Healthy Recipes

Healthy Recipes

These healthy recipes can make your weight loss journey more enjoyable.

Cranberry Whole Wheat Muffins



  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • ? Cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • ? tsp. orange zest (grated orange peel)
  • ? tsp. salt
  • 1 ? Cup low-fat milk
  • 5 T melted butter
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 Cup fresh or frozen, thawed cranberries, halved
  • 1 Cup chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the muffin tin with paper liners for easy removal and handling.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, ginger, orange zest, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, and egg. Stir in cranberries and nuts.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until blended. Do not over-mix.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle additional chopped nuts on top, if desired.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until lightly brown, and a toothpick comes out clean.


Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew



  • 1 medium orange
  • 2 lbs (6 medium) sweet potatoes
  • 2 15 oz cans black beans (well-rinsed)
  • 6 Cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced, or chopped
  • 2 sweet peppers (1 red, 1 green, or to your likeness) thinly sliced or chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • ? teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1-2 Tablespoons chipotle chili powder (start with 1 T to taste and add more for extra heat)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


Saute onions, peppers, garlic, orange zest, and crushed red pepper flakes in 1 T. olive oil. Then add sweet potatoes, broth, and spices and cook just until the potatoes are done, but not mushy. Add in the beans during the last few minutes of cooking. When done, add the juice from the orange and cilantro.

Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Pasta



  • 1 Cup (low sodium) vegetable broth
  • 12 dehydrated, sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 (8 oz.) package of uncooked, whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ? Tablespoon pine nuts
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • ? Cup grated Parmesan cheese


In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Remove from heat. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in the broth for 15 minutes, or until soft. Drain, reserving the broth, and coarsely chop.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place penne pasta in the pot and cook for 9-12 minutes, until al dente, and drain.

Place the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir until lightly toasted.

Heat the olive oil and red pepper flakes in a skillet over medium heat, and saute garlic for 1 minute, just until tender. Mix in spinach, and cook until almost wilted. Pour in the reserve broth and stir in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Continue cooking for 2 minutes, or until heated through.

In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the spinach and tomato mixture and pine nuts. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.


Walnut Crusted Salmon



Marinade –

  • ? Cup white wine
  • ? Cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • ? teaspoon crushed rosemary
  • ? teaspoon crushed thyme
  • ? teaspoon salt
  • ? teaspoon pepper
  • 4 (8 oz.) salmon fillets, skin on

Crust –

  • 1 Cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ? Cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped chives
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Directions: Preheat grill, and preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Mix marinade ingredients in a large, plastic, zip-lock bag. Add salmon (turn and coat) and marinate for 30-45 minutes. In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the crust and set aside. On a grill, place salmon meat side down for four minutes or just until seared.

Remove and place salmon on lined baking sheet, skin side down. Lightly brush with leftover marinade and sprinkle crust on top. Bake in the oven for 4-8 minutes or until salmon is cooked (flaky and golden).

Serves: 4


Versatile Mixed Green Salad



  • 2 Cups washed, mixed baby greens
  • 1 quarter sliced (medium) cucumber
  • ? of an avocado (chopped in bite size pieces)
    • You can also use another fruit of your liking, such as grapes, strawberries or mandarin oranges.
    • 5-10 sliced cherry or grape tomatoes
    • ? Cup chopped nuts
      • Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds
      • 1/3 Cup chopped chicken
        • Or other lean meat such as turkey
        • ? Cup low-fat dressing/vinaigrette


After chopping all fruits and vegetables, toss with lettuce, nuts, chicken and salad dressing in a large bowl or closed container until well mixed, or desired likeness. Enjoy!

Product Suggestions:

For chicken, I typically use all-natural or organic, canned chicken. It’s easy to drain from the can and throw it straight into the salad.

Serves: 1


Butternut Squash Soup



  • 1 (2-3 pound) butternut squash, peeled and seeded
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 Cups vegetable stock (low sodium)
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper, salt and nutmeg to taste


Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. In a large pot, heat oil. Add onion and cook until translucent (about 8 minutes). Add squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender (15-20 minutes). Remove squash chunks with a slotted spoon and move to a blender and puree. (An emulsion blender works well too). Return blended squash to the cooking pot. Stir and season with salt, nutmeg and pepper. Serve and enjoy!

Product Suggestions:

If butternut squash isn’t in season, or if you are pressed for time, grab a bag of already cut and peeled, frozen chunks of squash. Be open to new flavors and explore different types of squash as the seasons change.

Serves: 4-6


Low-fat Yogurt Breakfast Smoothie



  • 1 Cup plain or vanilla low-fat (or non-fat) yogurt (I like to use Greek yogurt, because it tends to make the smoothie thicker and creamier)
  • 1 or 2 overripe bananas
  • 1 Cup strawberries (or your favorite fruit; frozen berries are great, so that you can use less ice)
  • 1 Cup ice cubes (only use ice if you do not use frozen fruit)


Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy, immediately!


Looking to start your weight loss journey? Book a FREE consultation at Florida Aesthetics today!

Heart Healthy Lifestyle

Heart Healthy Lifestyle

Planning Ahead

One of the most important things in weight-loss and a heart healthy lifestyle is making time to plan ahead. Take the time the night before to cut up veggies and fruits, or pre-portion nuts or crackers for easy snacking.

Pack your lunch:

It is cost effective and can be healthier to make your lunch at home and take it to work or on the go. By making your own lunch, you are able to control what you make, what ingredients are used and how much you are using, especially with salad dressings and spreads.


Easy Packed Lunches


  • Prepare your salad with veggies, fruits and nuts. If you are using chicken, pack it and the dressing separately.
  • Salads are filling and give you proper nutrients that your body needs.
  • Be sure to use dark, leafy greens more so than lighter lettuces, because they pack more of a nutritional punch!


  • These are good because they are versatile. You can put as much or as little as you want on your sandwich.
  • Use lean meats such as chicken or turkey and avoid more processed or fatty meats like ham, bologna or salami.Salads are filling and give you proper nutrients that your body needs.
  • Veggies are always a great addition to a sandwich because they add an extra crunch and spice it up!

Bread is a key ingredient, so use whole wheat/grain bread, or try some sandwich flats or wheat wraps.

What About Water



The most essential nutrient the body requires to function is water. Lean body mass (muscle) consists mostly of water to exist. Adults can survive approximately 10 days without water and can survive weeks without food. The most common cause of muscle cramps is dehydration. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. If you feel hungry, you are dehydrated. The body needs a minimum of at least 8 (8 oz) glasses of water daily for normal function, because our bodies and brains are made up of 95% water. Our bodies cannot store water that is why it is important to get daily intakes for a heart healthy lifestyle.

Functions of Water:

  • Transports waste and anti-bodies
  • Circulates fluid throughout the body
  • Aids in efficient digestion
  • Transports hormones
  • Maintains muscle tone
  • Balances electrolyte levels
  • Relieves constipation and helps with movement of bowels
  • Lubricates joints
  • Assists in food intake
  • Reduces fluid retention
  • Regulates blood pressure

Drinking Enough Water is Essential

Drinking enough water is essential to weight-loss because of its ability to suppress the appetite naturally and to help metabolize stored body fat. Water is the key part to any weight-loss program. It is very necessary for helping the body remove fat, and for general health. Water does help in appetite suppression; naturally. The way it does this, is that it assists the body in metabolizing stored fat, because your liver is overloaded when your kidneys do not get enough water. Your liver metabolizes fat, and it cannot do that one-hundred percent if it is also doing the kidneys job. It also reduces fat deposits in the body and relieves fluid retention problems as well.

Fats Can Be Heart-Healthy

 The Benefits of Omega-3

  • Many types of fish, including salmon and tilapia, contain long-chain polyunsaturated fats and Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to have heart-healthy benefits.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are important to consume in our diet on a regular basis because our bodies do not naturally make Omega-3s.
  • These good fats not only raise HDL levels (high density lipids; the good cholesterol), but also boost brain function and eye power.

The New OK Foods

Explore foods such as avocados, walnuts and almonds, which can add a lot of heart-healthy fats as well as add flavor to many recipes. (i.e. salad, pasta, chicken and fish)

Cook With Olive Oil

A small amount of olive oil should be the first choice in cooking. It adds great flavor without tons of saturated fat.

Explore The Green Fruits

Instead of dry sandwiches, make it interesting by adding sliced avocado to add moisture, flavor and heart healthy fats.


Exercise For Life

Exercise For Life

Resistance training affects your diet

Resistance training is an exercise that results in the contraction of your muscles in a way that will help increase your strength and/or improve your muscle tone/mass. In other words, it is any form of weight lifting that leads to a change in your muscles. This can mean exercises involving dumbbells, tubing, weight machines, or body weight.
Engaging in these activities causes tears in the muscles you are working. When your body repairs these tears (and every time it does so) it adds an extra protective layer to the already existent muscle. This then increases your muscle size, tone and or strength.

Why resistance training?

  • On average, after the age of thirty, we lose five pounds of muscle a decade. Our bodies are weakened gradually and our metabolisms slow down. One way to slow down or greatly minimize both of these is to engage in resistance training. RT allows your body to maintain more muscle tone than it ordinarily would as you get older.
  • Resistance training exercises help to build bone mass. As we get older, this becomes increasingly important for the prevention of injury and/or the development of bone disease. Building bone mass means having stronger bones that can better support your body and the lean mass that you put on.
  • Most importantly, resistance training leads to the speeding up of your metabolism. Engage in resistance training and you will increase the proportion of muscle to fat in your body. Not only will you look better and feel stronger, but you will also be burning more at rest than you did when you were less muscular. This an important key to weight loss, and will greatly help you on your weight loss journey.


Why it helps

In the past, the dominant philosophy regarding weight loss looked to diet and cardio as keys to success. Today, research has introduced resistance training as another important (if not more important) key to weight loss success.

  • Research shows that resistance training is more effective at burning calories, both minute-by-minute and after a workout than is cardio/aerobic exercise.
  • In combination with eating well and engaging in cardio/aerobic exercise, resistance training will get you faster weight loss results.
  • Pound for pound, muscles burn more calories than does fat. Build up your muscle and your body will burn more throughout the day. This leads to faster weight loss and the advantage of being able to eat more in a given day once youve reached your target weight.
  • Resistance training helps keep your body from shedding muscle as you lose weight. Generally speaking, the lighter you become, the less muscle your body assumes it needs. (and the greater change in your lean mass:body fat proportion.)
  • When you engage in RT, you keep your muscles working. Because you are using them, your body decides that it needs to preserve your muscles. Instead of targeting muscle cells to compensate for your increased calorie burn and decreased caloric intake (working out and eating less), it will burn off your fat.
  • This way, you shed the extra fat weight but end up with a higher percentage of lean mass as compared to body fat. This means a more efficient metabolism and a healthier, better-looking body.


What To Do

  • Fitness professionals recommend engaging in resistance training two to three times a week.
  • They also suggest giving your body a day to rest between resistance training workouts. In other words, do not work out the same set of muscles two days in a row. (For example: Work out your shoulders and biceps one day and your triceps and chest the next).


Type Of Exercise

  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep dipss
  • Push ups
  • Pull ups
  • Chest press
  • Bent-over row
  • Knee extension
  • Leg Press
  • Use of weight machines at the gym

Always remember to stretch before and after your workout. For more information on resistance training exercises, talk to your weight loss coach at Florida Aesthetics!


  • The more calories you burn with physical activity, the faster and more efficient the weight-loss process will be.
  • The more you do with your body, the better you will feel about it.
  • You do not have to become an athlete to be healthy. You are already performing a number of activities that can be modified to help you burn even more calories, and lose even more inches.


Exercise tips for non-athletes

  • If you are not used to exercising regularly, it is okay to begin a workout routine slowly. Perform stretching and strengthening exercises to get you started, and work up to a more strenuous workout.
  • Regular, brisk walking is an excellent substitute for jogging or aerobics (if you are physically unable to perform more strenuous activity at first).
  • Include as many alternative exercise activities as you can in your daily routine.
    • Remember that just because you are not at the gym, doesnt mean you are not still burning calories through daily activities.


Alternative exercise activities


  • Take a walk in and around your neighborhood.
  • Join a walking group and participate each week.
  • Park further away from the establishment that you are going to.
  • Walk around the mall several times.
  • Walk to close by places where you have previously driven to.

At Home

  • Go up and down the stairs several extra times throughout the day.
  • Vacuuming and mopping counts as great exercise and gets items off your to-do list!
  • Gardening and working in the yard.
  • Ride your bike or go for a hike.


Exercise and your health

  • Regular exercise:
    • helps reduce high blood pressure
    • helps control cholesterol levels
    • helps to reduce high lipid levels in the blood
    • helps control diabetes and blood sugar levels
    • strengthens the heart
    • aids in smoking cessation
  • Regular weight-bearing exercise helps to decrease your risk of developing osteoporosis
  • Exercise allows for more regular and deeper sleep patterns
  • Regular exercise helps keep your digestive system regular and prevents constipation.
  • Exercise helps with decreasing the effects of arthritis, and can allow for increased mobility.


What exercise can do for you

  • Exercise burns calories
  • Exercise increases muscle mass
  • Moderate exercise decreases appetite
  • Exercise increases the hormones serotonin and other endorphins that help to reduce stress and depression, which are common results of overeating and weight gain.
  • Aerobic exercise improves overall cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, and increases overall body strength while burning a good amount of calories, depending on the activity.
  • Strength training, a type of anaerobic exercise, has been shown to protect bone health, protect against disease, increase body strength, boost energy, improve mood, and lead to overall greater calorie burn.


  • Research suggests that a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise is the best way for a person to both lose body fat and build up muscles. Together, the two types of exercise improve different aspects of body functioning and health.
  • Select activities that:
    • Are moderate in intensity
    • You can keep up with for long periods of time
    • Use large muscle groups
  • Good examples of aerobic exercise included:
    • Walking
    • Rowing
    • Jogging
    • Cycling
    • Swimming
    • Machines such as the elliptical trainer and treadmill

Incorporate exercise in your daily routine

If you do not belong to a gym or do not have enough time in the mornings to work out, a great way to burn some extra calories or maintain a healthy weight is to take a brisk walk after dinner.
Take a 30-40 minute walk around the block. Use a pedometer to count your steps and challenge yourself to increase the amount of steps you take every other day. When the weather is nice, take your workout outside and head to the park or beach for a more unconventional exercise routine.


The F.I.T.T. Principle

F = Frequency:

Frequency is the number of times a targeted physical activity is performed per a specific period such as a week. A safe frequency is three to five times per week.

I = Intensity:

Intensity is how hard you exercise during a physical activity period. Heart rate is one method to measuring the intensity of a physical activity or exercise. 

T = Time:

Time is the duration of a  physical activity. Effective time varies depending on the targeted physical activity targeted. Stretching, for example, is measured in seconds while an a continuous activities, such as aerobic, are measured in minutes. 

T = Type:

Type is  the specific physical activity being performed. Examples of types include stretching, weight lifting,  jogging, running, swimming, etc.

Eating Well

Eating Well

Food Labels: Fat, Cholesterol, Calories, and Sugar

  • Food labels are the nutrition facts, or the content of what is in our foods, broken down into categories of fats, calories, sugar, carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins and minerals are the most common.
  • The reason that it is so important to know this information is so that we are able to monitor what goes into our bodies.
  • Eating well can help with weight loss.


Calories are typically the first item that is represented on a food label. The calories listed are based on a single serving and explain the amount of caloric energy. When you consume more calories than your body needs, it is stored in fat.


These are the building blocks of the body. They are made of many chains of Amino Acids. Essential Amino Acids must be supplied in the foods we eat because our bodies do not naturally produce them. If more than enough protein is consumed, then it is just excreted through the urine

Amino acids are the building blocks of our body, and protein is a crucial component of any balanced diet. Protein contributes to a feeling of fullness during mealtime and helps to repair tissue and muscle (after exercise, for example). It is needed to help the body refuel and repair itself after exercise.


A carbohydrate is a broad category and includes anything from bread products to fruit and vegetables, and is the body’s main source for energy. Carbohydrates are good, and necessary for energy, however, if eaten in excess, can lead to obesity.There are two types of carbohydrates:

  • Simple Carbohydrates
    • Fruit, cookies, and candy, or other sugary foods.
    • These are used for quick energy
  • Complex Carbohydrates
    • Vegetables, potatoes, rice, and pasta
    • Take longer to digest and give out energy slower.


This is a waxy, fat-like substance. Your liver can make all the cholesterol that you need, so it doesn’t even need to be a part of your diet. Extra calories can build up in your arteries (the tunnel for blood flow) and can result in heart failure and disease.


This is found in table salt and is usually used to preserve foods (such as canned food). Sodium helps to maintain water balance in your body. However, too much salt can lead to Hypertension and High Blood Pressure.


Fat is an essential nutrient needed in your diet. Fats are responsible for storing energy in your body, although, fat is only needed in small amounts. Fat helps to protect and cushion your bones and organs. However, eating too much fat can lead to a stroke or heart attack.There are three types of fats:

  • Unsaturated fat (raises the HDL high density lipids = good cholesterol)
    • A fatty acid with at least one double bond
    • Liquid at room temperature
    • Polyunsaturated (many bonds) and monounsaturated (one single bond)
    • Examples include:
      • Fish, as well as shellfish, whole grain wheat, natural peanut butter, walnuts, avocados, sesame and sunflower seeds, and flax seed.
  • Saturated fat (raises the LDL low density lipids = bad cholesterol)
    • Triglycerides containing saturated fatty acids
    • Solid at room temperature
    • Examples include:
      • Coconut oil, butter, ground beef, cashew nuts, and soybean oil.
  • Trans fats (significantly raises LDL levels in the blood; to the point of being harmful to normal blood flow)
    • Contains one or more double bond and is formed through a process called hydrogenation. This chemically allows hydrogen into the bond.
    • Solid at room temperature
    • Choose items that are 0g Trans fats, and do not eat them often.
    • Examples include:
      • Crisco, French fries, doughnuts, cookies, some muffins, pies, and cakes.

Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day

The reason that breakfast is so important is not just because someone said so. Eating within an hour of waking up in the morning will jump-start your metabolism, and get you going for the rest of the day. It also prepares you for the other meals that you will consume later on, such as snack, lunch and dinner. So, turn off the alarm, get up and get your morning fix!

  • Even though morning may leave you sprinting for the door, take the time to eat a well-balanced breakfast, which can help you make healthier snacking choices throughout the day.
  • If you have time, eat a balanced breakfast at home before leaving for work, or the office.
  • If you tend to sleep in and skip breakfast, keep some healthy items in the office instead of stopping for a doughnut or fast-food sandwich.
  • Foods like instant oatmeal with walnuts and fruit, peanut butter on whole wheat toast, or cottage cheese and fruit are easy to store and easy to prepare.
  • Think fiber and protein something that will keep you full for longer.

Sensible Snacking

Junk-food Fix-in’s

  • Look for chips and crackers that are baked, not fried, to limit fat. Also try to find whole grain chips for increased fiber.
  • If you’re deciding between two types of snack chips, look for those with nutritional advantages such as chips made with heart-healthier oils like sunflower and olive oil. These are high in the good, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Plan Ahead

  • Preparation is the key to healthy workplace snacking and integral to making successful food choices.
  • You know you are going to get hungry, so plan for it.
  • Pack a snack even if you aren’t already packing your lunch.
  • We can get into trouble when we wait to look for something to eat when we’re already hungry.

Sweets are not so sweet

Occasionally, sugar treats are fine, but be mindful not to indulge on a regular basis. Sugar and other sweeteners are loaded with calories and contribute to tooth decay as well as offer no real nutritional value.

Eat your veggies

Eating a variety of vegetables is a great way to boost your nutritional status. Enjoy all of them, but focus on those with a dark, rich color, such as spinach, broccoli, carrots and sweet potatoes.

Fruit is a natural sweet treat

Unlike processed sweets, fruit is nature’s way of satisfying your sweet tooth in a healthy, wholesome way. Enjoy fresh, frozen or dried fruits on a daily basis. Be sure to avoid those that have added sugars.

Eating a Balanced Diet

A successful weight lossjourney requires some basic knowledge about food and how to plan our eating activities.  Understanding the basics of food will help you make the right choice for what to eat and drink and what to avoid. 

A balanced diet is eating a variety of foods with a variety of colors, making sure to eat from every category of food from the food guide pyramid to ensure you’re eating well.

The Pursuit For Perfect Skin!

The Pursuit For Perfect Skin!

The pursuit for perfect skin seems never-ending, and with never-ending ads claiming to be the solution, understanding what works best can be challenging.  Products at varying price ranges, and services that promise amazing long-term effects make it difficult to decide how best to improve our facial skin condition.  And while services such as laser and chemical peels may be the solution for some of us, they may not be it for the rest of us.

For the rest of us, picking and choosing what creams to use or not to use seems like a never-ending process, with trial-and-error that never provides satisfying results and drains our wallets.  Fortunately, there has come to the market a proven and effective solution to all our skin problems and that is perfect for those who do not need/want full-scale laser and peel services.

Obagi nuderm is a complete skincare system that takes care of all skin issues in just a few steps.  It consists of a gentle wash, toner, and three different creams that work together to give you radiant, glowing, and youthful skin.  It is proven to work against skin discoloration, wrinkles, rough skin, age spots, and more.  Obagi NuDerm is extremely gentle in its care of your face, and is simple to use.  This product can also be used to treat acne, and is great because it gives you an all-in-one package.  Within a couple of weeks of using NuDerm, you will notice an absolute change in your facial appearance.  Not only will it feel smoother, but it will also be glowing, clearer, and younger. Results may vary in every particular case (depending on your skin condition, age etc.).

Unlike other products, Obagi NuDerm gives you true value for your money without the need to resort to the strongest forms of treatment.  You no longer have to continue on your quest for the perfect skin treatment!  This is it, and if youd like to learn more about it, contact one of our licensed medical practionaer at Florida Aesthetics today!


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