Be Fit For Life

with Ellen Cohen-Kaplan

Summer recipes for the 4th and beyond!

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I’m feeling very grateful this July 4th weekend. We’re blessed to live in this great country, notwithstanding all the crazy politics, corruption and social issues that need attention.  I still feel lucky to be American, and believe this is one of the most desirable places to live on this planet. Along with having what we want, it’s even more important to want what we have; herein lies a major key to contentment.

One of the things we are blessed with here is plenty of choice to engage in healthy lifestyles, including eating well and getting exercise. With that in mind, here are some ideas for what to eat this holiday weekend. If you want to sneak in a few hot dogs along with these side dishes, it is independence day-  do whatever makes you happy!

Quinoa Tabouli – Go to for the recipe. Quinoa is now hailed as one of the new supergrains, although it has been around for centuries in South American diets. Among its many health benefits are that is very protein rich , it contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains, and it abounds in iron, lysine, magnesium and riboflavin (B2), along with a high content of manganese.


I love cold soups in the summer. Here’s one we’ll be making this weekend:        Watermelon gazpacho from the Plenty More cookbook by Ottolenghi:


Benefits of eating watermelon and tomatoes abound. Watermelon is thought to be full of sugar, but it’s a very healthy and hydrating fruit. It is near the top of the list, along with tomatoes, for concentrations of lycopene, which is very important for cardiovascular health. It also contains citrulline, an amino acid which then is converted to another essential amino acid, arginine, which scientists are now finding is essential for blood flow and fat regulation in our bloodstream. To learn more about watermelon’s health facts, go to

The Israeli-born Ottolenghi’s main base is in London, so the quantities are in kg and grams. Here are the conversions:

2 kg = 4.5 lbs tomatoes

2 2/3 cups of watermelon

4 slices, or 3.5 oz of bread

2/3 cup of tomato juice or puree

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup basil leaves


Broccoli and brussel sprout detox slaw : go to for the recipe.


Here’s a novel twist on traditional cole slaw that’s much healthier and packs a great nutritional punch. Broccoli and brussel sprouts, both cruciferous vegetables, have many health benefits.  They contain lots of fiber, many essential vitamins and minerals, and support detoxification in our digestive systems. Most important, this slaw tastes great!

So, eat, drink and be merry-  Happy 4th of July! Enjoy your independence!






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