Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Less Than One Week to Register for Vegan Cooking Class!

There is still time to sign-up for this event, but the deadline is quickly approaching, Wednesday, December 7, 2011. 

What: Vegan Cooking Class conducted by Chef Robin + Healthy Hoff Limited Edition T-shirt
When: Saturday 12.10.2011
Where: West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 20401 Hilliard Blvd. Rocky River, Ohio 44116
Time: 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Cost: $45 per person (compared to area classes, this is a bargain!)

Deadline: You must register and pay by Wednesday, 12.7.2011 (otherwise, no food for you!)

Click here to Register & Pay
(scroll to bottom of the Cooking with C.A.R.E. page and look for "Buy a Cooking Lesson")


In an effort to keep costs low, please bring a cutting board, apron and your favorite chopping knife.


Questions?  Contact me at thehoff@healthyhoff.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What Do Those Produce Stickers Tell Us?

Besides being difficult to remove at times, those little stickers on fruits and vegetables give us a useful heads up!

More than just what country the food came from, those produce stickers also have the Product Code and this indicates how the food was grown.  With the Product Code, it's the first number that counts, here's what to look for.


Product Code (starts with):

3 - Conventionally grown
4 - Conventionally grown
9 - Organically grown
8 - Genetically modified (avoid!)

And did you know those little stickers are edible?  Not that you want to chow down on them, just don't panic if you inhale one along with your apple.

So remember, 9 is fine & hate the 8!

Shop Smart!
The Hoff

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wellness Forum's 15th Annual Conference Highlights

Recently, I attended the Wellness Forum's 15th Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio.  It was quite a 3-day event, full of dynamic speakers, tons of healthy info and great people.

It was so comforting to be surrounded by 300+ people all striving towards a vegetarian or vegan, oil-free diet.  Not a single person asked my why I eat the way that I do and we spent our time instead swapping recipes and tips and tricks on navigating a carnivore's world.

I took lots and lots of notes and here is what I found most interesting...

Enjoy!
The Hoff

Wellness Forum's 15th Annual Conference Highlights
November 11 - 13, 2011

Friday - November 11, 2011

Dr. Janice Stanger, Ph.D.
"Top Nutrition Myths"

  • Myth: A little bit can't hurt.   
Fact: Actually, it can!  Inflammation is the cause of many health issues and by eating just a little of something, you continue that inflammation, thus preventing the body from healing itself.
  • Myth: We need a special source of protein.   
Fact: Animal protein is a hyper concentration of protein.  Too much protein can be toxic.  As we only require 10% of our daily calories to be derived from protein, that can be easily obtained through plants.  Animals obtain their protein from the plants that they eat - eat plants instead and cut out the middleman.
  • Myth: Soy is the source of most dietary estrogen.   
Fact: Dairy is the number one source of estrogen, which fuels reproductive cancers.
  • Myth: Cows milk is the best source of calcium.   
Fact: Calcium is a mineral, cows get their calcium from eating grass - eat plants instead and cut out the middleman(cow).
  • Myth: Calcium makes bones strong.   
Fact: Calcium has little effect on fracture risk.  As calcium is a brittle mineral (like chalk), rely on weight bearing exercises to increase bone density.  Too much calcium can be toxic and result in kidney stones.
___________________
    "Take matters into your own hands to improve your health." 
    ___________________ 

    Gene Baur
    Farm Sanctuary
    • Farm animals are specifically exempt from the Animal Welfare Act
    • In order for a cow to give milk, it must be pregnant - female cows are kept pregnant, having a calf once a year until death (dairy cow average life span is 3-4 years, cows can live up to 20 years).  Calves are separated from the mother at birth to prevent nursing and thus lowering milk production.
    • "Downed animals" (animals that cannot get up and walk) can be sold for human consumption and therefore are not euthenized or treated.  Cows are now excluded as a result of the mad cow disease outbreak.
    • "Farm Sanctuary works to protect farm animals from cruelty, inspire change in the way society views and treats farm animals, and promote compassionate vegan living."
    • Visit the Farm Sanctuary Bed & Breakfast for a truly inspiring weekend get-away!
    ___________________ 
      When traveling, ask the hotel for a list of vegan/vegetarian restaurants in the area.
       ___________________
       

      Saturday - November 12, 2011

      Dr. Janice Stanger, Ph.D.
      "Its Toxic Out There"
      • Our biggest danger is being oblivious.
      • No one knows the impact of the radiation from tests (cat scans, dental x-rays, etc.).
      • Coal releases mercury, making grilling toxic.
      • Fiber removes toxins from the body, while antioxidants fight damage caused by free radicals
      • "Natural" means nothing, look for "USDA Certified Organic."
      • Insecticides hurt the nervous system.
      ___________________ 
        "If God made it, eat it.  If man made it, don't eat it." - Jack LaLanne
        ___________________ 

         
        Dr. Janice Stanger, Ph.D.
        "Why Fasting is Bad"

        Yes, fasting facilitates detoxing, but the chemicals that are stored in fat are released into the bloodstream and do not leave the body.  As chemicals have a half life of 17 years (average), meaning they will be active in the body for quite some time, they can become more harmful during fasting as you are not getting the phytochemicals from food that protect your system against the chemicals, leaving yourself vulnerable during a fast.
        ___________________ 

        No medical schools in the U.S. requires nutrition as part of their curriculum.
        ___________________ 


        Chef AJ
        Chef AJ
        • Keep sugar at 5% of your daily calories
        • Agave is 90% fructose, best to avoid
        • Cacao power is very high in antioxidants and has no saturated fat
        • Walnuts are the healthiest nut to eat
        • Sugar is more addictive than cocaine
        • Dates are a great sugar substitute - "nature's candy"

        Decadent Chocolate Mousse
        Ingredients:
        • 2 boxes (12.2 oz each) silken tofu - extra firm
        • 1 bag (10 oz) Sunspire Grain Sweetened dairy-free chocolate chips
        • 1 cup date syrup
        • 1 cup raw cacao powder
        • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
        • 1 tbsp alcohol-free vanilla extract
        • raw cacao nibs, for garnish
        Method:
        1. In a nonstick pan over low heat, melt the chips with the date syrup, stirring so it won't scorch.
        2. Place the rest of the ingredients, except for the nibs, in a food processor fitted with the "S" blade and process.
        3. Add the melted chocolate mixture and process until smooth and creamy, scrapping down sides occasionally.
        4. Pour into individual bowls or glasses and garnish with nibs.
        5. Chill until firm.
         ___________________
         The body always strives for homeostasis - health.
         ___________________


        Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD
        "Treating the Cause to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease"
        Dr. Esselstyn
        • Heart disease is a foodborne illness.
        • Kids have heart disease by the time they graduate from high school.
        • Stay away from fructose and caffeinated coffee.
        • The famed Mediterranean Study, that touted the health benefits of olive oil ended with 25% of the participants experiencing either a heart attack, stroke or death - compared to .5% of those who follow a whole food, planted based diet.
        • Erectile dysfunction is the first sign of heart disease.
        • Calcium loss is due to high acidity in the body.


                                 
        ___________________
         "The fat you eat, is the fat you wear." - Caldwell Esselstyn
        ___________________


        Ann Esselstyn
        "Cooking the Plant Perfect Way"
        Ann Esselstyn
        • Drink water predominately.
        • Avoid sugar, salt and oil.
        • Substitute apple sauce for oil when baking.
        • Hummus makes a good salad dressing.
        • Add flavored balsamic vinegar to cooked greens to make them taste better.
        • Use baby romaine leaves as a scoop for hummus.
        • Add nutritional yeast to mashed yukon potatoes for a buttery taste


                                                       
                                                          
        Sunday - November 13, 2011

        Dr. Ralph Moss, Ph.D.
        "Integrative or CAM Cancer Clinics Around the World"
        cancerdecisions.com 


        Dr. Ralph Moss
        • CAM - Complimentary Alternative Medicine
        • Combine complimentary and alternative medicine for the best results.
        • Main CAM Treatment Countries: Germany (#1), Mexico & Caribbean, United States (especially West Coast), China & Israel.
        • Joan Bull, MD from the University of Texas is working with low dose chemotherapy paired with whole body hypothermia (emerging treatment from Germany)
        • Pine Street Clinic in San Anselmo, California is a top CAM practice
        • Cancer cells thrive & grow on glucose 17 times the rate of a normal cell, therefore, sugar feeds cancer.                                   

        ___________________

        Never stop learning.
                                                                      ___________________

          Sunday, November 27, 2011

          My Vegan Night at Wild Ginger

          Tonight was date night and I just had the most excellent vegan meal for two at Wild Ginger China Bistro, in Brooklyn, Ohio.

          I have been at this restaurant many times for lunch, but never for dinner.  The ambiance and mood take a dramatic shift for the night: dimmed lighting, soft, soothing oriental music and nothing but couples also having, "date night."  Very relaxing and romantic - this place may become one of my favorite restaurants!

          I was very excited, because I got to order for the two of us and anyone who knows me, knows that I love variety in a meal!  I did my usual homework, checking the online menu, in order to formulate a game plan and make sure that the restaurant had some vegan options.

          The meal started with an appetizer order of Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps - diced tofu & vegetables quickly wok tossed and served with cool lettuce wraps (I like mine with that sweet & sour orange sauce, typically served with vegetable rolls).  I love the crispness of the iceberg lettuce and the yummy tofu filling.

          Next, an order of the Veggie Maki Combo - a combination of the California Veggie (avocado, cucumber, asparagus) and the Veggie (carrots, cucumber, asparagus, red bell peppers) Maki Rolls.  A touch of soy sauce and a slice of marinated ginger make these vegan sushi rolls out of sight!


          Main course time!

          An order of the Vegetarian Pad Thai - fresh mixed vegetables sautéed with rice noodles, egg, bean sprouts, tofu, red & green peppers, and onions topped with roasted peanuts - hold the peanuts and egg.  So delicious!

          Of course, no Chinese meal would be complete without a nice hot cup of tea, white ginger tea in my case.

          That's it!  One appetizer, one order of sushi and one main entree turned out to be just the right amount of food for us to share.  We were filled to the point of satisfaction, but not stuffed to the point of immobility.  I'm actually glad that the side order of steamed broccoli never appeared - I think that would have pushed us over the edge.  I left the restaurant happy that I had just consumed a relatively healthy meal, full of veggies and avoided all the indulgences that would have made me hate myself in the morning.

          And true to form, I am hungry a mere hour later...sigh.  Since Wild Ginger does not have a vegan dessert option, my evening has been topped off with a slice of homemade vegan pumpkin pie.  Not exactly Chinese cuisine, but it hit the spot!

          And is it me or are the fortunes in the fortune cookies sounding less and less fortuney (in bed)?

          Gan bei!
          The Hoff

          Saturday, November 26, 2011

          Doc: King Corn

          This is a cool little film in which two guys from Boston, Ian & Curt document their journey following the life cycle of corn.

          They did this after genetic testing on their hair revealed that they were predominately made of corn, a rather disturbing concept.  That and the startling new statistic that Generation Z (kids born in 2000 and later) is predicted to be the first generation not to outlive their parents due to poor diet. 

          King Corn starts in Iowa, where Ian & Curt travel to plant one acre of corn, to see where it goes from there.  Lots of interesting facts are revealed about agribusiness, feed lots and how predominate corn is in our lives.

          Check out the full movie online! 

          Check out the trailer!

          Friday, November 25, 2011

          Bean Sprouts!

          My latest obsession involves Bean Sprouts, Mung Bean Sprout that is.  Don't ask me why.  I appreciate their ability to retain their crisp, crunchiness no longer how long they are cooked. And they don't even need to be cooked, but to release their protein, cooking is required.

          Identifying Mung Bean Sprouts

          These sprouts have small light yellow leaves and a silvery white shoot. Supposedly, these sprouts produce a subtle nutty flavor, although I don't detect any flavor.

          What is a sprout?

          A sprout it is a vegetable seed that just begins growing. Sprouts grow from the seeds of vegetables, grains, and various beans - they are the first edible shoots.

          You probably are most familiar of these little guys from Chinese cooking or have seen them on salad bars.

          Are they good for me?

          Yes!  Bean Sprouts are high in protein, vitamin C and folacin and for you calorie counters, 1 cup is a mere 26 calories.

          What do they taste like?

          To me, Mung Bean Sprouts don't really taste like anything - a delicate hint of sweetness at best.  I use them manly for the texture they add to dishes.  They have a clean, crisp crunch that I really enjoy.

          How do I store my sprouts?

          Even though Mung Bean Sprouts are the hardiest sprout there is, it fades quickly.  Usually lasting 2-3 days.  Keep in a plastic bag and store in the crisper.  I have been able to extend a full week with this method.  You can also try rinsing daily with cold water to extend their life.  If your intention is to cook with them, Mung Bean Sprouts can be frozen.  Once they appear brown and mushy, toss'em.

          Mung Bean Sprouts have been linked to incidences of foodborne illnesses such as Salmonella in the U.S., so be sure to wash before using and if you're really concerned, don't consume raw.

          So what to do with these little guys?
          • Stir-fries
          • Stews
          • Spring Rolls
          • Rice dish
          • Saute with onions and serve as a side
          • Raw in salad, coleslaw or potato salad
          • Add to sandwich or wrap
          • Add to broth based soups
          • Add to baked beans
          • Try in smoothies or juices

          Give the Sprout a Shot!
          The Hoff

          Wednesday, November 23, 2011

          What is Bragg Liquid Aminos?

          I use this stuff almost daily, I am addicted to its salty, soy sauce flavor.  Since, many of  The Hoff's recipes use Bragg Liquid Aminos, I figured it was about time to actually say something about this "Hoffssential" cooking ingredient.

          This stuff has been around since 1912, yet I seldom ever hear about it.  In fact, I can't even remember how I stumbled upon it.

          Bragg's is a Certified NON-GMO liquid protein concentrate, derived from soybeans, that contains the following 16 Essential and Non-essential Amino Acids in naturally occurring amounts:

          • Alanine
          • Arginine
          • Aspartic Acid
          • Glutamic Acid
          • Glycine
          • Histidine
          • Isoleucine
          • Leucine 
          • Methionine
          • Phenylalanine
          • Proline
          • Serine
          • Threonine
          • Tyrosine
          • Valine
          • Lysine 

          So what.

          Great, Bragg's has 16 amino acids in it, what the hell does that mean? Ok, here it goes as I understand it...

          Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and by extension our organs and tissues.  They also contribute to metabolism.

          There are 20 total amino acids and we can produce 10 of them ourselves, leaving the other half to be gotten through food.  Bragg's provides 9 aminos that we cannot produce ourselves.

          Since we don't store aminos, we need to have a steady supply of them or risk losing muscle and our body's ability to grow and repair itself.

          So, I need Bragg's to get aminos?

          No, use Bragg's merely as a condiment and nothing more.  As plants are able to make all 20 amino acids, a vegan/vegetarian diet has you covered.

          What's in it?

          Bragg's gets huge Healthy Hoff Approval for containing only 2 ingredients: vegetable protein from soybeans and purified water - not bad huh?!?

          While this stuff is much lower in sodium than soy sauce, it does contain some natural salts and if that is of concern, can be toned down with a little water.

          What's not in it?
          • no chemicals
          • no artificial coloring
          • no alcohol
          • no preservatives
          • no Gluten 
          • no calories
          • no fat

          What to do with it?

          Like I said, I use this stuff in replace of soy sauce, but I also use it as a salt enhancer to anything that I feel needs a flavor kick.  It also goes great with salad, soup, over veggies, potatoes, tofu, rice, even popcorn.

          Where to put it?

          Bragg's does not require refrigeration and as long as it's kept out of direct sunlight and in a cool location, will last between 3-5 years.  But I highly doubt you will ever have a bottle that long.

          I want some!

          I'm pretty sure you can get this stuff in the grocery store or a health food store, I just have no clue where to begin looking.  So, I stock-up online with a generous 32 oz. bottle that will go quicker than you think, for a unbelievable price of $5.50 - worth every penny and then some!

          Happy Seasoning!
          The Hoff

            Tuesday, November 22, 2011

            Event: Natrual Approaches For Autism & ADHD

            Dr. Tamara Macdonald, ND, Lac, Naturopathic Physician from Northcoast Natural Health will give a presentation on diet and nutrition for children with ADHD/Autism Spectrum.

            What: Natrual Approaches For Autism & ADHD
            Where: Brunswick Community Library: 3649 Center Road  Brunswick, OH 44212
            (Sycamore Room)
            When: Thursday, December 1, 2011
            Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
            Cost: Free

            Please RSVP by November 28, 2011 by calling 1.330.273.0533

            Contact the Parent Mentor Office* at Brunswick High School 1.330.273.0533 with any questions.

            *This is not a Brunswick City Schools sponsored event.

            Monday, November 21, 2011

            Move over Subway, Chop It Salad Co. Has Arrived!

            So I'm at Southpark Mall the other day, watching Breaking Dawn for the second time in two days (don't judge me) and I stumble across a new place in the food court, Chop It Salad Co. 

            Not being a big fan of salads, I approached skeptically.

            To my surprise & delight, Chop It makes to order salads AND wraps using a large array of fresh ingredients, much like Subway, but on steroids (50+ toppings, 30+ dressings).  Like Subway, your creation is made before your eyes, but unlike Subway, they don't skimp on the ingredients!  Chop It's salads range from 3-4 pounds and you are not charged by weight and the wraps were almost as impressive as a Chipotle burrito, almost (who needs something that big anyway?!?)

            As you can imagine, with over 50 toppings, there are some pretty unique offerings: sun-dried tomatoes, avocado chunks, tofu, candied walnuts, dried cranberries, hummus, artichoke hearts and much, much more.  For you vegetarians you can choose from feta, goat cheese or plain old cheddar, among others.  And for all you carnivores, they've got the typical meats as well - making this a friendly destination for one and all!

            Staying on the healthy train, Chop It offers smoothies, soups, veggie dippers, fruit cups and an array of not so healthy sides as well...chips, brownies, muffins, etc.

            Don't want to create your own?  No worries, there are 12 signature salads/wraps to choose from: Asian Chicken, Cobb Salad, Spinach Walnut Raspberry...

            And get this!  Chop It Salad Co. is owned and operated in Cleveland, Ohio!  I would have totally thought this was a California-based company that took a wrong turn and decided to take a chance here of all places.  Chop It is also committed to purchasing from local suppliers - double bonus!

            Locations:

            great northern mall Now Open! Chop It Salad Co. Cafe
            ETON Chagrin Boulevard
            28699 Chagrin Blvd, Beachwood, OH 44122
            phone: 216.378.9122 - fax: 216.378.91290
            get directions
            great northern mall Southpark Mall
            500 Southpark Ctr, Strongsville, OH 44136
            phone: 440.238.5963 - fax: 440.238.5963
            get directions
            great northern mall Great Northern Mall
            4954 Great Northern Mall, North Olmsted, OH
            Phone 440.777.0864 - fax: 440.777.0925
            get directions
            beldon village mall Now Open!
            Belden Village Mall - Canton, Ohio
            Phone 330.499.2467 - fax: 330.499.2646
            get directions

            Chop It can cater your events as well!

            So, be sure to support this local start-up, so it not only can thrive and stay alive, but so it can also be a signal to other fast food joints that healthy and nutritious options are what the public wants!

            Check It Out!
            The Hoff

            Sunday, November 20, 2011

            Event: Don't Forget to Register for Cooking with The Healthy Hoff!

            There is still time to sign-up for this event, but the deadline is quickly approaching, Wednesday, December 7, 2011.

            Join The Healthy Hoff for a fun, group cooking class in which you will learn to prepare a healthy and nutritious 4-course, oil-free, Vegan meal under the guidance of professional chef, Chef Robin, owner of Cooking with C.A.R.E

            This will be a hands-on cooking class, using familiar ingredients in which you will leave with the culinary skills to create:
            • Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
            • Black Bean Burgers w/Corn Salsa
            • Confetti Quinoa
            • Caramel Pears
            All ingredients will be non-GMO and organic as available.


            Plus, you get a Limited Edition Healthy Hoff T-shirt (you know you want one)!

            What: Vegan Cooking Class conducted by Chef Robin + Healthy Hoff Limited Edition T-shirt
            When: Saturday12.10.2011
            Where: West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 20401 Hilliard Blvd. Rocky River, Ohio 44116
            Time: 3:00pm - 6:00pm
            Cost: $45 per person (compared to area classes, this is a bargain!)

            Deadline: You must register and pay by Wednesday, 12.7.2011 (otherwise, no food for you!)

            Click here to Register & Pay
            (scroll to bottom of the Cooking with C.A.R.E. page and look for "Buy a Cooking Lesson")

            In an effort to keep costs low, please bring a cutting board, apron and your favorite chopping knife.

            Did I mention we get to eat our creations?!?

            But I'm not Vegan.

            Who cares!  You don't need to be Vegan to enjoy this class.  Take this opportunity to learn something new, broaden your culinary skills and increase your weekly menu options.  Remember, going meatless just once a week may reduce your risk of chronic, preventable conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

            Meatless Monday!

            Check this out to see how going meatless just once a week can be beneficial!



            Want to learn more about Cooking with C.A.R.E?

            Sign-up for the Cooking with C.A.R.E newsletter or check out Chef Robin's Blog!

            Don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind opportunity!

            Questions?  Contact me at thehoff@healthyhoff.com

            Saturday, November 19, 2011

            Vitamix Grand Store Opening

            If you follow The Healthy Hoff, you know of my love for the Vitamix. If you're new, catch up!

            Before now, the only way to get your hands on one of these bad boys was either by phone, online, or if you were lucky enough to catch a live demonstration at a trade show or wholesale club.

            In an unprecedented move, I am happy to announce that Vitamix is opening their very first Factory Outlet Store!!!

            Grand Opening is this Saturday - November 19, 2011

            At the store, you'll get special outlet pricing and payment plan options, as well as live demonstrations and samples.

            Unfortunately, it sounds like this store is only intended to be open for the holidays so, make haste!



            Store location:
            4720 Great Northern Blvd. at Brookpark Rd, North Olmsted, OH 44070

            Store hours:
            Monday- Friday: 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.
            Saturday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
            Sunday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

            Don't want to go to the store? You can still get in on free shipping by using this promo code: 07-0066-01-02 when you order online.

            Hoff's German Noodles


            Hoff's "German" Noodles
            Yields: 6-8 servings
            meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free 


            Ingredients:
            • 1 lb Whole Wheat Pasta
            • 1 Onion (half-moon slices)
            • 1 can diced Potatoes (rinsed & drained)
            • 1 cup Sauerkraut
            • 1/4 cup Alstertor Dusseldorf Mustard
            • 1/2 cup reserved Pasta Water

            Directions:
            1. Fill large pot with water and bring to a boil
            2. Add Pasta and cook according to package
            3. Meanwhile, caramelize Onions in small saute pan, once caramelized, add Potatoes to warm
            4. Drain Noodles and return to medium pot
            5. Add Onions, Potatoes, Sauerkraut and Mustard and mix until warmed through

            Hoff Thoughts: You may or may not need to add the Pasta Water - mix-in the Mustard first and then judge by your desired consistency. I have found Alstertor Dusseldorf Mustard at Giant Eagle and World Market.  Just use your favorite Mustard if this one eludes you, but you can't get any more German than Dusseldorf!

            Thursday, November 17, 2011

            Hoff Hit: 64oz - really!

            Your body burns through 10 cups of water daily, you ingest 2 cups of water through food - leaving 8 cups to replenish through drinking plain water - get those 64 ounces!

            Wednesday, November 16, 2011

            Interview with a Personal Trainer

            Recently I had the pleasure of talking to Angela Mantell, a Personal Trainer.  Having never been to a Personal Trainer before and having little knowledge of them, Angee was nice enough to answer some questions that made me realize that you don't have to be Kim Kardashian to have a Personal Trainer - but can she help me look like her?!?

            Enjoy!
            The Hoff

            What does a Personal Trainer do? 
            A Personal Trainer establishes a good working relationship with clients to get a better understanding of what they want or need in their lifestyle. Whether it be just someone to interact with to get motivated to get into better shape or to lose weight for health reasons and or esteem issues.

            Do you have to be licensed/certified? 
            Yes! All gyms will check for a certification and make sure you have all your credentials to be re-certified when your license expires (usually after 2 years). Certain gyms will not accept some lower certifications. If anyone is interested in getting certified I recommend you research what certifications you are interested in and what ones the facilities you are looking at will accept.

            What type of certification do you have? 
            I received my certification through NASM (National Academy of Sports and Medicine). It’s a little tougher of a certification program but all gyms recognize it and it has a better reputation.

            Who typically uses a Personal Trainer? 
            Anyone that needs some motivation or guidance for a better and healthier lifestyle.

            What kind of services do you offer clients? 
            My certification is a wider span, so it depends on what the client is interested in. I mainly focus on circuit training, which works multiple muscle groups at once to burn more calories and see quicker results. Example: If you do bicep curls only, you are only working a small muscle group. You will burn triple the calories if you add a squat or a lunge. Using the larger muscles will increase your metabolism which will torch calories as well.

            What can someone expect during a training session? 
            We will start with some assessments to see where your weaknesses are. I follow the OPT model which starts with Stabilization to make your core stronger, followed by strength and when the client is ready move up to Power. Every client is different and will require different assessments and workouts. I utilize a special tool that will create a program specifically for each individual client.

            What is the OPT model?
            OPT is a particular model that NASM (National Academy of Sports and Medicine) uses that concentrates on Stability, Strength, and Power.

            Can a person just try one session to see if they like it? 
            Yes. I always meet with clients to get to know them and see what they are interested in before beginning. No-one will stick with a plan if they aren’t having fun. My first session is always free.

            How long do you usually work with someone? 
            That depends on their specific goal or goals. Some clients just want to establish a routine and feel comfortable to go on their own after a month. Others struggle with bigger weight loss and need someone to guide them through the whole journey. Many people fear being on their own and rebounding as a result, but it's my job to teach them the skills and confidence to do it on their own.

            Is it expensive to have a Personal Trainer? 
            Rates vary from trainer to trainer. I suggest working with a trainer to get to a budget that works for you. I offer package deals that don't break the bank. I also offer group rates for individuals who want to work out together.  Many people think it’s expensive to have a trainer - it doesn’t have to be.

            For someone who is interested, but nervous, what kind of advice can you give? 
            Just meet with a trainer that you may be interested in for a consultation. This will give  you the opportunity to access their personality and if you'd enjoy working out with them.  Keep in mind what type of person you'd respond to most. Some people want more of a "friend" to motivate them, others respond to the screaming "Drill Sargent" type. I am not that type, but I will make you work hard to get to you to your goal.

            Can you make me look like Kim Kardashian?
            Big butt? Yes :)  (Note to self: pick better celeb goal)

            Any last words?
            One thing I HAVE to point out is that a healthy lifestyle and weight loss is not ONLY about exercise. You have to have a good balance of diet and exercise to achieve results. One does not go without the other! The word “diet” seems to scare people off. You don’t have to cut everything out, just make some changes in the way you eat. Good health and weight control is a lifestyle, not a fad to follow! I encourage my clients to still eat what they love but in moderation! If you want an Oreo, eat it, but only eat one, not the whole bag. I feel like if you take these things completely out of your diet, you will burn out quickly and give up.  It's my job to make sure that doesn't happen!


            Angee currently trains in Parma, Ohio and offers her services throughout Medina and surrounding areas.  Special exceptions can be made for those outside of those areas.

            If you're interested in hiring Angee as a Personal Trainer or just want to find out more info, you can contact her directly at Angeehart@yahoo.com

            Tuesday, November 15, 2011

            LIVE Plant-Based Thanksgiving Cooking Show

            The creators of Forks over Knives, brings you a live cooking demonstration, taught by Julieanna Hever, R.D., author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition.

            What: Plant-Based Thanksgiving Cooking Show
            When: Thursday November 17, 2011
            Time: 9:00 PM EST / 6:00 PM PST
            Where: Forks over Knive's Facebook or Livestream page
            Cost: Free!

            Julieanna will demonstrate a plant-based Thanksgiving meal that will be delicious and healthy. While making the meal, Julieanna will answer questions from the audience. Questions can be sent in advance to Info@ForksOverKnives.com and also be asked live during the broadcast.

            Monday, November 14, 2011

            eco ditty: reusable sandwich and snack bags

            Have a child with plastic allergies?  Looking to cut back on waste?  
            Want your lunch to have style?


            Check out ecoditty.com a company dedicated to providing eco-friendly, reusable, 100% organic cotton sandwich and snack bags.

            Bags come in a variety of fashionable colors and patterns and can be washed by hand, in the washing machine or dishwasher.

            Snack bags sell for $9.99 a piece and Sandwich bags sell for $13.99.

            Check it Out!
            The Hoff

            Sunday, November 13, 2011

            Organic Skin Care App

            Crap!  You're at the store and overwhelmed by all the skin products on the market.  You know you want organic, but how do you narrow down the search?

            Well, now there's an app for that!

            Check out Organic Spa Magazine's Skin Care Guide for iPhone.

            Offering a variety of categories from aromatherapy to kids to sun and even men, this App provides an extensive list of various organic and natural skin care companies.

            Bonus, this App is free!

            Sorry Androids, we get screwed again...only available for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

            Live Well!
            The Hoff

            Friday, November 11, 2011

            Thank You

            Eating Vegan in the Magic Kingdom: Halloween Style

            Amy's back!  And she has more vegan Disney tales to tell & pics to share!!  This time Amy spent Halloween at the magical Walt Disney World!  As Halloween is my favorite holiday, I was a little jealous of Amy's fantastical trip, but I can live vicariously through her experiences...for now.

            The blog is yours, Amy!

            Hi again, Healthy Hoff readers! 

            Despite my lack of overall healthiness, The Hoff was kind enough to invite me to report on my latest trip to the magical world of talking mice and churros. I was there to attend two big seasonal events (well, three if you count my sister’s Halloween party, but that sure wasn’t healthy, haha).

            Beefy Gaston!
            The first event, at Magic Kingdom, was Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. As the name implies, it’s not your usual amusement park Halloween event with haunted houses and scare zones. This is a relatively tame event without the spooky people trying to scare you, but a fair share of Disney villains roaming around. I don’t eat meat, but I would have stuffed the big hunk of beef that is Gaston into my bag if he fit. There is a special parade and a Halloween fireworks show in addition to most of the popular rides. I was there for two big reasons: it’s the only time of the year when adults are allowed to walk around Disney World in a costume (unless you’re working there, of course) and also, you get to trick-or-treat! I hadn’t been in a few years, so this was my first experience not eating milk chocolate, and I have to say, it was a pretty big bummer. After visiting most of the treat stations, I got into a routine of yelling out “Who likes Snickers? Who likes Twix?!” while the other members of my group traded with me for…raisins.  Yeah, I ate about 30 boxes of raisins that night. I didn’t realize it was possible to get a sugar high from dried fruit until midway through our trip on Big Thunder Mountain, when I hit "Complete Raisin High" and laughed like a fool through what is normally a pretty tame roller coaster. There were a few other options for me, like Smarties and the original dark chocolate Peanut Chews from Goldenberg’s Candy Company (which are vegan friendly and made with molasses). But mostly I ended up with raisins.

            Veggie Burger!
            I also found out at this event, when I got my veggie burger from Pecos Bill’s in Frontierland, that all of the fun toppings like sautéed onions and mushrooms are cooked in Earth Balance soy butter, so they were safe to eat. This prompted me to fill my plate with every option on the bar until I had more topping than burger.

            Epcot!
            I was hoping to write a huge report on the second event I attended, The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, but, sadly, my options were…well, basically just alcohol. And believe me, I was okay with that, but it doesn’t make for a good report on a blog about health.


            The overall deal with the festival is that you can walk from country to country in the World Showcase part of Epcot and taste sample sized dishes, wine, and beers from that particular region. They set up temporary booths around the promenade that are large enough to fit a handful of chefs who prepare all the delicious things you order.  The menus have a handy green “V” next to the items that are vegetarian, but, unfortunately, there is nothing to also designate vegan. As you can see from the photo, much to everyone’s relief, there’s no meat in the flan. Ew.

            Mmmm...Bunny Chow
            There was one option that I THOUGHT was okay, the somewhat demeaningly named “bunny chow” at South Africa, which was vegetable curry inside a little bread bowl…I was told later that the bread MIGHT have contained eggs.  Phooey. This is what I get for not asking questions. Or not just sticking to the booze—although, be careful--I made a vegetarian at the Belgium stand very sad when I informed her that Stella Artois uses isinglass (made from the swim bladders of fish) to clarify their beer. She had already had two. I felt her pain after the bunny chow mistake.

            I did, however, have a fantastic meal in Canada at their steakhouse (haha, I know, right?), Le Cellier. This restaurant is so popular that most people book it 180 days in advance and you can’t get a walk-up seat to save your life. But I know people (okay, not really…we just lucked out and got reservations the week before, but you kinda believed me, didn’t you?).

            After ordering my Canadian beer (it would be wrong to drink anything else, right?) I let the waitress know what a pain in the butt I was going to be, but she was very kind and said she’d just get the chef directly so that she wouldn’t have to relay information back and forth between us. Awesome. So, the chef came out and asked whether I was vegetarian or vegan (option B) and then asked what I wanted. My brain exploded a little bit. I’m so used to having to work around limitations that having a chef tell me that he’ll cook me anything in the world that I want was a little too much to handle. So I told him that, within the overall pickiness of my not eating meat, dairy, or eggs, I’m actually not that picky, and I will eat any delicious vegetable or grain that he puts in front of my face. This response made him as equally excited as I was, because now HE had the freedom to cook whatever he felt inspired to make, so he started brainstorming and said he could make a risotto with mushroom stock and olive oil and add some root vegetables with garlic and sage. I nearly hugged him.

            Amazing Creation!
            He went off to make the food and we dug into our pretzel bread (this time I was assured by the chef it was vegan bread…and freakin’ tasty!).  My starter was a marinated tomato stack (sans bleu cheese…I can use “sans” this time, because I’m in Canada…well, sort of).  The main course was amazing and I nearly licked the plate! And then for dessert, they had a house made peach sorbet that tasted like fresh sliced peaches! I also had a Canadian coffee, which is pretty much an Irish coffee, except it’s Canadian whiskey, haha.
            Peachy Heaven!
            So, despite some bumps in the vegan road, it was a tasty trip overall. I’m leaving out some of my amazing vegan experiences in “real” Orlando, which I might include in a future entry for those who dare to step outside the castle gates and try some local eateries in Central Florida. Thanks for joining me on another adventure, and I’ll see you on Space Mountain!

            Author: Amy Shoff (Disney Insider Vegan Expert)

            Want more?  Amy gave us the insider scoop on eating vegan at Disney in her four part series, Even Vegans Eat Like Royalty in the Magic Kingdom!

            Thursday, November 10, 2011

            2 Minute Health Hit!

            One way I keep on track with my weight and overall health is to strive to learn one new thing everyday.

            This really doesn't have to be as intense as it seems.  I gave a lot of examples as to how I achieve this in my post titled, Weight Loss: Staying Motivated.

            Now, I bring you one more way that is so quick and easy, anyone can do it.

            Dr. John McDougall, founder and medical director of the nationally renowned McDougall Program and someone that I hold in high regard, has put together a series of 2 minute videos covering a variety of topics from Obesity to Cholesterol to Salt Consumption and even Acne.

            These videos are free and available to everyone!  I could watch them all day!  Take advantage of this treasure trove of info.

            Check'em out!

            Keep Learning!
            The Hoff

            Wednesday, November 9, 2011

            New Date! New Location! Cooking with The Healthy Hoff!

            Join The Healthy Hoff for a fun, group cooking class in which you will learn to prepare a healthy and nutritious 4-course, oil-free, Vegan meal under the guidance of professional chef, Chef Robin, owner of Cooking with C.A.R.E

            This will be a hands-on cooking class, using familiar ingredients in which you will leave with the culinary skills to create:
            • Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
            • Black Bean Burgers w/Corn Salsa
            • Confetti Quinoa
            • Caramel Pears
            All ingredients will be non-GMO and organic as available.


            Plus, you get a Limited Edition Healthy Hoff T-shirt (you know you want one)!

            What: Vegan Cooking Class conducted by Chef Robin + Healthy Hoff Limited Edition T-shirt
            When: Saturday12.10.2011
            Where: West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 20401 Hilliard Blvd. Rocky River, Ohio 44116
            Time: 3:00pm - 6:00pm
            Cost: $45 per person (compared to area classes, this is a bargain!)

            Deadline: You must register by Wednesday, 12.7.2011 (otherwise, no food for you!)

            Click here to Register & Pay
            (scroll to bottom of the Cooking with C.A.R.E. page and look for "Buy a Cooking Lesson")

            In an effort to keep costs low, please bring a cutting board, apron and your favorite chopping knife.

            Did I mention we get to eat our creations?!?

            But I'm not Vegan.

            Who cares!  You don't need to be Vegan to enjoy this class.  Take this opportunity to learn something new, broaden your culinary skills and increase your weekly menu options.  Remember, going meatless just once a week may reduce your risk of chronic, preventable conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

            Meatless Monday!

            Check this out to see how going meatless just once a week can be beneficial!



            Want to learn more about Cooking with C.A.R.E?

            Sign-up for the Cooking with C.A.R.E newsletter or check out Chef Robin's Blog!

            Don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind opportunity!

            Questions?  Contact me at thehoff@healthyhoff.com

            Tuesday, November 8, 2011

            Christie Brinkley Launches New Skin Care Line

            Christie Brinkley is 58-years-old and still looks modelrriffic - she must be doing something right! 

            So, it's not surprising that Brinkley has just launched her own anti-aging skincare line called, Christie Brinkley Skin Care.

            Having had access to the world’s leading beauty, health and fitness experts throughout her modeling career, Brinkley has pooled her learning's to create this new line.

            This line is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, all-natural and as organic as possible.  All packaging is eco-friendly and refillable.

            Word of warning, this stuff is a little pricey.

            Check it out!
            The Hoff

            Monday, November 7, 2011

            bkr: Portable Glass Water Bottles

            Check these babies out! 
            Don't these bottles look gorgeous?!?

            http://www.mybkr.com/shop/#/shop
            I am not a fan of storing food or water in plastic (leaching chemicals and all, not to mention the "plastic taste") - therefore, I always opt for glass whenever I can.  So, when I came across these glass, portable water bottles from bkr, I was intrigued!

            I know what you're thinking, glass will break.  Not really, I have been toting around re-purposed Snapple bottles to and from work for years and haven't broken one yet.  However, to ease your fears, these bottles are wrapped in silicone in an array of eye candy colors!

            At $28 a piece, get two - one for you and one for a friend!

            Just Say No to Chemicals!

            Sunday, November 6, 2011

            Hoff Hit: Cooking Lentils

            Add a Bay Leaf when cooking Lentils to add flavor and aid in digestion of the protein and fat of the beans.  Just be sure to remove it before eating as they are very difficult to digest.

            Hoff's Pumpkin Pie

            This is a super quick recipe with minimum clean-up, gotta love that!




            Hoff's Pumpkin Pie
            Yields: 1 pie

            dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free


            Ingredients:
            • 1 15 oz. can 100% Pure Puree Pumpkin
            • 12 oz. Firm Tofu
            • 4 oz. Apple Sauce (that's one of those snack packs)
            • 1/2 cup Sugar
            • 1 tbsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
            • 1 tsp. Vanilla
            • 1 tsp. Salt
            • 1 - 9" unbaked Pie Crust

            Directions:
            1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
            2. Combine all ingredients (except the Pie Crust) into a Blender (I use a Vitamix)
            3. Blend until smooth and ingredients are combined (this won't take long)
            4. Pour into Pie Crust and level with spatula or spoon
            5. Bake for 20 minutest at 400 degrees, reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes or until inserted knife/toothpick comes out of pie clean

            Hoff Thoughts: Every year, I forget and buy the graham cracker crusts, which are not intended for the oven.  Yes, the crust gets a little burnt around the edges, but the end result is not bad.  So don't fret if you pull a Hoff, your pie will not be ruined.

            Saturday, November 5, 2011

            Everyday Happy Herbivore’s: Quick Pumpkin-Sage Pasta

            Just in time for Thanksgiving!

            Check out this tasty recipe, courtesy of vegan chef Lindsay S. Nixon, as a sneak preview to her new cookbook, “Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes,” to be released early December 6, 2011.  

            The dishes in this book are simple enough for everyday eating, but they are also festive enough to rock any holiday table!


            Everyday Happy Herbivore’s
            Quick Pumpkin-Sage Pasta
            Yield: 2 servings

            This is a great way to use up leftover pumpkin. It whips up as quickly as you can boil pasta and really captures the taste of autumn.

            4 ounces whole-wheat pasta
            3/4 cup vegetable broth
            3/4 cup canned pumpkin
            1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
            1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
            Pinch of dried oregano
            Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
            Salt and pepper, to taste
            Vegan Parmesan for garnish (optional)

            1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
            2. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until thoroughly warm, about 5 minutes.
            3. Taste, adding more sage if desired, plus salt and pepper to taste.
            4. Cover and let sauce rest for 5 to 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to merge and sauce to thicken slightly.
            5. Toss cooked pasta with pumpkin sauce and taste, adding more salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with vegan Parmesan if desired.

            Chef’s note: For a one-pot meal, prepare sauce in the same pot used to cook pasta, setting the pasta aside as you make the sauce.

            Nutritional information per serving: 262 calories; 2.4 grams fat; 51 grams carbohydrates; 8.2 grams fiber; 5.3 grams sugars; 10 grams protein.


            Gobble, Gobble!
            The Hoff

            Thursday, November 3, 2011

            Exercise App: MapMyFITNESS

            Like to walk, run, hike or bike?  Why not track your stats using your smartphone!

            "Check out MapMyFITNESS, a fitness tracking application that enables you to use the built-in GPS of your mobile device to track all of your fitness activities. Record your workout details, including duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned, and route traveled on an interactive map. You can even effortlessly save and upload your workout data to any of the MapMyFITNESS websites where you can view your route workout data, and comprehensive workout history."

            Aside from being Free, what I like best about this app is it's "Live Tracking" feature.  With this feature, your friends or family can track where you are in case you're going it alone.  Can't be too careful these days!

            This app is available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.

            Trek On!
            The Hoff

            Wednesday, November 2, 2011

            Sign this Petition to Stop GMO's

            Stop Monsanto's unlabeled, potentially dangerous, GMO sweet corn from reaching grocery store aisles near you.

            Sign this petition telling major grocery stores around the country that we don't want to be served genetically modified foods!

            This only takes a few moments, for your voice to be heard.

            Not familiar with Monsanto?  You need to acquaint yourself:

            Food, Inc.
            Deconstructing Dinner
            The Future of Food

            Take a Stand!
            The Hoff
             

            GMO corn"Right now, Monsanto, the corporation responsible for producing roughly 90% of genetically modified seeds around the globe, is working to bring their new, GMO sweet corn to a grocery store aisle or farmer's market near you.


            Unlike Monsanto's other GMO crops -- which are primarily fed to animals -- this sweet corn is intended for direct human consumption.

            This is the first time Monsanto has engineered a vegetable that could be served straight to your dinner table. And if this unlabeled, and potentially toxic crop succeeds, Monsanto is sure to bring us even more.

            As an activist and consumer, you are in a powerful position to pressure leading U.S. grocery stores to reject Monsanto's new GMO corn."

            Tuesday, November 1, 2011

            Last Day to Register for Cooking with Chef Robin!


            Last Day to Register for Cooking with Chef Robin!
            Cooking Class is this Saturday - November 5th!

            Payment must be received by Wednesday, November 2.  
            Payment can be made via PayPal or credit card.

            (scroll to bottom of the Cooking with C.A.R.E. page and look for "Buy a Cooking Lesson")



            Join The Healthy Hoff for a fun, fall afternoon of learning to cook a healthy and nutritious Vegan meal with Chef Robin, owner of Cooking with C.A.R.E

            This will be a hands on cooking class in which you will leave with the skills to make:

            • Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
            • Black Bean Burgers w/Corn Salsa
            • Confetti Quinoa
            • Caramel Pears

            All food will be non-GMO and organic as available.

            What: Vegan Cooking Class conducted by Chef Robin + Healthy Hoff Limited Edition T-shirt
            When: Saturday11.5.2011
            Where: St. Paul's Community Church: 4427 Franklin Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44113
            Time: 4:30pm - 7:30pm
            Cost: $45 per person

            Deadline: You must register by Wednesday, 11.2.2011

            Register & Pay (scroll to bottom of page and look for "Buy a Cooking Lesson")

            In an effort to keep costs low, please bring a cutting board, apron and your favorite chopping knife.

            Did I mention we get to eat our creations?!?!

            But I'm not Vegan.

            Who cares!  You don't need to be Vegan to enjoy this class.  Take this opportunity to learn something new, broaden your culinary skills and increase your weekly menu options.  Remember, going meatless just once a week may reduce your risk of chronic, preventable conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

            Meatless Monday!

            Check this out to see how going meatless just once a week can be beneficial!



            Want to learn more about Cooking with C.A.R.E?

            Sign-up for the Cooking with C.A.R.E newsletter or check out Chef Robin's Blog!

            Questions?  Contact me at thehoff@healthyhoff.com