I am always looking for ways to add substance to my meals without adding unnecessary carbohydrates. I have with you my beloved spaghetti squash and boiled shredded cabbage in previous posts. Recently, I have added another recipe to the mix – sauteed peppers.

1. Start with your favorite bell peppers. I prefer a mix of red, yellow and orange. The green pepper has it’s place but not in this dish.

2. Julienne the peppers. If it is just me and the hubs I use 3 peppers. If the little ones are in the mood I add in one more. Next, heat up your saute pan with some extra virgin olive oil and minced shallots and toss the peppers in on medium to high heat. If you so choose, add in a little red onion for an extra punch.

3. To make it more like a ‘pasta’ substitute, saute the peppers for about 15 minutes or until soft. Add a sprinkling of sea salt and a bit of fresh shredded parmesan cheese and top with a fish filet. Salmon is my personal preference. Once you try these sauteed peppers I promise you will be hooked.



Written by Lea BarlowLeave a comment

Leaving the Beach

Sep 24th, 2012

For the last 3 and a half months we have been living at the beach. We sold our house rather quickly and could not find the right downtown condo. Our quick fix solution was to move to a furnished vacation rental and spend a lazy summer enjoying the beach. In theory, this was a very good idea. In reality, living at the beach and not technically being on vacation can actually be very stressful. We were supposed to move back to ‘town’ in mid-August but that was pushed until the first week of October. That really tested my frame of mind. But with our move now only one week away I am going to focus on all of the wonderful things that came out of our time at the beach and not on the fact that I am spending $400 a month in gas commuting. Here goes…

1. The kids probably had the best summer of their lives.

Quote from Tennison, “I never want this summer to end!” Her happiness makes all of that sand in my bed not such a big deal.

2. Sleep was finally found.

In our old house the kids slept in my bedroom. Every. Single. Night. But as soon as we moved into the beach rental, they started sleeping in their own beds in the same room. This was a freaking miracle in my book. I love the arrangement so much that I am bunking them up again at the new house. Bad habit broken.

3. Forever memories.

We went from living in a 34oo square foot 2-story house to living in a 1000 square foot box and we are a stronger, closer family because of it.

4. I grew finger nails.

It has only taken me 34 years to relax enough to grow finger nails. Thank you Tierra Verde.

5. Waking up to rainbows.

I may not be much of a beach person but who wouldn’t like to wake up to this view? I am so happy to be getting back to town but I am forever grateful for the lessons this beach hiatus has taught me.

*Regular postings will be resuming more regularly now ;) *


Written by Lea Barlow2 Comments

Not-so-skinny sushi

Jul 18th, 2012

You know what a label nazi I am by now. Unless I am going out to a special dinner or event I know the general (read: exact) nutritional information of everything I put into my mouth. But sushi is one that has always escaped me. What could be unhealthy about seaweed and fish? Nothing as long as that’s all you are eating. In general, I stick to sashimi but occasionally I need something heartier and will opt for my go-to spicy tuna roll. My favorite part of the spicy tuna roll is, of course, the spicy which is just mayonnaise in a delicious disguise. If you like sushi rolls this information from Women’s Health will prove helpful the next time you check the box on your order form. *Nutrition stats based on a 6-8 piece roll.

Rainbow Roll: Nori, rice, avocado, surimi, plus a variety of raw fish arranged on top

476 calories
16 g fat
33 g protein
6 g fiber
50 g carbohydrates

Higher in calories than most rolls you’ll find, but loaded as this is with substantial portions of myriad raw fish, most of those calories are the good kind. Rainbow rolls are typically large, so a single order and a bowl of miso soup make a filling dinner.

Cucumber Roll: Nori, rice, cucumber

136 calories
0 g fat
6 g protein
3.5 g fiber
30 g carbohydrates

It’s hard to go wrong with cucumbers and seaweed. Though not a nutritional powerhouse, cucumbers are a low-calorie delivery system for vitamins A and C, fiber, and silica, a compound that has been shown to foster healthy skin.

Avocado Roll: Nori, rice, avocado

140 calories
5.5 g fat
2 g protein
6 g fiber
28 g carbohydrates

Most of the calories in this vegetarian roll come from healthy monounsaturated fats. Avocado makes a great addition to any roll, since a sushi-size portion also contains about 3 grams of fiber.

Tuna Roll: Nori, rice, tuna

184 calories
2 g fat
24 g protein
3.5 g fiber
27 g carbohydrates

More than half of the calories in this simple, classic roll come from protein, making it a great light meal or a snack with substance.

California Roll: Nori, rice, avocado, surimi

255 calories
7 g fat
9 g protein
6 g fiber
38 g carbohydrates

The ubiquitous fusion roll is a great beginner’s foray into the potential of sushi, since there’s no raw fish involved. There are also no real healthy fats either (aside from the avocado, of course), since the fake crab (made from a variety of processed and compressed fish) has 1⁄15 the amount of omega-3s as the real stuff.

Spicy Tuna Roll: Nori, rice, tuna, mayo, chili sauce

290 calories
11 g fat
24 g protein
3.5 g fiber
26 g carbohydrates

In the world of sushi, “spicy” means a spoonful of mayo spiked with an Asian chili sauce. The calorie counts can climb higher than this, depending on how heavy a hand the sushi chef has with the spicy stuff. Either way, you’re better off satisfying your need for heat with a touch of wasabi.

Philadelphia Roll: Nori, rice, salmon, cream cheese, cucumber

290 calories
12 g fat (5 g saturated)
14 g protein
2 g fiber
28 g carbohydrates

Just like the mayo adds empty calories to an otherwise reliable spicy tuna roll, cream cheese blankets perfectly fine salmon and cucumber with an unnecessary measure of fat.

Salmon Avocado Roll: Nori, rice, salmon, avocado

304 calories
8.5 g fat
13 g protein
6 g fiber
42 g carbohydrates

High in calories, but nearly all of those calories come from the one-two punch of healthy fats found in the salmon and the avocado.

Eel and Avocado Roll: Nori, rice, avocado, eel

372 calories
17 g fat
20 g protein
6 g fiber
31 g carbohydrates

Eel brings a solid helping of omega-3s to the sushi bar, but unfortunately, it’s almost always covered in a gloppy, sugary brown sauce that masks both the nutrition and the delicate natural flavor of this wily sea creature. If you opt for this roll, make it your only one of the night.

Shrimp Tempura Roll: Nori, rice, shrimp, tempura batter, oil for frying

508 calories
21 g fat
20 g protein
4.5 g fiber
64 g carbohydrates

Why take a perfectly good piece of lean shrimp and ruin it with thick batter and a hot oil bath? The joy of fried food—the crunch—is snuffed out by the moist rice, so this one doesn’t make sense from either a flavor or a nutritional perspective.


Written by Lea Barlow2 Comments

Name: Kristen Blake

Kids: Madeline (16) Makaela (14 when she passed in 2004)

Occupation: Image Concierge/Fashion Stylist/Founder of Novella Style Group

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

H&H Interview with Kristen:

1.  What are your top 5 wardrobe essentials?

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes… oops, wait that is 3 things. Truly there are traditional essentials that should be in every wardrobe. One great fitting pair of jeans is always better than several that fit you so-so. A little black dress, though these days we are seeing a lot of variations to the LBD such as red, navy etc. A crisp and well fitting white button down dress shirt. The best quality in a black pump you can afford. And don’t forget a versatile handbag that can move from day to night, and without a doubt accessorize!

2.  What style advice do you have for new moms stuck in a fashion rut?

Spend an afternoon with me… seriously, I have found through my years in the business that making a small change that is just for you, such as a new haircut or a trip to the cosmetic counter can boost your self confidence and ultimately your outlook on your appearance. The smallest change can give you the boost you need to take your authentic style to the next level.

3.  What is the oldest thing in your closet?

Traditionally in my family the youngest daughter will receive a wedding set that has been passed down for over 200 years. Madeline cannot wait for them to be hers.

4.  What do you think was the all-time worst fashion trend?

Hands down any type of overall that is worn by someone over the age of 1. They are simply not flattering, regardless of your physique.

5.  What would we be surprised to find in your purse?

Food! I always have food in my purse. I think it comes from being the parent of a diabetic child. Makaela had to eat often and it is a habit that stuck with me. A healthy snack is just the thing to keep me going during a long day!

6.  What is your favorite reality TV show?

I have to admit I am a total “Housewives” junkie, that is until “All on the Line” premiered with Joe Zee from Elle Magazine. It portrays the fast paced and often cruel fashion industry for young and up and coming designers. They are given one day, one chance to impress one of the most influential men in fashion. I’m obsessed.

7.  What is the funniest thing your kids have said or done lately?

Madeline is getting close to heading off to college. One day while we were discussing her future plans she looked at me completely defeated wanting to know what she was supposed to do with me. Is it to early to put you in a home? She asked. I laugh every time I think of that.

8.  What is your favorite quotation?

“Fashion Fades, Style is Eternal.” Yves St. Laurent. To me that quote embodies the entire reason I do what I do for a living. Watching my clients tap into their inner beauty and authentic self is so fulfilling.

9.  What is your guilty pleasure when you get a little coveted ‘me’ time?

I am an avid reader. I can escape to another world, another time and completely lose myself in the story. And what little girl didn’t love Cinderella, profound effect on my career choice. Cinderella is liberated from the wicked stepmother by designer footwear. Priceless.

10.  Who is your favorite celebrity mom style icon and why?

Gwen Stephani is a complete inspiration. Besides being a mother she is also a singer, songwriter and designer of L.A.M.B (Love, Angel, Music,Baby). She is not afraid to be herself and express herself with her style and her music.

11.  What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I was born with a 3” difference in my legs and wore hip to toe casts beginning at age one until almost 3. I am very fortunate that the condition was caught at an early age.

12.  What is your secret to staying Hot & Healthy?

Laughter is truly the best medicine. And of course high heels!

*Thanks, Kristen!*


Written by Lea Barlow7 Comments