Monday, December 29, 2014

Let's get ready for Healthy in 2015!

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season.

As January is rapidly approaching, many of us set goals to get in better shape and lose that weight we just put on from all that good holiday eating.

I've discovered Sun Warrior Products and now we are selling it at Harter House World Flavors.

100% Raw Vegan
83% Pure Protein
*Complete Amino Acid Profile
Non-GMO, Gluten Free
70 Calories per serving
16 grams protein
1 gram fat
4 grams carbs

Read more about this product at

I imagine I will never give up meat, since I am the daughter of a butcher, growing up in our Harter House Meat Market, but I need to incorporate more raw foods into my diet and I enjoyed this info also found on the Sun Warrior website.

10 Best Fat Loss Tips

1. Create a Calorie Deficit.
A calorie deficit is created when the amount of food energy (calories) you taken in are less than the total calories you use, resulting in weight loss. Figure out your maintenance level by multiplying your body weight by a factor of 15 (for an active individual). Reducing calories by 15-20% below your daily calorie maintenance needs is a useful start. If you want to lose fat, a useful guideline for lowering your calorie intake is to reduce your calories by at least 500, but not more than 1000 below your maintenance level. There are approximately 3500 calories in a pound of stored body fat. So, if you create a 3500-calorie deficit through diet, exercise or a combination of both, you will lose one pound of body weight.

2. Eat a Mostly Raw Vegan Diet (at least 80%) A raw vegan diet consists of unprocessed, raw plant based foods that contain much of their nutritional value. Typical foods include fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains and legumes. A raw vegan diet fosters natural weight loss, more energy, clear skin, improved insulin tolerance, and improved overall health. Not to mention, a nutrient rich diet helps curve your appetite. Try to eat at least 4-5 meals per day (incorporating plant based protein whenever possible). This will help maintain blood sugar levels while burning fat. Regular protein intake helps increase metabolism while creating positive nitrogen retention allowing for muscle growth and recovery.

3. Eat Slowly.
Everything in our lives is fast - fast cars, fast lanes, fast broadband and of course fast food. Since the feeling of satiety is not immediate, the more time you take to appreciate your food, the more time you allow your brain to decode the messages sent by your body. It takes the brain 20 whole minutes to register that we are full. If you eat slower, you will eat less and by virtue of that you will end up consuming less calories. Secondly, enzymes in saliva play an important role in initial digestion. Chewing food longer leads to better digestion, and therefore better absorption of vitamins and minerals. Japanese researchers found that eating fast is associated with insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a silent condition that increases the chances of developing diabetes and heart disease. Also, fast eating seems to be a risk factor for the metabolic syndrome (combination of the symptoms such as high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance).

4. Drink plenty of water!
Adequate water consumption provides the foundation for any good weight loss program. It's probably the most overlooked and underrated weight loss strategy there is. On average, water makes up 60% of your total body weight. Therefore, drinking sufficient water is necessary to keep your body functioning efficiently. Water keeps your muscles hydrated and flushes toxins which could interfere with fat loss. Water improves endocrine (hormone), metabolic, and liver function, while decreasing appetite and fluid retention.

5. Strength Training.
Intense strength training preserves lean body mass while assisting in long-term fat loss. People who lift weights and do other strength training exercises such as push-ups and squats may not lose pounds but they shed fat, and because muscle is more compact than fat, their bodies appear leaner, streamlined and toned. Secondly, muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn all day long. Increased muscle mass boosts metabolism. Weight training can increase your metabolism by up to 15%. Weight training also creates metabolic changes (such as preventing insulin resistance) that assist in shedding abdominal fat.

6. Cardio.
Interval training and metabolic resistance training will provide the most efficient use of your training time. Steady state aerobic training (going at a slow, steady pace) just doesn't burn enough calories, and splitting up your workouts by body parts will be less effective than total body training for fat loss. Interval training is an excellent way to burn more calories, build endurance quickly and make workouts more interesting. Interval training involves alternating high intensity exercise with recovery periods. One option is measured periods of work followed by measured periods of rest. An example would be 1 minute of high intensity work (such as a sprint), followed by 2 minutes of low intensity exercise (e.g., walking) and alternating that several times for 15-30 minutes. Metabolic resistance essentially causes a metabolic disturbance in your body meaning you'll be burning calories up to 48 hours after you work because your metabolism will be at an elevated state. This is great for weight loss because you'll find yourself burning fat even after you finish working out as opposed to steady state training where you stop burning calories once you stop training.

7. Get Plenty of Sunshine!
Sunlight is the best and only natural source of vitamin D. An hour a week (ten to 15 minutes of sunshine 3 times weekly) is generally adequate to produce the body's requirement. Vitamin D is needed to stimulate the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D, in conjunction with calcium and sunlight, helps to properly assimilate food and regulate normal blood sugar levels. When there is a lack of calcium, often times due to a vitamin D deficiency, the body increases production of synthase, a fatty acid enzyme that coverts calories into fat. Calcium deficiency can cause synthase production to increase by up to 500 percent, explaining the correlation between low levels of vitamin D and obesity. Excess body fat absorbs and holds onto vitamin D, making it unavailable to the body. The absence of vitamin D creates interference with the functioning of a hormone called leptin, which signals to the brain that you are full and should stop eating. It is also known that Vitamin D plays a huge part in boosting the immune system.

8. Infrared Sauna.
Infrared is an invisible form of energy that is accepted by the human body as heat. Organic molecules have a tendency to vibrate when they come in contact with infrared energy. Infrared has the ability to penetrate into deep tissues of the body, creating heat among muscles, organs and fat. The body has an immediate reaction to the infrared and raises the heart rate and metabolic rate in response. The heat causes the body to sweat, releasing fluids and resulting in immediate weight loss. An increase in the body's metabolic rate will also have a direct effect on the way it processes foods and the effectiveness of exercise. In addition to a reduction in water retention and fat stores, infrared saunas also promote weight loss through the burning of calories. The body naturally burns calories when it sweats, and a normal infrared sauna session produces so much sweat that the body can burn up to 600 calories in one 30 minute session. Since infrared saunas heat the body directly and profuse sweating begins quickly, they offer an excellent means of general detoxification. Infrared heat penetrates well below the surface of the skin, right into the joints and muscles. This increases metabolism and allows body cells to eliminate toxins more readily.

9. Relax.
Cortisol has been termed the "stress hormone" because excess cortisol is secreted during times of physical or psychological stress. This disruption of cortisol secretion may not only promote weight gain, but it can also affect where you put on the weight. Some studies have shown that stress and elevated cortisol tend to cause fat deposition in the abdominal area rather than in the hips. This fat deposition has been referred to as "toxic fat" since abdominal fat deposition is strongly correlated with the development of cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and strokes.
Set aside relaxation time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Don't allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries. Do yoga. Meditate. Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life. A strong support system will buffer you from the negative effects of stress. Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be getting a massage, reading a book, or going for a walk. Exercise is a great way to destress. Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.

Helpful tip: Eat small meals throughout the day, which will keep your blood sugar stable (when blood sugar is low, mental, physical, and emotional energy decreases, and stress increases).

10. Sleep.
Researchers from several separate studies have found a link between sleep and the hormones that influence our eating behavior. Two specific hormones are involved. Ghrelin is responsible for feelings of hunger. Leptin tells the brain when it's time to stop. When you're sleep deprived, your ghrelin levels increase at the same time that your leptin levels decrease. The result is an increased craving for food and not feeling full. During deep sleep, your brain secretes a large amount of growth hormone, which tells your body how to break down fat for fuel. When you deprive your body of deep sleep, extra calories get stored as fat, since there isn't enough growth hormone to break them down. Growth hormone is also responsible for muscle growth.
With loss of sleep, your body may not be able to metabolize carbohydrates as well, which leads to an increased storage of fats and higher levels of blood sugar. Excess blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance means that the body has trouble disposing of glucose in the liver and other tissues. It is a trigger for serious health problems such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type II diabetes.
A lack of sleep goes hand in hand with a lack of energy not a new concept, but perhaps you've grown used to your daily levels of energy and don't notice that you could gain more. Not only do we accomplish less with less sleep, we also don't burn as many calories. The body's reaction is to hoard calories as fat, making our weight loss goals more difficult than they need to be.

Hope this info is helpful!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Carmelized Brussels with Peppers, Onions and Beans

You Will Need:

2 lbs. Baby Brussel Sprouts
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

1 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon Mediterranean spice blend (or spice mix of choice)

1 cup whole grain wild rice mix
I recommend Rice Select Royal Blend available at Harter House World Flavors

2 1/2 cups Organic, low sodium Vegetable broth

~ smash and chop garlic, set aside for at least 10 minutes to release anicin. Cook rice in veggie broth according to package directions, usually 45 min. I use my pressure cooker and it takes 20 minutes and locks in flavor, no spices necessary. Vegetable broth is so full of flavor and good for you!
Also, whole grain rice, when served with beans or sweet potatoes is a complete protein ie: no meat necessary. I like "Rice Select, Royal Blend Rice" It's a combination of brown and wild rice with soft wheat and rye.
1. Trim sprouts by slicing off a bit of the end and removing dark outer leaves. Place them in a steamer basket over boiling water, add lemon juice to water, cook 8 minutes or until sprouts are just tender.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and peppers, saute 4 minutes till golden brown, add seasonings. Add garlic, cook 1 more minute. Add beans, turn down heat, cover and keep warm.
3. Remove sprouts from the steamer basket and cut in half lengthwise. Coat the bottom of a skillet with a bit more oil if needed and nestle the sprouts, cut side down on bottom. Cook over medium heat. Allow the sprouts to cook for about 5 minutes. Do not turn them over! This is carmelization. Make sure the bottoms are evenly browned and crisped. Then, turn them all over and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
4. Remove sprouts from pan and sprinkle with the salt and squeeze more lemon over top if needed.
5. Serve brussels over mixed veggies and beans alongside of the rice.

Caramelizing the brussels brings out such a wonderful taste!
This is coming from someone who used to be a brussel hater. Try, try again!

* Tip: For the younger kids, I also cooked some cubed sweet potatoes that I coated with a bit of evoo, honey and lemon juice, baked at 400F for 13 minutes. I haven't made brussel sprouts for the kids before so I knew it might be a bit of a challenge to get them to eat them. I was right..... they tried a couple of nibbles and that's it. Keep introducing new veggies to kids over and over. Mine will eat peppers and spinach and more because I serve them often and they are used to them. Don't get frustrated or expect too much when your kids turn their noses up at some new foods. Most importantly, don't give up and serve other unhealthy options like processed foods in place of veggies.
Shelly Kauffman

Monday, December 1, 2014

Dinner at Mom's

It didn't matter if you were a relative, a neighbor or a friend. When you came to our house, my mother, Barbara, would ask, "Did you eat? Sit down and have a bite!"

If you didn't eat at our house, she'd send you home with a container of food. Mom liked to take care of everyone.

When my three brothers, my sister, and I were growing up, the house was always filled with delicious foods, from soups to desserts. We enjoyed Mom's great home-cooked meals as well as her delicious cookies and cakes.

A favorite still is a chocolate banana cake with a yellow cake mix , chocolate icing and 4 layers with banana and icing in each layer. A must for every birthday cake still!

One of our family's favorite Christmas meals featured a ham with pineapple and maraschino cherries on top with a brown sugar glaze. Served with candied carrots, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole and Pineapple Upside Down cake for dessert, which was another favorite dessert my dad always requested.

I'd call my mother a "natural" cook. She'd follow a recipe at first, but then substitute different ingredients. She memorized much of what she did. I loved her flaky pie shells, for instance.
At our house, Mom cooked and we ate. I loved to help in the kitchen. I helped cook and my sister cleaned up. I always thought I had it best!!! My brothers didn’t help in the kitchen much. They just devoured the food.

That’s probably why my parents decided to opened a grocery store, Harter House Supermarket, to feed this passel of kids.

The one thing I did pick up from my mom is improvising. I love to experiment with recipes. And my husband, Craig, is always a willing recipient.
I still have my mom's and my grandmother’s worn cookbooks. The envelopes inside are stuffed with recipes gathered during a lifetime. I'm sure that's true of a lot of us!

I hope this holiday Season is filled with lots of love, family, friends, and lots of great food!
And come see me at Harter House on Republic Road.