Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quick Tip: Stretching Hash Browns

Don't have enough Hash Browns for the entire crew or just looking to add some extra veggies into your day?

Add an equal amount of Sauerkraut to the Potatoes and cook and season as usual.  For me that entails a cast iron skillet and Garlic Powder, Cumin, and a touch of Mustard.

I had this for breakfast with a side of blueberry pancakes, but this could easily be worked into a side dish for dinner.

Tip: To reduce the sourness of the Kraut, rinse and drain before using.

The Hoff

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Peach Sorbet

This is a modified version of a Vitamix Recipe.

Creamy, smooth, refreshing...natural

Peach Sorbet
Yields: 3 cups
dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

1 cup Rice Milk
1 pound Frozen Peaches
1/4 cup Sugar in the Raw (less if using Stevia)
1 tbsp Crystallized Ginger
1 tsp Sea Salt
Splash of Lime Juice

  1. Load everything into the blender
  2. Blend about 60 seconds until fruit is completely smooth and looks like sorbet
  3. You will need to push the fruit into the blades; Vitamixers: use the tamper
  4. Serve immediately
  5. Freeze leftovers

It's been awhile since I put my Vitamix to the test and the motor was moaning on this one. I had to remind myself that this is what the Vitamix is built for and a little abnormal noise is fine.  But I panicked for a second and for this reason, I'm not sure how a regular blender would handle this much frozen fruit with so little liquid.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Event: PBS to Air Food, Inc

Photo Courtesy:
Food, Inc. a documentary that has received a favorable Healthy Hoff review, is set to air on PBS on August 9, 2011 at 10pm.

Here's your chance to check out this worthy doc for free and from the comfort of your own home.

To top that off - Food, Inc. was just nominated for two News and Documentary Emmy Awards!

This screening is part of a new season of PBS' award-winning documentary series, POV (Point of View).

Check your local listings for this doc and other POV offerings!

Pass the Popcorn!
The Hoff

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Happy Birthday to me!!!!!
 When I started this little blog back in late March, I never dreamed that within four months, it would hit over 5000 Page Views, but here we are!!!

Photo Courtesy:

Big thanks to everyone who helped accomplish this amazing achievement!  I appreciate and enjoy all the positive feedback from the Healthy Hoff followers. Knowing of your interest drives my motivation to keep the posts flowing and many of you have inspired a few.  So never be shy of giving the Healthy Hoff a high five!

Special Shout Out to the International Hoff Followers (the list keeps growing)!

Photo Courtesy:
  • Australia
  • Bosnia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Norway
  • Phillipines
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom

I hope you all continue to enjoy what The Healthy Hoff has to say and learn a little something along the way!

Vielen Dank Everybody!!!!
The Hoff

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Witch Hazel for Sunburn?

I always thought aloe vera was the only way to go for sunburn, but apparently pure Witch Hazel (no alcohol - check the label) is just as effective.

Keep Witch Hazel in the frig and soak a wash cloth to apply as a cold compress.

Finish by applying aloe to lock in the moisture.

You should be able to find Witch Hazel at any local Health Food Store.  I gravitate towards the Thayers brand.

Witch Hazel also works well as a Toner, Acne relief, on Bug Bites, for Minor Cuts, on Poison Ivy/Oak and to speed up the healing of Bruises.

Get a little Witchy!
The Hoff

Monday, July 25, 2011

Event: Nutritionalist, George Eisman Speaks on Nutrition & Cancer

The West Shore Vegetarian Group is sponsoring a presentation by noted nutrition expert, George Eisman.  His will be speaking on "The basics of nutrition for vegetarians, vegans, and everyone else" and "How diet affects your risk of cancer."

"George Eisman has been a Registered Dietitian since 1978, having worked at Miami Children's Hospital and at Wesley Woods Nursing Home in Atlanta, before serving as a Public Health Nutritionist for the State Health Departments of Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.  He has taught nutrition at the college and university level for over 20 years, having served as a faculty member at Florida State University, Broward Community College and Miami-Dade Community College. He has lectured about the ethics of food selection, and about prevention of disease through diet at national and international nutrition conferences, and has appeared on numerous radio and television talk shows."

When: Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Where: West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church: 20401 Hilliard Blvd. Rocky River, Ohio 44116
Time: 7:00pm
Cost: Free
Refreshments will be served afterward.

Call: 440.333.2255 for more Info

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gotta headache? Chug this!

Have a headache and prefer not to take an aspirin (good choice)?

Down a cup of joe and within 20 minutes your headache should be a distant memory.

Just make sure your coffee is caffeinated.

The caffeine will shrink the blood vessels in your brain, which in turn will ease the throbbing.

The same trick can be accomplished through visualization.  Just imagine the blood vessels in your head shrinking and the throbbing ceasing.

Bottoms Up!
The Hoff

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Uncle Ben's Ready Rice

I love Uncle Ben's Ready Rice...

In 90 seconds you have a flavorful, healthy side dish to accompany any meal.  No prep-work required!

I keep a variety of flavors on hand, so whenever a late night or lack of inspiration strikes, I have at least one thing that's quick and easy to kick start a meal.

I especially like the minimal ingredients and not too shabby stats on the nutritional label.

Each flavor is slightly different nutrition wise, so be sure to read the labels to make sure you are not sabotaging yourself.  Of hand, I can't think of any flavors to avoid due to nutritional concerns.

There are lots of ways to incorporate this healthy, low-cost, must have grain into your meals:

  •  I love the Spanish Style for Taco Night!  I mix one bag with one can of re-fried beans for a super quick, vegan taco filling.
  • Teriyaki Style is for Asian inspired nights, good to add to a stir fry or a side of vegetable pot stickers and broccoli.
  • Cajun Style is perfect mixed with a can of corn, black beans and diced potatoes for homemade Jambalaya!  Mmmmmm, I do miss the kielbasa though.
  • I like the Rice Pilaf to perk up a few sides of veggies.
  • The Whole Grain or Long Grain & Wild Rice help to add a little fiber to a meal - pour a can of split pea soup over rice for a hearty meal in the winter.
  • You can always use the Original to whip up a batch of Rice Milk.

The one thing I don't like is cooking in plastic and I try to minimize my use of the microwave - so lately I have been warming the rice up on the stove for a few minutes and that works just as well.

And don't forget to check the Uncle Ben's website for coupons!

What's for dinner!
The Hoff

Friday, July 22, 2011


I was recently turned onto Liquid Smoke by a friend of mine.  Her lunches always smell amazing...and she told me that the secret was Liquid Smoke.  I am now addicted.

I found this stuff at the Walmart for $1 (that's right one buck - actually it was $1.06 - really Walmart?!?!)  The brand that I found was Colgin,  but there are many brands out there.

This stuff is amazing!  It smells as good as it tastes.  It imparts a rich, mellow, well "smoky" flavor to the food.  It gives a dish that little extra something.  I may like this stuff so much because it's what BBQ is all about and I love and miss BBQ.

Liquid Smoke is created by passing smoke, usually from the burning of wood chips or sawdust through water. - that's it!  The solution can then be made into a variety of flavors.  Check out the Colgin process.

Traditionally, Liquid Smoke is used by manufacturers to enhance bacon, hot dogs, jerky and tofu.

You can use it to flavor anything: tofu, veggies, rice, soups, stews...

I have used it recently in the Hoff's Zucchini/Chickpea One-Pot Meal, the Hoff's Black Bean, Sweet Potato Bowl (coming soon) and a tofu scramble breakfast burrito.

Check out Colgin's Recipe Collection

Bonus: minimal ingredients!!!

For instance, Colgin's Natural Hickory contains the following:
  • Water
  • Natural Hickory Smoke Flavor
  • Vinegar
  • Molasses
  • Carmel Color

Colgin also offers the following flavors, all with the same limited ingredients list:
  • Natural Mesquite
  • Natural Pecan
  • Natural Apple Flavored

Need I mention zero calories, zero fat, zero sugar and super low sodium to no sodium (depending on flavor)!?!?  It also has Antimicrobial and Antioxidative properties (not sure what all that means, but it sounds helpful).

Plus Colgin's Liquid smoke contains no MSG, Gluten or Animal Byproducts.

You should be able to find this stuff in your local grocery store in the condiment section, usually near the BBQ sauces.

Get Your Smoke On!
The Hoff

The Healthy Hoff approves this type of smoking.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hoff's Zucchini/Chickpea One-Pot Meal

Hoff's Zucchini/Chickpea One-Pot Meal 
Yields: 4 Hearty Cups
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free


  • 1 can Chickpeas - rinsed
  • 4 cloves of Garlic - minced
  • 1 Zucchini - shredded
  • 1 can diced Potatoes - rinsed
  • 1 can diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 bag Uncle Ben's Ready Rice Garden Vegetable (or flavor of choice)
  • 1/2 Lime
  • 1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Amino Acids (or soy sauce)
  • Season to taste with: 
    • Cumin
    • Ground Mustard
    • Ground Ginger

  1. Lightly toast Chickpeas in a large pot (add a tablespoon of water to prevent sticking if needed)
  2. Add Garlic and stir constantly until fragrant
  3. Stir in Zucchini, Potatoes, Tomatoes and Rice and cover, stirring occasionally until heated through
  4. Squeeze Lime over mixture
  5. Add Liquid Smoke, Bragg's Amino Acids, Cumin, Ground Mustard & Ground Ginger
  6. Stir until seasonings are well blended
  7. Sit down, eat and enjoy the clean-up!

  • Strangely the zucchini tastes like sauerkraut in this dish
  • I did not cook the Uncle Ben's Rice in the microwave, just add it directly to the pot and it will be just fine

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Vegan Cake!!!!

My birthday was a few days ago...and my very awesome, thoughtful and resourceful friend Das Baldwin searched all over town and got me a Vegan Birthday Cake!!!!!

How incredibly sweet was that?  See, if you let people know your dietary preferences, they will be more than happy to accommodate you when they can.  I was completely blown away by this gesture.

So how was it?  

Awesome!  In fact the whole office tried it and everyone liked it.  It was a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting with touches of  fuchsia :)  And I really think if no one knew it was vegan they would not have been able to tell the difference.

And where did she find it?  

Whole Foods!  She ordered it through their bakery department, just like any regular cake.  In fact for you Celiacs out there, Whole Foods Bakery offers a variety of Gluten-free items.

So next time you're entertaining vegans or just want a treat for yourself minus the dairy and animal products, check out the Whole Foods Bakery department and see what they can create for you!

Danke Das Baldwin!!!!
And thank you to everyone who sent me birthday wishes! 

The Hoff

Monday, July 18, 2011

LARABAR: Another Great Snack Bar

LARABAR: Apple Pie

Check out these ingredients (rather lack thereof)!!!!

  1. Dates
  2. Almonds
  3. Unsweetened Apples
  4. Walnuts
  5. Raisins
  6. Cinnamon
That is one hell of an impressive ingredients lists - no preservatives, no artificial colors/flavorings and you know what each of those ingredients is.

And these bars are: Gluten Free, Dairy & Soy Free, Non-GMO, Vegan and Kosher.

Lets run the numbers:

Calories: 190
Total Fat: 10g
Saturated Fat: 1g (wish it were zero, but at least it's naturally derived from the nuts)
Trans Fat: 0g (nice!)
Poly Fat: 4.5g
Mono Fat: 4g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 10mg (not too shabby)
Potassium: 280mg (excellent)
Total Carbohydrate: 24g
Fiber: 5g (not bad)
Sugar: 18g (naturally derived)
Protein: 4g

So what do these bars taste like? 

Well, it's kinda hard to explain.  You definately know you're eating something healthy.  They are soft but with some density.  They are fruity and they smell great.  You really need to try it for yourself.

The only downside to this snack is the cost, it's about $6 for five bars.

LARABAR also comes in 19 different flavors.

So keep it on hand as a healthy snack in a pinch.

The Hoff

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Doc: Got the Facts on Milk


I had super high hopes for this one, especially after I contributed as a backer to get this doc released.

Sadly, I am not impressed.  Sure it has great graphics and music, but it lacks substance.

The trip across the country, talking to the average Joe to prove that America has no clue as to why they think milk is healthy lost it's effectiveness after the first couple stops.

Sure this doc has some of the typical heavy hitters: Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Neal Barnard among others, but their scientific statements are lost among all the unnecessary fluff of the cross country trip and useless chatter.

There is no way Got the Facts on Milk would have convinced me to give up dairy and I have already gone vegan over the health concerns with animal proteins.

It's with a very heavy heart that I say pass on this one...

Check out the trailer and decide for yourself

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Event: 2011 Eco-Chef Kitchen Theater & Food Film Festival

The Rocky River Nature Center is offering two programs throughout 2011 both revolving around the subject of food. 

First is the Eco-Chef Kitchen Theater which will provide cooking demonstrations and food tastings.

The second program is the Food Film Festival, which will feature movies and expert speakers, both of which will provide insight into the world of food, food cultivation and production.  

When: Once a month
Where: Rocky River Nature Center: 24000 Valley Parkway, North Olmsted, OH 44070
Time: 7:00pm
Registration: 440.734.6660

July 21, 2011
Film: Fresh
Cost: Free
Registration: not required

August 18, 2011
Cooking Demonstration: Herbs
Cost: $5 (includes tastings)
Registration begins: July 25, 2011

September 15, 2011
Cooking Demonstration: Apples
Cost: $5 (includes tastings)
Registration begins: August 29, 2011

October 20, 2011
Cooking Demonstration: Canning
Cost: $5 (includes tastings)
Registration begins: September 26, 2011

November 17, 2011
Cooking Demonstration: Microgreens
Cost: $5 (includes tastings)
Registration begins: October 31, 2011

December 15, 2011 (tentative)
Cooking Demonstration: Local Milk
Cost: $5 (includes tastings)
Registration begins: November 28, 2011

Are Pomegranate seeds edible?

I have pondered this question for a long time.

I have shied away from purchasing pomegranates because I never knew how to get the seeds out of the fruit.

But, on a recent trip to Trader Joe's there sitting before me in the refrigerator section was the cutest box of pom seeds looking like little juicy jewels - and before I knew it, that little box hopped into my cart and away we went.

So when I get home, I am left with the same dilemma - do I eat the seeds?

Anxious to try my new tasty treat, I hit the Internet and found the answer.

The choice is yours, you can either :

  • A) Chew on the seed to release the juice and  spit out the seed
  • B) Chew the entire seed and swallow

All the glory is in the juicy membrane, the seed is just an unfortunate side effect.  Now, if you need something to mindless chomp on while watching TV, this is the snack for you.  However, this seems to be a lot of effort for very little reward.

Happy Chomping!
The Hoff

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Minimize Weight Gain While Cruising

I just came back from an 8-day cruise through the Caribbean aboard Oasis of the Seas!

It was exciting, tropical and exhausting...

Before I left, many told me horror stories of gaining 20lbs while on a cruise. Twenty pounds seemed a little high for one week of indulgence, but I heard the same tale over and over again.  I was determined that my summer vacation would not sabotage all my hard work to lose weight!

So here's what I did to minimize the weight gain:
Oasis Climbing Wall

  • Skip the in-flight meal: I don't eat plane food at ALL, I've read too many articles of FDA investigations on the bacteria, germs and feces found in pre-packaged plane food and it's disgusting, let alone not healthy!

  • Pack healthy snacks: shelled pistachios with raisins, fruit, dark chocolate covered plums (my indulgence), granola bars (plan ahead, you know your cravings)

  • Take the Stairs: my cruise ship had 15 floors, I took the stairs (up/down) every opportunity I got, even after a day walking around an island, I hoofed it up 11 flights to avoid the elevator crowds (it was rough, but I was proud of myself)

  • Exercise: every ship has exercise facilities and most offer special morning classes (while I don't go to a gym at home, I decided it was not the time to figure out how to use the scary machines and the classes were way too early - I did however take advantage of the walking track, which was half inside/half outside, giving a very unique perspective of the ship and ocean)

  • Hydrate: skip the fancy drinks, alcohol and flavored water and drink more than 64 ounces of water a day (you will be losing more than the typical 10 cups of water a day due to the hotter climate and increased activities)

  • Food: I intended to remain Vegan on this trip - my food options made that impossible (I would have eaten rice, pasta and breads the entire trip).  Instead I kept fish consumption to a minimum, scouted out the healthiest stuff on the buffets and customized meals when I could.  The staff is overly accommodating, so don't hesitate to ask for anything.  When my waiter, William from China, said I was eating like his people, I knew I was on the right track (broth for an appetizer, rice and veggies with soy sauce for dinner)

  • We had a tofu wrap together

  • Clean Plate:  I don't think so, I don't even do this at home.  Just because our parent's demanded that we clean our plates as a kid, doesn't mean we have to eat beyond fullness or eat something we don't like as adults.  

  • Buffets: Treat buffets as samplers, not feed troughs - take a little of everything that interests, not heaping helpings, you can go back for seconds once you discover what you love.

  • Avoid Sugar-Free: I was amazed at all the sugar-free options, these ships must get a high population of diabetics.  But sugar-free means artificial sweeteners (Spleenda, NutraSweet, Sweet & Low) and you don't want those.  I chuckled when the waiter told me that they switched to Spleenda, because the "blue packet" causes cancer, news flash so do all the rest...

  • Oasis Walking Track
    I'm not saying you have to do everything 100% - it's not possible or fun.  You should enjoy your vacation and not feel like you missed out on something, but not at the expense of all your hard work and spending the next 6 months working off one week in paradise.
    What I am saying is to be mindful and to look for healthier options.
    Did I go to the Cupcake Cupboard - damn skippy, but I opted for the mini cupcake instead of the mammoth one.  On St. Martin I broke down and had a Strawberry Daiquiri, but a virgin one.  

    For all my efforts, I put on 5 pounds - a far cry from the dreaded 20. I was miffed, but relived that it wasn't more.

    How did I deal with the 5 pound weight gain?
    1. Strict Vegan diet as soon as I got off the plane
    2. Plenty of water
    3. Exercise daily
    And the's been three weeks since my return and I have lost 3lbs.  So I'm on track for sustainable loss at 1lb per week.  Two more to go!

    Bon Voyage!
    The Hoff

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Move over MoroccanOil!

    For the past year, I have thought that MoroccanOil was the s#@t.  Until recently, that is - that's when I discovered that it was loaded with silicone, among other things.  Not cool, Moroc (explains the build-up on my hair)!

    For those of you not in the know, MorrcoanOil is a leave-in oil treatment for any hair type.  What makes this stuff so special and pricey?  Argan Oil.

    Argan Oil has the ability to:

    •  Moisturize due to rich fatty acids
    • Treat skin conditions: dry skin, acne, psoriasis, eczema, wrinkles
    • Reduce and prevent stretch marks
    • Help eliminate scars
    • Repair damaged hair
    • Restore shine to hair
    • Prevent frizzing and split ends
    • Increase hair growth
    • Help with dandruff
    • Create strong, healthy nails
    • Much, much more...

    For me it reduces frizz, prevents tangles and leaves my hair nice and soft with a subtle shine.  My hair can't live without this stuff, it's addicted! 

    So, I hit the Internet to find a pure savior and boy did I find what I was looking for...Watts Beauty Moroccan Gold!  Not only is this stuff Certified Organic & Cold Pressed, Argan oil is the only ingredient - SCORE!

    But can Watts deliver as well as MoroccanOil with all it's "extras"?

    Pretty much - it does a respectable job - not as stellar as MoroccanOil, apparently it was those silicons that made my hair super silky smooth.  But Watts delivers in all the other areas that MoroccanOil does, PLUS it doesn't leave a build-up AND it's 100% pure.  In fact Watts cut my drying time drastically (not sure how) - MorroccanOil did as well, but not as much.  Plus, Watts is cheaper (slightly, but still).


    MoroccanOil typically sells for $39 for a 3.4oz bottle, while I found Watts Moroccan Gold for $24 for a 4oz bottle.

    Watts doesn't come in fancy packaging like MoroccanOil, but the basic bottle and labeling, just helps to reinforce the fact that this stuff is 100% natural.

    I use this oil in two ways:
    1. Hair Treatment: apply generously to dry hair, put into a bun, go about your business for at least an hour, wash out
    2. Leave-in Conditioner: apply teeny, tiny dime size amount (a little really does go a long way) to freshly washed hair and either blow or air dry
    Oh by the way, Argan oil is earning terrific marks in terms of sustainability and supporting women’s rights.

    This oil is made from the nuts of the argan tree, which grows almost exclusively in Morocco. The Berber women of Morocco are solely responsible for harvesting the nuts and producing the oil, and they are doing so in fair trade working cooperatives.

    Pretty cool, eh?

    Be good to your hair!
    The Hoff

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Purple Garlic

    Recently in one of my CSA baskets, I received one head of garlic.

    I panicked when within a day, the garlic started to turn purple, so I hit the Internet to see if it was safe to eat.

    No worries - the garlic was turning purple due to an acid reaction.  While not a pleasant sight, it was safe to eat and upon cooking with it, I did not notice anything odd.

    So why did this happen?

    Simple, the garlic was harvested before it had reached full maturity and wasn't properly dried.  While there is nothing I could have done to prevent this, hopefully my farmer will practice a little patience next time.

    Lesson noted,
    The Hoff

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    Fresh Orange Juice

    Fresh Orange Juice
    Yields: About 6 cups

    • 3 Seedless Oranges - peeled and sectioned
    • 6 Ice Cubes
    • 1 1/2 cups Water
    • 2 tablespoon Honey (sweeten to taste)
    • 1 tablespoon Vanilla
    • 3 teaspoons Sugar (sweeten to taste)

    1. Add all ingredients to blender
    2. Blend for 1 minute for pulp-free (30 seconds for pulp)
    3. Serve immediately

    Note:  A Vitamix was used for this recipe; results may vary with a traditional blender.

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Dry Brushing: it does a body good!

    While cruising the Caribbean, I indulged in a few spa treatments.  Among which was something called "Dry Brushing."

    Dry Brushing is exactly what it sounds like - it's taking a dry, natural bristle brush and gently brushing dry skin with long continuous strokes.  This practice is also known as Body Brushing and Skin Brushing.

    Why do this?

    It's a form of exfoliation and it feels amazing!  Your skin gets all tingly and energized.

    *Here are a few more benefits:

    • Skin that is healthier and smoother: removing dead skin cells and opening pores to allow them to “breath” and absorb nutrients
    • Stimulated lymphatic and circulatory systems: boosting your immune system and increasing circulation to help detoxify
    • Stress relief: increasing your blood flow reduces stressed areas of the body and stimulates nerve endings in your skin which in turn rejuvenates your nervous system
    • Reduced cellulite: increasing blood circulation to the skin helps break down and releases toxins that cause cellulite in legs and hips

      Dry Brush Strokes (Photo Courtesy:

      Dry brushing is good to do about 2-3 days per week, right before a shower.  It would be an excellent practice in preparation for a sunless tanner.

      "Most importantly: Always dry brush towards your heart; if you dry brush away from the heart it actually puts pressure on your veins and can cause varicose veins and ruptured vessels..." Creative Soul in Motion  You want to dry brush in three quick strokes per area.

      Ladies be gentle with the breasts, using soft downward strokes up top and upward strokes on the bottom, avoiding the nipple.

      Keep in mind that while Dry Brushing is a form of exfoliation, the brush you are using for your body is too harsh for your face, save that part of your body for an exfoliation scrub.

      Photo Courtesy:
      Upon returning from my trip, I immediately purchased my own natural bristle brush from the Walmart from the bath and body section.  They only had a long handle brush, which was not what was used on me.  However, doing it yourself - I definitely recommend a long handle - makes things much easier.

      While not as invigorating as having someone else do it - I'm still reaping the benefits of dry brushing and my services are much cheaper than a posh spa.

      Happy Brushing!
      The Hoff


      Wednesday, July 6, 2011

      Event: 2nd Annual 10TV Health & Fitness Expo

      "The 10TV Health & Fitness Expo is an event designed to capture the attention of tens of thousands of health conscious consumers. Attendees are given access to free potentially life saving health tests and screenings and valuable medical and health information, even as they are engaged and entertained by a variety of interactive sports and activities that are fun for the whole family, including Healthy Cooking demonstrations, soccer, rock climbing, and much more."

      When: August 20 - 21, 2011
      Where: Greater Columbus Convention Center: 400 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215
      Time: 10am - 5pm
      Cost: Free (open to the public)

      Tuesday, July 5, 2011

      Native Ohio Plants for Sale

      I recently had the pleasure of meeting the Beth Coyne, creator and operator of Nodding Onion Gardens

      This is a family run business that is working to preserve plants native to the area.

      Why use native plants?  

      *Many reasons:
      • Once established they don't require watering or fertilizing
      • Many attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife
      • Natural resistance to the insects and diseases common to the area and therefore will maintain health without intervention
      • You are helping to bring a bit of ecological balance to the area
      • You are helping to replace lost food and habitat for native wildlife

      Spider Wort
      Beth was very knowledgeable in helping me find a pretty blue plant, that would spread readily.  She suggested a Spider Wort and it's already taking off with no intervention from me.

      Prices are more than fair, maybe too fair - ranging from $1.00 - $7.00, from the selection that I saw.

      Currently Nodding Onion Garden's has a booth at the Frostville Museum Farmer's Market.  They also have a limited selection of plants through Diederich Florist, located at 38599 Center Ridge Rd. North Ridgeville, OH 44039.

      If you are looking for low maintenance, hardy plants check this place out.

      Contact Beth or Marty Coyne for specific requests or questions:

      Happy Planting!
      The Hoff


      Sunday, July 3, 2011

      FREE: Cookouts Veggie Style! (Kindle Book)

      I just downloaded my free Kindle Book, Cookouts Veggie Style! from

      I don't have a Kindle, so I just downloaded some software (also free) from Amazon in order to read this book via my computer.  You will be prompted once you "purchase."

      I don't know how long this has been offered or how long it will continue to be free, so you better not hesitate.

      Shout out to Debbie for sharing!

      The Hoff

      How Do You Use Your Vitamix?

      Dear Healthy Hoff,

      Love the site, can't get enough!  You've mentioned your Vitamix in a few posts.  I'm thinking of getting one, what do you with yours?

      Blender Envy

      Dear Blender Envy,

      I'm so excited - you're my first fan mail!  And you've inspired a new section on The Healthy Hoff - Ask The Hoff!  Just email your question to and if I know the answer, I'll post it on the blog - comments and suggestions are welcomed as well!

      Back to business...

      This is an excellent question!  When I contemplate any purchase let alone a substantial purchase, such as a Vitamix ($$$), I ask friends, family, co-workers (anyone who will listen) a few key questions:
      1. What do you use "it" for?
      2. How often do you use "it."
      3. How long have you had "it."
      4. What do you love/hate about "it."
      Facebook is great for this type of research as well as Amazon personal reviews of products.

      This way I can see if the appliance or "purchase" will fit into my current lifestyle and actually be used instead of wasting away in the basement.

      So here it is, the Top 10 Things my Vitamix does for me:
      1. Fresh Orange Juice - every Saturday & Sunday
      2. Rice Milk - once a week
      3. Smoothies - every day
      4. Fruit Pops - periodically throughout summer
      5. Soups - once a week throughout fall & winter
      6. Sauces/Dressings - periodically
      7. Fruit Sorbets - periodically throughout summer & spring
      8. Hummus - once a week
      9. "Milkshakes" - periodically throughout the year
      10. Almond Butter - once a month
      There are a ton more things the Vitamix can do, but that's what I specifically use it for on a consistent basis.

      Happy Blending!

      Gotta question for The Healthy Hoff?  Hit me up at

      Saturday, July 2, 2011

      Event: Vegetarian Summerfest

      37th Annual Conference of the North American Vegetarian Society

      When: July 5 - 7, 2011
      Where: Conference Center at Pitt-Johnstown, on the picturesque campus of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, PA

      Over 50 speakers!

      Get the full 411!

      Friday, July 1, 2011

      Benefits of Summer Produce

      Repost Courtesy of: Beachbody

      Seasonal Summer Produce
      By: Cecilia H. Lee
      · Apples: Different varieties come in season starting in mid- to late summer and right on through autumn. Be sure to eat them skin and all to get the best health benefits.

      · Apricots: Originally from China, apricots are not only delicious, but they're also a great source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium. Look for fruits that are plump, firm, and uniform in color.

      · Avocados: Though their seasons vary, summer is a good time to find ripe avocados in your local stores. High in monounsaturated fats, they also contain vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, plus a couple of those B vitamins.

      · Basil: Summer is the best season to enjoy this aromatic herb—a great ingredient to liven up pastas, sandwiches, or salads.

      · Blueberries: Rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, a handful of these babies are great when you toss them into a low-fat smoothie or on top of some yogurt for a nutritious snack.

      · Carrots: Not only are carrots good road-trip snacks, they also have pro-vitamin A carotenes that can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

      · Chard: Like spinach, chard is low in calories and contains phytonutrients including syringic acid, which inhibits carbs from breaking down into simple sugars, thus warding off issues like diabetes by keeping blood sugar steady.

      · Cherries: Cherries are high in vitamin C and potassium, and if you go pick them yourself, you'll get the additional benefit of some good old-fashioned exercise.

      · Corn: A summer BBQ staple, its folate and B vitamins can contribute to improved cardiovascular health.

      · Cucumbers: Cucumbers are great for your skin, muscles, and connective tissue, plus they're chock-full of water, fiber, and vitamin C.

      · Eggplant: The beautiful purple skin found on these late-summer vegetables is good food for your brain.

      · Fennel: This Mediterranean bulb is rich in vitamin C and phytonutrients, especially anethole, which a 2000 University of Texas study showed to have some anti-cancer effects.

      · Figs: Fresh figs available during the hot months are a great source of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.

      · Garlic: Volumes have been written on the benefits of this stinky bulb, which include how good it is for heart health and how its antiviral properties may be able to help keep us from getting sick.

      · Grapes: Great for snacking, they're low in calories and contain the heart disease-fighting phytonutrient resveratrol, normally associated with red wine.

      · Green beans: Steam these crisp vegetables for a healthy side dish that's filled with carotenoids, which are great for your heart and more.

      · Lemongrass: Used in Thai and Southeast Asian cooking, this citrusy herb is high in folic acid and has been shown to have antioxidant and disease-preventing properties.

      · Lettuce: Not all greens are equal, so go for the mixed greens, romaine, or red leaf lettuce for the best benefits in your salads.

      · Mangos: Though higher in calories, one cup of diced mango can provide 75 percent of your daily vitamin C recommendation.

      · Melons: Cantaloupes and honeydews should be heavy for their size and give off a sweet, melony smell. And watermelons aren't just refreshing, they help hydrate you and give you antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

      · Nectarines: Look for firm fruits with smooth skin, and enjoy them for their delicious flavor and vitamin C.

      · Okra: Delicious grilled or in gumbo, this summer vegetable has an abundance of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, and folates.

      · Onions: Onions are high in polyphenols and flavonoids, which means good news for your cardiovascular system.

      · Oregano: Found in cuisines from the Mediterranean to Mexico, this herb is great for its antibacterial and antioxidant qualities.

      · Peas: These delicious and easy-to-eat legumes help support blood sugar regulation.

      · Peppers: Originally native to Central and South America, these spicy and sweet beauties contain lots of natural antioxidants.

      · Plums: Related to other stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, and apricots, these antioxidant-rich fruits are also great for helping with iron and vitamin C absorption.

      · Rhubarb: Rhubarb is good for more than just pie—it's a high source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

      · Spinach: As Popeye can attest, spinach is one of the most nutritious vegetables in the world, rich in lots of vitamins, and especially in iron and calcium.

      · Strawberries: Most strawberries are grown in California and Florida, where the peak growing season is April through June. Most other places will see local berries in July, just in time for an Independence Day celebration. Grab a bowlful and get ready for off-the-chart levels of vitamin C and fiber.

      · Summer squash and zucchini: Usually in season between May and July, these relatives of the melon are great for your heart.

      · Tarragon: This culinary herb has been used in medicine throughout history for such things as stimulating appetite and alleviating insomnia. It's also great for calcium, manganese, iron, and a bunch of vitamins.

      · Tomatillos: Little green cousins of gooseberries, these summer vegetables are high in niacin, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin C.

      · Tomatoes: Vine-ripened varieties of tomatoes are in season from July through September. They're high in lycopene, a great antioxidant.

      Click here for original article

      Cecilia H. Lee is a food and travel writer, an artist, and a chef. A James Beard Award nominee, she has authored several books. Her latest, Quick & Easy Mexican Cooking, includes delicious, nutritious Mexican recipes you can make in just 30 minutes or less. When she's not climbing a mountain somewhere, Cecilia writes, eats, and gardens in Los Angeles.