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Superfood Saturdays

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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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Superfood Saturday: Crazy For Coconuts

Superfood Saturday is here and this week at The Studio (MDR) we are crazy for coconuts!  Coconuts qualify as a "superfood with flying colors" due to their supremely unique and nutritious qualities. According to best selling author David Wolfe of Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future "eating coconuts in their raw state speeds up metabolism, reduces risk of heart disease, lowers cholesterol and boosts energy1." An additional benefit of this superfood happens to be the coconut water that comes from a young coconut.

Did you know coconut water contains one of the highest sources of electrolytes known to man and can be used to prevent dehydration? Hint hint--coconut is the perfect superfood to help you rehydrate after breaking a sweat in at The Studio (MDR)! Here's another interesting fact: coconut water is identical to human blood plasma and plasma makes up 55% of human blood. That said, by drinking coconut water, we give ourselves an instant blood transfusion2.  Amazing, right?

While many believe coconuts are unhealthy due to their saturated fat content, they actually contain lauric acid, a type of fat that is easily absorbed by the human body and used instantly as energy3. So the next time you are at your local health food store (like Whole Foods Venice), grab a young coconut, crack it open and discover the electrolyte-replenishing water and soft, delicious and nutritious meat inside.

Is their a superfood or blog topic you'd like for us to cover? Let us know in the comments section below or by adding it to our community page on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/thestudiomdr

AND SPEAKING OF FOOD, HAVE YOU ENTERED OUR ASHLEY KOFF CONTEST? One lucky grand prize winner will receive a one-on-one phone consult and copy of the book Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged from celebrity dietician and author Ashley Koff. Contest ends on Tuesday February 21st, 2012. Enter today!

1. http://www.disabled-world.com/fitness/diets/diet-information.php 2. http://mindyourbody.info/articles/young-coconut.html 3. http://zentofitness.com/the-benefits-of-coconut-oil-water-flesh/

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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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Superfood Saturday From The Studio (MDR): This Week, It's All About Chia Seeds

It’s time for Superfood Saturday at The Studio MDR and this week it’s all about the Chia seed!  Yes, this----> chia seed.  While most of us know the word "chi" from the famous ch-ch-ch-chia jingle, chia seeds are becoming a widely popular superfood that you can add to almost anything you eat or drink!

Superfood Saturday Facts About Chia Seeds:

  • Chia seeds have more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other plant food, including flax seeds, and they are about 20% protein.
  • When soaked in liquid, Chia seeds form a thick gel. When consumed, researchers believe they slow down the rate at which digestive enzymes turn carbs into sugar, making it especially beneficial for diabetics and others with blood sugar issues.
  • Chia is hydrophilic and will absorb more than 12 times its weight in water. This makes it helpful in maintaining body hydration, something that is especially beneficial for athletes who need to remain hydrated.

Chia seeds are so high in antioxidants that they do not spoil easily and can be stored for long periods. PLUS, they have also been known to improve the following:

  • Anti-aging
  • Weight loss
  • Gastro-intestinal health
  • Bone health
  • Prenatal health
  • Heart health
  • Stabilized blood sugar
  • Prostate health
  • Menopausal symptoms

Not many side effects have been reported as a result of ingesting Chia seeds but if you have high blood pressure or allergies, you should consult with your doctor before consuming them.

You can order Chia seeds online or pick them up at your local health foods store like Sprouts or from our neighbors at Whole Foods Venice.  If you are not sure what to add Chia to in your diet here are some tips and recipes! And if you've tried chia seeds, we want to hear from you. Tell us how they have helped you look it+feel it+live it in the comments section below.

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