Happy Spring, friends!
I hope you’re able to enjoy spring-like weather and get outside for some fresh air today to celebrate. Or if the weather isn’t quite so spring-like where you are, go make a nice big leafy green salad with tons of fruit and veggies…it’s guaranteed to make you happy!
Since spring is a time of renewal, I thought the first day of spring would be the perfect day to share this month’s installment of A Happier Healthier You 2015. I’m honored and so excited to be featuring Paulette Lambert.
Paulette is a registered dietitian and certified diabetic educator with more than 30 years of experience and expertise in the areas of weight management, diabetes, heart disease prevention, and cardiac care. She is the nutrition expert on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, and has worked as the Director of Nutrition for the California Health & Longevity Institute since its opening in 2006.
I love the approach to health and wellness that they take at the California Health & Longevity Institute; they follow a 360-degree approach by implementing the Japanese practice of Kaizen, the philosophy of achieving sustainable change through small realistic steps. They incorporate all areas of life that effect health, including medical, nutrition, fitness, life balance, and spa. I don’t know about you, but I sure wish I lived in the area so I could take advantage of all that this facility has to offer! Or at the very least I wish a facility like this one would open in my area.
The website talks more about the Wellness Kitchen and Paulette’s role:
Paulette develops the nutrition programs and protocols for individual consultations, workshops for consumers and corporate groups including “Smart Dining Out” and “Strategies for Healthy Eating” and the popular Wellness Kitchen. This interactive food experience, a signature program at the Institute, combines nutrition education with a hands-on cooking class in a fun yet informative class set in a made-for-television demonstration kitchen.
Paulette’s recent cookbook, The Wellness Kitchen, which was inspired by the real-life Wellness Kitchen at the California Institute of Health & Longevity, is a practical healthy eating guide. In addition to sharing more than 100 delicious, satisfying recipes in the book, Paulette also tackles topics that many of us want to know more about, like healthy pantry staples, going organic, general nutrition guidelines, weight loss, and her 21-Day Food Plan for Health and Weight Loss. For those of you who want to make a healthy lifestyle change, but aren’t sure where to start, this book is the perfect tool.
Paulette was kind enough to answer a few questions, giving us practical advice for how to take a comprehensive approach to our health, as well as advice on how anyone (literally!) can get in the kitchen and cook for their family…
1) Tell us about your personal journey to health and how you came to be where you are today.
I was a political science major in the first 3 years of college in the “hippie era” and organic food was a new concept and thought to be just a fad. I grew up in Upstate NY and my mom was a foodie and a fabulous cook; she made her jam, canned, etc., so I spent many hours in the kitchen as a child and loved it. With the prospect of not having a job after college, I decided it was not too late to change my major and since nutrition was just starting to be a cool thing, I decided to go in that direction. It was challenging at first since I did not have the science background that I needed, I had to do an extra year in undergrad to fulfill those requirements. I can say it was one of the best decisions in my life since it was stimulating academically and encompassed the food world which I love. I graduated, fulfilled my internship, worked in hospitals for 2 years and then moved onto the largest private practice in Los Angles for 28 years. My practice included all areas of nutrition from pediatrics, eating disorders, diabetes treatment to cardiac care and weight loss. After a long career in patient care I was looking for something different and the opportunity at California Health & Longevity Institute came along.
2) As Director of Nutrition for the California Health & Longevity Institute, what would you tell people who claim they don’t know how to or don’t have time to cook?
Learn just a few basic cooking techniques that can allow you to make many different recipes quickly, like how to roast a whole chicken, do a quick pasta sauté, or one pot meals. Home cooking can actually save time if you learn how to do this. An easy, healthy, delicious meal can made in less than 30 minutes which is less time than going out or even less than picking up food to take home. Shopping once a week, doing some preparation on a day off can make cooking at home a few night a week very easy.
3) What are your best tips for people who want to get in the kitchen and cook for their family, but have limited time to do it?
Plan. Write out 3-5 meals that you want to make that week and then make a shopping list to make sure you have all those ingredients for that week. Any prep that you can do the night before when supervising kids homework or in between folding laundry can make the next nights cooking very easy. I love to prep my fresh vegetables the night before so they are ready to go for the next night dinner. Cooking a couple of meals on the weekend for the beginning of the week is always helpful too, especially if they take longer in the oven and can be reheated easily.
4) Sometimes our families are picky about eating their veggies or trying new things. How do you tackle that?
It takes time for kids and adults alike to learn to like the taste and texture of new foods. You need to repeat new foods often so they have the chance to keep trying. Ask for one bite just to taste and do not force to finish. Also making vegetables taste great is part of being successful. So often we steam vegetables and put on the plate without any flavor or the texture with is not appealing to many. Roasting vegetables in the oven to caramelize the natural sugars gives them a whole different flavor and texture. A sprinkle of Parmesan, a few pine nuts, squeeze of lemon, or toasted breadcrumbs can turn the ordinary into the star of the meal. Pureed vegetable soups are another way to increase everyone’s vegetable intake since the texture is so decadent. Try a soup and sandwich night to encourage more vegetable intake.
5) The California Health & Longevity Institute takes a comprehensive approach to wellness, dealing with other aspects of life that effect health, such as medical, nutrition, fitness, life balance, and spa. What advice would you give to people who don’t have access to a facility like this in their area (or who can’t afford a facility like this), but want to take a more holistic approach to their health?
First, check in with your physician about the status of your health. Basic blood work can tell a lot about the status of your current health so know your numbers for your cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. Make sure you are doing some exercise at least 4-5 times a week for 30 minutes with a goal of reaching breathlessness for a few minutes a day, even if it one minute at a time. Reaching target heart rate causes biochemical changes in the body that promotes overall health and an increase in metabolism. The focus in nutrition should be to eat less processed foods, 7-10 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, and less added sugar to food. Adults need to eat every 5 hours so for most of us, 3 meals and 1 snack improves energy and helps to control hunger. With today’s stressful lifestyles and pace, taking some time for activities that you enjoy and social time with friends and family should be at the top of the list to help manage stress and help keep life in balance.
6) Realistically, what does a typical (not idyllic) day look like for you in terms of food and fitness?
Up at 6:30 AM and eat a breakfast of oatmeal with blueberries or other fruit, topped with non-fat Greek vanilla yogurt for protein. I am at my desk by 8:30 to 9:00 and usually have a snack of fruit at 10:30 if possible. I may teach a cooking class and lunch with our guest would be a healthy variety of vegetables, whole grains, and generally for me fish with iced green tea. I am either spending my afternoons with guest in individual consults, lecturing to a corporate group, working on a presentation, or working on new recipe development. I try to hit spin class a couple times a week and I do train in hunter-jumper riding 3 times a week. I really try to cook during the week and leave the dining out for social times on the weekends. Dinner at home is simple with fish or chicken, a couple vegetables, a small amount of a whole grain, and fruit for dessert. I love taking long walks after dinner, or doing laundry, paying bills, all the things that everyone does, so I can have my time free on the weekends. If it’s summer and still light outside, I will do a little work in my garden which is very relaxing to me.
Looking through The Wellness Kitchen, so many recipes stood out to me. Spiced Quinoa Breakfast Porridge; Date, Pear, and Goat Cheese Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette; Margarita Steak with Tomatillo Salsa; Pulled Turkey Sandwiches with Cranberry BBQ Sauce; Tofu, Cashew, and Butternut Squash Curry; Grilled Vegetables with Feta Vinaigrette; and Orange Cardamom Cookies with Dark Chocolate Drizzle were all calling my name. I decided on Hoisin Salmon Burgers with Ginger Aioli because we eat quite a bit of salmon (usually oven-roasted or charcoal-grilled on a cedar plank) and I’m always looking for new inspiration.
I made just a few tweaks to the recipe to make it grain-free and paleo. Everyone agreed these burgers were a fun way to enjoy salmon! They’ll definitely be making their way to our dinner table again.
Thank you so much for being here, Paulette! Her cookbook, The Wellness Kitchen is available for purchase on Amazon.
- ½ small white onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled
- ¾ lb (340 g) boneless, skinless salmon fillet, chopped into 2-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce (see Note)
- 2 teaspoons fresh-grated ginger
- ¼ + ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons almond meal
- 2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil, for frying
- 4 tablespoons light mayo
- 1 teaspoon coconut aminos (or tamari sauce)
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, such as Sriracha (more or less to taste)
- ½ teaspoon raw honey (preferably local)
- ½ teaspoon fresh-grated ginger
- Mixed greens, for serving
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- Thinly sliced scallion, for garnish
- For the burgers, add the onion and garlic to a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped. Add the salmon, hoisin sauce, ginger, salt, and black pepper and pulse until very finely chopped (not pureed). Add the almond meal and pulse a couple times just to combine. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape each into a patty.
- Add the coconut oil to a medium skillet over medium heat; once the oil is rippling, add the salmon patties. Cover the skillet (leaving the lid slightly ajar) and cook until browned on both sides and fully cooked in the center, about 3 to 5 minutes per side, flipping once.
- For the mayo, whisk together all ingredients.
- Serve the salmon burgers on a bed of mixed greens topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and sliced scallion, along with the ginger mayo.
Hoisin Sauce: To keep this dish paleo, use my Chinese-Inspired Plum Sauce instead of hoisin sauce.
: : GIVEAWAY : :
I’m thrilled to be giving away three copies of The Wellness Kitchen cookbook by Paulette Lambert to three lucky winners! (Thank you to Adams Media for providing the cookbooks for this giveaway!)
To participate in this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post telling me what you’re looking forward to most about spring.
For extra entries, you can do any of the following (please leave a separate comment for each):
- If you’re the main cook for your family, tell me how many nights you cook dinner at home each week.
- Like An Edible Mosaic on Facebook.
- Like the California Institute of Health & Longevity on Facebook.
- Follow An Edible Mosaic on Twitter.
- Follow Paulette Lambert on Twitter.
You do not need to have a blog to enter this giveaway. For shipping purposes, this giveaway is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. This giveaway ends on March 26, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST. Once the giveaway ends, the winner will be randomly chosen and notified via email. The winner will have three business days to respond with his or her mailing information, otherwise a new winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck to all!
Disclosure: Adams Media provided a copy of The Wellness Kitchen for my review and is providing the cookbooks for this giveaway; as always, opinions stated are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I believe in, which means that even though it doesn’t cost you anything extra, I will receive a small amount of money from the sale of these items, which helps me keep this site alive – thank you for helping to support An Edible Mosaic!