Monday, June 27, 2016

Easy, Cold-brewed Iced Tea, No Boiling Required


 In a session last week, a client mentioned it was too hot to drink warm tea. Even though I like hot coffee hot, regardless of weather, I agreed regarding tea. I suggested she make iced tea and she looked at me confused “do you just chill hot tea, how do you make iced tea?” As I explained to her what I outlined below I realized iced tea probably baffles a lot of people. We have to fix that.

To answer her question, I don’t like making iced tea from hot tea. It tends to have a burnt or harsh taste. Instead, I make it cold-brewed in the fridge.
All you need:
Large Mason jar (or as large as you have) or any container with a lid
Tea- loose or in bags, in the photo I used Bellocq's Green Mint tea
Water
Strainer
Optional: stevia

Add tea to the jar (I use 2 tablespoons of loose tea in a 32 ounce jar) but 1 teaspoon loose tea or 1 bag per six ounces of water is a good ratio. I gravitate toward loose tea as I generally have a lot to use up. And I find the flavor is better with loose tea but use what you have.

Add water, filtered water if you have a water filter (or a top-notch bottled water like Core).

Cover the jar. This is why I use a jar, many people use a pitcher but I’m weird about fridge scents and prefer a closed container. Also, I can take the Mason jar to work. Again…use what you have.

I steep the tea overnight, it needs at least 4 hours of brewing time.
When it’s done, strain it. I put a strainer over a bowl and pour the tea in. Discard the used tea that’s in the strainer, rinse Mason jar if any tea is stuck to it and pour iced tea back into the jar.

If I’m making a green tea, I’ll add stevia. Otherwise add sliced lime or lemons, fresh mint or just drink as is. Easy tea-sy. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ice Cream Diet


You may know, from our newsletter this morning, that we had a Foodtrainers’ ice cream crawl.  We went around the city taste testing. Sure, we tried to balance things out by walking from place to place (next year we’re going to run) but we know how that math works. We summarized our favorite pops and shops in the newsletter but we had so much information it didn’t all fit.

Raspberry Nice Cream

This recipe may not seem groundbreaking on paper but my sons (including the teenager), babysitter and husband all loved this.
Ingredients:
2 bananas on the riper side
1 container organic raspberries
couple tablespoons water (if needed)
and stevia optional (I used NuStevia)

Freeze bananas and a container (6oz) of organic raspberries.
Add bananas to food processor or high-powered blender (I used Vitamix).
At first they will splinter and you may feel it’s not working, keep going
Blend until creamy.
Add berries to the blender, you may need a tablespoon or two of water and I added a few drops of new stevia.
If using a Vitamix you need the plunger thingy and a little elbow grease.
Makes 2 nice-sized servings. You can freeze leftovers but you’ll need to thaw a bit to get smooth/soft-serve texture.

Konery
When we were at Victory Garden (home of our ice cream champion Sesame Mucho Miso Sundae) we were introduced to the Konery’s gluten-free cones. As someone who is gluten free, ice cream cones have been a thing of the past. We tried their gluten-free cardamom cone…yum. Konery sells boxes of the glutenfree goodies.

I scream, you scream, we are definitely screaming after all the “healthier” ice cream we’ve tasted…but enjoyed every bite.

What are your favorite healthy-ish frozen treats?

Ice Cream Diet


You may know, from our newsletter this morning, that we had a Foodtrainers’ ice cream crawl.  We went around the city taste testing. Sure, we tried to balance things out by walking from place to place (next year we’re going to run) but we know how that math works. We summarized our favorite pops and shops in the newsletter but we had so much information it didn’t all fit.

Raspberry Nice Cream
This recipe may not seem groundbreaking on paper but my sons (including the teenager), babysitter and husband all loved this.
Ingredients:
2 bananas on the riper side
1 container organic raspberries
couple tablespoons water (if needed)
and stevia optional (I used NuStevia)

Freeze bananas and a container (6oz) of organic raspberries.
Add bananas to food processor or high-powered blender (I used Vitamix).
At first they will splinter and you may feel it’s not working, keep going
Blend until creamy.
Add berries to the blender, you may need a tablespoon or two of water and I added a few drops of new stevia.
If using a Vitamix you need the plunger thingy and a little elbow grease.
Makes 2 nice-sized servings. You can freeze leftovers but you’ll need to thaw a bit to get smooth/soft-serve texture.

Konery
When we were at Victory Garden (home of our ice cream champion Sesame Mucho Miso Sundae) we were introduced to the Konery’s gluten-free cones. As someone who is gluten free, ice cream cones have been a thing of the past. We tried their gluten-free cardamom cone…yum. Konery sells boxes of the glutenfree goodies.

I scream, you scream, we are definitely screaming after all the “healthier” ice cream we’ve tasted…but enjoyed every bite.

What are your favorite healthy-ish frozen treats?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Reduce your stress" is the most stressful advice


Stress is bad; it’s bad for our health, for our weight and certainly our mood. But telling a stressed out person to decrease their stress is like telling an overweight person to lose weight…#nothelpful.
In our Foodstalking program, we ask participants "how do you feel?" each day. One of my clients today said "homicidal" she was joking (promise) but I totally get it.
If you want to decrease your stress but don’t have the time to sort out how, here are some ideas that work for me.

Relaxation Rituals
When I get to the office, I light our official office candle and put on Pandora. I may only have five minutes before a client but a little Ray LaMontagne radio injects a little relaxation into my morning.


Perhaps a podcast?
I am somewhat new to the podcast world. I find podcasts help me zone out when I’m commuting or just walking down the street. Sure, there are meditation and relaxation podcasts but many podcasts work. Hey, last night I went to sleep listening to Not Here to Make Friends (a VERYsmart podcast about the Bachelor). I close my eyes, set the sleep timer and fall asleep much faster than I would if I were watching TV. Dear Sugar is another favorite podcast.

Get outside
You have a million things to do and you feel you have to be chained to your desk OR maybe you’re overwhelmed and somewhat stifled. Get outside. I cannot tell you how many times I step outside and feel “ok things aren’t that bad”. Sure, it’s not going to solve all your problems but it’ll put them in perspective.

Plan a trip
I recently read a review of a travel writer’s book. I’m paraphrasing (I can’t even recall the author to go back and find the quote) but he said, whenever I’m feeling a little low it’s because I don’t have a trip planned. I know this is definitely one of Carolyn’s mood-boosting strategies. It doesn’t have to be exotic…maybe you look up a place to go hiking but there’s something powerful about shifting your focus to the future. And it’s usually when you feel you can’t get away or the thought of packing is too much that you need it most.

Take a bath
I realize not everyone is a bath person. If you are, it’s an inexpensive way to chill out. Whenever I can I take a bath before bed. I’m a fan of magnesium bath flakes…currently loving these from Naturopathica.
As you can see, these are not complicated hacks but they help. 
I’d love to know what stress-busting hacks you employ. Any rituals, tricks or tweaks you’ve made to reduce stress?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Father’s day foods- key, healthy foods for men to eat

There is certain dietary advice that pertains to everyone. But we can be sexist when it comes to nutrition as there are foods I recommend specifically to men due to their anatomy (wink) and health risks. So tell the men in your life to eat these “dude foods”.

Watermelon
Watermelon contains lots of lycopene, which is important of prostate health. There is also an amino acid in watermelon that helps with exercise recovery and post-exercise soreness. And if that’s not enough? There’s an amino acid in watermelon that’s known as nature’s Viagra (may be a little awkward to tell your dad about that).

Clams
I feel shellfish gets ignored when it comes to nutrition. Clams have impressive potassium, which helps keep blood pressure under control. They’re also rich in B vitamins to control cholesterol.
Try using bone broth (we love the Nona Lim Thai curry and lime broth) for clam cooking.
And fried clams don’t count.

Spinach
If forced to pick, I’d choose spinach over kale. Spinach is a great source of magnesium and over three quarters of men are magnesium deficient. Studies show when mag (we have nicknames for our minerals) is low, levels of C-reactive protein are higher. C-reactive protein is a marker for heart disease and inflammation. Maybe get dad drinking green juice?

Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc. Zinc is important for testosterone production, sperm health and immunity. Our bodies don’t store zinc so it’s important to get enough via diet.

Saw Palmetto
I think men over 50 (or all men depending on their family history) should take this supplement for prostate health and there’s some encouraging info about saw palmetto and male pattern baldness. Some studies show it leads to hair regrowth.

And if you’re in need of a Father’s Day gift? A little flavor and metabolism booster for dad? Or, you can always give the gift of Foodtraining...send your father, husband, grandpa our way.


Happy Father’s day (and summer solstice) too all.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Five tips to avoid gaining weight on your summer vacation


Summer seafood is a great option, my son made these!
Recently, I did a segment for CBS on summer eating. Specifically, the topic was how to avoid weight gain on your summer vacation. I’ll spare you the scary stats on “beach bulk”. Around the same time, I read an article in Cooking Light on this same subject. Their advice was something to the effect of don’t worry about your weight too much, when you’re awa,y as that’ll make you binge. Let’s just say I suggest you think about weight a little and not to worry you’ll still have fun.
A little consciousness will lead to confidence.

What to do:

Delay your Play- away for a week? Don’t lobster roll day one, you’ll end up doing it daily.

Tis the season for overfruiting
Overfruiting is a thing…particularly in the summer. My mother asked me this past weekend, “Is pineapple fattening?” My response? Any fruit can cause you to gain weight if you eat too much. I usually say keep fruit to once per day. On vacation, stick to two fruits a day max.

Don’t let your activity fool you.
At the end of the day what you eat is 75% or more of what you weigh. You can bike and hike and still get heavier. By all means, swim, bike and hike while away, just don’t use these leisurely activities as a license to ice cream.

Ditch the Day Drinking
Sumer and, in particular, summer vacations can be boozy. Save the rose’ or tequila for after sundown…ok sundown is late in summer, 5pm?

Dinner Rule: 2 of 4, No More
 Bread
 Booze
 Dinner carbs
 Dessert
These are the four areas than can get you into trouble.
Pick 1 or 2 per meal away but not all 4

Keep these 5 tips in mind- share them with your family and friends and you’ll sail through summer vacations unscathed.