Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Belated Happy National Coffee Day Wishes, Shoot.

pretty picture, right? Of course I didn't take it
You know those dreams where you get to the final exam only you forgot it was the day of the exam? It’s bad enough in dreams, when those lapses occur in real life it’s way worse. Forgetting it’s picture day for your kids? I’ve done that but now almost purposely do that. First, who orders those horrid photos and also when I look back the unbrushed hair will make me smile. I have a another one, I forgot jury duty. Yup, this summer it didn’t make it into my calendar. Then I  had that “I know I had something on this day” and a week later in a pile, oh shit. So I felt that same pit in my stomach feeling when I started to see National Coffee Day emails and posts yesterday.  How did I forget? So a day late and a dollar (but never a coffee) short, our coffee roundup or “ground up”

Blog (4 years old and still stand by it) on whether you should give up coffee, guess the answer? And whether coffee is good or bad for you…

Carolyn and I like this for our afternoon coffee, did you see our shroom coffee video?

My latest bulletproof iteration, Pumpkin Spice Bulletproof

Cold brew Cubes? Yup, turns out Carolyn is “OneSmartBrownie” she freezes cold brew coffee for her smoothies.

And our new favorite office coffee contraption (pictured above) the Chemex that we purchased while drinking coffee at Joe’s coffee conveniently steps from the Foodtrainers' offices.

 Phew- I need a coffee.
What’s your fave coffee? Did you know it was National Coffee Day? Did you “give coffee up” if so please list a good reason. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

It didn't shrink in the wash (and it isn't the dry cleaner's fault)

Yesterday, as my boys (sons, husband, dog) set up their man cave for an afternoon of football (not even football but Redzone which is pretty much ADD football), I saw my opening and left the apartment. I could've left without any of them noticing but I said goodbye. "Where are you going" my husband asked in the way you ask a question when you don't really care if there's an answer. I said "I'm not sure".  While the possibilities were endless, I opted for a manicure and pedicure with a friend. Can I really critique my guys when I pretty much did the female version of Sunday football? Sure I can.

Anyway, we picked our colors "don't pretzel my buttons" and "partner in crime" in case you're like me and select colors based on names. Truth be told, I am only at the nail salon for the massage (15 additional minutes on both feet and hands). My friend and I started catching up. My anonymous friend mentioned an equally anonymous family member who upon trying on her jeans remarked "these shrunk in the wash." As she recounted this, anony friend rolls her eyes and we both cracked up. "It's never really the wash" said friend "or the dry cleaner" I added. Yes, yes clothing shrinks and if your dry fit tee looks like it can fit a first grader- dryer culpa. But the five minutes most of us have our jeans on "dewrinkle" doesn't make them tight.  OK?

Post pedi I realized the first football game wasn't even over. I can't even dawdle when I try. So anony (and fun) friend said, "they're watching football, let's get a beer". I agreed to a gluten free (Estrella) beer and we sat outside a cafe. This was such a nice break from kitchen cleaning, week planning and all the other sucky Sunday stuff I typically do. I could've been on vacation and yet I was 2 blocks from home. Friend, so you know she isn't just honest to her family members, says "as I sit here with you I can feel my jeans pushing into my fat." My advice to her "you have to keep wearing those jeans, not as a torture device, but the second you give up on the fat-pushing pants it's pretty much game over." Another laugh and because I had zero confidence my three guys would remember that even though they had no need to go out, the dog (Bronco- like the Denver Broncos) did, I went home.
P.S. Nothing makes me feel more full and gross than beer.
Have you blamed the wash or the cleaners? Think you should wear clothing even if it's borderline? What would you have done with a free afternoon?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Do your munchkins need munchkins?

Not my boys, boys- I promise
It's a little tricky when you're a mom and a nutritionist. Sadly, I tend to keep my mouth shut when out of the office (when it comes to food-related matters, mouth rarely shuts in general). I say "sadly" because so much of what kids eat at school and after school is pretty crappy. And if that "kids are kids" argument popped into your head, I will say that this "kids are kids" thinking has resulted in a crap overload. And ironically after parenting for 13 and a half years, I can say no where is this junk-a-thon more prevalent that in children's sports.
* 13 year old asked "what am I getting for my half birthday" I said "nothing" and he sulked.
I shouldn't single these out but I will
So, after years of appalling food and sports incidents: one coach felt a pile of candy bars at halftime was a good idea, cookies when games end at noon (how about lunch or a pizza perhaps) or the millions of munchkins my boys have been presented with, I received this from my son's new coach
"I'm thinking of doing away with the snack schedule, each family can bring a snack and water for their own child." I don't dance but mentally the happy dance was happening. I posted this on Facebook and one commenter (of I think 25) said "what did your son think?" The truth is he didn't mention it and we went to lunch following the game. My son was psyched that the team did well which tends to be his area of focus. I will take competitiveness over sugar and not to worry my kids have sugar and burgers and fries.

But you see I have two children. The following week the typical email from a parent showed up in my inbox,  "I'm setting up the team snack schedule, please let me know..." In years' past I would've obligingly picked a date and use it as an opportunity to bring something like this
And before you label me as "that mom" I will tell you that these are generally devoured. My theory is that kids almost roll their eyes at the cookie (that isn't usually a great cookie) or above donuts.
This year, encouraged by the other coach, I said "just throwing it out there but on another team the coach felt snacks weren't necessary, any thoughts?" I received a civil reply that said "I think snacks are something the kids like BUT I will poll the group and get back to you." I wasn't optimistic but waited. In the interim I posted the incident on Facebook. Many parents were worried about being the "mean mom" or "getting dirty looks" if suggesting healthy snacks or snacklessness. But guess what? The snack scheduler emailed "I didn't hear back from any parents so I'm going to scratch the snack schedule, everyone can bring their own."

The moral of this snack story is, voice your opinion to a league or coach or fellow parent. You'd be surprised that many parents are either happy their children aren't having constant crap OR relieved not to have to run out on a Saturday to get snacks for an entire team, "one more thing to think about" one mom said. Wherever you stand on nutrition, getting to the right field at the right time with your child and water should be enough.
Do you recall sports snacks growing up? Do you think I'm being a "mean mom"? I mean I am a mean mom but let's focus on snacks...

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Coconut Water: Yay or Step Away

You may not have noticed but this poor blog was neglected over the summer. Neglect leads to guilt, which sucks, and anyway I’m back and it feels refreshing…sort of like the YOSA (Yay? OR Step away?) topic today... coconut water (corny transition, I’m a little rusty).
Yesterday I spoke to CBS about coconut water. I must admit I haven’t been pounding the coconut stuff as much lately. Partially it’s because I spend all my beverage bucks on kombucha (and some Tito’s martinis) and also because I am fickle, sort of like a toddler, and go on benders with certain foods (and workouts) and then lose interest. So the segment got me thinking and here are my 2 coco cents.

The basics
Coconut water is the liquid from a coconut. If you think you dislike coconut water it may be because you’ve had the bottom of the barrel versions that often have a milky appearance and very little taste. I’d describe them as phlegm-like, agree? The best coconut water is organic, unpasteurized, straight from the coconut and a personal preference-ice cold. I was super psyched that juice generation has these adorable coco to go offerings. They’re 50 calories, fun (put the straw on the dot), and idiot proof- just saying I was worried about my coco abilities and first time got it right. If you're concerned you can also have them use a large coconut and open it for you. Carolyn and I were sent a cocojack tool and it wasn’t pretty. Coconut wrestling is a workout. If you’re not up for it, Harmless Harvest is also good stuff, our bottled go to.

The pros
Coconut water has way less sugar than sports drinks, sodas and fruit juices. It also has an impressive potassium content. If your retort is bananas, potatoes and avocados do too, I’ll ask when the last time you drank a potato was… This potassium content makes coconut water great post workout, after imbibing (or during) and good for blood pressure. Coconut water also has magnesium; potassium and magnesium make it a great PMS drink (debloat and de-stress-YES).

The cons
So yes, coconut water has sugar. I will say my least favorite of the sugar family is fructose and coconut water isn’t loaded with fructose. There are about 6g of sugar per cup of coconut water. Again, this isn’t a ton but I’d keep liquid snacks (coconut water OR kombucha OR green juices) to 1 per day max.

Coconut water is great in smoothies; I freeze coconut water in ice cube trays for this purpose. If I am not having a smoothie, 1 cococube makes water more interesting. And as you can see in the link above coconut water is superior to many cocktail mixers.

Yesterday I was asked if I could see a time when people would be walking down the street with coconuts? One can dream. Oh and I have to answer Yay or Step Away. If forced to choose I'd say Yay but needs to be quality coco and once per day is perfect/max. 
Do you drink coconut water? Straight up or in other ways? Do you want to walk down the street with a coconut? 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Foodtrainers' Holiday Helper Rosh Rules (and YK too)

Well, actually don't
We’ve just shifted out of summer mode and the holidays are upon us.
While it can feel like September presents one thing after another, we're hoping that since  many of us are still casting off our summer holiday treatsare slightly less alluring (maybe?)

Here are Foodtrainers’ tips for a “sweet” new year. The only thing sweeter than honey cake is feeling svelte when September ends. Agree? Thought so.

 Rosh Rules (and YK too)

 Create room for holiday meals. If you’re familiar with Foodtraining through the holidays .you know that we believe in utilizing pre and post holiday days. For every holiday meal, have 1 day where you skip anything sweet (wine and fruit are sweet).
 Secret Holiday Weapons: have lemon squeezed in water before your holiday meal, this will prevent your blood sugar from rising sky high and may displace a glass of wine. The morning after holidays, try our magic green elixir.
 Employ our “traditional” 1 plate rule: make a plate with 1/2 veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/4 carb. If you can skip the carb and try making your plate ¾ veg, even better. No seconds (that would be 2 plates).
 Pick 1 treat per holiday: kugel, matzo balls and next week bagels-OY (if your clothes aren’t fitting really well, nothing about these foods will help, just a “sweet’ reminder). We cannot have it all and not expect post-holiday matzo balls in unfortunate, unwanted places…
*note this isn’t 1 treat per holiday meal, got it? One treat for RH and one for YK max, if you forego other treats we’ll sound our office shofar for you.
  So what should you eat? We say GO Gefilte or via sauce removal “naked” brisket, these are good protein choices. Roasted veggies (carrots being a “sweeter” veg is the least of your worries) are fair game. Also, a little known fact some feel spinach (silka) was one of the original signs of Rosh Hashanah. In terms of carbs, gourds (pumpkins and squashes) have symbolic meaning and are your best starch selection.
 BYOT (bring your own tea) Rosh Hashanah food is super sweet. Chances are the above-mentioned honey cake is redundant. Basically Rosh Hashanah dinner is dessert. So skip the sweets post meal, Tazo makes a great, organic cinnamon apple tea. 
 Don’t binge before you fast. If you fast for YK avoid the temptation to overdue it beforehand. This actually makes fasting more difficult. Stick to the one plate rule and the 1-carb per plate rule as well. 
 Bagels are a break up food , break fast or not.  Speaking of The Little Book of Thin, the holiday chapter is a great primer for the holidays (just saying).
 You are not alone! You can also #TIDEI (via twitter) if you need extra support. For example "my aunt is guilting me into eating _________" 
 Insta your plate @Foodtrainers @onesmartbrownie, one properly composed plate will receive some "secret post holiday weapons".
And of course we wish you a year filled with health and happiness.
Did you have a holiday meal already? How was it? Which of these "rules" resonates with you? 
Do you find September a difficult month?
*Congrats to our first week of September Squeezers who took the month by storm and put in 7 days of great eating and focus.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

There's something about mayo

 I love mayo. I love tuna salad and egg salad and of course lobster salad (but even borderline mayo folks like lobster salad). I know there are people who shun anything creamy or mushy  but I say 'bring it". Mayo is one of those foods I feel I shouldn’t love as much as I do but I can't help it.  Of course we have Hellman’s “real” mayo in our fridge but I can’t completely ignore mayo’s truth.  It contains EDTA (pretty much poison), soybean oil- soy is sort of GMO’s mvp and don’t get me started on Unileaver who owns Hellman’s.  Oy, not so "real" after all.

So I’ve found a mayo substitute I really like (and usually I don’t like any sort of food substitute) Avocado Mayo (avocado oil, eggs, vinegar and salt). One of my favorite easy lunches is 2 hard-boiled eggs (I make these 6 at a time and usually have on hand) mashed with avocado mayo over greens. In this photo I used my boys’ fave pea shoots. The egg salad is satisfying and feels a little indulgent. And this is a mayo that’s ok to love.
Are you a closet (or open) mayo fan? Have you tried Avocado Mayo? What are your favorite, easy lunches?