The Energized Body welcomes Karina Hines!
Hello Energized Bodies!
Last week, I gave you some tips on how to increase your calorie burn. Did you try the interval work out? Will you stick with it? You have only 5 more weeks to go
Today, I am very excited to introduce Karina Hines, the newest member of the Energized Body Team.
Karina is an Australian-born gourmet chef. She is a perfect fit for The Energized Body because of her passion for light, healthy, innovative dishes using the freshest ingredients available. She will be sharing her recipes and tips as a guest blogger on The Energized Body Fit Foodie Blog. Lucky us!! Learn more about Karina
Karina’s Post: Low calorie cook-out
The sun is shining & spring has sprung and the great American Memorial Day celebrations are upon us, which marks the beginning of the cook-out season. Americans call it a cook-out, Aussies a Barbie, South Africans a Braai, South Americans an Asado and Europeans call it a Barbacoa, a word which originated from the Caribbean; all of it is associated with a scared pit of fire.
Call it what you will, that first outdoor meal of the season brings back memories of the essence of summer: long warm summer nights, surrounded by family & friends, sharing food & fun.
The food bit can be tricky when you are trying to watch your weight. I have a few tips & recipes to share with you that will help you cut calories, spend minimal time in the kitchen and impress your guests with seriously tasty food.
Appetizers & Snacks
These are the easiest to prepare & eat but often have the most hidden calories. Try preparing your favorite dishes at home: you can tweak the recipes to keep them healthy and still enjoy tasty little treats. Adding veggies into dips is a great way to up the flavor while trimming calories. In Australia, a BBQ is not a BBQ unless there are beets involved; in fact, a burger isn’t quite right without sliced pickled beetroot, yes beetroot (that’s Australian for beet). So replace the mayo with this yummy dip!
Beet & Yogurt Dip
- 4 cooked beets
- 1 cup Greek yogurt – low to no fat
- 10 mint leaves, chopped – can use basil, marjoram, chives or parsley
- 10 walnuts, chopped
1. Cook beets:
- Roast — individually wrap in foil drizzled with olive oil & roast at 400 degrees until fork tender (45min-1 hour); cool & peel
- Boil (like a potato) with skin on til tender; cool & peel
- Or Cheat & buy vac packed already cooked ones
2. Process or grate beets, mix in yogurt, herbs, chopped nuts & season with salt & pepper to taste. Can be made a day in advance, covered & fridge, stir & serve sprinkled with walnuts, has an amazing color & a great flavor.
Time to Grill!
Homemade burgers always taste so much better, plus you can add a little zest & zing. The patties can be made in advance or better still, make a double batch & freeze half, so you’ll be ready for your next cook-out. Cut calories by skipping the bun or opt for a whole-wheat pita pocket or tortilla. Have picky eaters? Add a little hidden color: mix in grated zucchini or carrots. Kids will love them & get a vitamin boost. Don’t forget to dollop on the beet dip!
- 2 lbs 85% lean ground beef – grass fed if possible – ground bison if you’re adventurous!
- 1 large red onion, finely diced
- 2-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or minced
- 1 handful fresh herbs, chopped – rosemary, thyme, parsley, chives, basil, oregano
- 3-4 Tbs tomato paste
- Salt & pepper to taste
- to help bind together – egg, breadcrumbs or almond meal
- For zing – chilli flakes, paprika, cayenne, fresh ginger, lemon zest
- For zest – sundried tomatoes, feta, pinenuts or lemongrass, lime zest
Mix all ingredients together, roll into burger shapes, cover & refrigerate until ready to cook.
Download recipes here!
Come back next week for my healthy BBQ marinades and side dishes. Until then, Happy Memorial Day! — Karina
Boost your Calorie Burn with Interval Training
Are you ready?
Ok, so you say “I’m going to get in shape for summer” – really! You know that one of the keys to losing weight is improving your diet, so you try to eat your veggies, cut down on sugar, wheat, dairy and processed foods. But the other key is to increase the number of calories you expend – in other words, moving the body!
The most effective way to speed up your calorie burn is through interval training, which mixes intense and moderate exercise in the same workout. I’m a big fan of interval training – it’s easy, efficient and really works!
Advantages of Interval Training
There’s increasing amounts of evidence supporting the notion that interval training can cut your workout time significantly while burning fat and improving fitness more quickly. A win-win in my book – who has time to spend hours in the gym?
Here are the advantages to using this technique:
- You burn extra calories for up to 8 hours after your interval session – yeah!
- Your heart and lungs become bigger, stronger, and able to take on sudden intense challenges more easily and recover quickly
- Interval cardio is much more time efficient. You only need two to three 30-minute interval cardio sessions per week – now we’re talking
I like using Dr. Mercola’s Peak 8 interval program. It’s a little more intense, but requires less time and is very effective. I like to get the most out of my exercise time, don’t you? The actual sprinting totals only 4 minutes! And you can do this anywhere — at the gym, or by just walking or running on flat ground.
Here’s what a typical peak fitness routine might look like:
- Warm up for three minutes
- Push yourself as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds – you should feel like you couldn’t possibly go on another few seconds
- Recover for 90 seconds
- Repeat the high intensity exercise and recovery 7 more times
Not in great shape or just starting to exercise? Start with two or three repetitions, and work your way up to eight. You may even need to start with just walking.
Bananas are great for potassium
What should I eat before a work out?
You want a carbohydrate-rich, easily digested snack to provide the most energy. Skip the high protein choices because they take too long to digest.
15 minutes before: Eat a banana. You will have fuel to burn during your workout and potassium to replenish electrolytes lost by sweating.
Banana + Peanut Butter = Sustained Energy
30 minutes before: Add a tablespoon of peanut butter to your banana. The niacin in the peanut butter helps to convert the bananas carbs into energy. The healthy fat and protein keep your blood sugar steady.
One hour before: Add a whole grain wrap or slice of whole grain bread to the banana and peanut butter. This provides a complex carb, which the body digests more slowly and will provide fuel for a longer workout.
Add a wrap for your longer workout
Only 6 Weeks until the 4th of July!
If you want to be summer-ready, commit to doing the interval training cardio routine 2-3 times a week and follow my online Spring Delicious Detox. You will have real weight loss, and look and feel fabulous this summer!
Who would think that this “garnish herb” would offer such an abundance of nutritional value and virtually no calories? I try to throw it into my smoothies or salads every day – here’s why:
Parsley has one of the highest concentration of flavonoids of all foods. Flavonoids are a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that provide cardiovascular protection, cancer protection and hinders the aging process – got to love that!
Parsley is very high in iron and vitamin C, which increases the absorption of iron. It is a blood purifier and helps to kill bacteria in the body. It also helps rejuvenate the liver by cleansing it of toxins. And because of its high enzyme content, parsley enhances digestive activity and elimination.
Better think twice about pushing off that little green garnish
Tabouli is a great way to get a whopping dose of parsley. I have made mine even better by swapping out the traditional bulgur wheat with hemp hearts (raw shelled hemp seeds). I love the rich nutty flavor of these little seeds.
Hemp Hearts are delicious and make you look good!
Hempseeds are an easily digestible plant protein. Just 3 tablespoons provides 10 grams of protein. Another bonus is that hemp is loaded with Omega 3 fats, and the minerals magnesium, zinc, iron and phosphorus, which will help your skin and hair will look beautiful!
Here is a recipe that brings you both of these power ingredients in a delicious, simple way.
Tabouli Salad with Hemp
- 1 huge bunch of either curly parsley or flat parsley, chopped
- ½ white onion, diced or 4 scallions
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 5 heaping TBS of Hempseeds Hemp Hearts
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- Himalayan or sea salt, to taste
Chop the parsley and toss it in a large bowl with the tomato, onion and hempseeds. In a blender, mix lemon, garlic, olive oil and sea salt until a smooth consistency. Pour over the salad and mix well. You’re ready to go!
Download this recipe now
Hemp Heart Tabouli is a great way to get your parsley!
I’m addicted to this salad! So fresh and flavorful. The beauty is that it’s so easy to make and versatile – use as an appetizer, snack or in a wrap with some hummus.
Give it a try and let me know how you like it.
Spring time = Busy Sport Season for Families
Are you trying to figure out how to feed your family a healthy meal while shuffling your kids to their various sports?
Don’t reach for the fast food. Think Soup! You can make it ahead of time, scoop up a bowl pre-game, post-game or even bring it to the game in a thermos and enjoy while you are watching the game.
The beauty of soup is that it is simple and you can make it into a complete power meal by adding greens, lean protein, and a variety of veggies. Here is one that our family loves.
The nutrient highlight in this soup is the Kale. Kale is one of the of the healthiest foods you can eat. It tops the list of the most potent antioxidant vegetables and provides 17 essential nutrients, including 100% of the adult RDA for vitamin A and vitamin C in a single serving. It is an especially rich source of the phytochemicals lutein and zeaxanthin now famous for promoting eye and vision health.
What’s really cool is that kale is also a great source of calcium. And did you know that the body absorbs 59% of the calcium in kale while only 32% of the calcium in milk? See this great article from Dr. Scott Skull on calcium sources in plants. So if you want to help your kids (or you) be strong healthy athletes, slip in the kale for strong bones and good vision!
The polenta is used as a thickener, to help make the soup a little heartier. I like using spicy Italian turkey sausage to add a little extra zip; you could also use sweet Italian sausage.
Kale Italian-turkey-sausage Soup
Kale with Italian-Turkey-Sausage Soup
I always have a stash of Aleppo pepper in my pantry. It comes from the town of Aleppo in northern Syria; the flaky crushed sun-dried pepper has a slightly smoky flavor. I find mine at Sofra in Cambridge or you can find it in gourmet markets. If necessary, you can substitute red pepper flakes.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 3/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrot
- 3/4 cup well-washed thinly sliced leeks
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces Italian Turkey sausage (sweet or hot), casings removed
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal to thicken (optional)
- 5 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 4 cups packed stemmed and coarsely chopped kale
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, leeks, garlic, salt, black pepper, and Aleppo pepper and cook, stirring, until the onion becomes translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Drain off the excess fat, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pan. Stir in the cornmeal. Add the stock, stirring, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the greens and cook for 15 minutes more, or until tender.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with grated Parmigiano.
Download this recipe!
Spring is the season for asparagus!
You know it’s Spring when you see fresh asparagus. There is another reason why I love asparagus and that it is a delightful detox. Just when we need it after a long winter – do you think that is why Mother Nature brings it to us in spring?
As part of my Spring Reboot, I will be incorporating asparagus and miso into the recipes because they are both great cleansers for the body.
Asparagus is an excellent source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down cancer-causing agents and harmful free radicals. Glutathione can help protect against cancers of the bone, breast, throat, lung and colon.
Miso is known to cleanse the digestive system, replenishes healthy intestinal flora, regulates cholesterol and flushes away toxins.
Asparagus and Miso are brought together here in a delicious cleansing salad. Look good? This is just one of the salads you will be enjoying during week 2 of the Spring Reboot. Delish!
Mixed Greens Salad with Spicy Seared Scallops, Roasted Asparagus and Creamy Miso Dressing
A delicious salad, that brings in all the cleansing beauties of spring!
Creamy Miso dressing
- one shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons mellow white miso.
- 2 tablespoons tahini.
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and pulse to combine. Makes 1 cup
Spicy Seared Scallops
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt.
- Half teaspoon chili powder
- half pound fresh sea scallops.
Rinse sea scallops and pat dry with a towel. In a small bowl, mix together the cayenne & black pepper, garlic, salt and chili powder. Gently roll the scallops in the spices. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Pour in The oil and heat until it just begins to smoke.
Carefully place each scallop in the pan with flat side down. Cook for 2 min. per side, flipping them once. Cover and set aside.
- 6 to 8 cups of mixed greens
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- half pound of asparagus cut into 1 inch lengths
To roast asparagus: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss asparagus with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with Himalayan sea salt. Place on cookie sheet and roast for 20 to 30 min. until tender.
In a large bowl mix greens, red onion, radishes, asparagus and one cup of creamy miso dressing. Toss. Place salad mixture on a large platter. Top with scallops. Serve with dressing on the side.
Notes from Denise
Don’t feel like scallops? Add cubed avocado instead – yum!
Click to download this recipe
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Let me know how you like the salad or send me one of your favorite asparagus recipes – It would be great hearing from you.
Lastly, if you want to detox, shed weight while eating great salads like this one, sign up for my Spring Reboot program. You can participate online or in person! Find out more here.
As a Catholic, I am partaking in a peaceful week of reflection, penance and fasting as we prepare for Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. The traditional name given to this week is Holy Week. It starts with Palm Sunday, followed by Holy Thursday, and Good Friday. I love the services and the quiet reflective quality that this week brings. Followed by a joyous Easter celebration with family and friends.
Here are some simple meals so you, too, can have a little easier week, regardless if you are celebrating Easter or not.
Holy Thursday – Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce – one of my family’s favorites. I used John Crows Grass feed beef for this recipe and have included a simple recipe to make your own non-dairy Parmesan (so good!) and Italian spice mix – Two flavorings worth having in your panty.
Good Friday – A day we abstain from meat. This Crock Pot meal – Sweet potato, Kale, Coconut Curry soup – is very filling and so flavorful. The big bonus is that it can be cooking while you attend the services.
Easter Sunday – Yea! A joyful day full of praise, singing and celebrating with family and friends. We traditionally have Glazed Ham with Pineapple-Mustard Sauce.
I’ll also include a spring salad filled with detoxing ingredients and tossed with my new favorite Ginger Miso Dressing. This sweet salad dressing complements the savory flavor of the ham.
And for dessert? It wouldn’t be spring without Carrot Cake!
I tweaked an old family recipe and made it gluten free. I always try to have at least one gluten free dessert available to my guests. This one is healthier and tastes great! My kids loved it and even gave thumbs up on the non-dairy cream cheese icing (only one of them could detect something “different” in the icing and she still inhaled it).
I hope you enjoy these recipes as we welcome spring and celebrate Easter.
Blessings to you and your families!
St. Patrick’s Day has always been a favorite of mine. Wearing green, sipping a Guinness, and sharing a traditional Irish meal with the family. It’s all fun, but what is the day really about?
March 17this a day that we remember the remarkable St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, who actually had good reason to despise the Irish.
This is a story of a 16-year-old boy taken by Irish pirates from his family in Britain around 387 AD. They brought him to Ireland as a slave, and it was 6 years before he was able to escape. You would expect him to be filled with vengeance; instead, the solace he found in God during his enslavement filled him with passion for the Irish. He never lost sight of his dream – to return to Ireland to share his joy in the Christian faith.
Returning to Ireland in his fifties – old age by the standards of the time – he experienced arrests and death threats. However, he was not deterred. He continued with his simple message of love, converting Kings and baptizing whole clans. His efforts resulted in ridding Ireland of slavery and human sacrifice, as well as establishing churches and schools.
As we wear green in honor of St. Patrick, let’s reflect on the “Power of One.” One man faced with insurmountable obstacles, who swayed an entire nation with his humility, perseverance, compassion and undying faith.
A life of significance comes from a life of giving. We can all make a difference in our own little corner of the world by practicing a life of giving as St. Patrick did. And it starts with those closest to you: family, co-workers and friends. So let’s start by coming together and sharing a traditional Irish meal in honor of St. Patrick!
This is what I will be preparing for my family (click the recipe name to download):
Irish Corned Beef, Cabbage and Vegetable Dinner
Spinach and Pear salad with Maple vinaigrette
Gluten-Free Lime and Coconut Bars
Of course, the Fit Foodie in me will start my day with my Green Lemonade before indulging in a Guinness or Irish whiskey Did you know that dark beers, like Guinness, have more minerals over refined, lighter-colored varieties? Plus, the carbohydrates in dark beers are absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream so they have less of an unsettling effect on your blood sugar level.
Good news, huh? So feel good about sipping your Guinness
“Top of the Morn to Ya”
My family loves Mediterranean meals !
The “Mediterranean Diet” has always been thought of as a good heart healthy diet and it just got another scientific thumbs up.
Here is how Dr. Ann Kulze, renowned authority in the areas of nutrition, healthy lifestyles and disease prevention, describes the study and it’s results:
“In this landmark evaluation, researchers placed almost 7,500 older adults with risk factors for heart disease on one of three diet plans – a Mediterranean diet where most of the fats were from extra virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet where most of the fats were from nuts, or a low-fat eating plan that emphasized grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. Study participants were carefully followed for the next 5 years. At the end of the 5 year study period, study subjects on either of the Mediterranean plans were 28 to 30 percent less likely to die of heart attacks, strokes, vs. those on the low-fat plan.”
This study was unique in that it was a randomized, intervention-based trial — and it clearly proved how the right foods can protect the health of our hearts and arteries.
So what’s in a Mediterranean diet?
Low in red meat, sugar,refined breads and highly-processed foods. Rich in fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, nuts, olive oil. Foods like poultry, eggs and low-fat dairy can be enjoyed in moderation.
Mediterranean Roasted Tomato and Shrimp
One of the best things about this diet is that the food is so tasty and easy to prepare.
Here is a dish that I made last night for our family and everybody was happy. It also makes a great Lenten meal.
I served this over quinoa with a big kale salad.
Here are the recipes :
Mediterranean Tomato and Shrimp
Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
How did you spend your Day of Love?
Yes, I know Valentine’s Day has been commercialized, but it is still a day to celebrate LOVE. I don’t just mean the romantic feeling of love but fact that we are all made from love, God’s love. We are love to the very core. It is part of our natural state.
However, sometimes when we let our fears, anger, jealousy, or pride pull us away from that natural state, it can get in the way of our love for others and even ourselves. So, although the day was forced upon you, perhaps you took advantage of it as a reason to dip into your heart and spread your love. What happened? How did you feel?
A goal for me is to try to go through my days with a Valentine frame of mind and let go of the things that can cloud my love. Great things can happen in your own heart and the heart of others when you spread it around
Roasted Beet Hummus
A simple start in sharing your love begins with preparing a nourishing dinner for your family. What a gift!
This is the Valentine Dinner that I prepared for my family last night. Healthy, simple and comforting.
To start, we had Roasted Beet Hummus made with beets, garlic and cannelloni beans: so simple and colorful — perfect for Valentine’s Day as well as for your ticker.
Oven-Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Garlic
For the main course - my Heart-Shaped Meatloaf. This healthy meatloaf was created for my kids in 2008 and has been our Valentine fave for years. I like to pair this with Oven-Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges, baked with garlic and coconut oil. The coconut complements the sweet potato, not to mention adding a nutritional punch.
Romaine Salad with Apple and Cider Vinaigrette
For the Greens, we had a Romaine Lettuce Salad with Apple and Cider Vinaigrette Dressing.
Chocolate Pudding with Fresh Berries
Of course, no Valentine’s Day meal would be complete without dessert. To make sure everyone left the table happy, we had two choices on our menu: Chocolate Pudding with Fresh Berries and Raw Cacao Truffles.
Something for the chocolate lover in all of us and heart-healthy, too.
The perfect Valentine’s meal: colorful, tasty and full of love for our bodies. What could be better?
Get the recipes now: Valentine Dinner
Real Food, Real Weight Loss, Real Energy
Well, it’s that time of year: post-holiday, post-parties, and almost post-football, and we are feeling the effects of our indulgences. Tight waistbands, puffiness and sluggishness.
Our new year’s resolution — to “Get Back in Shape” — hasn’t quite come to fruition. So how do we get out of this rut and start feeling vibrant and energized?
The first step to losing weight and getting on a healthier track is to Cleanse and remove toxins from the body that are preventing you from losing weight and absorbing nutrients.
Our liver is the organ responsible for detoxifying our blood and metabolizing the food we eat. If the liver is overburdened with trying to rid the body of toxins, it can’t metabolize efficiently. When we Cleanse, we give the liver a rest, we remove toxins and provide the body with supreme nutrition, movement and rest. Weight is naturally shed, energy is restored and our bodies bounce back to health!
I have put together a few Cleansing options that will get your body looking and feeling your best Now!
Live Group Reboot, ReEnergize (1-week program)
Online Reboot ReEnergize (1-week program)
Group Nutrition Boot Camp (3-week program)
Individual Nutrition Boot Camp in a Box (3-week program)
What you can expect after completing any of these plans is: Weight Loss, Increased Energy and Sound sleep.
Sound good? Sign up for one of the my Cleanse programs and start cleaning out the muck!