Living Lite

Kale and Peach Salad with Toasted Almonds & Balsamic Vinaigrette

July 31, 2016

The peaches this season are exceptional: sweet, juicy, full of flavor. This recipe is a perfect way to feature them at any gathering; it's always a favorite! Excerpted from my book, Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes: 50 New Reasons to Cook in Season!

 Serves 6

3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

 Salad Ingredients:
6 Handfuls of fresh Kale (or other greens), washed, tough stems removed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 Cups Fresh Sliced Summer Peaches and/or any seasonal Berries
2 Ounces toasted slivered Almonds
½ Sweet Onion, peeled and sliced

In a large bowl, add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk together. Add the kale, onion, almonds, and peaches and toss together. Serve immediately.

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Katherine's Greek Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes

July 24, 2016

Greek Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes
From Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes: 50 New Reasons to Cook in Season!

8 servings


2 Tablespoons Freshly Harvested Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice (1 Lemon)
1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Oregano or Basil (or 1 tsp dried)
1 Clove Garlic, Minced (optional)
Salt and Pepper to Taste (Salt is not necessary with the cheese and olives)

2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced into a half-moon shape
1 onion, peeled and chopped coarsely
1 medium yellow, purple or green bell pepper, cored, seeded, chopped into large bite-size pieces
1 cup pitted Kalamata or other Greek Olives
4 Heirloom Tomatoes, quartered, and cut into large, bite-size pieces

4 ounces Feta or Goat Cheese, broken into small bits


Combine the vinaigrette ingredients in a large salad bowl and whisk until blended. Add the cucumbers, onion, pepper, and olives and toss into vinaigrette. Let sit for twenty minutes to marinate. Add the heirloom tomatoes and cheese when ready to serve.

Tomatoes are one of the "superfoods." Men who consumed 10 or more servings of tomato products a week had a 35% decrease in risk of prostate cancer relative to those who consumed 1.5 servings or fewer per week.  This is largely attributed to “lycopene” in the tomatoes, which is also in other red fruits such as watermelon, pink grapefruit and guava.  Men with lycopene levels in the top 20% had a 46% decrease in risk of heart attack compared to those in the bottom 20%.  Lycopene is a potent scavenger of gene-damaging free radicals. But don't expect to get it from a supplement. You must eat the tomato as you need the whole food to receive the benefits! Here's an explanation...

Lycopene (Red fruits such as tomatoes, watermelon, guava): Many studies have shown that lycopene-rich foods reduce the risk of prostate cancer, but the mechanism behind that reduction was not well understood until now. A recent study found that lycopene has a substantial protective effect against prostate cancer by interfering with the genes that would allow the prostate cancer cells to grow and survive. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends that men take advantage of lycopene’s cancer-preventing effects and fill their diets with foods such as tomatoes, watermelon and guava.

  • Bottom line: Fill your diet with lycopene-rich foods such as tomatoes, watermelon, and red grapefruit. Remember—the cancer-fighting properties of lycopene in tomatoes are much stronger when the tomatoes are cooked, such as in marinara sauce or tomato soup.

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13 Steps to Survive the Heat

July 10, 2016

I was alarmed the other day when a client texted me that he had lost 5 pounds after running. He is an athletic 200 pound man, but heavy water loss, caused by running in this heat, could have serious consequences. The worst: death by heat stroke.


Before a heat stroke occurs, people show signs of exhaustion, weakness, perhaps headaches and dizziness. My client was so weak, he couldn't finish his run.


How does your body's system break down to cause heat stroke?


Normally, water carries heat away from your internal organs. The heat travels through your bloodstream to your skin, causing you to sweat, preventing serious damage to occur. As the sweat evaporates, this allows you to cool off and maintain a safe body temperature, optimal functioning, and health.


But when the fluid in your blood runs out of water, your body's core literally starts cooking, you stop sweating and organs begin to breakdown.

Daily water intake must be balanced with losses to maintain total body water. Once you start feeling thirsty, you've probably lost about 1 percent of your body water and are dehydrated. With a 2 percent water loss, you could experience serious fatigue and cardiovascular impairments. It's important to note that individual fluid needs differ depending on your sweat rate, the environmental temperature, your clothing, humidity and other factors.


Hydration tips

As summer temperatures hit, here are a number of important tips.

– Drink enough water to prevent thirst.


– Monitor fluid loss by checking the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow and not dark yellow, too smelly or cloudy.


– For short-duration (less than 60 minutes), low-to-moderate-intensity activity, water is a good choice to drink before, during and after exercise.


– Any time you exercise in extreme heat or for more than one hour, supplement water with a sports drink that contains electrolytes and 6 percent to 8 percent carbohydrates. This prevents "hyponatremia" (low blood sodium), which dilutes your blood and could also lead to serious impairment and death.


– Begin exercise well-hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids the day before and within the hour before, during and after your exercise session.


– Avoid alcohol the day before or the day of a long exercise bout, and avoid exercising with a hangover.


– Consider all fluids, including tea, coffee, juices, milk and soups (though excluding alcohol, which is extremely dehydrating). The amount of caffeine in tea and coffee does not discount the fluid in them, even if they have a slight diuretic effect, according to the most recent report by the National Research Council's Food and Nutrition Board.


– Eat at least five cups of fruits and vegetables per day for optimum health, as they all contain various levels of water and the all-important nutrient potassium.


– During exercise, for those who experience high sodium losses, eat salty foods in a pre-exercise meal or add an appropriate amount of salt to sports drinks consumed during exercise. Orange juice is high in potassium. Dilute juices, such as V-8 or orange juice, 50/50 with water so that the drinks are 6 percent carbohydrate solutions (the same as sports drinks), which will empty from your stomach quicker than 100 percent juice (juices are naturally 12 percent solutions), allowing the electrolytes and water to quickly reach your heart and organs.


– Following strenuous exercise, you need more: Protein to build muscle, carbohydrates to refuel muscle, electrolytes to replenish what's lost in sweat, and fluids to help rehydrate the body. Low-fat chocolate milk is a perfect, natural replacement that fills those requirements.


– You can also replace fluid and sodium losses with watery foods that contain salt and potassium, such as soup and vegetable juices.


– For long hikes, when you'll need food, dried fruit and nut mixtures contain high amounts of potassium, sodium, protein, carbs and calories — though continue to drink plenty of water.


– To determine your individualized need for fluid replacement: During heavy exercise, weigh yourself immediately before and after exercise. If you see an immediate loss of weight, you've lost valuable water. Drink 3 cups of fluid for every pound lost; use this figure to determine the amount of water (or sports drink) you'll need to drink before and during your next exercise session to prevent weight/water loss in the future.

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