Archive for the ‘Cuisine’ Category

How to Use The New Food Guidelines and Get Great Skin

By Guest Blogger | Jun 13, 2011

The USDA recently announced a new way to look at healthy eating. Remember the old food pyramid? It’s gone. They’ve replaced it with the new MyPlate, which balances fruits, grains, vegetables, proteins and dairy all on one plate. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Half your plate should be fruits and vegetables.
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains (I go for all whole grains).
  • Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy products.

Take a look at the image above. It makes a lot more sense then the ancient pyramid did, and if you choose just the right types of food, you can help your skin look and perform its absolute best, too. Here what to put on your plate to eat healthy and get great skin at the same time:

FRUITS: Watermelon and papaya contain lycopene, which studies show can help protect skin against damaging UV rays. Red grapes contain antioxidants known as polyphenols—known to help to keep skin from sagging by strengthening collagen. And don’t forget blueberries, plums, strawberries, and blackberries. A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that these four fruits had the highest “total antioxidant capacity” of any food. So they’re super free-radical fighters that protect skin cells from damage and prevent premature aging. And pile up the cherries—acerola cherries contain even more vitamin C than an orange – and C is a super-antioxidant for the skin.

GRAINS: The mineral selenium found in whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, barley, and cereals is essential for skin health. People with higher levels of selenium sufferer less damage from environmental aggressors. Be aware, however, that this is only true for whole grain breads, not white flour items. So skip the white pasta, rice, and cakes.

VEGETABLES: Carrots and sweet potatoes contain beta carotene, which gives skin a healthy glow and has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm skin ravaged by the environment. Sweet potatoes are also packed with vitamins B6 and C, potassium, and manganese, so they’re basically perfect for your skin. Also, choose dark leafy greens like kale, swiss chard, and spinach. They are rich in age-fighting magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamins B1 and B2.

PROTEIN: Think about fat—not fatty foods, but fatty acids. They’re responsible for healthy cell membranes. And the stronger the membrane, the better your cells can take in and hold moisture. Fill your plate with proteins like omega-3 packed salmon, mackerel, herring, or sardines. And don’t forget about oysters and shellfish. They contain zinc, which can help break down your skin’s damaged collagen and allow new collagen to form, so your skin looks younger and rejuvenated.

DAIRY: The vitamin A found in dairy products is essential for the health of skin cells. Plus, a low-fat Greek yogurt will also aid in digestion, since it contains active live probiotic cultures. And when your insides function at their best, it shows on your skin.

Do you think about your skin when you choose the foods you eat? Have any quick recipes to share? Share them here in the comments.

—Barbara Salomone, Bioelements Founder and President

Canyon Ranch Nutritionist Shares the Fruits and Vegetables that Make up the “Dirty Dozen”

Last week, I attended an event for Canyon Ranch in which I was able to live a Day in the Life of a guest there.  I sampled tasty treats from corporate chef Scott Uehlein, figured out my target heart rate with exercise physiology director Mike Siemens, M.S., learned more about the product line själ, which is offered in Canyon Ranch SpaClub at sea, from president and co-founder Kristin Petrovich, and discovered some helpful eating tips from nutritionist Chrissy Wellington. Of particular interest were the 12 produce items, also referred to as the “Dirty Dozen,” that are most likely to be contaminated. She recommended health-conscious shoppers buy organic when purchasing the following fruits and vegetables.


Bell Peppers




Grapes (imported)

Kale/Collard Greens






The produce that causes the least amount of worry, as it is the least likely to be contaminated is the following:










Sweet Corn (frozen)

Sweet Peas (frozen)


Needless to say, I’ll be a bit more savvy next time I’m shopping the produce aisle. While organic can be a bit pricier, it’s nice to know where it makes most sense to put my money.  What helpful tips have you shared with your spa-goers lately?

Drink to Your Health with Bolthouse
Farms’s Aura Botanical Water

As I’ve mentioned before, although I strive to be healthy, it’s not always easy for me. That’s why when I hear of any sort of shortcut to healthy living, I’m on board. Such is the case with Aura Botanical Water from Bolthouse Farms, a health and wellness company in California. Available in Cucumber Lemon Rosemary, Orange Basil, and Grapefruit Sage, each 15.2-ounce bottle contains one full serving of fruit with no added artificial flavors or sugar and is infused with essential vitamins, including 100 percent of the recommended daily does of vitamin C. And, not only are these enhanced waters delicious and packed with nutrients the body needs (I personally am obsessed with the Cucumber Lemon Rosemary flavor, but that’s probably the spa-girl in me) but are also only 45 calories. I’ll drink to that!

Active Center for Health & Wellness
Offers Nutrition Tips

For those who are seeking a customized health and wellness experience in the tri-state area need look no further than the Active Center for Health & Wellness in Hackensack, NJ. With a staff composed of medical doctors, registered dietitians, personal trainers, skincare experts, acupuncturists, massage therapists and wellness coaches at readily available, guests find the right program for them to achieve optimum wellness by combining the latest advances in traditional western medicine with complementary health modalities. The center also offers a variety of seminars on numerous health and wellness topics. Here, we share with you the top five tips recently presented by Carrie Kelley, R.D., during a presentation on how to attain proper nutrition:

  1. You must eat a breakfast that consists of a carbohydrate, protein, and good fat.
  2. Don’t drink your calories, because your body doesn’t recognize liquids as satiating nutrition..
  3. Snack throughout the day, and be sure not to go more than three hours without eating a snack containing about 150 calories.
  4. Have good fat in your diet, such as fish, almonds, and soybeans.
  5. Eat at least 30 grams of fiber per day to help keep you regular.

Cinq Mondes Spa at the Beau-Rivage Offers Guests A Way to Have the Best of Both Worlds

One of the best resorts I’ve stayed at in Europe is undoubtedly the Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland. And two of the most memorable things were Cinq Mondes Spa, where I experienced amazing treatments, and the delicious food, which I ate a lot of during my stay. Now, both are combined with the introduction of the spa’s Chrononutrition program, which works by mapping out the particular enzymes and hormones the body produces at various times of the day, allowing guests to eat the foods they enjoy but still lose weight. With the exception of lactose-containing foods like milk and yogurt, no food is off limits. Spa-goers simply book a consultation with the nutritionist to learn what to eat and when, then just sit back and enjoy their favorite meals, along with the incomparable views of the Alps from the comfort of one of the most beautiful hotels in the country.

Spa Eastman Helps Guests Satisfy Their Sweet Tooth Without Packing on Pounds

Interesting fact: More than 58 million pounds of chocolate will be purchased during Valentine’s week, bringing in more than $345 million in sales, according to a report by The Nielsen Company. That’s a lot of chocolate…and a lot of expanded waistlines! But that won’t be a problem for guests at Spa Eastman (Quebec), where they can opt for the health-conscious Two Layer Chocolate & Orange Cake. This delicious dessert has no flour and features dark chocolate, which contains 70 percent cocoa packed with cancer-fighting polyphenols. Here, we share the recipe with you.

Two Layer Chocolate & Orange Cake


• 8 egg whites at room temperature
• 1/2 cup of fine sugar cane
• 3 ounces of unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 tsp of baking powder

• 1 cup of orange marmalade with spices

• 1/2 cup of soy milk
• 1 1/3 cup of dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
• the zest of an orange


  1. Preheat oven at 350 F.
  2. With a mixer, beat the egg whites while progressively adding the sugar until the mixture rises, forming a meringue.
  3. Combine the cocoa powder and baking powder, and add to meringue very delicately using a spatula.
  4. Pour into a 8-inch cake mold that has been greased and floured.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven and let it cool 5 minutes, then remove from mold.
  7. Set on a cake plate, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  8. Cut the cake in two horizontally. Spread the marmalade on one side and cover with the other half of the cake.
  9. In a pan, bring the soy beverage to a boil, and then pour over the chocolate, mixing until all the pieces have dissolved into a smooth texture. Proceed to frost the cake.
  10. Decorate with orange zest and serve.

Healthy Steps by Jokari Helps
Keep the Holiday Pounds at Bay

It’s no secret it’s a struggle not pack on the pounds around the holidays, so when I came across the Healthy Steps line of portion control kitchen tools from Jokari, I was thrilled. Each tool serves a specific purpose, making it so easy to stay within reasonable portion sizes during meals. For example, the Portion Control Starch Server is a spoon the size of the proper amount of cooked starch such as potatoes or rice, while the Portion Control Vegetable Server is a slotted spoon measuring one-half serving of cooked vegetables. Not only has using them helped me maintain my normal weight over the past few weeks (so far) but these handy tools also make great holiday gifts. Check out the website here.

Discover Cal-a-Vie Health Spa’s 12 Ways to Wellness

It’s common knowledge that the holiday season is a time to indulge. Despite doing my best to keep my calorie counts in check, it’s not easy with numerous celebratory cocktail parties and co-workers bearing a limitless supply of cupcakes and cookies. Fortunately, registered nutritionist Linda Illingworth and executive chef Jason Graham of Cal-a-Vie Health Spa (Vista, CA) have teamed up to share 12 Ways to Wellness, helpful holiday tips that serve as a seasonal survival guide.

  • Skip the caffeine and start your day with hot water and a lemon wedge to flush out unwanted toxins.
  • Be kind to your mind by stretching your body five minutes each day.
  • Take the candy out of your cane and use natural agave syrup instead.
  • Trim down your eggnog this year with almond or vanilla soy milk.
  • Don’t be a glutton—choose gluten free.
  • Hydrate with coconut water and boost your electrolytes at the same time.
  • Better to butter with Earth Balance or Smart Balance.
  • Serve your guests frozen raisins—they taste like caramels.
  • Go green and fill your plate with leafy greens.
  • Bake your cookies with rice flour or whole wheat pastry flour.
  • Keep your cheese for the camera and save loads of calories.
  • Craving ice cream? Freeze a banana. It’s yummy and full of potassium.

Oaks at Ojai Offers Fig-Friendly Recipes to Ring in Fall

With my recent commitment to try to live a healthier lifestyle, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that just because a meal is nutritious, doesn’t mean it can’t also be delicious. Christine Denney, chef at the Oaks at Ojai (CA) couldn’t agree more. In fact, the spa’s fall menu incorporates a variety of dishes featuring heart-healthy figs, which are packed with calcium, vitamin A, potassium, iron, and fiber, with only 30 calories. Here, we share with you one of the spa’s popular recipes.


• 1 1/2 lb of ground turkey
• 1/3 cup of chopped fresh figs
• 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
• 1/2 cup finely minced red onion
• 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1. Combine all of the ingredients, making sure not to overmix.
2. Divide into 6 portions and shape into burgers, and chill for one hour.
3. Using a non-stick spray, spray generously and cook burgers over medium heat for 3-5 minutes per side.
4. Serve warm in a whole wheat pita.

Bon Appetit!

Cool Down with a Refreshing Salad from L.A.’s Culina

It’s been sweltering in New York City and today, rain. I am California dreaming! It seems like the mercury hasn’t dipped below 90F in an eon and not only am I craving a crisp SoCal summer, but I’m also craving a refreshing dish I sampled during my last trip to the west coast. While there, I was lucky enough to try out the recently opened Culina, a truly divine culinary experience at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. While the restaurant offers delicious handmade pastas and indulgent desserts, it also offers delectable healthy bites that tantalize the palate, while keeping L.A. physiques svelte. Here, chef Victor Casanova shares his recipe for a beautiful salad, which really allows seasonal ingredients to shine.

Culina’s Panzanella Recipe

•Rustic country loaf, exterior removed then cut into 1/2 inch dice
•3 heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
•2 cups fresh ripe watermelon, cut into 1/2 inch dice
•1/2 red onion, julienne
•1/2 bunch basil, torn into 1/2 inch pieces
•1/2 english cucumber, cut into 1/2 inch half-moons
•4 oz. ricotta salata, coarsley grated
•4 vine-ripened tomatoes, passed through a food mill
•4 oz. DaVero Champagne Vinegar
•3 oz. DaVero Extra Virgin Olive Oil “Dry Creek Estate”
•Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Toast bread in pre-heated oven at 375 degrees until well colored but
not brown.
2. Reserve bread.
3. Take the four vine-ripened tomatoes and pass through a food mill then combine in mixing bowl with vinegar and oil.
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Reserve vinaigrette.
6. In a large salad bowl combine all ingredients and toss well.
7. Season to taste.
8. Divide into four small salad bowls.


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