The last two months I’ve been super excited to share about co-chairing an incredible event with my husband, Jonathon Fischer. On October 22, the Susan G. Komen Culinary Showdown led off with Chef Tyler Florence, Chef Michael Voltaggio, Chef Ben Ford, Chef Elizabeth Falkner and Chef Antonia Lofaso mentoring teams for the evening’s showdown event.
During the main event these teams, along with their celebrity chefs, cooked up appetizers, a main course and dessert for a panel of judges. The dishes were judged based on taste and presentation. The evening also included an auction during the cooking challenge intermission. This auction raised money for Susan G. Komen Los Angeles County. These funds, along with the fundraising the 50 participants raised with their teams for the event, will go towards supporting the fight against breast cancer.
It was such an exciting and lively event. There was delicious food and drink, incredible people, and everyone had such an amazing time. You can find out more about Susan G. Komen and their organization on their website here and Lempereur Magazine put together a wonderful photo recap of the event as well as a good written summary and more photos of the evening here.
Do you have anxiety about overeating during the holiday season? Thanksgiving is right around the corner and that normally means food – and a lot of it. Recently, I read an article that outlined a study explaining what time of the day is best to exercise (which is a question a lot of people have). Peter Hespel, a professor in the Research Center for Exercise and Health at Catholic University Leuven in Belgium and author of the article, agreed that the best way to prevent weight gain and maintain a healthy weight (and help achieve weight-loss), is a well-balanced diet and daily physical activity. But if you are cheating on the healthy and well-balanced diet part (like some people tend to do during the holiday season) his study showed “that early-morning exercise in the fasted state is more potent than an identical amount of exercise in the fed state” for maintaining healthy waistlines.
What does this mean? It means that people who worked out in the morning before eating maintained their weight as apposed to those people who exercised after eating, even after more calories were consumed than normal. So if you are eating a little more than normal the next two months during all your social get-togethers, set your alarm an hour earlier, get out of bed, and exercise before you start your day; you may just be able to maintain your weight a little easier. You can read the full article about this study here.
I love Thanksgiving! There is something about this time of year that makes everyone especially grateful. It makes people more willing to help their neighbor, more generous to their community around them, and even willing to travel to be with those they love. The food during this time is comforting and something alone to be grateful for. Pumpkin pie is something that is a staple for most Thanksgiving dinners. If you are looking for a healthier alternative, or even just looking for a new spin on an old favorite, I’ve got two recipes for you to try out this holiday.
- 1 cup egg whites (raw)
- 1 1/2 cup pumpkin (canned)
- 1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cups sugar (white)
- 1/2 cup Splenda for baking
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
- 1/4 teaspoon clove (ground)
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 2/3 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon walnuts (chopped)
Step 1 – Preheat oven to 350°. Coat 5 mini loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.
Step 2 – Combine first six ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
Step 3 – In a separate mixing bowl combine baking soda, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, salt, baking powder and flour.
Step 4 – Pour liquid mixture with dry mixture and mix well. Pour mixture into mini loaf pans, filling pans half the way to allow room for bread to rise. Bake for 25 minutes or until you can poke a toothpick into center that comes out clean.
Step 5 – Let cool on wire rack for 20 minutes, wrap loaves in colored plastic wrap and tie with a festive ribbon.
Nutrition Facts per serving (1/2 mini loaf): 162 cals., 5 gm protein, 35 gm carbohydrates, 5 gm fat.
Serving size: 1/2 mini loaf.
- 3/4 cups nonfat cottage cheese
- 3/4 cups organic packed pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon organic raisins
- 1 tablespoon crushed walnuts
Step 1 – Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
Step 2 – Mix well.
Step 3 – Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy.
Nutrition Facts per serving: Calories: 333 cal, Protein: 23g, Total Carbohydrate: 49g, Total Fat: 8g
*Based on a 2000 calorie diet
And just because I think these are delicious and everyone deserves an amazing breakfast on Thanksgiving morning, I’m sharing this next recipe with you. Wait until you try these pancakes! Not only are they tasty, but they are also good for you! Get the whole family and make them together; it will become a new tradition.
- 1 cup whole grain flour
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (packed)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup light vanilla soy milk
- 2 scoops Jay Robb’s vanilla egg white protein powder
- 1/4 cup vanilla nonfat Greek yogurt ((about 1 small 5.3oz container; Voskos Honey Vanilla Bean is my favorite))
- 3/4 cups canned pumpkin
- 2 Extra Large egg whites
- 2 tablespoons butter (melted but not bubbling hot)
- 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 Quarter-sized slices of candied ginger (minced)
Step 1 – In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt and set aside.
Step 2 – Pour the soymilk and protein powder into a blender and mix for 30 seconds then pour into a medium bowl. Add the yogurt, pumpkin, melted butter and egg whites and mix well.
Step 3 – Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and stir just until moistened; Don’t over mix the batter (it’s okay if there are some lumps – this helps the pancakes become lighter).
Step 4 – Stir the minced ginger into the softened butter, mix well and set aside.
Step 5 – Spray a heated griddle or large skillet with cooking spray. Pour the batter onto the heated griddle, using ¼ cup of batter for each pancake, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Step 6 – Spread lightly with ginger butter and drizzle each pancake with ½ tablespoon of syrup.
Nutrition Facts per serving (2 pancakes): 372 cals., 20 gm protein, 53 gm carbohydrates, 10 gm fat.
Not only is there a lot of food during the holidays, but also during this season, there can be parties or dinners with a lot of drinks. I have come up with some alternatives to high-calorie cocktails and mocktails that I promise you will love. Check out my video clip from CBS Los Angeles News where I demonstrate some of my recipes. Click on the image, or click here to watch on YouTube
“The best way to start each day is with gratitude and thanksgiving. Truly thankful people do not complain. They are too busy being grateful for the good things they do have that they have no time to notice the things they could complain about.” Joyce Meyer