October 31, 2012

Lemony Curried Chickpeas

If you live in LA (or have been in LA) chances are you've already eaten at Joan's on Third. A great store/restaurant located between the Beverly Center and the Grove, with a refreshing yet comfortable atmosphere and a great menu selection.
They have amazing food there; the lobster rolls, the chinese chicken salad and the carrot cake are among my fave dishes. But my #1 choice is the curried chickpeas, a simple salad full of flavor and depth. 
I'm so obsessed with that salad that every time I go there (not often enough as I live on the other side of the country, sigh!) I order it as part of the salad trio (a selection of three salads from their daily specials on the menu). Except that I don't pick any other salad, just three portions of the curried chickpeas. Because they're all I ever want to eat when I go there.
The mixture of spices is superb. The touch of lemon sublime. The combination of flavors unique...OK, I might be exaggerating a tad, but it's really yummy.
So when I found the recipe on the LATimes, I couldn't believe my eyes. I could finally make the curried chickpeas at home: SCORE!

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October 30, 2012

This Is Not Just Another Post On The Health Benefits Of Kale...

I love kale. I munch it, juice it, bake it, shred it, etc. It’s one of the staple foods of my diet. Yet, I haven’t wrote a single post about it.
I really don’t know why. Probably because there is already so much literature on kale (and its health benefits) that I reckoned another post would just be redundant.
Just take a look around on the web: there are entire websites and blogs completely dedicated to kale. Chefs
have created entire meals with kale: from the appetizer to the dessert.
Women around the web that have sworn love to kale forever, promising that they will never ever leave it.
With all this fuzz around, what could I possibly bring more to the kale’s table?
Probably nothing, but I’m still going to write a post about kale.
The Romans said back in the days: “Repetita iuvant” (i.e., repeating does good), and I’m gonna honor that saying
today by talking about kale. Hearing about the amazing properties of this veggie one more time can do only good.



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October 29, 2012

Exercise Is Smart For Your Heart, and Makes You Smarter

A study conducted at the Montreal Heart Institute, and presented yesterday at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2012, shows that high-intensity training can make you fitter than ever: Mentally fit!




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October 28, 2012

Omega-3 Intake Improves Memory

It’s well known that Omega-3 are necessary for proper body function, but their effects on the working memory was not completely known, until recently.
A team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have determined that healthy young adults can greatly improve their working memory by increasing substantially their Omega-3 fatty acid intake.




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October 27, 2012

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Gnocchi

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Gnocchi
Is there a point when you had too much pumpkin? Probably yes, but as far as I’m concerned I have’t hit it yet. It’s very unlikely that this will happen, I just love it too much.
Lately, I found myself buying one whole pumpkin a day. If for some unfortunate reasons I can’t cook for a couple of days, the apartment slowly starts to resemble more to a pumpkin storage unit than a place where a person lives.
Yesterday, for instance, I found one “sitting” on my triathlon bike (the most sacred place in the world). In that precise moment I knew that I needed to take action. I’m no good at carving pumpkin, but I know pretty well how to cook them, and to turn
them into tasty meals.
That’s why I found myself making
whole wheat pumpkin gnocchi. An amazing dish, if you want my humble opinion.

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October 26, 2012

The Holiday Feast Survival Guide

Holiday dinners are filled with comforting, and delicious foods. Most of the times these meals leave us feeling stuffed and with some remorse to have consumed much more calories that we should have.
What we can do about it? Two registered dietitians have drawn up a survival guide that we can implement this coming holidays.
Patricia Nicholas, a registered dietitian at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, suggests to add "new favorites" to the traditional dishes. "Healthy meals can be festive as well and hopefully, you have been making healthy changes to your diet all year."
Michelle Morgan, a registered dietitian at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, further adds "Stay in tune with your hunger during holiday meals. If you feel satiated and comfortable – stop eating!"




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October 25, 2012

Kale & Sweet Potato Pie With Caramelized Onions

What happens when you pair together two of the most healthy vegetables around? Magic, just pure and simple magic.
That’s what this pie is really about: magic.
Kale (the healthiest green veggie) and sweet potato (the healthiest orange veggie) complement each other on all levels to make this pie a magic wonder.





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October 23, 2012

Suggested Reading: Born To Run

If you love to run you have to read this book. You might lose a couple of good nights of sleep, but it’s totally worth it.
It’s interesting, compelling and, most of all, fun to read. Even if you’re not a runner, give it a go, you’ll learn some valuable lessons from it.
Personally, I have not been entertained by a story such as this one in a long time, and I'm pretty sure you'll be as well!




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Seaweed: An Amazing Source Of Protein

Historically, edible seaweeds were consumed by coastal communities across the world and today seaweed is a habitual diet in many countries, particularly in Asia. Indeed, whole seaweeds have been successfully added to foods in recent times, ranging from sausages and cheese to pizza bases and frozen-meat products.
Today, researchers at The Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority looked to seaweed for proteins with health benefits for use as functional foods.


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October 21, 2012

Baked Chicken Zucchini Meatballs

Baked Chicken Zucchini Meatballs



I love meatballs (including meatless meatballs). They’re just my thing. I love to know that I have some waiting for me in the fridge so that I can pick them directly from the container. It’s one of the best things in the whole world especially if done when no one's looking.
However, meatballs can be dangerous, especially if loaded with unhealthy ingredients, and fried. That’s why I like to bake them, and, if possible, include all kinds of healthy ingredients.

Grated Zucchini
Baked Chicken Zucchini Meatballs

These meatballs are delicious. Loaded with zucchini, mint and parsley: an awesome triptych. Making them is a cinch, and does not involve too much work nor planning.
What possibly do you want more?


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October 19, 2012

Exercising At Night Will Keep You Up! True or False?

Many believe that exercising at night time can mess up with sleep, as it might give an energy boost that interferes with bedtime.
But that’s not entirely correct...




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October 17, 2012

How Many Calories In One Gram Of Sugar?

Sugar is at the center of attention lately. We’re getting too much of it, and we kind of all know that.
However, do you know exactly how a gram of sugar looks like? And how many calories it has?


That little amount of sugar (which is more or less a pinch) scores 3.87 calories.


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October 16, 2012

Seitan: Good Or Bad?

Seitan is becoming increasingly popular in today’s cuisine. It’s no longer only vegans and vegetarians who are eating it. Its resemblance to meat paired with its high palatability makes it an appealing choice to almost everybody. Brown in color and chewy in texture (but not weird chewy), seitan easily absorbs flavors and seasonings.
I try it in several different recipes, and there’s no denying that it tastes pretty good, especially if cooked right.
However, the fact that it’s basically 100% made of gluten puzzled me a bit. So I asked myself: is it healthy to eat seitan?
I did some research, and here’s what I discovered.





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October 15, 2012

My Grandma Used To Say...

When I was at my grandma’s place as a little kid, and I would ask her for something to eat - outside of mealtimes - she would say: “You’re hungry? Eat an apple!” When I would refuse her offer, she would then reply: “You don’t want an apple? You must not be hungry!


In her way, she was right in challenging my request for food, because, 99% of the times it was driven only by craving, not real hunger.
Today, I hold to that lesson close, and every time I feel like I want to eat something I stop and think about it for a moment : “Am I really hungry? Or am I just craving something?
What about you: are you able to distinguish between cravings and hunger?

The Iron You

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October 14, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Protein Brownies



We love pumpkin, we love chocolate, we love brownies, and we love treats that are high in protein. That is why this recipe is just perfect.
I won’t hide it. It took me a long time, and several attempts to get the right balance of flavors and texture. In the end I got it right.
In a way pumpkin and chocolate are not exactly meant to be together. It is a sort of weird combination.
So when I first saw the original recipe at my mum’s place in one of her cookbook, I was like: “This doesn’t sound right...” Nevertheless, I gave it a go, and it was quite delicious. Filled with sugar and fats but delicious. I knew I had to tweak it quite a lot to make more IronYou compliant. Some dramatic changes were involved, but ended up with those rad dudes.


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October 13, 2012

Ironman: The Masters Of Water, Air and Earth

I seldom talk about triathlons and Ironman on this blog, but today is different.
Today, October 13 2012, in Kona, Hawaii the Ironman World Championship will take place, and I’m just too excited not to talk about Ironman. Let me do it, I promise it will be for this one time only.
Have you ever thought about what it takes to be an Ironman? And more specifically, who are those guys? A bunch of individuals that push their bodies beyond human limits, becoming part of an elite group that goes where no athlete has gone before and that masters of 3 out of the 4 elements: water, air and earth.



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October 12, 2012

7 Portions Of Fruits And Veggies A Day For Happiness, A Study Finds

A newly published study, conducted at the University of Warwick in Britain has unveiled, for the first time, the existence of a link between healthy eating and well-being.
In particular, the researchers found out that happiness and mental health are highest among people who eat 7 (or more) portions of fruit and vegetables a day.





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October 10, 2012

It Never Gets Easier, You Just Get Better

With running, as with any other sport, the more you do it, the better you become at it.
Times get better, and distances get longer, but it never feel like it’s an easy thing.
It doesn’t matter how short, far, slow or fast you go, it’s always challenging.
6 miles are still 6 miles at the end of the day. The more trained you are, the easier it will be to ran them, but you still have to run them, and they’re still 6 miles.
As a matter of fact: it never gets easier, you just get better!


The Iron You

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October 9, 2012

The Amazing Properties Of Pumpkin: October's Superfood!

There’s much more to pumpkins than just that Jack-O-Lantern or filling a pie for Thanksgiving dinner. This vegetable is an amazing source of Vitamin A, antioxidants and fiber, but very low in calories. That’s only if you consider the orange flesh, because if you take into account the seeds then there’s an additional array of health benefits you'll get from this veggie.
In other words, there’s never 'too much' when using pumpkin in your kitchen!





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October 8, 2012

Do You Need A Personal Trainer?

Not everybody needs a personal trainer, but most do. The main reasons being that a lot of people don’t have a clue of what to do at the gym, while others lack the necessary motivation to get to the gym in the first place.
Having a personal trainer comes in handy: providing the necessary motivation, instructions, feedback and, moreover, accountability to exercise.
Personal trainers can be expensive, but you might need to hire one for just a couple of sessions to get you started and, afterwards, from time to time, touch base with him to revise your training routine.
First thing is to figure out whether you need one or not.




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October 6, 2012

Saffron Brown Rice Risotto With Ginger and Turmeric

Brown Rice Risotto with Saffron, Turmeric and Ginger
Risotto with saffron, is also known as “Risotto alla milanese”, being the staple food of the city of Milan in Italy.
Legends about this risotto date back to the Middle Ages, when it is told that Sicilian merchants would travel all the way north to Milan, bringing spices along for trade. They would cook steamed rice adding saffron for color and flavor.
It was not until the 17th century that the real Risotto alla milanese is cooked in the kitchens of affluent families in Milan. The rice would be prepared with butter, saffron, cinnamon and 6 egg yolks “to give the rice a nice yellow color” (yes, no kidding, 6 egg yolks).
That recipe evolved over the centuries to become the current version we all know: rice cooked with onion, white wine, stock and saffron.
Today, keeping the original recipe in mind, we’re going to tweak it, and make an healthier version of this risotto.


Brown Rice Risotto with Saffron, Turmeric and Ginger


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October 5, 2012

Are You Getting Enough Zinc?

Zinc is an essential micronutrient necessary to maintain a healthy immune system, building proteins, triggering enzymes, and creating DNA. If this is not enough, zinc also helps cells in the body communicating, as it’s used by the body as a neurotransmitter.
Notwithstanding its importance, it has been reported that as many as 2 billion people around the world have diets that are deficient in this important mineral, and even in affluent countries, such as the US, about 12% of the population is probably at risk of zinc deficiency. This figure raises to almost 40% if we take into consideration the elderly.
A new research has unveiled, for the first time, a biological mechanism by which zinc deficiency can develop with age, leading to a decline of the immune system and increased inflammation associated with many health problems, including cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease and diabetes.
In other words, we should give zinc more credit, especially as we age!



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October 4, 2012

Suggested Reading: Seeds Of Deception

There’s a lot of talking going on about GMOs these days. Part of it is due to California Proposition 37 that, if passed, will require proper labeling on food containing GMO. Part of it is due to a recently published French research suggesting that genetically modified foods may cause cancer overtime. Part of it is due to the total lack of knowledge on GMOs by most of the population.
I used to know very little about GMOs and I’m currently trying to fill this gap. I somehow assumed that GMOs were bad but didn’t know what they actually are, where you can find them, and so on...
During my research I stumbled upon a book “Seeds of Deception” by Jeffrey Smith: the world's bestselling and #1 rated book on GMO. It provided for a great reading experience and plenty of information on GMOs. I strongly suggest you give it a go!




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October 2, 2012

Vegan Protein Zucchini Bread

Vegan Protein Zucchini Bread


Some recipes are just meant to be. They are perfect in all respect. This is one of them
Easy to make, tastes awesome and - last but not least - has a great nutritional value.
I could brag for hours about how good this protein zucchini bread is, but instead I’m just gonna point out the few awesome things about it.



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