Posts tagged ‘food’

Oooh, a new book for my library!

A new book has come out that I’m dying to get my hands on.  It’s called Read It Before You Eat It: How to Decode Food Labels and Make the Healthiest Choice Every Time.

Ever realize how hard it is to decipher a food label. I’m sure you look at calories, perhaps fat, protein and sugar. But what does that all mean in terms of your body? Admittedly, I get confused as well. Ever try buying a loaf of bread? Man, that is hard!

And what about those flashy, catchy words on the front of packaged goods like “Lowers cholesterol” and “Heart healthy!” What does that even mean?

Well, I’m gonna read the book and give you some better answers. Until then, 2 things you can do:

1. Read this post from Fooducate, one of my most favorite blogs, and read an interview with the author.

2. When in doubt, stick to natural, wholesome foods. That means foods with super short ingredient lists, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. When in the supermarket, shop the perimeter…that’s where all the good stuff is. Skip those middle junky aisles.

August 31, 2010 at 1:13 pm 2 comments

Should I Eat It?

That’s a tough question, whether you’re talking about cake or…a carrot.

So often we choose food for reasons other than pure physical hunger (duh). But how can we tell if we’re hungry, or if we need to find nourishment elsewhere?

Here are 5  questions I ask myself when in doubt:

1. Am I hungry? Of course that should be the first question. I rate my hunger on a scale of 1-10, 1 being ravenous and 10 being so stuffed my jeans button popped off.  If I’m below a 5, it’s physical hunger and I eat.

2. Do almonds or turkey sound good? If I’m not sure if I’m hungry, I ask myself if I’m in the mood for some high-protein snack like almonds or turkey. If I want them, then it’s a sign I’m hungry. If they don’t sound good, the sensation I’m experiencing is more likely a craving (But then I have to decide if I want to give into the craving. That’s another story)

3. Am I thirsty? You’ve heard this one before…quite often we confuse thirst and hunger. I make sure to keep myself hydrated throughout the day.

4. What are you feeling? Tired, bored, frustrated, angry, giddy, anxious, nervous?  Try to pinpoint your state of being to make a better food choice.

5. What do I NEED right now? This is the most important question by far. I’ve learned to ask myself what I need before diving into the cookie jar. So often we mistake the fleeting comfort from food with something else we might need.  Do you need a hug, to connect with a friend, a bath, exercise, stop procrastinating and get work done, take a nap, to dance around buck nekkid in your home? Whatever it is, ask yourself if food will fill this empty space. If the answer is NO, then ditch the food and fill yourself up some other way.

If after asking yourself these 5 questions the answer is still “Gimme cookie,” then by all means, enjoy the cookie with gusto. But at least you know that you’re eating the cookie because you’re hungry and not for any other reason.

August 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm 8 comments

What’s the deal with Soy

Happy Monday, my friends!

One of the questions I get asked most is about soy.

More specifically, is soy good/bad for me?

Personally, I believe it’s really difficult to be so black and white about a food such as soy. After all, it’s been a staple of Asian cuisine for thousands of years. But studies and the media have also shown that eating soy can lead to hormone and thyroid issues, breast cancer, and poor development in children.

So here’s the deal: there’s no right answer to this debate.

It’s more important to be educated about soy and then develop your own opinion based on your experiences.

Personally, I eat soy in limited amounts. ALWAYS organic. I tend to eat less processed forms of soy, such as tempeh, and tofu on occasion. I limit the amount of fake soy (ie soy protein) because even though it’s soy, it’s definitely not natural. And I don’t over-indulge.

I urge you to read this fantastic blog post by Dr Mark Hyman, one of my most favorite and well-respected integrative nutrition experts. He summarizes the research out there and does a great job of telling you what’s what. If you read the comments on the end of the post, you’ll see that everyone has an opinion about soy (and some pretty strong ones, too!).

So, once again….what makes your body feel good???

August 16, 2010 at 1:22 pm 1 comment

Anatomy of a Damn Good Meal

On Wednesday, Matt and I had the extreme pleasure of dining with our good friend and professional Chef, Randy Rabney of The Conscious Plate (Visit her website and sign up for her amazing newsletters–I always learn so much from her!)

I just wanted to show you some pics of our dinner that Randy made.

First, Randy and Matt:

They are posing so beautifully with our appetizer: grilled flatbread with 2 different cheeses (Don’t remember the type, but they were delish!). One was topped simply with arugula and drizzled with truffle oil (swoon!) and the other with basil and a beautiful red and white heirloom tomato that just tasted like summer.  Randy also offered us truffled honey to drizzle on top, although my darling Matt ate it straight from the jar with a spoon!

Here’s a close up of the appetizer:

Looks good, right? It was. And so simple.

Next up, dinner…steak (grass-fed, naturally) cooked to perfection, a simple summer salad (arugula, sweet corn, grilled zucchini, scallions, and a simple vinaigrette) and grilled potatoes.

Are you hungry yet?

But don’t forget about dessert! Randy’s next door neighbor is The Able Baker who made rockin’ mocha cupcakes for us. They were amazeballs.

All of this was paired with a Brunello di Montalcino that Matt and I bought on our honeymoon….it was 10 years old and simply the greatest wine ever.

I wanted to show you this meal not only to make you jealous, but also show you how a good, wholesome, memorable meal need not be complicated. In fact, simplicity rules….and that’s what randy lives by. High quality ingredients will stand alone.

Thanks, Randy!

July 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm 2 comments

Dude, I just customized my own trailmix!

My personal mix!

Don’t I sound excited?
It’s because I am, I am!!!

Check out this awesome company, You Bars, which allows you to make your OWN custom protein bars, shakes, cookies, cereals, and trail mix. In an age where we bow down to individuality (you know I adore Lady Gaga), You Bars allows us to feel special, too.

Creating my custom trailmix was super easy.  Choose from a large selection of nuts, dried fruit, seeds, crunchy grains, and my favorite, tasty additions (like cacao nibs or chocolate covered raisins). the dietitian in me loves that as you add ingredients to your mix, the nutritional breakdown of your creation is adjusted. So, if you see the calories getting too high, you can nix one ingredient, etc.

My final creation, called Amma’s Mix #1: Almonds, Pecans, Pistachios, Walnuts, Organic flaxseeds, Organic pumpkin seeds, organic sunflower seeds, dark chocolate covered raisins, Organic cacao nibs, goji berries, and organic coconut.

The trailmix is them portioned out and sealed in little pouches, each stamped with the title of the mix, the ingredients, and the nutrition label–mine is 260 calories of goodness.

The company is a DREAM to work with. I accidentally entered in the wrong shipping address and the Director of Sales and Marketing, Joel, fixed my mistake and couldn’t have been kinder. Plus, my order was expedited rather quickly, arrived wrapped up on a pretty red ribbon, plus a coupon for 10% off my next order. Is this one classy company or what?

Go ahead and check out the site and create your own trailmix. I’ve stashed pouches in my desk drawer, purse, and home. No longer will I be ravenous on the subway after a workout.

Let me know what you create!

July 14, 2010 at 1:59 pm 1 comment

Teeny Tiny Itsy Bitsy Yumminess

People (especially my New Yorkers)–I’ve got something good for you.

I just tried some super delicious cupcakes, and you can trust me…I’m a cupcake snob.

I even had 2 of them! Yes, 2!

But you wanna know the best part? They’re the size of a quarter. NO JOKE. Seriously, the size of a quarter.

The creator of this deliciousness is Baked by Melissa, who has 2 small shops in NYC’s Union Square and Soho. She’ll also cater an event and ship nationwide. With over 10 flavors to choose from, it’s a win-win.

I love that I can eat 2 of these babies and still feel groovy. However, be forewarned…they’re like Pringles.  Once you pop….

June 28, 2010 at 11:19 am Leave a comment

Start Your Day with a Switch

This post is about breakfast, my favorite meal of the day.

You all eat breakfast, right? Right? You DO know that breakfast is the most important meal you can eat, and it revs your engine (ie. your body) to tackle the day. Of COURSE you knew that!

If you’re like most people, you probably eat the same breakfast every day. A bowl of fiber cereal? Cereal with yogurt, perhaps? A banana and coffee? Or maybe you have time to prepare yourself a multi-course breakfast on china plates with linen napkins (doubtful, but you never know).

The next two weeks I am engaging in a breakfast experiment where each day…you guessed it…I’ll experiment with a different breakfast. I’ll make notes about how the food feels in my body right after I eat, and then again 2 hours later. Yesterday I had oatmeal (with hemp seed, flax, and berries) and this morning I had two slices of rice toast with almond butter, 1/2 banana, flax, and a bowl of strawberries. I have NEVER had toast for breakfast, and you know what…I REALLY enjoyed it! And better yet, I’m still satisfied.

So, why don’t you give your basic, boring, routine breakfast a little shake up. If you’re starving soon after you eat breakfast, you need to revise. Try adding protein, like a nut butter, seeds, and eggs (you can keep hardboiled eggs for convenience). Perhaps a big smoothie is better suited for you. Just let loose and have fun!

Remember, breakfast is THE most important part of your day and the best gift you can give your body each morning. Don’t skimp!

June 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm 2 comments

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