A Lil' Snack
a mexican and puerto rican flare
To complement our trip to Puerto Rico, why not a lil' snack representing a bit of Puerto Rico.  Today's snack is platanutres with guacamole.  Platanutres is the Puerto Rican term for fried plantain chips. Yes I know guacamole is not a food originating from Puerto Rico but it complements these plantain chips oh so well!
Platanutres & Guacamole
- 3 ripe plantains
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 avocados
- 1/2 lime
- sea salt and black pepper for taste

1. Heat the oil over a medium high heat.
2. Slice the plantains thinly with the peel on.
3. Right before you fry, remove peel place slowly in the oil frying for about 2 minutes on each side.
4. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to drain any remaining oil.
5. Mash up the avocados with the lime and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper for taste.

Plantains vary in sweetness depending on their ripeness.  The ripeness color changes from green to yellow to black and become sweeter as they ripen. Green plantains are firm and starchy, yellow plantains are softer, starchy and sweet, and black plantains are very soft and with a deep yellow color and very much sweeter.  The black plantain is recommended for this dish but you may use whichever one. Enjoy your new snack!  Adios!   
(snack inspired from Everyday Paleo)

Cuttin' Calorie Cocktails
delicious drinks without the added cals
Who doesn't love to have a cocktail?  Or two?  Or even more at happy hour?!?!  Wine has been a most popular drink amongst women for a while now.  Did you know that a glass of wine (8 oz.) whether red, white, or sangria can be anywhere from 140 - 250 calories?  Alcohol itself is going to have lots of sugar in it whether you drink wine or a liquor.
Not a wine or beer drinker? Trying having a mixed drink but keep in mind calories will add up more quickly having one.  Some over do it with the juices mixed with gin or rum.  One way to cut back is to make it yourself of course.  Using 100% juice instead of juice cocktails.  The "no sugar added" juices hide a form of sugar at times.  Companies replace with ingredient sugar with sucralose.  Anything ending in -ose is a form of sugar.  In addition, fruit juices themselves are a natural sweetener.  This is why nutritionists recommend eating more vegetables than fruits because of their sugars.  When having a cocktail with a soda, opt for a diet soda. 
 Again sodas have sugar added or some form of sugar and so do the "no sugar added" varieties of sodas.  It is always important to check the ingredient list and the nutrition label when it comes to the sugar content in your mixers.
Now of course what are you suppose to do when you go out with your friends for happy hour?  Try a gin & diet tonic with some lime or even a vodka tonic.  An 8 oz glass of these is less than 200 calories.

And lastly, keep the added ingredients to no more than 3.  The more you added the more you are at risk for having a huge calorie intake.  The simplest ingredients have tons of added sugar such as riming your glass with sugar, having the inside of your glass stained with chocolate streaks, and even having a dollop of whipped cream!  Taking little precautions add up in the end and you could lose a couple of pounds.  Or even better you can fit in that extra drink.  Enjoy your delicious cocktails in a delicious healthy way!

First Day of Summer
the importance of sunscreen
Today is the official day of summer!  Yay!  Time to get out those swim suits and make frequent trips to beach.  But you can't forget that sunscreen.  Have you all heard lately that sunscreens will now have to meet harsher requirements to be called "Sun Block" and "Sun Tan" Lotions?  Federal regulators published new guidelines on June 14, 2011 that will require sunscreen labels to provide more accurate information. Products that have an SPF less than 15 or fail to protect against both cancer and sunburn will carry a warning label, and misleading marketing claims like ”waterproof” and “sweatproof” will no longer be permitted.
For sunscreen products labeled with SPF values but not as "Broad Spectrum," the SPF value indicates the amount of protection against sunburn onlyThese "Broad Spectrum" sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays. For "Broad Spectrum" sunscreens, the "Sun Protection Factor" or SPF also indicates the overall amount of protection provided. Broad Spectrum sunscreens with SPF values of 15 or higher help protect against not only sunburn, but also skin cancer and early skin aging when used as directed with other sun protection measures.
So the next time you are out there shopping for some "Sunscreen" make sure it is labeled with "Broad Spectrum" on it to ensure you get the most and best protection from the harmful sun rays.  Sun rays are at their highest frequency during the hours of 10am and 2pm.  A lot of people treat their body to a lesser SPF to get more tanned but regardless of the SPF, you will get tanned if your under the sun.  Enjoy your days at the beach safely.

Happy Monday
(importance of breakfast...helps keep you sexy)
Good Morning and Happy Monday and Happy 13th of June 2011!!!  You know what you are suppose to do?  Eat a well balanced breakfast!

Seems like the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is a broken tune…yet a lot of people still do not eat breakfast and risk their chances of overeating at lunch time. A breakfast high in protein will definitely keep you full till lunch. And even if you don’t like to cook a lot of fast food restaurants are offering better and healthier choices for breakfast. My personal on the go favorite is an Egg McMuffin from McDonald’s. High protein from the egg and Canadian bacon, a bit of dairy from the cheese, and a low fat carb with the English muffin. Along with that I get some apple slices or the fruit and walnut platter to get my fruit intake in the morning. Can get much healthier than that AND especially at a McDonald’s!
That is a good basis of what you can cook at home. A healthy breakfast should contain a mix of fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean proteins. An at home breakfast can consist of some eggs with bacon or ham and whole wheat toast. For the vegetarians and vegan eaters, get your protein from veggies like beans, spinach, and broccoli.

Eating breakfast is not only important but there are some benefits to it. The right foods can help you concentrate, give you strength, and help maintain a healthy weight. Have you ever seen that Nutri-Grain commercial about making the right choice in the morning help you make better choices throughout the day? It’s true! If you skipped breakfast the first thing that is going to come to your mind is to eat a big lunch to make-up for the lost meal.
Here is a recipe for a great way to start your morning. If you are on the go opt for hard-boiled eggs and some deli turkey, ham, or chicken with any fruit.
Egg & Asparagus Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

• 1 Portobello mushroom cap w/gills & stem removed
• 5 stalks of asparagus w/woodsy ends chopped off
• 2 eggs
• 2 tbsp low fat cheese (optional)
• 2 tbsp coconut/olive oil
• Salt & pepper to taste

1. Place 1 tbsp of the oil in a skillet
2. Sautee the mushroom cap for 5 minutes on each side
3. Remove the mushroom from the heat and let rest. Add the last tablespoon of oil to the skillet
4. Sautee the asparagus for 3 minutes
5. Crack the 2 eggs and scramble in with the asparagus
6. Season with salt and pepper and cook till the eggs are done to your desired consistency
7. Scoop the egg mixture into the portobello mushroom and top with cheese and salsa if desired.
Eat with a side of whole wheat toast and some fruit. My choice of fruit for that morning was grapes. Enjoy the recipe and remember to eat breakfast every morning.

We have always heard that it is important to get in 8 glasses of water each day.  But why?  In simple helps avoid infections in some of your significant organs like your bladder and kidneys.  It also decreases your chances in being diagnosed with certain cancers like breast, colon, and bladder.  Water helps keep your body clean and with summer rolling around those 8 glasses may need to be turned into 10.  The number one reason for fatigue is lack of water.  So while you are out in the sun looking FAB or getting into an intense workout be sure to stay hydrated with water.  It doesn't have any added sugar or caffeine so no calorie counting here.  And when the sun goes down, lay back and enjoy a delicious cocktail.

Chile Rellenos
(recipe taken from/inspired by Everyday Paleo's Cookbook)

4 large poblano/Anaheim chilies
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 yellow onion diced
1 lb tri-tip/ground beef in small pieces
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp dried oregano
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 green/red/yellow/orange pepper diced
4 garlic cloves crushed
2 tomatoes diced
4 ounces of diced green chilies (can)

1. Preheat oven to 500F
2. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and bake the chilies for 10 minutes.  The chilies will be a bit charred.
3. Over medium heat add coconut oil and saute the onions for 2 minutes.
4. Add the tri-tip/ground beef and brown.
5. Add the remaining ingredients and stir for 2 minutes.
6. Take a knife and make a slit in the peppers and remove the seeds carefully with a spoon.
7. Stuff each chile with the meat mixture and place in a glass dish and bake for 15 minutes at 375F.
8. Enjoy your chile rellenos with some chopped cilantro, salsa, or my favorite guacamole!

5-minute Smoothies
Running late? Alarm didn’t go off? Kids aren’t dressed yet? Or my personal favorite…the dog ran in the mud? In the mist of all that running around you have to do, what about breakfast?!?! These smoothies take no more than 5 minutes and have great fruits and veggies to keep you going. Bonus: these smoothies can also be great for a midafternoon snack, (you know that 3pm crash).
Kale-Apple Smoothie Kale is filled with calcium, lutein, iron, and vitamins A, C, E, and K. This smoothie is low in calories, fat, and sugar (139 calories, 1g fat, 21g sugar).
¾ cup chopped kale (ribs and thick stems removes)
1 small stalk celery, chopped
½ banana
½ cup apple juice
½ cup ice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Blend all until smooth.

Carrot-Pineapple Smoothie
Not too keen about a veggie smoothie? Well try this one that has pineapple and it is packed with  calcium, potassium, fiber, and vitamin C (159 calories, 1g fat, 26g sugar).
¾ cup chopped pineapple
½ cup ice
1/3 cup orange juice
¼ cup chopped carrots
½ banana
Blend all until smooth.

These smoothies are brought to you by Real Simple. So go on ahead and take those last 5 minutes you have left and make yourself a delicious smoothie.

First Steps to Being Healthy
Did you know that only 8% of Americans successfully keep their New Year’s Resolution when it comes to dieting? Eight percent!!! Those who have not successfully kept their resolutions fail them in 3 weeks! Instead of making a resolution to diet and to exercise more, why not make a lifestyle change? Make a change for yourself to benefit you in the long run and not in a short period of time.
Workout because it is healthy for you not because you have to. Enjoy your workouts whether it is walking, running, lifting weights, biking, or my personal favorite, Crossfit! When it comes to eating, know what you are putting in your body. Have you ever heard of disodium phosphate? Know what it tastes like? Scratch that out! Read your ingredient labels when you purchase foods. Majority of what you are putting into your system are the first three ingredients so make sure you know what they are and that you can pronounce them. What is good for you are all natural ingredients and not those lab made chemicals.
Just like La Bella Dolce, we use organic ingredients to keep your body healthy and safe from any additives that may harm you on the outside. We want your skin to absorb the good stuff. So put the good stuff in you!

A TASTE OF MEXICO: Healthy Margarita Recipe
Just in time for Cinco De Mayo, LBD has some yummy Blueberry-Lime Margarita Recipe for you to try! For some meal ideas to go with your margaritas vist Enjoy... Viva la Margarita!!!
Blueberry-Lime Margarita
2 cups ice
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup blueberry nectar
1/4 cup seltzer
2 tablespoons frozen limeade
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 ounces tequila, optional (or more!)
1 lime wedge
course salt
Combine ice, blueberries, blueberry nectar, seltzer, limeade, lime juice and tequila, in blender and blend until smooth. Rub rim of 2 glasses with lime wedges and dip in salt. Divide the margarita between the prepared glasses and serve. Serves 2.
Per Serving: 125 calories; 1 gram fat; 0 mg cholestoral; 29 g carbohydrates; 0 g protien; 2 g fiber; 14mg sodium; 147 mg potassium

Hi Honies! With the summer right around the corner many of us have stepped up our fitness plans, eating healthier and working out more. Whether you are trying to lose weight or simply maintaining, La Bella Dolce has all the right tools to help keep you focused, and most importantly, FABULOUS! We will keep you posted on the latest, sexiest, and trendiest accessories to keep you fit and looking HOTTT.

First up, is the Hello Kitty Multi-Functional Scale, aside from being a MUST-HAVE for all you fierce kitty’s out there, it is a necessary addition to any healthy lifestyle. As with any scale, the Hello Kitty Scale displays your current weight. But with all of its other features, this is definitely not your average scale. This one will also let you know your body’s water level, calorie level and whether you are tipping the scales or underweight.

Retail value $129.

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