10 super foods for radiant skin, overall health and weight loss

Lol. Eat real food.

Back by popular demand! …. My super foods list!

So many people have asked me over the years –  what do i eat? What is my diet?  My answer is always the same: I never diet. I eat the same natural, whole foods everyday. Long before the popularity of kale and the accessibility of pinterest boards, I have been eating the same delicious foods everyday- I have always refered to my list as my “Super foods”.

For those of you not interested in hearing about the easiest, fastest and best way to get into amazing shape, both internally and externally, please ignore this post and move along with your day.

For the other 99% of the world, you’re welcome!

There are so many opinions of what to eat for optimal health. I keep my shopping list simple and inexpensive. I eat as much as I want of these same super foods every day and feel energy, have great skin, maintain a healthy weight and always feel satisfied.

What are super foods?

Super foods are easy to find, natural, fresh, whole foods (ie; not processed or packaged) that not only taste delicious, but also help prevent chronic diseases, reduce risk of cancer, and improve your overall health and weight loss goals. There are plenty of high end, expensive foods out there that are all the rage right now, but you don’t need to break your budget to find these inexpensive powerhouses of nutrients:

Eat these 10 foods everyday  in any combination: 

  1. Berries. Any kind.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just take a pill to lose weight, prevent disease and help keep your brain sharp? Actually, there is something  better than a prescription, and you can find it in your local grocery store or farmers market. Berries not only taste delicious and are easy to eat alone or blend into a smoothie, but they also have high levels of phytochemicals that help protect cells from damage. They are low in sugar and are a great way to curb your sweet tooth!

  1. Avocado –Don’t be afraid of healthy fat! Fat is your friend and sugar is the enemy!  I repeat:Fat is your friend and sugar is the enemy! These healthy fats that go well with other vegetables are actually a fruit and are packed with 20 essential nutrients including potassium, fiber and folic acid. They are a good source of Vitamins B, K, C and E, and help enable the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients such as beta-carotene and lutein, which offer outstanding health benefits when absorbed into your cells.

  1. Eggs. Just one egg is loaded with vitamins and essential nutrients such as, riboflavin, which helps your body break down food into energy. Eggs also contain a good amount of Vitamin A, retinol, that is great for your eyesight, as well as Vitamin E that fights cellular and tissue damage and prevents cancer. Eggs can be eaten in a variety of ways and help in weight loss by keeping you fuller longer. Contrary to popular belief, although eggs contain “dietary cholesterol”,  eating eggs does not increase your “blood cholesterol” and are a low calorie, inexpensive protein source.

  1. Nuts. My favorite on-the-go snack or just a great add on to my salads! These heart healthy fats  contain omega- 3 fatty acid and Alpha-linoleic which are proven to reduce LDL (the bad) cholesterol and maintain HDL (the good) cholesterol. Besides, they are easy to take on the go, very satisfying to chew and keep you full for hours in between meals. I prefer to add them to my salad for an extra crunch! P.S.- make sure they are raw and unsalted!

  1. Sweet potatoes. (Or spelled Potatos if Youre George W bush )These orange complex carbohydrates are packed with alpha and beta-carotene,  which the body converts  into Vitamin A and assists in keeping bones, immune system and eyes healthy. They also contain phytochemicals which act as antioxidants to defend against disease producing free radicals. Just one potato contains Vitamins A, C, B and potassium lutein and manganese; all make this sweet treat one of the healthiest vegetables to eat.
  1. Broccoli and Kale. These tiny green tree look alkies are loaded with vitamins C, A and K that help with bone health and fight cancer. They also stimulate the body’s detoxifying enzymes. Cook them up in a skillet with red peppers and mushrooms and a splash of olive oil for a delicious (and easy!) stir-fry. My kids love to add a little sea salt and make them extra crisp.

  1. Spinach. Although easily stuck in your teeth, this vegetable is packed with fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese and water soluble Vitamin A, C, K and vitamin B, which helps form new healthy cells. I eat so much of this superfood I don’t even care that it takes 3 pieces of dental floss to get the part that is stuck in between my teeth.
  1. Greek Yogurt.  I have been eating greek yogurt since before it became cool to eat greek yogurt…my best (not so kept secret!!) The creamy thick texture of this supper food makes it one of the most  delicious desserts that can actually add on years to your life. Yogurt has “good bacteria” that aids in gut health and helps prevent digestive issues. This inexpensive snack is also rich in calcium, zinc, vitamin B12 and protein. I love to add cinnamon, stevia, and 100% rolled oats and berries to my yogurt in the morning for a fast on the go breakfast! Greek yogurt is also a fantastic base for smoothies.

  1. Tomatoes. These juicy red fruits are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant that can prevent cancer and protect your skin. They contain fiber, potassium and vitamin C and help protect against the harmful UV rays. But don’t get cocky- still slather on the sunblock!

  1. Oats. These whole grains that are loaded with fiber can replace any recipe that asks for all purpose flour and are great for baking or just adding to some of the above super foods such as Greek yogurt and berries for a delicious and easy morning meal. I also love to mix oats with unsweetened vanilla almond milk and liquid egg whites prepared as a pancake in a skillet – delicious!! ENJOY! See my Recipe section for other ideas. http://www.jordanabalsam.com
  • Note: I used to have salmon on my list of super foods but I have since removed it and I’ll tell you why: Wild salmon is so expensive ($30+/lb. and the way I used to eat it would cost over $400 a week – seemed wasteful. ) Farmed salmon, while more affordable, is absolutely horrible for you because of all the antibiotics and hormones they pump into them so it deflects from any of the health benefits of eating fish. Stick to the above list and you will look and feel amazing!

Lesson Learned:

Keep your meal planning simple and inexpensive: stick to the same above list of super foods and you will have a complete nutritionally balanced diet that will keep you full, give you radiant skin, shiny hair, prevent disease and keep you slim!!

4 things to do to get rid of that stubborn belly fat

Trying something different today (send feedback if you picked up on it)

Belly fat, also known as the ‘spare tire’, is probably the most difficult part of the body to reduce – especially for women. That’s because this area is made up of visceral fat, which is stored around many of the important internal organs such as the pancreas, intestines and the liver.

If too much fat is stored around your vital organs, it can interfere with how your liver functions and can lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Hormones, age and genetics all factor into how your belly fat is stored, but you can take charge of your own body and take these 4 simple steps to reduce this fat and get that flat belly you always wanted.

  1. Eat a Bigger meal. I know, that sounds weird, considering you want to lose weight. But the simple act of just skipping dessert will help. When you eat too many processed foods, your body reacts to the refined sugars with increased inflammation which ultimately leads to that visceral – i.e.: belly- fat.

Instead choose fruits, vegetables and whole foods which all contain anti-oxidants that have an anti- inflammatory effect on your body. These natural foods fight off that belly, so go ahead and eat more natural whole foods at mealtime and then close the kitchen!

  1. Eat more fat!

My favorite phrase that I preach is: “Fat is your friend and sugar is the enemy!” Eat the right kind of fat to fight that stubborn belly fat! When you eat monounsaturated fats they have an anti inflammatory effect on your body.

Don’t be afraid of healthy fats like salmon, raw nuts, avocado, olive oil. Do cut down on meat, fried foods and dairy for a total anti-inflammatory effect.

  1. Go to bed!

You’re mama was right when she told you, as a kid, to go to bed. Those people, who average less than 5 hours of sleep a night, are more likely to gain 25+ pounds per year than those that sleep at least 7 hours a night. So take a chill and go to bed early.

  1. Relax Don’t Do it when you want to go to it!                                                             Frankie goes to Hollywood was right. Relaxation helps in fat loss. When you are stressed, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol, which can actually enlarge your fat cells! I don’t know about you, but I always reach for the peanut butter jar when I’m stressed and I feel it in my belly the next day. Stress can sometimes lead to over eating and ultimately overproduction of cortisol, which leads to that belly fat!

Lesson Learned:

Sleep, eat fats, take a chill and linger at dinner  for optimum health and to lose that stubborn belly.

If you can’t change it, complain silently…..


I once went camping with a group of friends. I say ‘once’ because to this day, I cannot understand why people CHOOSE to sleep on a hard bed of rocks in a zipped up blanket which allows easy access for insects and vermin to come for a sleepover, in the middle of the woods –on purpose. Haven’t they ever seen any of the Halloween movies? Blair Witch?

Image result for halloween movie


Anyway, one of the guys in our group complained the entire time – so the rest of us referred to him as “toowettoodrytoohottoocold”.

I find that when people complain about mundane things like the weather it’s usually to cover up for something else that’s really bothering them.

For instance, does the lady in my Monday morning yoga class really need to complain every week that it’s too cold in the room? She can easily wear another layer like the rest of us, but instead she chooses to complain instead. I often wonder what’s really bothering her? …. Everything! People like her just like to complain. It’s a distraction from what is really troubling them in their life.
In school we referred to the kids who complained as tattletales (even though now, in this day and age I advocate kids telling me everything – you can never be too careful with the nutjobs out there) but in daily life these complainers are just – well, distracting.

For the most part, complaining is stemmed from discontent about some, or every, aspect of their life that they find it easier to complain aloud about it to anyone who will listen.

Sometimes I am that person. I complain in a way that it’s almost therapeutic to release my discontent. I have learned to control or at least limit my complaining to just  my husband – (lucky man). He tells me the I have a weekend job of : “busting his balls”. I know, I’m a workaholic. )

So if I find myself getting annoyed about something,  I think twice before saying it aloud and decide if it’s worth repeating the obvious.

We all have the potential to be winjers (pronounced “win-jer”: a British friends word for whiner that I picked up years ago and just adore how it sounds- go ahead; say it: “win-jer” – kind of rolls off your tongue, no?) mostly because we are so used to having our way, or at least having the ability to control what we can that when something goes wrong we immediately demand retribution and make a big stink about it.

But what would happen if we all worked on keeping the discontent to ourselves? Maybe by not complaining we will set the tone that it’s ok to accept that which we cannot change and just go about our business anyway. We may even accomplish something great this way.

Lesson Learned:

Sometimes it’s ok to voice your dissatisfaction to anyone who will give you the attention. But  know that they are just being polite and really don’t care. Why not practice changing the negative to something positive – you may just find that you’ll have a more genuine audience willing to indulge you.

When just one will do…..

My kids asked me for a fish a few months ago. Normally I am against buying things that I know only last a few days but I suppose it’s a certain right of passage for every kid to own a goldfish, feed it too much, then hold a funeral by the toilet.

So I agreed to buy each of them one.

I even went all out and let them each pick out all the accompanying accessories – from the rubber Spongebob characters that sat at the bottom of the bowl – to the rainbow colored pebbles that they could interchange as they pleased.


(such a Sage- I practice this philosophy all the time).

All excited, we brought their new pets home, set them each up and gave them names.

The next day when I got home from work, not surprisingly, I found one of the fish floating at the top. One down one to go!!- was all I could think, but of course, I kept my opinion to myself .

Then something crazy happened.

The other one lived.

For months and months the little guy still would just not die. Now, I know what you’re thinking – but before you go and call PETA on me – just know that  I’M the one who has to remember to stop at the pet store to buy fish food and I’M the one who has to change the pebbles to color coordinate and I’M the one who has to clean the bowl every 2 days (considering how small these things are – it’s a mystery just how much poop they are able to evacuate) .

You get where I’m going with this….

Goldfish are supposed to be won at the carnival and die the minute you take them out of the water filled plastic bag. That’s just the way it’ supposed to go. So,  I finally decided to accept this fish as our household pet and even took to liking the way watching it swim around a little made me relax. (especially after I’ve had a few glasses of wine). I decided to go out and buy another one to keep it company – and add to our family of fish.

All  was happy in the house.

Until last night, when I came home from work and found both fish floating at the top.

Lesson Learned:

Keep it simple. When just one will do, don’t try and replicate the process or your plan will go belly up.

Have a great day!


Grab the flower cap and jump right in…..

Saturday mornings I try and avoid the gym – too much hustle and bustle with weekend warriors makes parking tough to find and a machine hard to get. (Besides, they don’t serve free breakfast on weekends like they do during the week, so there’s really no incentive to go).

So instead I swim laps.

This time, when I showed up to the club pool, I found myself just a little more than curious about trying the water aerobics class with the other old ladies in long sleeve rash guards, oversized sunglasses and sun hats the size of a Mexican sombrero.

I suppose it was because they were chatting away and smiling – something was getting them energized!

The music was amazing and hip, and the ladies just seemed to be having so much fun I could not help but be tempted to join them. I made a mental note to self to buy a new bathing cap and jumped right in.

At first, I regretted my decision because I was concerned I wasn’t going to get my heart rate up or get in the endurance and strength training that swimming laps offers. But after a few minutes of the warm up, I started to regret my decision to take this class…. because it was so hard!! Even though they are made of Styrofoam, when submerged underwater, those water weights gave me such a difficult and strenuous workout – I was praying we would move on to legs.

Until we did.

Then I just wished for the class to be over (so I could go to the swim up bar.)

All in all, the workout was intense, fun and different than anything I have done in the gym…. and I loved it!

Lesson Learned:
Go ahead and live a little, do something different. Change it up! Take a jump into the pool. Life is short.

Not just for Wheaties….


Sometimes I can’t think of anything to write about and have to pull a topic out of my ear, and then there are times where my post is handed to me on a silver platter.

Diane Sawyer handed me my article –  on  a gold medal platter- today.

You knew this was coming, we all did (did we have a choice? – Like all competitive news  networks, Dateline has been advertising this sensational story for weeks).

Friday night, along with the rest of the world, I had my eyes glued to the Bruce Jenner interview.

Not for the reasons I initially thought I would- which were mainly out of sheer curiosity to see if this was really a publicity stunt or were all these nasty comedians accurate in their accusations during their monologues all this time (they were- and they should all apologize) but more so because I now have such an entirely different perspective  of him, or as he now prefers to be referred to as, of “her”.

For those of you who missed it, he shared with the world that he has been fighting this urge to be a woman his entire life. He knew from childhood that he wanted to be a girl and because of social pressures, among many other reasons, and just life as we know it, he felt forced to lead his life as a man whom, once in a while, would sneak into one of his 3 ex wives closets to don a dress.


Even if he didn’t tell us, it was quite clear that he is taking so many female hormones and that he is significantly more sensitive and emotional as an effect from them than he has ever been on any of his appearances on the Kardashians – regardless of how muck Kris would beat the crap out of his ego.

I was captivated by his honesty, his brevity, his very inspiring desire for freedom to live out the rest of his life the way he feels he is meant to be. But by far the highlight for me was at one point when Diane (whom incidentally came off as, disingenuous, insincere and almost mocking) asked him;

“Why now?” – implying that, at age 65, when most would argue that he is past his prime and his years of being a “hot” woman have gone.

She referred to him becoming a woman now at this age as his “pantsuit” years. Without missing a beat, (he had already explained the reason he waited this long to do what he wanted his entire life – was because he felt that he needed to wait until his kids were grown – which made me love his responsible, protective and mature nature even more) and agreed that now he would be wearing black pants, black heels and a white blouse (exactly what Diane was wearing).


Overall, I could not help myself from thinking as a I dozed off (Friday night happy hour makes me sleepy) that not only is this an all American hero because he won the 1976 Olympics, but more so because of how, 39 years later, him sharing “her” story- will change the world as we know it.

Lesson Learned:

We are who we are. Be all you can be and be it with pride. (Even if you have to do it in a pantsuit).


Live, Laugh, Love, …..slow down

Funny Sign Slow Down Cop Hides Behind This Sign

My first cousin has cancer. Not the “good kind” like Charlie had in ‘Party of Five’ as Larry David referenced, but the bad kind ….that kills.

He is finally in remission but not quite out of the danger zone, yet he’s still considered a walking miracle.

He is able to work and get back to his daily activities- albeit modified and he seemed to be in good spirits.

When we finally had a chance to catch up last week his best advice to me was simple:

Slow down. Stop rushing.

Image result for rushing funny

You would think he would be in a major rush now that he is finally done with chemo…. A rush to get out and LIVE, to get up and GO, to get down and DO? But in actuality, he just wants to stay put, go to the beach, smoke a good cigar, drink a great glass of scotch and watch his 6 year old daughter swing on the swings.

The irony is that he used to live a FAST life.

He was that highly sought after, wealthy and eligible good looking bachelor, whom for years, partied like a rock star and lived a wild lifestyle.

He said he was always in a rush. He used to drive his Maserati and beep frantically at the slower drivers in front of his lane and then, always very agitated, he would zoom around them to get ahead. He just could not tolerate slow drivers.


He had no patience for lines or for traffic or for anything slow. At one point in time he lived in Florida, the land of the old, so that couldn’t have been easy for his type A personality.

He was always GO, GO, GO!!

Now, he looks back and asks himself “WHY???”

Not “Why me?” about the cancer like you’d think , but “why the rush”??

He told me that if there’s anything good he can take away from this cancer that is eating away inside of him, is that it has slowed him down enough to actually enjoy his time here.

Lesson Learned:

This time it’s simple:

Take it slow, enjoy what you are given and live it fully.

Coke vs. Pepsi? How about Neither?…..

When I was a kid our family dinner always included some sort of caffeinated soda. (Only growing up in Chicago we referred to it as “pop”).

Back then; soda “pop” was a staple at mealtime. Every friend’s house I went to would have a fridge full of all flavors:

grape, orange, mountain dew, ginger ale, cream soda, root beer, coke.

(No Pepsi, only Michael Jackson drank Pepsi.)

My mom would go through 8-12 cans of Tab a day. (She gave up cigarettes in the 70’s for health reasons and took up soda instead. Who knew?)

(This is an actual coupon I found in my moms house before she sold it…..sitting in the same box of coupons for 30 years along with the coupon for $0.39/ pound summer peaches at the Jewel.)

The 80’s were a remarkable time for caffeine-fueled beverages, they weren’t just for college kids and party goers, they were for 8 year olds, picnics and family dinners. Only we did not drink ‘Red bull’, we drank ‘Jolt’.

I rarely saw a pitcher of water. The healthiest drink in our fridge (or so I thought) was concentrated orange juice made from a frozen can of Tropicana. (Which, incidentally, is delicious eaten straight from the can in the frozen state- like a Popsicle).

At Friday night dinner, my brothers and I would have a contest who could mix up the best drink using all the sodas on the table – we would mix the different flavors of soda together in specific amounts to see which elixir tasted the best. We referred to this as our “concoctions” and to this day I love to concoct.

I concoct everything food related and that’s how I come up with my great (I mean gross) sounding – yet healthy- recipes.

Now, with so much information, research and health advice out there, it amazes me that people still drink soda. I only kicked the habit myself about 5 years ago, but I have never looked back.

I used to hate water as a kid. Now, my body craves it and I jug a 2 liter bottle with lemon in it first thing in the morning before anything else (including my coffee.) Then I drink warm lemon water with raw ginger.

Lesson Learned:

We can teach our bodies to adapt to anything. All it takes to kick an unhealthy habit is the desire to want to try.

Find a replacement to ease your way out of an unhealthy vice or make the transition slowly by just cutting out a little at a time.

It will do your body good.

And now for your viewing pleasure: