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Monday, September 30, 2013

Foods That Fight Fat #6: Green Tea

Hello everyone!  Only two more to go in our list of fat fighting foods!  Number six on our list is Green Tea. This tea packs caffeine and antioxidants called catechins,  a dynamic duo believed to stimulate your nervous system and increase fat-burning!  Allow tea to steep for three to five minutes to bring out its catechins. The best way to get the catechins and other flavonoids in tea is to drink it freshly brewed. 

Other suspected benefits of Green Tea are cancer prevention, lowered risk of Parkinson's disease, and help keeping your heart healthy!

There are four main types of tea.  Black, green white or oolong.  All are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.  Other types of "teas" are usually herbal brews, which are infusions of other plants with different nutritional characteristics.  If you are not sure what kind you're drinking, check the ingredients for the word "tea".

Ok, so back to our 4 main types of teas.  What makes each of these different from the other is the way the leaves are prepared and how mature they are.  This can affect both the flavor and the nutritional contend of the tea.  Black tea is made from leaves that have been wilted (dried out) and then fully oxidized (meaning that chemicals in the leaves are modified through exposure to air). Green tea's leaves are wilted but not oxidized. Oolong tea is wilted and then only partially oxidized, and white tea is not wilted or oxidized at all.  All four types are high in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that seems to protect cells from the DNA damage that can cause cancer and other diseases. 

Experts agree that a daily cup of tea or five, won't hurt you, and may even help fight disease. (If you're trying to limit your caffeine intake, go for decaf—it has antioxidants too, though fewer than the caffeinated kind.)  

Spiced Green Tea Smoothie

3/4 cup strong green tea, chilled
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 Tbsp)
2 tsp agave nectar
1 small pear, skin on, cut into pieces
2 Tbsp fat-free plain yogurt
6-8 ice cubes

Put all ingredients into a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Drink Cold.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Foods That Fight Fat #5 Coffee

Nothing beats a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning to get you up and moving!  Not only is your morning coffee waking you up but it is waking your metabolism up as well!  The caffeine in one cup of coffee temporarily perks up your metabolism by as much as 15%.  Caffeine also helps mobilize the forces that burn stored fat. 

Note: Coffee on an empty stomach is NOT a good idea. Be sure you are eating a balanced, whole food breakfast with carbohydrates, protein and some fats. If you want to learn how coffee can actually cause you to GAIN weight, check out the 2 day event, Healthy Edge LIVE happening November 7th and 8th in Tacoma, WA. This topic along with the latest in nutrition, weight loss, metabolism, food and so much ore will be discussed with health, wellness and fitness experts!

Grown in more than 70 countries around the world coffee has something of a contentious history with health experts, who have long cautioned that over-consumption may be detrimental to our health. More recent studies, however, paint a rosier picture for the Coffea plant's roasted berries (they're not actually beans), suggesting that when consumed in moderate amounts — and without heaping on the sugar and cream — the magical stuff can harbor numerous potential health benefits.  Numerous studies have suggested that caffeine helps the liver regulate itself. Coffee may even help keep your mind sharp as you age by slowing the onset of neurodegenerative disease. Multiple studies have suggested that coffee drinkers have up to a 60 percent lower risk of Alzheimer's and dementia, and the beverage may help reduce a person's risk of Parkinson's by 32 to 60 percent!  

Studies also have shown that caffeine — which blocks the neurotransmitters in the brain associated with sleep — can temporarily boost cognition, especially when you're not getting enough shut eye, which i'm sure we all have experienced a time or two.  
Scientists have identified approximately 1,000 antioxidants in unprocessed coffee beans, and hundreds more develop during the roasting process. Numerous studies have cited coffee as a major—and in some cases, the primary—dietary source of antioxidants for its subjects.

We suggest moderate doses and passing on the cream and sugar. One to two cups a day is about perfect!

Spiced Coffee Shake

3/4 cup strong, brewed coffee (cold or room temperature)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
1/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1 Tbsp almond butter
10-12 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Fill about half way with ice cubes.  Blend until foamy, icy and well combined.  Drink cold.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Foods That Fight Fat #4: Salmon

We hope that you are enjoying our 7 Foods That Fight Fat Series.  Next on our list is Salmon. 

Research suggests the omega-3s in Salmon and other fatty fish help build muscle-and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to lower triglycerides, which are a type of fat in the bloodstream (experts aren't sure of the exact mechanism).

Omega-3 fatty acids may also slow down the growth of plaques in the arteries and reduce inflammation throughout the body.  "Salmon contains the carotenoid astaxanthin, which is a very powerful antioxidant," says cardiologist  Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, the author of Lower Your Blood Pressure In Eight Weeks. But be sure to choose wild salmon over farm-raised fish, which can be packed with insecticides, pesticides, and heavy metals.

One fascinating new area of health benefits involves the protein and amino acid content of salmon. Several recent studies have found that salmon contains small bioactive protein molecules (called bioactive peptides) that may provide special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract.

Cooking Tip: It's always best to broil, grill, or steam these foods.  Any health benefits from fish are cancelled out if you deep-fry them in a vat of vegetable oil.

Try to get two 3oz servings of fatty fish per week.  Here is a recipe to try.  Enjoy!

Salmon Noodle Bowl RecipeSalmon Noodle Bowl


  • 4 ounces soba buckwheat noodles or whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 5 ounces asparagus, cut in thirds
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (6-oz) salmon fillet, skin off, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • Zest and juice of 1-2 limes (3 TBSP juice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
  • 4 ounces cucumber, skin on, cut into medium pieces
  • 1/2 small avocado, cut into bite-size pieces


1. Cook the noodles in boiling water until soft (about 6 minutes for soba, 8 for spaghetti). Transfer with tongs to a strainer. Add asparagus to same boiling water. Cook until al dente (about 2 minutes); rinse under cold water.
2. Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Coat lightly with cooking spray. Cook the salmon until cooked through, turning pieces (about 2-3 minutes per side). Reserve.
3. Make the vinaigrette: Whisk together sesame oil, lime zest and juice, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Combine the noodles, asparagus, and vinaigrette in a medium serving bowl.
4. Add the cucumber and avocado; toss to coat. Just before serving, add salmon. Serve warm or at room temperature, or make up to 4 hours ahead and keep refrigerated in an airtight container.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Foods That Fight Fat #3: Chili Peppers

Can you stand the heat?  

Our third fat fighting food is chili peppers! Not only can they add an abundance of flavor to your favorite foods,  they can also rev up your body's fat burning abilities.

You know that burn you experience when you bite into a chili pepper? Well it's more than a mere sensation! Capsaicin is the ingredient responsible for this heated kick! This potent ingredient triggers the pain receptors in your mouth to become activated. Therefore, after you consume a spicy dish, your pain receptors send a message to your brain that relief is needed and pronto! Your brain responds to this cry for help by speeding up your metabolism and heart rate, in order for your body to sweat and cool off (which explains why you sweat sometimes after ingesting spicy food).  As a result, your body experiences an increased calorie burn and engages in a fight against fat. Basically, your body has a similar experience as it does during a workout. However, this doesn’t mean that you can forgo the gym! (Unfortunately, not that many calories are burned.) 

Try adding hot peppers into your salsa, diced up on a salad, use to spice up your chili, or add them to your favorite quinoa, rice or bean dish. Here is a delicious recipe to help incorporate chilies into your morning routine! 

Scrambled Eggs with Chilies

2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg white
Pinch of kosher salt and fresh pepper
Cooking spray
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Vigorously whisk the eggs, egg white and salt and pepper in a bowl.  Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat.  When hot, coat lightly with cooking spray. Cook chopped chilies and tomatoes until soft (2 minutes).  Add eggs.  Cook, stirring gently, until eggs are cooked through, as desired (1-2 minutes). Sprinkle with scallion.  Serve hot.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Foods That Fight Fat #2: Yogurt

Our second Super Fat Fighter is yogurt.  A calcium-rich food, yogurt has up to 50% more calcium per ounce than milk.  Calcium-rich foods have slimming superpowers.  If you get too little of this mineral your body may be more likely to pack away calories as fat.  Yogurt is a potent source of calcium and better yet, it's probiotics may help keep belly fat under control.

More reasons to incorporate yogurt into your daily routine:

1.Yogurt is easier to digest than milk. Many people who cannot tolerate milk, either because of a protein allergy or lactose intolerance, can enjoy yogurt. The culturing process makes yogurt more digestible than milk. The live active cultures create lactase, the enzyme lactose-intolerant people lack, and another enzyme contained in some yogurts (beta-galactosidase) also helps improve lactose absorption in lactase-deficient persons.

2. Yogurt contributes to colon health. When eating yogurt, you care for your colon in two ways. First, yogurt contains lactobacteria, intestines-friendly bacterial cultures that foster a healthy colon, and even lower the risk of colon cancer. Secondly, yogurt is a rich source of calcium - a mineral that contributes to colon health and decreases the risk of colon cancer.

3. Yogurt can decrease yeast infections. Research has shown that eating eight ounces of yogurt that contains live and active cultures daily reduces the amount of yeast colonies in the vagina and decreases the incidence of vaginal yeast infections.

4.Yogurt can lower cholesterol. There are a few studies that have shown that yogurt can reduce the blood cholesterol. This may be because the live cultures in yogurt can assimilate the cholesterol or because yogurt binds bile acids, (which has also been shown to lower cholesterol), or both.

5. Yogurt is a "grow food." Two nutritional properties of yogurt may help children with intestinal absorption problems grow: the easier digestibility of the proteins and the fact that the lactic acid in yogurt increases the absorption of minerals. And even most picky-eaters will eat yogurt in dips and smoothies and as a topping. 

Selecting your Yogurt can be confusing, especially since every grocery store seems to have an overwhelming selection of flavors and brands.  We suggest when choosing your yogurt, you go for a low-fat, plain yogurt (we enjoy Greek style) and add your own fresh fruit or pure extracts to get the flavor you desire. WE LOVE FAGE brand! Although all yogurt has some degree of natural sugar, pre-flavored yogurts added sugar and artificial flavorings can be extreme.  

Herbed Spinach Yogurt Dip
2 cups

1 1/2 cups Greek style yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh basil, minced
2 tsp avocado oil
Pinch sea salt
1 cup organic baby spinach, diced

Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.  Place mixture in refrigerator and chill for approximately 1 hour before serving.
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