Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pass the Milk Please!

I love milk. I love drinking it. I love putting it in my cereal. I love putting hot coco mix in it. I love the taste, the smoothness and how well it goes with most meals.

Good thing that milk carries so many health benefits! Most diets these days say to minimize milk and dairy product intake but please do not !

Milk helps strengthen your bones and immune system as well as providing nutrients to your skin. It helps prevent hypertension, dental decay (strenghtens enamel of teeth), hydration, respiratory problems, obesity, and osteoporosis.

By drinking just one, 8oz. glass of milk we are giving our bodies a nice source of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B, calcium, carbohydrates, phosphorous, magnesium, protein, zinc and riboflavin.

In fact, people who consume milk and other dairy products tend to not gain excess weight. Drinking a glass of milk after working out actually helps to burn fat! A study performed at Purdue University discovered that young, normal weight women who had approximately 1,000mg of calcium (about 1.5 pints of semi-skimmed milk) lost about 6 pounds over 2 years. That means, from drinking milk alone (no other dietary or exercise changes) these women lost weight! Think how much more weight you could lose if you combined exercise with a healthy diet that included milk!

Simply taking calcium supplements is beneficial, but actual dairy products prove more advantageous. Another study, led by Dr. Michael Zemel, observed and analyzed the diets of 32 obese adults. Through the study, he discovered that those of the adults who ate 3 servings of low-fat dairy products a day lost more than 10% of their body weight, while those who took calcium supplemts lost only 6% of their body weight.

So what are you waiting for? Drink up!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Falling for Fall Trends

I was at Forever 21 the other day just perusing looking for a jacket, when I noticed a necklace. Unsure if I liked it, I decided to carry it around and make a decision later about buying. As I was walking around the necklace must have caught on to something because all of a suddent I found myself being jerked backwards. Caught off balance I began to fall...right into the coat rack! But that was when I saw it: the perfect coat--a deep turquoise leather with a semi-bunched bottom. Sitting on the floor my legs unashamedly outwards in a V, and coats scattered all around me, I held up the jacket admiring it's style. Immediately I fell in love with it. After righting myself (and the fallen coats), I picked up the necklace and decided to buy it. It had, afterall, led me to my new favorite jacket for this fall.

I love shopping for fall clothes. It is the start of a new school year, which means new adventures and of course new trends. So I have compiled a short list and descriptions of the hottest fall trends for you to keep in mind when you go fall shopping.

The 50s are Back
Show off an hourglass figure with high waisted skirts and pants and waistbelts. Top of your outfit with neck scarves, a pretty pattern and a sweater or jacket.

Be a Man in a Man's World
Be inspired by the working man this fall and dress in trousers, wool jackets

Colors of Same
Want to throw some color into your outfits this fall? Mix it up by wearing the same color, just different shades! Make it hot with fiery yellows, oranges and reds or cool it down with blues and purples.

Warm up with Fur
This season fur will keep you snuggly warm. Dress it up with fur scarves, vests, overcoats and boots

Strike Gold
Instead of just wearing browns and beiges, dress up your look by adding shimmery shades of gold!

Lean & Long
Put away your heels and minis! It's time to lengthen, lengthen, lengthen! Long skirts and pants can make the look for work and play. Add to your look by wearing short heels and flat sole boots

Layered Up
Sometimes, more is better and this season that cannot be more true. Wrap yourself in sweaters, scarves coats, leggings and boots. Stay warm!

Happy Shopping everyone!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fruit Torte

Try #1: Looks pretty but the crust [Garbanzo bean] was awful

I made a Gluten Free Fruit Torte for my Birthday back in February. It was awful. I had used mostly Bob's Garbanzo bean flour for the crust...and it tasted exactly like garbanzo beans with a strange grainy texture. You'd think I would have realized that it would taste like garbanzo beans but instead of researching it like I should have...I agreed to give it a go. If you are gluten-free I am warning you now stay away from Bob's Red Mill Garbanzo Bean Flour and any flour that contains garbanzo beans!

A couple months ago I made a few more attempts finally coming up with a perfect (at least I think so) blend of gluten free flours. You can buy pre-made blends such as Beth's or Pamela's but they are usually SO expensive it is more cost effective to buy individual flours and mix your own. (If you want to use this recipe for non-GF just use regular all purpose flour).

Gluten Free Fruit Torte [The yummy crust!]

Stir together:

■2/3 c. butter
■2 c. GF flour (My 3/4 cup sorghum, 3/4 cup rice flour, and 1/2 cup tapioca flour)
■1 egg
■3/4 c. sugar
■1 TBSP milk (or coconut milk if you are lactose intolerant)
■1 tsp. baking powder
■1 tsp. gf vanilla
■Dash salt

Mix until dough sticks together, and refrigerate for 3 hours. Make sure to flour your worktop (with gluten free flour of course!) and roll out dough. It can get pretty sticky so make sure to kepp your work area and hands floured. Press the dough into a 9" tart pan. (If your want individual tarts, you can use a muffin pan [the easy way!] or just cut out 4″ circles and make a small ridge around the edge with your fingers.) Bake at 375ºF for 7-8 minutes.


■8 oz. cream cheese
■2 TBSP butter
■2-3 TBSP milk (or coconut milk) If not enough after mixing everything together just add 1 tbsp at a time until enough.
■1 c. powdered sugar
■1 TBSP lemon juice

Spread filling in bottom of tart crust, and then top with fruit as desired. I used kiwi, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. You can use anything you want! It's time to get creative. Peaches, melon, pineapple. Arrange it in an artsy fashion or just pile it on. Whatever tickles your fancy go ahead and do it!

I usually refrigerate it for a bit before eating because I like it a bit colder.

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Illegal Immigration; Have we gone too far?

So I was hanging out with two of my good friends yesterday and we randomly got engrossed in a discussion about the reform in Arizona. You know what I'm talking about: the anti-illegal law that has been plastered all over the news since it was first passed April 2010.

This law aims to identify, prosecute and deport all illegal immigrants. This is the strictest immigration law that has ever been passed in the United States. I do not agree with much of What Obama says but he stated that this law "undermine[s] basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”

The law allows the police to detain anyone who is suspected of being in the country illegally. Many people are accusing the law of being an open invitation for racial profiling.

One of my friends is in agreeance with the law: "I don't want them in my country; if they want to come let them come by getting a Visa--the legal way. We don't have enough jobs as it is with illegals taking them all."

The other is strongly against the law and argues that "a lot of our economy depends on the illegals working here."

There have been studies that show illegals as helping U.S. economy. If immigrant labor was cut back dramatically, our economy would face significant problems. Bernard Baumohl (executive director of Economic Outlook Group in New Jersey) states that "[Immigration] allows the U.S. economy to grow more rapidly without higher inflation pressures."

Other economists say that illegals in the work force make more jobs available for the mid-class and higher up workers. For instance, if a builder can hire more wall builders for cheaper costs, "his ability to [use] skilled carpenters goes up."

Nevertheless, 85 workers out of every 100 are new immigrants, which does, no matter how one argues it, takes jobs away from young and poorer U.S. citizens. Andrew Sum, an economist at Northeastern University in Boston states, "They're really displacing young workers at a very high rate."

I think the Arizona law is much too broad. Many people mistake me for being Mexican so in AZ, simply because I look like I might be an illegal, the police have a right to question me. Seems a bit too extreme of a measure. So the question really is, how can we enact illegal immigration laws without jeopardizing the equality and freedoms America is known for?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gluten Free Flatbread

So in March, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease--an autoimmune disease where the lining of the small intestine is damaged from eating gluten (the substance remaining when the flour of wheat or other grain is washed to remove the starch) and other proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats.

As a Persian, I was pretty devestated. "I can't eat any more naan!? I eat lavash with almost every meal!" And although There are a lot of alternatives to my favorite gluteny filled foods (tapioca bread, rice bread, rice pasta, corn pasta, gluten free chips and cereals and cereal bars etc) I have yet to find gluten free flat bread.

Thus began my interesting adventure to find a flatbread that would taste similar to naan or pita bread. I have finally found a recipe worthy to post after many trials and a lot of shifting amounts here is a yummy gluten-free flatbread.
Gluten-Free Flatbread

2 cups sorghum flour (Bob's Red Mill is fine--it will come out looking a little grey though)for pretty, cream colored roti like those pictured, use Authentic Foods Sorghum flour. For a more rustic greyish roti use Bob’s Red Mill)
2 cups water
salt to taste

1. Bring your water barely to a boil in a saucepan. Add your 1 cup of flour gradually but steadily, using the roux whisk to whisk the flour as you pour it into the water continuously.

2. Reduce heat to low.

It is a good idea to have your 2nd cup of flour already ready because this next part requires you to be snappy!

3. Using wooden spoon, stir in your second cup of flour into the dough in the pan. This will require some arm muscles!

4. A skin of dough should have formed on the bottom of the pan, leaving you with a ball of dough. The longer you have it on the stove, the more rubbery it becomes. I have found that keeping it on the stove and mixing and moving it around for 2 to 3 minutes gives the dough a really nice texture. You might be disgusted by the rubberyness but trust me. It will be amazing.

5. Remove dough to a heat resistant bowl and leave for five-ten minutes or until cool enough to handle. Form into small balls and place in a bowl.

6. Take a quart size freezer safe ziploc bag and cut out the sides (allowing the bread to spread). Roll out dough inside your ziploc bag, with rolling pin on the top outside of the bag.

7. Peel flatbread from plastic and place on a plate. They should handle well and not fall apart.

8. Heat cast iron skillet to medium and toast your flatbread until its texture changes, and if you like, until it gets light brown spots.

9. Turn it and toast the other side. Sometimes they will puff up with internal air pockets (yum!)

10. Sprinkle with salt (if you want, I usually don't) and serve.

And there you have it for yummy flatbread. I usually eat it with Mast and onion before my meal and during meal I scoop up the rice with it. It can be used as a wrap or tortilla or be served along other dips like hummus.

Enjoy! (=

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to School!

Hello All!

Well, here we are school is going to be starting soon and I have yet to get a bed for my apartment! I still have a couple weeks though, so I think I will be okay.

I am excited to be starting my Public Relations Internship with Student Bridges this year! For those of you who don't know Student Bridges is a student-run organization that helps raise awareness about college access. Check out for more information or e-mail me at! If you or your organization would like to become an affiliate of Student Bridges please don't hesitate to contact me! I look forward to hearing from you. (=

I finally got the article for SB's fall newsletter finished! So look forward to our Newsletter available the beginning of September.


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