Friday, January 31, 2014

Team Crunch: Top 10 Healthy, Crunchy Snacks

We usually divide snacks into team salty and team sweet. I don’t know where that leaves my favorite salty-sweet. Regardless of the flavors you prefer, most of us like to crunch. In LBT, I explain that crunchy is stress relieving (provided of course we are crunching on the right things). In honor of the Super Bowl, my crunchy lineup:

Dang Chips

We cannot keep these salted caramel coconut chips in stock. Yes, coconut oil is an immune booster and good for our “good” cholesterol but these are just about the most delicious chip around.

Halo Chips
Our snack queen brought these for me to taste- seaweed chips hmn. I tasted one and went back to my office and then I wanted more and more. Fortunately the bag was small. These are gluten free, the ingredients are great and a portion of the proceeds goes to help the oceans, nice.

Mary’s Gone JalapeƱo

We’ve loved Mary’s Gone products for years. Gluten free with good ingredients quinoa, sesame and brown rice, now we love that Mary’s gone spicy.

Quinn Popcorn

I’ve written about Quinn before but it’s great for when you have people over. We have a shelf in our pantry for Quinn in Vermont. Now there’s a new Quinn, pre-popped Kale and Sea Salt

Food Should Taste Good

Aside from fantastic ingredients, Food Should Taste Good makes the best flavored chips. I adore the Kimchi but there’s still a place in my heart for lime oh and another place for The Works.


You’ve heard of granola but what if you swapped the grains for greens? Yup Greenola, pretty great.

Way Better Chips

Perhaps you’re familiar with sprouted bread? Well these are sprouted chips. And they’re delicious too, try the sweet chili tortilla chips. 

Hail Merry Pecans and Bhuja

I’m always on the lookout for nuts and seeds for my beloved nutcase. I fill it with something different every day.  Two new favorites are Hail Merry rosemary pecans and these amazing Bhuja Peas.

Natures All Strawberry

These remind me of Crunchberries, you know Captain Crunch Crunchberry?
A healthier version, these are freeze dried berries. Great for all ages in fact a client’s baby was enjoying the banana flavor during our session.
What do you reach for when it’s “crunch” time? Have you tried any from my crunchy lineup? Which sounds best?

Monday, January 27, 2014

I Call it Thin, You Call it Strong, She Calls it Healthy but It's All in the Approach

I was so honored the fantastic site Well and Good named LBT “One of the 6 New Healthy Food Books That Don’t Promote Fad DietsThe write up is great saying, “her tips are relevant, actionable, and easy to implement and she delivers tools to help you use them, like checklists, recipes, and side notes on "how to boil the perfect egg. (It's hard, right??)” But there was this “its name may suggest an obsession with getting thin (strong is the new skinny!), but don't let the title fool you.”

Really? Does the word thin suggest obsessiveness? If the title had been “Get Thin or Be Miserable” I’d understand some implied negativity.  When I ask clients for their goals the words healthy, thin, fit, confident and yes even…skinny (don’t mind that one either) come up most often. Many LBT readers and Foodtrainers’ clients know that part of the weight or size puzzle is that it takes planning and strategy even to maintain your weight and this strategy needs to change with age. But whether we’re talking thin, skinny or strong it’s really all in the approach.

The same day as the Well and Good list, my friend Aidan posted a great recap of our Happier Hour discussion appropriately titled Thin is Not A Dirty Word and 9 other Lauren Lessons.
But that would not be the final word on thin, this comment was posted:
I have to say that I think our culture is too focused on being thin. I agree that thin and healthy can coexist (for some) but I argue that the focus needs to shift to being healthy and the byproduct will be reaching our “healthy” body weight. My health (and appearance) improved tremendously when I started to focus on getting more of the good stuff (nutrient dense foods) into my body. I have educated myself on what is good for me – eating colorful plant based foods and a moderate amount of healthy proteins, drinking lots of water, and getting adequate sleep and moderate amounts of exercises that I enjoy. I choose this approach because it’s about adding good stuff not depriving myself of the bad stuff. I guess I prefer to focus on the positive…what I can “gain” from being healthy (energy, glowing skin, longevity and vitality) not what I can loose on the scale.
While I’ll agree that we care about weight and appearance a little too much, the solution is to provide healthy strategies to approach food and exercise rather than pretending we only care about being healthy (or strong). The truth is, even this commenter acknowledged a change in her appearance so even if she’s anti scale she’s conscious of her looks too, we all are.
I also agree with the reader’s proactive steps and “additive” approach. My days are spent cheerleading for my clients. It would be so pathetic if my professional training resulted in helping people lose 5 pounds. There are so many “bigger” things that stem from taking control of your nutrition and the confidence that comes with it.  In the Little Book of Thin, I discuss how we can end food guilt, applaud ourselves for the effort cooking and “planning” takes and feel our best. Is that “obsessive”?
The irony is that I obsess over my body and weight when I eat the wrong foods. When my clothes feel good, when I’m eating foods that agree with my body and yes, when I feel thin I am not obsessed or overthinking any of it. Let’s not get stuck on a word or try to deny we care about our appearance. Instead let’s direct our energy toward whatever self-improvement means to each of us, spread positivity and eat the most delicious food possible. Deal?  
Do you thin is off putting? Or do you think it's semantics/splitting hairs? What are the adjectives you'd use to describe how you'd like your body to feel or look? 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Top 5 Healthy Shots with the Daily Shot and a bonus

I had no success with a screen shot, clearly oh well.
I look good, I look good, I look exactly the way you wish you could.” Do you think I’ve lost my mind with this sudden burst of confidence? Sorry, I just can’t get the music from The Daily Shot out of my head and if you watch their segments you will know exactly what I mean.  Clients and friends have been asking, “are you having fun with the book stuff? While I will go to all ends of the earth for LBT (I mean I went to Jericho, Long Island in the rain this past weekend) but fun? It’s work except for this segment on healthyshots.

I really think shots are the new vitamins. Rather than mindlessly downing a handful of pills, I favor more of an a la carte, issue specific, approach.Ali Wentworth was so funny during the segment but before we started she was welcoming and sweet. When we arrived she was curled up in the green room reading the book. Her greeting was perfect “I have a ton of questions for you but I really want to ask only the ones that pertain to me”. Don’t we all?

I couldn’t name names for the 5 shots during the segment but here’s more information:

Sea Buckthorn- we used Sibu, sea buckthorn puree. I’vediscussed sea buckthorn before but I am thrilled with this unsweetened versionSibu now has (11 calories an oz., 1 g sugar).

Astragalus- I like a brand called Fushi. A little worried I handed my bottle over to my publicist when her daughter was sick, a winter necessity.

Aloe- if you’ve tried aloe and have been repulsed by the taste, try George’s brand. Part of me worries that without the taste it’s not working but this does.

Turmeric- we used a shot from one of my favorite, juice shops Organic Avenue. I’m also fond of the Turmeric Elixirs.

E3Live- we go way back with E3, an energy boosting necessity you’ll find it in the frozen section of health food stores.

At the end of this segment Ali asks about something for nausea. She was kidding but Snack Queen and I had these with our lunch yesterday. Ginger + probiotic.
Are you more vitamin or shot oriented? If you’re vitamin averse would you be more inclined to do a shot? Are we immature (or Tulanians) or is there not something fun about pulling out the shot glasses during the day?

Monday, January 13, 2014

My Advice to Brooke (Shields)

About two weeks ago, I was on Today talking LBT. Brooke Shields was guest hosting and she really was as nice as can be. When I arrived and saw her clutching her copy of my “little book” it was awesome. Even better? She told me she read the whole thing. Yes! So we did the segment and it was a lot of fun. My “I think that went well and I never think that” moment was cut short when Brooke pulled me aside. In her whispery voice she said, “loved the book but it’s sooooo hard to do everything” she was clearly distressed. I reassured Brooke “you don’t have to do everything just pick the pieces that speak to you.” She hadn’t thought of that.

Since them, it’s been a great feeling to hear from my friends, clients and readers I didn’t know before that they are putting LBT to use.  One of my friends I’ve known since preschool emailed:
So my mom gets your book, proceeds to follow ALL of your advice and has lost 8 pounds since 12/31.  She's been cooking with quinoa and sprinkling hemp seeds and making your recipes.  She ordered e-boost and omega 3's and miso.  She's totally on board with your plan, even using the treadmill to break a sweat instead of just going for a walk.  How great, right?
And as I boarded the train from a Westchester book signing I received this
I have to say I'm a bit obsessed with LBT.  Last week, a review was pushed to me via Health Magazine.  I read it and immediately downloaded it to my iPad, devoured it (no pun intended) and started it the next morning. In fact, I bought a hard copy so I could easy flip back to parts and have been stalking Lauren and "Foodtrainers" on the web. I've been on LBT it for less then a week (following it to a "T"-- not grazing or picking the kids scraps is the hardest!) But it has worked-- 4 lbs already and a refocused mindset.   In addition, I have my husband following the plan to get rid of the Holiday 5 and to
jumpstart his health. I hope this wasn't TMI but I had to share.
Love this graphic via Juli Novotny/Pure Mamas blog about LBT
TMI? Never but I got an equal thrill when my brother in law, at the LI rainy signing, said “Laur- what’s this that I can’t have a bagel?” I explained the reasoning behind my no list. He left Whole Foods with sprouted bagels, amazing.

Look, I sat down with the Sunday paper yesterday and “52 Places to Go in 2014” immediately pulled me in (I’m all about the Travel and the Style section, sorry). And within seconds a feeling came over me- I’m lucky if I hit 1 of the places mentioned. Chances are Albania and Ecuador and Southwestern Dominican Republic would never get ticked off my travel list. And no matter how many tweets and interviews I do about the book, I get the feeling of not being able to do it all, see it all, tackle it all. And what should you do if you feel this way? Just do something. Find whatever your sprouted bagel or “picks of kids scraps” is and focus there.
What do you do when feeling overwhelmed? Are you a “follow to a T” person or more of a tweaker? Which of the 52 places would you like to go?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Weight Equivalent of Drybar

Thankfully Carolyn Brown AKA onesmartbrownie or my right hand wo-man took the blog reigns today. I’m more of an eyelash junkie but we’ll talk about that later…

Can I tell you a secret? I’m a Drybar junkie. “Half cosmopolitan, half southern comfort” all while sipping on fruit infused water? Yes please. You just can’t recreate what happens there, not to mention I’d rather not risk a stay at the burn unit via curling iron. Drybar makes me happy- ok, drybar makes my hair look good which makes me happy. Same with Soul Cycle (yes Foodtrainers office is a soul:flywheel battlefield). It gets me spinning because you know in the freezing weather none of us are going for long runs outside. Forget about riding a spin bike solo.

So maybe you want to lose some weight, go gluten free, lower your cholesterol or improve your energy. But if “consistently healthy forever” sounds like a steep, scary request, we get it. The nutrition equivalent of better hair or a better sweat is Foodtrainers Food-stalking. Outsourcing is the new willpower.

It’s no secret (unless you have yet to read #LBT, what are you waiting for?) that we’ll have clients email us when the “kitchen is closed” or have them #TIDEI (tweet it don’t eat it).  Stalking is more serious as we find frequent check ins work wonders in the name of weight loss. “Use me” is not a phrase I am blabbing in other areas of life but clients who “use us” get great results.

Apps cannot talk back on a personal level, but we can. Our stalking program lasts 3-week (21 days) with daily check ins; think of it as a shorter (and slimmer) leash. You will stalk us and we will stalk you too.

From you, we expect to see a daily food journal by 9pm. From us, you will receive a daily trim-down tip, along with food journal feedback. Stalk your self skinny - You’ll feel and look better – and feel free to instagram the results like I do my drybar locks. Email us for pricing info and to get started at Stalking session starts Monday and already 20-something stalkies, you don't have to be in NYC or a Foodtrainers client.
What do you outsource/which areas do you need help with? Are you app-inclined when it comes to food? Ever stalked or been stalked (kidding, maybe)?