Thursday, January 31, 2013

The World's Healthiest Food, Are You Eating It?

Clients often mention in their sessions that they need “new foods”. I’m the first to suggest a new recipe, or interesting combination but remind them there aren’t necessarily new fruits and vegetables. Except when there are. Six months ago I didn’t know about microgreens, they were new to me and I was hearing about them everywhere. On one hand, I  was excited and wanted to try them immediately but then there's always that inner cynic wondering could they live up to the hype? Turns out they do.

Microgreens are harvested less than two weeks after germination. When it comes to greens, immaturity is a virtue as research (yes actual research, in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, take that)  has shown they are four to forty times more nutritious than mature greens.  Do not insult microgreens confusing them with sprouts, they are grown differently and taste differently. My CSA, Rustic Roots, started offering microgreens from Good Water Farms.  Good Water Farms is in East Hampton and is and operated by Brendan Davison, and Marsha and Nick LaTessa. I asked Emer from Rustic Root if she’d answer a few burning microgreen questions for me.

Where did micro greens come from/why are we suddenly hearing about them? 
Microgreeens are quickly becoming a go to food for many health conscious people. Because of the intense process of farming them, they are expensive but many higher-end food outlets have begun supplying them. The reason you are hearing about them is because they are a powerful source of nutrients with a tremendous amount of flavor.

Do all greens come "micro"?
You can grow all greens micro but some have more flavor than others. We are loving the Kale, Arugula, Purple Basil, Sunflower, Pea Tendril, Radish and Broccoli micros.

My son asked, "can you do a whole salad micro"? I had salmon burger with micro kale and avocado; the boys used them as their burger topping. They loved that they were the healthiest vegetable to eat.
Lauren, I let Brendan from Good Water Farms answer this question. He said “of course you can do a whole salad of micros, we do every night. You hardly need dressing, a little balsamic and a touch of feta makes an awesome salad that is tasty and super nutritious. Your boys using them on burgers is great. Try to see if they will take to them being added to their sandwiches too. Kids love them, and think they are "cool".  My daughter is like a little cow, she just grazes all day on them. Microgreens are the answer to get your kids to eat their veggies, period!"

Is it worth it to juice microgreens?
Some NYC juicing stores are using radish and kale in their microgreen elixirs.  They can also used best in smoothies.

Do they spoil faster/are they more perishable?
They have a solid 10-day shelf life once they are cut. Surprisingly, a small 4oz container will last you a few meals too.

Thank you Emer, other "micro" ideas I found, a microgreen pesto, a micro salad with a curry vinaigrette, I can see adding some microgreens to soup at the end of cooking or since the flavor is mild even baking with them. I'm excited to tell my clients about this new superfood. 
Have you heard of microgreens? Seen them in stores? Or on menus? If these are new to you are you excited to try or skeptical? What is your favorite "new" food or food you're enjoying more lately?

Monday, January 28, 2013

When it comes to food, does guilt help?

from, I can think of a few people this is perfect for
I didn’t grow up with guilt. I should say I didn’t grow up with parents who used guilt as a means to motivate. For whatever reason, we did our homework and wanted to do well in school….because we did. As an adult, I have friends, clients and family members who “lay guilt”. I see it as a roundabout attempt to get you to do something or think something that the other person sees as important. Since all roads lead to food for me I started thinking about food and guilt. Religion aside, no arena has more references to guilt than diets and eating. My question, with food and in life, is does guilt help?

One study in the journal of Health Education and Behavior divided women into groups based on their attitude regarding food. Those who were “guilt-ridden dieters” scored the highest in measures of body fat, BMI and body weight. In this case those with the highest guilt were the most likely to be all or nothing with weight loss efforts.  Once these women ate poorly, their self-talk led them to continue this behavior. This is similar to the study on self-compassion I’ve written about before in Treat Training.

 I was drawn to why one person feels guilt over food and another may not. For all I think about food, there isn’t a sense of negativity if I veer (oh not to worry there are plenty of other unproductive emotions I have to work on). My goal, in general, is to put the best foods in my body. This comes from a good place and creates the impetus to eat wholesome foods the majority of the time. So some of this is about framing. And some guilt is good. People “who do not exhibit a sense of remorse in the face of guilt are labeled psychopaths,” says one psychology site. So guilt and a sense of right and wrong can nudge us all to do the right thing in many different situations.  Some guilt is ok. It seems overwhelming or disproportionate guilt is where people are stifled.

20/20 episode suggested an interesting comparison. “High-guilt people often do shoulds”. There was an example of the college student who never missed class, wanted to achieve and give back. The also mentioned “low-guilt people often do wants”.  I want this or I want that, they are more concerned with what they would like to do than with what is expected of them.

Experts pointed out bad parenting produces too much guilt. It’s important to separate an incident from more global assessments. Getting a bad grade or eating a cookie doesn’t make you a bad, weak or unintelligent person. Rather it makes you someone who could have studied differently or perhaps was hungry. Analyzing or troubleshooting will produce a better result, in both children and adults, than attacking.

With clients, I see where people fall on the guilt spectrum. We have an exercise called “food stalking” where Foodtrainees email their food journal daily. Some clients love this, they like the commentary and feel the accountability encourages them to eat better.  The perceived feedback leads to better eating. This is not for everyone. One client, in particular, came in for her session and said “I hated that, it make me anxious, I feel I do better when I decide when to be strict.” She joked she grew up Catholic. There are so many articles about “losing the guilt” with eating. I don’t know if it’s guilt they are referring to or the mental flogging that is associated with it.

Consider where you are on the guilt spectrum. If you’re someone who can take imperfection in stride or use it to drive you that’s good to know. If you tend to beat yourself up, have plans in place. You will mess up whether it’s at work, in your relationships or with food. We all do. It’s how you react and regroup that matters more.
What do you think about guilt and food? Do you think there's a difference between internal guilt and feelings of guilt or "guilt trips" from others? Did you grow up in a "guilt heavy" environment? Was your family religious? Curious

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Is it Possible to Freeze Your Ass Off?

I am used to freezing when we’re in Vermont; however, I am unprepared for the tundra that NYC has become this week. It is so cold it hurts and while I have moments of finding this invigorating, those are fleeting. So while fleeing the flu was last week’s mission, this week it’s all about heat seeking.
Please avoid this pose should you purchase one of these hats
Hat Head Schmat Heat
I know many women (and my newly vain sons) shun hats because of static and hat head but please.  I can even make the argument that winter hats do not need to be removed at the dinner table. My favorite hats are Mischa Lampert’s. These are as warm as it gets. They’re sold at Anthropologie and online but if you need an excuse to go to Jackson Hole you'll find them at Rodeo, one of my favorite shops.
Matcha Steamer
I talked about my matcha obsession last week. For a hot chocolate riff, I like to heat nut milk and add spices and a little sweetness. On twitter someone suggested a Matcha Steamer-genius. It was like those rare moments when two of your friends like each other as much as you like them. I’m not the type of person who is ever bothered by this. One spoonful of beautiful matcha, a cup of heated homemade almond milk, whisk them together to avoid matcha being antisocial at the bottom of the mug. And at the last minute I invited cardamom and stevia. Try it, it’s good.

White Chili
I have a go-to  Rosaberry Chili recipe.  And most Wednesday nights when my boys have hockey it’s sitting on the stove when then come home. I’ve always been curious about chili variations. I made this White Bean and Chicken Chili VT this weekend. Leave it to smiley Giada to concoct a dish that could rival any traditional chili. This white chili, as the name suggests,  is tomato-free and  incorporates Swiss chard and corn. I used gluten free flour, just watch the chili powder. I increased the recipe and shouldn’t have increased the chili powder by the same factor. The adults liked it. I had the opposite error with this Moroccan Lentil Soup (spinach, cauliflower and turmeric in this one). I used low sodium broth, Pomi boxed tomatoes (very low salt) and we needed to salt it a bit once cooked. Don’t let my seasoning slip-ups turn you off, both are great recipes.

Artic Skin
Bon Appetit declared sea buckthorn the ingredient of the moment. Let’s be clear that I blogged about it first. They said it has a “sour patch kid flavor” raw. You sour patch people may be intrigued. I’m loving sea buckthorn lotion and slathering it on every family member. I’m also relying on Joanna Vargas’ Daily Serum, which was described to me as “green juice for your skin”. Sold.

Love a Good Placemat
I must be nesting/hibernating because suddenly I’m talking hats and housewares. I’m crazy about these placemats from Chilewich.

And to answer the initial question, it turns out you can “freeze your ass off” sort of.
This is a fun post but this time of year when it’s cold and dark can be difficult. If there’s someone who may be having a hard time or simply someone you haven’t heard from, reach out. Make them matcha, drop off some soup. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
It is freezing where you live? What are your favorite wintry items or recipes? Do you like hats? Can you think of anyone to reach out to this time of year?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Do You Know What Happy Calories Are?

I’ve previously outed myself; I watch pretty lousy TV, American idol included.
A new season of Idol started last week. As much as it pains me to watch the judges sip from their gigantic coke-emblazoned tumblers. I understand corporate sponsorship and here it is loud and clear. What got me way too worked up at a time I was counting on mindless relaxation was the Coke commercial that debuted during this episode. Not to worry if you missed it, it’ll air again during the Super Bowl pre-game show.

The commercial begins with that combination fart/explosive sound of a can of soda opening. The caption reads “happy calories”.  When I think of soda, I think of diabetes, sugar, caramel coloring, reproductive issues, osteoporosis and many other far from happy things. Coke is going to sort this out for me.

Cue the music and one of my favorite singers, Ingrid Michaelson’s song Be Ok. It’s catchy. If you don’t know it you can listen here.  I have since found out the song has been used to promote Motts applesauce and Ritz Crackers and has been used on numerous television shows.

The lyrics start “I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok, I just want to be ok today.” I have nothing against okay-ness. What I take serious issue with is figuring out a sneaky way to present Coke as OK. You see, there are 140 calories in a can of regular Coke and Coke shows you how you can burn these negligible 140 calories laughing, dancing and walking your dog. So that’s OK right? Drink “happy calories”, laugh, dance and we’re all good?  Word from the Coke camp was they felt people had skewed notions of the calories in soda and they wanted to set the record straight or so they say. I say crooked.

During Idol I tweeted to Ingrid Michaelson, because I am like that and couldn’t help myself, “is drinking coke ok”? Shockingly she didn’t respond but was tweeting that same night about overeating granola.  I guess after all the money from the endorsements, any calories are “happy” to her.
Coke and all soda for that matter are not ok. Chemicals aren’t something you laugh off.  Coke can twist the truth and employ all the pretzel logic they’d like and it’s still Coke. I promise you they do not have your happiness and wellbeing in mind in that advertising office (David The Agency).

 It’s one thing to sell something that’s unhealthy. It’s unacceptable to justify how it can be part of a healthy lifestyle.  Can you imagine if the same reasoning was used for Vodka? “I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok and that includes having a martini everyday?” Then cut to all the ways you can burn off that vodka?  It’s so much easier to tap your feet to the catchy song and tune this all out but we can’t really afford to do so.
Do you think Coke’s tactics with this commercial are reprehensible or just part of advertising? What do you think can be done to tell Coke that walking your dog doesn’t undo the soda damage? How do you feel when a musician, actor or other public figure you are a fan of endorses something like this (Beyoncé and Pepsi caused a stir recently)?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Screw the Flu (Before it Screws You)

I was cocky. Last weekend, my friend emailed to inform me she was a member of a flu family. Her son, came home from school Friday with the pukes, the shakes…the whole compendium of flu nastiness. She was emailing me because her son and my little guy “are attached”. I appreciated the heads up, asked my son how he was feeling but totally tempted flu fate thinking “we’ve never had the flu, never do flu shots, we’re hardly ever sick.” So you know what happened next.  I spent the night Sunday with a boy with such a high fever my washcloth-compresses were coming of his body burning hot. As Stephen King said, “there is no bitch on earth like a mother frightened for her kids.”

As determined as I was not to let the mean nasty virus near the rest of my family, I didn’t want to “fight” the flu as many articles suggest. As a germ-coward I am not interested in a “bug” brawl. Instead, I was seeking flu elusion. Below you'll find my strategy.

Astragalus- start day with a dropper of astragalus tincture in shot glass of water. Perhaps shot glasses are inappropriate for 8 and 10 year olds. I envision their first bar experience where they see shots poured and think “I wonder if that’s astragalus or E3Live? " Ah nutri-damage. Astragalus boosts your immune system to fight the flu.

Matcha is to green tea what spinning is to the stationary bike. Matcha is a powdered green tea, with a delicious sweet taste and nutrient profile. It’s contains both Vitamin C and zinc and a host of immune boosting phytochemicals. You can add it to smoothies or make it traditionally whisked into hot water. This is a great tutorial video to get you started. I love David’s tea but use an organic matcha called Do Matcha.

Vitamin D- Vitamin D3 decreases incidence of the flu in both adults and children. Carlson and Blue Bonnet are great brands; their liquid Vitamin D is very easy to take and tolerate.
looks like a smaller ginger with this beautiful orange color when sliced
Turmeric- if you haven’t used fresh turmeric, now may be the time. It has potent antibacterial and antiviral properties. Try blending it with fruit, protein powder such as Sun Warrior, almond milk and honey or stevia for a delicious breakfast. It’s also delicious with vegetables: this week I heated some Jungle Products coconut oil  (also an immune booster) added garlic (garlic can destroy the flu virus toss in your juicer or add to salad dressings), ginger an turmeric (grated with microplane) and allowed this to heat for a couple of minutes. I then tossed in some sliced bok choy, a dash of fish sauce and a sprinkle coconut flower sugar.

Other flu eluders include cinnamon, miso, papaya, leafy greens and mushrooms. And though I’m not a Purell fan, we’re loyal Clean Well customers. I don't want to say anything but there's only been one flu victim in our family so far...
How are you faring this flu season? What are your go-to flu eluders? Have you had a flu shot? 

Monday, January 14, 2013

I work hard to stay sexy, shouldn't he (or she)?

photo from a site Belly Billboard, post called "extreme couch potatoing"
Over the holidays I was reading Elle magazine. My magazine reading is generally food-skewed with a little home design and beauty thrown in. Fashion magazines are usually waiting room or hair color reading for me but I enjoy Elle and their relationship column called Ask E. Jean.

One reader wrote:
Dear E. Jean: I adore my boyfriend of six years. He’s intelligent, emotionally mature, kind, loving, and funny. But: He’s fat. When we first started dating, he was a very hot, muscular mountaineering guide. Now he’s a lawyer, and most of the muscle has turned into fat. When he gets home from work, he sits on the couch, drinking beer and watching bad TV. He’ll do that for an entire weekend if I don’t persuade him to get out and do things. Our sex life has almost always been thrilling, but the laziness and fatness are enormous turnoffs. I’m an athlete and go to the gym at 5 A.M. Though I’m still madly in love with him, I find myself looking at in-shape men. Superficial, I realize! I drop hints, and it never goes well. Is there a way to tell him to shape up? I work hard to stay sexy; shouldn’t he? I don’t want to make him feel bad, but he can’t let himself go indefinitely! —My Sexy Man’s Gone to Seed

I’ve heard this sentiment from men and women, married and dating about their partner’s eating or weight. E.Jean (strange name now that I think of it) called the girlfriend out for being turned off by an intelligent, kind, loving “fat dude” telling her “God help you if you ever grow old, gain a pound, get a wrinkle or your bottom sags.” So she basically felt superficiality has no place in romantic relationships. Can I give advice to an advice columnist? 

You may say I play for team shallow but I disagree for a couple of reasons. First, "plump partner's" change in appearance isn't simply due to the passage of time. He went from being active and outdoorsy to "lazy". I also think "it's what's on the inside" counts when we're talking about friends or coworkers but physical attraction hinges on aesthetics. For some a little extra is fine, even preferred, but maybe not for 5am girlfriend.

Later in her reply E. Jean loses me completely when she advises the woman to hire a male trainer with "buttocks that look like they've been blown up by a bicycle pump" and schedule sessions in their living room. To me, this is even more superficial than the original question. You don't make someone jealous or guilt them into make changes. Sure, girlfriend may be looking at in-shapre men but her objections with her man aren't solely based on buttocks. She calls herself an athlete and him lazy. IF someone wants to watch TV all weekend, the real issue is compatibility and I don't think fitness is one of those minor relationship issues like toilet seat consciousness. The axiom that you can't change someone generally holds. But what about when you're trying to nudge them in a direction they once were? You know the possibility exists.

I'm not a fan of dropping hints of downloading "couch to 5K" on stout steady's phone. 5AM girlfriend said her guy was emotionally mature. That's great. She needs to sit on the couch with him and present her wish list. Is it more time outside and active together? Is it watching shows they both like? And his response and subsequent actions will speak volumes. This isn't a married couple and these two may have "grown" apart. It's also important to think about these differences should these two co-parent one day (and if boyfriend would be ok with couch potato jr too). E. Jean says girlfriend should "grant him the freedom to live as he wants" agreed but if that means being glued to the couch and that doesn't work for her, she may have her answer.

Do you and your partner have similar views on exercise and eating? Do you think that's important in a relationship? What do you think is the best way to point out "slippage"? And what about physical attraction is it honest to say you're less attracted to a partner based on appearance or is this crossing the shallow line?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tongue and Teeth

The good thing about our teeth is that most of us brush them daily. I often cite tooth brushing as a habit we do without too much thought. I wish food journaling, vitamin taking and hand washing were done as regularly. The bad thing about this consistency thing is that if we’re not careful we are swishing with hormone disruptors and carcinogens and then sending all of that down the drain to our water supply and harming our fish.  Treatment plants can only “treat” so much. If you’re thinking “everything is bad for us” there’s some truth to that but the good news is that this will be an easy fix.

One of my favorite bloggers, Katherine Ong of Beauty Palate had this to say when we talked teeth “my basic philosophy is that if I work really hard to avoid known toxins and carcinogens in my food, it's kind of silly to allow them in my beauty or hygiene products.”
Your oral health may affect or contribute to heart disease, fertility and also premature birth, osteoporosis and general immunity as bacteria from your mouth travels elsewhere. Poor oral health in kids is associated with a  greater number absences so let’s take a closer look.

When it comes to toothpaste the ingredients to avoid are:
  • Parabens- mimics hormones, potential breast cancer connection
  • Triclosan- endocrine disrupter, toxic to fish 
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate- carcinogen and mutagen
  • Sodium monoflourophosphate-possible developmental concern
Some of these I discussed in an earlier skincare post.

I will admit, my children used Tom’s of Maine’s Silly Strawberry for years before I discovered there was SLS in it.  Silly indeed. And me? I was informed my Marvis was safe “paraben free” at the store I first purchased it. When I read the fine print,  my pretty licorice toothpaste hit the recycling bin. What was that spelling trick…don’t “assume” or you make an ass- (out of)- u- and me? Guess that makes me a toothpaste "ass" but no more.

The kids now use Natural Dentist Toothpaste and we use Desert Essence tea tree oil toothpaste (and coincidentally so does Katherine).  Other “safe” brands include Weleda and Jason. I should note that Tom’s Clean and Gentle and Botanically Bright toothpastes do not contain SLS but after shelling our money for  Silly Strawberry, Tom lost me. And for you canker sore people, researchers from the University of Oslo conducted studies that revealed a 60% to 70% reduction in the number of canker sores in patients who used SLS free toothpaste.

When it comes to toothbrushes, you’ll want to keep in mind the material they are made from and how often you replace them. I love these from Izola. They’re made from sustainable bamboo and the months inscribed let you know when you need to move on to a new brush. They also make a “guest” set great for houseguests, sleepovers etc.  The bristles are biodegradable nylon just FYI vegetarians/vegans some bristles are made from longhaired pigs (even as an omnivore that's just repulsive). Carolyn has her own toothbrush fixation. She likes these with charcoal-infused bristles. This Binchotan charcoal can inhibit bacteria growth between bristles.

The Mack Daddy of Dental Care
Do you know what it is?  I know they look a little forcep-like but wrong end. It’s a tongue scrapper. I can’t always brush but with this in my makeup case I am always ready. Rather than using mint or gum I’d rather get to the halitosis source. It’s like spraying air freshener versus taking the garbage out. No more bad breath with the scrapper. 

Somebody is listening to his or her dentist, and flossing, as the amount of dental floss sold in the US each year could span the distance from the earth to the moon and back four times. Or at least people are  purchasing floss. The same company who boasted that statistic has floss that’s coated with PTFE, an ingredient that also provides the coating in non-stick cookware Seek out unwaxed or naturally coated. I like Dessert Essence but I’ve heard good things about Radius’ cranberry floss, the cranberry helps break down plaque.

I’m also booking an appointment with a Holistic Dentist. Suddenly what "4 out of 5 dentists recommend" is nothing I want to be paying money for. Sorry this has been a mouthful but bad oral health is connected to bad overall health. After a little substituting your health, your families' health and the environment will be better off.
What toothpaste do you use? Have you considered the incredients? Any paste, brushes or floss that need to hit the recycling bin? Any dental health obsessions? Anyone else a tongue scraper?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Weight Loss Confessions from Behind the Cafe' Car Curtain

Yesterday, I boarded the aptly named Amtrak “Vermonter”. I was home for the week to see clients, do some much-needed, post ski grooming but looked forward to getting back to Vt. Weirdly, I love traveling by train. I book the business class car, connect to Wifi, get a ton of work done, and as you travel further North, the scenery is beautiful. The only issue yesterday was that the only open seats in the car were the closest to the café’ car. I was hesitant as I’m completely smell-averse, what I didn’t realize was the insider peak into other customers’ food orders, requests and confessions I was about to be privy to.
I took my comfy, maroon seat and decided to have lunch before I edited our resolution-themed January newsletter. I was convinced that the passenger across the aisle, we’ll call him “Cruise” was giving me weird looks as I made my way through the kale salad and multigreen kombhucha I brought with me. I also had a chuckle as I heard the first café’ order which happened to be a woman ordering a Bud Light at 11:40am. Maybe her resolution was “drink earlier”.

 As the trip continued I was disheartened listening to “Cup of Noodles please”, “DiGiorno Pizza” and “pack of peanut M&Ms”. I will give a shout out to the man who clutched his aluminum mug (the curtain was temporarily open) and asked if there was a tap for water. There was and I was thrilled he wasn’t directed to the bathroom faucet, ick. I was having fantasies of pulling open the curtain handing out business cards and the snacks in my purse (health warrior bar, oloves and chia butter).

Throughout the ride passengers, in the car, made phone calls. It amazes me what people will say knowing full well that not only can others hear but also that, chances are, they are listening. For a long hour early on Meyer Weiss announced himself on his phone. He had one of those rockin’ earpieces and talked about a new CEO, Japanese markets, and a trip to Mexico… if SNL is casting a dorky, corporate guy, I’d look this guy up. 

Then, the somewhat rough and tumble person across the aisle, Cruise, took to his phone.  First call, I heard a prescription order and was immediately more interested than I had been in any of Meyer’s calls. The next call, to whom I now gather was the girlfriend, first reminded her “you better not be late to the train I’ve been on this thing since 10 in the damn morning”. Part of me hoped she would never pick him up, at all, after talking to her like that but I listened on. There was a mention of less booze and more church. I could’ve sworn I heard something about a cruise and a speedo but assumed I eavesdropped incorrectly. I heard bits as I was ironically emailing with Carolyn about a Today segment she was prepping for on…resolutions of course.

Cruise got up and went into the café, closing the curtain behind him. He ordered water and then added, to the person taking the order,
 “Yeah I’m going on this cruise with my girlfriend, no booze till the cruise man and that’s not till March.”
See, I’m wearin’ this speedo, ok so it’s not a speedo but it’s tight.”
I promise, I tried not to pay attention…impossible. 
“My girl" she got me this bathing suit and it was super tight you see I was a 34 and now I’m like a 38.”
 “ I sent her to return it but she didn’t right away and then it was too late.” “So now I’m losin’ and eatin’ right and all that shit.”

All I wanted was a photo of Cruise to post here but I wimped out. I even tried to get a photo via reflection in my window as I feigned snapping a sunset pic. I turned the flash off and still no good. I’ve written about “pre beach” and swimsuit slim downs and never, ever would someone like Cruise be in my mind as my potential audience. And yet, chauvinism and misogyny aside, he has his specific goals, a timeline, means to his "end".  With clients I've learned,  you can never know in advance who is going to be determined and succeed and who will not. Or who will order the mid day drink or who wants to slim down. We don’t know what will cause us to turn things around and whose resolutions will stick…so we have to try and see.
If you were designing a café car menu for Amtrak, what would you offer? Do you think men are as focused on weight as women and just talk about it less? Would you have had the guts to snap a photo of Cruise? Finally, we have a hashtag email us #ResPledge @Foodtrainers your resolutions and we'll help keep you honest.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Don't Put All Your Resolutions In One Basket

Lets start off the year being frank. As much as the New Year can seem like a natural time to turn over a new leaf, a lot of resolution making is reactionary. Many of us have been traveling, spending time with family and relaxing a bit more and at a certain point you dont feel that good. What do you when youre feeling blah or worse? Something drastic of course. And drastic doesnt last. Then were back to blah with a dash of failure or frustration, not a recipe for a healthy year ahead.

 I am pro-resolution but with a few important criteria.

  • First, think of the areas in your life that need a tweaking. Make a list of those key subjects. In the coming week, fill in specifics under each heading.
  • Make sure most items on your list are completely realistic
  • However one or two of your goals should make you a little nervous.  
Carolyn introduced me to a campaign called Commitment Day. In 30+ cities across the country people will run a 5K to show their commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Whatever it is, do something today that exemplifies your commitment. As their website says, "this isn't a resolution this is a revolution of you".
Maybe some of the resolutions on my list or Carolyns will spark some ideas.

Fear facing
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt
I have been hush, hush about my  makes me nervous goal but earlier this year my book proposal was shopped around. After many we loved it but will pass the good news is that I have a publisher and the goal is to have the finished book completed in March.  This time next year you should be able to purchase my (first) book. This has been a long time coming. And not to worry, there's jitters ahead writing and putting it out there isn't comfortable but I'm excited.

Aid For Others (not in love with term “giving back”)
Early in 2012, Team Foodtrainers participated in Cycle for Survival. This fall, I went to the White House with a fantastic group of dietitians to support Let’s Move and organized a special night, with help from talented friends, to raise money for the Food Bank of NYC for Sandy relief efforts. In 2013, I plan to continue to support Let’s Move. What makes me most proud is that my children are starting to understand the need to lend a hand. I cannot lie, they weren’t jumping for joy to make packages for the firefighters after Sandy but they did it and I’ll nudge them to keep doing more. I find nothing gets me out of my head more than shifting the focus to others.

Family Resolutions
I was emailing with a friend who works at Pirates Booty and she mentioned the concept of family resolutions. I love this idea. One thing Im a stickler for is table manners. Nora Ephron said in I Feel Bad About My Neck that one job of parents is to teach children, and Im paraphrasing, which fork is the salad fork. If I can raise kids who put their napkins on their lap, without constant reminders, and dont repulse others with their utensil skills Id feel a degree of success. And after Sandy and the droughts and all the crazy weather of 2012, we have take global warming more seriously. As a family, we can start with being better with our reusable super market bags.

For the first time in years I dont have the race bug; its not my focus right now. I want to get myself out there skiing more, were in Vermont each weekend and its easy for me to lag behind and write, snowshoe or cook. This year I vow to occasionally leave the kitchen messy and just go. I have a silly fitness goal too. Where I take spinning classes theres a torque board that rates your performance. You have a choice whether to be included and I have, until now, chosen not to participate. Oh and my achy body needs foam rolling. This will be the year of the foam roller.

While I love pushing the envelope with posts, I also love you pushing back. I now post twice a week and feel this way you have time to read and comment. Keep the comments coming in 2013; I look forward to many interesting food and weight-related healthy debates. A bunch of you have emailed asking about the Cooking Homework feature. I will bring that back. Carolyn mentioned that in 2012 she spent more time in the kitchen, it 2013 she hopes to get more experimental. I could use a little freestyle cooking too.

In a recent NYT article, Seinfeld mentioned he's constantly tweaking his material; I feel that way with habits and goals but  its so easy to get bogged down in a routine. I was reminded this year how important travel is to reshuffle the deck and remove distractions. 2012 included a fishing and snorkeling trip to Belize, skiing in Jackson Hole and camping and biking in Yellowstone and the Tetons. Carolyn listed make weekends more into weekends to relax and turn off the phone. Whether its at home or away, we all need to find a way to really unwind and unplug and I realize as I sit on my computer staring at the snowy trees thats hypocriticalthats what the resolutions are for.
What’s on your list? What goal or resolution makes you a little uneasy? Which habit do you feel you can be more consistent with/that makes you feel your best? Any fitness or family resolutions? Can’t wait to hear.
13 is my lucky number and though I have no knowledge where numerology is concerned. I’m excited for the year ahead.