Energizing Green Smoothie with Fresh Mint, Cucumber and Garbanzo Beans

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Green SmoothieSpring is such a perfect time to reflect on the renewal and regeneration that is possible in your own life by taking one step at a time towards your highest health. And with Earth Day right around the corner, here is a super green, refreshing and energizing new green smoothie I am loving right now, inspired by this innovative Vega recipe. When I first saw said recipe, I did a double take...garbanzo beans? I loved the idea of including an ultra clean protein source to the mix for some added fiber and protein that didn't have to come in a powder. So I invited my good friend over, food visionary chef Jason Kieffer, (former executive chef at Google and former vegetarian executive chef at Microsoft) and we set to tinkering with it. In short, we decided to amp up the herbs and greens, which are packed with bioactive compounds that support detoxification and health, added green grapes and cukes for bold green color and a hint of sweetness, and made a few other changes. The result? Let’s just say after multiple tries, this was the final version my kids wouldn't hand back to me, but guzzled down themselves.

For even more protein (the garbanzo beans add a modest 3 grams), simply add a scoop of your favorite protein powder.

Energizing Green Smoothie with Fresh Mint, Cucumber and Garbanzo Beans

Ingredients:

1/4 cup garbanzo beans (drained, rinsed)
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup English cucumber, diced
1/2 cup organic green grapes
1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup organic spinach
1/2 cup frozen mango
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (or about 1/3 of a lemon)

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Directions:

1. Place all ingredients in a Vitamix or blender and blend, on medium speed, until completely pureed. It’s best to do it on on medium instead of high to preserve the vibrant green colors of the herbs. Pour into glass and enjoy immediately.

On the Dr. Oz Blog: Curb Hunger With 3 Protein-Packed Breakfasts

Protein Packed Breakfasts - Dr. Oz - Kate GeaganAre you stuck in a breakfast rut? I know that for me, even though I'm choosing healthy foods, I still can succumb to being repetitious and robotic in what I'm eating.
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Which is why I'm so glad it's spring - nature's perfect season to refresh and renew tired winter eating routines.
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Here are 3 inspiring breakfast ideas from my most recent Dr. Oz Blog that capitalize on the latest research suggesting that protein can be key for unlocking sustained energy and easier, hunger free weight loss.  The best part? Aside from being a delicious new stretch, each is packed with at least 20 grams of high-quality, clean protein; so you can leave the table with a clean conscience.
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Check out my top 3 protein-packed breakfasts on the Dr. Oz Blog here!

Does your breakfast pass the protein test? Here’s why you should check: Researchers are increasingly zeroing in on protein’s ability to keep hunger at bay when compared to lower-protein breakfasts that have similar calories, fat and fiber. Read more...

12 Ultra-Clean Proteins To Eat Now

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Protein is hot hot hot. Not only because growing evidence tells us it's linked to a slimmer waistline, greater satiety and better blood glucose control, but because globally speaking, protein production is one of the single biggest drivers of climate change-so getting it right is key. But not all protein is created equal-not only does the nutrition package differ among types of proteins, but the potential exposure to environmental toxins varies dramatically as well. Because I find myself prattling on about protein so often with clients and in the media, I decided to blog about it. Here are 12 of my favorite Ultra-Clean Proteins (meaning good for you, good for the planet) to eat now.

1. Super Seeds: Quinoa and Amaranth. 

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Even if you are a fan of the current anti-grain push on blogs and in the press, don't overlook quinoa and amaranth. These are two super seeds that pack an impressive wallop of protein, but can also do double duty of helping you get the benefits of whole grains in your diet (A recent study from Reuters Health  confirmed that most US children and adults are not getting enough whole grains in their diets, which are linked with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and a smaller waist). One cup of cooked quinoa packs 8 grams of high quality protein ( meaning that it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids), while a cup of cooked amaranth packs 9 grams, making these  seeds ultra clean protein additions to your diet. Amaranth and quinoa are also rich in must-have minerals, such as calcium, iron, selenium and magnesium. Try adding amaranth to pancakes, as a swap for pasta, as a hot breakfast cereal, or even enjoy it popped as a fun alternative to traditional popcorn (I showed Dr. Oz how to do that once on a segment a few years ago). Quinoa makes a perfect substitute for rice, or is great in salads, soups and stews. Both can be whipped into delicious savory  "patties" using an egg and a smidge of flour and herbs. Or my current fave-toast a few teaspoons of red or black quinoa in a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle on top of butternut squash or carrot soup-the perfect crunchy finish.

2. Protein Powders: Pea and Hemp.

ultra-clean proteinPicking a protein powder can be overwhelming for many of us-some of them feel like they require a PhD in amino acid speak. And if you don't want to go with dairy or soy (wither because you have an allergy or an aversion), in the past you may have felt limited. Luckily, several companies have stepped up to the plate to deliver new lines of clean, vegetarian-friendly, soy-free proteins –and of the bunch, pea and hemp protein powders top my list. Nutty and sweet, hemp protein powders delivers high quality protein (they vary among brands, but many pack 10-11 grams of protein per 30 gram scoop), and boasts an impressive amount of the hard to get omega-3 fats. In fact, hemp's ideal 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids helps decrease the risk of heart disease, depression and systemic inflammation. Pea protein is another of the next generation greener protein options, with highly digestible protein that comes in an almost "fluffy" texture. Like hemp, protein content will vary across brands, especially as different varietals of pea may be used, but plan on 24-25 grams of protein per 33 gram scoop. Some companies are even combining the two to create an ultra-clean protein powerhouse-check out  Vega One , which makes a great blend of the two and comes in a variety of flavors.

3. Meet the Meatless: Seitan and Tempeh.

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While it's well known that cutting back on meat can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint, for many of us, giving up our favorite meat-centric recipes and flavors can be hard. Really, really hard.  Which is why I love today's impressive seitan and tempeh options. Whether you're embracing Meatless Mondays, eating like a vegan until 6, or simply following the lead of Jay-Z and Beyonce and living more "plant based", these meat like alternatives can help. Unlike some of the rubbery, bland versions of yore, many companies today are delivering incredible products that deliver delicious flavor and mouthfeel when you want to go meatless. With their firm texture and ability to easily absorb flavor, both are healthy, clean meat alternatives that can help you stay lean and green (as they deliver protein while cutting back on calories and saturated fat). A cousin of tofu, tempeh is made from whole soybeans and packs almost 20 grams of protein per 4 oz. serving.  Seitan (often dubbed “wheat meat”) is made by rinsing away the starch in wheat to leave behind only the gluten: a mere 1/3 cup of seitan has in impressive 21 grams of protein. Enjoy in stir fries, try it seasoned and grilled on the barbe, or in to pump up the protein of soups, salads or chili.

4. Energizing Snacks: Chickpeas and Nuts.

Spicy Spanish Paprika-Roasted Chickpeas

When it comes to a clean, protein-rich snack, beans are one of the best options around. Period. Hummus still ranks as one one of my ultimate faves, with a whole new generations of options shaking up this category (such as wasabi edamame, white bean, lentil, and more). Made from blended chickpeas, not only is hummus rich in fiber and protein, is boasts  folic acid, zinc, and magnesium.  Crave crunch? Check out Saffron Road’s Bombay Spice Crunchy Chickpeas, or try roasting your own at home with this Spicy Spanish Paprika-Roasted Chickpeas recipe. One-half cup of chickpeas has 7 grams of protein, while 1/2 cup of hummus has 4 grams. Raw nuts, of course, are another easy, tasty, and quick win when it comes to ultra-clean plant-proteins. Roast them or eat them raw: their combo of protein, heart healthy fats and minerals make them the perfect, planet friendly on-the-go snack. One ounce of almonds, for instance, has 6 grams of protein.

5. From the Farm: Organic Poultry and Eggs. ultra-clean protein

Looking  for the most eco-friendly animal proteins? Look no further than  poultry and eggs: In addition to having dramatically smaller carbon and water footprints than pork, lamb, beef or dairy products, multiple lines of evidence tell us that poultry and eggs can be part of a diet for optimum health and healing. And eggs are one of the most economical proteins you can buy at the grocery store (1 large egg has 6 grams of protein). To really make these ultra clean, choosing organic -it minimizes your risk of exposure to things like antibiotics, synthetic pesticides, GMOs and more. Be sure to also look for the Certified Humane Raised & Handled seal  - it ensures that animals are raised in a humane manner, without hormones or antibiotics (read more about this seal here).

6. By Sea: Anchovy, Cobia or Barramundi.

ultra-clean proteinLooking to shake up your seafood? Anchovy, cobia, and barramundi are some of my top choices when it comes to sustainable seafood choices. And along with ultra-clean, lean protein, these fish are packed with an array of other benefits – from omega-3 fatty acids to selenium to vitamins D. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program praises U.S. farmed cobia and barramundi as “Best Choices,” due to their low environmental impact, and wild anchovies received the “Good Alternative” seal. Unfamiliar with these fish? Cobia is touted to have the familiar deliciousness of sea bass, while barramundi’s delicate texture has been likened to striped bass, red snapper, or other premium white fish. On average, a 3 oz. serving of fish has 15-20 grams of protein.

What are your favorite clean proteins of 2014? I'd love to hear from you!

On All Access Hollywood: How the Stars Get Their Bods Red-Carpet Ready

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Kate Geagan All Access Hollywood I just had a blast doing this segment with Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on All Access Hollywood LIVE (airing Friday January 14th-check local listings).

With the nominations in, the countdown has started for stars to get their bods ready for the red carpet.  What are their celeb nutritionists and trainers telling them? For many of them, it’s all about 3 things: Protein, Portion Control,and Power Foods.

Even if you’ll be sitting on the couch instead of standing on the red carpet, these are strategies anyone can easily use to jumpstart their 2011 diet and slim down after all that holiday overeating and drinking. Delicious, satisfying and easy - what’s not to love?

Secret #1: Protein

The reason: Protein packs staying power; studies suggest that high protein foods, even at the same number of calories, have greater staying power than carbs or even fat, keeping you full and energized longer. Protein also helps preserve lean muscle tissue that not only looks great (think of that toned arms look), but your lean muscle tissue is your metabolic furnace, keeping your metabolism revved up.

What to do: Include protein in all your meals and snacks.  Aim for 50-70 grams daily, or about 12-15% of total calories

What kinds? Here are some star staples that are a high nutrient, low calorie package:

  • Protein rich breakfast:  Greek Yogurt: 1 cup = 21 grams protein (preferably organic)
  • Nuts:  1 oz. of almonds or pistachios= 6 grams of protein
  • 1 cup soybeans/edamame:  22 grams protein
  • 1 cup lentils in salad/soup:  18 grams of protein
  • Salmon (3 ounces):  23 grams of protein (preferably wild Alaskan)

 

Secret #2: Perfect Portions

The reason: We eat with our EYES as much as with our stomachs, and no one wants to feel deprived, stars included.Cornell University’s Mindless Eating Lab has done some fun and fantastic research on this, and their findings are consistent: both our bodies AND our brains fight against deprivation - and visual cues are a key part of feeling satisfied.

What to do: Aim for 350-450 calorie meals and 100-150 calorie snacks.  Avoid Portion Distortion: Remember big plates, big spoons, big cups = bigger servings and more calories.

The trick? Research suggests you can easily consume 20-30% less without even missing it, simply by serving on smaller plates, glasses and bowls. While stars may have personal chefs and meal delivery services to do this for them, you can easily do this at home:

  • Serve breakfast, lunch and dinner on your salad plates or small soup bowls, not your large dishware. Your eyes and brain will be happier with smaller portions.
  • Did you know you’ll drink 25-30% MORE out of a short wide juice glass than a tall skinny one?  Drink from tall, skinny glasses.
  • Don’t have a private chef? Hand it Over: Your palm, fist & thumb have all the sizes you need for perfect portions.

Secret #3: Power Foods

The reason: Calorie for calorie, these foods provide more nutrients than any food on the planet - which is critical to ensure you maintain a gorgeous glow from the inside out. They also help your body’s immune system stay primed and your energy up no matter how jam packed your schedule.

What to do: The best power-foods are plants that are loaded with color.   Aim for 2 cups of brightly colored fruit and 3 or more cups of dark colored vegetables daily.

Some favorites? Here are a few of my favorite power foods that are a staple in many celeb meal plans:

  • Cantaloupe cubes: Foods with high volume, low calorie are your best friends for slimming down. Cantaloupe fits the bill: it’s loaded with water and fiber, and 2 cups is only 100 calories. Bonus? It’s a fantastic food for your immune system, loaded with beta carotene and vitamin C.
  • Avocados: Bite for bite, each has nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that keep you healthy, plus it’s loaded with monounsaturated fats that keep your skin glowing. According to some research, they also selectively blast belly fat.
  • Kale: One of nature’s most potent health foods on the planet, packed with vitamin C, iron, and bone-building vitamin K. Contains 7-times the beta carotene of broccoli, and 2 cups has 3 grams fiber and 4 g protein.

Now, if we can just get them to include green (eco friendly) treats in all the Green Rooms, I’d really be happy!