Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wonderful Nutrtion of an Eggplant.

 Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family of vegetables like tomato, bell pepper and potato. Known for its characteristic taste as well as texture, eggplants are best enjoyed in North America between August and October. Among the main growers of eggplant are Italy, Egypt, China, Japan and Turkey. Eggplant has glossy skin, while its flesh is spongy and cream-colored. Some might find that eggplant is an acquired taste, but I personally love them for its flavor and ability to absorb the flavor and juices of other ingredients.
Its fiber content is high, which helps our digestive process and also acts against coronary heart disease. 

Nutritional values of eggplants include vitamins (in particular, C, as well as B1), proteins, minerals and phytonutrients. In the phytonutrients found in eggplants, there are phenolic compounds, such as caffeic and chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids. Flavonoids exhibit cancer fighting properties and phenolic compounds are considered antioxidants. Nasunin helps prevent damage of cell membranes and blocks the creation of free radicals. Potassium in eggplants brings a balance in salt intake and maintains a nice level of hydration. It also plays a role in regulating blood pressure. Eggplants also contain folate, magnesium and niacin as well as copper, manganese and thiamine (vitamin B1).
Below you will see a simple caponata. Caponata is a cooked vegetable dish popular throughout Italy (helps since my husband is Italian), though it is believed to have originated in Sicily. There are many variations, most of which contain eggplant as the primary ingredient. Although it can be served as a side dish to fish or meat, don’t be afraid to enjoy it like I do….with a hunk of garlic bread and a spoon. Personally, I think this is better the next day so I double the ingredients and take leftovers for lunch. Buon Appetito!!

Simple Caponata


¼ cup olive oil
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 medium eggplant, chopped, ½“ pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and chopped, ½” pieces
1 14oz can diced tomatoes with juice
3 tablespoons raisins
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
salt & pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the celery and saute for 2 minutes. Add the eggplant and onion, sauteing 3 minutes. Add the red pepper cooking until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, raisins and oregano. Simmer over medium-low heat letting the flavors blend, about 20 minutes. Stir in vinegar and sugar, simmering 2 minutes more. Salt & pepper to taste. 

Enjoy, this is a good side for Thanksgiving.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Treats that can trick us!!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

So Halloween is literally right around the corner and it can be tough to keep your hands off those buckets of candy. Moderation is key, but if you don't do moderation very well (like me), then I've got a couple tips for you:

1) Don't buy itYou can't eat what you don't have, right?

2) Buy the candy you don't care for If you want to participate in watching the cute kiddies dress up and come to your door, buy the candy you don't care for so your hand doesn't sneak into the bowl.

3) Give out healthier treatsNow you don't want to be the doorknob on the block who's throwing apples and oranges into kids' trick-or-treat bags, but try to find healthier options to give out like little packets of Teddy Grahams or how about stickers.

4) Eat before you go outIf you're attending a party, eat beforehand. If you go on a full stomach, you'll be less likely to grab at the unhealthy goodies on the table.

5) Bring a healthy dish to passBringing your own dish will make your host appreciative as well as give you a for-sure healthy option to pick from at the party.

6) Keep it out of sightNow if you HAVE kids and want to take them trick-or-treating, but are worried about having the candy they bring back to the house around, hide it. Sometimes what's out of site is out of mind.

7) It takes 1 hour of cardio to burn 2 fun-size candy barsAgain, if you have kids trick-or-treating, are going to a party, or have candy to give out, keep this in mind! If you're gonna eat it, be prepared to work like mad to get rid of it on your body! :-D

I hope these little tips help make your Halloween happy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Yoga benefits breast cancer and menopause patients!

In addition to helping you achieve a better body, yoga can make a significant difference in a woman's sense of well-being, even—and especially—when dealing with serious health challenges.

Recent research from India found that yoga can have a positive impact on menopause symptoms. The study followed a group of women who practiced the postures, breathing and meditation associated with yoga, while also listening to lectures on managing stress with yoga; a second group of women were assigned basic stretching and strengthen exercises, and listened to lectures on nutrition, fitness, and the biology of menopause.

In two months, the women in the yoga group had fewer hot flashes, fewer night sweats and less difficulty sleeping, while the women in the non-yoga group showed no changes.

Likewise, breast-cancer patients who attended a 10-week yoga program reported feeling notably less depressed and more calm, whereas women who were waitlisted did not report feeling any better during that time.

Interestingly, the research found that those who start out with the most negative outlook appear to have the most positive outcome after practicing yoga.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A little Cheat!!

Yes you heard eat "CHEAT"....what! you might be saying.  Yes it is ok to have a cheat every once in a while. It seems this time of year brings out the worst in me when it comes to treats.  It makes it hard when you go into a store and the Halloween candy is screaming at you buy me buy me, eat me eat me.  Then Thanksgiving come around and you have all that turkey and the other things that come with it.  Oh then you have Christmas which is the worse because everyone is giving you pie, candy, cake etc.  I am one of those that LOVES to bake this time of year, and to give it away (watch out friends). One of my favorites is the recipe below, I haven't made it in so long but love it.  I will be giving these away (who will the lucky person  Yes I am allowing myself this cheat.
                                                                   Puddles of Fudge


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Cream butter, peanut butter and white and brown sugars. Mix in egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir the flour mixture into creamed mixture. Shape the dough into 48 balls, 1 inch each. Place each ball in one compartment of a mini muffin tin.
  4. For filling, put chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir in milk and vanilla, mix well.
  5. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and immediately make wells in the center of each using a melon baller. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Then carefully remove to wire racks. Using a measuring cup fill each shell with the chocolate mixture. Then you can put sprinkles on them or pecans or a small bit of caramel.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chicken McNasty!!!!!

Yesterday I read an article about how Chicken McNuggets are made. They also provided the lovely picture above and, needless to say, I was emphatically grossed out. Now, we always joke about what could possibly be contained in a Chicken McNugget (or any fast food item for that matter) and, laughing, continue to shovel it in. However, it's really not a joke. It's serious business when it comes to your health! So let's break it down.
Here's how the process goes, people. A WHOLE chicken (guts...bones...the entire works!) is mechanically smashed into tiny bits and pieces and smoothed out into a pretty pink goopy substance. This, by the way, is how a good portion of all your fave fast food items begin being processed before they get transformed into the illusion of food. They'll let you eat this junk, but before they do, they so kindly remove the bacteria from the chicken by soaking it in ammonia. How sweet. Then to make it taste fairly good and look fairly appealing they add a load of artificial flavors and colors before it gets the chance to swim around in your belly. Bon apetit, huh?

It also blows my mind the way they donate part of every Happy Meal to the Ronald McDonald charity. Kill kids to help kids just doesn't add up in my book, but that's a whole other topic of discussion.
This stuff is not food, people! Do you feel remarkably tired most of the time? Do feel like you don't have the energy to play with your kids, take care of your family, or effectively perform in your career? Do you get sick often? Fast food could be the culprit...or any unnecessary processed food...period! This includes a good chunk of what's being sold in the middle aisles of the grocery store, as well.

Your body just DOES NOT know what to do with this foreign JUNK. None of the ingredients in these products can be broken down in a way where your body uses them for energy, proper organ function, or fat burning. It basically ends up sitting in your system as fat and infecting your body with chemicals.

Need to be grossed out further? Check out the evolution of a burger and fries over 137 days. That should clinch it for ya'. Click here.

Now I know we're not perfect all the time, but bottom line...stay away from this stuff! I really care about you and your health and want you feeling good and functioning at your best.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Salutation Nation!

Last weekend me and Mya went to the Duke Gardens for LuLuLemon's Salutation Nation.  All over the united states LuLuLemon was giving back to the community in this hour long Yoga practice. We had such a great time, from the beauty of our surroundings the wonderful people around us.  Just laying back on our mats and looking up the sky and taking it all in.  In Savasana this was my time to pray and have my one on one time with God, what a glorious time.

Posture of the Month...

Side Arm Balance (Vasisthasana)
  • Basically balancing on your right hand and right knee with your left foot squeezing the floor (optional: straighten right leg also)
  • Try and have a straight line from your right hand to right knee to right foot to left foot
  • Press firmly through your right arm creating space in right shoulder joint (so there is not too much compression in shoulder joint)
  • Extend left arm straight up towards the sky above right arm to your own comfortable degree
  • Allow left arm, shoulder and chest to open while always keeping your chest lengthening away from your left foot squeezing the floor
  • Option: use towel as padding for knee, if necessary