Chocolate Almond Butter Energy Bites Recipe from the Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine at AgeLess Integrative Medical Spa

Ever hit the middle of the afternoon with a hankering for something sweet, but yet will satisfy you until dinner?

These energy bites have the sweetness and the natural source of protein to fill you up. Cinnamon and ginger will help regulate blood sugar so you don’t feel the crash you typically do after a candy bar or baked good.

These little energy bites are also great from a Traditional Chinese Medical perspective as well and particularly going into the winter season.

Dates are neutral and sweet. They help to nourish our bodies by strengthening our blood, helps with coughs, diarrhea, night sweats, weak digestion, and overall weakness. Black dates are also slightly warming which is great during the long winter months. Moderation is important because they can also create too much mucus in the body.

Almonds/almond butter are neutral and sweet. They help to relieve a cough, transform phlegm and lubricate the intestines. Almonds with the dates are a great combination to make sure the dates do not create congestion in the body.

Carob powder is warm and sweet. This is an excellent substitute for chocolate. Carob is naturally caffeine free and is great for soothing and calming the mind.

Cinnamon is hot, pungent and sweet. This spice is great for strengthening the stomach, warms any coldness internally, and helps stop pain. Cinnamon helps with the common cold, cold abdomen, and low back pain. Use in moderation when pregnant.

Ginger is warm and pungent. Ginger is excellent for the lungs and stomach and great for expelling common colds and coughs with clear mucus. Also, ginger is a great remedy for nausea and vomiting.

See how all these ingredients below can come together to make the ultimate energy bite!

Chocolate Almond Butter Energy Bites

1 cup pitted dates
½ cup almonds
¾ cup almond butter
2 Tbsp of carob powder or cacao powder
1 Tbsp of cinnamon
1 Tbsp of ginger

Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender
Blend until ingredients stick together
Energy bites can be formed into bite-size balls or spread onto a nonstick pan to make bars
Place in fridge or enjoy immediately!

If you want to make your energy bites anti-inflammatory try adding 1 Tbsp of Turmeric powder and ½ Tbsp of cayenne pepper instead of the cinnamon or ginger.

Want to learn more about Traditional Chinese Medicine or Acupuncture? Set up an appointment by requesting an appointment HERE.

– Samantha Schamel, Practitioner of Chinese Medicine

Bone Broth Stew Recipe

Bone Broth Stew Recipe

You’re probably aware by now that the staff of our Horseheads, NY facility occasionally like to share healthy snack ideas, nourishing recipes and the like. Okay….maybe a little MORE than occasionally!

Lately, bone broth has become all the rage…and for good reason! Benefits include a nice boost to your immune system, healthier bones and teeth, an improved mood and more. Give this article on the Louise Hay website a quick once over.
The 18 Amazing Benefits of Bone Broth
Also, this article from the Dr.Axe website
The Healing Power of Bone Broth

At any rate, we hope you enjoy this delicious and nourishing recipe for bone broth stew provided by one of our newest AgeLess team members, Samantha. All the details you’ll need are provided below.

As we head into the colder months and the more ‘yin’ time of the year, warm and nourishing foods should become more prominent in our diets. Soups, stews, congees or porridge are great to eat and strengthen our bodies to face the harsh cold months. One of the best ways I tell patients to keep their bodies strong is to make a big batch of bone broth or bone broth stew.

Here is my favorite recipe I use in my crockpot and it leaves your house smelling, oh so scrumptious!

What you’ll need:

  • 2-4 beef marrow bones (Depending on the size of your crockpot)
  • 5 small shallots
  • 2-3 big spoonfuls of garlic
    (Sometimes I will add the garlic and shallots first with a little olive oil to brown them)
  • 2 sweet potatoes (Quartered)
  • 3-4 beets (Quartered)
  • 5 carrots (Slice into big chunks)
  • 1 bag of variety of beans (Make sure you rinse them before)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp Herb de provenance (If you prefer a different spice or herb, go for it! I tend to like the lavender in this mixture.)

How to make it:

Place bones and all veggies into the crockpot and add water to cover. Or, first brown shallots and garlic with oil then add bones, veggies and cover with water.

Add seasonings in and set the temperature to low and cook overnight or all day long. Around 8-10 hours. Marrow bones will have lost the meat and bones should start to look porous. Keep bones in to extract all nutrients possible.

I tend to keep mine fairly simple but you can add hearty greens such as kale, Swiss chard, spinach, mushrooms, or any of your favorite root vegetables. You can also keep this stew going by adding more water to it as you go.

If you make a big batch, this stew or broth is easily frozen to keep for you to enjoy at a later time.

Enjoy and be well!
~ Samantha

Do you have healthy recipe ideas for us? Would you like to share them?
Feel free to pass them along – we will give you full credit for your ideas!

You can submit them to us a number of different ways:

1.) Simply submit your recipe in the comments section below

2.) Go to any of our facebook pages and send them to us via a private message
(Links to each page below)

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Submit them directly via email to:

Healthy Snacking with Almonds

Almonds: The Perfect Snack

Healthy Snacking with Almonds

Healthy Snacking with Almonds: Why We Recommend them

Those who are currently enrolled in our AgeLess Weight Management Program already know that we like to recommend almonds as a snack in the morning between breakfast and lunch. Sometimes we’re asked why, and the short answer is that it’s important to have some protein in the morning to help keep hunger at bay until lunchtime. At around 6 grams per ounce (approximately 28 nuts) almonds are not only a great source of protein, which helps you feel full, they are also a good source of healthy fats. While they are in fact high in fat, 14g on average, 9g of those fats are monounsaturated or, “good” fats. We need fat in our diet, and if we didn’t add it to the menu, it could cause cravings for fat that may be satisfied with other foods that perhaps aren’t so healthy. So an ounce of almonds in the morning serves a dual purpose for those doing our diet.

That was the short answer. Now let’s take a closer look at almonds as a healthy snack.

What About All The Calories in Almonds?

Healthy Snacking with Almonds - Calories?

Some people question almonds as a snack, citing the calorie count in one ounce, which is an average of 170 cal. However, a study done in 2012 determined that when eaten whole, we may not absorb all of those calories. This is due to the tough cell structure of the almond’s cell membrane, which is where the fiber is, keeping the body from absorbing all the fats. Researchers found the body was unable to digest the almonds completely until they reached the lower digestive tract. However that is past the point where the remaining calories and fats could be absorbed. So instead of 170 calories as previously thought, studies showed we probably only absorb about 129 calories.

The combination of being high in fiber and protein make almonds a great snack for those who are trying to lose weight with some studies suggesting they promote good metabolism. However there’s one caveat, and that is because they taste so good they can be a problem for those who are prone to mindlessly snacking. Even too much of a good thing such as almonds can be a problem, so be sure to measure out an ounce and jot just keep reaching into the bag.

Almonds Have Even More Benefits…

Not only are almonds good for those looking to lose weight, but they’re also beneficial for those just looking to improve their overall health. In addition to being a great source of anti-oxidants, almonds are high in magnesium which is considered beneficial in preventing health problems like high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes.

Want even more specifics? How about the fact that the Vitamin E content in almonds can help your overall skin health? The Probiotic properties of almonds can aid in your digestion as well. For another amazing, fact-filled article about the benefits of almonds, check out the Dr.Axe website and specifically the article: The 9 Amazing Benefits of Almond Nutrition.

What Varieties Of Almonds Are Best For Healthy Snacking?

Occasionally someone will ask what kind of almonds they can have, or if they can have cocoa dusted almonds. After being asked several times I decided to do a comparison between plain almonds and some of the more popular flavored almonds. For this comparison I used the Blue Diamond brand since I am familiar with their product and what I found was that there was very little difference in the varieties. Of course one should always look at the label, but for example here’s a comparison of a couple varieties:

Almond Varieties: A Nutritional Breakdown

Whole Natural Almonds:
160 cal., 6g carbs, 14g total fats

Roasted and Salted Almonds :
170 cal., 5g carbs, 16g total fats

Smokehouse Almonds:
170 cal., 5g carbs, 16g total fats
( Note, they are higher in sodium due to the smoke flavoring )

Dark Chocolate Dusted:
160 cal., 9g carbs, 13g total fats

There’s a large variety of flavorings with more coming out every day. This is a great way to give yourself a change of pace so long as you’re looking at the nutritional information to make sure it’s not loaded with added sugars and fats.

So if you’re on the go or maybe you feel a little hungry between meals be sure to keep a small bag with an ounce of almonds in it. It’s a healthy snack loaded with nutrition and will keep you going until your next meal !

Healthy Memorial Day Menu Ideas from AgeLess

Healthy Memorial Day Menu Ideas!

Some possibilities for your healthy Memorial Day menu

Yes, you CAN have a HEALTHY Memorial Day as well as a HAPPY one – and it starts with some healthy Memorial Day Menu Ideas.

Celebrating Memorial Day does NOT mean you can only choose from a plethora of unhealthy items that you’re likely to regret eating later! If you’re currently trying to make overall healthier food choices, or you are in the process of trying to lose some weight, that guilt could be compounded after an afternoon of unhealthy snacking! AgeLess has some healthy Memorial Day menu ideas for you, along with some other resources to point you in the right direction.

Here are a few ideas to consider for your Memorial Day menu that are delicious AND healthy!

Marinated Chicken Tenderloins

healthy memorial day menu ideas chicken marinade

These are easy and quick to grill and perfect on rolls or alone for the kids!

How to make your marinade – portion out your chicken that you want to marinate. In a separate bowl combine olive oil and herbs of your choice*. You can even add fresh garlic, a splash of balsamic vinaigrette or hot sauce for an additional flavor. Mix well with a whisk.

In a plastic ziplock bag, combine your chicken and marinade. Seal the bag getting as much air out as possible. Finally, shift the chicken and marinade around so that all of your chicken gets coated and put in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.

*Herbs include: Oregano, Black Pepper, Parsley, Cilantro, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme, etc.

Make your own salad, salad bar

Why make it when everyone can make their own?

healthy memorial day menu make your own salad

Choose your greens, whether they be Lettuce, Spinach, Chard, etc. And put into a bowl(s). In separate bowls,put your toppings – Cucumbers, Onions, Peppers (Green, Yellow, Red, and Jalapeno), Radishes, and Tomatoes.

For Dressings, keep it simple and healthy – Olive oil, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Lemon Slices. Try to avoid “creamy” dressings.

Fruit Bowl

healthy memorial day menu fruit salad

Purchase a few different types of apples and pears, then slice into small bite size pieces. Mix in a large bowl together and add in some of your favorite berries and walnuts! For a little extra flavor, add a little cinnamon and honey! It will be colorful and delicious!

In the mood to be REALLY creative with fruit salads? Here are some very original ideas from Southern Living (scrolling through the image slideshow also takes you from recipe to recipe).

Pasta Salad

healthy memorial day menu pasta salad

Mainly because half of your ingredients are being prepared for the dishes above, and it’s easy to make!

In a large mixing bowl, combine sliced cucumbers, mini pepperoni or ham, cubed mozzarella cheese (a little trick – purchase cheese sticks and then slice for this recipe), red and yellow bell peppers, scallions, chopped garlic, salt and black pepper.

Cook up Rotini Pasta, strain and rinse with cold water to cool. Mix into you large mixing bowl with other ingredients.

Use a light Italian dressing and add small amounts in at a time. You will not want to over-saturate this when preparing because it will get soggy. So only add enough to just coat the mixture and then mix in a little more right before you set it out to serve.

Here are a few more ideas for healthy Memorial Day pasta salads
Healthy Pasta Salad Ideas from The Food Network

Happy and HEALTHY Memorial Day from AgeLess SPA!


The Egg

Nutritional Breakdown of the egg

Many people ask me why they can’t have eggs when doing the AgeLess Weight Management Program in place of Eggbeaters or just egg whites. The answer is pretty simple- they are more calories. For instance, the breakdown of 1/2 cup scrambled eggs ( not factoring any milk or other ingredients ) is:
183 cal., 12.2 g protein, and 13.4 g of fat

Now let’s look at the same amount of egg whites : 63 cal., 13 g protein, and < 1g fat.

So you’re getting the same amount of protein in a 1/2 cup of egg whites, and a fraction of the calories and fat ! Have you ever wondered why ?

Well to find out we have to have a look inside the egg itself.

Okay, that didn’t help much did it ? Let’s try again.

When you look at this picture, you have to remember is that the eggs isn’t intended by Nature to be food for us, but food as well as a life support system for a baby bird.

The yolk of an egg is meant to be not only the place where the embryo germinates but also is a food source for the chick. Just prior to hatching, the chick will draw in the yolk and the nutrition it provides through the umbilicus for the difficult task that is involved in breaking out of the eggshell. Actually, the nutrition provided by the egg yolk can sustain the newly hatched fuzzball for up to 72 hours after hatching. This is how hatcheries are able to ship day old chicks across the country with no food or water.

( Feeling guilty about eating eggs ? Don’t. Eggs you buy in the stores are infertile. )

So think about how much energy would be required to do all that hard work and then still have enough to sustain yourself for a couple days beyond that. That’s how much fat and how many calories the yolk of the egg provides. However for us humans, especially those of us who are trying to lose a few pounds all that fat and calories is unnecessary.

The egg white ( albumen ) however is simply there to protect the yolk and embryo when necessary. Sort of like Nature’s bubble wrap only not as much fun to play with.  It doesn’t need to provide much in the way of nutrition to the baby bird, but for us humans it is a good, low calorie source of protein.

All those other parts of the egg are pretty cool and serve a function as well, but nothing that has to do with dietary uses for eggs, instead all designed for a specific function in the development of a new chicken. Ask me about it sometime if you want to see how big a nerd I am.

Some people don’t care for the taste of egg substitutes or find the egg white to be rather bland or tedious to separate from the yolk. There are ways to liven things up a little bit for your taste buds, mainly through the use of herbs and spices or adding some vegetables to them for a healthy, low cal omelette. A tablespoon of fresh salsa or two could go a long way as well.

So there you have it, a little biology with your breakfast. But part of healthy eating is to be informed about what exactly is it you’re eating; and while we won’t do columns on things like oatmeal ( man, I’d fall asleep writing it ) I think the egg is a pretty interesting piece of evolutionary engineering worth looking into a little more.

Eating Healthfully On The Road

Many of our weight loss clients are busy people. Whether it’s work related travel or extra curricular activity the kids are involved in, folks spend a lot of time on the go nowadays. So while sitting down as a family to a home cooked meal may be the ideal scenario, it certainly isn’t always realistic. So the question many people ask is, “How do I stick to the diet yet be able to eat on the go ?”

It’s actually pretty simple when you think about it.

One of the first things I recommend to people is to find a restaurant that has a pretty good salad bar. The reason I say this is because there you will be able to better manage what goes on your plate. By the first week or so you should be able to “eyeball” how much salad/ veggies 12 oz is so you will be able to load your plate up with lots of that at an average salad bar and walk away sated. Remember to try to stick to the leaner protein options available- often there will at least be some form of turkey or cottage cheese on hand. From there, be sure to avoid “diet killers” like chickpeas, cheese, croutons, bacon bits…you know, the “good” stuff !

If you find yourself in one of the many chain restaurants, be very careful what you order. Many people will order what they believe is a healthy, low calorie salad but in fact be getting something that is well over 1,000 calories ! For example:

Chili’s Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken – 930 cal. and 50 grams of fat

Appleby’s Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad – 1240 cal. and 54 grams of fat

Outback’s Queensland Salad (without dressing ) – 840 cal. and 59 grams of fat

And that’s just one meal !

When you find yourself in a situation where you are eating in a chain restaurant, the best thing to do is find the “low cal” menu many of them have, often around 500 calories or less. Also, simply substituting things like French Fries for healthier options such as steamed or grilled vegetables will cut down on the calories in your meal. Most waitstaff are able to accommodate this rather easily.

If there’s not even time for sitting down or the kids want a Happy Meal, it is possible to eat at fast food joints. For example:

McDonald’s Southwest Salad  w/ grilled chicken  – 320 calories

Burger King Garden Salad w/.Tender Grill chicken– 230 calories

Arby’s Turkey Club Salad – 250 calories

When ordering salads like the ones listed above, simply get them with low calorie dressing which averages around 40 calories per packet. Also, removing cheese and croutons if already on the salad will lower the calories more.

There are many resources available to consumers to find nutrition information about the food offered in most restaurants. Those with “smart phones” such as Droid or iPhone can find many useful apps to assist. For those still stuck in the 20th century ( like myself ) there is an outstanding book available,The Calorie King Calorie, Fat and Carbohydrate Counterwhich lists just about any food you can think of, both in the supermarket and in restaurants.

For those who are on vacation, you may ultimately decide to throw caution to the wind and have whatever you want. After all you’re taking in the sights of a new place, you may as well have the local fare as well, right ? In cases like this I tell people, “Do your best.” but above all else enjoy your vacation, don’t cause yourself more stress by feeling guilty about that Texas BBQ you had while visiting Texas. Do your best, and when you return home return to a healthier eating plan, maybe using the AgeLess Weight Management menu to help get you back on track. Don’t stress, and don’t give up.

Travelling certainly can make sticking to a diet plan a challenge, but it’s not impossible. With a little planning and education it can be relatively simple to stay close to your ideal calorie range so you can still lose weight while dining with family, friends or co-workers while on the road.

Have YOU found a workable system of eating healthfully on the road? We’d love to hear from you.