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Healthy food Marina Del Rey

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Meatless Monday: Green Smoothie

We all know it’s important to eat our veggies, but sometimes it can be tough to incorporate the vegetables we need each day into our diet especially if we may be working long hours or eating on the go.  So, what's the Studio (MDR) solution for you?

A green smoothie, which by the way is a great way to get key nutrients in one quick, easy and, most importantly, delicious drink! (And it's a perfect dessert, snack or meal for Meatless Monday).

You may have noticed the recent upswing in juice cleanses lately (especially right after new years), and while juicing fruits and vegetables is a fantastic way for the body to absorb nutrients, blending a green smoothie provides more nutritional benefits since the pulp isn’t extracted.

Contrary to what you think, you can have fun with green smoothies by trying different concoctions of your favorite vegetables mixed with fruit.  As an added bonus, you can include a spoonful of Greek yogurt for protein, probiotics and a thicker, more filling smoothie!

Here is a fantastic, refreshing smoothie that is low in fat, high in fiber and is gluten free:

2 Cups Spinach
2 Cups Diced Cucumbers
2 Ribs Celery
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger
1 Handful Parsley
2 Apples, cored but not peeled
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
1 Spoonful Greek Yogurt (optional)

Blend all ingredients until very smooth and enjoy!

What are your favorite green smoothie or Meatless Monday recipes? Feel free to share them in the comments section.  Most importantly, cheers to your health!

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Superfood Saturday--Say Hi to Açaí

It's time for Superfood Saturday's on The Studio (MDR) blog. And today, we want you to say hi to Açaí. Also known as nature’s energy fruit, the Açaí berry is one of the most nutritious foods in the world.

Açaí, harvested in the rainforests of Brazil, is chock full of antioxidants, amino acids and essential fatty acids, making the tiny berry a weight loss and anti-aging superfood1!

While it may be difficult to find Açaí berries in your local supermarket, Açaí juice is widely available.  There is also, a new product featuring the unsweetened pulp of Açaí which provides many benefits including2:

  • A remarkable concentration of antioxidants that help combat premature aging, with 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 times the anthocyanins of red wine.
  • A synergy of monounsaturated (healthy) fats, dietary fiber and phytosterols to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health.
  • An almost perfect essential amino acid complex in conjunction with valuable trace minerals, vital to proper muscle contraction and regeneration.

So, if you’re feeling a little sluggish, or if you just need an extra boost of energy, this recipe for an Açaí smoothie is a fantastic choice to consume before or after your workout at The Studio (MDR).

Açaí Berry Smoothie 

1 Unsweetened Pure Açaí Berry Smoothie Pack 8 oz Almond Milk 1 Banana 1 Scoop Whey Protein Powder 1 Tablespoon Flax Seed Oil

Blend all ingredients until smooth and enjoy!

Is there a superfood you'd love to read more about? Let us know, we are looking for future "Superfood Saturday" ideas.

  1. http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/Açaí -berries-and-Açaí -berry-juice-what-are-the-health-benefits
  2. http://www.oprah.com/health/Açaí -Dr-Perricones-No-1-Superfood

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Sugar Free Saturday's: A Guest Post And Recipe From Amy Samuelson

My name is Amy M. Samuelson and I have spent the last twenty-five years in the entertainment business as a writer/producer. Visit my website at www.amysamuelson.com. I am a former New Yorker living in Santa Monica, California. I also maintain the blog, Amy Does It Sugar-Free.

Last year I had an epiphany regarding “good health” and how to attain it by reducing salt and sugar in my diet and kicking up my exercise regimen. I also began attending (MDR) Total Body classes at The Studio (MDR) run by Lisa Hirsch. The changes that have occurred to my body, mind and spirit are phenomenal.

  • My sense of self and humor returned quickly.  I had forgotten how much fun life offered.
  • Blogging on Amydoesitsugar-free also means I will not sugarcoat this lifestyle. My entries are written with a sense of humor and truthfulness. Truth being the bully everyone pretends to like. I will chronicle my successes, missteps and adventures.
  • Sugar-free living is limited to 15 grams of sugar a day. Sugar exists in almost everything we eat… Read labels carefully.

Here’s my recipe for “Mellow Yellow” scallops, served with asparagus and brown rice. This entire dish is low in sugar and salt.

I buy frozen scallops at Trader Joe’s in a 12 ounce package. I defrost them in the bag. Once defrosted, I take them out of bag, squeeze out their juices, and place them on top of 2 paper towels. I cover them with more paper towels in order to remove excess liquid. It is important that the scallops are as dry as possible before “woking” them.

Next, I place a generous amount of saffron into my wok along with chopped garlic, olive oil, 2 Tbs of white wine (optional), lemon thyme, ginger and the juice of one lemon. I heat my mixture until it is hot and place my scallops into the wok. They are done in approximately 5 to 6 minutes. You never want to overcook your scallops. They will become tough. Fault on the side of under versus over. Garnish them with lemon zest.

Asparagus is an amazing and health friendly vegetable. It is high in vitamins and the folic acid it contains is good for depression. Also, it has a cleansing proponent that flushes your system. Of course, we have all noticed that our pee smells funny after eating asparagus.  Well, it turns out to be a good thing. Who knew? 

There are many ways to cook asparagus.  I prefer sautéing my asparagus in lemon, garlic and oil. Sometimes I add a little butter with fresh pepper. It is ready to serve in less than five minutes.

As for the brown rice, I buy mine at Trader Joe’s in microwaveable packages. However you choose to cook it is fine--just remember that brown rice is always preferable over white rice in this regimen.

Putting it all together. After everything is cooked, place a scoop of brown rice on a plate, dice up your asparagus and place them around your brown rice and put  the scallops on top of the rice. Voila, the result is a picture-perfect entrée that looks as beautiful as it tastes.

This entire meal took me less than 20 minutes to prepare and serve.  Sometimes, I make a quick green salad with whatever vegetables I have in the refrigerator with a simple olive oil and lemon dressing.  Again in wishing you good health, I remind you that lemon is a color you can smell.

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Kale Chips Courtesy of Whole Foods Venice

Like most of you, we are Whole Foods enthusiasts! Our local Venice market reciprocated the love by exclusively providing The Studio (MDR) with a delicious recipe for Roasted Kale Chips.

Makes 4 cups (about 4 servings) Ingredients 1 bunch kale 
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Method Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Trim tough stems from kale and discard; cut large leaves into 2-inch pieces (leave any small leaves whole). Place in a large bowl, drizzle with oil and toss. Add chili power and salt and toss again. Arrange kale on baking sheets in single layer; bake until crispy and the edges just begin to brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets. Transfer to a bowl and toss with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Nutrition Per serving: 80 calories (40 from fat), 4.5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 200mg sodium, 9g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 0g sugar), 4g protein

Thanks for sharing this Whole Foods Venice.

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The Studio (MDR) Superfood Saturday's: Flaxseeds

For this week's Superfood Saturday on The Studio (MDR) blog, we're favoring the flaxseed.  Similar to the chia seed we posted about last week, we love the health benefits and versatility of the flaxseed. Wellness experts and media alike are calling this the new wonder food for its ability to help fight everything from heart disease and diabetes to breast cancer.  WebMD also reports that, although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its healthy reputation primarily to three ingredients:

Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.

Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75-800 times more lignans than other plant foods.

Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.

Tips for Incorporating Flaxseed's Into Your Diet:

  • Drink plenty of water. There is so much soluble fiber in flax that it is important to drink plenty of water when eating flax products, otherwise constipation may result.
  • Remember to start slowly if you aren’t used to a high-fiber diet.
  • If you purchase the whole seeds, you need to grind them up to get the benefit.
  • Flax is often used as an egg substitute in baked goods for people who can’t or choose not to eat eggs. This is because of the soluble fiber, which adds structure to the food.
  • About 2/3 to 3/4 cup of flax seed yields 1 cup of flax meal. With my grinder, it’s 3/4 cup, and my recipes reflect this.

Flax Recipes and Serving Suggestions:

  • Raw or toasted: Sprinkle over cottage cheese, ricotta, yogurt, breakfast cereal; put in shakes (thickens them somewhat)
  • Cooked in a hot cereal: For example, try Hot Flax Peanut Butter Cereal or Hot Pumpkin Cereal

  • Cooked into other foods: For example, meatloaf, meatballs, or casseroles.

Have you ever tried flaxseeds? Want to share your own recipe? Leave a comment here or chime in via our community on Facebook--http://www.facebook.com/thestuidomdr Also, we'd love to get your input. Which superfood should we feature for next Saturday? Let us know.

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