August 2008 Newsletter: Healthy Eats for End of Summer

Cherries from Union Square Farmer's MarketSummer is the time to take a break and catch some rays.

Offices close early and school is out, but remember to protect your skin when you slip into swimware. We all know that the best way to protect again sunburn is sunscreen along with a hat and t-shirt.

But do you know that eating the right foods can also help your skin to recoup after you already have a sun burn? Enjoying anti-oxidant rich vegetables and fruits can also help your body regenerate after a long day in the sun.

The New Look of Skinnychef.com

SkinnyChef.com has a new look, but don’t worry, you’ll still be able to access all your favorite recipes, tips, and blog posts. On Ask Skinny Chef, you’ll find the answers to many of your health and cooking questions. Sign up (on the right) for automatic delivery of this monthly newsletter, straight into your email inbox!

Fight Sun Damage with Food

1. Pack a Snack. Berries and cherries are my personal favorites when it comes to snacking. They are sweet, low-cal, and portable. Make quick and mess-free smoothies to pack them on ice to take for a trip to the beach, or freeze up some blueberry pops for a cool evening treat. Papaya is one of my summer staples because it has a long lists of nutrients. Besides containing an enzyme called “papain” that aids in digestion, it’s loaded with potassium that many sugary sports drinks add to help aid in hydration. High in beta carotein and vitamin C, just 1 cup of cubed papaya gives you more vitamin C you need in one day. Papaya is also packed with folate and vitamin E, minerals that may be lost through sun damage or ozone pollution. It’s delicious enjoyed sliced or you can make a smoothie or salsa with it.

2. Drink up. Add 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon, lime, or grapefruit zest to your favorite brand of sparkling water. Grapefruit and orange juice are also naturally high in powerful anti-oxidants like vitamin C that can always help your skin to fight wind damage along with sun burn. If you didn’t get your dose on the beach, make Grapefruit Salsa tonight.

3. Apply it. Cucumber is often used in beauty products to sooth and calm irritated skin. Try applying freshly sliced cucumber directly to the skin for a soothing effect. If you’re feeling dehydrated after a day in the sun, try my cooling cucumber watermelon salad. Cucumbers are high in water content and a great juice for replenishing your body’s water supply.

So while you’re working on your tan, why not get a makeover, a refrigerator makeover that is! We’ve all heard “you are what you eat”, but eating right at home starts before you even open your mouth. Get off to the right start by shopping and stocking the fridge the skinny way. Listen as I break it down in four steps for radio hosts and their nationwide listeners – making healthy shopping choices is easier than you think!

Simple changes, such as choosing reduced-fat, part-skim cheeses and trans-fat free margarine, can really make an impact on your waistline, the health of your heart, and even improve your overall mood. Changing what’s in your fridge really can help change you.

Summer Kitchen Clearance

End of summer is a great time to take 1 hour a week for cleaning and rid your kitchen cabinets of all those odds and ends. Fall might seem like a way off, but clearing out your cupboard now and spending a few minutes organzing now will save tons of time when fall schedules get hectic. Check dates on jarred food. Have one too many cans in the cupboard? Take a look in your cupboards before you make your dinner choice. Use up canned beans and make chili this weekend or try homemade refried beans with bacon for taco night. Browse through your spices, you might have several bottles of the same spice that you could give away to a neighbor or transfer to one large jar. I recycle glass jars that once held olives and capers and reach for my label maker.

Cherries from Union Square Farmer's MarketAs summer winds down, you may begin to run out of many picnic staples like jarred condiments that show up on the picnic table. Instead of restocking, try replacing a few of those condiments with fresh alternatives. Try using salsa to top sandwiches, burgers, fish dishes, scrambled eggs, and stir into homemade iced teas. Is your freezer packed with frost bitten ice creams or popsicles? Take a trip to your local farmers market and pick up fresh fruits like peaches and pineapple for a tasty, low-cal dessert at your grilling party. Many of your favorite jarred sauces might be fat-free, but many are loaded with unwanted sugar and high fructose corn syrup minus the fiber, vitamins, and minerals fruit provides.

Yoga News

I began my path of yoga in 2001, as a way to incorporate more exercise into my life. I quickly understood that yoga is much more than just an exercise program. Through my regular practice over the years, I learned a lot about myself and watched myself change, and even had the courage to follow my dream of becoming a chef.

Dharma MittraAs yoga has become a constant in my life, my passion to learn more led me to enroll at Dharma Mittra’s Yoga Center where I recently completed the intensive 200-hour teacher’s training program.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to Dharma, as well as all the teachers, administrators, and the wonderful teacher trainees who shared their encouragement and smiles with me during the training. Dharma has inspired us all with his daily life reflected in his motto, “simple living and high thinking”.

Happy & Healthy Cooking,
— Jennifer

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