Health Blogs 101: Where to go for the Best Recipes and Advice

July 13, 2011

101 Cookbooks

101 Cookbooks was created by Heidi Swanson in 2003, a San Francisco based photographer, cookbook author and designer, who shares recipes that intertwine with her life, travels and interests. Heidi was inspired to begin the blog when realized that although she owned over 100 cookbooks, she was always using the same recipes. So she decided it was time to stop buying and start cooking. Since then, 101 Cookbooks has won numerous awards, such as the 2006 and 2007 Food Blog of the Year and has been featured in newspapers such as the Boston Globe and New York Times. With a focus on natural, whole foods and ingredients, 101 Cookbooks has recipes for those with vegan or gluten-free diets as well as recipes for those who love desserts and chocolate. It even has recipes perfected for every season. Here is a great summer dish that puts a spin on classic Macaroni.

Macaroni Salad (serves enough for a crowd or potluck)
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/4 cup / 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
4 cups thinly sliced green onions {~3-4 bunches}
3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
fine grain sea salt
lots of freshly ground black pepper
zest and juice of one lemon
1/3 cup / 2 oz grated Parmesan
4 big handfuls arugula
1 large apple, diced

Cook the macaroni in a large pot of well-salted water per package instructions. Set aside at least 1/2 cup / 120ml pasta water. Then drain pasta and set aside.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large skillet until hot. Add most of the green onions, all of the garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions soften, and the garlic begins to take on some color, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a couple minutes.

Use a hand blender or food processor to puree the green onion mixture along with 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, zest of the lemon, half the lemon juice, and the reserved pasta water. Puree and taste. The green onion flavor should be assertive. Stir in the Parmesan.

Combine the macaroni with the green onion sauce in a large bowl. Toss well. Add the arugula and most of the apple and toss again. Taste, and add more pepper, salt, or lemon juice if needed. Serve topped with the remaining apple and green onion.

Prep time: 10 min – Cook time: 10 min

A Weight Lifted

A Weight Lifted is the blog of Green Mountain at Fox Run, the country’s first and only residential weight loss program exclusively for women. Contributing bloggers include two registered dietitians (RDs), a psychologist, executive chef, sous chef and managing director of the program. The blog reflects their combined vision on what it takes to reach a healthy weight by a balance between nutrition and fitness. Putting an emphasis on letting go of unhealthy obsession and pressure attached to dieting, this blog offers not only healthy recipes, but advice for how to conquer negative feelings about weight. Here’s a recipe by Chef Lisa for the Green Mountain Brownie that is served at the healthy weight loss spa. Just goes to show, a little indulgence here and there can actually be healthy.

Green Mountain Brownie (serves 16)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pint sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep a 9 inch square pan (or similar size) with non-stick spray. Metal pans allow for faster baking than glass does.

In a small pan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from heat and carefully stir in canola oil and cocoa powder. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla until creamy. Stop the machine, add a third of the flour mixture, then mix. Stop again, add half of the butter mixture, then mix. Stop again, add half the remaining flour mixture, then mix. Stop, add remaining butter, mix, then stop, add final flour addition, and mix until just barely combined. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-40 minutes, or until done enough for you.

Rebecca Thinks

Rebecca Scritchfield is a registered dietitian, credentialed nutrition therapy professional and American College of Sports Medicine certified Health and Fitness Specialist. She also teaches sport nutrition at George Washington University and has a D.C. based private practice for professional, aspiring and everyday athletes. Rebecca Thinks is where she shares her opinion on behavioral issues related to staying healthy and happy. The blog also shares her favorite recipes; my favorite was this one for a delicious, healthy fish taco.

Healthy and Light Fish Tacos Recipe (serves 8)
Mango Salsa
1 mango, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/4 onion (red preffered, any onion OK)
Juice of 1 lime, zest of 1/2 lime

Mix ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate.

Zesty, Creamy Topping
1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt, strained (Place a paper towel in a strainer and add the yogurt. This helps give the yogurt a thicker consistency like soft cheese. It needs about 2-3 hours in the refrigerator and you can skip this step if you don’t have the time)
1/2 tsp chili powder, taco seasoning, or fajita seasoning

Stir and refrigerate.

About 2-3 pounds white fish (we used tilapia)

Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze juice from 1/2 lime over fish. Broil or grill on low to medium heat for 6-8 minutes (don’t over do it or your fish will be tough).

Spicy Black Beans
One 14 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained, and placed in a saucepan
1/2 onion, diced and 2-4 cloves garlic, diced (sautee both in 1 tsp olive oil and add to bean)
1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp chili powder

Mix together and heat on low for about 8 minutes.

You will also need…
Store bought tortillas (we used a low carb, high fiber tortilla with about 100 calories and 10g fiber per serving)
1 cup cabbage, shredded (green or purple – whatever looks good)

Making the Taco
Heat the tortilla in a toaster oven, microwave or dry pan for a few seconds until warm. (You’ve come this far, why not?) Place about 2-3 ounces of fish in the middle of the taco. Top with 2 tablespoons mango salsa, 2 tablespoons black beans, small handful of cabbage (cabbage is healthy and low calorie so use as much or as little to your liking), and 1 tablespoon of the creamy topping. [gallery ids="100230,106511,106504,106508" nav="thumbs"]


June 29, 2011

Although Annapolis may be best known for being the home of the U.S. Naval Academy, the serene, bayside town is also the perfect location for a quick and easy getaway from the hustle and bustle of D.C. No more than an hour’s drive away (around 32 miles), this charming town is a mere hop, skip and jump from the city. Unique shops, restaurants and bars line the main street and quiet B & B’s are within walking distance, making it easy to enjoy the downtown social scene before escaping into the cozy solitude of a old-fashioned inn.

Where to Stay

Chez Amis Bed & Breakfast is a quaint four-bedroom B&B that was once a corner grocery store and is located in the heart of historic Annapolis. Neighboring The U.S. Naval Academy, St. John’s College, the City Dock and State Capital, there is no need for a car when everything from the historic landmarks to the entertainment of Main Street is within walking distance.

There is also The Annapolis Inn, a historic landmark townhouse poised on prestigious Prince George Street right downtown.

Where to Eat

Best known for their customized all-you-can-eat crab feast package, Cantler’s Riverside Inn offers farm-grown sweet corn, spiced shrimp, French fries, coleslaw, beer, wine and of course… crabs. So stop by with your friends and family while sailing the Cheaspeake Bay or sightseeing in downtown Annapolis. With exceptional service, a bright, contemporary interior, and an extensive menu featuring buffets for kids and adults, Buddy’s Crabs and Ribs restaurant is the perfect stop for a relaxing fine dining experience.

What to Do

Shopping is also a main attraction in Annapolis. Specializing in unique hand-woven rugs with outdoor or nautical patterns and themes, Claire Murray offers special keepsakes or gifts from your time spent in Annapolis. Easy Street Gallery was founded in 1979 by Marsha and Terry Moore. This American craft gallery is a family business that offers beautiful and vibrant glasswork, wall art, paperweights, pottery and more from over 300 established and emerging artists.

Indepedence Day Fireworks Cruise is coming up soon and offers a perfect way to spend the holiday on the Chesapeake Bay. The cruise runs July 4 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 for adults and $25 for children. Another unique Annapolis attraction is the Annapolis Carriage Ride where you can tour in style on a vintage carriage ride and learn about the town’s 300 years of history.

If you’re more of a hands-on person, you can learn how to sail at the Annapolis Sailing School where they provide a safe, enjoyable introduction to recreational sailing for the whole family.
But of course, this is Annapolis after all, and your trip wouldn’t be complete without touring the U.S. Naval Academy. Take a public or historical walking tour to experience life on the Yard.

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GBA Honors Long-Standing Georgetown Store, The Phoenix

June 15, 2011

The Georgetown Business Association is honoring one of Georgetown’s oldest family owned and operated establishments, The Phoenix. The store opened in 1955 when Betty and Bill Hayes arrived home from a trip to Mexico, laden down with unique and vibrant folk sculptures, art, jewelry and clothing. They compiled their treasures and thus The Phoenix was born. Over the years the store evolved under the new ownership of Betty and Bill’s son and his wife, John and Sharon Hays. Along with their daughter, Samantha, the Hays have incorporated an international collection of popular women’s clothing designers, Mexican-inspired silver and gold jewelry and other artisan crafts collected from the family’s travels to Zambia, Thailand, Mexico and other various countries.

As a “founding father” of Georgetown BID and past board member of GBA, John Hays has always played a prominent role in the community. Hays may have even settled a longtime feud between the GBA and CAG, suggesting that instead of competing, the two associations should work harmoniously together in order to better the community and those who both work and live within Georgetown.

The Hays family has kept The Phoenix thriving and full of life over the past 55 years by always moving and growing and most importantly, absolutely loving what they do. With John in charge of buying the folk art and jewelry, his daughter Samantha as a buyer for the women’s clothing, and wife Sharon taking over the finances, The Phoenix is a well-oiled machine.

As for where the store may be in another 55 years down the road, “It’s up to the next generation,” Hays says. And with four grandchildren, two local to the area, there is certainly another generation standing by in the wings. But Hays isn’t pressuring, simply providing the opportunity. Whether they chose to convert the store into a McDonalds or keep it intact, Hays trusts that all will work out. John Hays’ secret to success? “Enjoy it!” [gallery ids="99980,99981,99982,99983,99984" nav="thumbs"]

The National Sporting Library

June 10, 2011

Escape from the midday heat of the Upperville Horse Show and stop into the neighboring National Sporting Library.

Founded by sporting enthusiasts George Ohrstrom and Alexander Mackay-Smith in 1954, the collection that started with 7,000 assorted volumes has grown to 17,000 meticulously categorized titles.

The library is dedicated to preserving and sharing the literature, art and culture of horse and field sports. It houses extensive collections of 16th-21st century books and manuscripts on equitation, along with hunt diaries, scrapbooks and photo albums.

Besides a healthy collection of first editions throughout, the rare book section houses the library’s oldest volume (on dueling, dating to the 1520s), along with an original manuscript penned by a young Theodore Roosevelt.

The Library offers educational lectures, book-signings and film-screenings. Art exhibits include paintings and bronzes from rarely seen private collections and museums. Art from the Library’s permanent collection is found throughout the Library, including eye-catching weathervanes from the estate of the late philanthropist Paul Mellon. Paul Mellon also donated the bronze Civil War Horse, a memorial on the NSL campus to the 1 1/2 million horses and mules that died in the Civil War.

The Library’s current exhibition is Horses at Work and Play, which displays the Library’s collection of artifacts and antique toys. This exhibit is on display until June 30th.

The Sporting Library is a historical treasure that is free and open to the public. For more information visit

The National Sporting Library has also received an extremely generous donation of $250,000 from Ronald M Bradley and fiancé Danielle Kazmier, both pictured in our Social Scene Section attending this year’s fundraiser in Washington D.C.

The Library is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
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Washington Harbour Restaurants Reopen

May 26, 2011

The businesses and restaurants of Washington Harbour are slowly returning to normal after being engulfed in 10-12 feet of flooded waters over a month ago. Tony & Joe’s and Nick’s Riverside Grill have opened their outdoor bar and seating patio with a limited menu including grilled fish, shrimp, burgers & hot dogs. Owner of both businesses, Tony Cibel, hopes to re-open the indoor dining areas within the new few months. Sequoia, having less water damage than their neighbors, was able to re-open their full restaurant. Cabana and Farmers & Fishers remain closed until further notice. Despite the slow, yet steady recovery, all restaurants are determined to regain their loyal cliental and urge everyone to come out and show their support. [gallery ids="99755,99756,99757,99758" nav="thumbs"]