Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oyster Shooters done lite

With cocktails or as an appetizer, this is a crowd pleaser.

When sourcing oysters for this dish, work with your local fishmonger to make certain you are getting oysters that have been out of the water no longer than 3 to 4 days and select only those that are tightly closed. Tap on the shell and if it sounds hollow, they are no good. The oysters should feel heavy in the hand. If fresh oysters in the shells are unavailable, you can substitute a pint of shucked oysters instead.

Oyster Shooters
Serves 12

2 medium (3/4-pound) ripe red tomatoes, cut into quarters

3 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup roasted, peeled, seeded and diced poblano peppers

1/4 cup peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes

2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

24 freshly shucked oysters and their liquor

11/2 cups tequila, well chilled

Place twelve 2-ounce shot glasses in the freezer for at least 30 minutes or until well chilled.

Place the tomato quarters into a food mill set over a clean bowl. Process until all the liquid is extracted from the tomatoes and discard the solids. Strain the tomato liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. You should have about 3/4-cup fresh tomato juice.

Combine the tomato juice and the next 8 ingredients (horseradish through pepper). Chill the mixture for at least 30 minutes before serving. Arrange 1 tablespoon of the mixture in each prepared shot glass and top each with one oyster and 1 tablespoon of the tequila. Repeat the layers one more time. Serve immediately.

3 KEY Steps to Help Stay Motivated

3 KEY Steps to Help Stay Motivated by Shannon Dipierro

One of the most important things for your health and fitness lifestyle is obviously MOTIVATION!

We have to wake up every day motivating ourselves to get out of bed and start the day.   Even when we’re extra tired and just don’t feel like it, we do it anyway!  I mean, could you imagine if none of us got up when we were supposed to everyday to go to work, or to take the kids to school, or show up for a scheduled appointment?  Well, these “responsibilities” as we call them are examples of things in life that we regularly motivate ourselves to do.   If not, we would lose our jobs, risk the school calling child services, and prove ourselves to be untrustworthy to whomever was counting on us to be there.  This all sounds so terrible and unthinkable because we are “self-motivated” to do these things every day, or else!

Ask yourself this question:  “Do you have the same level of motivation when it comes to picking and choosing who you are surrounding yourself with, what kinds of foods you are eating, how often you are working out?”  This is where you have to be really honest with yourself, sit back and think for a minute.

So many of us are super busy using up all of our own motivation to just “get through the day” that we have nothing left for a lot of the things that we truly need to live a happy and healthy life!  It just takes a few minor alterations in how you channel your mental energy to make changes if you are feeling a lack of regular motivation (we all do at times).

Step 1:

If you are not surrounding yourself with confident, goal oriented, hard-working, complimentary, honest people then start to change that.  The more you are interacting with other’s who are constantly making excuses or are always trying to one-up you and minimize anything positive in your life, the more they are stealing your motivation.   Bringing you down so they can feel more empowered is what unhappy people do, and they do this out of envy and insecurity.  Unfortunately, they are the only ones who will ever be able to help themselves.  In the meantime, engage less with them and realize it’s easier to have many “fake” friends than “real” friends.   It’s important to build a loyalty with the people who take a true personal joy in your joys so when you find a friend like that, feed off of each other’s motivation and support.

Step 2:

Just say NO if you don’t feel like going out to dinner or having drinks because you had plans with friends or family to do so.  Ask them if they’d like to come to your home to get together while you cook for everyone.  That way, you can focus on eating healthier without breaking a social/family commitment.  Be honest and tell them you are trying to eat healthier and would love them to share in trying a new recipe with you.  You are now the motivator!  If you put another option out there for people, a lot of the time you’ll be surprised.  Finding ways like this is great to help yourself get back on track with making better food choices.

Step 3:

Ok if you already workout and feel like it’s not as often as it used to be or you want to do it more, than make a “workout to-do list.”  Think about your daily schedule and actually write in your workout time and place.  You can even write some specific exercises you want to focus on for that exact day.  Make the lettering BIG and PRETTY or THICK, maybe using a marker with whatever you can think of to decorate that appointment with yourself (it’s visually more appealing and creates a mental attraction).  Make it the night or day before each next day.   Planning in advance is a great way of helping yourself build inner-motivation to stick with the goals you’ve set.

These three steps are a great start to help significantly increase your level of motivation and help you along in the process, especially when you’re in a little bit of a slump.  Most people go through cycles of it, but turning it up a notch and incorporating these steps really do help!

Shannon DiPierro, President & Co-Founder of Lighthouse Point Fitness Inc.

Migraine Headaches Be Gone…

Ever get one of those pounding headaches where you feel like you can’t even lift your head off the pillow? Or you want to escape the light of day and go into a dark room to make it go away?  For millions of people migraines can be debilitating and consistently problematic.  In fact reports show that at least 25% of women and 8% of men are migraine sufferers at some point in their life.  While the course of treatment for avoiding or lessening the headaches might vary in terms of medication, much attention has been tuned into diet.  Although it can vary from person to person, there are some foods that have been found to help suppress the headaches, providing relief.   

Caffeine has been found to actually help a migraine if taken at the right time: at the onset of the headache pain.  In fact caffeine has a narrowing effect on the blood vessels and when a migraine sets in the vessels widen.  The use of a caffeinated beverage at this pivotal time will conversely narrow the vessels and decrease the pain and pressure.  

 So grabbing a cup of coffee or a caffeinated soda might do the trick, but avoid the use of artificial sweeteners as they this can trigger the headache.   Magnesium is needed for normal blood flow.  If there are lower levels this can trigger headache pain, and for many women this occurs during the time of her menstrual cycle.  

Be sure to eat green leafy vegetables that are high in magnesium, along with garlic or oatmeal. Even take a supplement if you are prone to migraines.   Ginger has been shown to relieve the pain during the attack.  So keep this on hand if you are migraine sufferer to make the pain go way in no time at all. For this you can use ginger tea or powdered ginger, if using powdered it is one-half to one teaspoon.   Calcium rich foods that are devoid of dairy can also be helpful for avoiding migraines.  

What this means is to choose foods high in calcium, either from a chewable supplement or opting for leafy greens like kale, broccoli or spinach, or almonds.  But limit the dairy foods, as they can do the opposite and trigger a headache.    

Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats reduce inflammation and tend to help relieve headache pain. You can opt for olive oil, flaxseed, salmon or walnuts to get the fatty acids you need to help reduce migraine pain.   Why not give one of these a try the next time you have a migraine.  

Nothing to lose except for maybe your headache pain.

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