Sunday, October 24, 2010

C is for Cookies and for Calcium

A couple of weeks ago I was the guest nutrition expert for the Bracha organization at the Raanana Breast Cancer Prevention Walk.  Bracha is an organization educating and supporting women  about the BRCA gene mutation that can cause genetic cancers, especially of the reproductive organs.  If you have a mother or sister who has had breast cancer, you probably want to educate yourself about this issue.  I know it's scary to find out you carry such a genetic problem and it would be far easier to bury your head in the sand, but knowledge in this care could literally save your life.  You can find info on Bracha in Israel here.  International readers, here is your link.

The Bracha organizers asked that I focus on nutrition and lifestyle tips for strong bones, as women who have their reproductive organs removed or damaged during cancer prevention or treatment, are often thrust into quite premature menopause.  So I gave out a tip sheet on bone building and a chart with calcium levels in many, many foods (such as the figs, poppy seeds and tahina in the below recipe), recipes including calcium-rich ingredients and of course, food samples!

One of the recipes I created for this event is these calcium-rich, sugar-free, VEGAN tahina cookies.

The recipe below calls for a fig-filling which is delicious and high in precious calcium.  But for this batch in the photo which I made for my own dry-fig hatin' family, I filled them with all-fruit (no-sugar) blueberry jam.

Calcium-Rich Tahina Cookies
1 cup dried figs, chopped
2/3 cup water

Put figs and water in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat 5-10 minutes until the figs are soft and the water absorbed.  Set aside to cool.

2 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup poppy seeds
1 cup tahina paste (or almond butter if you prefer)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable oil
dash sea salt, optional

Preheat oven to 180C.  Combine all ingredients (except figs, which are cooling) in a large bowl.  Puree figs in food processor until a smooth paste.  Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a ungreased baking sheet.  Stick your finger in the middle of each ball to make a little indentation.  Fill the indentations with about 1 tsp fig puree.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Cool on a rack.  Enjoy!

Next, I wanted to take a minute to tell my blog readers about a special I am running.  You all know by now that as a Health & Nutrition Coach, I work with clients on creating and implementing healthier habits.  My specialty is permanent weight loss, but I also work with specific health issues and even just with people who'd like to adopt healthier habits for themselves and their families.  Some of the issues we cover, aside from the food stuff, is stress reduction methods, relationship issues, career counseling, personal and spiritual growth...  obviously not just food and cooking!

In the past, the first trial session was the same price as any session, 200nis / hour ($100/hour for International clients).  But now I am going to try something new:  I am now offering a 20-minute introductory phone or Skype session for only 50nis! ($25 for International clients).  This will give folks a low-cost, low-time way of meeting me and hearing if my approach is right for them.

Again, please know that I work with clients here in Kfar Saba, face-to-face, but I also have a growing number of phone or Skype clients both here in Israel and abroad.  I've got clients all over the United States!  It's pretty cool.  But it also enables folks who are really busy and not able to schelp over here to KS, to work with me the exact same way in-person clients do.

If you are interested email me at and we'll set up your 20-minute phone trial session.  Better health and happiness could be just a phone call away!

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