What Do They Eat? - Sweet Potato Soup

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Meet Whitney Hubbard, she is a yoga instructor that I met at the CrossFit South Brooklyn gym. Whitney has a naturally bright, friendly aura (as you can see); she reminds me of summer with those golden locks and when I learned that she's a surfer that cemented that idea in my brain.  At CFSBK Whitney teaches an excellent yoga class "for athletes" which is a great relief for my tight muscles. Check out Whitney's website, YogaPeel NYC to see where and when you can catch her next yoga class.

For this month's "WDTE" Whitney shares her mother's recipe for a nourishing sweet potato soup just in time for the cold snap.  This soup is loaded with vegetables and has a kiss of ginger and garlic so it's the perfect elixir to keep the cold season at bay.  First let's learn a little more about Whitney's yoga practice and get her thoughts on nutrition.

What Do They Eat? - Kohlrabi Slaw with Grilled Steak

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Tucker, Jess, Christian & Molly
This month I had the opportunity to share a sunny afternoon lunch with Christian and Jess Fox.  This dynamic duo are coaches at the CrossFit South Brooklyn gym that I frequent.  More specifically, Jess is the administrative director/coach and Christian (AKA Fox) is the director of programming/head coach at CFSBK.

Before becoming full time CrossFit coaches both Jess and Christian had entirely different careers. Jess was working for the City of New York within the Administration for Children's Services and Christian was a natural foods chef at a vegan restaurant.  The desire to make changes in their lifestyles led them to CFSBK.  Their previous form of nutrition also evolved.  Jess and Christian now follow a predominantly Paleo diet for about 80% of their meals.  Meat and veggies take center stage in their kitchen.

The day I went to visit the Fox's for lunch the menu was a colorful kohlrabi slaw with a perfectly grilled skirt steak served family style.  It will come to no surprise that Christian is the cook in the household; Jess participates as trusty sous chef.  (Yes, they make a great team in and out of the gym.)
Q & A with the Fox's:

Dietary Fat: is it Good or Bad?

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

BOTH. You see, not all fats are created equal.

The Skinny on Fats

Heavily processed, hydrogenated “trans” fats used in prepared, packaged foods can be extremely damaging to the body. They can compromise the cardiovascular system, immune system, and contribute to behavior problems. They can also lead to weight gain, skin breakouts, high blood pressure, and liver strain.
Many people are scared of fats, but our bodies need fat for insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, and to protect our organs. High-quality fats can steady our metabolism, keep hormone levels even, nourish our skin, hair, and nails, and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly.
Where to Find Healthy Fats

Relax & Water Yourself

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life. 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson 
Relaxation and Exercise 
Summer is often a time for serious play, time off and deep relaxation. Many of us use the summertime to rebuild our reserves for the rest of the busy year. In our work-crazed society we can lose sight of the benefits of slowing down and taking time to rest. Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to enjoy the restorative powers of reconnecting to your body through movement and relaxation. 
The body loves to move. Even though our body is healthiest when it is getting appropriate physical activity, we often feel dread and boredom when we hear the word “exercise”. Think for a moment of what type of movement you would consider fun as opposed to torturous. Perhaps you loathe the idea of a gym, but miss taking dance classes. Maybe you secretly want to try yoga or rollerblading. You could play touch football with your kids, walk with a neighbor in the mornings or go for a swim. The summer offers so many choices – it’s simply up to you to choose which style of movement excites you. Your heart will thank you, your soul will be gratified, your limbs will be more fluid and you’ll sleep better at night. 

Kitchen Collaboration - Tomatoes & Basil with Burrata

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jennifer & Lorenzo
It's tomato season at last!  I can't think of any other time of the year when I want to eat fresh, ripened tomatoes, by the pint, everyday...  

This past weekend I spent an afternoon with my lovely friends, Jennifer and Lorenzo doing just that.  I wanted a catch up with my friends and I had a hunch they would be up for sharing a fresh tomato and basil salad with burrata (so simple, so Italian).   

Jennifer brings such grace and elegance to any meal and to this salad she shared freshly pressed olive oil from her in-laws estate in Tuscany, Podere Ciona.  Between these two you can be sure that you will be taken care of when it comes to food, wine and fun.   Even the most simple of lunches turns into a feast of flavors, wine pairings and good laughs.  

Cool Off with Something New

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The man who does things makes many mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all – doing nothing
-Benjamin Franklin 

Try Something New 
Summer is finally in full force, and the living is easy! Do you notice in summertime how everything seems promising? The plants are in full bloom and the sun feels glorious on your skin. The longer days give you boundless energy, making you feel like it’s possible to achieve all your desires and dreams. Why not harness this energy, ride the wave of summer and try something new? 

Throughout the year we live at an intense pace (physical, emotional and mental), and we often get stuck in routine, either for the sake of efficiency or out of fear of unfamiliar territory. The lack of variety in doing the same things over and over stagnates not only our minds, but also our bodies and hearts. Are you hesitant to break your routine? Fear and excitement have the same physiological expression in our bodies; it is our mind that classifies the feeling as either positive or negative. So the next time you consider a change in routine and your mind says “scary!” see if you can re-frame it as “exciting!” 

What is something you have never done before or that you have wanted to do for a long time? Choose your own adventure: organize a kayak trip, take a dance class, do some exotic traveling or set a goal for a new personal challenge. Or try something simple, like playing flashlight tag with your kids and neighbors or reading in the sunshine. Maybe it’s time to discover a new vegetable dish or to visit a new town, restaurant or beach. 

Whatever adventure calls to you, use this summer to make it happen and enjoy your life. Increasing new experiences and excitement in your life can decrease your dependence on artificial stimulants like caffeine and sugar, leading to more vibrant health. Watch out for massive improvements in physical well-being, mental acuity and motivation, plus a full portfolio of fun.

bok choy
Food Focus: Raw and Cooling Salads 

Why is it that in the summer we naturally crave more fresh and raw foods? These foods have a cooling effect on the body. The lightness and high water, fiber and vitamin content work together to act as our internal air conditioning during these warm months. At this time of year we also need less dense, high-energy food because we get so much energy from being outside in the fresh air and sunshine. 

Kitchen Collaboration - Frozen Fruit Pops

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's no secret that I like sweets as much as the next person but since I have been paying more attention to what I eat I have slowly been eliminating processed sugars from my diet.  So what do I turn to in the hot heat of summer for a cool treat?  Homemade frozen fruit pops!

My clever and crafty friend, Cerrissa sent me a stunning image of a frozen fruit pop last summer and it took me a year to actually make these delightfully cooling treats.  We collaborated on this idea and taste tested our pops in the park.  We were not disappointed and now that I know how quick, easy, and rewarding they are I will be stocking these in my fridge every week until Fall!

Flavors (clockwise): Orange mango, strawberry raspberry, banana cashew cream, & watermelon lime

Refresh Your Snacking with Fruit

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Snack Attack 
There’s no denying that everyone, at one time or another, has had a snack attack. Views on snacking differ. Some feel that snacking is bad and that eating between meals leads to weight gain. Others believe that eating many small meals and snacks throughout the day is healthy for maintaining energy levels and optimal weight. If there were one way of snacking that was right for everyone, we would all be doing it! 
To alleviate snack attack guilt, try to understand why you are snacking and what snacks work best for your body. Perhaps you snack because your daily diet is missing nutrition, or because you are eating too little at meals. You might be snacking to soothe jangled nerves when you are emotional, or to entertain yourself when you are bored. Whatever your reason, acknowledge it and start thinking about how to create a life that is nourishing and truly satisfying. 
Although snacks are no substitute for loving your life, they can be great energy boosters. Many convenient snack foods are highly processed and full of chemicals, additives, damaging fats and refined sugars. When a snack attack hits you, try foods that are filling and satisfying, but also nutritious. Here are some tips:

What Do They Eat? - Pan Steamed Asparagus

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I have an assortment of interesting friends and Zandy Mangold is probably one of the hardest working and most diversified in regards to all the "hats" he wears.  He's a photographer, a baker (he has been affectionately called a Keebler Elf!), a drummer in a band called Manana Couch, and an avid ultra marathon runner.  When Zandy isn't shooting for the New York Post, he is running (literally) hundreds of miles.  In 2012 Zandy placed 4th in one of the most grueling foot races on the planet -- the seven day, self-supported, 150 mile "Atacama Crossing" in Chile.  He's currently training for his next race that will take place in 2014.  
*If you'd like to hear Zandy speak about his experience he will be giving a stage race presentation in Manhattan at Jack Rabbit Sports, May 28th, 6:30 pm.  In addition to a slide show of Zandy's ultra marathon photos from around the world there will be nutrition samples and give aways! 

Why Weight? Try Sprouting This Spring!

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Why Weight? Diets Don’t Work 
You can’t turn on the TV, drive down the road or go to a party without being confronted with America’s hottest obsession: weight. Diets are a billion-dollar industry; companies spend millions and millions luring you to try the latest diet (low carb, high protein, low fat, no fat, you name it) with promises that this will (finally!) be the solution—your shortcut to a thinner body. Advertising efforts also deeply affect our children, who develop distorted body images and are often on diets as early as nine or 10 years of age. 
Our culture touts diet pills, celebrity workouts, convenience foods and trendy diets to help us achieve our desired weight, but these quick-fix solutions have backfired. America’s populace has reached its highest weight in history. About half of Americans are overweight; one-third are obese. Diets steer us away from our common sense and dip deeply into our pocketbooks while eliciting few, if any, lasting results. Why? 
  • Diets don’t work because each person is unique, with different needs based on gender, age, ancestry and lifestyle; how could one diet be right for everyone? 
  • Diets don’t work because they are extreme solutions. As in physics, if a pendulum swings to one extreme, it has to swing equally to the other. A diet might work for a short amount of time, but research shows that almost all diets result in a 10-pound gain once off the diet. 
  • Diets don’t work because they are too restrictive. People who fail on diet plans are not flawed or weak. Diets by nature require discipline and restriction at levels that are unsustainable by a healthy human body. 
  • Most people are disconnected from why they gain weight and see diet as the only culprit. For example, ignoring or discounting emotions is often the first thing to cause weight imbalances. 

What Do They Eat? - Broccoli Rabé with Brown Rice Pasta & Sausage

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In this month's "What Do They Eat" I'd like to introduce Bobbi Lin.  She is not only an excellent cook, hostess, prop stylist, photographer and lip balm maker but she is also the co-founder of the newly launched Good Company magazine.  I love their mission statement, "your favorite people + the right tools + season ingredients = Good Company".  Check out and or buy the Winter - Issue One online. The Summer - Issue Two will be out this June. Keep an eye out!

Bobbi pours her heart and soul into all her projects and as you can imagine she's a busy woman so I thought she would be a great resource for a fast, yet flavorful and healthy dish.  I was so fortunate to get to spend a recent afternoon with this lovely lady, try her recipe, and ask her a few questions...

Q&A with Bobbi:

Spring Cleaning with Greens

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.  -Jan Glidewell 

Spring Cleaning 
People like “stuff”. We tend to hold onto it year after year. We save and stock up on things that we don’t know what to do with anymore. Maybe we keep things because they hold precious memories of days gone by, or they remind us of our parents, grandparents, past loves or childhood. To part with these precious possessions seems out of the question. There is a saying that goes, “You have to get rid of the old to make way for the new.” If you are feeling stuck or stagnant in your life, try spring-cleaning. Throw out some of that stuff, say goodbye to your past and welcome the new energy of your happy, healthy future. Try these three ideas: 

What Do They Eat? - EGGS

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Thursday, March 28, 2013


EGGS
Traditionally eggs are a symbol of fertility and rebirth.  The same can be said for the season of Spring.  In fact you might come across a few colorful eggs hidden in the grass this weekend.  It's that time of year again, when things get lovely.

So EGGS! My friend, Marie-Theres Franke ADORES eggs so she is here to share her "eggs-pert" knowledge and to teach us how to cook the "perfect" boiled egg.  Marie is a health counselor in NYC; she specializes in managing auto-immune conditions through healthy diet and lifestyle choices.  Check out her blog, My Haus Wellness.
Marie-Theres Franke

From Marie:
I have always loved eggs -- from soft boiled, with their perfectly silky yolk, veggie fritattas, to runny sunny-side ups for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Eggs really are incredibly versatile and healthy.  Here's a few reasons why:

  • Eggs are chock full of the most easily metabolized form of the fat-soluble antioxidant nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin 
  • Egg yolks are great for your eyes and brain 
  • Eating eggs can reduce your risk of developing colon and breast cancer  
  • Eggs contain all eight essential protein-building amino acids
  • Vitamins A, K, E, D, B-complex
  • Minerals, iron, phosphorus, potassium and calcium
  • An egg yolk contains about 113 mg of choline (a part of the B-complex vitamins). Choline is important in our brain function as well as the brain development for babies of pregnant women.


An egg is an egg is an egg, right? WRONG! When buying eggs it's very important to pay attention to where they come from.  You might have seen egg cartons labeled free-range, organic, cage free and pastured.  So how do you know which ones to get?  If you've got access to farm fresh eggs, you'll notice that the yolks are darker and almost orange, indicating a higher concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and vitamin A, along with notably higher amounts of folic acid and vitamin B12.  This is largely due to the fact free-roaming hens were allowed to eat grass, bugs and worms out in the sun as they were intended to, as opposed to caged hens who are fed a mixture of grains, corn and soy which deplete the nutritional content of the eggs.  Free-roaming doesn't necessarily mean they weren't fed grains/soy, so the words you really want to look for is pastured and grain-fee, and more importantly GMO corn and soy free.
The Perfect Boiled Egg:
Whether you prefer your egg yolks runny (6 minutes), hard (10 minutes), or somewhere in between (8 minutes),time is of the essence here.

Directions:
Place your eggs in a pot and cover them with water by about one inch. You can put as many as will fit neatly on the bottom of the pot.  Heat your pot on high, uncovered, and then turn off your heat just a second before your water reaches a boil. Cover the pot immediately and let eggs sit for 6 to 10 minutes. Be sure to use a timer -- an extra minute of cooking time can make a big difference.

After the timer has indicated your time is up, carefully pour out the hot water then place pot under cold running water and let the eggs cool down.  When the eggs are cool enough to touch, carefully peel off and discard the shells. Your eggs are ready to eat.  

Try an egg on top of your mixed greens! 
For a different recipe, check out Heidi Swanson's  egg salad.

Chew on This - Quinoa

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chewing 
When it comes to increased health, it’s not just what we eat but how we eat. Digestion actually begins in the mouth, where contact with our teeth and digestive enzymes in our saliva break down food. But these days most of us rush through the whole eating experience, barely acknowledging what we’re putting in our mouths. We eat while distracted—working, reading, talking and watching television—and swallow our food practically whole. On average we chew each bite only eight times. It’s no wonder that many people have digestive problems. 

There are many great reasons to slow down and chew your food: 
  • Saliva breaks down food into simple sugars, creating a sweet taste. The more we chew, the sweeter our food becomes, so we don’t crave those after-meal sweets. 
  • Chewing reduces digestive distress and improves assimilation, allowing our bodies to absorb maximum nutrition from each bite of food. 
  • More chewing produces more endorphins, the brain chemicals responsible for creating good feelings. 
  • It’s also helpful for weight loss, because when we are chewing well, we are more apt to notice when we are full. 
  • In fact, chewing can promote increased circulation, enhanced immunity, increased energy and endurance, as well as improve skin health and stabilize weight. 
  • Taking time with a meal, beginning with chewing, allows for enjoyment of the whole experience of eating: the smells, flavors and textures. It helps us to give thanks, to show appreciation for the abundance in our lives and to develop patience and self-control. 

What Do They Eat? - Chili-Filled Sweet Potato

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I met Olivia Rae James a few summers ago floating on an inner tube down the Edisto River.  Olivia has  has an infectious smile, a glowing spirit and has become an important figure in Charleston, SC.  She has a website and blog which essentially is a gorgeous "love letter" to Charleston and beyond.  As a photographer she catches the essence of all the cities she travels to -- the light, it's inhabitants, eateries and taste makers alike.  (She shot all the beautiful photos in this post.)  

Soul Food - Loving Your Beans & Legumes

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love. 
-Rumi 

Soul Food 
Think for a moment of a food from your past, one that makes you feel great after you eat it for no specific reason. Maybe it is macaroni and cheese, slow-simmered tomato sauce, ice cream cones or potato pancakes. Eating comfort foods (every now and then) can be incredibly healing, even though your rational brain might not consider it highly nutritious. 
Food has the power to impact us on a level deeper than just our physical well-being. What we eat can reconnect us to precious memories, like childhood playtimes, first dates, holidays, our grandmother’s cooking or our country of ancestry. Our bodies remember foods from the past on an emotional and cellular level. Eating this food connects us to our roots and has youthening and nurturing effects that go far beyond the food’s biochemical make-up. 
Acknowledging what different foods mean to us is an important part of cultivating a good relationship with food. This month when we celebrate lovers and relationships, it’s important to notice that we each have a relationship with food—and that this relationship is often far from loving. Many of us restrict food, attempting to control our weight. We often abuse food, substituting it for emotional well-being. Others ignore food, swallowing it whole before we’ve even tasted it. 
What would your life be like if you treated food and your body as you would treat your beloved – with gentleness, playfulness, communication, honesty, respect and love? The next time you eat your soul food, do so with awareness and without guilt, and enjoy all the healing and nourishment it brings you. 

What Do They Eat? - Green "Esmerelda" Smoothies

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Casa O'te Miti
Once in a while you take a vacation to a place that you don't ever want to leave.  It's the perfect temperature, the food is delicious, the landscape is colorful and the people shine from the inside out.  Sayulita, Mexico has my heart right now.  I could have easily stayed in this small fishing village for another couple of weeks or until the end of winter...  
Sayulita is truly a magical place.  It's no wonder that the lovely Canadian couple, Patrick Garramone and Vanessa Juliet, have chosen to return for another season in this surfing hot spot to run the morning shift at Tacos on the Street.  We discovered Sandrita's en la Manana at Tacos on the Street (on the corner of Rodriguez and Av. Revolucion) on our first day when my boyfriend and I were out to find the perfect fish taco (we had many!).  FYI, Tacos on the Street does not serve tacos until the evening but in the morning from 9am to 3pm it's Sandrita's en la Manana and they serve the best smoothies, juices, organic coffee drinks, homemade muffins and vegan loaves in town.  Sandrita makes all the baked goods and Vanessa and Patrick were instrumental in creating the selection of mouth-watering smoothies.  They have fun names like, Poncho, Valentina, and Gaudalupe to match their different characteristics.  My favorite is the Esmerelda and it is fittingly green in color. 

A New Year, A New You

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

True life is lived when tiny changes occur. 
-Leo Tolstoy 

New Year, New You 
A lot of people begin the New Year by making resolutions. We’ve all been there. We take a vow to lose weight, exercise more or spend more time with our family. We start the year with great intentions, but then we quickly relapse into old habits. Why is it so hard to stick to those New Year’s resolutions? 
Here are some ways you can make your intentions a reality this year: 

1. Write down your intentions and keep them in a visible place, like taped to your bedroom mirror or the dashboard of your car. 

2. Get to the source of whatever is keeping you in a rut. Are you in a stressful relationship that causes you to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every night? Are you stressed at your job and feel too tired to exercise after work? If you don’t tackle the root of the behavior, it will be much harder to accomplish your goal. 

3. Be clear about what your life would look like once you achieve your goal. If you resolve to go to the gym more, how will this benefit you? Get connected to the result of your action, and you will be more likely to stick with your plan. 

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