Surviving Cookouts & BBQs

WD D 0852I’ve been asked how to stay on track for the upcoming 4th of July holiday while still having a good time. If it was just one day I’d say it’s not that big of a deal but it’s a long weekend and we tend to get invited to a lot more parties over the summer. No one wants to feel deprived o nor do you want to blow your hard work.

I generally bring a dish or two that are healthy choices that can be enjoyed by others as well. Things like quinoa salads, whole grain pasta salad or grilled veggie kabobs are some good choices. I like to bring fruit salad, Italian ice or watermelon for dessert. The ice isn’t the healthiest sugar wise but it’s better for your waist line than most desserts.

At the cookout I choose grilled chicken or lean meat, baked beans, grilled veggies, coleslaw (the cabbage & carrots are good for you – even with the mayo), and salad. If hamburgers and hot dogs are the only choice I go for the burger and skip the bun. (or eat half of it). Hot dogs generally are sodium bombs, have added nitrates and rarely fill you up.

Alcohol is sugar and calories. Beer & wine don’t have as much calories and sugar as most mixed drinks, stick with 2 and be sure to have water in between. If you want a mixed drink skip the high calorie mixes and add in seltzer & a squeeze of lemon or lime (or splash of another fruit juice) instead.

Good dessert choices are fruit, sorbet or Italian ice. With ice cream stick to 1 scoop or a kid’s cup. And, of course, if you must have the brownie or cup cake stick with one and enjoy every bit. Then go play a game or walk around a bit – you’ll feel better and you won’t be tempted to eat more.

Need more healthy tips? I’m available for a complimentary planning session, just send me an email at: to set up an appointment.

Are You Avoiding Juicing for One of these Reasons?

GroceryBagI want to piggyback on last week’s green juice blog. I’ve received some questions and comments that I’d like to address

I see juice cleanses everywhere. Is this a good way to lose weight?

I don’t recommend juice as a meal replacement. It’s not a complete meal since it’s missing protein and fiber. For meal replacement you would be better off with a green smoothie to which you have added a form of protein.

Additionally while green smoothies make a great light meal it is more helpful to learn how to eat whole foods and normal sensible meals.

I hate cleaning the juicer.

My advice is to rinse it right away or soak it. Once that gunk gets caked on it’s really hard to scrub off. I have a masticating juicer which is much easier to clean than the last type that I had.

It’s time consuming.

Scrub your produce when you buy it, washing it in advance cuts down on some of the time. It also makes life easier when cooking in the evening. You can also chop some of what you want and put into containers or baggies for the next day. This way almost everything is ready to go.

It’s expensive.

I buy what is in season and more shelf stable items I buy in bulk. A bag of lemons is cheaper than buying them loose. The large bag of carrots lasts a while and is also more economical. Shopping in your farmers market or at a bulk store are also great ways to save money.

I am passionate about the benefits of green juice and smoothies. Enough so that I want to offer you a free challenge. I will support you, give you recipes and tips along the way. Here are the details:

Green Drink Challenge

I will be leading a 21 day green drink challenge beginning June 29. The challenge is to simply add in a green juice or smoothie every day for 21 days. That is it. You don’t need to change anything else in your diet. You may find that you want to after a few days of green drinks but it’s not mandatory for participating in the challenge.

Why? To increase your energy levels and vitality, feel better, look better and an improved sense of well being.

Cost? It’s free.

How ? There will be a Facebook page so you can stay accountable and receive support along the way. There will be tips and some recipes along the way.

How to sign up: Like the Empowered Plate on Facebook and send me a message that you would like to be included in the 21 day Green Drink Challenge. 

Cheers! Janine

The Secret to Glowing Skin

Green JuiceI am frequently asked two questions: What do you use on your skin? Do you think I should juice for breakfast? At first glance they don’t seem related but the secret truth is green juice is one of the best ways to get clear healthy skin.

I’m fairly minimalist with my skin care; I have scrubs and masks for my skin but I don’t use them very often. I’m a wash & moisturize type of woman. The real reason my skin is healthy is water and vegetables.

Since most of us do not get the recommended 7-9 servings of vegetables and fruits a day juicing is an effective way to get those veggies in. I go light on fruit when juicing for two reasons: 1) I enjoy eating fruit as a snack 2) Fruit needs the fiber to slow down the hit of sugar in the blood stream and juicing removes most of the pulp and fiber.

So what are the benefits?

  • A healthy variety of vitamins and anitoxidants
  • An easier way to digest vegetables
  • Increased variety of vegetables
  • Boost immunity
  • Glowing skin and shiny hair

Are you new to juicing?

Start with vegetables that you enjoy and add a carrot, beet or apple to sweeten things up and half a lemon to take away any bitterness.

Cucumber is a fairly benign base but it doesn’t have a ton of vitamins. Adding leafy greens will definitely boost the vitamin count of your juice. Leafy greens that are mild: spinach, romaine, green or red leaf lettuce and escarole.

Juice can be stored for 1 – 3 days and should be kept in a glass container filled up as close to the top as possible. If your juice does not fill the container add a little water to fill up the container.

Mild Green Juice

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 – 3 romaine leaves
  • 1 small – medium cucumber
  • 1 small lemon
  • 1 – 2 carrots
  • 1 apple

Want to start incorporating green drinks into your eating plan? I will be leading a 21 day green drink challenge beginning June 29. Once a day you either have a green juice or a green smoothie, no fasting and no other dietary changes. Just one drink a day. More details will be in next week’s newsletter.

Not on my newsletter list? You can sign up here.

Fighting Food Limitations or Accepting Them Gracefully?

raw key lime pieI was watching a show that showcases local food movements, trends and startups (Food Curated if you’re in the NYC area). I’m a food geek and love to see new trends and local foods that I can try. One of the women featured had more food intolerances and allergies than I do.

She, however, was cheerful about her predicament and has a food blog, cooks for other people and is a food photographer. What really struck me is that she was adamant that she loved food and would find a way to eat delicious meals no matter what. Even though she could only eat from certain food groups she made the most of what she could have.

It reminded me although I miss certain aspects of eating wheat and dairy I don’t miss feeling tired, bloated and generally blah. I have had a little too much dairy recently and, honestly, I should have passed. There are many acceptable and enjoyable variations of foods, foods that I genuinely like. I just wish I had more grace accepting it.

It is a wide and varied food world out there and there are some amazing people doing remarkable recipes as well as ready-to-buy foods. Foods that make not being able to eat a certain way much more tolerable. I’d rather eat a raw key lime pie (or here’s another version) than eat the real thing and feel hungover. (Seriously, if I am going to feel hungover it better be because I was having way too good of a time. Not because I had wheat and dairy).

Do you feel tired, bloated and can’t lose weight, even though you’re eating healthy foods? You may have a food intolerance. One of the things I do with my clients is an elimination diet to see if there are foods affecting the way they feel. To learn more about how I can help you please email me,