Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hoff's Sloppy Joes

Plan ahead!  The Barley takes at least 30 minutes to prepare. Everything else comes together in a matter of minutes.



Hoff's Sloppy Joe's
Yields: 6-8 sandwiches
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free


Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Barley (rinsed)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 cups Mushrooms (chopped & optional)
  • 1 can Dei Fratelli Sloppy Joe Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Molasses
  • 8 Whole Wheat Buns

Directions:
  1. In a medium pot, bring Water to a boil, add Barley & Salt
  2. Reduce to low, cover and cook for 35-40 minutes
  3. With 15 minutes to go, sautee Mushrooms in a large skillet
  4. Add Sloppy Joe Sauce & Molasses to Mushrooms, heat through
  5. Add Barley to Sauce, assemble sandwiches

My2Cents:
I use Dei Fratelli Sloppy Joe Sauce over the traditional Manwich sauce because of it's minimal, all-natural ingredients.  I did find the sauce a bit sassy for my taste and therefore used the Molasses to tame it a bit.  You can soak the Barley overnight and reduce your cooking time to 15 minutes.  Wheat Berries also work well with this recipe: bring 3 1/2 cups Water to boil, add 1 cup Wheat Berries (rinsed), cover, reduce to simmer & cook for 1 hour.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sucking The Water From Food!

That's Kale!
That's my subtle way of saying I just got into the art of dehydrating food!

I was inspired to do so recently after reading a very, very short chapter on the subject in a book called, "Raw Foods For Busy People" by Jordan Maerin.  

Now, I am not a raw foodist, so why was I reading this book?  Well, for one I received it as a gift from a friend and all things happen for a reason...  Second, I'm open to all things healthy and as I suspected, this book taught me a thing or two, as well as inspired me - inspired me to include more raw foods in my diet and inspired me to get into drying foods!

So, I hit the internet, asked friends who I thought might be into this practice and collected data until I was comfortable in my decision to buy a dehydrator.

Selecting a dehydrator

I did not go with the Cadillac of dehydrators, which seems to be the Excalibur; even the name sounds grand!

Instead, I was realistic in my newbie efforts and went with the second best kid on the block, a Nesco.  To be exact, the Nesco/American Harvest FD-80 Square-Shaped Dehydrator!

After many hours of research, I figured out some key characteristics that would yield the best experience for me:

  • Square shape: to maximize drying area and aid in storage
  • Top down heating: top mounted fan eliminates liquids dripping into the heating chamber and making clean-up a pain in the ass
  • High wattage: 700 watts of drying power, cuts down drying time
  • Adjustable Thermostat: enables drying of different foods at the right temperature (95-160º F); taking the guess work out
  • Downward Air Flow: hot air forced downward and horizontally across each tray (not through trays), eliminating the need to rotate trays and prevent flavor mixing when drying different things
  • Expandable trays: ability to add additional drying trays should I become obsessed!
The Nesco FD-80, nailed all these characteristics as well as had hundreds and hundreds of positive consumer reviews!

Two things that I and everybody else wished this unit had is a timer and a on/off switch, but it doesn't seem like any unit out on the market has these features.  So, I "MacGyvered" my way around this with an outlet timer and surge protector with an on/off switch.

One more thing, contrary to the box label, this machine is not made in the U.S.A. - parts may be, but the main heating element is made in China. (sigh)

What to make with it?

As I type, my machine is busy making Kale Chips, Banana Chips, dried Kiwi and Clementines!

I plan to make fruit leather, crackers, cookies and experiment with a wide range of produce. And of course, I keep researching for more ways to use it!  My immediate goal is just to get some healthy, all-natural snack foods going, as my recent conversion to a whole foods, plant-based diet has left a void in this area.

I'll let you know how things go!

Eat Well!
The Hoff

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Doc: Fresh

Fresh, takes a look at today's issues plaguing our modern farms, both family and factory.  Due to the industrialization of agriculture and the drive for cheap, plentiful food, our food supply is suffering.

This doc also takes a look at sustainable farming and farmers utilizing best practices for growing food and raising animals.

This documentary features Michael Pollan, Will Allen and Joel Salatin - some faces you might recognize from other worthy docs.

If you're looking to learn more about farming and where your food is coming from, this is a documentary worth seeing!

Check out the trailer!

Ask The Hoff: Shot Glass?

HH,

I noticed in one of your posts recently, a picture with a shot glass in the background.  Drinking doesn't seem like something The Healthy Hoff would do.

What gives?

Sigh,
Disenchanted


Dear  Disenchanted,

I find your acute observational skills both enduring and freaky at the same time...(is someone watching me).

Anyway, it's not what you think, I swear!

While, The Healthy Hoff does not condemn drinking alcohol as unhealthy per say, it's just not my thing and never has been.

The shot glass in question is actually used for when I am sautéing.  I keep it on the counter for emergencies, because it's a quick way to get 2 tablespoons of water into my pan, which is the perfect amount.  Typically this comes into play when I set the heat too high and my veggies get away from me. I use water instead of oil to keep things from burning to the pan.

See, not all is what it seems.  I hope your faith in me has been restored.

Here's To You!
The Hoff

Gotta question for The Healthy Hoff?  Hit me up at TheHoff@healthyhoff.com

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What's Your Skin Type?

Every time someone asks me what my skin type is, I kinda freeze and look like a deer in headlights.

Usually this happens when I'm about to have a facial and I know that the products used during my facial will be selected based on my answer, so I really don't want to screw it up!

Here's a good way to determine your skin type:

Pick a day in which you can go completely make-up free, that means everything including moisturizers.  Keep an eye on your skin and note the time of day in which you skin gets shiny.

Before noon: Oily Skin Type
Around 3 pm: Combination Skin Type
After 6 pm or not at all: Dry Skin Type

Now you can choose your products with confidence!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Limited Free Viewing of Fresh

Starting today for a one week period only, you can view, Fresh the movie, for free right in your own home!  This doc has won five film festival awards!

"FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy."

What: Viewing of Fresh Documentary
When: Thursday, January 26, 2012 - Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Where: Your computer
Cost: Free!

Click here to watch for FREE!

If you watch, come back here and tell me what you think!

Check out the trailer!



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cool Tool: Little Coconut Noodler Tool

Check out the Little Coconut Noodler Tool from UBRaw.com!

This neat little device creates "noodle" shapes out of raw coconut or zucchini in seconds!  I imagine it could make a noodle out of anything with the right consistency!

A cool way to put a new spin on any meal!

See for yourself!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hoff's "Red & White German" Noodles

Look at that color!
Hoff's "Red & White German" Noodles
Yields: 6-8 servings
meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free


Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. Whole Wheat Pasta
  • 1 Onion (sliced in half-moon pieces)
  • 1 15 oz. can diced Potatoes (rinsed & drained)
  • 2 cups Sauerkraut
  • 1 16 oz. jar Red Cabbage (rinsed & drained)
  • 1/4 cup Alstertor Dusseldorf Mustard
  • 1/2 cup reserved Pasta Water
  • 1 tsp. Mustard Powder
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt


Directions:
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil
  2. Add Onions & Pasta and cook according to package
  3. Drain Pasta and return to pot
  4. Add Onions, Potatoes, Sauerkraut, Red Cabbage, Mustard, Pasta Water & Seasonings 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!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hoff Hit: Buying Kraut

While sauerkraut can be found in the canned food isle, always get it from the refrigerator section.  This will ensure that you will get all the nutritional and immune-boosting benefits of kraut as the pasteurization of the shelf-stabilization process kills the natural probiotics present in fermented food.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hoff's Frozen Berry Syrup

Oh no!  It's spontaneous pancake Sunday and no syrup to be found in the house!  Berries are out-of-season, so no fresh berries on hand - what is a girl to do?!? Improvise - with frozen fruit of course!  I wasn't sure if frozen fruit would work, but I started with Hoff's Blackberry Syrup and winged it.  I'm happy to say that frozen fruit worked just as well as fresh!


Hoff's Frozen Berry Syrup
Yields: About 1 1/2 Cups
dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free 


Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Frozen Berries or fruit of choice
  • 1tbsp Corn Starch
  • 2 tbsp Cold Water
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla
  • Sea Salt (optional)

Directions:
  1. In a saucepan, bring Water & Sugar to a boil
  2. Stir Frozen Berries into water & return to a boil, continue to stir occasionally
  3. Once Berries are soft, mash with a potato masher or blend with inversion blender (careful - très hot!)
  4. Mix together Corn Starch & Cold Water and add to syrup
  5. Reduce temperature & simmer for 10 minutes or until desired consistency
  6. Add Vanilla & Salt
  7. Enjoy!

My2Cents:
  • 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
  • Re-purpose a glass salad or syrup container for your syrup
  • This recipe works exceptionally well with blueberries, due to the lack of seeds!
  • Ummmmm...this syrup will turn your teeth blue - brush, brush, brush!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hoff Hit: Carbs Not The Bad Guys After All!

Carbohydrates are not the evil nemesis making you fat.

Actually, carbs are the body's primary fuel source and more than that, they are responsible for managing your heart rate, digestion, breathing, exercising, walking, and thinking.

However, not all carbs are created equal - choose whole grain, unprocessed over refined carbs.

Vegan No Oil Egg Substitutes

Re-post courtesy of: No Oil Vegan, Dr. Esselstyn's & Rip's E2 Diet NE Ohio

VEGAN NO OIL Egg Substitutes

There are plenty of egg substitutes available for baking or preparing a dish that calls for eggs. Ener-G Egg Replacer is a reliable egg substitute for use in baking. It is available at health food stores and most grocery stores.

Tofu: Tofu is great for egg substitutions in recipes that call for a lot of eggs, like quiches or custards. To replace one egg in a recipe, purée 1/4 cup soft tofu. It is important to keep in mind that although tofu doesn't fluff up like eggs, it does create a texture that is perfect for "eggy" dishes.

Tofu is also a great substitute for eggs in eggless egg salad and breakfast scrambles.

In Desserts and Sweet, Baked Goods: Try substituting one banana or 1/4 cup applesauce for each egg called for in a recipe for sweet, baked desserts. These will add some flavor to the recipe, so make sure bananas or apples are compatible with the other flavors in the dessert.

Other Egg Replacement Options

• 1 egg = 2 tbsp potato starch
• 1 egg = 1/4 cup mashed potatoes
• 1 egg = 1/4 cup canned pumpkin or squash
• 1 egg = 1/4 cup puréed prunes
• 1 egg = 1 tbsp Chia Seeds + 3 tbsp water (let stand for 5 minutes)
• 1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp hot water (let stand for 5 minutes)
• 1 egg = 2 tbsp lemon juice (add to wet ingredients) +12 tsp baking soda (add to dry ingredients) (use for baking mix)
• 1 egg white = 1 tbsp plain agar powder dissolved in 1 tbsp water, whipped, chilled, and whipped again


Egg Replacement Tips

• If a recipe calls for three or more eggs, it is important to choose a replacer that will perform the same function (i.e., binding or leavening).

• Trying to replicate airy baked goods that call for a lot of eggs, such as angel food cake, can be very difficult. Instead, look for a recipe with a similar taste but fewer eggs, which will be easier to replicate.

• When adding tofu to a recipe as an egg replacer, be sure to purée it first to avoid chunks in the finished product.

• Be sure to use plain tofu, not seasoned or baked, as a replacer.

• Powdered egg replacers cannot be used to create egg recipes such as scrambles or omelets. Tofu is the perfect substitute for eggs in these applications.

• If you want a lighter texture and you're using fruit purées as an egg substitute, add an extra 1/2 tsp. baking powder. Fruit purées tend to make the final product denser than the original recipe.

• If you're looking for an egg replacer that binds, try adding 2 to 3 Tbsp. of any of the following for each egg: tomato paste, potato starch, arrowroot powder, whole wheat flour, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, instant potato flakes, or 1/4 cup tofu puréed with 1 Tbsp. flour.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hoff Hit: Garlic

Working with garlic?  Wash your hands!

If left on your skin long enough, skinned garlic can cause second to third-degree burns requiring skin grafting.

The chemicals in garlic that give it it's powerful anti-viral & anti-bacterial properties are the same that can cause a severe allergic reaction called contact dermatitis, when applied directly to the skin.

Don't worry, these chemicals won't harm you by eating them, just choppy chop and then washy wash!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Preparation Tip

I hate washing dishes, so anything I can do to minimize my time at the sink, puts a smile on my face!

Utilizing a pair of kitchen scissors only to be used for food to cut up small, soft food items such as herbs, scallions, greens, etc. not only eliminates the need to drag out the cutting board and knife, but is also quicker.  (Kitchen scissors can also be used on meat such as chicken and bacon, but you didn't hear that from me.)

Try this method with Hoff's Super Quick Udon Noodle Soup - everything requiring a choppy chop can be done using the scissors, which adds to the super quickness of this recipe!

Happy Shearing!
The Hoff

Hoff's Super Quick Udon Noodle Soup

This a quicker version of Hoff's Udon Noodle Soup.  The quickness is in the paired down preparation and clean-up.


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




Ingredients:
  • 1 bundle Udon Noodles (a pack should contain 3 individually wrapped bundles)
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Bok Choy or Spinach (cut)
  • 1 cup Sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 cup Bean Sprouts
  • 4 Scallions (cut)
  • 1-2 tbsp Bragg Liquid Amino (or soy sauce)
  • Juice from 1 Lime

Directions:
  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!

My2Cents: Use a pair of kitchen shears to make prep and clean-up a snap!

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    Dr. McDougall's Right Foods

    Add caption
    One question I get asked the most - "what do I snack on?"

    Since adapting a whole-foods, plant-based diet, I have found myself relying less and less on crackers, cookies and chips and more and more on "mini meals" for snacking.

    Typically, I will dish out a much smaller portion of last nights leftovers and take that to work for my afternoon snack attack. I enjoy having a warm, home cooked afternoon snack!

    But when last nights leftovers aren't possible, I turn to my latest obsession: Dr. McDougall's Right Foods!

    Think cup-a-noodle and you'll get the concept - a cup of dried ingredients that you add hot water to and let stand a few minutes.  But, unlike cup-a-noodle, Right Foods are healthy!

    I am usually turned off by "doctors" who have their own "product lines."  But, I have been a longtime follower of McDougall and happen to adhere to his theory for optimum health after reading many of his books.  For a guy treating cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. through diet, his food can't be all that bad.

    So, when I discovered his line of low-calorie, vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, convenience foods, I had to investigate!  I knew I could trust McDougall and that scrutinizing the labels would not be necessary (although, I still do).  I was not disappointed, these "meal cups" are my number one go-to convenience food now!

    I like that I can rely on Right Foods to have minimal, all-natural, vegan ingredients, no oil and no preservatives.  Plus, only non-GMO ingredients are used!

    McDougall is also into Sustainability - so he uses minimal packaging, that is BPA free!

    My personal favorites are the noodle cups - Teriyaki NoodleSoy Ginger Noodle and Miso Soup with Organic Noodles.  Besides that, McDougall makes a mean Masala Lentil Pilaf and Lentil Couscous.  

    I have yet to try the soups and oatmeal, but plan to.

    I have found a few McDougall products at Giant Eagle, but no more than a couple cups at a time. Instead, I buy in bulk from the Right Foods website as I tend to go through these yummy cups pretty fast and never, ever want to be without them!

    My next plane ride, I'm definitely loading up my carry-on with a couple of these cups!  Just ask the stewardess for a cup of hot water and you'll no longer be reliant on mystery airplane food!

    So, if you're in need of a quick, convenient and healthy snacky snack, look into Right Foods!

    Check It Out!







    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Run Hundred's Top 10 Workout Songs For Winter 2012

    Hey Party Peeps!

    Check out the latest of top 10 workout songs provided by Run Hundred

    If you're wondering what the BPM stands for, don't feel bad, I didn't know either.  It's "beats per minute," so you can properly sort your workout mix with authority!  Sorry, had to, make that intensity level. :)

    Each song links to a preview and then again to iTunes or Amazon, should you feel the need to own it!

    Along with the top 10 list, is some song commentary and a little about Run Hundred; a cool little site that provides a monthly top 10 list for free!  In fact, if you become a subscriber (for free), you can perform your civic duty and determine the top 10!

    What makes this site different from other top 10 distributors?
    1. The creator is a  DJ and writes about music for Shape Magazine and Men's Journal, so he might know a thing or two about what he's talking about.  
    2. This site is dedicated to providing the best of the best workout songs, thus making your life easier!  
    3. The commentary is witty!
    4. Run Hundred really really cares if you work out and wants to help keep you motivated!  (Ok, I really don't know that and pretty much made it up, but doesn't it give you a warm, fuzzy feeling?)
    My job here is done!

    Work It!
    The Hoff

    This is a re-post courtesy of Run Hundred.

    The Top 10 Workout Songs For Winter 2012

    San Francisco, CA – Jan 11, 2012 – Traditionally, winter is the time of year when folks find it hardest to get out and exercise.  In the hopes of keeping folks motivated, readers from Run Hundred--the web's most heavily-trafficked site for workout music--were  polled regarding their favorite, current workout songs.  The resulting top 10 list has a little of what you'd expect—and a little you might not.  Flo Rida, who's no stranger to this list, shows up in two recent tracks.  Enrique Iglesias continues his transition from balladeer to club rocker.  And Kelly Clarkson, after faltering with the first single off her new album, bounced back ferociously with the second. 

    As for surprises, they're mostly entries from folks relatively new on the dance scene.  Highlights include songs from Tim Berg (who remixed his own track under his Avicii moniker), Skrillex (whose collaboration with Kaskade is the first dubstep track ever the make the Top 10), and Wolfgang Gartner (who's made the chart with a little help from the Black Eyed Peas' Will.I.Am).

    Here's the full list: 
    1. Tim Berg - Seek Bromance (Avicii Vocal Edit) - 127 BPM
    2. Katy Perry - The One That Got Away - 135 BPM
    3. Alexandra Stan - Mr. Saxobeat (Maan Studio Remix) - 126 BPM
    4. Flo Rida - Good Feeling - 129 BPM
    5. Wolfgang Gartner & Will.I.Am - Forever - 128 BPM
    6. Hot Chelle Rae - Tonight Tonight (Goldstein Remix) - 118 BPM
    7. Taio Cruz & Flo Rida - Hangover - 129 BPM
    8. Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull & The WAV.s - I Like How It Feels - 129 BPM
    9. Kaskade & Skrillex - Lick It - 128 BPM
    10. Kelly Clarkson - What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger) - 117 BPM

    To find more songs--and hear next month's contenders—folks can check out Run Hundred's database of workout songs. Visitors can browse the song selections there by genre, tempo, and era—to find the music that best fits with their particular workout routine.

    This is a re-post courtesy of Run Hundred.

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    Hoff's Quesadillas

    Hoff's Quesadillas
    Makes: 5 quesadillas
    meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free 



    Ingredients:
    • 1 Red Pepper - thin, long slices
    • 1/2 Onion - thin, long slices
    • 1 bag Uncle Ben's Spanish Style Ready Rice
    • 1 can vegetarian or fat free Refried Beans
    • 10 Whole Wheat Soft Tacos (medium size)
    • 1 Lime
    • Salsa (optional)

    Directions:
    1. In a non-stick frying pan, saute Red Pepper, Onion in juice of Lime until softened and slightly browned 
    2. Meanwhile, heat Rice and Refried beans in the microwave and mix together
    3. Spread Bean mixture on one Taco Shell and top with Onions and Red Peppers
    4. Top with second Taco Shell and toast in toaster oven until slightly browned and crisp
    5. Cut into triangles with a pizza cutter or large knife
    6. Serve with Salsa of choice!

    My 2 Cents:
    This is a super quick meal to prepare with minimal clean-up.  Keep basics on hand for a meal in a pinch.

      Cooking with C.A.R.E. to Offer Vegan/Vegetarian Cooking Classes!!!

      I'm super excited to share that Cooking with C.A.R.E., a Cleveland based cooking/personal chef service has just announced plans to offer vegan and vegetarian cooking classes for 2012!!!!

      Woooo hooo!!!!

      But wait, it's get better!

      They have a new, bigger location that can accommodate more students - the Shore Cultural Center in Euclid, Ohio.

      PLUS - due to a funding grant, live classes are now only $25, online classes are $15!!! Now that is a bargain!

      Check out the schedule for Online Classes and for Live Classes for more details!

      Another very cool concept that was just announced is Shore Cultural Dinners!

      Occurring every 4th Friday of the month from 6:30pm - 8:00pm, Chef Robin will guide your exploration of a different culture through books, music, arts & crafts, activities, live cooking demonstrations and a full meal that represents that culture. This is a family friendly event that's open to everyone!

      Upcoming 2012 Schedule:
      January - Chinese New Year
      February - Mardi Gras
      March - Indian Cuisine

      Cost is only $10 per adult and $25 per family of 4!

      Check it Out!
      The Hoff

      Saturday, January 14, 2012

      Semi-Homemade Taco Shells

      Many tacos shells in the market contain oil, adding unnecessary fat and calories.  You can avoid all this by making your own taco shells!

      A quick, healthy and easy way is to use fresh corn tortilla shells, typically found in either the bread aisle or refrigerator section of the grocery store and typically not made with oil (check the label to make sure).

      Simply place one tortilla shell over one bar (for original shell) or two bars (for flat bottom) of the shelf in your oven.  Just slap them in there, they will form into the perfect taco shell as they crisp up.

      Cook at 400 degrees for 5 - 7 minutes and you've got taco shells!!!!

      Free Book: "25 Amazing (& Weird) Facts About How Food is Made"

      Check out "25 Amazing (& Weird) Facts About How Food is Made," which you can get for free as a downloadable PDF, by simply providing your email address.  (As an added bonus, you will be subscribed to The Health Ranger's daily newsletter.)

      With this super quick read, you'll learn fun & disturbing things such as:
      • How popcorn pops!
      • What makes teas different - white, green, black, oolong...
      • Raw pickles contain healthy probiotics & where to find them!
      • Citrus-flavored sodas are made with a toxic flame-retardant chemical that's banned in over 100 countries (but not the USA).
      • Chinese restaurant "soy sauce" is actually a toxic chemical imitation of real soy sauce.
      • When French fries are fried, they produce a toxic, cancer-causing chemical that you'll never see listed on ingredients labels.
      • TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) often contains a highly toxic non-food product that's used as a commercial pesticide.
      • Most margarine products are actually made with dairy-derived ingredients.
      • Gelatin, used in Jell-O and jams, is made from from the boiled skin and cartilage of cows and pigs.
      • How a high-tech company reverse-engineered the human genome to develop chemically-targeted taste blockers and enhancers that are added to snack foods.
      Get The Facts!
      The Hoff

      Thursday, January 12, 2012

      Event: Kickstart Your 2012 Fitness Teleclass

      Kickstart Your 2012 Fitness Teleclass, featuring plant-based fitness expert Lani Muelrath, fitness expert for Dr. John McDougall's Online Health & Medical Center.

      Discover how to create a simple, easy to follow exercise plan that works for you! Learn about the importance of exercise and how exercise, paired with a healthy plant-based diet is a recipe for success.

      You will learn:
      • How exercise helps your body turn off its ‘fat genes’
      • The 4 essential parts of an ideal exercise plan – and how to easily put yours together
      • How exercise builds willpower and multiplies your success factor: 7 ways that research shows exercise improves mental health
      • The reasons behind belly pooch and learn the antidote LIVE on the call with Lani’s popular Fit Quickie, “7 seconds to a flat belly”
      • The answer to the question “Can you out train a bad diet?”

      What: Kickstart Your 2012 Fitness Teleclass
      When: Tuesday, 1.17.2012
      Where: Your place via phone or computer
      Time: 8:00 pm – 8:30 pm EST/5:00 pm – 5:30 pm PST
      Cost: Free!

      Wednesday, January 11, 2012

      Go Test Yourself

      It's an interesting concept, one which I have not tried yet, but have often contemplated - ordering my own blood test.  By-passing the doctor completely and paying an independent laboratory out of my own pocket.

      A few potential issues with this is: 
      • will you be able to decipher the results
      • what if there is a problem
      • what if you have more questions
      At that point, you could bring the results to your doctor and begin the conversation from there.

      Why would you want to do this?

      Well, what if you don't have insurance or for that matter even a doctor?

      There have been a few times, that I had wished I knew of somewhere to go to have a routine blood test performed.

      Once, when I thought and actually was/am suffering from food allergies and knew that a blood test was more accurate than the 15-minute prick test.  Another when I was mega dosing on Vitamin D and I had the damndest time getting my doctor to do a blood test to determine if I was nearing the toxicity level for this vitamin.  Then again when I decided to change from a Prescatarian diet (vegan/vegetarian who eats fish) to a vegan diet; I wanted to see if my "numbers" were improving.  Frankly because I had just found out that I had high cholesterol (unacceptable!) and because your numbers can drastically improve within 3 weeks of eating better.  But, I had just had a blood test, so there was no way the insurance was going to pay for another and it would be another battle with the doc.

      So, three cases in which I would have loved to have a laboratory in my back pocket.  And frankly, three times when I didn't need a doctor or the added expense of an office visit to get to the answers I was seeking.

      Where can you go?

      While reading an unrelated article, I came across two such laboratories -  DirectLabs.com and Personalabs.com.

      Like I said, I've never done it - but I'll be bookmarking these two companies just in case.

      Stay Healthy!
      The Hoff

      Tuesday, January 10, 2012

      Rockin' Garlic Press!

      I came across this little gadget recently and I absolutely love it!  In fact, I use it almost daily!

      Instead of trying to mince garlic, which I am never successful at - I use the Joseph Joseph Rocker, Garlic Crusher!

      All you need to do is remove the garlic peel, press down on the clove in a seesaw motion and the little square holes create perfect minced garlic in seconds!  I don't even bother to do a clove at a time as the garlic will just build up on top, awaiting it's final destination.

      Plus, it's much easier to clean than a traditional garlic press!

      And triple score bonus, since this crafty gadget is made of stainless steel, you can rub your hands on it to remove an garlic smell that may be lingering (clean it first, of course)!

      Go Garlic!
      The Hoff

      Monday, January 9, 2012

      Hoff's Green Wrap

      Hoff's Green Wrap
      Serves: 1
      meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free



      Ingredients:
      • 1 Whole Wheat Wrap
      • Hummus
      • Onion (sliced or diced)
      • Cucumber (diced)
      • Matchstick Carrots
      • Sprouts
      • Greens (romaine, spring mix, spinach, etc.)
      • Mustard or Flavored Balsamic Vinegar

      Directions:
      1. Spread Hummus on Wrap
      2. Layer on Onion, Cucumber, Carrots & Greens
      3. Add Mustard or Balsamic to flavor
      4. Roll & Eat!

      My2Cents:
      I have wraps throughout the week as a replacement for salad. Therefore, I prepare my wrap ingredients ahead of time (usually on Sunday morning).  I slice or dice, one onion.  I slice an English Cucumber in half, deseed with a spoon and cut into small chunks.  In a zip-lock bag I mix the cucumbers with matchstick carrots, adding a paper towel to remove moisture.  I wash & shred/cut my greens, storing in a zip-lock bag with added paper towel, again to remove the excess moisture.  Check throughout the week, because you will mostly likely need to replace these paper towels.  I keep everything on the same shelf in the frig, so I can grab it all at once and assemble a wrap in under a minute!

      Sunday, January 8, 2012

      Ask The Hoff: Mammograms & Radiation


      Dear Hoff,

      My mom sent this to me -- Said this is from Dr. OZ -- what does The Healthy Hoff think? 

      On Wednesday, Dr. Oz had a show on the fastest growing cancer in women, thyroid cancer. It was a very interesting program and he mentioned that the increase could possibly be related to the use of dental x-rays and mammograms. He demonstrated that on the apron the dentist puts on you for your dental x-rays there is a little flap that can be lifted up and wrapped around your neck. Many dentists don't bother to use it. Also, there is something called a "thyroid guard" for use during mammograms but you have to ask for it – they don’t offer it to you.

      Thanks,
      Yo!


      Hey, Yo!

      I'm glad this message is starting to reach the masses, it's an important one that affects us all.

      I will start off by saying that this is an area that I know little about, so I will share what I do know and don't take it as medical advice but rather a starting point for your own research.

      While attending a health conference recently, I learned that the "experts" and no one else for that matter truly knows to what degree the radiation we are being exposed to through various x-rays (dental, mammogram, airport screening, etc.) is having on our overall health, cumulatively, overtime.  

      I for one avoid x-rays unless absolutely necessary.  I feel that these doctors lump us into "standard procedure" with little regard for the longtime affects.  So, I will refuse dental x-rays on a yearly basis, unless I am experiencing an issue.  And when my doctor asked if I wanted a mammogram this year, I said, "Hell No!," I'm too young for that!  You must bear in mind that doctors are merely consultants, and we need to educate ourselves and ask questions to determine if the advice they are giving is right for us and not accept everything they say and recommend as gospel.  Doctors are not gods, they are human and they too get it wrong sometimes, don't know everything and are limited by training - you must take responsibility for your own health!

      As for the mammograms, when the time truly does come, I plan NOT to engage in the "standard practice."  Bear in mind that I do not have a history of breast cancer within my family line.  I will however, be looking into Breast Thermography, a medical infrared image.  This method does not utilize radiation, injections or compression - in fact there is no bodily contact at all.  Instead, it makes an infrared image using the body's natural heat.  This method has been around awhile and was approved by the FDA in 1982 as a breast screening procedure.  Clinical trials have shown that this procedure can detect cancer up to 10 years earlier than other methods.

      I am currently aware of one local medical practice utilizing Breast Thermography, Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center in Middleburg Heights, Ohio.

      In the meantime, I am doing everything possible to safeguard myself from any type of cancer through eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet.  And if you're curious to understand more on how that works, I recommend you read The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, it's very enlightening!

      Hope this helps!
      The Hoff

      P.S. I will definitely look for that throat guard next time I need dental x-rays and remember that thyroid guard - thanks!!!

      Sources:
      http://www.bestthermographyservice.com/breast-thermography-faq.html
      http://tenpennyimc.com/breast-thermography


      Gotta question for The Healthy Hoff?  Hit me up at TheHoff@healthyhoff.com

      Hoff Hit: Righty, Snack Lefty

      If you are predominately right handed, use your left hand while snacking - and vice versa.

      Studies suggest this may reduce the amount of food you eat as it breaks the routine, "hand to mouth motion" and forces the brain to "think," thus reducing mindless chomping.

      Saturday, January 7, 2012

      Hoff Hit: Keep it Positive

      A recent Penn State and Texas A&M University study revealed that people who had positive thoughts regarding the future, were more likely to choose a healthy snack over an unhealthy one.

      Positively Priceless!

      Hoff's Black Bean Soup

      Hoff's Black Bean Soup
      Yields: 4 cups
      meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free
       

      Ingredients:
      • 1 can Black Beans (rinsed)
      • 1 can diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
      • 2 cups Veggie Broth
      • 1/4 Onion
      • Juice of 1 Lime
      • 2 tbsp Instant Mashed Potatoes
      • 1 tsp Cumin
      • Sea Salt
      • 1 cup Frozen Corn (defrosted)
      • Baked Tortilla Chips (optional)

      Directions:
      1. Place Black Beans, Tomatoes, Veggie Broth, Onion, Lime juice, Potato Flakes, Cumin & Salt in Vitamix
      2. Blend for 6 minutes, until steam escapes from lid
      3. Stir in Corn
      4. Top soup with smashed Tortilla Chips

      My2Cents: The Instant Mashed Potatoes act as a thickener for the soup.   Defrost the corn in a colander by running cold water over it.  This recipe was for designed for a Vitamix, which through friction naturally heats ingredients if left to run long enough.  If you are using a traditional blender, simply heat the soup as you normally would.

      Thursday, January 5, 2012

      Hoff's Red Pepper Hummus

      Hoff's Red Pepper Hummus
      Yields: 3 3/4 cups
      dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free
       

      Ingredients:
      • 2 cans/3 cups Garbonzo Beans (rinsed and drained)
      • 1 Red Pepper (seeds & stem removed)
      • Handful Fresh Cilantro (optional)
      • Juice of 1 Lime
      • 2-3 cloves of Garlic
      • 1/2 cup Water
      • 2 tbsp. Whole Flax Seeds
      • 1 tbsp. Tahini (optional)
      • 1 tbsp. Cumin
      • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
      • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
      • 1 tsp. Sea Salt

      Directions:
      1. Place all ingredients in Vitamix/blender (order not important)
      2. Use tamper (Vitamix) to push ingredients into blades
      3. Blend until smooth (1-2 minutes)
      4. Store in fridge

      Hoff Thoughts: The Cilantro acts as a natural heavy metal detoxifier.  A handful should do the trick, no need to chop, let the Vitamix/blender handle that.


        Wednesday, January 4, 2012

        21-Day Vegan Kickstart!

        Looking to start the New Year by cleaning up your diet?

        Why not try going vegan for a bit?  You can "kick the tires" for 21 days, it won't kill ya and you might just learn a few things to add into your current repertoire.  Who knows, you might actually feel better and enjoy it!

        Going vegan can be seem like a daunting feat, but with the help of the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart program courtesy of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, it can be a piece of cake!

        21-Day Vegan Kickstart provides a 21-day meal plan, recipes, webcasts, restaurant guides, resources and lots of tips to help you succeed!  There are even celebrity tips and recipes by such vegans as Alicia Silverstone, John Salley and even Steve-O (totally serious).

        Need some real-life support?  They've got that too with a Community Forum!

        Oh yeah, pretty much a guarantee that you're going to lose weight - hope you're ok with that!  And by the way, this amazing resource is totally FREE!



        Check this out to get a feel of what  you can expect!



        You Ready?!?!
        The Hoff

        Tuesday, January 3, 2012

        Ask The Hoff: High Fiber Cereal

        Hoff!

        In a past post you mentioned getting something like getting 300 grams of fiber per day!?!?  What are you eating for breakfast to even begin to hit that?

        Thanks!
        Hungry in the Morning





        Hey Hungry in the Morning!

        I think the post you're referring to is, Weight Loss: Staying Motivated, where I mentioned striving for 35 - 50 grams of fiber a day.  I don't even want to guess what would happen to a person if they got 300 (ouch)!

        And you're on the right track - in order to hit these numbers, each meal has to be fiberlicious and that means starting with the first meal of the day.  So, I look for cereals that have the most fiber content per cup, with the least amount of unpronounceable ingredients. 

        I have scoured the cereal isle for awhile and my go to cereals are Uncle Sam Original & Special K Red Berries.

        Both Uncle Sam and Red Berries have minimal ingredients, no oil, no artificial sweeteners and no artificial coloring.

        Uncle Sam has 13 grams of fiber per cup, while Red Berries has 3 grams of fiber per cup.

        So now you're asking yourself, why would I bother with the Red Berries with such a low fiber content?  Well, Uncle Sam consists of: whole wheat kernels, whole flax seed, salt and barely malt - that's it.  Not exactly a cereal that screams yummy, yummy - but you can eat it straight up without a problem.

        I on the other hand, prefer to combine it with the Red Berries for a little flavor boost.  I'm still getting the mega boost of fiber in the morning, with a little flair. I also add 3 cereal spoonfuls of wild blueberries & one spoonful of ground flax seed for another fiber & flavor punch.

        Enjoy!
        The Hoff

        P.S. Don't forget the tried and true whole cut/steel cut oatmeal that packs in 8 grams of fiber per cup - sprinkle with ground flax seed for a little more fiber!

        Gotta question for The Healthy Hoff?  Hit me up at TheHoff@healthyhoff.com

        Hoff Hit: Cholesterol

        Think you're eating healthier because you've replaced red meat with chicken, turkey or fish?

        Not so fast.

        Chicken and turkey have just as much cholesterol as red meat.  And in some cases, fish (especially shellfish) has more cholesterol than red meat!

        A 3-ounce piece of red meat, chicken breast, and tuna all have 80 milligrams of cholesterol.

        Studies have shown that when a person replaces red meat for white meat (chicken, fish, etc.), there is no change in their cholesterol levels.

        How can this be?

        You can't cut away Cholesterol like you can fat, because, you can't see it.  Cholesterol exists within the muscle of the animal, exactly the part that you eat.  And that is why eating leaner animal foods makes no difference.

        The only way to truly reduce Cholesterol levels is to reduce or cut-out animal-based foods.

        Monday, January 2, 2012

        Hoff Hit: Lime Seeds

        Gotcha!

        Limes don't have seeds - so, you never have to worry about them when squeezing a lime for juice!

        Hoff's Hot Cocoa

        Hot Cocoa
        Serves: 1
        dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

        In your favorite mug, stir together about 1 cup of Dark Chocolate Milk Alternative (I prefer Almond Milk) and about 1/2 cup of water.  Nuke for 1-2 minutes.

        Just like traditional cocoa!