Home  >  Carol LeBeau  >  _Carol's Health Journal | Eat

Turkey Burgers (without the blah!)

21. August 2013

Planning a backyard barbecue bash? Break out the burgers…just make sure you have an option for your beef-less friends!

Turkey burgers are a great, healthful alternative to beef, but frankly, they can be a bit bland. Even worse, the so-called “better” burgers are often so full of bread and other binders, you can end up loading up on carbs and empty calories rather than enjoying a healthy, high-protein, low-fat meal.

>>Read the rest of this entry

Eat Your Asparagus! It's Good for You!

15. July 2013

Growing up, Mom fixed asparagus for dinner…a lot.  My Dad loved the green, veggie spears, so it was a mainstay in our diet.   “Eat your asparagus,” Dad demanded.  “It’s good for you.”

That may have been true.  But I hated the nasty, green vegetable.  When no one was looking, my portion often went to our poor, dog, Chuckie.  (That dog would eat anything.  Once, he ate the entire Easter ham!)

I can’t tell you exactly when my relationship with asparagus changed, but today I absolutely love the versatile vegetable packed with nutrition.   Maybe, like Brussels sprouts, asparagus is just an acquired taste.  But I think the difference is in the preparation.

>>Read the rest of this entry

When life gives you lemons, don't stop with lemonade

24. June 2013

Pucker up and enjoy the health benefits of the lowly lemon!

Most married couples fight over things such as finances, how to raise the kids and control of the TV remote. Not Tom and me. No sir. We argue about lemons.

My love of lemons has caused a scene in plenty of restaurants. It starts as soon as the server delivers the water. Tom begins to squirm and I make my request for lemon slices – as many as he or she can carry or is allowed to give out without getting fired. And it’s not just water. I go for lotsa lemon in hot tea, iced tea, Pelligrino, tonic water, diet Coke and yes…lemonade.   

>>Read the rest of this entry

Fat-Fighting Foods

10. April 2013

Spring may be in the air, but summer is just around the corner and that means swimsuit season is upon us. (At my age, it’s actually become more like capris and T-shirt season!) But whatever stage of undress you plan to display this summer, now’s the time to start paring down and tightening up.

Exercise is a great start, but eating right can get you to your goal weight faster than anything.

Like you, I hate, HATE dieting, but love little nutrition “tricks” that help maintain my weight without embarking on some cumbersome, complicated diet “program.”

Fortunately, some foods can actually help you fight fat! I’ve been “sneaking” some of these slimming super foods into my diet lately and already last year’s capri’s are feeling a little looser!

>>Read the rest of this entry


The Best Banana Bread Ever

11. March 2013

Sadly, “Stretch’s” was sold last year and today a new restaurant has taken over the space. Boy, I miss that warm, moist banana bread.

By chance, I recently ran into the former owner of “Stretch’s,” Vicki Jones. Vicki was also responsible for baking their famous banana bread…fresh and warm every morning for years. After exchanging pleasantries, I told Vicki how much I missed her famous bread.

Vicki quickly found a piece of paper and began writing. It took a minute for me to figure out she was giving me the “secret” recipe for her mouth-watering banana bread! Oh, joy! “Don’t worry,” Vicki smiled. “It’s not a secret anymore.”

>>Read the rest of this entry

When It Comes to Chocolate - Go Dark

14. February 2013

When it Comes to Chocolate – Go Dark

There’s a new Walgreens in my neighborhood. The other day I decided to stop by the shiny, new store and pick up some eye drops. It didn’t take long to realize at Walgreens, love is definitely in the air.

My senses were overwhelmed with wall to wall displays of Valentine’s Day “stuff” from teddy bears and balloons to cards and, of course, aisles of chocolate.

With Cupid just around the corner, many of us have chocolate on our minds. And though you may fear the number of calories in those heart-shaped boxes, there are many reasons to love Valentine’s Day goodies…especially the dark chocolate treats.

>>Read the rest of this entry

The Great Pumpkin

07. December 2012

The holidays are here and that means it’s finally pumpkin season! For me, that’s reason to celebrate because I love, love pumpkin pie. My husband will tell you it’s just an excuse to eat whipped cream (another of my most fave foods!) But that’s just not true. I actually picked up a pumpkin pie at Albertsons the other day…just for me!  Within two days, my personal pie was no more than an empty pan.

>>Read the rest of this entry

The Health Benefits of Greek Yogurt

11. November 2012

I have a confession to make.  I am a snob.  A yogurt snob.  It hasn’t always been that way.  For years, whatever brand of good ole American yogurt was on sale – Dannon, Yoplait, Albertson’s was fine with me.

>>Read the rest of this entry

Eating for Wellness

05. October 2012

I have to tell you about my favorite, new cookbook!

As some of you may know, cooking is not exactly on my “Top 10 list of Fun Things to Do.”  However, since my breast cancer diagnosis earlier this year, I’ve been more concerned about my diet.   While eating healthfully has always been important, now it’s become a life or death proposition.

>>Read the rest of this entry


06. September 2012

I hate beets! 

As long as I can remember, the taste, texture… the very smell wafting from the bowl of beets on the buffet at Souplantation makes me want to well – b_rf!   It’s visceral!  No matter how hard I’ve tried to buddy up with beets, a close encounter with the earthy, red vegetables never fails to trigger the gag reflex.

>>Read the rest of this entry


06. August 2012

It’s late summer and that means prime time for peaches!  And this season’s crop is well…peachy keen!

I recently picked up a bagful of the summertime staple at Boney’s Bayside Market in Coronado.  After ripening a couple of days, my perfect peaches were so sweet and juicy; I had to eat one over the sink!  And it was worth every indelicate slurp!

>>Read the rest of this entry

Moldy Berries?

11. July 2012

For me, summer means the beach, a best selling book and big bowls brimming with fresh, sweet and juicy berries!  

Berries are delicious…and nutritious.  But they’re also kind of delicate.  Whether you buy them at your local farmer’s market or in bulk, like me, at Costco – berries can go bad in a hurry! Raspberries, in particular, seem to grow mold before you even get them home from the market!

>>Read the rest of this entry


06. June 2012

When it comes to eating, I’m pretty disciplined. But all bets are off when it comes to chips and guacamole! At a Mexican restaurant…forget the entrée.  Just put the bowl of guacamole and basket of chips in front of me.  I’m good for the night.

Not only is the creamy dip yummy, guacamole is a treat I can indulge in without guilt! Avocados are good for you!

>>Read the rest of this entry

Eat Your Veggies!

15. May 2012

Mom always told me to eat my vegetables and she helped make it easy.  Even before the health experts began touting the benefits of a diet rich in veggies, she made sure dinner at home included everything from beans and broccoli to beets and butternut squash.

>>Read the rest of this entry

Crazy for Kiwis!

03. April 2012

When I need a pick-me-up, there’s nothing that works like fresh fruit…especially when that mid-afternoon slump leaves me listless and low on “mo.” When my focus fades, I can always count on a crisp apple, sweet pear or a big bunch of juicy grapes to lift me from the fog.

>>Read the rest of this entry


04. March 2012

I’m writing this from home as I recover from major surgery.  I’m feeling much better now, but the first couple of weeks were tough…pain (pain meds!) fatigue, and the inability to do much of anything but rest and heal. 

While grateful to loved ones who sent flowers and cards and called to check on me, I will never forget the kindness of a group of women who reached out to me in a way I could not have imagined…helping Tom and I get through those first, difficult weeks in a way that was loving, personal…and practical.

The beautiful ladies in my Bible study group got together and decided to minister to me with meals!  What a gift!  Every day, a delicious, nutritious, home-cooked meal appeared on our doorstep…lovingly prepared by a different gal each day.  When I learned how my friends organized such a feat, I just had to tell you about it. 

>> Read the rest of this entry

Red versus white.  What's your chili preference?

01. February 2012

And then there were two! The Super Bowl matchup is officially set. The Giants and Patriots will kick off Sunday, February 5 at 6:30 p.m. ET and all eyes will be on Indianapolis. 

While some 70,000 lucky fans will jam Lucas Oil Stadium to watch the annual spectacle in person, the rest of us mere mortals will be watching the Big Game on big screens in living rooms and sports bars around the country. 

And let’s not forget, the players aren’t the only ones expending energy that night.  As fans, we’ve got to power through the turnovers, sacks and dropped passes, too…not to mention Madonna’s half-time performance and the serious critique of the best (and worst!) TV commercials.  So be sure to fortify yourself with plenty of good eats. 

At my house, no Super Bowl game is complete without a pot of steaming, hot chili.  But this year’s chili is going to be a little different.  There’ll be no kidney beans, tomatoes or beef…nothing red at all.  I’m planning to score points with my family and friends with my somewhat unconventional….white chili!

>> Read the rest of this entry

The Amazing Apple

04. January 2012

Forget berries – today’s trendy apples are all the rage! 

Apples.  They’re in the same food group as many of the other nutrient-rich foods we’re encouraged to eat each day.  But have you noticed your favorite Fuji doesn’t get the same pub as some of the flashier fruits and veggies out there?  Check out any “top 10” list of power-packed fruits and poor old Granny Smith doesn’t even make the cut.  The mighty McIntosh is forced to take a back seat to “super fruits” such as pomegranates and goji berries. 

Why is that?  Growing up, apples were a healthy mainstay in my diet alongside a sandwich and Oreos in my lunch box – sliced and dipped in peanut butter for an after-school snack…cooked into a sweet sauce with pork chops for dinner.   Whatever happened to, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?!”

>> Read the rest of this entry

Chocolate - The Gift that Keeps on Giving

02. December 2011

'Tis the season for over-indulgence! The holidays are here and that means eating, drinking and feeling bad about it later! 

Well, here’s some news that may put the cheer back into your holidays. Some of those decadent desserts you’d die for may actually be good for your health! Just make sure you go for the chocolate! Chocolate cake. Chocolate frosting. Chocolate chips. It’s ok! According to the latest medical research, your affinity for chocolate may just save your life!   

>> Read the rest of this entry

Mayor’s Recipe

04. November 2011

Have you seen Jerry Sanders lately? San Diego’s mayor is a mere shadow of his former self!

After years on the “rubber chicken” circuit … campaigning and representing America’s finest city at countless luncheons and charity dinners … Mayor Sanders decided it was time to tackle his expanding waistline.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Shrimp and Mango Skewers

03. October 2011

Summer may be fading away, but it’s not too late to put some shrimp on the “barbie” and enjoy a delicious meal on a perfect fall evening.

This recipe is so good and easy with a healthy, tropical flair. It’s all in the vitamin C-rich mangoes, mint-and-lime marinade and grilled low-fat shrimp (just 80 calories per 4-oz. serving). The couscous delivers plenty of fill-you-up fiber.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Benefits of Berries

09. August 2011

“Life is like a bowl of cherries!” Did you know that familiar quote dates back all the way to the 1930’s? It’s one line from the lyrics to a delightful song about not taking life too seriously.  

Good advice. But while I can be less-than-serious about life, I take cherries VERY seriously … along with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, not to mention acai and bilberries! When it comes to foods that pack a nutritional punch, berries are some of the healthiest foods on the planet.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Cruising Cuisine

28. June 2011

It was our first cruise vacation. Full of anticipation, Tom and I headed out on the trip of a lifetime through Alaska’s Inland Passage. Little did we know, we’d be full all right … full of BAKED Alaska, puff pastries, chocolate soufflé, fettuccine Alfredo and beef tenderloin! And that was just the first night!

Oh, we’d been warned the food aboard a cruise ship was over-the-top. But we weren’t prepared for the endless feast that began as we opened our cabin door (champagne and snacks) and continued with a lavish lunch, Captain’s cocktail hour, an elegant, five-course dinner and midnight dessert buffet complete with an ice cream sundae bar! (Have I mentioned butterscotch sundaes with extra whipped cream and nuts are my weakness?!)

>> Read the rest of this entry

Super Salads

11. May 2011

Super Salads!

I’m a terrible cook. And it’s my mother’s fault! Don’t get me wrong… Mom was an incredible cook. But she “enabled” me to become culinary-challenged by failing to insist I learn my way around the kitchen. Oh, I had to clean and do yard work on weekends, but sports and other after-school activities didn’t allow time for learning the fine art of separating eggs or reducing sauces. After swim practice, I’d come home to a foil-covered plate in the warming oven with a beautifully-balanced, healthy meal… a la Mom!

I got away with it for years. Working the night shift is a great excuse for an empty fridge. Even my long-suffering husband tolerated his wife’s ineptness in the kitchen. Tom never once complained, even when dinner was a bowl of raisin bran with a side of apple slices!

>> Read the rest of this entry


04. April 2011

My Mom was big on breakfast. Maybe it was just an Iowa thing. But every morning we awakened to the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee and the beginnings of a boffo breakfast. Eggs, buttered toast or English muffins, oatmeal, o.j. and fruit. It was just part of our family routine.

I can still hear Mom reminding us to eat our breakfast. “It’s the most important meal of the day!”

Turns out, Mom was right… about a lot of things, actually. Too bad I didn’t heed her advice as I embarked on my own. As a young woman, I’d skip breakfast (thinking I could save the calories until later!) run on fumes for much of the day, then gobble up whatever crossed my path later. If a bag of Oreos was handy, that would be dinner. Big mistake.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Brain Food

17. March 2011

“Getting older is not for sissies.” I can’t take credit for the popular cliché, but I know it to be true. I’ve got the aches and pains to prove it! Last week I pulled a muscle reaching for the phone. I’m dead serious! I work hard to stay fit, but my 55-plus body is beginning to feel its age.

While turning back time may not be an option for our bodies, here’s some encouraging news. Research shows you can increase your chances of maintaining a healthy BRAIN well into old age… especially if you add just a few “smart” foods to your daily eating regimen.

Give these foods a try and see if that Sunday crossword puzzle becomes a little less intimidating!

>> Read the rest of this entry

Beef Stew

02. February 2010

I know we’re not exactly buried in snow drifts, but it is winter in San Diego, and the chill in the evening air makes me long for the hot, hearty “comfort” food I grew up with in Iowa.

So yesterday, I broke out the Crock Pot, filled it with my favorite ingredients and last night the aroma of beef stew wafting through the house took me back more than 40 years.

Vegetable beef stew was one of my Mom’s specialties, and it still hits the spot. Her recipe is timeless. I’ve just made a couple of simple adjustments – with the help of my friend, Carolyn – to make her heart-warming stew a little more heart-healthy and a little easier for her domestically-challenged daughter!

The key to a healthier stew is more veggies and less beef. Just make sure it’s a good cut! So get out your crock pot… here we go!

>> Read the rest of this entry


17. January 2011

The holidays may be over, but at my house the guest room still looks like gift-wrap central. The fridge is a disgusting mess and a pile of Christmas cards is still scattered over the kitchen table. And did I just see the cat fly through the living room with a Christmas tree ornament in her mouth?! I think it’s time for a major clean-up.

But for me, getting “clean” this time of year also means “eating” clean for the first time in weeks. After all the sugary Christmas cookies, homemade toffee, Chex mix and egg nog… I’m a mess inside as well as out. I know it’s bad because I’m actually starting to crave… salad!

Something green! That’s what I need. And I’m going to start with my favorite leafy green… arugula.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Holiday Eating Tips

10. December 2010

Whew! The first phase of the holiday eating frenzy is over. I’m happy to report I got through the Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole… cranberry jello mold, pumpkin pie and my personal favorite, whipped cream… relatively unscathed. By the end of the weekend the scale revealed an increase of just over a pound!

I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a major victory! Most of the year, I’m pretty disciplined when it comes to diet and exercise. But like millions of Americans, the annual month-long holiday “eat-a-thon” leaves me feeling bloated and bummed.

At least I’m not alone. According to a recent Weight Watchers report, Americans gain, on average, between seven and ten pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Mediterranean Diet

20. November 2010

For years, we’ve been hearing about the health benefits of a “Mediterranean diet” – a heart-healthy eating plan that combines elements of Mediterranean-style cooking. And for years, much of the evidence of those health benefits was anecdotal… hearsay.

But the proof is in the pudding (I mean olive oil!). Actually, the proof is in the research. Eating a traditional Mediterranean diet really does reduce the risk of heart disease along with a host of other disease conditions.

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains is the hallmark of most healthy eating plans. But while the Mediterranean diet incorporates the basics of good eating you can add a splash of flavorful olive oil, interesting spices and perhaps a glass of red wine if you want to adopt the cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The food plan also includes slight variations in proportions of certain foods.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Great Grains!

25. October 2010

Tom and I recently returned from the trip of a lifetime. (click on the “GO” section for more.) Our tour of the Holy land was not only a historical and spiritual encounter… it was also an epicurean delight!

Everywhere… fresh vegetables and fruits, fantastic fish and whole grains in every configuration you can imagine! All through Israel, we noshed on couscous, bulgur, quinoa (keen-WHA) and spelt. In hot dishes and salads, these great grains started to grow on me.

Now I’m slowly breaking free of my tired old rice and pasta “sides” and experimenting with some “new” grains that have actually been around for millennia! (Today you can find them in the bulk bins at your favorite health food store.)

>> Read the rest of this entry

Healthy Summer Desserts

22. September 2010

San Diego’s summer nights can be hot and dry all the way into October. So it’s time to “think cool!” If it’s your turn to bring dessert to the next family gathering, whatever you do, don’t fire up the oven! I’ve got a few healthy, no-bake recipes that are so easy you won’t even break a sweat!

I LOVE anything lemon… so first up? A totally cool, lemonade pie SO easy there are only 3 ingredients!

I’m also including 2 fruit dessert recipes. One for you, and one for the kids.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Grilled Caesar Salad

18. August 2010

As it turns out, this Caesar salad is GRILLED! Now that’s news! As I jotted down Deb’s recipe, I got even more excited. It’s unbelievably easy, but just unusual enough, your family and friends will think you’re Martha Stewart! Oh, and did I mention… it’s delish!

>> Read the rest of this entry

Ranch Breakfast Muesli

21. July 2010

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Start your day at dawn with a challenging 7-mile mountain hike and see if you don’t agree! 

That’s how every day begins at Rancho La Puerta… the world- famous health spa just south of the border in Tecate, Mexico. Fresh air, exercise and breathtaking vistas should be reward enough for taking on the early-morning trek. But what awaits you after the hike in the Ranch’s dining hall is icing on the cake.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Dazzle ‘em With This Dip!

15. June 2010

How’d you like to be the life of your next party? (And I don’t mean dancing on the table with a lampshade on your head!)

Seriously, next time you’re asked to bring an appetizer to a pool party, barbecue or special event, try this super-simple snack that will have everyone asking for the recipe!

I got it from my friend, Susan who got it from her friend, Peggy. From where it came before that, I have no idea. All I know is that this delicious dip is quick, easy, über healthy and will be the first to disappear from any buffet table.

>> Read the rest of this entry

Super Snacks

17. May 2010

If it’s mid-afternoon and you’re already out of gas, you may be tempted to fill up on M&M’s and coffee (Two of my former favorite food groups!). But if you’re like me, the crash a couple of hours later is even worse (only now my head hurts, too!) Next time you bottom out grab something that will get you back up and running for the rest of the day. A handful of almonds, a couple of fig bars or a banana buys me a little time. But if you really need to power through a project, go for a high performance snack.

Nutritionist and community outreach specialist for “Jimbos Naturally,” Patti Milligan, recently turned me on to her secret snack. It’s delicious. It’s different. And it works! I convinced Patti to let me share it with you!

>> Read the rest of this entry

Something Fishy, Is Good For You!

06. April 2010

A healthy diet almost always includes fish. No wonder! Besides containing protein and other nutrients such as Vitamin D and selenium, fish contain omega-3 fatty acids… a specific type of fat that may reduce the risk of developing heart disease and other medical problems.

I like fish, but my craving for crustaceans and hankering for halibut came later in life. Growing up in Iowa, “fish” meant tuna salad sandwiches and Mrs. Paul’s frozen fish sticks. Then I moved to southern California. After my first bite of truly fresh, savory salmon, I was hooked! From swordfish to mahi-mahi… these days, fish is my friend. But when it comes to preparing a proper prawn I still come up short. So I enlisted the help of two of my favorite fish-fixers, my sister, Denise and my friend, Carol!

>> Read the rest of this entry

The Incredible Potato

04. March 2010

Pity the poor potato! During the “low-carb” craze, the lowly spud got some pretty bad press. But “las papas” are making a comeback and I, for one, am thrilled!

Unfortunately, not everyone’s on board. After ordering a baked potato with my grilled salmon at a local eatery the other night, my girlfriend told the waiter she wanted double veggies on the side. Smugly, she announced, “I don’t do carbs.”

What?! This is the vegetable that conquered the world, the peasant’s staff of life, the gourmet’s delight. One writer called it “nutritious, delicious, lauded and maligned – the paradoxical potato… the amazing spud.”

>> Read the rest of this entry

Bachelor's Chili

01. February 2009

If you’re planning a Super Bowl party or just want some comfort food to keep you warm on these crisp winter nights, how ‘bout a steaming pot of chili? I know many of you take pride in your elaborate, even “secret” recipes. That’s fine. But if you’re like me and just want something quick and easy that tastes good, here’s my not-so-secret recipe for “Bachelor’s Chili.”

>> Read the rest of this entry

Easy and delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup

20. December 2009

I don't like to cook... but I love to eat! If you're like me....too busy and "culinarily impaired,” let's help one another! I'll share my super-easy recipes with you if you'll return the favor! I'm looking for no-brainer dishes with very few steps, but lots of nutrition and taste. They also need to pass the "husband test." I'll try them out on Tom and report back. (And please include an occasional chocolaty dessert. I believe chocolate is a major food group! Right now I'm into soups, so here's an incredibly easy, recipe from my dear friend and workout partner, Rene.

Read the rest of this entry

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.