Turn Back The Clock A guide to the best anti-aging foods
by Mandi Pimental
The glow of youth is something that women try to hold onto for as long as possible, and who can blame us? Tight, smooth, blemish free skin, boundless energy and balanced hormones are just a few of the traits that seem to slowly slip away each time we blow another birthday candle. Many companies have tried to bottle it, making promises that we can erase our wrinkles, our dark spots, or even time. Serums, creams, and injections are just some of the ‘illusion of youth's’ synthetic forms and while some of these do erase a fraction of the harsh effects of aging, we need to look deeper and nourish our bodies from the inside out to not only help reverse damage, but to help prevent further damage.
Studying personal nutrition has given me so much insight about the way that our cells age and how by taking care of ourselves with rest, relaxation and a diet that supplies us the correct minerals and vitamins, we can slow the physical effects of aging. We discussed with the professionals at WebMD the top foods to incorporate into your weekly menus to deliver the best results.
The Fountain Of Youth
Water tops the list in being the most vital item to intake to keep your body functioning the way it should and to keep your skin supple and glowing. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that an astounding 43% of adults are drinking less than four cups of water a day. By upping your water intake to equaling half your body weight in ounces, you are giving yourself a wonderful foundation to better rest, better skin and better body function overall.
Welcome To The Jungle
Dark, leafy greens are king when it comes to packing essential nutrients needed to thrive. As a prime source of lutein and zeaxanthin, dark greens are also rich in Vitamin K, helping to prevent fractures and decreasing bone loss. If you have a hard time eating bowls of dark greens, try mixing them into your morning fruit smoothie or egg white omelet to start your day off strong.
The Anti-Oxidant Superstars
Berries, berries and more berries. Dark berries such as blueberries, blackberries and currants are high in anti-oxidants that help combat free radicals and decrease inflammation. They are also beneficial for promoting a smooth complexion with their natural inclusion of Vitamin C. Top probiotic rich yogurts with fresh berries or freeze a few for a cool summer treat.
Lean, Mean Antiaging Machine
Protein is a key component in all stages of life, but it is vital once a man or a woman hits their forties. After age forty, muscle mass begins to decline at a rate of up to 1% every year. Thereby slowing down the body’s metabolism and making it easier to store fat and increase risk of disease. Aim for lean sources of protein and include rich sources of Omega 3's, such as oily fish, eggs, poultry and beans and limit red meat to an occasional treat.
Low-Glycemic Whole Grains
Though one should aim to pack their plate with vegetables, fruits and lean proteins, whole grains offer protection against diseases such as colon cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Steer clear of refined grains, which can actually increase inflammation, and opt for gluten-free oats, wild rice and organic flours. Serve your grains with lean protein and vegetables for a well-rounded meal, and try to intake fruit separately as a snack for easier digestion.
Taking care of our bodies is a simple task that has been made complex by today’s society of alluring photographs, commercials and sugar-laden confections. Aiming to consume the recommended five servings of vegetables a day, along with plenty of water, is the perfect first step to take on a new road to health, recovery and beauty. One that is rooted from the inside out.
By Mandi Pimental
Summer brings to mind vacations, extra hours of sunlight and the delicious ripe, juicy strawberries that are in season this time of year. By incorporating the star of the berry family into your desserts, get a nutritious dose of potassium, vitamin K and magnesium. Strawberries also pack biotin, which helps build strong hair and nails. A dessert that can make us even more beautiful? Maybe we’ll go back for seconds.
For the pastry
1 ½ cups plain flour
¼ cup organic sugar
½ c. + 1 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cubed
pinch of sea salt
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp. cold water
For the strawberry filling
4 cups strawberries
1 cup organic sugar
3 tbsp. tapioca flour
2 tbsp. cornstarch
pinch of sea salt
For the crumble topping
1 ½ cups plain flour
½ c. + 1 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cubed
3 tbsp. brown sugar
pinch of sea salt
To prepare the dough, start by adding the flour, sugar, butter and sea salt into a food processor or an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until it resembles a coarse crumble mixture.
Next, add the egg yolk and cold water. Continue to mix on low until a dough forms. Gather the dough together and form it into a disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes to set. While the dough chills, prepare the filling.
Remove the strawberries stems and, depending on their size, cut them into two or three pieces. In a large bowl, mix the strawberries with the sugar, tapioca flour, cornstarch and sea salt. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a cast iron frying pan with butter.
Remove your dough from the fridge and roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper, until it is large enough to line your frying pan. Gently edge the pastry into the frying pan. Press it into the corners, trim the edges and return to the fridge.
Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, butter, sugar and salt together on a low speed. Mix for 4-5 minutes, until a butter crumble forms.
Spoon the strawberry mixture into the pastry shell. Pinching the crumble with your fingers, sprinkle it over the strawberries. Bake for about an hour, until the crumble is golden brown and the strawberries are bubbling. Allow to cool for 2-3 hours, cut, serve and enjoy!
by Mandi Pimental
When you walk into Craftsteak, a steakhouse recently named one of the top 10 newest hot spots in Las Vegas situated inside the MGM Grand Hotel, your senses are immediately awestruck. You’ve entered a beautiful place that is grand in size without being pretentious. The same can be said for the expansive menu.
“Top Chef’s” Tom Colicchio opened Craftsteak this year with the mindset of simplicity and purity. Colicchio created his menus incorporating items from local family farms and fresh food is hard to come by on the strip. Colicchio, residing as head chef on every season of Top Chef since 2006, has been the recipient of five James Beard Foundation Medals for cooking accomplishments. He also was a volunteer serving food to the rescue workers outside of Ground Zero after the September 11th attacks in New York City. After a successful run opening restaurants in Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Connecticut and South Carolina under the Colicchio & Sons umbrella, Craftsteak is the latest to join the family and gives Las Vegas a taste of excellence.
The ambience of Craftsteak is alluring and dark, wood panels cover most of the 250-seat interior while exposed Edison bulbs hang from wood planks casting a warm yellow glow throughout the space. Decorated with rich tones in leather, metal and wood, a relaxed masculinity is felt throughout. Bare wood tables and branches in large, dark vases hint at the overall purity Colicchio is trying to articulate through the craftsmanship of his latest culinary endeavor.
Contemporary, yet casual, one doesn’t need to be fancy to dine at Craftsteak. Upscale, it may be but you can leave your gown and tuxedos home. Business casual is recommended for this chic eatery, so leave the flip-flops by the pool.
As for the food, once a sliver of the Kobe skirt steak hits your taste buds your attention will no longer be on the look of the room, instead your senses will shift to taste and smell. The purest ingredients are used in dishes such as the bacon and gruyere cheese grits, thyme and mustard seed turnips, or the garlic oil baby spinach. And those are just a few members of the entourage to the main stars of the menu. Craftsteak is known for its beef, it is after all in the name, and you may order it however you wish. Not one to over-shadow his stars with fancy sauces that may take away from the true flavor, the choices are still extensive. You have the options of grilled, braised or roasted. You may choose where your meat has traveled from, New York, Idaho or from way down-under in Australia. Sizes range from six to a whopping thirty-two ounces and the signature selection in keeping true to the pure message Craftsteak is trying to put forth, you may choose if your beef was corn-fed or grass-fed. With that many options fifty-six dollars no longer sounds steep for a nearly handpicked filet mignon.
If you are not a meat lover, fear not. Craftsteak offers delicious seafood choices including lobster bisque, shaved fennel sea scallops or a two and half pound lobster entrée. Vegetarians can enjoy the wide array of salads, the port wine and pear Market spinach salad is especially wonderful with its farm fresh ingredients. The mushroom assortment is also a great option.
Not forgetting dessert, the must-try item is Craftsteaks chocolate soufflé topped with espresso ice cream & creamy caramel sauce. A decadent ending to a meal in sin city. And while you are splurging, during your meal you can sip on a rare wine that usually doesn’t make its way far from its California wine. The Ghost Horse label is available at the eatery and can fetch up to $5,000 for a bottle of this elusive wine.
Visit www.mgmgrand.com for more information or to make a reservation.
Fall Sweets – by Mandi Pimental
Fall has returned and that inevitably means party invitations will soon fill your inbox. Parties where there will be tabletops of scrumptious treats, beckoning you to have a taste. If you, like myself, enjoy indulging but don’t care for the pounds that follow, I am here to help.
We know that the ideal holiday diet scenario goes something like this: no carbs + no sugar = you will fit into your sequin leggings when the ball drops come New Years. However, for most of us, that’s not reasonable, and it’s been proven that abstaining completely can actually lead to over indulging in the long run.
Instead, try eating smaller portions of the delectable treats you crave when the season of pumpkin and spice and everything nice is upon us. You can also alter your favorite recipes into healthier versions for a win/win situation. If you crave traditional Pumpkin Pie, we’ve included a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Pudding that is only 140 calories of guilt-free goodness. If you enjoy lighter fare, but still want a hint of sweet, these Lavender Scented Strawberries with honey cream are a 150-calorie luxurious dessert to serve at your own autumn soiree.
If you crave a bowl of ice cream before the winter chill is upon us, you can switch to frozen yogurt or coconut milk based ice creams. So Delicious developed an entire line of dairy-free options that are kinder to your waistline than traditional ice cream. As for toppings, choose fall market finds like warm roasted nuts or apples drizzled in caramel.
And who doesn’t adore chocolate? Instead of milk chocolate, opt for heart-healthy dark chocolate, or a mug of hot cocoa made from pure cacao beans. You still satisfy your sweet craving, but save yourself quite a bit of sugar. Chocolate is also a great addition when melted and drizzled over muffins or fruit dishes.
Lastly, you simply can’t miss out on good ol’ fashion baking this time of year. Wrapping up a basket of muffins for a neighbor, or nibbling on a fresh baked donut as the leaves change color, is just something we don’t want to give up. Search for organic ingredients and infuse fruit, veggies and healthy or gluten-free grains to make it healthier. A big tip to avoiding the sugar crash is to omit table sugar all together and bake with Agave nectar, raw honey or a natural sugar substitute. You can also replace oil with lighter options such as applesauce or bananas, so that you can still maintain the level of moisture you are used to.
Fall is a time to be creative, a time to come together with friends and family and bake goodies over good conversation. A fun challenge would be to host a potluck and have everyone bring something that is under 200 calories per serving. It gets everyone thinking outside the box, supports the local organic food community, and you have fun.
And isn’t that what this time of year is all about?