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September 2008

August 2008

Sweet Tomatoes is just too dangerous

Despite my best attempts to keep track of all my healthy eating at the buffet restaurant Sweet Tomatoes, I've come to the conclusion that this place gets me in all kinds of trouble.

I start out all virtuous, loading up my plate with raw veggies. Then comes just a spoonful of that addictive broccoli salad, then a little of that Mexican potato salad, then just a few croutons, only a piece of foccaccia ...

You get where I'm going with this.

If you find yourself in a dangerous food situation, like I did yesterday, you just have to make the painful decision that this restaurant will have to wait until you get your eating act together.


Vitalicious muffin tops coming to a grocery near you

I often order Vitalicious VitaMuffin VitaTops directly from the company. If you've never had one they come in many flavors (many of them chocolate), have 5 grams of fiber, vitamins and 100 calories, which make them a great snack or dessert.
But I recently got a e-mail announcing that they'd be available in select Publix grocery stores (and probably many other groceries nationwide).
To check if there are muffins near you, click this link.

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Produce of the Week: Jicama

Thanks to the suggestion of Shrinking Sisters reader Molly Brockwell, the Produce of the Week this week is Jicama, otherwise known as the Mexican potato. I've only ever eaten jicama as a garnish in my Japanese take-out, and I've always liked the taste and texture.

So I set out to find a recipe that is both healthy and would showcase this food on its own. I came across this recipe on

Please to enjoy, Jicama and Blood Orange Salad

1 jicama, about 3/4 lb
3 blood oranges
1 papaya or mango or 1/4 pineapple
1 small red (Spanish) onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 dried habanero chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped or ground to a powder, or cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 bunch fresh cilantro (fresh coriander), about 3 oz, stemmed
1 bunch fresh mint, about 3 oz, stemmed

Using a paring knife, peel the jicama, including the fibrous layer just beneath the skin. Thinly slice the flesh and then cut into thin strips 2 inches long and 1/4 inch thick. Place in a large bowl.

Working with 1 orange at a time and using a sharp knife, cut a slice off the top and bottom of the oranges to reveal the fruit. Place each orange upright on a cutting board and cut away the peel and any white membrane. Then, holding the orange over the bowl with the jicama, cut along either side of each segment to free it, letting the segments and any juices fall into the bowl. If using a papaya, halve lengthwise, scoop out and discard the seeds and peel the halves. If using a mango, peel it and cut the flesh from the pit. If using pineapple, cut away the peel and the tough core area. Cut the papaya, mango or pineapple into 1/2-inch dice; you should have about 1 1/2 cups. Add to the bowl.

Add the onion, salt, habanero chili or cayenne pepper, olive oil, lime juice, cilantro and mint to the bowl. Toss gently to mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

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Produce of the Week: Revisited...

I was so gung-ho about the Produce of the Week this week. I made 4 large beets and served them for dinner on Tuesday night. My kids turned their noses up to them, yet surprisingly each ate a half of a beet. Showing them how good they are, I think I ate the other three...
Woman holding a radish

Which leads me to the intent of this post. Eating too many beets at one sitting can produce... ummm.... surprising side effects. After I ate the beets on Tuesday, I had what one could only politely call "pinkle tinkle" on Wednesday. I thought I needed to go to the doctor. My urine was pink (there, I said it). I thought, "let me see how this progresses through the day... if it's still pink, I'll go to the doctor so she can diagnose my bladder infection"... but I had no pain. No usual symptoms... I peed again, and still pink. "Geesh, this infection is weird"... no pain...

Later that night, when I took out my trash, as I was pulling the bag out of the can, I saw the scraps from my dinner... and wammo (she slaps her hand against her head), it hit me... THE BEETS MAKES YOUR PEE PINK (and your poopies too btw).

So, Shrinking Sisters readers, be forewarned. When partaking of this particular produce, don't be alarmed when you are done digesting...


Back to school, back to the gym


Camp Mommy had an unexpected extra two days this week, but today it's back to school for the kid and back to working out for me.

It's just so much easier when we have the same early-morning routine every weekday: He puts his school clothes on, I put my workout clothes on. He goes to school, I go to the gym (or to the living room DVD workout).

How do you make sure to fit in fitness?

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Hunger, is that you?

It's funny: Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom, I find it much easier to cue into my hunger signals. When I was at a desk all day they kind of short-circuited. Prevention magazine sent out an e-mail over the weekend linking to an article here on how to tune into your hunger cues. Here are their 6 tips, which are fleshed out in the article:
  1. Learn to identify your spot on the hunger scale.
  2. Refuel every 4 hours.
  3. Eat breakfast without fail.
  4. Build low-cal, high-volume meals.
  5. Munch fiber all day long.
  6. Include healthy protein at each meal.


Produce of the Week: Beets

When I started my own personal produce of the week, beets were the first selection I made. So when I was at Publix the other day, these lovely root vegetables spoke to me...
Beets are a root vegetable with both the root portion and the leaves being used for food. Beets can be boiled, steamed or roasted or pickled or used in soups such as borscht. The young tender greens can be steamed, boiled or sauteed.

Jamie Oliver has a great show on the Food Network called, "At Home with Jamie". Last week's episode was about beets & carrots. He roasted them with some great herbs (pronounce the "H"... you're British) and marinades and then threw them in his smoking hot outdoor oven and served them with pork chops... Click HERE for the link to the recipe. It is AWESOME!

Also came across a great (and very simple) recipe for the greens. A two-fer out of one veggie! Click HERE for a link to this recipe.

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Preparing for the storm -- the right way

So, all the news reports say South Florida will be affected in some way by the storm, but that doesn't mean your diet has to be derailed.

Since we're not expecting a full hit, I did some hurricane "lite" shopping. I bought 100% juice pouches for the kids and bottled water. I already had cans of water-packed tuna and found the seasoned packages of albacore tuna for something elegant. I stocked up on cans of beans and vegetables, and some 1-point cans of Progresso Light soups. I also bought some popcorn that I can pop in a pot on my grill. As always, I have bread, peanut butter & jelly and I should be fine in the instance I find myself without power.