Memorial Day Weekend is just about three weeks away, which means that bathing suits will soon enter the picture for many of us. (Not likely for me, as I’m due with a baby on June 8. The perfect, built-in excuse not to have to worry about how I look in a swimsuit this summer!) And let’s face it: It was a long, cold, dark, and brutal winter for many people. But I’m not recommending that you crash-diet for the next three weeks (or months) to squeeze into a two piece. So I asked our Fearless Foodtrainer, nutritionist Lauren Slayton (@foodtrainers), to provide us with effective tips for getting into healthy and happy bathing-suit-shape this season. Here’s her sage spring and summer swimsuit advice: More
Topic: how to cook
I was eating homemade Indian food as I watched last night’s episode of the NBC reality series America’s Next Great Restaurant, so you could be forgiven for thinking that I was rooting for Sudhir and his modern Indian food restaurant concept, Spice Coast, to make it from the final four to the top three in this heated competition.
Truth is, as much as I love many types of Indian food (though Sudhir’s presentation definitely trumps mine), I was really hoping that dark horse Stephenie (a Harvard-trained attorney by profession) and her Harvest Sol Mediterranean-fusion restaurant concept would make it to the next level. Alas, it was not to be. But it wasn’t her concept that was the defining issue; the judges (a.k.a. the investors) all agreed that Stephenie had a smart and highly marketable idea (healthy, fixed-calorie, mass-casual food). Her problem was that, in her reality TV quest to introduce the average American to really healthy (and even sustainably-sourced) fast food, Stephenie didn’t do enough of her research, and didn’t know what the hell she was talking about. As a result, she couldn’t sell Harvest Sol. And now she’s history. More
Spring means Easter and, to us, Easter is not-so-subtle code for lamb. Tasty lamb dishes for festive luncheons and dinners, to be exact. (Or anytime, really.) So we asked our Fearless Foodtrainer, nutritionist Lauren Slayton (who’s a lifelong lamb-lover) about her health take on some delicious spring mutton. Here’s what she had to say:
The nutritional value of lamb is dependent on the type of feed, as well as the time the lamb spends out to pasture. Organic standards require extended pasture time, and therefore are the way to go. Lamb is often used in Indian cooking, and often prepared even more commonly than beef in Mediterranean cooking. And lamb can be a surprisingly good source of omega-3s. For optimal nutritional and health value, choose trimmed, lean, organic cuts like a leg or loin.
And in case you’re still not sure what to serve your guests tomorrow, click through our gallery of six of our favorite savory (and sweet) lamb dishes perfect for spring. Happy Easter. More
Pecans may conjure images of sugary, Thanksgiving pies, but they’re also a high-protein nut that research indicates could have the ability to fight prostate cancer in men. They’re also antioxidant rich and, for all those low-carb fiends out there: Just one serving (seven to eight nuts) contains the same amount of protein found in a one-ounce serving of meat. In this “paté” recipe, they’re combined with cilantro, which helps the body detox and chelate heavy metals from the blood. Happy spring cleaning! More
Jamie Oliver (a.k.a. The Naked Chef) is a nice British man who has come to America to do great things for us, and I’m afraid we aren’t being very nice to him. In particular, the knuckleheads in charge of the City of Los Angeles public schools district, which Jamie is desperately trying to help, aren’t being very nice to him — on the second season of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC, the second episode of which aired last night. And it’s not like Jamie is walking around L.A. naked or anything.
Now, I don’t know Jamie Oliver and have no plans to ever meet him, but I cannot tell you how much I love this man. I really think that out of anyone on TV (reality or scripted), he’s the real deal. In order to help Americans shift the way they think about nutrition and decrease skyrocketing obesity rates in the U.S. (particularly childhood obesity by targeting meals in public schools), this guy will dress up like a friggin’ tomato in public. And who else would have the guts/stupidity do that aside from Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie? Jamie is furious, and he wants us to be furious right along with him. More
I must admit that I don’t know enough about Passover. In fact, I don’t know much about Passover at all, except that it’s a springtime Jewish holiday that usually falls somewhere around Easter, and that when Passover arrives, the hideous street parking situation in my New York City neighborhood improves tremendously. I was raised Catholic and attended eight years of Catholic grammar school, four years of Catholic high school, and four years at a Jesuit university. Sue me. And because, as an adult, I became a good lapsed Catholic, I can barely remember what I’m theoretically supposed to eat and not eat during Lent leading up to Easter. (Something about no meat on Fridays, and maybe giving up chocolate or booze for a month. Then you get to break out the Paas Easter Egg Dye kit on Saturday, and gorge yourself on candy on Easter Sunday — after Mass, of course. Thank you, Jesus!) But I do know that Passover involves food (and a lot of it). And, because I run a health and wellness website, I wondered if there were any particularly healthy Passover foods in which one might indulge throughout the week. (And they have to taste good.) So I asked our resident nutritionist and Fearless Foodtrainer, Lauren Slayton, if she had any diet-friendly Passover tricks up her sleeve. Turns out, she came up with ten, and none of them even slightly resemble the creme-filled chocolate eggs I used to devour as a kid on Easter Sunday (after kicking ass in the annual egg hunt, I’ll have you know). More
We’ve listened to the soothing audio of yoga instructors; we’ve heard the dulcet tones of chilled-out painters in our earbuds, and we’ve even included Alec Baldwin on our list of special people whose voices have the power to lull us into a pleasantly calm catatonic state – if only for a few brief minutes. This week’s installment of Kind Coma pays homage to Earth Week 2011 by featuring four eco-friendly raw food chefs with relaxing voices that will have you blissing out and praising Mother Earth in no time. Be sure to put away all sharp kitchen implements well before you dim the lights and hit “play.” Happy Earth Week, hippies! Just don’t get so chillaxed that you actually sleep through Earth Day. More
My husband and I are fairly obsessed with the NBC reality show America’s Next Great Restaurant, which comes on before The Celebrity Apprentice, which I’m proud to say I’ve never actually watched. If you haven’t seen any of America’s Next Great Restaurant‘s inaugural season, here’s the gist: Ten regular American people present their ideas for a what’s essentially a future mass-casual fast-food restaurant chain to chef and Food Network personality Bobby Flay, the guy who founded Chipolte (Steve Ells), Lorena Garcia, a chef and TV host in Latin America (never heard of her until now), and that model-esque Australian chef, Curtis Stone, who’s been popping up all over the place lately. They’re called the “investors,” because at the end of the season, if they like your concept enough, they’ll invest in your idea and help you open three of your own restaurants across the U.S. And they’re only going to pick one winner. (The “investors” keep referring to the investment capital as their actual money. This I’d like to see, people.)
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One of my friends has orthorexia. The undiagnosed kind, of course. And undiagnosed by me (i.e. not a doctor). Orthorexia is a relatively new term (circa 1996-97), and is the latest, trendiest eating disorder out there on the health and wellness spectrum. (But it’s important to note that it’s technically not a medical term.) Orthorexia Nervosa is essentially an obsession with healthy eating. How could an obsession with something as good-for-you as healthy eating ever be considered a problem or a disorder, you may ask? I’ll tell you.
My friend, who could be described as an orthorexic in major denial, lives on and runs an organic farm. She only eats organic foods, preferably local. (That’s cool; I do that, too, whenever I can.) But my friend gets fewer than 10% of any food she puts into her body (and the bodies of her family members, who go along with it) from a supermarket. (Whoa. Okay, I can’t compete with that one.) And my friend takes these health- and environmentally-conscious practices a few steps further: Essentially, she only eats foods that come from her farm or the organic farms of people she knows personally. (That’s nice; we like to meet the farmers at our local farmers’ market, too.) No wait, let me clarify: This means that my friend doesn’t eat any foods that come from farms that may well be certified organic, produce delicious produce or meats, and have an excellent and nationally-recognized reputation — unless she has actually visited the farm herself and has physically shaken the farmer’s hand. More
Yesterday, M.D. and board-certified psychiatrist Dale Archer talked to me about ten ways to tell someone the painful truth. Now, those ten techniques are all well and good and helpful and necessary, but then I started wondering how and when to know if spilling a painful truth is just a bad idea all around — for everyone involved. (I recently told my loved one about their chronic bad breath. Was that a misstep? No? Whew.) So I asked the good doctor to tell us when we never, ever should tell someone a painful truth, regardless of how much and how well we think it may serve them. (Opt for that little white lie instead!) Dr. Archer gave us two good pieces of advice, and I’ve added eight of my own suggestions to round out the list. Do you agree or disagree? Have any more specific examples to add to our tally, or, better yet, personal painful truth tales to tell — either on the giving or receiving end? Sound off in our comments section. Truthfully, please. More
Last week I asked Lauren Slayton, our Fearless Foodtrainer (@foodtrainers), to tell us eight ingredients that should never be in our smoothies (and why). Because it’s finally spring, we’ve been talking about smoothies an awful lot lately around Blisstree (even though today it’s rainy and 45 degrees in New York City). I have to admit that all this smoothie talk makes me a little uncomfortable, because I have a chronic aversion to cutesy words like foodie, smoothie — and cutesy, for that matter. (And judging from some of the recent related comments on Blisstree’s Facebook page, many of you feel the same way. Solidarity!) Still, I appreciate the potential health benefits and undeniable convenience of a smoothie, whether blended at home or made-to-order from a smoothie stand. So, because Blisstree likes to explore both sides of an issue, this week we’re all about what healthy ingredients we should add to our smoothie-making machines. Here are ten faves from our Fearless Foodtrainer: More
What better day to dicuss food dyes than on March 17, when beers, cupcakes, people’s faces and bodies, and the Chicago River (among other things) are dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day? Unfortunately, the truth is that most food dyes aren’t so lighthearted, carefree, and fun-loving. Though we tend to associate them with birthday parties, annual parades, and community bake sales, food dyes can contain some pretty scary ingredients, and can lead to some pretty serious health issues including cancer, allergic reactions, and hyperactivity. (And the dyes are present in a lot of foods you might not expect.) Damn distressing dyes. So I asked our Fearless Foodtrainer, nutritionist Lauren Slayton, exactly what’s so bad about about eating foods that contain dyes, and for ten facts we may not know about these seemingly innocent additives. More
I’m a vegetarian, and that’s one of the least interesting things about me. (Or so I hope.) Still, whenever I’m at a party, out to dinner with someone new, or even trying to pass a particularly aggressive grocery store employee handing out samples, the questions come. You’re a vegetarian? Why? How long have you been one? Do you eat seafood? Cheese? How do you get protein? How can you live without bacon? Are you going to throw paint on me for wearing a leather jacket?
Look, I’m not telling you what to do — I just don’t want to try the pork sliders or split the calamari appetizer or sample the bacon caramel corn. I’m not interested in meat. That doesn’t mean you can’t order the porterhouse. I don’t mind one bit. More