mediterranean diet
February Newsletter 2011
February Newsletter 2011
Chocolate-Dipped Banana Bites
CYH Blog - Heart Healthy Superbowl Snacking
Secret of Chocolate & Superfood Truffle Recipe

CYH-new photo2I like to think of this month's Hallmark money-driven holiday, Valentine's Day, to be the perfect time to review heart health.  Heart disease is one of the top leading causes of death in our society.  We're clearly neglecting our hearts here in the U.S.!!  Click here for a handout containing some of my suggestions for easing your heart through different lifestyle techniques, exercise and food. Please share with your loved ones.

Did you know that chocolate is packed with heart healthy nutrients and has been shown to lower inflammation in the arteries as well as reduce blood pressure?!  Dr. Andrew Weil actually has chocolate on the top of his anti-inflammatory food pyramid, please check it out!  I'm not talking about Russell Stovers chocolate here, I mean the good, DARK stuff!  When choosing chocolate, opt for the dark varieties that contain 70 percent or more cocoa solids. These chocolate varieties possess a richer flavor with more complex notes without the cloying sweetness of milk added to it.  Plus, you will get all the health benefits of the cocoa bean because dark chocolate has had little of the nutrient-robbing mass production manufacturing process applied to it.

Lately, on these cold snowy evenings I've been enjoying a nightly cup of rich hot chocolate.  I mix 2 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened organic cocoa powder with some unsweetened almond milk (warmed on the stove) and a dollop of honey.  So delicious and sweet!  Scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter to find more exciting news about how healthy chocolate is, and check out my favorite superfood truffle recipe using raw cacao! 

Enjoy the sweetness, love and flowers to and from your loved ones this month.  Happy Valentine's Day!


I appreciate being able to share my newsletter with you.  Feel free to pass this along to anyone you feel may be interested.  Wishing you health & happiness!


Lauren Forney, HHC, RYT, AADP
Holistic Health Counselor
Registered Yoga Teacher

For more information please visit my website at Center Your Health & follow me on Find us on Facebook
3 Healthy Chicks - Follow us on Find us on Facebook & Follow us on Twitter
Lauren's Chocolate-Dipped Banana Bites
Since I don't purchase many packaged foods that contain refined/processed sugars, I have to get creative in the kitchen and come up with sweet recipes!  This is the perfect quick and sweet snack choco dipped banana laursfor those times where you want a little chocolate.  Next time you're at the grocery store be sure to grab a bag of grain sweetened chocolate chips (see link below).  They are chocolate chips sweetened from whole grains, so they contain a healthy dose of chocolate, along with the sweetness of whole grains!  Dress these banana bites up with any nuts you may have in the house.  Enjoy!

2 tablespoons grain sweetened chocolate chips (or carob chips)
1 banana
A handful of your favorite chopped nuts or shredded coconut (both, optional)


Place chocolate chips in a small pan or pot and heat on low over the stove, until chocolate is warm and melted.  Cut banana into 1-inch chunks.  Chop a handful of your favorite nuts and spread onto a small plate (or do the same with shredded coconut).  Dip banana pieces halfway into melted chocolate, then place onto the plate of nuts or coconut.  Allow them to coat the chocolate then pop a toothpick in them.  Enjoy warm, or place in the refrigerator for a few minutes for the chocolate to harden.  Yum!

Center Your Health's BLOG
If you haven't gotten around to checking out my blog, here are some of the things I've been blogging about this past month.  I hope you enjoy!

Heart Healthy Food for Superbowl Noshing
Ginger/Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup
It's Peanut Butta Jelly Time!
10 Reasons to Eat Your Greens
#1 Green Shakes for All!
Superfruit: Goji Berries!
Wellness Tip of the Monthnativas raw cacao
The Secret of Chocolate!

The health benefits of raw cacao have chocolate lovers jumping for joy!
According to David Wolfe, considered one of the worldıs top authorities on
natural health and superfoods (who I had the pleasure of randomly meeting on the street in Red Bank this past summer!), "Every study on chocolate is pointing to the
same conclusion: there is something in chocolate that is really good for us.
That something is the raw cacao bean, the nut that all chocolate is made
from. The cacao bean has always been and will always be nature's #1 weight
loss and high-energy food. Cacao beans are probably the best kept secret in
the entire history of food."

Raw Superfood Chocolate Truffle
The link above is one of my favorite recipes using raw cacao powder.  I keep these truffles in my freezer at all times for when I need a quick bite of something AMAZING!  It's by a fellow graduate of mine from IIN, the nutrition school I attended.  You can find this powder at Whole Foods or any health food store near you.  How sweet is that?!

Lauren offers one-hour in home presentations on a variety of different nutrition topics.  Giveaways, handouts, recipes and light snacks are provided.  These informative presentations are for anyone who is interested in living a healthier lifestyle, but just needs some direction.  Rally up a small group of your friends and/or family and pick what topic you'd like to learn more about below! 

Topics to choose from:
Basic Nutrition 101, Fridge/Pantry Raid, Healthy Skincare, Cravings, Sugar Blues, Quick Healthy Meals, Detox

Cost: $20 per person ($10 each if you bring a younger daughter/son),
Free for host!

Contact me for more details and we'll plan a nutrition talk for a small group in your home!
Please contact me at or call 732.383.7784
CENTER YOUR HEALTH