Saturday, March 21, 2015

Wakaya and Foodtrainers a match made it heaven (or Fiji)

There are foods and food products I like and then those I love. When I love something there is no limit. Wakaya’s ginger and turmericteas and more recently their coarse sea salt (avocados love this) and dilo cream (natural sunscreen in it) are on my love list.  So I’m honored that Wakaya interviewed Carolyn and I and posted our new Double Golden Milk recipe. Check it out for our 5 favorite food trends and more.
And here's the recipe
Wakaya Double Golden Milk
What you need (and if you don’t have all of these, it’ll be ok)
1/2 tsp. Wakaya turmeric
1/2 tsp. Wakaya ginger
1 cup water
Pinch Wakaya sea salt 
Pinch black pepper (pepper increases the effectiveness of turmeric)
1 tbs coconut oil (traditional recipes call for almond oil which I didn’t have)
Few drops almond extract 
Few drops Nu Stevia (optional) or Manuka honey
*Add more sea salt or stevia as needed 
What to do
1.     Put turmeric, ginger, pepper and water into a small saucepan, add water and simmer 8-10 minutes or until this mixture reduces and thickens.
2.     Add almond milk and coconut oil (and honey if you are using). Stir until oil is incorporated. Continue until mixture is warm (a few minutes).
3.     Add salt, almond extract and stevia (if using) and stir again.
4.     Voila- you’re golden!
    Have you tried Wakaya? Or Golden Milk? What would you say are food trends you've been hearing about? Maybe we'll do a smoothie version (if it ever stops snowing) but in the meantime....

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Love Pizza? Top 10 Guilt Free Ways to Enjoy It

Cauliflower Pizza Crust Perhaps?
Fitbit posted my top 10 healthy pizza ideas today. You can check it out here. There's no reason why healthy should ever mean living without your favorite food fixes.
What's your favorite all time pizza? Healthy pizza tweak? Pizza questions

Monday, March 16, 2015

Should you think about food all the time?

Last week a client came in for her first follow-up session. She recapped her week and said, “I feel like I’m thinking about food all the time, should I be?” I have to say I hear this a lot. I dug a little and a lot of this client’s food thoughts were of the planning variety. She also had a little insecurity over whether she was doing all of this right. I reassured this client. “You’re learning a new language and it’s not second nature yet. Of course it’s taking up mind time.” And then the follow up “not to worry, over time I don’t want you thinking about food 24/7 but some degree of forethought is always good.”

Not all food thoughts are created equal.
I was sent this link about a disorder called Orthorexia. This article questions this diagnosis as being anti healthy, conscious eating. I feel differently. It’s one thing to vet the foods you put into your body. It’s another if situations where you cannot control food choices are completely avoided or if food concerns outweigh food pleasure. It’s a fine line. Even some of the criteria for orthorexia sound a lot like things I recommend…planning your food day etc. My advice is that the more on top of healthy eating you are, the less you should be thinking about food. I tend to think the most destructive food thoughts are when food is off.  I’d take deliberation over guilt any day. Only you know if your food thoughts are bringing you sanity or stress.
Would you say you think about food a lot? Are these thoughts generally positive or negative? What’s your feeling on the disorder orthorexia?

Friday, March 13, 2015

My must-haves for healthy travel

Monday we sent out our Spring break newsletter. If you placed an order, be patient. Many people did (thank you) and my partner in food crime, Carolyn, is conveniently Spring Breaking in Cartagena.
I’m going away late next week (thank fucking god). This week I’ve been readying clients for their trips (I love hearing where people are going).  So what do I bring?

Green juice/airplane meal- I am obsessive about both starting a trip on track healthfully and avoiding plane food. Chugging a green juice while I wait on the security line and bringing a kale salad or and avocado sandwich on Paleo or gluten free bakery bread are my staples. Who knows what lies ahead, control what you can.

In flight- I’m very ritualistic which is the best euphemism for compulsive. I bring my Wakaya for when the drink cart comes around. Generally I’ll get hot water. If it’s an overnight flight this may be Wakaya/vodka (feel free to judge). 

Vitamins- many people leave these at home and I feel they’re even more important away. Chances are, you probably will not have many probiotic foods (I take cocochia and Sunbiotic almonds for this reason) or may wear sunscreen thus blocking vitamin D potential- use the sunscreen, pack D drops if that was unclear.

Vacation Constipation (VC) maybe it's because my diet is pretty consistent at home or my body’s regulated or I was told once my colon was sluggish (so I have colon insecurity now, I hate anything sluggish) but VC sucks. My family jokes about my digestion away. So I take preemptive action. Natural calm, triphala, probiotics, chia are in my Food First Aid Kit.

For more ideas and newness check out the newsletter. And if you’d like to place an order here’s our store link
 **NYC orders can be filled within 24 hours on weekdays.
What do you pack in your Food First Aid Kit? What are your biggest food challenges away? 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Kate Hudson Says This is Your Cake

I was reading Shape Magazine’s March issue (double Foodtrainers in there, Carolyn discusses “souping” and I explain the pros of pistachios). Kate Hudson is on the cover looking pretty damn good. In her interview she tells a story about an experience in France.

I don’t have the article it in front of me but she describes a meal she was having in Paris when she was a little younger. There was lots of food and wine and she was partaking in it all (if you have Goldie’s genes I guess there’s some leeway). Cake arrives for dessert and an older French woman approaches the table. I’m not sure if she spoke in French or English but as Kate was about to taste the cake said, “no, no, no dear this is your cake” and gestures to the wine.
You simply cannot eat it all and look like Kate Hudson on that cover. We may not be able to look like Kate Hudson regardless but that’s another story. However, feeling good doesn’t mean you’re trapped at destination deprivation you just have to pick your pleasure. In my book I discuss my favorite restaurant rule The Rule of 1 of 4.
When you’re out (or home for that matter) the main “weighty” variables are booze, bread, a dinner carb and dessert. Even if you’re reasonable with portions if some wine, a bread crust, rice and dessert bites is your norm, you may need to be a little more choosy. On a typical night pick one “cake” max as French lady said. On a special occasion when dessert is expected, perhaps you’re at 2 of 4. Strategy is soothing; try to preplan your picks. I’m not out often in a week, so when I am I bet you can guess my choice…

What’s your strategy when you eat out? What’s your downfall? Of these 4 choices what would you most often pick?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What The Fork Are You Eating? Giveaway

I don’t really respect that many people. In terms of nutrition, I could rattle of a dozen RDs whose work I applaud but I am picky.  love nothing more than people who are smarter than I am, know more and when they pair that with passion? They’ve got me. Enter Stefanie Sacks culinary nutritionist, radio show host (she hosted me with Little Book of Thin) and now author. I asked Stefanie a few questions and we’re giving away 2 copies of her fantastic, new book Whatthe Fork Are You Eating?IF you think you know a lot about food, I promise you this book will tell you more.

How did this book come about? Who would you say it’s for?
What The Fork embodies roughly 30 years of my learning: first as a kid trying to get well, then as a culinary student, nutrition student and ultimately a culinary nutrition professional and impassioned food warrior. What The Fork is meant for the food and nutrition neophytes as well as the mavens. There is something in it for everyone (hopefully). Even I have so much more to learn!!!

I love your “top-rated” terminators and you do a great job explaining the history and peril with many ingredients currently used. It’s not just “don’t eat this” but you provide the reason why. What would be the ingredients you feel people should cut out above all others?
 Food dyes are likely my number one ingredient to eliminate. There is extensive research linking them to carcinogenicity, neurotoxicity and genotoxicity (see Rainbow of Risks report by Center for Science in the Public Interest). Red Dye #40 in particular has been directly linked to hyperactivity in already hyperactive children. U.S. consumption of food dye has increased five-fold since 1955 and today children and adults consume products with not just one dye in them, but multiple dyes. And it is important to note that when studies were conducted years ago, they only addressed single use dyes (meaning one dye at a time) and their effects were not studied on children. Food can effectively be colored with healthier alternatives like turmeric or beet powder so I highly suggest opting out of the petroleum-based artificial colors. 

The whole Europe/US contrast in ingredient safety drives me nuts. Why are so many more ingredients banned in Europe? How can companies justify dye free or superior products produced there versus here?
 I am honestly blown away by this reality. The European Food Safety Authority was established in 2002 in response to a series of food crises in the late 1990’s. Their job? To assess risk relating to food and feed safety. They enlist a “precautionary principle” which essentially means that when there is substantial and credible evidence pointing to dangers to human or environmental health then protective action should be taken even though there may still be some measure of scientific uncertainty. Bottom line, the EU (European Union and its keystone European Food Safety Authority) care more about human and environmental health than the U.S. Government who, in my opinion, are playing roulette with true food safety (and health) daily because of their insidious relationship with Big Food and Big Ag. Food companies in the US use inferior ingredients because they can and because their bottom line is ultimately their priority.

Your pantry section is great. If someone is getting their food shopping act together what are the top 5 ingredient swaps that you would suggest?"
  • If cereal is a must, go for the truly whole grain sort in rolled or steel cut oats (made with water and topped with a little maple syrup or honey, fresh fruit and nuts), even muesli (no sugar added version)
  • Opt out of the corn, soy and canola oils (likely genetically modified) and opt into extra virgin olive oil (even grape seed oil) and coconut oil
  • Dabble in sugar with honey, maple syrup or even raw cane sugar versus any of the artificials
  • Instead of using too much salt to season food, become a mixologist with fresh or dried herbs and spices. Also have San-J low sodium tamari on hand (less sodium per serving than salt) to lift food flavor
  • Instead of the pasta all of the time, try spaghetti squash as an alternative or simply spiralize a zucchini 

Your recipes look great; at my house we have a high degree of repetition with our recipes (makes it easy). What recipes from book do you make most often?
My go to recipes are the my Power Green “Fuice” and Untraditional Egg Salad (basically eggs and mashed avocado) for breakfast. Skillet Broccoli, Lazy Lentil Soup, Red Quinoa Tabouli, Cowgirl Chili and Mon Freres Meatballs are other favorites. 

Thanks Stef,  you can catch Stefanie this Saturday March 7th at TEDx Manhattan—Changing The Way We Eat. Her talk—What The Fork Are You Eating? Small Changes in Food Choice Can Make BIG Everyday Differences. To stay connected with Stefanie, sign up for her blog -- bi-weekly ruminations, radio shows and recipes, and follow her on: FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Her book,What the Fork Are You Eating? (Tarcher/Penguin Random House) is available wherever books are sold.

Are food dyes on your radar? Which ingredients puzzle you most?
Any great, new food books other than this one you’re reading?
To be eligible for this giveaway
Comment below
And tweet “@Foodtrainers  is giving away 2 copies of the best new food book @stefanie_sacks #healthy #food #books #nutrition

Monday, March 2, 2015

Maybe you don't need fixing

I’m a clipper. Even though everything is available online when I read an article I like, I rip it out of the newspaper or magazine(when it is my newspaper or magazine, I mean I have manners). This weekend, for some reason I was fascinated learning Tupperware parties are huge in Indonesia. Of course I left thinking that I hope the Indonesian women do not microwave in plastic, do they know about BPAs? How can I tell them? Then, I moved to the Style section.  I’m always a sucker for the Modern Love column but this one about a mother and daughter and poems in her shoe? I saved that. But there’s always one article each weekend that is my #1.
I am still thinking about “Medicating Women’s Feelings”.  While the author, Julie Holland, discusses that mood meds are overprescribed, particularly to women, she also explained that part of what makes women women is our moods. “But we are under constant pressure to restrain our emotional lives. We have been taught to apologize for our tears, to suppress our anger and to fear being called hysterical.”
In both my personal and professional life I am a confessed fixer. Fixing sounds like a good thing. If my children have an issue with school or friends, I like to problem solve. And as they are getting older I like helping them problem solve. At work, if a client has a time of day their eating goes off the rails, we’ll strategize. Some of this is good and helpful but perhaps it’s different when it comes to mood and meds?
As Holland says “we need to stop labeling our sadness and anxiety as uncomfortable symptoms and to appreciate them as a healthy, adaptive part of biology.”  Many positive tonics suggested in the article are what we endorse in our office namely sleep, sunshine and nutrients. But even if we aren’t prescribing meds I worry that sometimes important change comes from sitting with feelings that aren’t the best. After all, how do we notice when we feel especially bouncy or confident if we don’t give those other feelings a little airtime? Some things can fix themselves?
Julie Holland has a book with a fantastic title  Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, The Sleep You’re Misssing, The Sex You’re Not Having and What’s Really Making You Crazy. And I am not anti med at all…hope you got that. I may be suggesting Valerian instead of Ambien but if we’re being really natural perhaps there should be a little more waiting and seeing…and feeling.

Do you think we over-fix negative emotions? How are you feeling today? Anything you read this weekend that stayed with you?