Monday, May 1, 2017

F-Monday, here are a few distractions

I know there are a lot of blogs that do Friday roundups or “best of the week” lists. I don’t know about you but by Friday, I’m weekend-focused. I need inspiration on Monday. If you’re a “grab the bull by its horns” type of Monday person, that’s terrific. I’m not, it takes me most of Monday to wake up and accept that the weekend is over.
And so, I’m going to try to give you a few useful tidbits on Mondays. Instead of TGIF, maybe ISIM “I’m sorry it’s Monday” …no that isn’t a good acronym for reasons I’m sure you gathered.
Anyway…
  1. I spent most of my weekend watching this on Netflix. There were a bunch of things I found unrealistic, even irresponsible but I couldn’t stop watching. Our school sent an email about this series. After watching it, I feel it’s a useful basis for discussing a hard topic with my kids. The series also confirmed how difficult it is for parents to connect with teens, even if you feel you’re a good parent.
  2. And this is my current favorite podcast. The episodes with Sheryl Sandberg and Ina Garten were fantastic. I ran extra errands yesterday listening to Sheryl talk about her latest book.
  3. I’m a Part’s Unknown fan, I already knew Anthony Bourdain avoids airplane food (and that’s impressive because he’s away 200+ days a year). The Times revealed some of his packing habits- he always brings a real book and its often a novel that takes place in his destination.
  4. Saturday night we had drinks and dinner with my high school friends. Food and drink highlights were the kale margarita here and Brussels sprouts with blue cheese at dinner afterward. That's a happy marriage (Brussels and blue).
  5. And finally, on Friday I received a delivery from Not MilkNYC. Their non-dairy milks are a blend of nuts and seeds and even the flavors are lightly sweetened (we’re talking 1 date per bottle). I found Colombe’s cold brew coffee, Not Milk’s chocolate milk and a touch of NuNaturals to be an enjoyable pick-me-up.


Any favorite finds you’d like to share? Are you pro-Monday or more of a F-Monday person?

Friday, April 21, 2017

The best way to drink


TGIF! I don’t know about you but my week was super busy and today isn’t any exception.
Monday night I attended a launch party for Bobbi Brown’s new book Beauty From the Inside Out. I contributed a section to this beautiful book, “About Alcohol”. Bobbi, like us at Foodtrainers, enjoys a cocktail but also likes sorting out the best way to incorporate alcohol and still feel (and look) good.
She had a pretty coconut water, seltzer and vodka mason jar mixture at the party.


Oddly enough, also this week, Men’s Journal wanted a nutritionist to chime in on hangover helpers. Now I personally do not encounter hangovers very often. For the most part I’m a one and done drinker but I also follow our 1:1 rule. More on that here. I know there are some health experts who do not drink and others who do not wish to publicize if they do. We're all for transparency in life (and with (clear) cocktails too.

Are you someone who likes a drink or prefers to pass? What do you drink? Do you think alcohol can be part of an otherwise healthy lifestyle?

Monday, April 17, 2017

People would rather talk sex (and STDs!) versus poop

I look thrilled
Last week, I spent the better part of a day talking about IBS. IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and there are two types IBS-C and IBS-D. C and D stand for constipation and diarrhea lest you think my work is glamorous. The panel I was on had a GI doctor (who developed the IBS survey yielding the info in the title), a psychologist and me. Oh, and Wendy Williams was the host and moderator.
I’m going to digress for a minute to note that Wendy Williams has lost a lot of weight, like 50 or 75 pounds so I was a little taken aback when she walked into our rehearsal. She made the discussion livelier and played video of people on the Santa Monica pier being interviewed about their bowel habits. 
My big head

Some salient suggestions for GI problems:
Keep a food journal- I know it’s almost required as a nutritionist for me to suggest this. It's imperative with GI issues in order to determine your personal food triggers.
Some common IBS triggers are fried foods, gluten, sweeteners, chocolate, carbonation and caffeine. However, this is very individual.
Eat fermented foods- not only do these foods (yogurt, fermented cottage cheese, kombucha, kimchi) contain probiotics which can reduce gas and bloating BUT fermentation makes foods more bioavailable and nutritious. Yes, nutrients are produced in the fermentation process.
You should eat fermented foods even if you take a probiotic supplement.
Take vitamin D- there are so many reasons to take vitamin D3 but 82% of people with IBS don’t get enough D.
Beware of your basics- many people come to me with questions about obscure supplements. For constipation, for example, start with getting enough fluids (warm fluids best if binded) and doing vigorous, standing exercise such as running or rebounding. Make sure you're doing the basic, easy behaviors before getting fancy.
Talk to someone on your healthcare team about GI issues especially if they are impacting your social or work life.

On a personal  "GI" note, I’m a big fan of magnesium, kiwis, cocochia and adore my squatty potty, see- it’s easy to share. Any "pressing" digestion questions?

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Me, meditation and a work in progress (without much progress)


I know the benefits of meditation and I’m in awe of those of you with a regular “practice”.
I’ve investigated every form of meditation (or many). I went to a transcendental meditation info session but found it too cultish. I’ve done online courses but often look at how much time is left…I mean the computer is right there. Today, I attended a group meditation at MOMA, the Museum of Modern art.
My friend suggested the idea and the photos online showed people on cushions in front of beautiful artwork or gazing out at the sculpture garden. When I arrived at the museum, we were told to go “down two flights” which seemed odd. “I’m already claustrophobic” my friend told me. We followed the crowd to the theatre at the museum. It was dark, we were in seats, there was a photo of artwork called “Radius” on the stage’s screen. I was anti already.

The founder of Flavorpill took the stage introduced our teacher (who had a cushion by the way). She told us close our eyes and place our hands in our laps. She didn’t tell everyone to silence their phones and so regularly there were beeps and gongs and all other annoying phone sounds. Next, she talked about belly breath. I still don’t think I’m 100% sure what belly breath is- deep breaths? My mind drifted off to dissecting what that term means. Then Amy, I think that was her name, explained how to count your breath and she suggested exhaling for longer than you inhale. That’s probably old news for those of you meditation pros but I found that helpful yet difficult.
I think teacher preference is personal. I decided midway through belly breathing that Amy was a little annoying or not inspirational enough although that probably stemmed from my frustration. I was frustrated that I was thinking about what to get my father in law for his birthday. I was frustrated that I was frustrated with the subway rumbling and the museum noise.
Before I paint a completely negative picture, there were a few glimmers of hope. First, some of the affirmations or concrete ideas resonated with me. “Think about the best version of today, or the best for you or your family.” And by the time Amy told us to open our eyes, after doing some weird rubbing our hands together and placing them over our eyes, I couldn’t believe a half hour had passed. I left the museum feeling more positive. I’m not sure if that’s because the sun was shining and I got a taxi OR if it was due to the meditation. I’m not done with meditation. I feel like the people who take 10 hours to finish a marathon. They still finish, right? As for my friend, I texted asking if she'd go again. "Probably not again for Moma or any meditation but glad I went and always great to see you".