Monday, April 9, 2007

Diets - Tips for Getting Started and Keeping Going

Every day there are more headlines on the escalating statistics of diabetes and obesity in children and adults. I discovered the importance of eating well from a young age. Because my mother's cooking was so delicious, I was never tempted by sweets as a child nor did I snack on junk food between meals. I've carried these eating habits into adulthood.

Junk food is loaded with salt, sugar, trans fat, preservatives, artificial coloring etc. So, when people question tamari's (or soy sauce) sodium content, I explain that this is my main salt intake for the day. My "no recipes, no measuring, no calorie counting" uses few and fresh ingredients with good brands of Asian sauces without MSG. BTW, many snack foods contain some form of MSG, that's why it's so addictive.

In recent reports and criticisms of "Chinese" restaurant food as being unhealthy my response is, "Just say NO to chop suey!" Most of these restaurants have two menus, one for the Chinese and one for the uneducated palette that craves and assumes Chinese food is salty, deep fried foods with thick goopy sauces. See my video in the side bar, Ho Wok Mei Intro.

The Miami Beach Pritikin Longevity Center's nutritionist hired me to develop tasty dishes with Asian flavors. I've used one of their techniques of cooking in sauce which is included in my Wok Star Kit DVD. Pritikin's "no fat" approach to cooking, combined with their strict food exchanges, was difficult for many of their clients to follow. People find my "Easy Style" very liberating and easy to accomplish.

My approach is adaptable to ANY diet.

Low carb dieters will love it (Weight Watchers, Atkins, Zone, etc. South Beach Diet, Sugar Busters etc.) because you just need to cut back or eliminate the starch and you've got an endless number of meals with the perfect combination of protein and fresh vegetables. This is how my husband, Ralph and I eat nearly everyday. Easy and quick to prepare, little to wash up.

Ralph only started cooking after 19 years of marriage. I never feel I need to rush home to cook dinner anymore. His amusing, "Wok Up and Smell the Coffee" on my "Easy Style" DVD will inspire and encourage you with yummy breakfast alternatives. You can also view in side bar, we uploaded to Youtube. He's had over 22,000 views and garnered some fabulous responses, feel free to add yours. Those of you who hate to cook, are you paying attention? It's never too late to start.

Wok cooking is a great way to engage the whole family especially children, who LOVE to help out (read "Cooking with Kids"). If you keep it to a simple one-dish meal, I KNOW you'll love wok cooking once you start. The saying, "It's the journey, not the destination" couldn't be more true. You'll enjoy your time in the kitchen as well as the meal.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have. My brother passed away from diabetes, so I want to encourage and help anyone who is ready for a lifestyle change. It's EASY when you have the right tools and techniques. Now, read Ralph's personal story about weight loss.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Tiger Beer Wok Star Tour

I just completed the first leg of my "Tiger Beer Wok Star" tour visiting eight Sweetbay Supermarkets in the Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area. My kickoff appearances coincided with the Asian Lunar New Year... an auspicious beginning since the year of the "Golden Pig" only occurs every six hundred years.

I use the term "Wok Star" to distinguish myself from "celebrity chefs" and analogy to music, drawing a distinction between the "rock star" and the classically trained musician. I learned to cook from my mother so I've taken the traditional flavors I grew up on and adapted them to the western kitchen. Lacking a formal culinary education, my style and approach to cooking has many of the elements of rock and roll... improvisation, creating from the heart, and following the maxim, "If it tastes good, do it." I'm adamant that, "ANYONE can be a Wok Star" and proved my point by inviting people to join me for an impromptu stir-fry.

The tour gave me an opportunity to meet so many people interested in Asian cooking. "Everybody's searching for meals that are fast, fun, and flavorful and that's what wok cooking offers." The most frequent question I encountered on the tour was, "What kind of wok should I get?" For those who already owned a wok, the most common problem they encountered was "soupy" stir-frys. I provide the solutions and the answers in my "Wok Star Cooking Kit" which bundles everything you need to get started in one box: a light weight cast-iron wok, DVD's with my "Easy Style" lessons, and a caddy basket with dispensers to organize your Asian ingredients.

Tiger Beer sponsored the tour and created a sweepstakes to give away thirty of my Wok Star Cooking Kits. Tiger Beer was the perfect sponsor because, "In Asia, cold beer is the favorite drink to serve with spicy Asian food." My plans are to continue the tour until, "Everyone in the world knows how to stir-fry". So, I've created to expand my approach to cooking. I'll simplify exotic and delicious dishes without sacrificing its authenticity or taste, all cooked in a wok! I'll announce its launch soon.

In the meantime, you can see photos from the Tiger Beer Wok Star tour on my website at or for your east-west horoscope, go to
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