Monday, January 2, 2012

Holistic Hottie™: I'm Moving!

... to my other website:

For up to the minute schedule alerts, tips on how to get the most out of each class, choreography notes, class music info and more -- sign up on the Holistic Hottie website or to the box on the right on this blog site.

Thanks for following this blog, my schedule, and coming to class!!!  And have a rockin' 2012!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Holistic Hottie™: Recipe: Scrumptious Slaw

I have a serious love for cabbage and this is one of my favorite recipes for it.

Napa cabbage (sweeter and tender) or red (regular green is too bitter)
Red onion - sliced really thin to break the cells down
Lemon juice
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Gluten-free Dijon mustard (I like Whole Foods brand)
Fresh black and/or white pepper
Unrefined sea salt (The salt will draw the water out and let the the apple cider in.)
Extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of stevia (Stevita or Kal brands) - if you like it a little sweet.

Mix all ingredients, cover and set aside for a few hours, and then toss it again before eating.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holistic Hottie™: Recipe: Bangin' Butternut Squash Fries

This is one of my favorite treats that I'll have maybe once a week.  It's low carb but high in healthy fat.  I'm not opposed to deep-frying as long as the oil is healthy and the food isn't breaded.  Fats and oils to avoid include: canola, Crisco, corn and other vegetable oils.  For high heat cooking, you also want to avoid using olive oil.

Butternut Squash Fries

- 1 large butternut squash with a thick neck
- lots of coconut oil (if you're on a budget, choose rendered fat from grassfed/pastured animals; if you're vegan, stick with the coconut oil)
- 1 very large pot

1.  Remove the skin and slice the squash into your preferred fry shape.  Try to keep the fry size as consistent as possible.

2.  Par boil the fries in the large pot of water. The goal is to boil them until they are slightly tender but NOT mushy.  This takes roughly 4 minutes.

3.  Drain the fries and then dry them on paper towels. 

4. Fill the very big (and high) pot with 4+ cups of coconut oil.  Heat should be on high and HOT!

5.  Once you think the oil is hot enough, carefully drop one fry into the oil.  It should agitate the oil (see photo).

6.  Carefully place half of the fries into the pot and cook for approximately 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown.

7.  Remove the fries with a spider skimmer (in photo) and set them aside on paper towels to drain some of the oil.  Now's a great time to add unrefined sea salt or other seasonings (curry is good!).

8.  Repeat with the other half of the fries.


- Try not to cook too many fries at once. If there is overcrowding the fries will not cook as evenly. 

- Use refined (NOT virgin) coconut oil to avoid the strong taste of coconut.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Holistic Hottie™: Probiotics -- good for digestion, flatter abs and a stronger immune system.

While Greek yogurt can be great source of nutrition for some people, did you know that it's not a great source of probiotics like many people think? Probiotics help keep our digestion on point, bloating to a minimum and our immune systems in check.

If you love your Fage yogurt, don't stop eating it. Just be aware that you still might want to supplement with a quality probiotic or start adding foods like Kimchee and sauerkraut to your diet. You can also try making your own probiotic-rich foods as mentioned in this article.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Holistic Hottie™: I'm Published!

Two of my articles have been published in an international publication called Pole Spin magazine!  You can purchase copies online or at your local Barnes & Noble bookstore.

You can also check the articles out below:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Holistic Hottie™: Kick Cravings & Say Adios to the "Pooch"

Are you in great shape except for, perhaps, your "pooch"? Even though you eat healthy? Check out my latest blog for possible answers...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Holistic Hottie™: Wheat Belly -- the book

I'm really excited to pick up a new book called Wheat Belly.  I've been gluten-free for several years and will never go back because the differences in my body have been so profound.  Everyone I know who's gone strictly gluten-free has said the same.  People who've gone gluten-free off-and-on usually don't know what I'm talking about.  And people who've never tried it have no idea how much better they'll feel without wheat/gluten in their lives - especially when they think they already feel good or are, for the most part, healthy.

The only way you'll know if you are sensitive to gluten is if you completely eliminate it for a straight 30 days.  It might be the greatest gift you've even given yourself.  What usually happens after 30 days is that when you eat something with wheat/gluten, you'll notice the difference and you'll realize how gluten actually affects you.

Lab tests for gluten-sensitivity are often inconclusive or negative.  A lot of times you'll only test positive if your gut is THAT damaged.  The most reliable test is to eliminate it from your diet for a solid 30 days and then have a sandwich on wheat bread or a slice of pizza and pay attention to how it affects your body.  Usually the response is obvious.

Wheat Belly is a book released just a few weeks ago is already on the Best Seller list.  It was written by Dr. William Davis, a renowned cardiologist.  Here are a few long but really good quotes from the first few pages of his book:

I recognize that declaring wheat a malicious food is like declaring that Ronald Reagan was a Communist.  It may seem absurd, even unpatriotic, to demote an iconic dietary staple to the status of public health hazard.  But I will make the case that the world’s most popular grain is also the world’s most destructive dietary ingredient. 
Documented peculiar effects of wheat on humans include appetite stimulation, exposure to brain-active exorphins (the counterpart of internally derived endorphins), exaggerated blood sugar surges that trigger cycles of satiety alternating with heightened appetite, the process of glycation that underlies disease and aging, inflammatory and pH effects that erode cartilage and damage bone, and activation of disordered immune responses.  A complex range of diseases results from consumption of wheat, from celiac disease -- the devastating intestinal disease that develops from exposure to wheat gluten -- to an assortment of neurological disorders, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, curious rashes, and the paralyzing delusions of schizophrenia. 
If this thing called wheat is such a problem, then removing it should yield outsize and unexpected benefits.  Indeed, that is the case.  As a cardiologist who sees and treats thousands of patients at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and the myriad destructive effects of obesity, I have personally observed protuberant, flop-over-the-belt belly fat vanish when my patients eliminated wheat from their diets, with typical weight loss totaling 20, 30, or 50 pounds just within the first few months.  Rapid and effortless weight loss is usually followed by health benefits that continue to amaze me even today after having witnessed this phenomenon thousands of times. 
I’ve seen dramatic turnarounds in health, such as the thirty-eight-year-old woman with ulcerative colitis facing colon removal who was cured with wheat elimination -- colon intact.  Or the twenty-six-year-old man, incapacitated and barely able to walk because of joint pain, who experienced complete relief and walked and ran freely again after taking wheat off the menu. 
Extraordinary as these results may sound, there is ample scientific research to implicate wheat as the root cause of these conditions -- and to indicate that removal of wheat can reduce or relieve symptoms entirely. [...] 
I call it wheat belly, though I could have just as easily called this condition pretzel brain or bagel bowel or biscuit face since there’s not an organ system unaffected by wheat.  But wheat’s impact on the waistline is its most visible and defining characteristic, an outward expression of the grotesque distortions humans experience with consumption of this grain. [...] 
Many overweight people, in fact, are quite health conscious... Most will say something like "I don’t get it.  I exercise five days a week.  I’ve cut my fat and increased my healthy whole grains.  Yet I can’t seem to stop gaining weight!" [...] 
Diabetics became nondiabetics.  That’s right: Diabetes in many cases can be cured -- not simply managed -- by removal of carbohydrates, especially wheat, from the diet.  Many of my patients had also lost twenty, thirty, even forty pounds. 
But it’s what I didn’t expect that astounded me. 
They reported that symptoms of acid reflux disappeared and the cyclic cramping and diarrhea of irritable bowel syndrome were gone.  Their energy improved, they had greater focus, sleep was deeper.  Rashes disappeared, even rashes that had been present for many years.  Their rheumatoid arthritis pain improved or disappeared, enabling them to cut back, even eliminate, the nasty medications used to treat it.  Asthma symptoms improved or resolved completely, allowing many to throw away their inhalers.  Athletes reported more consistent performance. Thinner.  More energetic.  Clearer thinking.  Better bowel, joint, and lung health.  Time and time again.  Surely these results were reason enough to forgo wheat. [...] 
The bottom line: Elimination of this food, part of human culture for more centuries than Larry King was on the air, will make you sleeker, smarter, faster, and happier.  Weight loss, in particular, can proceed at a pace you didn’t think possible.  And you can selectively lose the most visible, insulin-opposing, diabetes-creating, inflammation-producing, embarrassment-causing fat: belly fat.  It is a process accomplished with virtually no hunger or deprivation, with a wide spectrum of health benefits. [...] 
So why has this seemingly benign plant that sustained generations of humans suddenly turned on us?  For one thing, it is not the same grain our fore-bearers ground into their daily bread.  Wheat naturally evolved to only a modest degree over the centuries, but it has changed dramatically in the past fifty years under the influence of agricultural scientists.  Wheat strains have been hybridized, crossbred, and introgressed to make the wheat plant resistant to environmental conditions, such as drought, or pathogens, such as fungi.  But most of all, genetic changes have been induced to increase yield per acre.  The average yield on a modern North American farm is more than tenfold greater than farms of a century ago.  Such enormous strides in yield have required drastic changes in the genetic code, including reducing the proud "amber waves of grain" of yesteryear to the rigid, eighteen-inch-tall high-production "dwarf" wheat of today.  Such fundamental genetic changes, as you will see, have come at a price.

Also check out the Wheat Belly Blog.

It important to note that ditching wheat/gluten isn't about losing weight.  A lot of authors and bloggers will try to capture people's attention with the aspect of weight loss because that is smart marketing.  The truth is -- wheat/gluten affects a lot of people in a myriad of ways.  Please, don't write off the whole wheat/gluten-free "thing" because you're slim or think you're "just fine" eating your whole grains.  If you have migraines, arthritic conditions, weak immunity, digestive issues, skin issues, ear-nose-throat issues - in most cases these issues have a lot to do with diet.  "Heart Healthy Whole Grains" (especially the ones with a lot of gluten) are NO ONE's friend.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Holistic Hottie™: Do Calories Really Count?

"Advice commonly given to people who are trying to lose weight is "Calories in, calories out." It's actually more complicated. Calories don't always count.

"Weight watchers count calories in the food they consume. They believe that slimming down is simply a matter of eating less. At first glance, this approach seems to make sense. However, gaining weight is driven by biochemical processes that respond more to the type of food rather than the amount eaten".

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Holistic Hottie™: Appetite Control - Solved

Do you have an insatiable appetite? Are you eating entire bags of chips or pints of ice cream at one time? Do you feel bloated but hungry? Can't lose those last 5lbs? Low energy?

Follow this link for practical and doable solutions to APPETITE CONTROL.