Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Protein Cream Cheese Strawberry Banana Dip/Spread: RED WHITE AND AMAZING Canada Day Recipe

(pictures courtesy of ALLRECIPES.COM)

(image NOT RECIPE)

 Protein Strawberry Banana Cream Cheese Dip/Spread

A healthy high protein Cream Cheese you ask? This has been one of my favorite protein enhanced recipes! You can also make this using QUARK OR BAKER'S CHEESE. Feel free to play around!

- Fat Free Philedelphia Cream Cheese (or any fat free Cream Cheese type spread or Tofutti)
- Bio X Nutrition Strawberry Banana Power Whey Isolate
- Splenda/Sweet and Low (or Sweetener of choice)
- Mashed Strawberries/puree or sf puree/jam

* Optional- pureed strawberry/raspberry, sf jams (Smucker's, Polander, ED SMITH), 1/2 Cottage Cheese, Quark, Baker's Cheese or Greek Yogurt to change texture! Smooshed blueberries, mullberries etc
-You can mix in Cool Whip Zero (OR WHIP CREAM) marshmallow fluff/cream etc
- Add some Strawberry Yogurt
-Add Sour Cream
- Lemon juice
- Shredded Coconut
- Blend in some SUGAR FREE FUDGE/Chocolate sauce
- Cocoa (unsweetened)

BLEND BLEND BLEND BLEND, refrigerate or serve immediately

-Add tofu (silken) or a bit of Mayo for tang.
- This makes a GREAT FRUIT DIP, Icing/ Frosting, Oatmeal/ Hot Cereal stir in, bagel topping, fruit salad/dessert dip, PARFAIT TOPPER (with crunchy cereal)
- Natural Food Colouring adds fun colors!
-Sprinkles (yes, I am reaching for this one)
- Great on Protein Muffins, Cakes, Cup cakes, Fruit Pizza etc

Mango Noodle Salad

I was recently asked to remake a Mango Noodle Stir Fry recipe, and I thought I'd add it to my
' How Low Can You Go' recipe and actually post it this time. If you are against sugar free sweeteners etc, this is NOT for you!


-1 package Shirataki Noodles (you can use any size/type)
-Stir Fry Vegetable mix or whatever veggies you have on hand
- 1 pack (340g) Mann's Broccolislaw/Rainbow Salad bag or Coleslaw
- Green Onion (sliced)
-1/2 Red Onion thinly slices
- Mung Bean Sprouts (fresh or canned)
-optional Chopped Mango
- If you want an Asian flare, add Walden Farms Asian/Oriental Dressing
Mango Habanero Salsa (optional)
-salt pepper and as much seasoning and spice as you want
-dash of cinnamon

-opptional add ons: cashews, coconut, pineapple, Walden Farms Sugar Free Pancake Syrup (trust me on this) or Blueberry Syrup, black berries,splends, Cilantro leaves, salsa, banana pickles, courgettes, squash, mushrooms etc

** If you want a more tropical flavor, add some Davinci Sugar Free Pineapple Syrup

As you can see, I'm leaving the meaurements mostly out- throw in as much or as little as you want! Water Chestnuts add a great crunch! You can add Cilantro leaves, salsa, snap peas, broccoli etc

Stir fry in a WOK, frying pan or just heat up components individually and assemble them later.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Quote Of The Day June 29

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, this time more wisely.
- Anonymous

Holy Basil

Hello Everybody!
I have been meaning to post a review and do a mini training on a product that is very dear to me.
I have been using it for years and have gotten so many clients, customers, and family on it alike. It is no surprise that given the pressures we currently face that we are a highly stressed society. From family to finance- the uncertainty and worry is taking it's toll on our bodies and minds at a rapid rate.

We all know that stress weakens the immune system, derails our health and chisels away at our mind at an increasing rate: leaving us tired, prone to sickness, weak, and gnaws away at us body, mind and soul until there isn't much left of who we truly are. It it known that people with chronic stress are diagnosed with cancer and other illnesses more often than those who lead a calmer lifestyle. We also know how it affects our hormones and how it effects us psychologically. This impacts me directly, as I have had Adrenal Exhaustion (burn out) from years of chronic stress, worry and anxiety.

Cortisol is our stress hormone, and although it is in the media and tossed around often as an excuse for abdominal weight gain, it really is a key and necessary hormone. It is one of our 'flight of fight' hormones; but like any other thing- too much of it is NEVER a good thing.

In this day and age of Pharmaceutical Companies and Dr.'s all too happily prescribing anti depressants and anti anxiety medication, (with often unpleasant side effects), it is no wonder that in attempts to numb 'the pain' and exist in this life as functional members of society, we have become dependant- often at the cost of our health- to either pills or other addictive substances and negative ways of coping to deal with the maelstrom that is life.
Enter the humble Holy Basil or TULSIHoly Basil has amazing healing and therapeutic benefits- paramount among them being 'Elevating the Spirit' and keeping Cortisol at bay. There are no side effects, no dependency; in fact, the more the better! I have gotten so many lawyers (high stress), bankers, Stock Exchange employees, fitness competitors and the everyday person on it, that I feel I should start either farming it or getting commission! :)
Holy Basil  DOESN'T take away the stress, nor does it sedate you (I take it BEFORE the gym, after and sometimes before bed), but rather helps you physiologically deal with it.
The stress is still there- nothing has changed- but you just let it roll off your shoulders and aren't overwhelmed by it whatsoever. Again- IT DOES NOT SEDATE YOU.
 It is a herb and has been used in Ayurvedic Medicine for centuries. I am going to review and talk about NEW CHAPTER'S SUPER CRITICAL HOLY BASIL in specific- it is the ONLY one that has a 50:1 standardization, and has both Hydrophilic and Lipophilic properties of the herb in it (water loving and fat soluble compounds- most only use the cheap water soluble) so you are getting the synergy and profile of the entire plant. They also go beyond organic- CO2, solvent, hexane and chemical free extraction method that is patented. You can swallow it (takes about 20-30min) or chew it and spit out the capsule. I am warning you- the taste is of bitters mixed with strong basil- but it takes effect within 5min if you take it this way). I have taken many trainings on this particular product, and have been fortunate enough to see the benefits of the herb.
It helps with Cortisol, blood sugar, abdominal fat, as well as cell regeneration, protects cells form radiation etc. I will list other benefits after I introduce the product. It has made such an impact in my life for the better- helped my mother with her lung health as well as made her a more balanced person! I have taken 14 a day or other times just 2- NO SIDE EFFECTS:  (I have not been paid or contacted by the company to do this review- I love this product and know it can help so many people):

Scientific Confirmation of Traditional Wisdom

Reduces stress and cortisol*
Promotes a healthy inflammation response*
Increases physical and emotional endurance*

Help with depression
The Tradition of Holy Basil

Holy Basil, known as Ocimum sanctum in Latin, has for thousands of years been revered as “Tulsi” in Ayurvedic medicine. “Tulsi” means “The Incomparable One,” which is the reality of this majestic herb. Holy Basil is considered the Mother Medicine of Nature in this tradition due to it's anti-mutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Phytonutrients within Holy Basil are some of the most prized molecules in the plant pharmacy. To make a drug from Holy Basil, pharmaceutical companies could deliver those molecules in an isolated form, but that would no longer be the infinitely complex Holy Basil treasured by traditional medicine. At New Chapter®, therefore, we deliver the wisdom of Holy Basil in its most complete herbal form. We are, of course, also respectful of those “prized molecules”, but choose to deliver them with the numerous other naturally occurring chemistries to deliver the full intelligence of the herb.

The scientific world is giving heed to these molecules. In the United States, researchers have determined that Holy Basil’s “active” molecules promote a healthy inflammation response.* These “active” molecules’ cell protective properties have been studied with respect to cells of the breast and oral cavity, colon, prostate, skin, and liver .* They have also been studied worldwide for their effect on normal cell growth.*

The whole is more than the sum of its parts, but the whole must contain the parts. That is why New Chapter’s Holy Basil is the only source of this herb that provides both supercritical and ethanolic extracts to capture the fullness of this herb in its purest and most concentrated form.

Supplement Facts

Two softgels contain
Amount per Serving

Holy Basil, (Ocimum sanctum) (leaf) hydroethanolic extract (min. 1% triterpenoic acids, including ursolic and oleanolic acids) 536 mg

Holy Basil, (Ocimum sanctum) (leaf), supercritical extract (min. 7% eugenol) 134 mg

• Daily Value not established
Other ingredients: Olive oil-extra virgin, and yellow beeswax.
Capsule: Gelatin, vegetable glycerine, water, and carob.
Our premium softgel capsules are prepared without any chemical solvents, and are prion free.


Below I am leaving some additional benefits of Holy Basil that I found on the Internet here:

1. Healing Power: The Tulsi plant has many medicinal properties. The leaves are a nerve tonic and also sharpen memory. They promote the removal of the catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tube. The leaves strengthen the stomach and induce copious perspiration. The seed of the plant are mucilaginous.

2. Fever & Common Cold: The leaves of basil are specific for many fevers. During the rainy season, when malaria and dengue fever are widely prevalent, tender leaves, boiled with tea, act as preventive against theses diseases. In case of acute fevers, a decoction of the leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in half a liter of water and mixed with sugar and milk brings down the temperature. The juice of tulsi leaves can be used to bring down fever. Extract of tulsi leaves in fresh water should be given every 2 to 3 hours. In between one can keep giving sips of cold water. In children, it is every effective in bringing down the temperature.

3. Coughs: Tulsi is an important constituent of many Ayurvedic cough syrups and expectorants. It helps to mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma. Chewing tulsi leaves relieves cold and flu.

4. Sore Throat: Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as drink in case of sore throat. This water can also be used as a gargle.

5. Respiratory Disorder: The herb is useful in the treatment of respiratory system disorder. A decoction of the leaves, with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold. A decoction of the leaves, cloves and common salt also gives immediate relief in case of influenza. They should be boiled in half a liter of water till only half the water is left and add then taken.

6. Kidney Stone: Basil has strengthening effect on the kidney. In case of renal stone the juice of basil leaves and honey, if taken regularly for 6 months it will expel them via the urinary tract.

7. Heart Disorder: Basil has a beneficial effect in cardiac disease and the weakness resulting from them. It reduces the level of blood cholesterol.

8. Children's Ailments: Common pediatric problems like cough cold, fever, diarrhea and vomiting respond favorably to the juice of basil leaves. If pustules of chicken pox delay their appearance, basil leaves taken with saffron will hasten them.

9. Stress: Basil leaves are regarded as an 'adaptogen' or anti-stress agent. Recent studies have shown that the leaves afford significant protection against stress. Even healthy persons can chew 12 leaves of basil, twice a day, to prevent stress. It purifies blood and helps prevent several common elements.

10. Mouth Infections: The leaves are quit effective for the ulcer and infections in the mouth. A few leaves chewed will cure these conditions.

11. Insect Bites: The herb is a prophylactic or preventive and curative for insect stings or bites. A teaspoonful of the juice of the leaves is taken and is repeated after a few hours. Fresh juice must also be applied to the affected parts. A paste of fresh roots is also effective in case of bites of insects and leeches.

12. Skin Disorders: Applied locally, basil juice is beneficial in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases. It has also been tried successfully by some naturopaths in the treatment of leucoderma.

13. Teeth Disorder: The herb is useful in teeth disorders. Its leaves, dried in the sun and powdered, can be used for brushing teeth. It can also be mixed with mustered oil to make a paste and used as toothpaste. This is very good for maintaining dental health, counteracting bad breath and for massaging the gums. It is also useful in pyorrhea and other teeth disorders.

14. Headaches: Basil makes a good medicine for headache. A decoction of the leaves can be given for this disorder. Pounded leaves mixed with sandalwood paste can also be applied on the forehead for getting relief from heat, headache, and for providing coolness in general.

15. Eye Disorders: Basil juice is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night-blindness, which is generally caused by deficiency of vitamin A. Two drops of black basil juice are put into the eyes daily at bedtime.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weird little things about the body

Weirdest thing happened this morning- I woke up before 6am hot and sweaty (bay GLASS windows facing east in an already hot apartment are conducive to heat strokes and crappy sleep) and felt this weird wired up panicked 'don't-know-what-to-do-with-myself' kind of feeling that leads to eating remaining cake/cabbage rolls/pizza (whatever is in the fridge) etc in an attempt to kill time.

You know that feeling- we've all had it. You're waiting for it to be later, but too tired for anything really. Last night I listened to an interesting online seminar and although I wasn't really listening to it, I must have absorbed some of it via osmosis. I knew I was frustrated and attempting to distract myself from what I was really feeling. Plus, I was HOT and yucky from the sun baring down on me through the glass. I had some crudités (aka Ranch River Celery and 2 Red Bell Peppers), and attempted to type out an article on Holy Basil  (I will post it later) for you guys. I then got tired and thought it best to go lie down because it was still early and I had about another hr before I wanted to get up.

This DEEP foggy I can't move my legs/eyes or pinkie sleep came over me. Even when I wanted to get up to go to the bathroom I couldn't. I was in some fog. This exhaustion just WIPED ME OUT. I finally got up @ 9:20am and am feeling a bit calmer, more assured and more positive than I have in the last few days.

So did I face the issues? Not really, but I allowed myself to just REST and I remember telling myself somewhere in the midst of this oblivion 'It's okay- I'm hurting'.

This sleep reminded me to TAKE IT EASY and that I am mentally, emotionally, psychologically and physically exhausted- and stressing on top of that isn't helping.
The best analogy I can give is that like a computer, my body just POWERED DOWN. It got over heated and just shut down.

I am drinking at ice cold Cherry Lime Xenergy, taking my morning supplements and focusing on NOT getting anxious.

Lesson in all of this- we are NOT in charge, our bodies are. No matter how much we push them, run them dry, abuse them and think we are getting the rest we need; They will tell us otherwise and the body will tell them mind to SHUT.IT.DOWN.

I know I have a long ways to go. I know that it is mental exhaustion from constant worries, anxiety and racing thoughts. I feel like I just ran a marathon for the mind. I think I learned that I truly need to stop pretending that I am 100% ON. Trying to please EVERYONE (weekend friend, family) and act a certain way. I also need to learn to say NO for my mental sanity, and slow things down. rest. get out and enjoy the sun. Currently listening to All Time Low's "SICK LITTLE GAMES' and getting my energy on to get up!
I'm off to the gym for what could be a VERY interesting (read: my legs aren't functioning due to heat and just woken up feeling) workout.

I think I may go see a movie (cheap theatre), go exchange ROTTING groceries (is it too much to ask that when you buy produce that it doesn't go bad WAY BEFORE the expiration date??!!), and just take it easy. Tomorrow is a stressful day and no matter how much I try to ignore that fact, obviously the body and mind are smarter and harder to distract and fool than I thought!