Tuesday, October 11, 2016

10 tips for an easy fast (and the ultimate fasting secret)

It's not a turnip
I don’t fast for religious purposes but I have many religious and semi-religious clients who fast on Yom Kippur. We've been known to suggest non-religious lent so there’s no reason why everyone can't fast or atone. If you do, some tips:
  1. Don’t feast before you fast- I get the “last supper” (wrong religion I realize) tendency to feast before you fast but that leaves you feeling gross and, more importantly, makes your fast more difficult. Have a dinner portion you’d call skimpy if you were served it at a restaurant.
  2. Fat is your friend- fats take a long time to digest thus providing more staying power. Include avocado (taco Tuesday meets Yom), coconut oil, ghee or tahini in your dinner before you fast.
  3. Go green- fat and fiber are the magic combination, have two cups of green vegetables with dinner (just skip asparagus). 
  4. Portion your  protein- you can have fish or roasted chicken at dinner but protein uses up a lot of water as it digests, so aim for palm-sized portion max.
  5. Drink until you sink :) in the PM hours before a fast have a class of water or herbal tea per hour.
  6. Take a shot- combine 1Tbs apple cider vinegar, a dash of cinnamon and a lemon squeeze in a shot class and bottom's up before dinner (bottoms will come into play in tip #9). This will help balance your blood sugar.
  7. Take D3 to be less hungry- vitamin D decreases appetite, it also helps your body's melatonin relax you. Take your vitamin D after dinner.
  8. 8 is great- be sure to get your sleep before a fast,  less sleep means more hunger. Eight hours of sleep will set you up perfectly.
  9. Another way to get caffeine-try a caffeine suppository. I had 2 orthodox clients mention this so I guess it’s not cheating. It seems silly that the other end is fair game but I don't make the rules. Tylenol makes caffeine suppositories and they will help you remain headache free when fasting. "The fast is best thought of as an instrument to achieve greater things. And so there’s nothing wrong with making your fast as easy as possible, within reason" says a smart rabbi. Why suffer?
  10. Better not bagel! Let’s be honest, even if you’re fasting for religious purposes, a little weight loss never hurt. Or, why gain weight after you spent day fasting? Don’t bagel,  BYO Bagel substitutes such as Organ crackers or Siete, almond flour wraps.
For more fasting thoughts, check out this article from Prevention I was quoted in.
A healthy and happy new year to you! Any other fasting tips or tricks you'd like to share?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Wine just got healthier (for real)

It may come as a shock but I’m not a major wine drinker. My desert island cocktail would involve spirits (specifically Mezcal in case you care). I am, however, obsessed with the whole healthier happy hour concept. If we’re going to drink (you can make your own decision but I am going to), what’s the best way to improve the quality, decrease the side effects and just feel better about it?
Enter üllo, üllo is basically a Brita for your wine. It’s an easy-to-use filter that sits on top of your wine glass. As you pour the wine, the sulfites are removed. Sulfites are preservatives used in most wine production. They can cause allergic reactions and also headaches. It’s estimated 1 in 10 people have a sulfite sensitivity. Even if you’re not the one, sulfites decrease nutrient availability in food. Specifically, sulfites gobble up B vitamins- how rude!
I tested out my Üllo recently for a holiday dinner. Whether it’s bad parenting or not, I had my 12-year-old set it up for me. It was Rosh Hashanah so the wine was sweet which usually leaves me  miserable. While I only had one, small glass (Jam Jar, yum), I didn’t have my usual “red” headache. Cheers and TGIF!
Do you react to sulfites? Seek out wines that are sulfite free? Have you heard of üllo?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Election Eating? We've got you covered.

Something happened during last week’s debate and I’m not talking about Trump losing his s#!t or the Hillary shimmy. No, the something I’m referring to happened to those of us watching.
The hullabaloo disguised as a debate left viewers unsettled and fearful. I felt as if I had witnessed an accident and posted “I need lavender and chamomile and kava and natural calm...and Xanax”  I wasn’t kidding. I couldn’t sleep with the thought that there are people who support “that”. At this point, it’s not being partisan, it’s being human.

The WSJ called it “political anxiety disorder". Sure enough, when there’s anxiety there’s eating, as my clients the next day attested to. Even Carolyn mentioned a half pint of Halo top disappearing as she tried to calm her “Donalds". We coined these election-induced munchies “debate weight” at the office.  With the VP debate tonight, we have a solution:

It contains: healthy, almond cookies, delicious (grain free!) rosemary crackers, crack-like coffee-almond butter (better than that crackpot candidate), a "soufflé" protein muffin and tasty nuts…because this is all nuts. It all comes wrapped in blue tissue paper. Send one to a friend or family member or our vote..send one to yourself.

Have you had any “election eating” or anxiety? I’d love to hear.