RECIPE: Sunrise Nori Wraps

Healthy Living

Text excerpted from EATING CLEAN, © 2016 by AMIE VALPONE. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.  Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 2.55.53 PM

Sunrise Nori Wraps with Spicy Tahini Drizzle   Serves 4

If you like California rolls, you’ll love these nori wraps (though personally, I think they’re so much better!). The tahini dressing is truly addictive—you’re going to want to dress everything in it—and the cabbage provides a nice crunch. If possible, use a food processor to slice the cabbage so you can get it super thin.

Also, make sure the vegetable strips are all the same width and length so that they don’t hang over the edges of the nori sheets; this will make rolling up the wraps easier. Use leftover tahini drizzle as a dressing for salads or as a dip for crudités.

Sunrise Nori Wraps 

4 nori seaweed sheets

¼ small head red cabbage, very thinly sliced

1 large carrot, peeled and julienned

1 small yellow summer squash, julienned

1 small cucumber, julienned

1 large ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced

1 recipe Spicy Tahini Drizzle

Spicy Tahini Drizzle 

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ¼ tablespoons chickpea miso paste

1 tablespoon raw tahini

2 medjool dates, pitted

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Water, as needed to thin the drizzle

Place the nori sheets on a flat surface. Divide the cabbage, carrot, squash, cucumber, and avocado among the sheets. Top each pile of vegetables with a heaping tablespoon of the Spicy Tahini Drizzle, and then roll up the nori sheets into a tube shape.

Make the tahini: Combine all of the ingredients except the water in a blender. Blend, adding water 1 teaspoon at a time as you go, until the mixture becomes a thin sauce.

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How Eating Like Your Ancestors Can Help You Lose Weight

Healthy Living

Blog Photo FastingBy Mary Gocke, RDN, CDN

The key to losing weight in 2016 might be found by going back in time and eating like our ancestors.

What if fasting was a part of your healthy lifestyle and offered the benefit of weight loss? Please, don’t get nervous and don’t go anywhere. Keep reading. This is the real deal.

We’re talking about intermittent fasting and it’s how our ancestors ate – think feast or famine. When there was food available, they ate; when they didn’t have food, they didn’t eat. They couldn’t run to a fast-food restaurant or pop a frozen-food entrée in the microwave.

Intermittent fasting does not mean you have to starve yourself. It does ask you to look at your lifestyle, notice how often you eat and especially observe late-night snacking – you know, when you’re stressed and watching late night television to take your mind off things and unconsciously eating the bag of potato chips or pint of ice cream.

What if you stopped eating after dinner and didn’t eat again until breakfast? There you go – intermittent fasting! 8pm to 8am – 12 hours of intermittent fasting. Maybe your schedule is 7pm to 7am; not a problem. There’s flexibility here. It’s not the time that matters; it’s the timing – setting yourself up for a period of 12-14 hours when you are not eating. And giving your body a chance to detoxify and rejuvenate itself.

The benefits of intermittent fasting are well-studied and vast, including:

  • Improve metabolic efficiency and metabolic flexibility
  • Reset your body to use fat as its primary fuel source
  • Boost enzyme production to facilitate digestion and weight loss
  • Generate production of human growth hormone
  • Increase insulin sensitivity
  • Reduce markers of chronic inflammation

Intermittent fasting is one aspect of the revolutionary weight loss program offered at Blum Center for Health this month. We want to help you lose weight and we want you to keep it off with a healthy lifestyle plan.

Learn more and join our Group Weight Loss Program.


5 Tips to Eat Mindfully During the Holidays

Healthy Living

By Susan Blum, MD, MPH

1.  Stick to your healthy diet during the day if you know you have a holiday party at night.  It sounds logical, but it’s easy to start indulging during office parties or grabbing unhealthy snacks while you’re on-the-go. If you stick to a healthy diet all day like veggies and lean protein, you can treat yourself at night. 

2.  Never leave the house hungry.  Have a healthy snack like carrots and hummus around 4-5pm before you leave for your festivities and you’ll be less likely to fill your plate at the party. 

3.  Taste Everything!  Try bites of all the food offerings but leave the rest on your plate.  If you ate a snack and you’re not starving, you will be able leave your plate full but still enjoy indulging in the holiday fare. 

4.  Swap water in between cocktails to stay hydrated and full. 

5.  Reset on Monday!  I always tell my patients to enjoy themselves during special occasions and plan to reboot on Monday with a full day of healthy juices and foods that detoxify the body. It takes the stress and guilt off holiday eating and guarantees to soothe the digestive system and replenish the body with vital nutrients and antioxidants.  At Organic Pharmer, we offer a 1 – Day Reboot cleanse just for this purpose! 

Wishing you happiness and health this holiday season!

Are Your Hormones To Blame?

Healthy Living

By Darcy McConnell, MD  stone tower

The holiday season is a good time to make a few simple changes that can make a big difference in how you feel.  Healthy food, fresh air, and targeted supplements balance your hormones and build up your reserves against stressors. 

Do any of these issues sound familiar?

  • difficulty losing weight
  • fatigue
  • low libido
  • thinning hair 
  • bad skin
  • anxiety and irritability
  • depressed mood
  • brain fog

Or are you just not feeling like yourself lately?

When we consider hormones and their relationship to these symptoms, we tackle the big picture.  It is never simply a low thyroid issue – nor are estrogen and testosterone levels solely to blame.  There is an entire hormone orchestra that can fall out of tune, and when this is addressed appropriately, we feel better!

The holiday season is also one of insight and peace. A great time to find your calm! 

So my first recommendation for a hormone-balancing change is to add a mindfulness practice to your routine and make space for it every day.  That can be as simple as a five-minute deep breathing exercise in the morning before your coffee or tea.  Or it can be a short walk outside in the fresh air.  Restart the meditation practice you’ve put on hold.  A yoga practice or other movement routine counts as well, as long as it’s done mindfully. And don’t forget to mix it up!  Changing your routine keeps it interesting and helps you stay on track.  These kinds of mindfulness exercises support the adrenal glands and are the first steps toward harmonizing your hormones.

Join me in December for a discussion of the science behind the hormone orchestra and seven simple changes you can make to ease those chemical messengers into line and get back to feeling like yourself!  

End of Summer Skin Savers

Healthy Living

Is your skin sending you an SOS this summer?

The season’s heat, humidity, sweat, and environmental stressors can clog pores and contribute to a poor complexion.  But before you run to your esthetician or invest in the latest, greatest miracle cream, Dr. Blum recommends that you start by changing your diet.

Here are two easy ways to get healthy, glowing skin:

1. Cut the Sweets
After eating your favorite sweet summer treat, your blood sugar rises and insulin is released into the body.  The result is inflammation, which can cause redness and breakouts.
Plus, sugar can cause the naturally occurring yeast in your pores to trigger acne and skin inflammation, too.

2. Add Antioxidants
Fight free radical damage with a daily source of antioxidants. Eat or drink a rainbow of richly-colored fruits and vegetables every day.  The darker the pigment the stronger the antioxidant power. Our top picks include berries, cherries, and veggies like peppers, beets, carrots,  and dark greens, which are an excellent source of vitamins and antioxidants that revive tired and stressed skin.

Learn more about how specific foods can help your help concern or goals in Dr.Blum’s Learn at Lunch series starting this fall.  Click here for more information and to sign up!