the weights in a semicircle arc out to the sides of your chest. Do not let your arms lower farther than parallel to the floor, or you risk straining your bicep tendon. Now, exhale and raise the weight, again in an arc, back up to starting position, and perform a crunch with the weights above your chest. Lower your body back into starting position. Repeat. This version of the Dumbbell Fly allows you to target your core as well as your chest.


W Shoulder Press with Leg Extension: In

Stand with your feet a hip-width apart, abs tight, and glutes tucked. Raise your right leg at a 90-degree angle so your thigh is parallel to the ground and your shin is perpendicular to it. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and rest them on your thighs. Raise the weights to ear level with your palms toward your ears. Your arms should be bent at a 90-degree angle, elbows out to the sides, forearms perpendicular to the floor, and upper arms parallel with it.


W Shoulder Press with Leg Extension: Out

Exhale, and extend your arms up and out as though you are trying to form the letter W with your arms. Simultaneously extend your right foot so that your entire right leg is straight and parallel to the ground. Hold for a beat. Inhale, slowly lowering the weights and retracting your leg to return to the starting position. Perform a complete set, then switch legs and repeat on the opposite side. Muscles targeted are quads, shoulders.


Static Lunge with Lateral Shoulder Raise: Up

Place your left leg a stride's length in front of the right, arms by your sides, holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms turned toward your body.


Static Lunge with Lateral Shoulder Raise: Down

Bend both knees, and lower your body so that your right knee is a few inches from the floor and the left leg is parallel to it. As you are lowering your body, simultaneously exhale and lift the weights out and up to the side until they are parallel to the ground, palms facing down. Hold for a beat. Inhale, and slowly lower your arms back to the starting position. Complete a full set, then switch legs and repeat. Muscles targeted are glutes, hamstrings, quads, shoulders.

Feeling Fat? Get Relief from Bloating

First, figure out why you're bloated, then learn how to deflate your stomach and get relief.

Bloat Culprit: Sluggish Digestion

If you've ever struggled to zip jeans that went on fine just a few days earlier, lived through an uncomfortable episode of gas, or simply felt as if your belly was fuller than it should have been, you know about the battle of the bloat. Bloating is usually caused by either a buildup of gas or fluid retention, both of which can make your stomach feel heavy and distended. Because neither the triggers nor the symptoms are the same for everyone, you need to figure out what's causing your bloating to get relief.

Sluggish Digestion
If your digestive tract seems to take longer than normal to process food, you may feel uncomfortable long after a meal should be out of your system. A good indicator that your transit time is on the slow side? You have a bowel movement less than three times a week.

How to Beat It
A high-fiber diet -- 25 grams per day if you're under 50; 21 grams after that -- can help move food through your body faster. One caution: Raise your fiber intake too quickly and you can actually worsen bloating because many high-fiber foods produce gas. "Increase fiber by three to five grams per week until you reach the recommended amount so your body can adjust," advises Leslie Bonci, RD, director of sports medicine nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. That's equal to one apple, a half cup of baked beans, or a cup of oatmeal.

Eating foods with certain probiotics -- good bacteria naturally found in the digestive tract -- can also jumpstart your digestive system. Lactobacillus acidophilus, for example, helps the body break down food, speeding transit time. An eight-ounce serving of yogurt with live cultures (check the container) has enough acidophilus to give you the benefits. Or take an acidophilus supplement that contains about 1 to 10 billion live cultures.

Bloat Culprit: Your Diet

The fiber-rich foods you're already eating -- for example, beans, broccoli, cabbage, pears, and whole wheat bread -- can make you gassy. The body breaks down the complex sugars in these foods with gas-producing bacteria in the large intestine. (Protein-rich fare like chicken and eggs is fully digested by enzymes before it reaches the large intestine.) Also to blame? Fried and fatty dishes. These typically take longer to digest, creating extra gas.

How to Beat It
Foods that produce gas in one person may not have the same effect on someone else. Think about what you ate in the last few hours. If you suspect fried foods, try avoiding them for a few days to see if you feel better. (Gassiness and intolerance to fatty foods are signs of gall bladder disease, though; check with your doctor if that's your problem.)

Obviously, vegetables are too important to stop eating altogether. Instead, cut back on those that tend to make you gassy for about three days, then gradually increase your intake -- or stick to those that don't pose a problem for you, recommends Michael Levitt, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. And consider using Beano drops or tablets right before eating problematic vegetables. If these steps don't prevent gas completely, try an over-the-counter antigas medication with simethicone, such as Gas-X. This will help break up gas and reduce bloating.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Super Mushroom Veggie Pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound white button mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 cup bite-size broccolini pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1 cup baby spinach leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan (for garnish)
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and prepare pasta according to package directions.
  2. While water comes to a boil, heat olive oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a single layer of mushrooms, red bell pepper and onions and cook, without stirring, for about five minutes or until mushrooms become red-brown on one side. Turn ingredients and cook about five minutes more, until other side is same color. Add broccolini, tomatoes and broth, and then stir in pesto. Bring to a simmer, and then add spinach and cooked pasta.
  3. Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle with fresh Parmesan.

High Protein Low Carb Diet Plan - Is it Worthy It?

High Protein Low Carb diet plans are very popular. Many people have used this kind of diet plan and many people are considering it too. People who want to lose weight have tried to diet to lose weight and have been disappointed by high protein low carb diet plans. Before I recommend anything, any low carb diet plan is not good for you.Here is a review of these kind of diet plans and if they are healthy for.

A high protein low carb diet plan promotes weight loss in some cases but I has many disadvantages that dieters overlook or sometimes they are not informed about. I want you to keep reading because I have some quick facts for you about low carbohydrate diets with high proteins in them. With this kind of diets, weight loss can be rapid and unhealthy sometimes.

A low carb diet plan tends to be very hard to stick to.The luck of eating enough carbohydrates can cause problems with your healthy. Before you get into any of these kind of weight loss diets, consider your health first. Did you know that you can lose weight dieting a healthy way without using a high protein low carb diet plan? We will get into that later.

Most people have found it extremely hard to get into a high protein low carb diet plan and stick to it. These diet plans are very popular and with a click of a mouse, You will see them everywhere. For an average person who wants to lose weight, They are too hard and too strict to follow. Since you are required to eat low carbs, You are much likely to rob your body’s energy and this will make it very difficult to stick to them. This is one of the major reasons many dieters give up on these kind of diets.

Many low carbohydrate diet are so strict that they won’t let you eat a normal restaurant meal! These diets tend to make you think that food is your enemy, That you need to be restricted from the most important foods in order to lose weight. Let me tell you something, I am not claiming that you should eat anything edible in order to lose weight, All am saying is that if you are looking for a healthy way to diet and lose weight, Then a high protein low carb diet plan should be the least to consider. You see what I mean? You don’t need to waste your energy, time and money on this kind of diet plans and then give up on them.

Low carb diet plans restrict carbohydrates in order to lose weight.It is ok to restrict calories for this purpose but while you are doing it, Make sure your body is getting enough carbohydrates, enough proteins,vegetables and other classes of food. My point is that you need a balanced diet and enough food while on your weight loss journey.

Long term weigh loss and maintenance is important. You want to lose weight and at the same time eating healthy foods. You also want to lose weight and maintain it. This should be your whole focus as a dieter. Any diet plan that is healthy must recommend exercising too. So don’t forget to exercise and you don’t have to go to the gym. You can do low intensity exercises in order to lose weight. For these reasons in this article, I recommend a different weight loss diet plan you can find on the link below. Personally, I don’t recommend a high protein low carb diet plan.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Potentials For Weight Loss From Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a common form of fat control surgery that is used for the highly obese and people who have failed in various other attempts to lose weight. A major benefit of this surgery is that there is a great potential for weight loss in a person who undergoes this surgery. Weight loss from bariatric surgery can be very helpful for anyone who needs to lose weight through fat control surgery.

In most cases a person will end up losing about seventy percent of one's excess weight. For instance, a person who is a hundred pounds over the desired healthy weight that one should have will end up losing about seventy pounds through bariatric surgery. This will be due to the lack of the ability to process full amounts of food in the body.

A major factor in the level of weight loss deals with the ability of the body to adjust to the materials used in surgery. The body must be able to react properly to any changes to the digestive system. With gastric restriction involved through this surgery it can be difficult for the body to respond to the surgery at first.

The weight loss that occurs will take a longer period of time than what one may hope. Because of the slow development in the surgery being able to work it can take between eighteen to twenty-four months for the person to end up losing the nearly seventy percent of weight that is involved in the weight loss.

The weight loss potential can be very great. However, there are a few things that the person interested in this weight loss must do in order to make this weight loss possible. First, the person will need to follow all changes that are required in a person's life. It will be important to reduce food intake so that the diet will work properly. Changing eating habits can be difficult to do at first but when this is done it will be easier for the body to be able to lose weight properly.

Another consideration for being able to reach the best potentials in this fat control surgery is to use the right exercise regimen. A doctor will inform a patient who has just undergone this surgery to look into certain exercise programs for people who have just had this surgery.

What Are Some Good Weight Loss Tips?

Spring is in the air and it is time to start thinking about getting rid of that spare tire so you don't embarrass yourself on the beach this year. You have probably read a million things about losing weight, but what are some good weight loss tips that will actually work. Well read on and you will be surprised at how easy those pounds will come off this season.

Green tea is something that has been proven to cause weight loss and is something that you should get into your diet if you are serious about wanting to lose weight. There have actually been studies done where the consumption of green tea was the only variable in the study and the subjects all lost weight. Drink it hot, drink it cold. As long as you are drinking it, it is going to help. Just make sure you are making it yourself and not the stuff that you buy in the stores. That is loaded with sugar and calories that will defeat the purpose.

This is an obvious one, but you are going to want to eat healthy. This means eating a healthy snack instead of throwing down chips each day. Now you are not going to have to eat tofu and celery sticks either. Pack some blueberries or peanuts to munch on at work instead of going to the machine. The blueberries are very healthy and aid in weight loss and the peanuts will be a great source of fiber for you.

Have you ever thought about getting out and stretching your legs during lunch? You don't have to run around the park, but a nice little walk is a great idea. It will allow you to work off some of that lunch that you ate and will keep your body moving so as not to get that tired feeling that you experience after eating sometimes.

There are two points in this last point and both are very important. Eat several times a day and exercise regularly. If you don't eat several times a day and drink a lot of water, your body goes into starvation mode. Ideally, you eat 5 or 6 small meals a day and keep your body feasting off of the nourishment that you are giving it. You also need to exercise to burn those calories. Add some aerobic routine to your day and you will be surprised at how quickly the pounds fall off. Do both of these together and you will be very successful.