Why is Breakfast So Important?

June 14, 2015

Burning fat just got easier! According to a study out of University of Northumbria, people who exercise before breakfast burn 20% more fat than those who eat breakfast before working out!

Besides this good news – nutrition expert Sloan Hemmer expands on why it’s important to east breakfast and what to choose — an NO we pastries didn’t make the cut.

The why is easy; breakfast is what kick starts your metabolism in the morning. If you skip it, your brain and your body doesn’t know when its next meal will happen and requires fewer calories to survive. Result?  You are sluggish and so is your metabolism.

Now for the what to choose.

Breakfast should include four things, protein, carbohydrates, healthy fat and fiber AND it should NOT be your smallest meal of the day. Purdue University researcher Wayne Campbell PhD, says that protein blunts your hunger the most so it is a must.

Sloan’s favorites:
Eggs, eggs, eggs!  It doesn’t have to be fancy and it doesn’t take long.  Make a scramble with veggies on hand and you have a terrific combination of protein, fat, carbs and fiber.  If you are worried about the cholesterol use 1 whole egg and the rest egg whites. Throw a piece of whole grain toast in with it for your complex carbs.
Pre-packaged oatmeal and add in some almonds, walnuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit or stir in a nut butter; the options are endless.
Smoothies! Aim for half veggies, half fruit and add in protein powder or some other type of protein like peanut butter.

On the go?
Make a peanut butter (almond butter, sun butter) and jelly sandwich on whole grain bread.
Grab a handful of almonds (fat & protein) and an apple (fiber and carbs)
Starbucks has two good options available. Oatmeal with fresh blueberries –skip the brown sugar and my personal favorite, spinach and feta breakfast wrap with egg whites. This wrap has 290 cals,19g of protein (awesome!) and 6g of fiber!


5 Sweet Treats that Won’t Make You Stupid!

June 10, 2015

We all know that too much of any kind of sugar can put us as risk for obesity and obesity related disease but did you know that it might make you stupid too? According to a study conducted at UCLA eating a diet with too much fructose may interfere with memory and learning.

“Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think,” said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science. “Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain’s ability to learn and remember information.”

Sources of fructose in the Western diet include cane sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup, an inexpensive liquid sweetener. The syrup is widely added to processed foods, including soft drinks, condiments, applesauce and baby food. The average American consumes roughly 47 pounds of cane sugar and 35 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“We’re less concerned about naturally occurring fructose in fruits, which also contain important antioxidants,” explained Gomez-Pinilla, who is also a member of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute and Brain Injury Research Center. “We’re more concerned about the fructose in high-fructose corn syrup, which is added to manufactured food products as a sweetener and preservative.”

None of us want to lose more memory as we age but sometime we just need a little something sweet.  We’ve asked Sloan Hemmer to share her favorite sweet treats. Here are her top picks to be consumed in moderation of course!

My first pick is the Think Thin Bars.  Most of them contain 0% sugar but do contain sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohol does affect blood glucose levels but not nearly as much as sugar.  The drawback is that in some people too much can cause excess gas and bloating.

Cacao Nibs are great because they are full of antioxidants and taste fabulous in yogurts and smoothies!

Remember if you are going to consume a product with dark chocolate, it needs to have 70% or more cacao in it for you to get the benefits of the antioxidants.  Dark chocolate is great because it is rich so you are much more likely to be satisfied after a smaller amount.


Are You Cheap? 9 Tips on Tipping

June 3, 2015

Ginger Budrick is like the Emily Post of the food-and-bev industry. The veteran cocktail waitress gives us nine tips to ensure we aren’t embarrassing ourselves the next time the check arrives.

1.) 15 percent is no longer a good tip, although it is acceptable. When I go out I tip 15 percent for BAD service. If it’s mediocre I tip 18 percent and if it’s good I tip 20 percent or more. Try to think about it like this…how much did this server have to do for me and how happy were they to do it? Then tip accordingly.

2.) Keep in mind…tips for servers are the same as paychecks are for most people. Servers in CA make minimum wage, which isn’t much to speak for after they pay taxes. Their tips are their wellbeing and they are counting on them.

3.) If you split the check and only tip on half, we notice. You haven’t fooled anyone.  Same goes for paying part in cash and part on a card. The server knows how much your original check was.

4.) If you order drinks at a bar you can usually get away with tipping $1 per drink. Although, if the drinks are fancy and the bartender had to muddle mint, blueberries and schnozzberries and then shake vigorously then you should probably tip more. It’s also a good idea to tip more if you want the bartender to remember you for ‘next round’ purposes.

5.) Anytime you order food you should tip as if you were at a restaurant…even if you are sitting at the bar.

6.) Never ever tip with coins.

7.) A good tip goes a long way. Servers and bartenders remember good tippers and will often give them free stuff, discounts and better service the next time they come in.

8.) In a world filled with happy hours and Groupons you should always remember to tip on what the original check would have been. You may have gotten a swingin’ deal but the server is doing the same amount of work.

9.) Too much to think about? Get a free app that quickly calculates your tip for you and lets you choose the percentage you’d like to leave (there are a ton to choose from).


Velvety Mediterranean Gazpacho 
with Avocado Cream

June 2, 2015
LKTN Velvety Mediterranean Gazpacho with Avocado Cream image p 59

Photo courtesy of: The Longevity Kitchen

Whether you want to be a hit at your next garden party or simply enjoy a warm weather refreshment, this Mediterranean gazpacho is just the ticket. The sippable snack is from Rebecca Katz’s newest cookbook The Longevity Kitchen, which features recipes designed to provide your body with health-promoting nutrients. The key ingredients in this gazpacho are avocado, olive oil and basil, but the plethora of additional veggies certainly won’t hurt!

Avocado Cream with Basil

1 avocado, halved and flesh scooped out
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped 
fresh basil
3/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt


3 cups low-sodium tomato juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon Grade B maple syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 fennel bulb, cut into quarters 
and cored
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, cilantro, or a combination

To make the avocado cream, put all the ingredients in blender and process until very smooth. Transfer to a small bowl. (No need to rinse the blender before proceeding.)

To make the gazpacho, put all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Working in batches, transfer to the blender and process until completely smooth.Taste; you may want to add a pinch of salt or a bit of maple syrup. Pour into small glasses and garnish with the avocado cream.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Storage: Store the gazpacho in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Store the avocado cream with a spritz of lemon or lime on top in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

PER SERVING: Calories: 125; Total Fat: 7.5 g (1 g saturated, 5.5 g monounsaturated); Carbohydrates: 13.5 g; Protein: 2 g; Fiber: 3.5 g; Sodium: 314 mg

Who Knew? According to nutrigenomics expert Colleen Fogarty Draper, MS, you can increase the body’s ability to absorb nutrient supplements by taking them with certain foods. “I suggest eating foods high in that particular nutrient concurrently to ensure maximum absorbability,” says Draper. This makes sense, considering that the interplay of different substances within a given food often makes a particular nutrient, say vitamin C, more bioavailable to the body.

This post was written by Calin Van Paris