Category Archives: nutrition

I’m loving my citrusy summery juice

I’ve been enjoying my morning juice so much lately, I thought I’d share an updated summery recipe. Into the Vitamix, I throw:

About 6 oz water

A quarter of a grapefruit

1 whole Clementine orange

A light grating of fresh ginger

A handful of spinach or kale

A sprig of parsley

4-5 baby carrots

About 1/4 cup frozen mango or pineapple (instead of ice)

Add some green powder if you use it (we use Amazing Grass Raw Reserve), but even without, what a blast of nutrients in your glass! I hope you love it like I do.

 

Are You a Nibbler?

Does this sound familiar: You head over to your parents’ house for Thanksgiving dinner, hang out a while, and finally sit down to the table for the grand meal… only to find that your mom won’t be fixing herself a plate. Apparently she’s been “nibbling all day” and is no longer hungry. Right? Heard that one?

It happens all the time, not just on holidays, and it might be sabotaging the good moves you’ve made in the diet arena. It’s sampling as you cook, or it’s eating what the kids left over, or it’s munching on the crust of the pizza when the box has long been abandoned. All these little bites—the ones that don’t make it onto your food diary log—add up, and their total calories could be worth noting.

You might be thinking “I totally do that!” but you might also be thinking “Do I do that?” There are people who consciously nibble as they bake or cook, and there are people who do it without realizing they do it. It’s time to start paying attention. If you prepare dinner for your family but find you have little appetite when it’s time to plate the food, you are likely a nibbler. Try to notice what your hands and jaws are doing while you’re cooking.

If you know you’re guilty already, curb the problem by first identifying why you do it—do you feel guilty throwing your kids’ uneaten food away? No problem. Pack it up and put it in the fridge for tomorrow, or add it to the compost bin. You might just consistently cook more than you need to. Prepare less, let your family eat it all, and if they’re still hungry, offer them an apple. Do you hate to leave just one bite (not enough to put in Tupperware)? Pause just long enough to think—is it really worth adding that bite to my midsection? I thought not. Women especially have a tough time tossing out perfectly good food. It’s probably got something to do with starving children in Africa. It’s a good instinct, but it’s not our fault those kids are starving, and adding inches to our midlines is not going to feed anyone else’s kids.

As you nibble while you cook, start writing it down. Don’t make it official—little bites don’t need to be recorded in My Fitness Pal—but keep a notepad by your cutting board, and as you nibble, scribble it down. I think by the fifth time you have to wipe your hands to pick up the pen to note yet another “tiny bite,” you might be cured—for the day anyway!

What this all amounts to is adding some consciousness to your food preparing. Realize that all those little bites of crust add up to calories you absolutely didn’t need that day, and would have been perfectly fine without. Occasional tasting is fine. It’s the habitual nibbling that might be the reason you can’t seem to part with those last couple of unwanted pounds.

Energy for a Rainy Day

Made another batch of my yummy version of energy bars this morning.

It was storming and the whole family was hanging out in the kitchen. What better to do than bake vegan cookies and roll up some energy balls to store in the fridge for the week? These little bite-size treats are made with nothing but real food–dried fruit, nut butter, and honey. The original recipe can be found here.

Energy Bites

Just two of these might take the edge off your hunger pre-workout.

Reacquaint yourself with these homemade “energy bars.” You can add flaxseeds, chia seeds, even protein powder if you like. Your body (and pocketbook) will thank you for making them yourself. 

WWKE? (or What Would Karen Eat?)

I have been asked on occasion to keep my own (public) food diary, so that you all can see what a normal, not superhuman, mostly vegan, highly food-conscious person eats all day. I thought today would be a good day to start because it’s a typical atypical day—we all have them—when work started earlier than usual, I’m a little bit sleep deprived, it’s date/yoga night so we eat dinner out….

Anyway, here’s what has entered my body today, as of 11:30am:

1 cup of coffee with splash of soy creamer

Small bowl of Barbara’s cereal (what’s it called? My son calls it the “hexagon cereal”) with rice milk and blueberries

Trained one client

Almond Dream yogurt

Trained another client

Oatmeal. Finally! This is what I usually start with. ½ cup of oats, sprinkling of raisins and walnuts, some blueberries, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, and 1 cup of rice milk.

I also drank my tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (mixed with water), and just made a glass of juice to take with me into my next class.

Juice: About 6 oz diet cranberry juice (less than 1g sugar and only 5 calories) with a splash of Trader Joe’s Beet and Purple Carrot juice (because I’m trying my damnedest to use it up—blech), half a banana, 2 sections of grapefruit (I ate another quarter of it while preparing), 1 tablespoon Amazing Grass Green Superfood. My basic recipe is in an earlier post, which you can find here.

This will take me through till 1pm when class is over.

1:30

Small bowl of leftover collards and rice alongside also leftover Moroccan deliciousness that is chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, spinach and spices. I haven’t had it yet, but I’m pretty sure I’ll wrap it up in the kitchen with a square—one square—of dark chocolate.

Now it’s 4:00 and I’m heating the water for some tea. Just had a tangerine as I opened to this screen and started typing.

5:45

Ain’t gonna lie: About half (small pieces broken off at a time) of a large matzah cracker toasted with a thin spread of peanut butter. While preparing the kids’ dinner I got my evening smoothie ready: almond milk, 1 heaping spoonful of peanut butter, a cup or 2 of spinach, dash of cinnamon, half a banana, half an apple, some ice. That’s it until yoga’s over, around 9:30 tonight.

So we made it home by 9:40 with our standard post-Bikram dinner (since Farm Burger is across the street and it’s WAY too late to cook): Salad of the day (dressing on the side, of course), side of farro and kale with carrots and caramelized onions (this could have been my whole dinner, super yum), and a quinoa burger with arugula, pickled onions, and honey mustard—again, on the side—restaurants highly overdress sandwiches. I put half my sandwich in the fridge to eat for lunch tomorrow.

Mike and Davin make cookies often (and often before Mike goes to work in the morning—there’s sometimes no negotiating with a 3-year-old), so we usually have a cookie for dessert. I feel good about it because we know what went into them, they’re vegan, and they are well-darn-earned.

 

If you’re daydreaming you’re not working hard enough!

Get out of your head for a minute.

So says my highly motivational spin instructor (who might not have known that gem was working till now…). What I get from that—my spin on it, if you will—is “be in the moment.” That also happens to be one of my resolutions this year.

It’s so simple, really, the idea of just being. Being present. Focusing on what is happening right where you are. Yet we are a multitasking society, so we sort of forget how to just focus on one thing. Now going back to one thing at a time has become my resolution; I bet at one point I resolved to get more things done at once! Oh well….

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My Mid-Morning Green Juice

My basic recipe for a little something green in a glass.

Throw these things in a blender, and you’ll feel amazing! Not to mention it will curb your hunger for pre-lunch snacks you shouldn’t be getting into.

  • 8 oz light/diet cranberry, grapefruit, or other juice–but make sure it’s VERY low sugar (maybe 5g). Better yet, mix a little water in with less juice.
  • A generous handful or 2 of spinach or kale (I use baby spinach or baby kale for a little sweeter flavor)
  • 4 or 5 baby carrots
  • 1 heaping Tbsp Arden’s Garden Power Fuel (or other green powder of your choice)
  • Handful of frozen blueberries, mangoes, strawberries, or other fruit
  • 1/2 to a whole banana (to your taste!)

If you leave out the frozen fruit, just make sure to add some ice for texture. Play with the ingredients a little and you’ll find a blend that tastes just right to you. Enjoy!

Aim High, but Be Realistic

When the fear of “things staying the same” surpasses the fear of “failure,” stuff happens. 

So what are you afraid of? I’m hoping it’s more of the same. What IF you register for a 5K three months from now even though you are not currently in shape? What IF you commit to a workout class once a week by pre-paying even though you’re “uncoordinated”? What IF you decide to finally let the youthful, energetic person buried deep inside you out to shine? What’s the worst thing that could happen?

It’s so easy to let your life slide into auto-pilot. Every morning, coffee, cereal, grab your bag, go to work. What’s the point? Have you heard this: Try something once every day that scares you. That means give your life purpose. Reach for new heights. Stop letting fear hold you back.

After all, if you think about the reasons why you haven’t yet made the call to the personal trainer, or signed up for that 5K, they really are pretty silly. They probably go something like this: I don’t know how we’ll coordinate a time with my busy schedule. Or, I’m so out of shape, where would I begin? Or, What if I can’t finish the race? I have answers for all of those, as I’m sure you expected. A) There’s always time for exercise, even if you have to get creative. B) If you’re out of shape, there’s only one way to get in shape, and that’s to get started (we all started somewhere…). C) Who cares? Walk if you can’t run. Do your best. You will never regret having tried. And how fun will it be next year when you look back at that first 5K and laugh at how hard it was back then?

So I say aim high. Set goals for yourself. Real ones you can measure. But go for it—don’t be easy on yourself. Working toward big goals gives us a reason to get up in the morning. It makes the routine bearable because there are bigger things going on that are yours alone to hold close. Ask yourself what accomplishment you’d like to be able to say you achieved this year, and then let it be known that that’s what you’re working toward. Set your fears aside and watch what you can do!

Blood Type Diet: Does it hold any weight?

The era of always seeking a reason

I set out to do a thorough discourse on the blood type diet, but I just don’t care enough about it to exert the energy. Maybe that gives you a sense of how I feel about it.

If you know me or have read my previous posts, you can guess that I could take or leave the whole theory that you should eat according to your blood type—and it is just a theory, without much in the way of evidence to support it. According to the diet’s founder Dr. D’Adamo, I should “focus on lean, organic meats, vegetables and fruits and avoid wheat and dairy which can be triggers for digestive and health issues.” Well, isn’t that eye-opening. Who decided this guy had something enlightening to tell us?

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A Brownie for Breakfast?

Good habits are hard to form, but form them we must.

I just read an article in O magazine that suggests that a brownie at breakfast might help you lose weight. I’m thinking: really? That sounds like brilliant advice to give people who struggle with weight loss. Start the day off with 400 extra calories. Really?

This is not a review of O magazine. If it were I would have LOTS to say about the heavy cream that is an ingredient of almost every recipe they share. This is just me wondering, could that really work? Eat sweets at breakfast to stave off cravings the rest of the day? And is it worth it to try it?

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Into the Mouths of Babes

Train the taste buds right from the start.

My baby is 6 today. Six! My baby! I remember the day we brought her home from the hospital SO VIVIDLY. And yet…

The other day when her 2-year-old brother was begging for a granola-type bar right before dinner, Bella said, “Mommy. I have to tell you something. It’s a secret, so lean down close to me.” I leaned down. She said, “I think when these bars are gone, we shouldn’t buy bars anymore.” I said, “Really? Won’t you miss eating them?” She nodded. But that was okay with her. Because she wants her brother to have better eating habits. At 6, she already says things like, “I think I need to take a break from sugar tomorrow.” And when tomorrow comes and she asks for dessert and I remind her what she said, she ACTUALLY SAYS “OH YEAH” AND DOESN’T EAT DESSERT.

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