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by Dr. Stephen Gullo


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Blender Gazpacho

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Blender Gazpacho
Serves 6 to 8

Gazpacho is the ultimate summer soup—easy to make, easy to store, and delicious served chilled right from the refrigerator.

1 ½ pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled (6 to 7)
3 to 4 cups tomato juice or 1 22-ounce can plum tomatoes and 6 ounces tomato juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small onion, chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Submerge tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute; remove and peel.
2. Blend together all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
3. Chill for several hours if possible. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
(The soup will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.)


Substitute, Don’t Eliminate

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Many dieters fall into the trap of not eating anything to lose weight. What many forget is the fact that our body needs to be fed; it needs to have enough nourishment in order for it to function well. Many also believe they can achieve their weight loss goals through willpower and portion control. Willpower or portion control, however, isn’t enough. This technique even poses the danger of “overconsumption.” That is why I have been a strong advocate of food substitution. The key is to find healthier, better substitutes for the foods that we have a tendency to abuse.

Below are some good food substitutes to help guide you.

Avocado instead of mayonnaise: If you’re looking for something creamy to spread on a sandwich, avocado is a good substitute for you. Per tablespoon, avocado contains half the fat of low-fat mayonnaise and half the calories. It’s a healthy source of fiber, folate, niacin, and vitamins B6 and K, too!

Oatmeal instead of granola: Half-cooked serving of Quaker Steel Cut Oats contains only 150 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, and 1 gram of sugar. Compare that to a half-cup serving of Quaker’s Apple, Cranberry, and Almond Granola which contains 200 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 13 grams of sugar.

Cafe Americano instead of latte: Coffee is a great source of antioxidants, especially when consumed straight. If black coffee is not your thing, you can add a little low-fat milk, honey, or cinnamon. You still save hundreds of calories over a latte.

Spaghetti squash instead of white pasta: Trust me, it’s still as delicious! Spaghetti squash is a good low-calorie, high-fiber replacement. It helps you save around 200 calories. Plus it’s a generous source of vitamin C, folate, and magnesium.

Kale chips instead of potato chips: For just 84 calories, you get a cup and a half of kale chips, whereas the same amount of potato chips can cause you 200 calories. Kale is also a good source of vitamins A and C, calcium, and folate.

The above are just some of the many healthier food substitutes available. Be creative. Try healthier recipes. Don’t be afraid to let go of the unhealthy habits you’re in.

Green Beans with Sautéed Mushrooms

Green Beans with Sauteed Mushrooms

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Green Beans with Sauteed Mushrooms

Serves 4

Mushrooms and green beans are a classic mix that goes well with almost any meal. For added crunch, sprinkle in some slivered almonds.

¾ pound green beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
¼ teaspoon salt
Dash of Tabasco (optional)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
Dry white vermouth (optional)

1. Trim the ends off the beans and place in a steamer over about an inch of water. Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until bright green and tender.

2. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Sauté the garlic, basil, salt, and Tabasco, if using, for a minute or two. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms just begin to release their liquid. (If the mushrooms stick to the pan, you can add a dash of vermouth.)

3. Add the beans and mix well.


Herb Dressing for Greens

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Herb Dressing for Greens

Makes 3 cups

This herb dressing works well over hot or cold green vegetables.

  • 1 pound soft tofu
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients. Blend until smooth and well mixed. This can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.


Poached Apples and Pears with Berry Sauce

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Poached Apples and Pears with Berry Sauce

Serves 4

This recipe is a nice way of making your daily fruit serving into an elegant and delicious dessert. It will also work without the berries during times of the year when berries are not in season.

4 cups apple or apple-raspberry juice

1 cup finely chopped strawberries or raspberries

2 lemon slices

1 1-inch cinnamon stick

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 whole golden or red Delicious apples, peeled

2 whole Bosc pears, peeled

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the apple juice, berries, lemon slices, cinnamon stick, and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Add the apples and pears, cover, and cook 12 minutes. The fruit is done when a fork slides easily into the flesh. Remove the fruit with a slotted spoon and set aside in a covered dish to keep warm, or bring to room temperature and chill.
  2. Continue cooking the juice and berries until the liquid is reduced to a thick sauce, about 25 minutes. Divide the fruit among 4 plates and drizzle the sauce over each serving.

Low-Fat Tomato Sauce

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This tomato sauce isn’t just for pasta. Try it over fish, chicken cutlets, or even lightly sautéed vegetables. For a slightly heartier sauce, add some chopped green or red peppers and some sliced mushrooms along with the spices.

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 small onion, finely diced
Dry white vermouth or red wine (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 whole bay leaf
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Swirl it around so the bottom is coated with oil and then wipe up the excess with a paper towel. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until golden, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes.

  3. Add the bay leaf, basil, parsley, and thyme. Cook 2 minutes. If the herbs are sticking to the pan, you can add just a splash of dry white vermouth or red wine.

  4. Add the tomatoes and their juice. As they simmer, break the tomatoes into pieces with a spoon. Add the salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer partially covered for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, taste, and adjust the seasoning as desired.


Banana Cream Recipe

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Banana Cream
Serves 4

Banana Cream satisfies the need for something cool and creamy while providing much-needed potassium. You can customize this recipe by adding a frozen fresh peach or ¼ cup frozen berries.

6 very ripe bananas
½ cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds
3 tablespoons cold water or orange juice

1. Peel the bananas and freeze. (They can be left overnight, or put them in the freezer in the morning to prepare in the evening.)
2. Put the frozen bananas in a food processor or blender and quickly puree, adding water or juice 1 tablespoon at a time until the bananas are the consistency of ice cream. Divide into 4 portions, sprinkle with nuts, and serve immediately.


How Lauren Conrad Got Rid of Her ‘Boyfriend Layer’

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Lauren Conrad found fame on the MTV reality series, “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.” She later starred in the spin-off series, “The Hills,” which was one of MTV’s most popular reality shows ever. Lauren Conrad has always been athletic, but after she started dating former boyfriend Kyle Howard, she noticed her midsection was getting a tad bit pudgy.

She calls it her “boyfriend layer.”* Her abs, that is. Meaning that she attributed her weight gain to entirely too many high-calorie romantic dinners and entirely too little exercise. When she realized that she had gained weight, Lauren Conrad decided to enlist her BF in her quest to drop a few pounds. In addition to embarking on a low-cal diet, Lauren and her boyfriend started working out together by hitting the gym and doing fun activities like kayaking.

Lauren Conrad starts her day with coffee diluted with nonfat milk, a healthier alternative to coffee creamer. For breakfast, she might eat a bowl of oatmeal or another type of whole grain cereal. Conrad likes to add dried apricots to her oatmeal. She’s also a fan of veggie omelets, Greek yogurt, and breakfast smoothies.

A typical lunch on Lauren Conrad’s diet is a Cobb salad with turkey bacon, avocado, balsamic dressing, and plenty of veggies. She often eats a low-fat yogurt or some low-fat cottage cheese for a mid-afternoon snack. Dinner typically consists of a lean protein like tilapia or a chicken breast. She pairs it with a salad or some roasted veggies.

Other favorite dinner menu items include a chicken salad, a sesame tofu stir fry, or a whole grain pita filled with arugula, chicken, and feta cheese. Overall, this is a well-balanced diet, but we’d add some fresh fruit to breakfast for an extra boost of vitamins.

While Conrad’s relationship with Howard did not last (the pair broke up in 2011 and she married singer William Tell in 2014) she has stuck to her healthy eating and exercise habits. Conrad enjoys outdoor activities such as kayaking, bicycling, and hiking around L.A.’s canyons. She also plays tennis, swims, and surfs. In addition to her outdoor physical activities, Lauren Conrad also keeps her weight down by jogging on the treadmill and lifting weights.

*Source: http://skinnyvscurvy.com/lauren-conrad/lauren-conrad-diet-boyfriend-layer.html

Lauren Conrad Sample Daily Diet Plan

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal & dried fruit
  • Lunch: Cobb salad
  • Snack: Yogurt