Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving


Few years ago I participated in a workshop about Positive Psychology by Tal Ben-Shahar.
The basic idea of the Positive psychology is that it does not ask what does not work, but asks what does work. What worked in the past and what it would take to implement it.

One of the tools that was recommended by Tal is writing to write every night five things that we're grateful.
He said that people who regularly write the things they're grateful to them, they people who experience more optimistic, are more prosperous and more healthy.

I am not writing every night, not even once a month, but today is the right time to do it:
1.     I am grateful for being a photographer
2.     I am grateful for having my sisters and their kids
3.     I am grateful for having the courage to make a big change in my life
4.     I am grateful for having my friends
5.     I am grateful for the first time the subway arrived so fast (last night)

Happy thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

A recipe – Granola

Did you know that ½ cup granola with cup of yogurt contain about 50% of the daily amount of protein that we need?

My cooking is based on my mother’s recipes, friends’ recipes, cookbooks, websites and mainly – my imagination.
This recipe is based on one from, with my personal edits.

5 cups rolled oats (not the quick cooking oats)
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup flax seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried figs (8-10 pieces)
½ cup dried dates (8-10 pieces)
½ cup dried apricots (8-10 pieces)
1 cup honey
4 Oz butter
1-2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

(Recipe Yield 3.3 Pounds (1.5 Kg) of granola)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients: oats, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and sesame seeds. You can make any mix of nuts and seeds, as long the total amount will be 4 cups, like pecan, coconut chips (the big ones), wheat germ and all other kind of nuts
  3. Heat for about 5 minutes in a small pot the butter, honey, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Be careful not to boil it, just heat until everything is melted and mixed. Pour mixture over the oats and stir all together until completely combined.
  4.  Spread evenly over the prepared baking sheets, pressing down lightly with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven – IMPORTANT – set a timer for 5 minutes, stir and flip the mixture every 5 minutes (total baking 5 minutes X 4 times). Allow to cool completely.
  6. In a large bowl (the same one from the beginning…), break the cooled granola into large chunks. Mix in the raisins, dried cranberries, dried figs, dried dates and dried apricots. Here as well, you can add or reduce dried fruits as you like.
  7. Store in an airtight container. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Protein - @#$%^&*&^%$#@ - what is it?

No, I am not a Doctor and not a nutritionist. I am a photographer who like to cook as much as I like to photograph. So when I got my blood test I made a little “research”, tried to understand what should I eat and what I should not. Everything in this blog is about sharing my experience only, and not health / nutrition info or tips.

I found the article “The Nutrition Source - Protein” on HARVARD School of Public Health website, very clear and helpful.

So what is it Protein?

Proteins are polymer chains made of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds” (Wikipedia). I know, it is sound like Chinese!

The sources for Protein in our food are:
Animal source – fish, poultry, red meat, dairy foods (milk, cheese, and yogurt), eggs. This is the best source for protein, since they contain all the amino acids needed to build new Proteins. The problem is, that they have “side effects” as high level of cholesterol, lactose and other.
Whole grainsbrown rice, whole wheat, rye, quinoa, corn
Legumes – lentils, chickpeas, soy, beans, peas
Nuts and seeds – walnuts, cashews, almonds, flax, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame

But as many things in life, It's not quantity but quality, and in the Protein case - It's the Protein package (or mix) that's likely to make a difference.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The beginning

I got a wakeup call!
I got my blood test result and an email from my nutritionist that reacted as if I am going to die. Soon.
It read: “You must change your diet immediately!!!”
Immediately? this sounds serious!
So I took a second look on the blood test result and looked for more info on the net,
and you know what – he is so right!


So here is My High Level Protein Diet, week by week