While it is a known fact that people in Asian cultures stay slim and live the longest, it is also a fact that the American version of Asian food may yield the opposite effect. If you are craving Sushi, Thai or Chinese, here are my tops tips to indulging in these oriental dishes.
If you want to eat clean, then steer clear of anything with Tempura or Mayo in the sushi rolls. Those words simply translate to high calories and high fat.
Green Goddess Sushi: I like to order an avocado and cucumber roll in brown rice and the Vegi-Vegi Roll - an all-vegetable roll that is wrapped in potassium-rich cucumber.
Z-TIP: If you are eating raw fish, make sure to dip it into soy sauce and have a generous amount of wasabi with it. Those two ingredients can help kill bacteria and parasites.
For Thai-food lovers one of my top Green Goddess-Approved Meals is the Papaya Salad. Papaya is knows for its high concentration of digestive enzymes that can help digest fats and aid with assimilation and weight loss.
My second favorite healthy Thai dish is a vegetable curry. I prefer to skip the tofu, unless it is organic, and load the dish up with seasonal vegetables. Besides the delicious flavor, curry dishes are rich in inflammation-fighting turmeric that has even been shown to help reverse Alzheimer’s disease.
Z-TIP: If you choose to go with the curry, opt for waist-trimming steamed brown rice which unlike white rice has extra fiber.
I believe Chinese food has been getting a bad rep due to the high-calorie dishes such as the General Tso’s Chicken or Pork Fried Rice. Despite this not-so-healthy fare, you can find plenty of dishes that are low in calories and high in taste. One of my favorite restaurants for healthy Chinese food is the famous P.F. Changs.
There I can indulge in the low-calorie Buddha Feast or the tasty Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings. One of the best things I like about PF Changs is that they have an extensive nutritional chart, so you can check what each dish offers. Another bonus is that they have a separate gluten-free menu, so those avoiding wheat, barley or rye can rest assured they will be eating clean!
Do you ever struggle with pushing yourself to workout? Ever since I can remember I have had a challenging relationship with fitness. Not that I don't like to workout, but I would rather not, if I didn't have to. For many years I have found myself falling in love with a new fitness routine, but after not seeing any dramatic results (like they show in informercials) I would get bored a few months later and dump it.
While I did stick to a certain workout, what I noticed was that my food consumption would go up. In my mind I looked at fitness as a bank account - you deposit the calories burned to withdraw them later for frivolous eating. I always kept score - Ok, so I did Pilates for an hour, now I can have a guilt-free piece of cake. I never truly enjoyed working out for the sake of working out.
A few months ago I decided to quit working out as my routine wasn't working out for me. Then, a few weeks ago I started to feel terrible, my back started to hurt and my monthly cramps got intense all due to lack of physical activity. Yes, I was eating well, but I still needed to move my body.
After much consideration, I decided to commit to a 3-days a week schedule where I would workout, no matter my attitude. The first class back from the hiatus was hard and so was the second, but it was the third (today) that was the toughest and that's where I got my breakthrough that I want to share with you. What I realized was that just like Carrie from Sex In The City who spent her income on shoes and not her home, I was spending my hard-earned benefits of exercise on foods that were as unnecessary as several pairs of Manolos a week.
Now, there is nothing wrong with buying Manolos or eating cake, don't get me wrong, but there has to be a balance. Think about shopping - when you get your paycheck, do you spend most of it on necessary things like your mortgage and then a small percentage on fun? Think of your body as your home and your workouts as payment for its maintenance. After all, this is the only body you got and that's where you soul lives. If you want to have an awesome body, then choose to workout and look at it as your "work" to pay for the quality of your "home."
Now I am choosing to use my workouts towards sculpting a stronger body instead of eating something unnecessary. Perhaps with this new approach I will actually start seeing results and that in turn will motivate me to stick to the program. And an occasional piece of Raw Vegan Tiramisu won't hurt the progress!
If you are looking for a stylish water bottle and want to support a fabulous entrepreneur, then check out S’well
insulated beverage bottles and their Water Aid for Life
limited-edition bottle as they celebrate World Water Day.
Available in ‘Oscar’ gold, the bottles will come packaged with a certificate of authenticity, acknowledging the purchaser’s participation in the partnership to provide a lifetime supply of clean and safe drinking water and sanitation for one person in need. I think I am going to get one just so that I can manifest my own golden award for a TV show soon :)ONE BOTTLE. ONE PURCHASE. ONE PERSON. WATERAID FOR LIFE.
The Water Aid for Life bottle costs $100 and is available for purchase at www.swellbottle.com.
Fashionable, sustainable and socially responsible - S'well bottles are fabulous products to stay hydrated:
· Stainless steel (never "sweats" on hands or inside of handbag/carryalls)
· Bottle neck large enough to insert ice cubes
· Non-toxic - saves you from dangerous BPA
· Assortment of uni-gender colors including black, yellow, green and red
· Ideal for wine/alcoholic beverages for outdoor entertaining WORLD WATER DAY:
In 2010, the United Nations Governing Body declared 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is the governing body to organize the efforts of World Water Day.
Since 1993, World Water Day is held annually, as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater resources and advocating for sustainable management of safe and clean drinking water and sanitation.
In recognition of the worldwide efforts of World Water Day on March 22, especially focusing on the theme of water cooperation, S'well has designed an exclusive limited-edition bottle. For each generous contribution, you will be gifted this special S'well bottle and more importantly, WaterAid will provide a lifetime supply of clean and safe drinking water and sanitation for one person in need. Your WaterAid for Life limited edition S'well bottle will come packaged with a certificate of authenticity, acknowledging your participation in this partnership. Thank you for supporting the efforts of WaterAid, an organization that strives to protect one of life's most important resources: water.
In my classes many people ask me about what I eat and want to know the difference between Raw Vegan Food and Cooked Vegan or Fruitarian Lifestyle. They want to know if I can recommend a certain way of eating that would make them feel better. They want to know if eating animal protein is good or bad for you and they are curious about the effect of cooked food on the body. And so on the questions go. If you are looking for answers on similar topic, here is my way of explaining a couple of food theories according to fashion.
When you think of fabrics, what comes to mind? There are so many textures, patterns to choose from that I am sure everyone has a different picture come up and I wanted to compare different fabrics to food and see if you can feel the difference in their essence.
FRUITARIANS & WHITE SILK - When I think of being a fruitarian, I think of white silk - it is beautiful, flowing, all natural and yet the maintenance is pretty hard. When I was a fruitarian, I found myself eating A LOT. Fruit is the fastest moving food and it doesn't stay in the system long, so it is great for cleaning our the body once in a while. However, if you do it long-term it can get expensive and hard to maintain, just like white silk. You constantly need to get new supplies and watch what you eat so you don't spoil the effect of being on fruit. Also, just like silk won't keep you warm when it is cold out, fruit also won't heat up your body if you are going through a North East winter. It is a wonderful idea, but for me personally, it is not realistic to sustain all year round.
RAW VEGAN CUISINE & PURE COTTON - Raw Vegan Foods for me are associated with pure cotton fabrics. They can come in different colors and textures and you can get many variations. Just like you can have jeans, t-shirts, skirts, pants, dresses, accessories, etc. made out of cotton, so can you make pizza, burritos, burgers, pasta, etc. out of raw fruits and vegetables. It can be "layered" with spices to keep you warm when it is a little chilly out, just as you layer sweaters on a breezy day. Also, because you have nuts in the Raw Vegan Cuisine, this type of food can keep you satisfied for a while, so maintenance is not too hard.
COOKED VEGAN FOODS & CASHMERE - Sometimes when it gets cold out, I just want to cuddle up in my cashmere sweater and get warm. To me that is what a bowl of warm cooked brown rice with beans with hot veggies feels like. Something comfortable and soft to warm up my system. When I think of cooked vegan food I think of it as cashmere - warm, inviting, pure and comforting.
COOKED ANIMAL PRODUCTS & ACRYLIC - To me, cooked animal proteins compare to acrylic - they are processed, they are heavy and they don't make me feel good when there is too much of them. On occasion I may indulge in having a bite of fish if someone cooked it with love at a family gathering or I may have an omelet with eggs from a local, cruelty-free, organic farm, but the amount would be very small. I think of this as I do of my acrylic-accented socks - I only wear them on occasion, but it is not a habit. If I wore most everything acrylic, I would feel tired, heavy and unsatisfied.
COOKED PROCESSED FOODS & POLYESTER - Simply put, I just don't think that either the processed foods or polyester are good for you long-term, but they can be fun once in a while. For example, last Halloween I wore a polyester dress and it was lots of fun to dress up. After the evening, I put the dress aside and haven't worn it since. This is how I look at processed foods - sometimes it is fun to indulge as we are human and not perfect, but if you eat processed foods on regular basis, you won't feel great. It is just like wearing polyester clothes all the time - not natural.
Now, I do want to say that because we are individual and we all have different bodytypes, personalities and lifestyles, not many stick to one kind of food. I believe in playing with foods just like we do with clothes, mixing and matching different fabrics, colors and styles. We also match what we wear to the outside environment so our clothes will keep us warm when it is cold and will let us stay cool when it is hot. Is it possible to say that you wear one certain fabric in one particular color non-stop? Well, for some people that may be a possibility, but not for everyone. I do the same with food - eat warming foods when it is cold and eat cooling foods when it is hot.
When I look at way I eat, I find that the majority of my food is Raw Vegan and then the rest depends on the particular situation. We are human and we are work in progress as we greet every day and do our best to feel our best inside and out. I can't give you an advice on what to eat without getting to know you, but I can tell you that raw, organic fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants, phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins, proteins and fiber that pretty much anyone can benefit from. Just like pure cotton t-shirts, dresses, tops, skirts and jeans, you can never have enough! If you are curious about new ways to feel better inside and out, I invite you to sign up for my monthly newsletter full of my Z-Tips for a Fabulously Healthy Life and contacting me when you are ready to work together.
With cheers to your health,
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I am so thrilled to announce that my blog was chosen as one of the TOP 50 RAW FOOD BLOGS by the Institute for Psychology of Eating.
It is a fantastic school and I greatly recommend it to anyone looking to get trained in uncovering the psychology behind our eating habits. Also, if you are interested in Raw Food, I would highly recommend taking a look at the rest of the list - many of my favorite bloggers are on it and I absolutely love reading new posts by like-minded people.
If you are looking for healthy AND delicious food in South Florida, then check out one of my new favorite restaurants -Green Kitchen & Bar
The co-owner, Elena Pezzo, has a fascinating and inspiring story and it is such a joy to eat in her new place where you can feel her ZENenergy.
Here you will find great plant-based cuisine that will satisfy your taste buds and will make you feel fabulous after your meal. Try my favorite Firecracker Salad and the GKB Veggie Burger.
One of the trendiest discussion topics in the last few months has been about detoxes. Everyone from A-List celebrities to raw food enthusiasts are talking about the benefits of fresh juices and smoothies. The question that I hear frequently is what is the difference between the two? When should you drink a juice and when should you go for a smoothie? To help you navigate the world of healthy eating with ease, I want to offer you my simple tips to finding out the option that will fit you best. SMOOTHIES:
A smoothie is a blended drink that is made with whole fruits, whole leafy greens, milk or water and supplemental powders that can include ground flax seeds, maca, protein powders, mesquite, Lucama, etc (I will be blogging about the benefits of different supplements in an upcoming blog). Benefits of Smoothies:
Fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins, healthy carbs and sugars. Due to their fiber content, smoothies will satisfy hunger and can help you keep energized and focused for hours. Because smoothies are blended, the vegetables are easy to digest and the nutrients become easier to absorb than when eating them whole. Also, a smoothie is a fabulous meal to just grab and go, because you don’t have to sit down with a fork and a plate. JUICES:
Juice is the liquid that is extracted from the fruits and vegetables. They are usually created with dark leafy greens, water-rich vegetables and fruits. Benefits of Juices:
Phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins and healthy sugars. Because the juice is free of fiber, your body doesn’t have to do any work to extract the nutrients and as a result they go directly to your blood stream, supplying you with abundant energy. Juices are a perfect way to start the morning with. They are also great as an afternoon energy boost. Think of it as a much better and stronger way to energize your body than coffee! You will see that our OnJuice
cleanses are all in the form of pure liquid that supplies you with the nutrition you need without requiring digestive work. As a result, the body can spend the extra energy on cleaning itself and getting rid of toxins. RULE OF THUMB:
If you are tired AND hungry, then reach for the Smoothie because it has Nutrients AND fiber. If you are tired and NOT hungry, then reach for the pure Juice that does NOT have the fiber.
On Juice, Owners - Scott Harris
and Olga Kuzenkov
WithCertified Raw Food Guru and Detox Specialist, Alina ZhukovskayaProud to Present:
Jackie Graff, RN. and Gideon Graff
Raw Vegan Chefs, and Educators
Spring Holiday Survival With Raw Food
Wednesday, March 6 at 6:30 PM
129 NE 13th Street, Suite 33, Boca Raton, FL 33432
$25 per personDessert and Ice Cream,
Coconut Ice Cream, Coconut Balls
RSVP AT http://boca36.eventbrite.comWho are Jackie & Gideon GraffJackie Graff
has been teaching raw food preparation and food science for more than a decade. An RN with 40 years’ experience in various areas of patient care and education, Ms. Graff is considered one of the country’s top raw food chefs and nutrition consultants.
She continues to teach raw food lifestyle classes throughout the country, is an instructor for Hallelujah Acres® Culinary Academy, and at the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach FL. She has been frequently quoted in print and broadcast news outlets, including the Atlanta-Journal Constitution
, Atlanta Woman
magazine, Atlanta Jewish Life
magazine, Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta, CNN Headline News, and North Georgia Today. Jackie is the author of 23 theme raw food recipe books, and has produced two instructional raw food DVDs. Jackie also contributed articles to several national and local magazines.
As an RN, Ms. Graff has held key hospital management positions and was a clinical instructor to nurses. She also served as an associate professor at Life University, teaching raw food instruction to returning alumni. She has an understanding of nutrition, anatomy and physiology of the human body and possesses a firsthand knowledge of the negative consequences of the Standard American Diet (SAD) on a person’s long-term health. She earned her B.S. degree in Nursing from the University of South Carolina.Gideon Graff
– along with Jackie has taught raw food preparation for almost a decade. His roles include raw food chef, health coach, and director of Sprout Raw Food, the Graff’s consulting and raw food catering and distribution business. He has served as an instructor for Hallelujah Acres® Culinary Academy. Gideon has 35 years experience in food and hospitality management. An accomplished public speaker, he is experienced in both conference planning and fund raising. Previously, Gideon and Jackie co-founded and operated the Sprout Café and Shinui Living Food Learning Center, a first-of-its kind center devoted to teaching and promoting the raw food lifestyle in Roswell, Georgia. Together they lost weight, and eliminated many physical problems, resulting in them no longer requiring blood pressure, cholesterol and other medications. They attribute their healthy state to eating raw foods.
Valentine’s Day is around the corner and that often means going out to eat and having drinks. With a plethora of beverages to choose from, many people feel lost in the choice and we are here to help you solve the dilemma.
Of course the number one beverage of choice would be a non-alcoholic, 100% organic, cold-pressed juice like OnJuice
, for example. But let’s face it, those are not usually available at most parties. On average I have one alcoholic drink a week and if I attend lots of parties, then I stick to my invented concoction of sparkling water or soda water with 1 teaspoons of lime juice. Usually the bartender will either have a lime juice mix which does have sugar, but I figure that 1 teaspoon of it won’t be a big deal.
The reason why I limit myself to 1 glass of alcohol a week is because it is very stressful for the liver to process. Since liver is the largest organ in the body and is also responsible for detoxification of your system, it is crucial to keep it happy and healthy. This point is especially important to remember when it comes to hard liquor. Yes, vodka may not have any calories, but its high alcohol content can undermine your liver function. When liver gets overwhelmed, the metabolism can get sluggish, pounds can start pilling on and the mood and quality of life can start to go down.
However, I do indulge about once a week and my alcoholic beverage of choice is a glass of bubbly or red wine, both of which add up to about 120 calories a serving. Research has shown that in moderation, red wine has positive benefits for the heart, so it can give you a better bang for your nutritional buck. One tip of the trade: if you drink one glass of wine, it will relax your system, but if you over-indulge, then it can actually cause the opposite effect and result in insomnia.Champagne Fooler:
Pink Drink On The Rocks
- 1-1/3 cups apple juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 12 ounces club soda
Shake Pink Drink with ice in a martini shaker, pour into a martini glass. Decorate with a lemon slice and enjoy! Simple, easy and delicious.Healthier alcoholic options:
- OnJuice 100% organic, freshly squeezed or pressed juice for your cocktails
- Synergy Kombucha
- Light Beer
- Red Wine
- White Wine
- Sparkling Wine
- For blended drinks, use whole fruit, so you can get extra fiber, which will slow down the release of sugars and can also give your liver a boost
Do you ever feel that it is too hard to eat well and it is too stressful to be "good" all the time? I completely understand that kind of thinking and will confess that I too have struggled with it. Yes, sometimes it is easier to let go and eat whatever you think you want without thinking about the effect of food on us later. However, we can't run from the consequence of our actions and if we eat something that makes us feel crappy, guess what, we will feel crappy afterwards.
As fabulous food fashionistas, I know that each one of us wants to look and feel fabulous, so here are my thoughts on how to achieve that without deprivation.
What I find most often is that it is not the action that causes us stress or relief, it is our attitude towards that action. Take fashion for example. The other day my mom and I were talking about clothes and how our styles can be the same at certain times and different at others. I pointed out that because of my previous VP of Marketing position where I had to dress up and go to upscale events almost every day, I now really appreciate opportunities to wear laid-back attire when I get to work from home. I simply felt that dressing up became too much of an effort because of the frequency of occasions. Because I felt stressed and pressured to always look good, I started to associate dressy clothes with pressure, with always being on top of my game. Now that I have a balance in my life that I keep between going out for work and staying in to write/blog/do raw food, I feel there is a balance in the way I dress.
My mom, on the other hand, has never felt the pressure of dressing up. Maybe it was because growing up it was instilled in her at a young age that women always dress up and it became a habit? Or maybe it is simply because she has a passion for it? I believe it is a combination of both. When she shops, she buys clothes that she really loves. Think about it, if all you choose to buy are beautiful clothes that you love wearing, then all you have to choose from when dressing up are gorgeous outfits. The process of getting dressed becomes an easy task with a predictable outcome - looking fabulous.
Now, I propose that we take that outlook and use it in our approach to food. When going grocery shopping, choose foods that make you look and feel fabulous. Don't stress about it thinking that you are being "good." Let yourself be YOU. And trust me, your real, true authentic self will only want foods that make you feel fabulous inside and out. (If you are having trouble believing that you deserve to look and feel fabulous, watch this
Yes, it may be a little challenging in the beginning to change the way you look at food and at yourself, however, with time it will become a habit and choosing fabulous foods will become effortless. I am always here for you to support, inspire and guide you through the process of becoming a truly Fabulous Food Fashionista!