Friday, September 30, 2011

CSA Delivered!

Don't have a CSA near you or just don't want to commit to weekly pick-ups?

No worries, for as little as $32 a week, will deliver a case filled with seasonal, organic fruits and veggies to your door step!  You choose the size, variety and delivery schedule.

Another super, easy way to support small farmers, even if they're not in your backyard.

Healthy Eating!
The Hoff

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Event: Author Michael Pollen Comes to Cleveland!

Author of such books as: "Food Rules, An Eater's Manual," "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food," Michael Pollen is coming to Cleveland!

"Pollen writes about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens, and in the built environment."

When: October 24, 2011
Where: Playhouse Square Ohio Theatre: 1501 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200 Cleveland, OH 44115
Time: 7:30pm
Cost: $30 per person

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ground Beef Recall Tied to Ohio E. Coli Outbreak

Re-post courtesy of: Food Safety News

Ground Beef Recall Tied to Ohio E. Coli Outbreak

An undisclosed number of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in Ohio has prompted Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. to recall of 131,300 pounds of ground beef, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced just before 10 p.m. PDT Tuesday.

In a news release, FSIS said it became aware of the problem Monday when it was notified by the Ohio Department of Health of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in Butler County with onset dates from Sept. 8 through Sept. 11. The number of illnesses wasn't given.

On Tuesday, results of tests on ground beef collected from "the patients' home" on Sept. 19 were returned and were positive for the pathogen, the FSIS said.

The agency and Tyson said they are concerned that consumers may freeze the ground beef from the suspect lots before use, and that some of the ground beef may be in consumers' freezers. "FSIS strongly encourages consumers to check their freezers and immediately discard any product subject to this recall," the statement advised.

The ground beef being recalled is:
  • 5-pound chubs (cylinders of ground beef) of Kroger-brand "GROUND BEEF 73% LEAN - 27% FAT," packed in 40-pound cases containing eight chubs. Cases bear an identifying product code of "D-0211 QW." These products were produced on Aug. 23, 2011 and were shipped to distribution centers in Indiana and Tennessee for retail sale.
  • 3-pound chubs of Butcher's Brand "GROUND BEEF 73% LEAN - 27% FAT," packed in 36-pound cases each containing 12 chubs. Cases bear an identifying product code of "D-0211 LWIF." These products were produced on Aug. 23, 2011 and were shipped to distribution centers in North Carolina and South Carolina for retail sale.
  • 3-pound chubs of a generic label "GROUND BEEF 73% LEAN - 27% FAT," packed in 36-pound cases each containing 12 chubs. Cases bear an identifying product code of "D-0211 LWI." These products were produced on Aug. 23, 2011 and were shipped to distribution centers in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin for retail sale.

The products subject to recall have a "BEST BEFORE OR FREEZE BY" date of "SEP 12 2011" and the establishment number "245D" ink jetted along the package seam. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS' website.

FSIS said it is continuing to work with Ohio public health officials on the investigation.

Consumers with questions regarding the recall should contact the company at 1-866-328-3156.

Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160° F, as measured by a tip-sensitive food thermometer.

Re-post courtesy of: Food Safety News

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

You are dehydrated.

Well, maybe not everyone, but the vast majority of you are.  I know this because all I drink every day is water and I "attempt" to get the recommended 64 ounces of water a day and it wasn't until recently that I actually kept track through a typical day and I was lucky if I consumed half of that.

Here's the problem with this:

The body, on a typical day losses 10 cups of water through urine, sweat and breathing.  If you are very active or the weather is scorching, you will lose even more water throughout the day (aim for an additional 20 ounces of water on those days).

Just by eating, you will regain 2 cups of water from food.  This leaves another 8 cups to make up for and this is why the daily recommendation is to drink 64 ounces or 8 cups of water every day.

Lets put this into perspective:
Photo Courtesy: How Stuff Works

"Up to 60% of the human body is water, the brain is composed of 70% water, and the lungs are nearly 90% water. Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water by weight, as is the brain; body fat contains 10% water and bone has 22% water." Source: USGS, "The Water in You"

I don't know about you, but I don't feel like short changing any of those areas and we don't get to decide where the water goes.

So how do you ensure you replenish?

Dedicate a water pitcher to your daily intake (don't share) - either one that can hold 64 ounces of water or half that and refill (anything beyond two refills and you are likely to lose count) and use it to fill a water bottle that you carry with you.  I like to use re-purposed Snapple bottles (I prefer glass over plastic) which are 16 ounces each - once I have had four of those I know that I have hit my quota for the day and anything beyond that is a bonus.

Bottoms Up!
The Hoff

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pumpkin Time!!!

Pumpkin rocks and I'm not just talking pumpkin pie!

The easiest and cheapest way to get your hands on pumpkin is with Libby's canned 100% Pure Pumpkin.  It's already cooked, contains no salt, no sugar, no flavorings or preservatives, just plain pumpkin, people!  Keep in mind that you want the 15oz. can of Pure Pumpkin, not the larger can of Pumpkin Pie Mix.

Why eat pumpkin?

For one, it's delicious - why would you ask such a question?  Ok, ok, here's more reasons: it's high in fiber, full of nutrients: potassium, calcium, Vitamin A, C and E, beta-carotene and anti-oxidants, among other things.  Pumpkin has no fat, no cholesterol and is very low in sodium and sugar.  It's also low in calories (you darn, calorie counters!) - 1/2 cup is only 40 calories.  Oh yeah, it's a Fall staple!

What to do with pumpkin?

The Great Mystery...

I don't fully understand what's going on, but I can only get my hands on the plain canned pumpkin starting in the fall and throughout the holidays. After that, the shelves are barren - only the canned pumpkin pie mix remains.

A few years ago, the pumpkin harvests were hit hard by bad weather and that was the reason for the MIA pumpkin, but one would think the industry would have bounced back by now.

The point is, stock up!  Buy in bulk to get you through the year until next fall.

Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!
The Hoff

Sunday, September 25, 2011

New Website Alert: PBS Food

PBS has devoted a new website to all things food, PBS Food!

"PBS Food will unite cooking shows, blogs and recipes from PBS and local stations across the country. From Julia Child to Jose Andres to local restaurant reviews, this site will celebrate the iconic chefs and culinary treats you love from PBS."

Check out the sneak preview now - full site to launch soon!

Don't forget to subscribe for the weekly newsletter.

Dig In!The Hoff

The Healthy Hoff Gets a New Home!

The Healthy Hoff has moved!

Well not really, but I do have a new address!

You can still find The Hoff at my blogger address:

If you've bookmarked the old address, you may be asked if you want to redirect, no worries - just think of it as mail forwarding like the post office does.

The Hoff

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Skyline Chili"

So tonight I decided to use up the rest of that iceberg lettuce from my Veggie Montage.  I also decided to get some short cut help from my pantry!

Main Contender: Like the night before, I layered a large dinner plate with iceberg lettuce.  To that I piled on some whole wheat spaghetti.  To that I layered on some canned vegan chilli, that I had enhanced with some chopped scallions, green pepper and cinnamon.

Side Helpers: What else - Garlic Bread!

My 2 Cents: Ok, it's not exactly Skyline Chili, but it's definitely healthier and a quick fix meal!

Hoff Hit: Keep Tomatoes Yummy

Tomatoes lose their flavor when stored in the frig.

So adhere to the golden rule of produce storage: store tomatoes in the same environment that you found them at in the store.

Of course once you cut into a tomato, off to the frig it goes!

Friday, September 23, 2011

R.I.P. Ziggy

I am saddened to say that the creator of the beloved comic, Ziggy, Tom Wilson Sr. passed away on September 16, 2011.

I have fond memories of Ziggy from childhood and he has remained a favorite of mine through the years.

Ziggy made his first appearance in 1969 and celebrated 40 years in syndication in June 2011.  Ziggy has since been taken over by Mr. Wilson's son, Tom Wilson Jr. and currently appears in more than 500 daily and Sunday newspapers.

Mr. Wilson and Ziggy are true Cleveland treasures and will be missed.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Event: Walk on the Beach VI 2011

When: November 4-6, 2011
Where: Arundel House: 56 North Shore Dr., South Haven, MI 49090
Cost: $235 (includes 6 meals) + lodging

  • Cooking demonstration
  • Tastings
  • Inspirational presentations
  • Stretch and strength classes
  • Guided meditation
  • and more...
 Featured Speakers:
  • Jill Ovnik - Keynote Speaker
  • Dr. Pamela Popper
  • Dr. Kerrie Saunders
  • many more...
Attendance will result in earning a Certification of Completion in: Introduction to Plant Based Diet.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Veggie Montage

Main Contender: I started with a large dinner plate of crisp iceberg lettuce (should I be worried that I have been craving this stuff).  To that I added a layer of brown rice (courtesy of my rice cooker).  To finish I piled on a medley of stir-fried veggies: corn, diced potatoes, bean sprouts, diced tomatoes, lima beans, green pepper, onion, garlic, seasoned with Liquid Bragg's Amino Acids, Cumin and Sea Salt.

Sides Helpers: Some crusty bread

My 2 Cents:  My basic goal was to use up all veggies lying around the house, while getting in some greens.  While, iceberg is far from being the ideal green from a nutritional standpoint, I was craving it's crisp freshness.  Then I just seasoned with whatever appealed to me.  No hard or fast rules with this one!

The Healthy Hoff Hits 10,000!!!

Well it's official!  Healthy Hoff has hit 10,000 PAGE VIEWS!!!!  So much for my prediction of 1,000 in a year!

Special shout out and mucho thanks to Amy Shoff for the awesome Healthy Hoff rendering (it pays to know talented peeps)!

And thank you to all who continue to support The Healthy Hoff- you guys ROCK!

Vielen Dank Everybody!!!!
The Hoff

Monday, September 19, 2011

Event: A Taste of the Season - Flavors of the Fall

"It’s not too late to enjoy local flavors this fall. Join Chef Tami Cecil for an instructional cooking class and delicious meal that will feature some of the season’s best, including pumpkins, squash, apples and more. A local farmer also will talk about his job growing cooler weather crops and how you might consider growing some of your own. The registration cost includes an Our Ohio apron and other tools you’ll need for the class."

When: 10/23/2011
Where: Woodhaven Farm: 11401 Woodhaven Road, Johnstown, Ohio 43031
Time: 2pm - 6pm
Cost: $45 per person

Registration: Call 614.246.8241 by October 17th

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Farm Tour Season Has Arrived!!!

I love Farm Tours and it gives me great pleasure to share this family fall experience with all of you!

As a kid my parents dragged me on many farm tours and now as an adult, some of my fondest memories are from those times. For instance, at every dairy farm I would take several cartons of milk (free samples), stow away somewhere out of sight and feed all the farm kitties (ok, I still do this).

I continue this tradition to this day and it's time to gear up for the 2011 Farm Tour Season!

So what is a Farm Tour?

A Farm Tour is a self-driven tour usually consisting 4-5 different types of farms and a few local landmarks.  You will be traveling the back roads of rural farm country, but these tours are always very well planned and clearly marked.  Don't count on your GPS, because there's no WIFI out in these areas folks.  You can pick-up a map at any tour location, which will describe each destination so you can decide if it's of interest.

Who has Farm Tours?

Various rural counties host them.  It takes a little online research to find them - but if you can get to one of the areas of interest and get the map, you're all set or many are now posting the maps online.

What is the purpose of a Farm Tour?

Farm Tours were actually designed to give area farmers a chance to meet other area farmers and talk shop.  As a result, these tours don't tend to be widely publicized.  Don't let that stop you city slickers, everyone is extremely friendly and inviting.  However, don't be surprised if they ask you what type of farm you have - I have been asked this many times.

For you, a Farm Tour is an opportunity to experience a working farm first hand, try new things and commune with nature.

What to do on a Farm Tour?

Besides experiencing an Alpaca Farm or a Buffalo Farm (yes, they are in Ohio) or a Wine Chalet (you never know who will be included) or a historic schoolhouse; I take this opportunity to stock up on Fall Favorites as well as Amish staples: apples (there's always an orchard), pumpkins, pumpkin butter, maple syrup, molasses, honey etc. (there's always a country store nearby).  And don't worry about lunch, there is a variety of food available throughout the tour.

I'm ready!  Where should I go?

I'm partial to the Medina County Farm Tours, which are actually called the:

Medina Fall Foliage Tour

When: 10/8/11 - 10/9/11
Where: Medina County (check the map for addresses)
Time: 12pm - 6pm
Cost: Free

Here's your map!

or check out the:

2011 Lorain County Fall Farm Tour

When: 9/24/11
Where: Lorain County (check the map for addresses)
Time: 12pm - 5pm
Cost: Free

Here's your map!

Anything else I need to know?

Yes!  Farm Tour day is the perfect day to break out the crock pot!  There is nothing better than returning from a long, exhausting day on the farm to a house filled with the aroma of home cooked chilli.  The next best thing is the realization that you don't have to cook at the end of that long, exhausting day!

Don't forget the camera!
The Hoff

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Really - it's that much of a hardship?

I an constantly amazed at the unwillingness of people to change their diet and lifestyle to save their own life.

Upon receiving a diagnosis of Heart Disease or Cancer and facing life threatening operations and a lifetime of expensive and potentially equally harmful medications, instead of researching the fact that a vegan diet can arrest, reverse or prevent such diseases, the first words I hear are, "I can't give up meat."

Really?  It's the meat that got you where you are and you want to keep shoveling it in.

As a child of parents, here's my point of view: 

You made a conscious decision to have children and with that comes responsibility, among which includes being around as long as humanly possible for them and not in a burdensome state either.

So next time you start to whine that you want to enjoy your life now to justify inhaling that Big Mac, stop and think about the bigger consequences: your kids putting their life on hold to care for your ailing health and watch your slow death or them standing over your grave wishing they would have had more time with you.

The Hoff


"Meet some of the most knowledgeable health care professionals helping to change the world in positive ways; spend time with people who value optimal health, practice healthy habits; and enjoy some of the finest gourmet vegan food available!"

Featuring Special Guest Speakers...
  • Dr. T. Colin Campbell - Dr. Campbell will introduce his new book and you'll hear the first public lectures on this exciting, ground-breaking piece!
  • Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn - Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease - you'll hear the results of hundreds more patients who followed his diet!
  • many, many more

When: November 11-13, 2011
Where: Crowne Plaza Hotel: 6500 Doubletree Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43229 (Room Rate: $79 per night)
Cost: $199 per person (ticket price also includes three meals - lunch on Friday & Saturday, and a multi-course formal dinner on Saturday night)

Regestration: Call 614 841-7700 with questions or to purchase conference tickets

Click here for more details.

Healthy Hoff will be in attendance!

Event: Food For Life Nutrition and Cooking Retreat

Jill Ovnik of & presents:

When: October 21-23, 2011
Where: Arundel House: 56 North Shore Dr., South Haven, MI 49090
Cost: $215 (includes meals and cookbook) + lodging

  • Learn the latest in nutrition and cancer research
  • Learn how to eat healthy with a busy life
  • Learn to cook healthy vegetarian meals
  • much more...

Check out what to expect.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Veggie Burgers!

I had zero inspiration tonight and didn't feel like cooking - so tonight was Veggie Burger night!

MorningStar makes a mean Vegan Veggie Burger.  But read your labels, the rest of their veggie burgers contain egg whites.

Main Contender:

I like my burgers on a toasted English Muffin sandwiched between double helpings of Mustard, Pickles (4 per side), Onion, Tomato and Spinach.  I went a little overboard with this Dagwood concoction - I call this my Vegan Man Vs. Food Challenge.

Sides Helpers:

Vegetarian Baked Beans
Mini Potato Pancakes (only because I was out of Tator Tots)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hoff's Udon Noodle Soup

This is a super quick, one pot meal - loaded with veggies!

Hoff's Udon Noodle Soup
Serves 2
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free

  • 1 bundle Udon Noodles (a pack should contain 3 individually wrapped bundles)
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 cups Water
  • 3 oz block firm Tofu (cut into small squares)
  • 1 Zucchini (shredded)
  • 1 cup Mushrooms (sliced or diced)
  • 4 Scallions (sliced)
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves (diced)
  • 1 slice of Ginger (diced)
  • 1/2 sheet of Roasted Seaweed (torn/cut into pieces)
  • 1-2 tbsp Bragg's Liquid Amino Acid (or soy sauce)
  • Juice from 1 Lime

  1. Combine all ingredients (minus Udon Noodles) in a pot and bring to a boil
  2. Break Udon Noodles in half, add to pot and cook according to package time
  3. I told you it was easy and fast - now eat!

My 2 Cents: Experiment with other veggies you have on hand such as Bok Choy or Spinach. You may be wondering where to get Roasted Seaweed, I get mine in Asian aisle of the grocery store.  You can use the sheets of seaweed traditionally used to make sushi.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Event: The Green Factory


The Green Factory event, sponsored by the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.

"The family friendly line-up features local, regional and national companies who package sustainable products, practices or promote their message in a stylish way.

We have assembled notable Cleveland entertainers and speakers who will contribute their own style to the weekend festivities. Also included is an “Alpaca Appearance” from 2 alpaca friends of “That’ll Do Farms” of Grafton and the Bay Village Field Science team who will hold a scavenger hunt to raise funds for an upcoming trip to the Florida Keys."

Be sure to visit the Earth Day Coalition booth (say Hi to Wendy)!

When: September 17th & 18th, 2011
Where: Crocker Park: 189 Crocker Park Boulevard, Westlake, OH 44145
Time: 17th: 10:00am - 8:00pm, 18th: 11:00am - 5:00pm
Cost: Free

Check out the Schedule of Events and Vendors!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kicking it Vegan Style at the Red Lobster

Admittedly, I was a bit concerned when my mother announced that she wanted to dine at the Red Lobster for her birthday.

While I would never tell someone how to celebrate their birthday (I celebrate my own birthday for the entire month, after all), I shamefully attempted to covertly persuade her into eating at a more vegan-friendly establishment.

Alas, once my mother makes up her mind, it is what it is (hmmm, guess I know where I got it from).

Ok, no problem - I decided to take this experience on as a challenge and it really did test every bit of vegan know-how I have.

The Plan...

First I scanned the menu.  Every soup was dairy based, that's out!  Two types of salad - Caesar and Garden - both side salads and nothing to write home about. How about pasta?!? No dice, a Fettucine Alfredo was the only option.  I started dissecting main meals to pull out the veggie sides - I developed a starting point.

Next, I asked for the Allergy Menu.  While I had hoped this would bring some dishes not on the main menu, it did not.  What it did do was list each menu item and indicate thoses with wheat/gluten, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy and soy.  By utilizing this guide and a very knowledgeable waitress, I was able to create my own vegan, oil-free meal.

The Meal...

In order to be filling, I knew I had to ground my meal in grains and starch.  So I ordered a dry baked potato (nothing on it) and the rice pilaf (confirming it was not cooked with butter or oil).  To that I added two servings of broccoli and asparagus, also dry.  To liven things up, I ordered several sides of the Peach Bourbon BBQ sauce that came with a shrimp dinner.  Lastly, I requested one large plate. Once everything arrived, I chopped it all up, stirred it all together and topped with sea salt.  Luckily my sauce had been forgotten and to my surprise my concoction didn't need any sauce help at all.  In fact, once it did arrive, I found the sauce too spicy for my liking.

I found this meal so filling, I wasn't even disappointed that there were no vegan dessert options - I was too stuffed!

The Life Lesson...

Do I want to relive this meal anytime soon - no, it wasn't that great.  But for an evening that was all about someone else, it was a fantastic meal.  After all, my mother didn't complain when I decided to celebrate my birthday at an all-Vegan restaurant.  The moral of this story is that you can't impose your lifestyle choices on others, but that doesn't mean you have to forgo them either.

With a little bit of research and negotiating with the restaurant staff, I was able to get exactly what I needed to maintain my eating habits and the rest of the party got exactly what they wanted - everybody wins!

Don't compromise, improvise!
The Hoff

Friday, September 9, 2011


I always thought that in order to practice Pilates, one had to go to a gym and hire a personal trainer.

I was wrong.

I recently acquired the "Slim & Sculpt Pilates by 10 Minute Solution" DVD.  This is by no means the only Pilates DVD on the market, but it is the one that peaked my interest enough to try it.  Two things drew me to this particular DVD, the 10 minutes options and the Pilates Band that was included.

There are actually five, 10 minute segments on this DVD, so you can determine how long you actually want to workout (I really like that).  In fact there is an option to create your own personal workout by programming any one of the five segments in the order you want to practice them.

The five segments are:
  1. Upper Body Pilates
  2. Lower Body Pilates
  3. Pilates for Abs
  4. Total Body Pilates
  5. Pilates for Flexibility
Having never done Pilates, I found the movements in this DVD surprisingly easy to follow, however don't be fooled, you are going to get a good workout. You may be doing simple movements, but they are impactful.  I love that the 10 minute segments go by so fast, you don't have time to dread them and being only 10 minutes long, you are more likely to push yourself to do more.  I did all five segments my first time trying this DVD, I was feeling it, but I wasn't wishing for it to be over (ok by segment five, I was about to pass out).

What I really like about Pilates is that it combines my two favorite exercises: stretching and weights (remember muscle burns fat in your sleep!).  I know you don't actually use hand weights with this DVD or Pilates in general, however, the Pilates Band simulates the act of lifting weights through resistance.

What I'm not liking so much is the band that was included with the DVD.  It only has powder coating on one side of the band, so as you use it the non-coated side gets sticky and the band becomes difficult to use.

Why do Pilates?

Practicing Pilates can help you develop strong abs, improved posture, greater flexibility, long lean muscles, increased energy and above all can aid in weight loss.  Pilates also gives you a total body workout and body awareness because you practice each movement with total attention, thus uniting the body and mind.

If you're looking for something new to add to your workout routine, definitely give Pilates a try.

Check out a preview of this DVD to see if this is for you!

Happy Exercising!
The Hoff

Teaser Alert!

The Healthy Hoff is "cooking" up an exciting event for you guys!

Event details to come soon!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Doc: Burzynski The Movie - Cancer Is Serious Business

If you have cancer or know someone who does or are even concerned because cancer runs in your family, Burzynski The Movie - Cancer Is Serious Business is a must see.

This documentary tells the story of Dr. Stanislaus Burzynski, who has pioneered a treatment called antineoplastons, which targets the genes responsible for tumor growth, and has been very successful in treating many different types of cancer over the years.

Unfortunately, over the course of 14 years, the FDA and other agencies have attempted to shut down his practice, steal his patents, and prevent him from obtaining FDA approval for his treatments.

I am outraged that the FDA has wasted over $60 million dollars in our tax dollar money to persecute this man repeatedly unsuccessfully for curing cancer, just because the pharmaceutical companies can't profit from it.

Watch for yourself, for free online

Hoff Hit: Enoughs, Enough - Protein

Human breast milk is comprised of 5% Protein - at a time when we grow the fastest and require the most protein of our lives, 5% is all we need.

For perspective, rice contains 8% Protein, oranges 8%, potatoes 11% and beans 26%.  Therefore, we can and do get all the protein we need from fruits, vegetables, starches and grains.

So the next time someone asks how you get your protein if  "you don't eat no meat" (name that movie!) - tell them relax, I got it covered.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back to Shellac!

It's no secret that I adore Shellac

I love everything about this innovative nail polish system - from it's quick 30 minute, out-the-door application process to it's 14-day chip free results.

What I don't find particularly exciting are the CND line-up of colors.  Don't get me wrong, there are some colors I adore, but a girl gets bored and wants more.

And to be fair CND has been slowly adding new colors.  But, I was dying to try out some trendy non-shellac colors and therefore, I conducted a little experiment.

Having purchased my own CND Shellac system from Amazon, I tested out what would happen if I used a non-shellac based color with the CND Shellac Base, Top Coat and UV Light Nail Dryer.

While I was able to get my nails to cure, the color started chipping within a day (sigh).

So for all of you Shellac lovers out there wondering if normal polish can be used, stop wondering - you won't get the same long lasting results.

On the bright side, I see that CND has added some new colors recently!

  • Hotski to Tchotchke (teal)
  • Asphalt (gray)
  • Zillonaire (glitter white)
  • Purple Purple (do I need to spell this one out?)
  • Rock Royalty (bluish purple)

Shellac it!
The Hoff

Monday, September 5, 2011

Event: Cleveland Garlic Festival 2011

"This year North Union Farmers Market presents the second annual Cleveland Garlic Festival at historic Shaker Square! Cleveland Garlic Festival 2011 is a broad-based community event that incorporates local businesses through food, art and talent.  All proceeds will support North Union's mission of championing local foods by connecting certified producers with consumers through a network of markets. The Cleveland Garlic Festival will be ground zero for all things garlic in the Midwest Great Lakes region. Attendees will enjoy garlic-themed food prepared by local chefs including everything from ice cream to oysters, an onsite celebrity chef Grill-Off, live music, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, taste and grow tents for children and many more events and activities. "

When: September 10-11, 2011
Where: 13212 Shaker Square, Cleveland, OH 44120
Time: 9/10: 1:00pm - 9:00pm, 9/11: 12:00pm - 6:00pm
  • One-day pass Adults: $7 Seniors: $4 Children ages 3 - 12: $2
  • Two-day pass Adults: $12 Seniors: $6 Children: $3 
  • Children under three are free for both days
Tickets can be purchased at any North Union Farmers Market location, by calling (216) 751-7656 or by ordering them at

Ask The Hoff: Calorie Counter


You don't reference the calories for any of the recipes you post.

What's up?

Calorie Conscious

Dear Calorie Conscious,

You seem a little hostile - I'll assume you're just hungry from limiting your calories.

You are correct, I don't reference calories for any of my recipes.  The beauty of eating a whole food, plant-based diet means no need to worry about such things as counting calories.  Keep this in mind: vegetables contain about 100 calories per pound and fruit contains 200-300 calories per pound.  A Quarter Pounder alone has 510 calories.  So, you can eat and eat whole grains, veggies and fruits until you're full and you won't even come close to hitting the calories of the typical high calorie/high fat Western Diet.

Cut the Count!
The Hoff

Gotta question for The Healthy Hoff?  Hit me up at

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Meal Inspirations: Grilled Tomato Sandwich with Pea & Pesto Soup

This post marks the first of a new series to The Healthy Hoff: Meal Inspirations.  I can't tell you how many times people have asked me what I make for dinner or how many times I have been inspiration-less.  So, when I do create a great meal idea, I will share it here in a down and dirty manner, no idol chit chat, I promise!

Grilled Tomato Sandwich with Pea & Pesto Soup

For: Lunch or Light Dinner

Main Course: Grilled Tomato Sandwich & Nigella's Pea & Pesto Soup

Sides: None

Thoughts: This soup is some serious awesomeness and I HATE peas!  Add some brown rice to the soup for a little texture.  This is not the quickest lunch in the world, but it is most definitely decadent.

Hoff Hit: Pesto Sauce

Ever set out to make a fresh batch of Pesto Sauce only to come up short in the Basil department?

No problem!

Substitute Spinach to make up what ever quantity you're lacking.

I've even made Pesto using only Spinach - you'll never tell the difference.

Hoff's Blackberry Syrup

I can't believe how easy it is to make syrup!  You can whip this up in no time for a weekend breakfast and take pride in that you did it yourself and it's 100% natural - no high-fructose corn syrup here!

Feel free to substitute any berry for this delicious topping.

Hoff's Blackberry Syrup
Yields: About 3 Cups
dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 cups Blackberries
  • 1tbsp Corn Starch
  • 2 tbsp Cold Water
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla

  1. In a saucepan, bring Water & Sugar to a boil
  2. Meanwhile mash the Blackberries (I use a potato masher - an inversion blender may be needed for tougher berries such as Strawberries)
  3. Stir-in Blackberries into water & return to a boil
  4. Mix together Corn Starch & Cold Water and add to syrup
  5. Reduce temperature & simmer for 10 minutes
  6. Stir-in Vanilla
  7. Refrigerate the leftovers for next time

  • To eliminate the seeds pour syrup through a wire mesh inserted inside a funnel, mashing down to get out every bit of syrup - allow syrup to drip directly into storage or serving container
  • Repurpose a glass salad or syrup container for your syrup
  • Ummmmm...this syrup will turn your teeth blue - brush, brush, brush!

Ask The Hoff: Woosaaaahh

Yo Hoff!

You've used this "woosaaaahh" thing in a few posts now. What the hell is it?


Yo Confused!

I take it you are not a movie buff or perhaps have yet to enjoy all the goodness that is Bad Boys II!  In it the character that Martin Lawrence plays, Detective Marcus Barnett is basically having a break down and he uses "Woosaaaahh" to calm down, it becomes a running joke throughout the movie and I love it!

When The Healthy Hoff gets stressed or goes off on a tangent, I bring it back to front and center with a good ole cleansing, "Woosaaaahh."

Sometimes, I do fear this may just bottle in all the anger as does "Serenity now. (insanity later...)" - but so far so good.

A movie montage is worth a thousand words, check out what I'm laying down for ya.

Woosaaaahh my friends, woosaaaahh,
The Hoff

Gotta question for The Healthy Hoff?  Hit me up at

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Transition is Tough

Another big adjustment...

I have made several drastic changes in the way I eat over the past several years in the name of obtaining optimum health.  I am constantly researching and discovering new things - hence the drastic changes.

And every time, without fail - I snap.  Yes, that's right, The Healthy Hoff loses it.  I'm just like you guys, there's nothing special about me.  To others, I may make living healthy look effortless, but at times I too struggle.

When I decided to eliminate red meat from my diet about seven years ago, no big deal.  Red meat always made me sick - lethargic, bloated and sleepy.  Once I made the connection that it was the meat causing these uncomfortable reactions, I kicked it to the curb without hesitation or regret.  That would be the last of my "easy" transitions.

I am an all or nothing girl, a bull in a china shop - in other words, get the hell out of my way, because I'm coming through!  Every time I make a change in my diet (I only do so if I believe in it 100%), I conduct a full kitchen sweep and clear the house of any offending violators.  Consequently, this means hitting the store to find suitable replacements and this is where my struggles begin...

The breaking point...

I hit the grocery store last night to stock up for the week.  An all too familiar scene played out - I'm not proud of it, but it proves I'm only human.  Having recently given up eating or cooking with oil, I have been struggling to find processed convenience foods containing no oil.  Guess what, nearly impossible.  (I hear you!  Why don't you just give up processed foods? That's a transition for another day.)  And like all my drastic changes before, I lost my temper.  It wasn't helping that I was surrounded by people stocking up for Labor Day parties - armed with overflowing carts of hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and ice cream.  Everything I won't be having this weekend, but oh so want.  So, after diligently reading label after label and left with a nearly empty cart, I threw a temper tantrum.  I did the whole: I hate my life!  Why do I have to live this way!  Look at everyone else being happy!  WTF!  (Word to the wise, if you see me in the grocery store during one of these transitional periods, run the other way.)

And then I came back down to reality.  I make these changes so I can be healthy now and don't wind up dealing with chronic diseases down the road.  A lot of people challenge my eating preferences with, "Don't you want to enjoy your life now?"  Hell yeah, but now and in the future.  I don't want to be stricken at the end with illness - bedridden, hospitalized and a burden to others - unable to do the things I want.  I want to go out the way I came in - like a freight train!

A little background...

My transitions have included: going Vegetarian, then Flexitarian, then Prescetarian, then cutting out saturated fat, then going Vegan and now Vegan and oil-free.  Every one of these transitions have met with some type of hardship, but every time I have figured it out and life goes back to running smoothly with my new found insights.  So while I may be struggling now with the oil-free thing, I know with perseverance I will figure this out as well and life will once again return to normal - my new normal.

In the end...

Is all this frustration, anger and sacrifice worth it?  You bet your ass it is.  I have chosen to be an active player in my health and overall life.  I won't sit on the side lines and hope for the best.  I will not bury my head in the sand and pretend if I don't know about it, it won't happen to me.  I take responsibility for my health every day of my life - from eating to exercise to stress reduction and I won't stop just because it gets a little hard sometimes.

So to all of you out there struggling to make small or big changes in your life.  Take solace that you are not alone and this too shall pass.  You'll figure it out and look back and wonder what the hell were you doing before.

The Hoff

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Even Vegans Eat Like Royalty in the Magic Kingdom Part 4 of 4

The finale!!!!

Continued from Even Vegans Eat Like Royalty in the Magic Kingdom Part 3 of 4
By: Amy Shoff (Guest Writer)

The park maps have a little apple icon next to restaurants that feature “well-balanced and vegetarian options.” But if you’re unsure, never hesitate to ask any of those super nice people with the Disney nametags on. If they don’t know the answer to your question, they find someone who does know the answer. I know this because I used to be one of those people, so seriously, NEVER hesitate to ask for allergy information, ingredients, or just general recommendations on where to eat and what to order. You can see online menus for most of the locations, although some are listed as “sample menus,” because the offerings change on a fairly regular basis, and they may not have the exact dishes if you’re planning your trip a year ahead of time. WDW’s reservation website actually asks you if anyone in your party has any food allergies, and if you indicate that you do, then the chef of that restaurant will personally visit your table to find out what you can and cannot eat and will adjust their recipe and even use a different cooking station to prepare your food, if needed.

The last meal of my trip features one such magical example of this. I went to The Wave Restaurant at the Contemporary Resort  for breakfast on the last day before I had to fly home.  This restaurant is very focused on organic foods, using seasonal and local produce when they can, as well as serving free-trade, bird friendly coffee (I had no idea that the usual eight cups of coffee I drink everyday are actually UNfriendly to birds…my bad, Birds.) The Wave had a breakfast buffet that was loaded with fresh fruit, including local peaches that looked amazing, and steel-cut oatmeal, so I felt pretty okay with just ordering that, but I asked our wonderful waitress, Beth, if the Buckwheat Mickey Waffles (there’s almost no food item at WDW that can’t be made into the shape of Mickey Mouse) or Sweet Potato Pancakes were vegan. She went back to the kitchen to find out for me, and returned with the news that although they weren’t, Dylan, the awesome chef, had offered to make either vegan pancakes or a tofu scramble for me instead. I jumped at the chance for pancakes, because I am a pancake-eating fiend, and man, oh man…they were fluffy and vanilla flavored and I couldn’t shovel them into my face fast enough!  Dylan walked them out to me in person, so I took a picture with him (I get really excited when people cook food for me), but sadly, the inferior photo taking abilities of my iPhone resulted in "Picture Fail". But thank you for capping off a tour de force of vegan-riffic eating, Beth and Dylan!

As I mentioned before, Walt Disney World is enormous, and I’ve barely scraped the surface of the dining options available here, but rest assured, if you are vegan, vegetarian, a food allergy sufferer, or just a food conscious carnivore, you will be blown away by the dining experiences on your trip. And if you pay me in cupcakes and beer, I’ll be happy to come along as your tour guide!

Author: Amy Shoff (Disney Insider Vegan Expert)

Thank you Amy for that awesome account of "some" of the great Vegan delights to be found at Walt Disney World!  Perhaps I can get Amy back for round two after her next visit to the magical kingdom...if The Healthy Hoff had any kind of a budget, we could send Amy on assignment!  Alas, we have none (sigh).

In case you missed any part of this 4 part series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3