Mom Said to “Eat Less, Exercise More”

A forkful of pancakes

Some time ago, I noticed extra weight gain. A panicked call was made to Mom. In a harsh and sweet tone of a voice, she said, “You know how to eat healthy. Now eat less and exercise more,” she continued with the reality of my dilemma, “…if you gain weight now, it’s difficult to get it off… You’re older and the weight doesn’t come off like it use to. There’s no excuse for being fat.”

Some may view the advice as insensitive. Personally, I appreciate the seriousness of it. Why cry about it when the solution is simple: Eat less and exercise more. The following morning, I was up at 6 am for a quick two-mile run. A food diary was started to find potential problems, which revealed large portions of food and too much sugar.

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Knockout Peanut Butter Smoothie Sweepstakes: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and Coconut Smoothie

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and Coconut Smoothie

“I think we make a real sharp couple of coconuts—I’m dumb, you’re shy, whaddaya think, huh?” – Rocky

Round 3: Hang in there! This week’s smoothie is for the lovers. Did you get a chance to vote for the White Chocolate and Peanut Butter Hibiscus Smoothie in week one and for last week’s Maple Peanut Butter and Earl Grey Tea Smoothie? Here’s a third chance to win two tickets to see Rocky on Broadway and a year’s supply of Peanut Butter & Co. peanut butter (50 jars). Visit Knockout Peanut Butter Smoothie Sweepstakes to vote and get the recipe for your favorite peanut butter smoothie, such as my Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and Coconut Smoothie.

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Parade.com: Saffron Butternut Squash Soup

Saffron Butternut Soup

Finland. Summer 2003. Lunch outside of a mild summer day. The server presented steamed salmon in a saffron creamy broth. It was simple dish, but the memory of its taste is grand. Recently, when I made Saffron Butternut Squash soup as an idea to include in a Thanksgiving menu, the first spoonful didn’t have me thinking of smoked turkey. Instead, forgotten memories of Finland returned.

It was the summer of learning about organic food, becoming environmentally-conscious and riding Copenhagen’s public bikes. The flavorful produce was fresh, bruised and unwaxed. Large chickens looked liked American cornish hens. Fingerling potatoes enclosed in a thin papery skin roasted into a buttery softness. I would return to occasionally trying to recreate the Saffron Creamy broth. It’s a simple sauce, in which I’m surprised to not have successfully created it. Perhaps, the simpleness of the sauce is underestimated. Ten years later into today, I would unwittingly recreate the taste with different ingredients, but the memories come courtesy of saffron. It’s distinct flavor beautifully infuses every dish.  Read more

Spice Up Your African Diaspora Culinary Knowledge

Hot Spiced Coconut Chocolate Milk

February is a joyous month honoring leadership, celebrating love and praising our culture. Starting the month of festivities is African Heritage & Health week. A week long celebration encouraging African-Americans to return to their roots and rediscover cooking techniques and ingredients their ancestors ate before the age of processed food.

In 2011, Oldways, an organization dedicated to teaching nutrition and good food via culture and heritage, introduced the African Heritage Diet Pyramid. It was created by experts in African American history, cuisine, nutrition, and public health. The ingredients listed are commonly found in recipes from North America, Africa, the Caribbean and South America. Dishes made with African Diaspora ingredients are generally healthier than some soul food dishes ‘invented’ or ‘revised’ within the last 60 years. Read more

Smoothie No. 7: Mango and Coconut Milk

Mango and Coconut Milk Smoothie

Mango and Coconut Milk Smoothie

Mango and Coconut Milk is no. 7 of the Smoothie Numbers series. They’re quick postings listing the ingredients for making refreshing, healthy drinks in a blender.

Mango and Coconut Milk Smoothie

Ingredients: 1-1/2 cups frozen mango; 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (the carton variety in the refrigerator section); 2 to 3 tbsp. Greek yogurt; 1 banana; and 1 to 2 tsp. honey