Tag: healthy

Recipe of the Week: Salmon Bruschetta and Kale

Salmon Bruschetta with Side Dish of Kale

Thinking about staying in and enjoying a nice home-cooked meal for Valentines day? This Salmon recipe would make the perfect addition to to your menu!

(Please note: the recipe pictured has not incorporated the basil, although we highly recommend using the basil in this recipe!)

-1 lb. salmon fillet without skin

Bruschetta topping:

-½ tomato, chopped

-1/4- ½ cup chopped fresh basil

-1 Tbsp. olive oil

-1-2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

-½ tsp. agave

-½ tsp. sea salt

Mix bruschetta ingredients together.  Place oven rack on 2nd rack down and pre-heat oven broiler to high.  Lightly coat salmon with olive oil and place under broiler in broiler pan.  Cook 5 minutes (set timer for best results) and turn salmon; cook for another 3 minutes. Spread bruschetta mix over the top of the salmon and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Kale:  is full of nutrients, a great veggie to get in the habit of eating regularly.  Here’s a simple, but flavorful way of preparing:

-½ bunch kale

-¼ cup chopped onion

-½ tsp. sea salt

-2 Tbsp. olive oil

Put steamer basket in pan of water, turn on high to reach boiling point.  Place kale in steamer and cook about 4-5 minutes until it’s soft but still bright green. (Steamed kale helps to reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels.) While kale is steaming, heat oil in sauté pan with onions at medium heat until translucent.  Put steamed kale in sauté pan with onions and sprinkle with salt.  Toss and serve. You are NOT sautéing kale, just mixing with other ingredients.

Copyright David MacDonald 2013

Recipe of the Week: Valentine’s Kisses

Valentine’s Kisses

This is a special treat created by Go Figure owners, Cheryl and Chef David, to delight the eye, the palate, and the figure (Go Figure!) for those who have been on the program at least 6 weeks. When you want to occasionally have an “extra”, or to give loved ones a yummy, but healthier Valentine’s treat, here’s the recipe for you.

You can find ingredients at health food stores, Town and Country, and Huckleberry’s.

Macaroons   (Makes about 1 dozen)

– 2 egg whites (protein)           

-¼ tsp. cream of tartar             

-1 Tbsp. non-hydrogenated coconut oil (good fat)

-¼ cup coconut sugar (low glycemic sweetener derived from the flower of the coconut tree)

 -1 cup unsweetened fine shred coconut (good fat)

-1/8 tsp. salt

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  With electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until light and fluffy.  Add in coconut sugar, salt, coconut and coconut oil.  Beat thoroughly.  Place heaping tablespoons (not too large) on parchment paper or wax paper on cookie sheet a couple inches apart.  Bake until bottoms are golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Allow macaroons to cool while preparing icing.


Chocolate icing:

-1 Tbsp. non-hydrogenated palm shortening (good fat)

-1 ½ tsp. agave (low glycemic sweetener)   

-1 ½ tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Stir together all the icing ingredients in a small bowl. With a knife spread a small dollop of icing on each macaroon, but be sure macaroons are completely cool before icing, otherwise, unlike M&M’s, the chocolate will melt in your hands and not in your mouth.  Have a couple of these yourself, and give the rest away!  You can also freeze several to pull out on occasion, if you have great self-control!  Happy Valentine’s!                        


Copyright David and Cheryl MacDonald 2013

Good Fats: Why they’re so important for weight loss and beyond

Good fats: Why they’re so important for weight loss and beyond

   There is a fear we all have; a fear of fat! In all of our attempts to lose weight prior to Go Figure, a phobia of fat has been instilled in our minds. We think “I want to eliminate the fat on my body, so why would I eat any of it?” However, some fats do not make you fat! The over consumption of high-glycemic foods is mainly what’s making us fat in this country. Some fats are not so good for us, and can contribute to other health problems: clogging arteries, increasing fat in our blood stream (triglycerides), and causing insulin resistance in our bodies. Both trans fats, and some saturated fats which are in packaged food in the form of hydrogenated oils, can exacerbate health problems. However, not all fats are created equal; some fats can even benefit our health!


Why do we need the “good” fats? 

  • Certain fats help to prevent vitamin deficiencies; vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble which are important for body functions.
  • With fat comes a lot of flavor and texture and keep food from being dried out and tasteless.
  • Fats also help to slow the rate of digestion, which can keep the food in the stomach for longer, helping to keep you satiated longer and more satisfied with your meals.
  • Fats in the form of cholesterol are important for steroid synthesis; testosterone and estrogen are both made with the use of cholesterol.
  • 60% of your brain is fat. Optimal brain functioning, and decreased risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s requires adequate good fats. They also may help in reducing depression and mood swings.
  • Fat helps regulate body temperature.
  • Some body fat helps protect organs from injury.


What are these “good” fats?

     Starting from the initial consultation appointment, the staff at Go Figure stresses the importance of adding “healthy” fat or “good” fat to your diet as part of your overall lifestyle change.  As mentioned during your initial and weekly visits, these fats can provide several benefits. Studies have shown time and time again that these fats have positive effects on a variety of functions, including: lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol and increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol, reducing blood pressure in those who are hypertensive, and insulin resistance. Our hope is that this article will help to inform you on the benefits of healthy fats, and also provide you with more food sources to add into your diet.

 The types of fats we specifically emphasize are medium-chain fatty acids, and mono- and polyunsaturated fats; which includes Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. The fats that you should avoid are most saturated and all trans fats, which can increase health risks when introduced into the diet.


Monounsaturated Fats

 ​    Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) are those that we recommend at the initial appointment. They are derived from foods such as: olives, avocado, nuts, and seeds. When we present this information to you at the start, we recommend consuming a minimum of 250 calories (or 2 tbs.) of healthy fat in addition to your protein calories. What we typically suggest are oils derived from those foods above; extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, and peanut oil, just to name a few. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), in particular, is associated with low rates of cancer and cardiovascular disease due to its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. One study found that EVOO has similar anti-inflammatory effects as ibuprofen (htt10).  After 3 days on the program, you can experiment with the foods listed above as your serving of healthy fats; 10 of any type olives, ¼ of a small or 1/8 of a large avocado, and 2 TBSP of unsweetened shredded coconut have all been substituted for oil with great results in weight loss.  MUFAs have been evidenced to help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while regulating blood sugar in the body.


Polyunsaturated fats

     Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) include Omega-3 and Omega-6, which are essential fatty acids. Essential nutrients indicate that our bodies cannot make them on our own, and need to be taken in through our diet.



    Omega-3s can be classified as ALA, DHA, and EPA. The best sources for these fats are flaxseed oil, chia seeds, walnuts, and fatty marine fishes (sardines, halibut, sockeye salmon, albacore tuna, anchovy.)

There is evidence that Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of coronary artery disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.  Coronary artery disease is the hardening of the arterial wall, and fatty plaque deposits in the blood vessels, which can restrict blood flow and can cause strokes or heart attack.

Also, new research shows that Omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish oils (DHA and EPA) have shown to improve cognitive performance in healthy individuals.  Through this study, individuals who supplemented with fish oils containing Omega-3s scored 23% higher on working memory testing, including recall abilities. These Omega-3s also aid in antidepressant effectiveness (Healy, 2012).   In addition, PUFAs also help with hair and skin growth, maintaining the reproductive system, regulating metabolism, and with bone growth In yet another recent study, Omega-3 fats were shown to greatly improve insulin resistance in patients with type II Diabetes, and to lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients, even greater than MUFAs.

Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in many foods that are abundant in our lives; nuts and seeds, and the oils derived from them. Omega-6 fats help with brain function, growth and development.  As Americans, we encounter plenty of these fatty acids, and most of us do not need to supplement Omega-6s in our diet.


​ Last, but not least, are the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). These fats are a type of healthy saturated fat, which is shown to be metabolized more quickly in the body than other saturated fats, with proven health benefits in lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol, while raising HDL or “good” cholesterol. One source of MCFAs is non-hydrogenated coconut oil. Another benefit to MCFAs like coconut oil is their ability to burn more calories just by being broken down; meaning that it may aid specifically in weight loss, as well.

​ There is strong evidence that replacing saturated and trans-fatty acids with MUFAs, PUFAs and MCFAs can help to reduce visceral fat. Visceral fat is the dangerous fat that accumulates around your organs, below the abdominal fat. This fat is particularly dangerous because it is associated with other health problems including: high cholesterol, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and increased triglycerides.


Don’t discount all fats! Please include them in your daily intake of calories and nutrients. You will feel healthier, and feel fuller and better after you eat!












Keeping up with Resolutions

Keeping up with Resolutions

Now that we are mostly through January, how are those resolutions treating you?

Remember, even if you’ve gotten off track, each week you have the opportunity to make a new resolution; even each day! Be kind to yourself and remind yourself that change is challenging, but not impossible. It takes time to create new habits, right around 4 weeks to be exact, so remember that when you start to get down on yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?

Here are some helpful tips to help you create healthy habits and to KEEP them has time goes by:

1. Be nice to yourself

Quiet the inner critic that says, “you’ve tried everything….” and “your’re not doing this well enough, fast enough or perfect enough.” We  are so hard on ourselves; how would you treat a friend who was trying to make positive life changes? Remember to love yourself!

2. Set realistic goals

Set yourself up to succeed by setting small tangible goals. It is important to realize that we can’t fix everything in one day. Make a habit of creating both short and long-term goals for yourself  This helps  make long-term change realistic by breaking it down into small actions each day, week or month.

3. Find non-food related rewards

Did you lose 10 pounds? Make an appointment for a massage, facial, or some other spa-like reward. Save money by using the Aesthetic Medicine incentives offered by Go Figure, ask your consultant for details.

4. Enlist Family and Friends

Let your loved ones in on your goals if they will be a positive support; the added help is nice when you are feeling discouraged or deprived.

5.Eat meals at Home

It’s a lot easier to make healthy choices, be less tempted, and know how your food is prepared when you eat at home. Plus, you can save yourself some money, too!

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Bozeman, MT 59718

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