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health bars wellness experts love

Wellness Experts Share Best Health Bars, for Smarter Snacking

Hey Mamas,

Do you ever get lost in the health bar section at the grocery store? Do wonder if your power bar is a power fail?

For all you on-the-go, busy mamas, I’ve tapped into 5 wellness and fitness experts to find out what they look for in a good-quality, health bar. Happy snacking.

Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD and founder of F-Factor

Her company recommends No Cow Bars to all their clients. This protein-packed bar is obviously #FFactoryApproved (google it – I’m OBSESSED and will share more about how F-Factor has changed my life and body for the better, in future posts!!) This bar has 20+ grams of dairy free protein, and only 1g of sugar. It’s also Dairy Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Non-GMO.

Shannon A. Garvia, MDS, RD, LD with KISS in the Kitchen

My favorite on-the-go bars are Thunderbird Bars and RX Bars. I look for bars with real food ingredients (the fewer the better) and ideally are gluten and dairy free, for my own dietary restrictions. Her fav flavors include Cashew, Fig & Carrot from Thunderbird and we both agree that RX Bars’ Chocolate Sea Salt is a winner.

Jeannine Morris, Multimedia Beauty & Wellness Journalist

Being Vegan and Gluten Gree, I love Kind Bars. The dark chocolate, nuts and sea salt are my favorite flavors. Also, the Lara Bars Blueberry is delicious. I never know where I’ll be when I run into a situation where my dietary restrictions can’t be met, so it’s ideal to have healthy snacks like these on hand.

Bianca Jade aka Mizzfit, Fitness Expert, TV Host, Founder of Mizzfit Box

Rise bar is really simple. It’s a protein bar with 5 ingredients or less that’s non-GMO, gluten-free and soy-free. It doesn’t kill your appetite, but it cuts your craving pre and post workout.

Kristin McGee, Celeb Yoga + Pilates Instructor, Author of Chair Yoga & Wellness Expert

She really likes the quality and taste of Clean Eats Bar, which she’s discussing today on Mommy Moments with Pamela. Tune in 1pm EST for our live chat.

Pistachio Gluten Free Cookies Recipe

Pistachio Gluten Free Cookies – RECIPE

Hey Mamas,

Pistachio Gluten Free Cookies anyone?

I’ve taken bits from other recipes and melded them into the most moist, wholesome homemade cookies ever!

Best of all, they are gluten free, loaded with yummy and pretty pistachios. Plus, you get the beauty benefits and delicious texture of oatmeal.

Who’s ready to dunk these babies into some almond milk? Today is World Pistachio Day, after all.

Tolders Baking Pistachio Gluten Free Cookies

Now, let’s get cracking on the easy recipe. You can make your own Oatmeal & Pistachio Gluten Free Cookies while watching tonight’s Oscars Red Carpet arrivals. Yup, it’s that easy!

Oatmeal & Pistachio Gluten Free Cookies

Ingredients

Makes 1-2 dozen depending on the desired size of cookies.

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raw organic sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup pistachio nuts
  • ¼ cup water

Tolders Baking Pistachio Gluten Free Cookies

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low/medium to combine. Mix in the mashed banana and 1/4 cup of water, until incorporated.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined. Add the pistachios and oats, mixing briefly.
  5. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a tablespoon to scoop out 2-inch dough balls, placing them about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake until just golden on top, about 10 minutes. Cool on the sheet for 10 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.


Friday Five Finds: Health and Beauty Benefits of Oatmeal for Mom, Kids & Home

Winter winds and warm oatmeal, there’s no better combo.

I have a bowl of oatmeal almost every morning, as do the munchkins. It’s been my digestive salvation post-pregnancy. Yes, the kiddos did a number on my insides! Fortunately, oatmeal is loaded with fiber which helps your digestive system run smoothly.

Beauty-wise oats are a tool for radiant skin, and have been used in skincare as far back as 2000 BC. Actually, oatmeal is one of the few natural ingredients to receive recognition from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Health and Beauty Benefits of Oatmeal

  1. Feel Fuller Longer – Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber, so  it stays in your stomach longer, making it less likely for you to have hunger cravings
  2. Heart Healthy – Oatmeal contains both calcium and potassium, which reduce blood pressure numbers and risk of coronary heart diseases. (FYI My friends at Burlington, along with Wendy Williams, are doing a really amazing Women Heart Campaign. #HealthyHeartSelfie Learn all about it here.
  3. Digestive Salvation – Oatmeal swoops into your digestive system and flushes things out, makes stool softer, thus move through you intestines faster, preventing constipation
  4. HydrationColloidal oatmeal, produced from finely ground oat grains, is full of vitamins, minerals and lipids that add moisture to skin
  5. Soothing Properties – Oatmeal contains both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, ideal for sensitive skin and to treating skin disorders like sunburns, eczema and poison ivy (every mom should have a diy oatmeal cream, just in case)

Here are Five Finds for Mom, Kids and Home inspired by my love of oatmeal. Have a fabulous weekend.

PS I’ll be doing a Meaningful Me Moments getaway in Manhattan, this weekend. Follow along on Instagram, and learn about one of my favorite boutique hotels The Gregory.

Friday Five Finds Oatmeal for Mom Kids and Home

1. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Gentle Cleansing Bar $14 – This soap is great for my sensitive skin. It’s free of parabens, fragrance, harsh chemicals and colorants, and loaded with colloidal oatmeal, shea butter and squalene to moisturize, calm and clean my skin.

2. OatMeals 120 West 3rd St, New York,  10012646-360-3570– I just learn about this place from my pr friends at St Ives. It’s an oatmeal bar! I can’t even tell you how excited I am to check it out, this week. If you’ve been there, leave a comment below and let me you if it rocked your oats off.

3. Lekue Individual Oatmeal Maker $19.95 – You know I love my time savers! This adorable kitchen helper not only can be used to cook and serve oatmeal (one less thing to wash, thank you) it also creates perfect individual oatmeal servings and cuts the cooking time from 10-15 minutes to just around 3 minutes.

4. AMOREPACIFIC Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence $95 – Part of the Korean skincare philosophy, essences contain effective active ingredients in a concentrated form that affect the skin on the cellular level thus giving maximum product penetration. This is eye product is applied after toning and pre-hydrating, but before serum to achieve optimal results. The metal tipped wand applicator cools skin temperature upon contact to de-puff and brighten the delicate eye area. The lift action is where the oat extract does its thing, visibly firings and lifting skin, as well as hydrating by creating a protective barrier surrounding the eye area most prone to sagging.

5. St Ives Nourished And Smooth Oatmeal Scrub + Mask $4.29- If you’re not a DIY gal, this oat-based scrub is the next best thing to help revitalize your skin. You can also use it ask a mask. Apply, leave on for abotu 5-minutes then getly rinse off with cold water. It’s a great drug-story find, at a pocket-perfect price.

Always Be Your Best You Pamela Pekerman Signature

Cooking for 1, & My Miso & Mustard Glazed Lamb Chops Recipe

With the hubby away all week on a business trip, I wanted to cook myself fish for dinner because he hates the smell of fish, so it’s usually not on the menu. But, while perusing my friend Candice Kumai’s cookbook Pretty Delicious, I had a mouthwatering craving for her lamb.

On my way home from the gym, I called the local butcher and asked for one pound of rack of lamb (which equals 3 pieces) Frenched. Don’t worry, I had to google the turn to find out the meaning before I put in the order.

Fast forward to 7:45pm and both kids are in bed.

I poured myself a glass of Pinot Noir. Normally, I’m a white wine girl, but I was trying to do the red wine-meat thing.

As I’m going through the steps, I realized that my meat was not on a rack, rather each pieces was separate. Also, I didn’t have the right mustard and my fresh garlic clearly fell out of my grocery bag on the way home.

What’s a girl to do?  … Get creative.

Here’s the recipe I came up with on the fly. Enjoy and have fun in your kitchen.

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Miso & Mustard Glazed Lamb Chops
Serves 1

1lb of lamb chops
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon dried sage (fresh is better)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (fresh is better)
3 pinches of garlic powder or 1 garlic glove minced
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard
2 teaspoons Miso dressing
1/2 teaspoon of sea saltp2home_020515_1

Prehead toaster oven to 400F.

Toss the panko, garlic, sage, thyme and 1/4 salt together on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the mixture and mix together with your palms to incorporate oil into bread crumbs. Set aside.

Rub the remaining sald\t into lamb chops. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in large skillet over medium/high heat. Be cafe. I’m always scared of jumping, happy, hot oil! Place the lamb chops into the skillet and cook each side for about 3-minutes. Use tongs to transfer the lamb to a tray.

Mix mustard and miso in a bowl. Use a brush to cover the lamb chops in the mixture.

Press each lamb chop into the bread crumb mix making sure to cover all sides. Wrap a sheet of foil over the tips of the bones (so they don’t burn). Place the lamb chops onto an oven-safe tray and put into preheated toaster oven for about 7-10 minutes, depending on how you want the meat cooked. Flip the lamp chops to the other side and let cook for another 5-7 minutes.

Remove and let cool for a few minutes. Enjoy with wine and a Shark Tank marathon.

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For Candice Kumai’s original Date-Night Knockout Rack of Lamb, check out page 185 of Pretty Delicious. The book is loaded with great recipes to enjoy for every meal of the day.

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Recipe: Simple & Yummy Butternut Squash Soup

I’ve always been intimidated by soups. In fact, prior to my daughter eating solid foods, I had never even made chicken broth. Yesterday, I took the plunge. The result:  a marvelous (totting my own horn!) Creamy Butternut Squash Soup that rivals some of the ones I’ve had at top restaurants. Enjoy the recipe I borrowed from Chow.com, and made some modifications. I picked this version because I liked how simple they made it to work with butternut squash. Those suckers are difficult to cut and the skin is very hard to peal. Slicing just in half (see image below), and placing the squash in the oven to bake, so that the flesh easily removes from the skin, is easy and gives me 50 minutes to play with the kids or work on another blog post.

INGREDIENTS 
2 medium size butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium Granny Smith apple (I’m pretty sure I used Golden Delicious by accident … still tasted good)
1/2 medium yellow onion
4 fresh sage leaves (add more for extra flavor)
3 cups of home made chicken broth (it’s always low sodium!! Make a lot of broth and freeze it for the future.)
2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves. Season generously with salt and pepper. (So I actyally forgot to season with salt and pepper, and it was fine. Opps.) Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut the apple into medium dice. Cut the onion into medium dice. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple, onion, and sage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
4. When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.
5. Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
6. Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth. I used my beloved Magic Bullet! It’s become my best friend, in the kitchen.
7.Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with the pumpkin seeds, if using.

Quick 20 Minute Family Meal, Russian Katleti with Orzo

Allocating time to cooking for my family hasn’t been easy since the birth of my daughter and the extra bun cooking in my oven. I’m constantly looking for easy, healthy and time-saving recipe and nothing is faster than home-made, chicken katleti. It’s kind of like a flat meatball, for those unfamiliar with Russian food. Every woman has her own version and this is mine.

Chicken Katleti 
Ingredients
~ 1 ld ground chicken (buy it ground to make life easier)
~ dd
~ 1 small onion finely chopped (optional)
~ 1 garlic clove minced
~ 1 tsp pepper
~ 2 tsp salt (adjust to your family)
 
Dipping Sauce:
~ 

Organized & Healthy 2014, Pam’s Picks in BELLA NYC

I’m very excited to announce my new role as contributing columnist for BELLA NYC Magazine. I’ll be sharing my monthly must-haves in Pam’s Picks. First up: six products to help you stick to your health and organizational resolutions for 2014.
(L) Bella NYC’s January/February 2014 Cover with Aviva Drescher;
(R) Bella’s newest style contributor Pamela Pekerman
Pam’s Picks debut in BELLA NYC Magazine
Featured brands in Pam’s Picks for BELLA NYC Magazine:
 
Bestowed.com – monthly nutritionist-in-a-box package, curated by renounced nutritionist and author Heather Bauer
Perrin Paris’ Jet Set Clutch – there’s no better organizer for your bag, plus it’s ready to slip out and make you look chic for an unexpected night out after work
IT Cosmetics’ YSBB Your Skin BUt Better CC Cream – the best cover up I’ve ever owned and my quick fix every morning even when the only people who see me are the baby and the mail man
Pinch Provisions’ Skinny Minimergency Kit – everything you could possibly need is something needs to be fixed, plucked, ticked, etc. 
Clarisonic’s Pedi Foot Transformation System – because your stiletto feet need a pampering break, and mama can’t always get to the spa
Rochelle Behrens’ Icon Shirt – finally a shirt that doesn’t pucker around the lady friends, thanks to a patented dual-button technology 
 
Check out the March/April issue for dazzling accessories from inspirational women who decided to make a change in their lives in order to pursue their inner passion for design. 

Energy Boosting Fig Pomegranate Salad Recipe

I’ve been feeling really tired the past few days; the kind of dragged-through-the-mud-by-a-truck-after-running-a-10k-marathon tired I felt when I was still pumping milk. Granted, I only closed the Milk Factory about two weeks ago, so my body is still adjusting. After days of falling asleep right before dinner, not being able to walk my daughter, Ms. Ilana Rose, in the morning, and moped around this house in a robe without any makeup, I decided to take action and jump back on the ultra-healthy bandwagon I jumped on when Ilana was born. I also needed to jump back on the Always Be Your Best You bandwagon!
 
On Tuesday morning, after a motivating chat with my mother I got out of bed, washed my face with my beloved Naturopathica Aloe Cleaning Gel, and put on It Cosmetics’ Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer in Light, Hello Lashes Mascara in black, and their new Lip/Cheek stain which is still not for sale.  Mentally, I felt a pinch better, and, I STRONGLY believe mental health feeds into physical health! Next step: have lunch.
 
I wanted to make something with the fresh figs our neighbors gave us on Sunday, because they are an excellent source of fiber (aka energy boost). Figs are also fat, sodium and cholesterol free.  

I hope you try my yummy salad in your kitchen and commit to living your best life. Remember, we can all fall off the wagon. Only the ones that really love themselves and want to live with a Never Surrender mojo, jump back on wearing coral lipstick and killer riding boots!

Figetaboutit Pom Salad
P2 Wellness: Figetaboutit Pom Salad 
4 fresh figs  
1 cup spinach leaves (or as much as you can grab with both hands)
2 tablespoons of crumbled goat cheese
½ avocado
½ pomegranate
¼ cup of crushed walnuts (or pistachio nuts)
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of pomegranate juice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
 
1.      Dice up the figs and avocado.
2.      Cut the pomegranate and take out the juicy pits. Careful to not stain your outfit!
3.      Crush the walnuts in your hand. Smaller pieces taste better in the salad.
4.      Mix the spinach, figs, avocado, pomegranate seeds, 1 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese and crushed walnuts in a bowl.
5.      Pour extra virgin olive oil and pomegranate juice into the bowl. Add salt and pepper. Mix.
6.      Place the salad on a pretty plate. How you eat is as important as what you eat, so I’m all about elevating ambiance to enhance the culinary experience. It also puts on smile on your face!
7.      Finish off my sprinkling the remaining 1 tablespoon of crumbled goat cheese on top of your salad. 
 
P2 Wellness: Figetaboutit Pom Salad, ingredients