Category Archives: Food and Drink


We date online why not diet online?  More than one of my clients have credited various apps for helping them drop a few pounds, improve their food choices and get fitter faster.  And now Greatest Loser guru Jillian Michaels throws down another challenge by partnering with Dietbetter.

Dietbet is a four-week social dieting challenge. According to the company 96% percent of DietBetters lose weight, with an average of over six pounds in four weeks. You could drop those pounds and pick up some cash in the process.

Michaels’ DietBet starts on September 24 and runs through October 21.

The rules for The Jillian Michaels DietBet are simple. Players all bet $30 into the pot to begin. Everyone who loses four percent of their starting weight over the course of the four-week game splits the pot equally at the end. Dietbet is not winner-take-all; everyone who reaches the finish line is a winner and receives an equal share of the pot. To validate weight loss, players submit multiple photos of themselves on their scales to DietBet’s human referees.

Find DietBet on Facebook and Twitter. An iPhone mobile app is also available.

Good luck and let us know how you do!




If you love Greek style yogurt chances are you’ve enjoyed Chobani.  According to the CEO, they’ve voluntarily recalled products due to a type of mold commonly found in yogurts that don’t have preservatives.

The problem affected about 5% of it’s product and is reported to be solved now.

If you purchased yogurt with the code 16-012, Best By: 9/11/2013 – 10/7/ 2013, toss it. To get replacements or refunds,  contact their Customer Loyalty Team at  or call 877-847-6181 between the hours of 9am and 5pm EST.

Chobani 6 oz. cups – all flavors
Chobani 16 oz. tubs – all flavors
Chobani 32 oz. tubs – all flavors
Chobani 3.5 oz. cups – all flavors
Chobani Bite™ 3.5 oz. cups – all flavors
Chobani Flip™ 5.3 oz. containers – all flavors
Chobani Champions® cups 3.5 oz. – all flavors
Chobani Champions® tubes 2.25 oz., 8, 16 and 36 count – all flavors

The mold caused the packaging to swell and some customers had said that it tasted fizzy or had an alcohol overtone.   The company started pulling the products from the self last week. The potentially affected products were distributed from their Twin Falls, Idaho facility.

In short, it’s best not to eat yogurt or any other product if the packaging is torn, punctured, or swelling. You just never know what contaminants natural or otherwise may lurk inside.



It’s peach time in the Midwest!  Pluck them fresh off the trees, buy at your local farmers’ markets or in the grocery store.  Your freshest bet is to go local.  Michigan is known for its cherries, blueberries and apples but peaches were the first locally commercial crop.  Click here for a list of where you can find peaches fresh off the farm.


  1. Avoid rock hard peaches, they were picked too early and peaches don’t get sweeter in time
  2. Look for smooth unwrinkled skin with no blemishes or brown spots
  3. Leave at room temp for a couple of days to soften then store in fridge
  4. Peaches will keep in fridge for 3-5 days 

Can them, freeze them, grill them, eat them fresh.  Peaches are a good source of potassium, vitamins A & C, and only about 70 calories.  Here are eleven recipes from the New York Times, including one for that all-time favorite, peach cobbler.

Got a favorite peach recipe?  Share it here!



More healthful and less expensive than most commercial energy bars, the portable, perfectly packaged banana gives you what you need to refuel after a tough workout or a midday pick-me-up.  It’s a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium and manganese and the banana is particularly high in vitamin B6.  All that and it merely has about 100 calories!

Marketers for the little yellow nutritional powerhouse got the nod from The Food and Drug Administration allowing them to promote potassium’s link to prevention of high blood pressure and stroke. And that’s not all.  The high concentration of vitamin B6 boosts you immune system and helps your nervous system function better too.

To ripen a banana, leave it at room temperature for a few days or put it in a paper bag to speed up the process.  Once ripe, you can refrigerate it. The skin will turn black but the fruit inside will be just fine.

Bananas give smoothies a silky texture. The only limit is your imagination. This recipe includes lemon, honey, yogurt and a banana for a super smoothie and a big boost of energy to take on any activity. I blend cold coffee, banana and some protein vanilla powder for a refreshing summer pick-me-up.   Enjoy.




Watermelons are starting to show up in the grocery stores now.  While the best ones really don’t make the scene until the later in the summer (like August in Chicago), I thought you might like a refreshingly different way to enjoy this taste of summer. 

So many varieties out there!  To get the best, look for those with a little yellow at the bottom (meaning they’ve sat on the ground and ripened in the sun, yea!)  My mom taught me the “knock, knock” test and I swear by it.  Knock on the watermelon and listen for a hollow sound (lots of water in there – which is what you want in your watermelon).

Jewel's Watermelon Margaritas RecipeTry this margarita recipe but ditch the sugar – you don’t really need it.  If you prefer rum to tequila like I do, make that way and call it a daiquiri. Or leave out the alcohol all together and just call it delicious.



Once upon a time in these United States coconut oil was much aligned as an evil artery clogging substance. Today we know better. Much better.  Coconut oil and the many byproducts of the dear coconut are very healthful.  According to a report published at the National Institutes of Health, it’s good for heart health and even Alzheimer’s.

Coconut oil was slandered because of its saturated fat content (associated with clogging arteries). But not all saturated fats are the same. There are short chain, medium chain and long chain – each are absorbed differently in the body. Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acids – close to that found in human breast milk. Compared to long chain, medium chain are digested more quickly, are less taxing to the liver, and more immediately converted into energy. Long chain takes longer to absorb and often leave you sluggish –think cheese and red meat.

For more information check out the Coconut Research Center.

From your hair to your heart coconut oil can do you good.  These are just a few of the many health benefits of this natural food:

  • Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.
  • Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
  • Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
  • Works as an excellent mouthwash

For gleaming moisturized skin and hair – use the same stuff you cook with – no need to buy a separate product though it will be easier if you keep one container in the bath and one in the kitchen.  Coconut oil also has a high smoke point, so great for stir fry.  I also recently discovered coconut vinegar that touts more antioxidants that apple cider vinegar.

Coconut water is sold everywhere these days.  Health food stores sell them for upwards of $2-3 for 8oz.  Head to an Asian or Latino grocer and you’ll find them for less than half and equally as hydrating with tons of potassium. I love getting raw green coconuts for both the water and coconut jelly (believed to be an aphrodisiac) but not having a machete handy, I find them sadly impossible to open. If you’ve got tips for opening raw coconuts, please share!

Otherwise, I will just have to move to tropics.

Have fun in the kitchen with these tasty coconut recipes.



Well in case you missed it, yesterday June 7 was National Donut Day.  But don’t worry there’s still time to do something sweet for a good cause and you could win free donuts for a year. In its continued support of The Salvation Army, from May 1st to June 15th Entenmann’s Bakery will donate $1 to the organization for every person who “likes” the Entemann’s Facebook page up to $30,000.

Entenmann’s will also be rewarding lucky winners with ‘Free Donuts for a Year’ and additional prizes through a sweepstakes link on their Facebook page. All entries must be received by 11:59: p.m. ET on June 30, 2013. Winners will be randomly selected from all submissions. Official Rules can be found at 

The first National Donut Day was celebrated by The Salvation Army in Chicago in 1938 to help raise needed funds during the Great Depression and commemorate the work of the “donut lassies” who helped make the donut what it is today by feeding the tasty confection to American soldiers during World War I. The donuts became synonymous with The Salvation Army, as well as the American soldiers who were returning home with the nickname, “doughboys.”

This significant occasion established the donut as a long-standing symbol of the services The Salvation Army continues to provide. The partnership between Entenmann’s and The Salvation Army reinforces Entenmann’s as a brand synonymous with National Donut Day.

While it’s fine to indulge that sweet tooth every once in a while, there are some down sides.  Sugar and fat in combination can create powerful cravings. Some experts even say that that combination is down right addictive.  Regardless, the scant nutrition means you’ll be hungry soon after chowing down on donuts.  That’s why you can eat a few of them in short amount of time but I double dog dare you to try to eat five bananas. Your body absorbs the nutrients from bananas but there isn’t much nutrition in a donut so nothing to really satisfy you biologically speaking. One Starbucks Old Fashioned glazed donut  has nearly 500 calories and so does five bananas.

How long does it take to burn off 500 calories? About an hour’s worth of moderate to high aerobics to burn off.  Just so you know.

Bon Appetit


There has been much ado about eating colorful produce for health.  While it’s true that deep color is an indicator of phytonutrients; that might lead you to believe mushrooms, especially the white button variety, may pale in nutritional comparison.  Not so. Turns out mushrooms are a very good source of a number of nutrients for example, selenium. They contain more of this immune-enhancing mineral than any other form of produce. They are also a good source of B vitamins, including riboflavin and pantothenic acid.

Read more about how vitamins and minerals perform mini miracles in your body in The Essential Guide to  Healthy and Healing Foods, a book I co-authored with R.D. Victoria Shanta Retelny. 

The button is the most widely available and least expensive mushroom variety.  Research published in the Society of Chemical Industry’s Journal of Food and Agriculture cites that the humble white has as much anti-oxidant properties as its more expensive rivals, the maitake and the matsutake mushrooms – both of which are highly prized in Japanese cuisine for their healthful benefits including lowering blood pressure and their suggested ability to fight cancer. Mushrooms are also the only veggie with vitamin D.  About five white button mushrooms provides 15 IU of D (or 4% of the daily recommended value).

Check out this cast-iron mushroom recipe to get all the mushroom benefits plus iron!

Farmers markets and produce aisles will soon be bursting with blueberries, tomatoes and the ubiquitous white mushroom.  Eat to your heart’s content. Then freeze some to enjoy in smoothies and stir-fry.

For more information on how to freeze food, check out the recipe section of The Green City Market.   In Chicago, this market dedicated to local and organic farmers is now open.



Citrus Sweet Treats

During the holidays eating less may or may not be on your mind. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat, consider a portable healthy treat perfect for this time of year: seasonal oranges such as tangelos, blood oranges, and Clementines.


Oranges are the number one citrus crop in the world.  And they come in many varieties. The navel, so named for the bellybutton-like shape on the blossom end, is the world’s most popular eating orange. Another the holidays, blood oranges make into markets. They get their vibrant color from high concentrations of anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant. Another holiday arrival are Clementines, seedless members of the mandarin family (Citrus reticulata). Clementines are a hybrid cross of a tangerine and a wild North African orange. The compact easy to peel fruits are perfect pick-me-ups any time of the day.

In addition to antioxidants, oranges are a good source of potassium and folate, a B vitamin; both help protect your heart. A medium sized orange contains about 130% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C. Studies have shown that the pectin, found in the white pith helps reduce appetite – making them an even more important fruit to have around during holiday snack bowl season.


  • 130% – the RDA percentage of vitamin C contained in one medium orange.
  • 80 calories in one average-sized orange


Pick fruit that is firm and feels heavy for its size – it’s a juicer choice.  The skin should be bright and colorful. Avoid those with bruises or discolored skins.  A bit of green doesn’t mean the fruit is not ripe. It’s the natural color. Some growers dye the skin to make the fruit more uniformly orange. The FDA requires them to post a sign stating “color added”.

Create a seasonal centerpiece in your office by lining a large bowl with evergreen branches. Arrange a variety of oranges in the bowl such navel, tangerines, mandarins and Clementines. Oranges can be kept at room temperature of several days. They can also be frozen. Encourage your staff and clients to enjoy the sweet treat before or after a massage. The sweet citrus fragrance that fills the room is added bonus that every can enjoyed by all.

Juice Tips
Fruit at room temperature gives up more juice. Roll the fruit on the counter top with the palm of your hand to break the juice sacs. Cut in half crosswise and ream out the juice using a hand or electric juicer.

Check out this refreshing Grapefruit and Orange Cooler


Jovanka JoAnn Milivojevic