July 30, 2013

Is There Such A Thing As Too Many Antioxidants?

Is There Such A Thing As Too Many Antioxidants?
I’m not sure why, but this question has been daunting me these past few days. So I figured, I must get to the bottom of it, because I’m the type of person that goes bonkers over these sort of things.
Too much green tea? Too much fruit? When too much of a good thing becomes bad? 
You see, over the last decade or so we’ve been relentlessly told that antioxidants are the key to better health. “The more, the better!” is the adage we keep hearing. 
As a result, grocery stores shelves are now chock-full of products with labels bragging that they contain large amounts of antioxidants, implying that you’re just few bites away from better health. 
However, when it comes to antioxidants, as I discovered, more doesn’t necessarily means better.  


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July 27, 2013

Homemade (Paleo) Sriracha

Homemade (Paleo) Sriracha

After bragging about how much I love Sriracha for a whole post, I felt it was about time for me to try making a homemade version of the beloved Rooster hot sauce.
So I did, earlier today.
As you might remember (if not, it's ok), there are two notorious recipes online for DIY Sriracha. One very detailed, that calls for a week of fermentation. The other recipe requires instead about 20 minutes and it’s also paleo.
Obviously, I chose the easier/quicker/paleo one. I’m a notorious slacker in the kitchen; no way I would take on a project that requires 7 days of my life.

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July 25, 2013

Paleo Strawberry Apricot Crisp

Paleo Strawberry Apricot Crisp 
Crisps (or crumbles) are a great crowd-pleasing and delicious desserts that come together in a cinch. 
Anyone can make a crisp, even the most hardcore pastry-challenged person. There’s no rolling with tricky dough or multiple slow rises. Just a bit of chopping and mixing stands between you and a real fruity pleasure.
Fruit+lemonjuice+sugar topped with butter+sugar+flour = fruit crisp in it simplest form.
But it’s good to try new things, and maybe take the paleo road for once. Just for a dessert, nothing too drastic and you can give this ama-zuh-zing paleo strawberry apricot crisp a try.

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July 23, 2013

Key West Spicy Chicken

Key West Spicy Chicken 
I wanted to write an ode to Sriracha. A ridiculously long post listing all the reasons why I love the hot rooster sauce.
In my mind, it started with a list of foods that taste better when slathered with a generous amount of Sriracha (all foods except for a couple of desserts, duh!). It ended with a poem in which I would confess my undying devotion for the hot sauce; even in those instances in which I accidentally applied too much Sriracha and simply powered through the pain and the tears.
Because that hot stuff in a squeeze bottle is not only delicious, it’s pure magic.
Then somebody (yeah, you!) talked me out of it because “Sriracha contains stuff you don’t recognize, like potassium sorbate, sodium bisulfite, and xantham gum. You can’t possibly talk about that junk on your health blog!” A couple of chemical preservatives and the fun is over. Bummer.

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July 22, 2013

Herb Polenta Sticks

Herb Polenta Sticks 
In my world there are things I must eat, things I like to eat and things I love to eat. I know it sounds confusing but that that’s pretty much how I roll.
Some examples: green juice, salmon and spirulina fall into the must eat category; meaning that I do not to enjoy eating/drinking those foods but they’re good for me so I do.
In the “like” category falls almost 75% of the food I eat. Things that I appreciate a lot, but that I don’t crave. Steamed brown rice, broccoli, grilled chicken, tomato soup, etc.
Then there’s the last category: the “love” food. Aka food I could stuff my face with all the time.
Let’s see...a perfectly ripe Haas avocado, a freshly baked cinnamon roll, dark chocolate, baked sweet potatoes, a croissant from THAT bakery in Paris, and nowadays these herb polenta sticks.
Yes, these polenta sticks are that awesome.


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July 18, 2013

Lemon Mint Sparkling Iced Tea

When a scorching heat wave descends upon us (such as the one we’re currently experiencing in the NE) the rule of thumb is to try to stay cool, hydrated and indoors as much as possible. And, most of all, to use your common sense. Which apparently I’m lacking. A friend just made me realize that.
Yes, because notwithstanding the heat advisory, on Tuesday I went for a long run outdoors at noon and yesterday I took a Bikram yoga class.
Not so much of a great idea for someone who suffers the heat. Both times I nearly passed out, and it took me almost 5 hours to recover properly. But then again, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’m still here in one piece. I must have got some part right (not sure which one though).
To be honest, I don’t think that’s the end of the story. Today (which is supposed to be the hottest day of this heat wave) I’m pretty sure my common sense will trick me into try to do something even more stupid (maybe stretch on the asphalt concrete?). Because hey, third time’s the charm.

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July 17, 2013

Let's Talk About Carb Cycling

Carb cycling is a fat loss strategy commonly used by elite bodybuilders which is recently getting a lot of attention. It promises to make you lose fat and build muscle by keeping your metabolism in top form through a rotation between low carb and high carb days1.
In fact, carb cycling - scientifically referred to as the Cyclic Ketogenic Diet or CKD - is nothing else but a low carb diet with intermittent periods of high or moderate carbohydrate consumption. In other words, periods of low-carb, high protein and high fat intake are cycled with periods of high carb, high protein and low fat2.
Turns out, carb cycling might be one of the most effective ways to lose fat and build muscles.

Carb Cycling



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July 15, 2013

Sweet Potato Paleo Brownies

Sweet Potato Paleo Brownies

This is the story of an incredible recipe for outrageous brownies.
But let’s take baby steps.
Over a year ago I saw a recipe for caveman brownies on Pinterest made with sweet potatoes.
One that was pinned quite a lot. I was intrigued, so I printed it out and waited for the right time to bake them.
Unfortunately that time never came; and the print-out got lost in one of the stacks of papers that are precariously placed around my room.
But just as the One Ring in the Lord of The Rings, the recipe waited to reveal itself to me just when I needed: Yesterday.
You see, I’m drastically cutting on sugars this week (I’m trying to lower my body fat to 6%-8% to get ready for a triathlon I’m competing in next Saturday). I do struggle though.
I’ve always been one of those people that needs something sweet after lunch and dinner. It’s doesn’t have to be fancy, just something to satisfy my sweet tooth and stop it from nagging me.

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July 13, 2013

Blueberry Pre-Workout Smoothie

Blueberry Pre-Workout Smoothie
Smoothies are an ideal snack pre-workout as they are a cinch to make, portable, easy to digest and deliver the necessary nutrients to your muscles quickly. They also allow the time between eating and working out to be shortened, a lot.

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July 10, 2013

"IKEA" Swedish Meatballs

"IKEA" Swedish Meatballs

I dread going to IKEA. Not because of what they sell (which is great), but because of the crowds.
I get more stressed going to IKEA than training outdoors during a heatwave.
To be honest, IKEA in New York (Brooklyn) is a great store, located in an awesome spot on the riverfront. Clients can enjoy a magnificent view of the City while shopping. Plus there’s a complimentary water taxi service that takes you from Manhattan’s Pier 11 directly to IKEA. Nice.
However, I still don’t find going there to be a pleasant experience. Maybe when I’m older I will, just not today.

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July 7, 2013

Cauliflower Crust Calzone

Cauliflower Crust Calzone

After the HUUUGE success I experienced with my cauliflower crust pizza marinara and cheese pizza, I felt the time was ripe to try something new involving cauliflower crust. 
As I was making up my mind, the other day - on my way back from the gym - I walked by a pizza parlor and noticed some pretty good looking calzones in the window. 
That’s when it hit me: cauliflower crust calzone! Rad.

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July 5, 2013

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Zucchini Pizza Bites 
Let’s say you find yourself in the kitchen at 7:30 p.m. and you need to whip up something stellar in a wee bit-of-time. Let’s also add that you want some healthy, tasty, filling, and that involves a good amount of veggies. Well my friend, then this might be just the right recipe for you.

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July 2, 2013

Skinny Apricot Loaf Cake

Skinny Apricot Cake 
I'm getting bored with my breakfast lately. Oatmeal during the summer is kind of hard for me.
Smoothies? Yes. All the time? Almost. But sometimes it’s also nice to dig your teeth into something with some consistency to it. Munching is an activity deserving much more credit than it receives.
Not sure? Go on a juice cleanse for three days and then we can discuss the topic thoroughly.
As I was wrapping my head around what to make, my beloved aunt G called me over the phone to tell me about this amazing apricot cake she just baked. No butter, no oil, just yogurt and a lot of ripe apricots. Sounded almost too good to be true.
As I had just bought 2 full pounds of delicious apricots at the Farmers’ market, I just knew I had to bake this. 


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July 1, 2013

It's Summer, Give Swimming A Chance

Credit: Image courtesy of swimmingpeople.tumblr.com
 
I know that not many of you are fond of swimming and this is particularly true during the colder months. Throughout the years I've tried to convince many friends that swimming (just like ice-cream) can also be enjoyed when outside it’s freezing; but I have always failed.  
I get that the thought of getting into your swimsuit and jumping into cold water when outside snowing is not exactly appealing. Or better yet, I try to understand this, because I believe that it’s just a lazy excuse to slack off.
Anyway, now it’s summertime and a refreshing dive might just be what you need to the cool off the heat. So I do urge to take this chance and make swimming part of your workout routine and maybe, by the time Fall rolls around, you won’t be able to give it up.


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