Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Foodtrainers' Summer Finds and winning smoothie recipe

My losing smoothie
Greetings from Vegas! I have to admit, it's a little strange to be here, of all places, when we open up the sign up for our September Squeeze program (a few spots remain). In today's newsletter we mentioned our "work"trip to the wild blueberry barrens of Maine. In Bar Harbor, a little competition took place for the best wild blueberry smoothie. I made a basil blend and Carolyn concocted something with avocado. Full disclosure, it was pretty annoying how into food styling their creations some people were. Carolyn and I did not win but our non annoying, awesome friend Marnie did. Here's her winning recipe.

Wild Blueberry Basil Mojito Smoothie AKA the "Marnito"
recipe via Marnie Schwartz, Nutrition Editor, SHAPE Magazine

1 cup wild blueberries (different than cultivated blueberries)
juice of 1 lime
10 basil leaves
10 mint leaves
1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt
1-2 dates
Add yogurt to a powerful blender, follow with the other ingredients and blend.
Do not spend more than 30 10 seconds on your garnish. 

Enjoy the last days of summer!

Foodtrainers' Summer Finds and winning smoothie recipe

Greetings from Vegas! I have to admit, it's a little strange to be here, of all places, when we open up the sign up for our September Squeeze program (a few spots remain). In today's newsletter we mentioned our "work"trip to the wild blueberry barrens of Maine. In Bar Harbor, a little competition took place for the best wild blueberry smoothie. I made a basil blend and Carolyn concocted something with avocado. Full disclosure, it was pretty annoying how into food styling their creations some people were. Carolyn and I did not win but our non annoying, awesome friend Marnie did. Here's her winning recipe.

Wild Blueberry Basil Mojito Smoothie AKA the "Marnito"
recipe via Marnie Schwartz, Nutrition Editor, SHAPE Magazine

1 cup wild blueberries (different than cultivated blueberries)
juice of 1 lime
10 basil leaves
10 mint leaves
1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt
1-2 dates
Add yogurt to a powerful blender, follow with the other ingredients and blend.
Do not spend more than 30 10 seconds on your garnish. 

Enjoy the last days of summer!

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Horoscope Diet

Do you ever read your horoscope and feel it rings eerily true? Maybe you don't read horoscopes at all but, even if you say that, I'd guess when you see yours you peek. Horoscopes are confusing for me. I'm what they call "on the cusp" between two signs. This makes me insecure as sometimes I'm a Leo and other times a Virgo. I've sided with Virgo mainly because everyone says "you're SUCH a Virgo." What they mean by that is that I'm particular and either neurotic or a control freak or, in my case, both. 
Anyway, I'm on a plane right now. I have my usual seat next to the crying baby and I read Marie Claire magazine in an attempt to distract myself. In about 10 minutes, I found myself on the horoscope page. My horoscope basically said do one thing at a time. Revolutionary? No,  but it was a reminder I needed. For example, yesterday I was in the house for most of the day and found myself making a red white and blue açai bowl, researching a trip to Hawaii, reading the first section of the Times, purging two drawers from my closet...you get the point. At 10pm I realized I hadn't done the 1 thing I needed to do which was packing for the trip I'm on. 
It occurred to me that this acute case of ADD (not making light of ADD) could be seasonal or summer-related. I see a lot of it with my clients. If you're suffering from the summer sloppies - don't say you'll wait until September to get it together!!! At the same time, you're not going to clean everything up. So pretend you're a Virgo and do one thing! Do you need to socialize a little less and cook or bbq at home? Ditch the day drinking? Stop staying up late? Pick one thing and focus on that behavior for now. If you'd like you can do our Sept Squeeze to focus on your food even further (we're announcing the details next week). And if you're wondering about my birthday? I'm sure you're not but I made my own reservation (Virgo) at Senza Gluten.
Are you a horoscope person? Or, can you relate to the need to focus on one thing versus many? 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Healthy, hip Dallas


Dallas…I can still hum the theme song to my first, lowbrow TV obsession. More recently, this season’s Bachelorette Jojo (finale tonight) hails from Dallas. There’s the Dallas Cowboys oh and some videotape I recall floating around our house (ahem) when I was growing up. Most places live as stereotypes in your head until you actually visit.

Let’s be clear, we didn’t have plans to visit Dallas. I have good friends from college in Dallas and    my favorite Joanna Czech opened her skincare mecca there but we were supposed to be just passing through the Dallas Fort Worth airport en route to Cabo. As the “friendly skies” would have it our first American Airlines flight left late due to a mechanical issue. And after a 5K, barefoot sprint through the humungous Dallas airport, our second/connecting flight left EARLY. Wait, it gets better. There were no other flights out that day, it was hours before our bags were located oh and did I mention if was Marc’s birthday?

All I can say is it’s a good thing we’re plan B masters. I sent out an SOS to my Dallas crew. Within minutes, I received an annotated list of where to stay, eat, drink and dessert in Dallas. From my guide, I chose the Joule. They said they’d have a room waiting for us and they asked what Marc liked to drink (why don’t all hotels ask this). From the minute we walked into the gorgeous, groovy lobby I knew things would be ok. We were shown to our swanky suite (love the Amex upgrade) and two little bottles of Patron, a carafe of margarita mix, salted glasses and ice greeted us. Cheers to Dallas!
They had him from "Patron"
Some Foodtrainers' favorites in this mini bar (good way to judge any hotel)
After plugging in our devices to charge, washing up and margarita-ing, we were off.
Our first stop was the Texas Truck Yard. 

The website describes it as an “adult playground” but that tagline, to me, sounds a little…. Anyway, there are food trucks and outdoor bars including one in an Airstream. We relaxed, did a little sampling,the taco truck was our favorite, and moved on.
This should read "eat here" not "eat her" as a Facebook friend surmised
Next up was HG SPLY Company. While the place has a healthy slant, it’s only because of their ingredient consciousness.  Their manifesto says it way better than I can and is worth reading. HG SPLY is in an up and coming area called lower Greenville. When we arrived the rustic, cool restaurant was packed. We happily found two seats at the bar (usually our favorite place to sit). We ordered an Double Under, which is made with beet-infused tequila. It sounds weird but tasted amazing. There was also a green tea gimlet made with matcha. I can’t believe I had to go to Texas for my matcha cocktail. 

We ordered light bites, I was very happy with my tuna poke’. And I was so relieved that Marc liked HG Sply/our taste of Texas so much he was happy we ended up in Dallas for his birthday.

There’s one more Dallas hotspot on our list. A few years ago, Carolyn were “researching” for our annual Feb chocolate newsletter. My friend Marie sent us goodies from Dallas-based Dude Sweet Chocolate.  “Dude” only does dark chocolate and their chocolate salami with marzipan has been my all-time favorite chocolate since first slice. A little buzzed, Marc asked the clerk “is there anything we’re missing or need to try?”  Rest assured, we didn’t miss anything and had a chocolate tasting buffet back at the Joule. Note: whisky truffles may be my new #1.
If you’re wondering (or not on social media) we did make it to Mexico and it was well worth it. But the morals of this story are that a) Dallas is cool and b) plan B can be the best.
Have you been to Dallas? Any stories when Plan B was best? Who will Jojo choose?

Monday, July 25, 2016

How To Pick An Active Vacation or Retreat (from someone who knows)

Lauren and I are no strangers to airplane rides or adventures. I’m sure our shared history traveling on Semester at Sea and desire to live FULL lives are two of the reasons we work together so well. This past year, I made it a priority to say 'yes' to as many escapes, adventures and retreats as my calendar (and bank account) will allow. Rather than having a Year of Yes (great book by the way), I think of it as only saying YES to things that make my body feel really good. Food, movement, and good people are my priorities.
I should share that as an anti-type A person (more type Z), retreats are my favorite way to travel. After showing up in Thailand itinerary-less a few years ago, I’ve realized that planning, or outsourcing the planning, is in fact wonderful and necessary. Interestingly, Lauren is a self-confessed type A-person and likes outsourcing the organizing too. This way, she can obsess about something (or somewhere) else.

Here’s how to choose a retreat:


Pick your priority: is it to meet cool people, have some bootcamp and a little booze too? SurfYogaBeer is run by some of NYC fitness scene’s best, and they host worldwide fitness and fun retreats. I’ve met some of my best friends on these trips. But, if your priority is more to do “self work” and get a little hippy dippy with it, Kripalu R&R or YogaScapes retreats may be more for you.
(post bootcamp/hill sprints with SurfYogaBeer Amalfi)

Know your magic number: Everyone has their # of days that makes a vacation go from “best trip ever” to “I want to go home”. Mine is 5. Know your #.

(from an organic cafe we hunted down in positano, italy) 
Don't assume when it comes to the food: surprisingly even “health” retreats don’t always have the healthiest food. So do your research and ask questions – remember, you’re paying! You can request gluten free and extra veggies etc. Also, always pack your own safety snacks and search for local juice and smoothie bars. *But if you’re going to Italy, try the freaking pasta...
(my first time surfing w/ SYB Costa Rica) 
Try new activities: You absolutely do NOT have to be an avid yogi to go on a yoga retreat or have any surf knowledge to go on a surf retreat. Many people I’ve met on my past few trips are complete beginners. Don’t let your lack of experience keep you from trying something that sounds cool. For example, a retreat with a campfire cacao ceremony, anyone? 
(hiking the Path of the Gods, Positano)
Friends and family optional: when in doubt…. Pack up and GO! Go alone, go with friends, go with a love, go with your kids, just go. Recently I did this with a close friend on a trip to Moab, Utah with YogaScapes, not knowing anything about the destination or people (Type-Z strikes again), and it was one of the best trips of my life – and one of the least expensive ones, too.
(moab under canvas)
Cost contributors: Camping is a great way to save money (or glamping, Under Canvas is a cool alternative in national parks). There's something fun about going a little rugged, especially if someone else handles the tent set up.  Also, sharing rooms is not usually as creepy as it sounds and can make things much more affordable... but if we're being honest, Lauren pulled out of a meditation retreat at Garrison Institute because she had to have a roommate. Pick what's most important to you and pay for it.

(view from Capri)


Healthy vacations aren’t just for the 20 or 30-something or single! Lauren has done biking/hiking/camping trips trips with her husband and kids to Yellowstone, Zion and the Grand Canyon with Backroads. Many companies offer family trip options.


For me, my next “work” trip is a blueberry adventure with Lauren in Maine. And then I'm thinking a silent retreat – yup, no Insta AND no speaking… sounds terrifying, so I have to do it.

Where are you headed next? What have been your great retreat or travel experiences? 

Friday, July 22, 2016

My take on a blue latte AKA the Hillary latte


Yes, not a great photo I'm aware
I recently read about a blue latte created at a Melbourne café. I was intrigued. My intrigue transformed into frustration at the thought that I couldn’t try this concoction. And if I’m being honest, I couldn’t Instagram this pretty drink. Twenty hours later I was drinking a blue latte.
I learned the blue was from a blue green algae E3 Live. I am a fan of E3, I’ve written about it, sold bottles of it at Foodtrainers but there was a problem. E3 live is best in shot form, it tastes like sh!t. I would make a blue latte but I didn’t expect to enjoy it.
The original blue latte was said to contain E3, ginger, lemon and agave (I may be omitting something). I assembled my line up. Out of E3 at home, I bought a shot (and a pack up shot) at Juice Generation. I put my pacific coconut milk in my frother and pulled out a glass cup. I decided on Wakaya ginger, lemon nustevia, peppermint essential oil and coconut oil.
I put about half the shot in my cup and stirred in warm coconut milk (for some reason it didn’t froth). Blue! I added a half teaspoon Artisana coconut oil and stirred it in. Next came the ginger, drops of stevia and peppermint. I ended up frothing organic half and half for a foamy top layer.
I snapped a few photos and took a sip. It was delicious. Peppermint definitely was the key it’s more of a peppermint blue latte than anything but that beats an algae latte, right?
Cheers to the weekend! Speaking of the weekend, maybe this is a Hilary latte.
Have you heard of the blue latte? Would you try it? Who do you think Hil will pick as a VP?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Five Years


I’ll admit, I didn’t realize today was the anniversary.  I hate using the word anniversary for something sad but I’m not sure how else to put it. On Instagram, Jen’s best friend and soul sister Alicia posted a silly photo of her (I wish I knew the two of them in those silly, carefree days) and 1971-2011. I paused, gulped some air and tried to take that in. I realized I couldn’t sit down at my desk to work. I grabbed my headphones and went out the door to run.
Jen:
The image I always revert back to, and I’ve written about this before, is you in my waiting room. When I open my office door, some clients are emailing, others half asleep but not you. I actually think you were reading when I came to the door, on this day, but you stopped and looked my way with a smile that was spellbinding. We all throw around the term energy but five years later I still get the chills thinking about your energy and effect on me. Your force was so strong. 
 Five years, have I done things with these five years you’d be proud of? I know that sounds pitiful but you had high standards and weren’t shy about that. I feel some weird pressure to improve and enjoy myself because you aren’t able to. I don’t know if I can say I’m fearless, as you were, but I’ve made my way through some rough times, during these five years, and come out the other side. I’ve written a book and bungee jumped too but it’s when I’m running or listening to music and fully appreciating those things that I think of you most. 

It will always feel wrong that you’re not here. I wish you had more time to smile and I wish you had turned 45 this year. I miss you.