Everyday clean eating is about simplicity. That’s hard to achieve. Many artists, chefs, and home cooks often try to add on to their masterpiece to mBurrata Capreseake it better. But more often than not, less is more. In other words, we’re trying too hard.

In my native South of France, the summers are swelteringly hot and dry. Juicy tomatoes burst with freshness, taste, and a profusion of flavor, and summer meant it was time to use them or lose them. Back home we would make canned tomato sauce from scratch, and eat these fruits (yes, they are fruits!) for lunch and dinner.

Because in-season tomatoes are so perfectly tasty there is no need to do much. As long as you pair them with fresh, simple ingredients that enhance — not overpower — their subtle taste.
Think delicate extra-virgin olive oils, salt, pepper, and a bit of basil.

Of course, the tomato is native to America. But tomato dishes have been used and perfected all around the Medihealthy recipeterranean, especially in Italy. And when it comes to Italian perfection, nothing is as simple, gratifying and delicious as a Caprese salad.

Now, Caprese salad (named after the Italian island of Capri) is all about three ingredients: tomato, mozzarella cheese, and basil. Choose these three wisely.Fully ripe, dark red organic tomatoes. Choose heirloom if you can. Or beefsteak.Buffalo artisan mozzarella balls, which are usually kept in brine. Do not settle for cheap, rubbery, mass-produced “mozzarella.”

And perfectly fresh basil.Primal palate spices

Sure, you can add salt (“Fleur de sel” if you’re fancy!), pepper, a drizzle of estate olive oil, or any of the spices I usually use (Click here to check out some of my favorites from Primal Palate).

My Caprese salad is on page 65 of Eat More, Burn More  and I took some liberties with it. It has a twist, thanks to Mozzarella’s little cousin, Burrata. Burrata means “stuffed.” And indeed we’re talking about a kind of mozzarella ball that has been stuffed with a rich and tasty filling of mozzarella pieces and cream. We’re being bad, here. But it’s so good!

Bonus chef tips: Make sure you ripen the tomatoes out of the fridge. Maybe keep them in a brown paper bag, or just out on a plate that you place on the countertop. You’ll know when they are ready; they turn to a beautiful, dark red.

And talking about refrigerator and temperature, it’s important to serve a Caprese salad at room temperature. You don’t want mealy, fridge-cold tomatoes.

IMG_1839And here is a final chef tip. An experiment, rather. I want you to slice a tomato. Then taste it raw. Nothing on it. Then sprinkle the second slice with a bit of salt. In fact, if you have a great salt, like a smoked sea salt, or a fleur de sel, or Himalayan salt, go for it, season the tomato and taste it. What do you think? Yes, the salt adds texture, projects the flavor forward, and adds a completely different dimension to the taste of the tomato. That’s a great thing. Conclusion: don’t forget the salt.

You can usually find burrata in Italian food stores, and sometimes at your local supermarket. Don’t hesitate to replace it with regular mozzarella, or even smoked mozzarella for a different flavor.

This is summer. So I encourage you to find tomatoes at the peak of their freshness. I recommend colorful heirloom and beefsteak, but try them all and find the ones you prefer. Experiment with different dressings.

Rest assured that this is the kind of ultimate, healthy, fat-burning dish that is at the core of Eat More, Burn More. It’s delicious and something you can definitely indulge in without fear of weight gain or regretting it the next day.

Cook up a storm this summer. Empower your healthy. And let me know how you’re improving your life, and adding flavor to it, with these simple tips.

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How to Trick Your Brain into Making Better Decisions (Backed By Scientific Studies)

What are some tools to use for effective decision making? originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing site where questions are answered by people with unique insights. This answer was shared by Charles Duhigg, staff writer for the New York Times and author of Smarter Faster Better, on Quora:

Here is what scientific studies say will help you make better decisions:

Thinking through various, contradictory possibilities, and then trying to force yourself to figure out which ones are more or less likely, and why. (This is known as probabilistic thinking, and studies show that it significantly increases the quality of people’s decision making.)

Say, for instance, that you are trying to decide whether your group of rebels should attack the Death Star. Seems like an easy decision, right?

After all, the Death Star is filled with jerks, and it has a big glaring weakness (that apparently no architect considered when designing the ship): one well placed shot can blow up the entire thing.

If you are some hillbilly from Tatooine, you’ll charge off into space. You’ll think about this decision in binary terms (“The Empire=bad. The rebels=good. What can go wrong?”)

But, if you are practiced at decision making, you’ll probably do something a bit differently: you’ll sit down with Adm. Ackbar, and you’ll try to envision the dozens of different outcomes that are possible. (“We could get defeated before we make it to the ship. We could make it to the ship and not have enough X-wings.

We could have enough X-wings but then miss the shot. We could make the shot but our intel could be wrong. We could have good intel and make the shot and the Death Star blows up, but our reward is Jar Jar Binks…” You get the point.)

Now, here’s the thing: you aren’t going to be very precise at assigning probabilities to all those possibilities. (“What are the odds that our intel is bad?”) But forcing yourself to think through all the possibilities and then simply TRYING to assign odds will be really helpful in revealing what you do and don’t know.

So, maybe you are pretty certain that your intel is good, and maybe you are pretty certain that, if they can get close to the Death Star, your pilots will hit the target (because, after all, you’ve got the force on your side), but you aren’t particularly certain that you have enough X-wings to make sure that you’ll get close to the Death Star.

Now you know which parts of your plan are weakest, you know what you need to learn more about and what problems you need to solve to increase the odds of success.

Our brains, left to their own devices, prefer to think about choices in binary terms. (And, from an evolutionary standpoint, this is really efficient.)

But to make better decisions, we have to force ourselves to think probabilistically – AND THEN WE NEED TO GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE FACT THAT PROBABILISTIC THINKING TENDS TO REVEAL HOW MUCH WE DON’T KNOW.

It is scary to confront uncertainty. It can make you crazy and anxious. That’s why it is so much easier to look at choices as binary options (“I’ll either succeed or fail”) or deterministic outcomes (“I ended up married to her because she was my soulmate.”)

But if you genuinely want to make better decisions, you have to fight that instinct, and make yourself think about multiple possibilities – both the good and the bad – and be really honest with yourself about what you do and don’t know (and what is knowable and unknowable.)

And then you have to take a leap, and make a decision, and see it as  an experiment that gives you data, rather than a success or failure that you should congratulate yourself on/beat yourself up about.

Because, unfortunately, the force doesn’t really exist. But probabilities do.

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