Black Rice with Asparagus, Peas, Corn, Parsley, and Onions

I made this sauté using leftovers. I had a bit of cooked rice and steamed asparagus in my fridge. I always keep onions, along with frozen corn and peas on hand.

I sautéed 1/2 of a chopped onion in olive oil, added some frozen peas and corn. Then the leftover rice and asparagus. I seasoned the whole thing only with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. It came out fantastic!

You can use any type of rice in this recipe. I had black rice - so that's what I used here.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive or coconut oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup frozen organic corn
1/2 cup frozen organic green peas
1/4 to 1/2 cup cooked brown or black rice
1/2 bunch steamed asparagus - or use the whole bunch!
Sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Heat a large skilled over medium heat. Add oil, onion, and a good pinch salt. Sauté for 5 minutes.

Add corn and peas. Sauté for 2 minutes.

Add rice and asparagus and sauté another 2 minutes, or until hot.

Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe by Carol Wasserman
Diets Don't Work, Eating Well Does!


Kale and White Bean Vegetable Stew

This is a super quick and easy stew to make. If you like, double it, and freeze leftovers for delicious meals all winter long. 

If you are a fan of juicing - instead of discarding the kale stems save them for when you juice. Alternatively, they are also good when making stocks. 

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cans white beans
1 bunch kale. Discard stems and chop leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion, carrot, celery and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beans. Add water to just cover the beans. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add kale with a few good pinches sea salt. Cover and cook another 10 -15 minutes, or until kale is soft.

Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 4 to 6 people.

Diets Don't Work, Eating Well Does! 


Fit and Healthy for the Holidays!

My Top 5 Tips for Navigating the Holidays and Not Gaining Weight

5. If you have a party or event one night, make sure your day is extra healthy. For breakfast think fruit, or eggs with veggies. Lunch: salad or protein and a vegetable. Try not to snack. Have some tea or an apple in an emergency. Now you can enjoy the party!

4. When at parties and events, ignore the hors d’oeuvres, and focus on the main event. Hors d’oeuvres and appetizers are usually laden with fat, and often sugar too. They may be deep fried, surrounded in puff pastry, or consist mostly of bread and gluten. Sometimes they aren’t even that good – and then you think, why did I even eat that?!

Shrimp cocktail, sashimi, hummus or guacamole with vegetables for dipping are healthier options. Otherwise, wait for dinner to be served.

3. Save dessert for breakfast. Instead of stuffing yourself silly, and having sweets, cakes, and cookies after a big meal, take dessert to-go. The next day you may even find yourself happy to skip the dessert at that point, or satisfied with less!

2. Drink wine, not cocktails. Fancy cocktails are laden with sugar. They contain liqueurs, juices, and simple syrup. It’s added sugar you just don’t need. Red wine has less sugar than white wine. Or have vodka - on the rocks or mixed with club soda.

1. Have fun! Dance, socialize, have a drink. If you’re having fun you won’t be thinking about the pigs in a blanket or the sweets. It’s the season for friends, family, parties and giving. You don’t need sugar to have a good time. And remember, cakes and cookies are here all year round – so go easy.

Studies show that you only really taste the first few bites of food, and then the flavor subsides and your mind wanders. So next time you have a piece of cake in front of you – try a few bites instead of polishing off the slice.

Diets don’t work, but eating well does! Get on the program with me and reach your weight loss goals.


Eggs and Cholesterol

The other day a client asked me about eggs and cholesterol. What raises your cholesterol is actually the bad fats in processed foods - fries, potato chips, cookies, muffins, etc.

 A new study finds the nutrients in eggs may actually help to counter cholesterol!! 

Another client on medication for high cholesterol showed a reduction of 20-25 points after only 6 weeks on my plan! 

Read this fascinating New York Times article for more on eggs and cholesterol




Revised Food Labels Still Won’t Tell Whole Story

The following is an interesting article from the New York Times about nutrition labels on food products. I always tell my clients to READ the INGREDIENTS LIST. This can be more helpful and make more sense than reading the nutrition label. When viewing the ingredients list, you only want to see whole natural foods listed. If there is a word or phrase you are not familiar with, chances are it's a chemical or processed substance.

Don't buy anything without reading the ingredient list first! 

Revised Food Labels Still Won’t Tell Whole Story

Are you among the half of Americans who say they check the nutrition labels on packaged foods when shopping? If you can read the information without a magnifying glass, do you understand what the many numbers mean to your health?

The Nutrition Facts label, mandated by Congress on processed food packages since 1990, was designed to help Americans consume a more nutritious diet. If manufacturers had to reveal the nutrients and calories in foods, the reasoning went, they might be encouraged to add more nourishing ingredients and to eliminate or reduce those that are detrimental to health.Do you look only at calories, or do you also check the amounts of sugar, sodium, protein or dietary fiber in a serving? And does the serving size listed represent how much you might actually consume at a sitting?

This strategy worked well for reducing artery-damaging trans fats, now all but gone from processed foods, but not nearly so well for ridding products of salt and sugar. And manufacturers added things like vitamins, minerals and fiber to make products appear healthier than they really are.

“Although the numbers can look good, the product may not be real food and have no nutritional value,” said Dr. David Kessler, who as the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration championed the development of the current label.

The epidemics of obesity and Type 2 diabetes show that the goal of a healthier population has yet to be realized. One obstacle is that those most likely to read food labels are health-conscious people who least need to do so.

But another problem is the label itself, which can border on meaningless for many consumers, especially those who cannot relate grams of a nutrient or percentages of the Daily Value to the amount of food that goes in their mouths.

So, prompted by the Institute of Medicine, the F.D.A. is planning a revision. It will be a while in coming: Thousands of public comments must be reviewed, then final rules issued and the food industry given time to implement them.

Some of the proposed changes should be helpful. For example, instead of listing sugar as a single entry, the new label would separately list “added sugars” to distinguish those naturally present and not.

Also, the proposed label will highlight the number of calories in the amounts of food most people consume at a sitting. Though an official “serving” of a soft drink might be eight ounces, for example, people may habitually consume the entire 12-ounce can or 20-ounce bottle; if so, the calories in that amount would be featured on the label.

Likewise, a serving of chips may be 12 chips. But if people typically eat a whole bag of, say, 36 chips, that calorie count would be most prominent.

Labels on ice cream, too, now list one-half cup as a serving. That would increase to one cup on the new label, bringing a serving of Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream, for example, to a whopping 680 calories.

With that amount prominently displayed on the carton, a shopper might instead choose Edy’s Slow Churned Double Fudge Brownie Ice Cream — just 240 calories a cup.

Official serving sizes are supposed to reflect what people actually eat, but they are based on what Americans typically consumed in the 1970s. More recent national nutrition surveys show that the average person eats considerably more of many foods; hence the uptick in serving sizes.

Given the high cost of changing hundreds of thousands of food labels, I and many health professionals believe the revisions, though positive over all, do not go nearly far enough.

For one thing, they fail to give harried shoppers a fast and easy way to distinguish among similar products, perhaps by using front-of-package traffic light signals to highlight the good, bad or neutral health value of a food.

“Ecuador is already doing this because they’re so worried about obesity,” Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, said in an interview. “In Great Britain, it was shown that when people saw red dots on a package, they didn’t buy it.”

That is why the American food industry has fought hard against such indications of a food’s healthfulness.

The label would also be more meaningful if it used common kitchen measurements, like teaspoons of sugar in a serving rather than grams, Dr. Nestle said. Fewer people might down a 20-ounce cola if they knew it contained 16 teaspoons of sugar.

The proposed revision also fails to address the often daunting ingredients list, which currently enables manufacturers to disguise the total contribution of undesirable nutrients by listing each one separately. A consumer cannot tell that added sugar is the main ingredient if sugar, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, agave and grape juice concentrate are listed individually.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has proposed that ingredients like sugars and fats be grouped together and that the label distinguish major ingredients from minor ones making up 2 percent or less of a product.

Even health-conscious shoppers like me can be fooled by current labels.

I recently purchased Dole’s Orange Peach Mango juice, described on the carton in large type as “100% juice.” Technically correct. But a closer look at the label later revealed filtered water as the main ingredient, followed by apple juice concentrate, orange juice concentrate, clarified pineapple juice concentrate, grape juice concentrate, and mango purée concentrate.

Not what I thought I was buying, tasty though it was. Without orange, peach and mango juice as the main ingredients — and with 27 grams of sugar (six and a half teaspoons) in an 8-ounce serving — I will not be buying it again.

Also absent in the proposed revision is information that would “actively encourage consumers to purchase real foods rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains,” Dr. Kessler said. “The answer to obesity, if there is one, is eating real food and moving away from foods laden with fats, sugars and salt. Highly processed food goes down in a whoosh, but real food slows down eating.”

Instead, the new label, like the current one, would focus on specific nutrients and give “food companies an incentive to fortify their products so they can make claims such as ‘added fiber’ or to produce sugar-laden foods that can be labeled ‘low fat,’ ” he wrotein The New England Journal of Medicine in July.

Holistic nutritionist specializing in weight loss 


The Dangers of Eating Late at Night

Besides weight gain, there are other consequences to late night eating. This is a very interesting article from the New York Times. My clients eat more of their food earlier in the day - making weight loss easier and more efficient.

Acid reflux is an epidemic affecting as many as 40 percent of Americans. In addition to heartburn and indigestion, reflux symptoms may include postnasal drip, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, chronic throat clearing, coughing and asthma. Taken together, sales of prescribed and over-the-counter anti-reflux medications exceed $13 billion per year.

The number of people with acid reflux has grown significantly in recent decades. Reflux can lead to esophageal cancer, which has increased by about 500 percent since the 1970s. And anti-reflux medication alone does not appear to control reflux disease. A Danish study published this yearconcluded that there were no cancer-protective effects from using the common anti-reflux medications, called proton pump inhibitors, and that regular long-term use was actually associated with an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer.

What is responsible for these disturbing developments? The answer is our poor diet, with its huge increases in the consumption of sugar, soft drinks, fat and processed foods. But there is another important variable that has been underappreciated and overlooked: our dinnertime.

I specialize in the diagnosis and management of acid reflux, especially airway reflux, which affects the throat, sinuses and lungs. Airway reflux is often “silent,” occurring without telltale digestive symptoms, like heartburn and indigestion. Most of the tens of thousands of reflux patients that I have seen over the last 35 years are well today because I treat reflux by modifying my patients’ diets and lifestyles.

Over the past two decades, I’ve noticed that the time of the evening meal has been trending later and later among my patients. The after-work meal — already later because of longer work hours — is often further delayed by activities such as shopping and exercise.

Typical was the restaurateur who came to see me with symptoms of postnasal drip, sinus disease, hoarseness, heartburn and a chronic cough. He reported that he always left his restaurant at 11 p.m., and after arriving home would eat dinner and then go to bed. There was no medical treatment for this patient, no pills or even surgery to fix his condition. The drugs we are using to treat reflux don’t always work, and even when they do, they can have dangerous side effects. My patient’s reflux was a lifestyle problem. I told him he had to eat dinner before 7 p.m., and not eat at all after work. Within six weeks, his reflux was gone.

In my experience, the single most important intervention is to eliminate late eating, which in the United States is often combined with portions of large, over-processed, fatty food. Europeans have fewer cases of reflux than we do, even though many of them eat late. That’s most likely from portion control. In France, for example, a serving of ice cream is typically a single modest scoop, while in America, it’s often three gargantuan scoops.

For my patients, eating late is often accompanied by overeating, because many skip breakfast and eat only a sandwich at lunch. Thus the evening meal becomes the largest meal of the day. After that heavy meal, it’s off to the sofa to watch television. After eating, it’s important to stay upright because gravity helps keep the contents in the stomach. Reflux is the result of acid spilling out of the stomach, and lying down with a full stomach makes reflux much more likely.

And if you add an after-dinner dessert or bedtime snack? Again, reflux is a natural consequence. In a healthy young person, the stomach normally takes a few hours to empty after a moderate-size meal. In older people or those who have reflux, gastric emptying is often delayed. Further, those dessert calories tend to be high in carbohydrates and fat, and high-fat foods often create reflux by slowing digestion and relaxing the stomach valve that normally prevents reflux. Other popular but notoriously bad-for-nighttime-reflux foods and beverages are mints, chocolate, soft drinks and alcohol.

Many of my patients find that eating earlier alleviates their allergies,sinusitis, asthma, sleep apnea and diabetes symptoms. Although these conditions may not seem linked, postnasal drip and a cough are typical reflux symptoms that can easily be mistaken for something else.

Some of my patients who arrive complaining of reflux already eat healthfully. For them, dining too late is often the sole cause of their problem. And yet, hearing that they need to change the timing of their meals is sometimes a challenge they cannot meet.

A New Yorker with reflux came to see me because both her father and uncle died of esophageal cancer and she was afraid of getting it, too. This patient was a prominent businesswoman and her nightly routine included a 9 p.m. dinner at an elegant restaurant with at least two bottles of good red wine for the table. Her reflux was serious, and I explained that changes were needed.

She listened, then left and did not come back to see me for a year. When I saw her again, she explained what had happened. “For the first two months I just hated you,” she told me, “and then for the next two months — I was having some trouble swallowing — I figured I was going to die of esophageal cancer.” Then she nudged me and added, “You know, we’re the reason that it’s not so easy to get 6 p.m. reservations at the good restaurants anymore.”

To stop the remarkable increase in reflux disease, we have to stop eating by 8 p.m., or whatever time falls at least three hours before bed. For many people, eating dinner early represents a significant lifestyle shift. It will require eating well-planned breakfasts, lunches and snacks, with healthy food and beverage choices.


My Top 5 Weight Loss Lunches for Busy Working Women (and Moms!)

My Top 5 Weight Loss Lunches for Busy Working Women (and Moms!)

5. Salad. Make it filling with healthy toppings including - lots of beans (chickpeas, red kidney beans, white beans, black beans), avocado, olives, canned fish in water (such as tuna, wild salmon, and sardines). The key is to keep extra virgin olive oil and balsamic or red wine vinegar in your desk drawer. Using your own high quality oil is KEY for a healthy salad.

4. Many women I meet with have a piece of fruit and a yogurt for a quick lunch. Often these people are also the ones in a "weight loss rut". Yogurt has lots of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) but it's not a weight loss food. Instead, try sauerkraut which is full of beneficial probiotics that our bodies quickly and readily utilize. Toss 1/2 cup sauerkraut with a can of beans (chickpeas are my favorite). Bring to work in a tupperware. Quick, easy, healthy and a perfect weight loss meal! 

3. Bean soups. These are filling and low in calories. Make sure the soup you buy is Vegan and Gluten Free. As an added bonus, bean soups often contain no oil since you make them by boiling beans and vegetables (other soups are made by sauteing vegetables - which does add oil). Split pea, black bean, lentil, and white bean are all excellent options.

2. Find a chinese take out restaurant that serves brown rice. Order steamed vegetables and brown rice. Keep gluten free tamari soy sauce and toasted sesame oil in your desk drawer. Sprinkle over top; this makes an absolutely healthy and delicious meal.

1. When having a work lunch at a restaurant - think "Salads and Sides". A salad and a side of fresh green vegetables makes an excellent and healthy lunch.

Diets Don't Work, But Eating Well Does! Lose weight and feel GREAT. Get on the program with me. Unlike most "diets" I create a plan to change your habits and cravings for healthy foods - so you lose the weight but also keep it off. And, I work with all my clients EVERYDAY until they reach their goals! My motivation and support makes all the difference. Contact me to find out more about the program

In Health,

If you enjoyed this newsletter - consider sending to family and friends.
Certified Holistic Health Practitioner Specializing in Weight Loss, CHHP, AADP
Visit: www.GetHealthyWithCarol.com
And, for healthy and easy recipes: www.GetHealthyWithCarol.blogspot.com

"The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition." -Thomas Edison