lisa-smile

Lisa Cohen MS, CN

nutritionist and exercise physiologist

You deserve to enjoy a great quality of life for years to come, to look and feel great and have the energy to focus on what matters most to you!

“No Soup For You!”

soup

Just kidding, you can have all of this delicious roasted tomato soup that you want!

Tomatoes get a lot of buzz in the nutrition world and  for good reason. Tomatoes are loaded with the most well known antioxidant/carotenoid, lycopene.

What is lycopene, and why is it so great?

Lycopene is a carotenoid found in tomatoes which gives it that beautiful bright red color along with a host of other powerful health benefits. Tomatoes have been shown to have anti-cancer, anti inflammatory, and cardiovascular benefits.  Lycopene has been linked with prostate cancer prevention in several studies. Continue Reading →

Coconut Lime Chicken Tacos

On the menu tonight:  Coconut-Lime Pulled Chicken Tacos!

Yum!

chipotle-lime-chicken-tacos

 

Coconut-Lime Pulled Chicken Tacos Makes 4 servings

  • 2-pound cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup coconut milk (from the can)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Splash hot sauce
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Corn tortillas, warmed
  • red or green cabbage shredded
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced

1. Remove the meat from the chicken, then use your fingers to pull any larger chunks into bite-size pieces.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the chicken, coconut milk, cumin, lime zest and juice, and hot sauce. Simmer until heated through and thick. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then remove from the heat. Stir in the cilantro, then divide the mixture between the tortillas.

3. Top each serving with shredded cabbage and avocado.  Or choose any toppings you like!

Dynamite Ginger Kale Bowl with Cauliflower Rice

IMG_3201I am OBSESSED with one bowl dinners!

When schedules get crazy and hectic, easy dinner recipes are a must – and this DELICIOUS ginger kale bowl couldn’t be easier to throw together after a busy day.

Simply chop up some garlic and ginger, stir-fry with some ground turkey (or a can of chickpeas for my vegetarian friends), add a bunch of kale and VOILA………..You just made a ginger kale bowl!  The most complicated part of this recipe is the cauliflower rice (which is not complicated at all – just throw in a food processor and pop in the oven for 20 minutes).  For heartier appetites, you can serve over rice or quinoa.

AND……IT’S HEALTHY!

This yummy recipe is gluten free, dairy free and has vegan options.  Cauliflower is high in glucosinolates, that may help lower the risk of cancer. Cauliflower is also high in Vitamin C and Vtamin K, an essential vitamin. Ginger is a digestive stimulant and helps with blood circulation and garlic is anti-inflammatory, the perfect combo for fighting winter germs . Kale is loaded with fiber, vitamin A, C, K and folate. It also helps combat inflammation.

Ingredients
  • 1 large head of cauliflower (Use two if you have big eaters)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 pound ground meat turkey or 1 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained (I used both)
  • 1 pound kale (2 bunches), stemmed and leaves torn into large pieces.  (I used a bag kale salad to save time)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 cup mixed chopped basil and cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped peanuts and sriacha for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. Make the cauliflower rice: coarsely chop the cauliflower florets and place in a food processor. Process until the texture and consistency of rice. You may need to do this in two batches.
  3. Spread the cauliflower evenly on a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, ginger and saute for 1 minute.  Add ground meat (and/or drained chickpeas) and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the meat (if using) is just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the kale and stir-fry until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tamari, herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste
  6. Serve with cauliflower rice, chopped roasted nuts and Sriracha.

Recipe inspiration from Food and Wine

 

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

IMG_3195

OH, YUMMY GOODNESS!

Lately I’ve been on a big energy ball kick!  Energy balls provide long-lasting energy for busy days and are great for a quick breakfast, traveling, or fueling before and after workouts.  Nuts and dates are powerful foods!  The sweet energy and high fiber from the dates and the nutty protein release slowly into your body, giving you a steady drip of nutrition and fuel.

I found this recipe on one of my favorite vegan websites, Naturally Sassy.   These balls are VERY easy to prepare and can be made in under 5 minutes!  I make big batch on Sunday and keep them in the fridge all week.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Peanuts
  • 1 cup Medjool Dates
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Method

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

2) Place the peanuts on a roasting tray and roast for around 5-10 minutes until golden brown, but not burnt.

3) Add the peanuts to your food processor and pulse until the nuts are coarse (around 30 seconds).

4) Add the medjool dates and cinnamon process again, for around 2-3 minutes.

5) Shape into balls and roll in the coconut. Yum! Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

If you are looking for more great energy ball recipes,

check out my recipe for RAW BALLS.

Love those!

Ah sugar, sugar……..

ah sugar sugar

I hear this alot from clients:  “I am addicted to sugar.”

Why is it so hard to kick the sugar habit…..to the point that we actually feel like an addict?   The answer might be found by taking a closer look at our biology.

In a 2007 study, researchers found that given the choice between sugar-water and cocaine, rats chose sugar water every time. Astonishingly, when researchers increased the concentration of cocaine, the rats still choose more sugar-water.

Conclusion?  Our brains are hypersensitive to the effects of sugar.

When the sweet receptors in our brain are over-stimulated by sugary diets, the sugar easily overrides our mechanisms for self-control.

In other words, after that first bite of ice cream, it’s hard for most of us to stop. Our brain is literally telling us Go for it!  Eat more!

Breaking the Sugar Habit

So if sugar can easily overrides our self-control, what are some strategies we can use to help break the sugar habit?

1. Don’t skip meals.

When we don’t eat enough food during the day, our body naturally craves a quick boost of energy like sugar.  Remember that late afternoon candy binge? Do you find yourself snacking on junk food when you get home from work? Not going hungry is the simplest way to reduce cravings.  So when you’re craving sugar, check-in with yourself to make sure you’ve eaten enough during the day.  Did you skip breakfast?  Only had a small lunch?  Focus on whole foods like grass-fed meats, omega-3 rich wild fish, vegetables and greens, nutritious grains like quinoa and millet, and good fats like avocados, nuts, seeds and coconut oil.   Adding sufficient amounts of these foods into your diet will dramatically cut your sugar cravings.

Tip: Have a green smoothie when you get home from work/school to avoid binging on junk food.

2. Hydrate.

Dehydration can cause sugar cravings.   When you feel a craving, try drinking alot of water.  A great strategy is is to start your day by drinking water with lemon and having a green smoothie for breakfast. Get your system hydrated and infuse your body with easily digestible nutrients in the morning, and you will be setting yourself up for healthy eating for the rest of the day.   I usually recommend 2 liters of water per day, so keep your water bottle full and with you at all times.

3. Eat fruit or use liquid stevia.

When you want something sweet, eat fruit or use stevia as a sweetener.  Stevia is a plant with sweet leaves that is often used as a low-carbohydrate, low glycemic sugar that doesn’t feed yeast or fungus in the body or cause cravings.  You can add stevia to teas, smoothies or deserts.

Tip: Add a dash of liquid stevia to lemon and water.  This makes a delicious and healthy lemonade.

3. Eat sour and fermented foods.

When your craving says I need sugar, hit it with the opposite.  Eat sour and fermented foods like sauerkrauts and kimchee. These foods give you a blast of probiotics and nutrients that cut sugar cravings.  Look for unpasteurized krauts at your health food store or easily make them at home.

4. Take a high quality probiotic.

When our gut bacteria is out of balance, we crave sugar. Probiotics help replenish intestinal flora and restore balance to the digestive system. They help tip the scale back towards good bacteria and away from bad bacteria, fungus and yeast.

Listen friends………

Most of us will enjoy sugary treats once in a while.  And most of us will over indulge sometimes too!  Do not waste any of your energy rehashing the details of what you ate or drank last night!  Focus on the positives……..Who where you celebrating life with?  Your body is an amazing and resilient ball of energy & vibrance!  A few sweet moments debauchery are not going to change that.  Start tomorrow with a nutritious green drink and go conquer the day!