Archive for October, 2010

Nuggets of Wisdom: Don’t eat the chicken nuggets!

October 27, 2010

Ever wonder how they get chicken to look like a baby dinosaur or a tiny little drumstick? Some things are better left unknown. But, since you asked…

Chicken, yes all of it, is processed, separated and put through an extruder. At this stage, it is rinsed in ammonia, to kill the bacteria that this pinkish goop is rife with. To hide the ammonia taste, it is flavored with artificial chicken flavoring, and dyed a more appealing white. It is then shaped into the character of choice, deep fried in God knows what type of oil, and fed to our unsuspecting children.

So now you know. Gross, isn’t it?

Celebration in Moderation

October 24, 2010

The holiday season is upon us, and that annual cycle of indulgence officially begins next weekend. You know what I’m talking about…

Those mini Halloween candies, consumed in maxi quantities.

The carbohydrate and butter festival, more commonly known as Thanksgiving.

The endless holiday parties filled with hors d’oeurvres, cocktails and cookies, followed by Christmas dinner, often a re-run of the November carbfest, where perhaps the only healthy item, (the turkey) gets replaced by it’s much fattier pal, the ham.

And if you happen to celebrate Hanukah, don’t forget about the latkes; fried potato pancakes smothered in applesauce and sour cream.

It all culminates on the last night of the year, with one more celebration, filled with champagne and the resolution to start dieting to get rid of the 5 -10 pounds that just snuck up on us over the last 2 months.

Sound familiar? With a little research, we have turned up some ideas to enjoy the holiday season while avoiding the weight gain that comes with it.

Halloween, or How to Trick Yourself into Bypassing the Treats:

Fact: the average Halloween bucket holds 900 pieces of candy, or about 9,000 calories!

You cannot avoid giving out candy on Halloween, or allowing your children to trick or treat.  Giving out crudités to the neighborhood children is not an option.
If candy is your vice, avoid buying it until the last minute. That way, the temptation is not there staring you in the face every time you open the cupboard.

Don’t plan on giving out your favorite kind. If you can’t refuse that Snickers bar, try giving out something slightly more resistible, like Sweet Tarts (which do absolutely nothing for me, but kids seem to love them!)

When the kids come home and are sorting out the candy, take a small bag and fill it with a few pieces for yourself. When it’s gone, it’s gone. No sneaking theirs!

Good choices: 6 mini Tootsie Rolls: 140 calories, 18 mini Twizzlers 135, or 7 Starbursts 143 low fat calories.

3 fun sized Snickers pack 219 calories and 2 Reese’s peanut butter cups, have 176 high fat calories.

Thanksgiving and Christmas or the Festival of Fat:

If you are an avid reader of Indigo Jones, you have likely seen some of our holiday recipes. They are filled with butter and brown sugar. They are delicious. They are also fattening. It’s okay to indulge once in a while, but practicing moderation is key.

Nibbling all day leading up to the meal can do as much damage as the meal itself. Not eating all day, can lead to uber-binging at dinner. Try to eat 2 low calorie, low fat meals during the day, and if possible, cut back a little on the days leading up to the holiday.

On the big day, start with the turkey. It is low calorie, and full of protein. Select your side dishes judiciously. Either pick a couple that you can’t miss, or take a tiny serving of everything. If there is a salad, or a simple vegetable dish, opt for a larger helping of that.

Good choices: 3 oz. of white meat turkey without skin, 134 calories,

A whole baked sweet potato 112 high fiber calories.

Only ½ cup of stuffing, packs 190 calories, ½ cup of mashed potatoes with gravy, 132, vs., mashed sweet potatoes for 92 (no marshmallows included) pumpkin pie: 229 vs. pecan pie 452. Want a little whipped cream with that? Add 52 high fat calories.  Not sounding so terrible? Bear in mind that very few of us only eat ½ cup of anything!

Cocktail parties:

Grazing at a cocktail party can leave you hungry later; yet well over your ideal calorie limit.  Liquor is the devil in many ways. It is high in calories (eggnog packs 264 calories per cup!) and frees your inhibitions, making over-eating as likely as dirty dancing with the I.T. guy at the office party. (Trust me, I’ve seen both happen often enough to say this one with confidence!)

Avoid fruity drinks, or punches, where the mixers themselves are diet disasters. Opt for wine, or a something like scotch on the rocks, which gets sipped slowly throughout the night. Alternate sparkling water with cocktails to avoid over indulgence and give you a feeling of fullness.

Mini horsd’ouevres are little calories bombs. Assume the average small bite is worth about 100 calories each, especially if it looks brown and crispy.  Opt for vegetables or seafood, which usually provide filling protein and fewer calories.

Good choices: 6 shrimp 33 calories, smoked salmon sushi 33 calories per piece, 2 tablespoons salsa 10 calories, or hummus at 50 calories spread on vegetables, not pita chips.

A glass of wine is only 100 calories, but a frozen margherita is 350. Sipping spirits is an average of 70 calories per oz.

Not to be Debbie Downer, but that crème brulee latte at Starbucks you had as a pre- partly pick-me -up cost you 350 calories!

Try to fit exercise into your day. I know, you’re too busy. That’s why I do mine first thing in the morning before other obligations get in the way. I never bound out of bed at 6 am thinking, “oh goodie, I’m going to run this morning!” but boy do I feel great when it’s over. Just 30 -45 well-spent, high intensity minutes at the gym make a big difference! I also avoid public transportation wherever possible. (I don’t own a car, so that is not an option) I walk everywhere! By the time I would have walked to the subway, waited for the train to come, gotten jostled by strangers and walked to my destination, I have spent a similar amount of time outdoors walking, clearing my head and enjoying music on my iPod, Oh, and by the way, I burn an extra couple of hundred calories without even trying.

The point of holidays is enjoyment.  It is important to savor the flavors of the season and celebrate with family and friends. A little indulgence is part of the fun.  But treating your self well isn’t synonymous with filling your body with things that are bad for you, and sitting around like a slug recovering from it.  For me, zipping up that sexy dress on New Year’s Eve without wearing 2 pairs of Spanx is a great reason to celebrate!

Don’t worry if you slip up. We’ll be posting lots of diet and exercise tips in January to help you get back on track! Enjoy!!

photo: Glasshouse Images

Color Me Red

October 17, 2010

A Florida producer is unveiling it’s latest product this week; RED CELERY!

The celery is the brainchild of grower Larry Pierce, who has been trying to develop the vegetable since 1991.  Using European Heritage seeds and natural breeding techniques, the celery is said to taste just like it’s green forbearer.

The celery was created to add a sense of uniqueness to one of the less popular vegetables in our diets. The distributor, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, is hoping that the color makes it more interesting to children, and spices up the look of traditional crudités.

The celery will be introduced first on the West Coast, December 1.

Will you be eating red celery?

Butter Balls

October 9, 2010

Just when you think it’s impossible to come up with the ultimate artery clogging confection, we stumble upon this year’s State Fair sensation: Fried Butter!
Yes, you can actually fry butter!

The Food Network’s resident butter lover Paula Deen has created her own recipe for fried butter balls, incorporating a little cream cheese into the mix.

Intrigued? We’ve printed the recipe, just in case you want to try them yourself.

Let us know how they are…

Paula Deen’s Fried Butter Balls

2 sticks of butter

2 oz. cream cheese

Salt and pepper

1-cup flour

1 egg beaten

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Peanut oil, for frying

Cream the butter, cream cheese and salt and pepper in the electric mixer until smooth. Use a small ice cream scoop or melon baller to form 1” balls. Arrange them on a sheet pan lined with wax paper and freeze until solid.

Coat the frozen balls in flour, egg and then bread crumbs and freeze again until solid.

Preheat the oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees.
Fry balls for 10-15 seconds until golden brown. Drain on paper towels before serving.


photo: Glasshouse Images

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

October 8, 2010

Perhaps I spoke too soon. Today, as I was editing through the last day of Paris Fashion Week, the grand finale of a month’s worth of fashion shows, I noticed a trend.

Sitting along side Prada’s monkeys and bananas, were Miu Miu’s swans, and Marc Jacob’s entry for Louis Vuitton, the suit with the bottom half of a giraffe printed on the back of the pants, and the head and neck printed on the back of the jacket. If that was not enough, he sculpted the heels of the shoes to resemble animal limbs.

Ok, so I have been known to literally swoon over these collections. People joked that my daughter’s first words would be Prada, and I can find a Miu Miu store anywhere in the world merely by an invisable magnetic force that takes me there. But really guys, nobody wants to look like this. I applaud creativity, but let’s face it, this is just bad.

I feel as though they are sitting together right now, having a good chuckle at our expense. Banana skirts and giraffe suits may ring a note of whimsey, but when several THOUSAND dollars are involved, especially during a recession, the joke falls flat.

If you want to entice the customer to buy, give them something they don’t have, but for goodness sakes, give them something they actually want!

photos: and  New York Magazine

When Bad Things Happen To Great Designers

October 7, 2010

The fashion press were all over themselves about this one. Yes, I am a huge fan of Prada. I have been known to covet pieces from the collections in the past, but this time Muicca, you’ve gone too far. Truly, if anyone else with a bit less power and a lot less pedigree showed this collection we would be laughing, if we bothered to look at it at all.

In the words of celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe, ” It’s bananas! I DIE”

What do you think?


Where’s The Beef?

October 3, 2010

Next up on the apparent assault on our health and our waistlines, is Burger King’s new Pizza Burger. Debuting next month at the New York flagship Whopper Bar, this sandwich boasts 2520 calories, 3780 mgs. of salt, and 144 grams of fat.

Currently only available in New York (lucky us!) this  $13 concoction consists of 4 whopper sized burgers on a 9 ½ “ diameter bun. It is smothered in pepperoni, mozzarella and marinara sauce, and sliced into 6 wedges like a pizza.

Sound gross?

Not as gross as the sandwich recently introduced by the West Michigan Whitecaps, a minor league baseball team.

The Fifth Third Burger, made of over 2 pounds of beef, comes with chili and Fritos among other fixings and contains 4889 calories!

Think this one takes the cake? Not so fast…. Far and away, the winner of this pig out and gross out contest is the Craz –E – Burger, brought to you by Krispy Kreme.

Although it is only a mere 1500 calories per serving, this bacon cheeseburger sits in a buttered Krispy Crème donut!

Although this particular version is popularized by Food Network star Paula Deen (whose recipes generally begin with “you take a stick of buttah”); many others take credit for inventing the donut burger. Another sports team, the Gateway Grizzlies serve it at their ballpark and take the extra step of deep-frying it!!

Moving ahead, the Grizzlies now offer a burger, smothered in salsa, sour cream, chili and Fritos, which packs 4889 calories, and costs $20, cardiologist visit not included.

What’s next you ask? I am saving the very best one for another post!

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