Monday, December 30, 2013

The Quinoa Recipe and Excitement

The question for the past couple of weeks has been "are you excited?" At times I've acted as though I was asked "how are you?" (people do not want a lengthly explanation) and simply answered "yes" . Truth be told, I haven't been excited; I've been anxious, exhausted and too "in it" with this whole book thing that I haven't been skipping or giddy or whatever it is excited people do. That was until I watched good old Super Soul Sunday last night. Marianne Williamson talked about leading with love rather than  fear. If you're ready to click away thinking I've gone off a spiritual cliff hang on. She gave an example of going to get a job. Often, we're thinking "am I going to do well?" or "will they offer me something?" and that shifts our focus and we're stifled and scared. Marianne said "it limits our capacity to shine." Sound familiar? What if instead we all focused on what we wanted to communicate or assumed we would be well received. I am not sure I'd go all the way to "blast them with love before you arrive".  This really rung a bell with me. I am not looking for a job but I'm certainly putting this little book out there (tomorrow!) and my thoughts have been dominated by "how is the book going to do?" but the Super Soul Lauren is going to try to focus on spreading the LBT word, keeping it fresh and fun and who knows maybe I'll blast you all with love in the new year. 

And, for a taste of LBT here is one of my favorite recipes from the book. Jenna Helwig formulated all the terrific recipes and this one is a keeper.

MISO BROCCOLI QUINOA SALAD
Makes 4 servings
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white miso

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 cups cooked quinoa (rinse before cook)
3 cups steamed broccoli florets, roughly chopped
2 cups baby arugula

1⁄4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1⁄4 teaspoon salt
To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, miso, and rice vinegar. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, broccoli, arugula, and sunflower seeds. Add the dressing and the salt. Toss gently until combined. 

Yes, this was the "Dr Oz Quinoa"

I am "excited" to share that the Little Book of Thin Blog tour kicks off tomorrow with a dozen posts from some of my favorite bloggers. I'll be tweeting and FBing and posting the links here as they go live. OK gotta "skip" and get ready for this book launch.
Do you tend to be fearful with important events? Do you like quinoa? Cook with miso? Remember how to skip?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Feeling frazzled or fat? Try this.

I didn't mean try this (photo)

Last week, I was the guest on Sarah Stanley’s Wellness Chat; the topic was Breaking Old Holiday Habits. I know some of you were busy (this time of year I can’t imagine why) and others do not tweet (many of my friends it seems are twittersaurs) so I thought I’d give you the gist of what we discussed.

You don’t need me to tell you holidays are hard. There’s spending and anxiety about dept. Then the cold and darkness can cause mood to take a serious dip. Some of us are too busy with parties and travel and others are lonely. It’s really the perfect storm for emotional eating, so what do?

Watch ProcrastinEATing. Procrastineating = “when I get home from this trip I’ll exercise" or,“on Monday I’ll get bag on the wagon” or this time of year January 1st resolutions beckon. When you feel yourself postponing your wellness ask yourself what you can do now, some ideas:
Fill a water bottle, loving these new bigger Bars
Wear your Fitbit; I have the flex dying for the force model.
Drop and do push ups; try for 10 real ones.

Rather than spending all your energy at treat avoidance how about a Green Day?
Goal: for one day have something (naturally) green at each meal. For example a green juice or omega 3 eggs with kale or spinach for breakfast.
I loved this juice.

Pre-tox- are you in NYC on 12/30? Spin, Sweat and Prep for New Year’s Eve with a special ride hosted by Foodtrainers. Get a sneak preview of, The Little Book of Thin and insider tips of how to enjoy the biggest party of the year without wreaking havoc on your body.  6:30 pm, Swerve Fitness be there or be square (or maybe rounder)

From pre-exercising to the Pre-Eat. When I tell clients to Pre Eat I get the same look from clients my kids give me when I tell them to wear a hat.  “Do I really have to?” They do if they don’t want to freeze or get sick (is that a myth?) and you do if you don’t want to overeat or gain weight. Fill a nutcase with seeds or nuts and have it 30 to 60 minutes before the party or. Holiday dinner.
Ah Gingersnap Organics, how I love the Go Chili seeds
If the winter blues are setting in, double your D. Especially in Northern latitudes, we’re not getting any D from the sun. Try 2,000 IUs or International Units. Vitamin D is important for appetite control, mood and immunity. These little Blue Bonnet bottles can go in your desk drawer or makeup case.
And some promising holiday news, the “Holiday 5” or tendency to pile on the pounds this time of year is a myth. Average weight people tend to gain less than a kilogram (2.2 pounds) despite feeling like we gained more. If you’re overweight the statistics are a little less cheerful. Come January 1st if you’re looking to make changes or did procrastinEat you know what to do, sorry tis the season for me and my “Little Book”.
What do you find most stressful this time of year? Are you a procrastinEATer or pre eater? Do you take Vitamin D, which brand?
Happy (and healthy) Holidays

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Can you "cheat clean"?


I love reader questions.  This was a question that accompanied the photo above.
Lauren- this just appeared in my news feed.  When it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Can you "cheat clean?"

Where to start... yes, it might be possible to “cheat clean” if this refers to having some delicious and seemingly indulgent food without it leaving messy traces on your body. These traces could be temporary and take the form of bloat or perhaps they linger on our thighs or around the middle. Hu Kitchen’s amazing dark chocolate almond butter bar, Nibmor spiced hot chocolate and Bare Burger come to mind if I were to think of “clean cheats” but I don’t like this terminology at all.

In life or in food cheating and getting away with it doesn’t sound right. I may be a bitch but I’m not a cheat. Fibbing, lying or “fudging” aren’t in my repertoire. I much prefer the word treat to cheat. And of course there are foods and drinks that are treat-worthy. In The Little Book of Thin I explain Treat Training. Cheating leads to guilt, with treats the guilt is gone because you plan for these foods. You’re busy, I’m busy food and diet guilt is a waste of your time.

 And now for the ad in question. Is this cheating cleaning (there has to be a way to insert a drumroll sound)? You can look for yourself  but I spy sucralose (aka splenda) in these snack bars. If nuts, fruits and vegetables are “clean” foods, in this weird cleanliness analogy, splenda and all its fake sugar pals are dirty. This company may feel “low carb” and “gluten free” make it clean but I’m deeper than that. You’re not clean if you’re artificial deep down, not in my book.

We have a twitter chat tonight at 8pm #wellnesschat where I’ll discuss how to have your (holiday) cake and wellness too. Come join.
What do you think of “cheat clean”? Have you tried these bars? Do you like bars? And worthy treats, what are your favorites this time of year?
And in case you thought the cheating ad was bad, this is definitely worse. 

And no reader, it wasn’t your PMS that made you think so. "Surprise him with a new body" a topic for another rant or just gross.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Ten Things I Want My Boys To Know About Girls


"Get that body ready for your winter beach vacation!  Think about how you want to look at those holiday parties!  PICTURE HOW YOU’LL LOOK IN THAT DRESS!

Those words don’t sound particularly offensive to me (I find them much better than the “earn your bagel” I heard recently in spin class) but they pissed another mom off. She was in a workout class and the instructor shouted them out. I’m sure the instructor was trying to motivate but Brynn Harrison thinks exercise, for herself and her daughter, should be for the love of it and not to fit in a dress. I say why do we have to choose?

My mother taught me how delicious homemade tomato sauce is, she enrolled me in tennis and swim lessons, she encouraged me to taste, see and do. My mother also worked really hard running her own business. She knew what matters (and still does) but when I close my eyes and picture my mother growing up she’s in white short shorts and a white top, with big round (white) sunglasses leaning against her sports car. My mom was a babe, I grew up aware of this but she was a babe who did it all.

Since when does delighting in what our bodies can do and what our senses can take in mean that feeling great in a dress or on the beach is off limits? It doesn’t. There is this trend in the blogosphere that holds that in order to shield young girls from all the body messaging they receive they need to solely focus on what their bodies can do.

As a mother of boys, I come across very little about boys and their bodies (thought I’m reading a great book now, more on that later) or the role boys can play in girls’ self esteem. I started thinking about what I wanted them to know about girls and later girlfriends and women:

10 things I want my boys to know about girls
  1. Never think girls are either outdoorsy or glamorous. You have days you hang out in your PJs and nicer clothing for piano recitals.  A girl can love to go hiking and then want to feel pretty in a party dress.
  2. If a girl asks you “how do I look” answer with “great” or “amazing” or if you don’t honestly think that find something to compliment…her outfit, her hair or her smile. Everyone likes compliments as long as they are truthful.
  3. Watch how girls are with their friends, waiters and taxi drivers. Rude or mean isn’t ever cool or funny. And don’t ever be rude or mean to impress a girl.
  4. People are not checklists.  You’re not looking for a certain look or a certain height you’re looking for a person that you think about when they’re not around.
  5. When you’re with the right person you don’t have to choose between them and your friends.
  6. You already have a shadow, look for someone who has things she likes to do. It’s even more fun if her hobbies aren’t the same as yours. If she doesn’t like to do anything…uh oh. And keep playing hockey and piano as long as you enjoy it.
  7. You’re not a supermodel and chances are you will not date one. You’re handsome as can be but don’t have abs like the men’s magazines. Don’t expect any girl's body parts to look like Brooklyn Decker or Sophia Vergara (Myles wink, wink).
  8. I know things move quickly these days but holding hands is never out of style, neither is holding the door open.
  9. “I love you” is sacred but if you feel it always say it. 
And for the record, I liked most of what Brynn had to say to her daughter especially
"Nature rules.  And if you’re able to hike/run/bike/swim/ski/snowshoe, you can see more of it."
She would probably slap me but I’m putting on some tinted moisturizer and lip gloss before hitting the slopes today and I do care how my ski pants look and feel.
How did your parents inform you about your body growing up? Would you have been bothered by the fitness instructor’s words? Do you shy away from discussing the “outside” or looks with your daughter? What advice do you give your sons on all of this? 
I will be doing the amazing Sarah Stanley's Wellness Chat Thursday 12/12 at 8pm EST the topic is Breaking Old Holiday Habits, please join, ask questions etc.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nobody Looks at You That Closely


I have an eyebrow lady. In case you thought bikini waxers were sadistic my eyebrow lady threads. I can’t tell you the exact technique, because my eyes are usually closed, but she extracts each errant eyebrow hair with a spool of thread suspended between her hands as if she’s ready for a game of cat’s cradle on my face.
 And as if this process isn’t awful enough, my eyebrow lady is a tough cookie. “You know, I could make your eyebrows beautiful if you didn’t tweeze between visits,” she concluded recently. “You mean at all?” I smelled a challenge but worried about my compliance. “That’s pretty hard, once I get in that magnifying mirror…”
Eyebrow lady (Shashi at Columbus Circle location of Shobha) had uncovered by dependency “Lauren, nobody looks at you that closely” she said pushing her hand flat up against her face to demonstrate. “That’s your problem”.  While I hadn’t anticipated a hair removal resolution, I took a vow of eyebrow abstinence, paid for my lecture/torture and left.

On my way to the juice place (seems I am still that 5 year old who received Pine Bros honey cough drops after the pediatrician, I like a reward for my pain) I thought about eyebrow lady’s somewhat wise words “nobody looks at you that closely”. Whether an eyebrow hair or underarm hair, the little extra that hangs over the side of your (ok my) jeans or those hangnails- I’m unconvinced our friends, coworkers or partners notice. They’re too busy think about their own hair, “extra”, ignored grooming or other issues.

So, I could tell you that I went home, unplugged the millionX mirror and that was that (not unlike the bathroom scale interventions I hold with clients) but that’s not what happened. I used the mirror to apply makeup and found myself newly obsessed with my dry skin but more accepting of my eyebrows (I call this vice swapping) but did not tweeze. Yesterday, I arrived for my threading appointment. Eyebrow lady was in the back when I checked in but I took a seat in her dentist-like chair. “You’re ready for me,” she said as she walked up.” “Yes, I’m ready for my compliments” I told her and smiled. I let her do her thing but couldn’t contain myself “so, what do you think?” I asked. “Well they’re not perfect yet but I’m excited, much better.” From the year that eyebrow lady and I have known each other, I knew this was high praise. It’s hard enough to feel good about ourselves but less time under the magnification and a little encouragement certainly made me feel better.
Do you use a magnifying mirror? Does it drive you crazy? Do you think others notice the little things we nitpick about ourselves? And have you been threaded?