Showing posts tagged tumblrize
Hilary has our answer!
(Is it just me, or are you loving all of her helpful tips too?!Â The girl poses these questions before I even get a chance to ask!)
The rule of thumb is:
If the food comes in a shell,
is not porous,
or you can scrub it,
you don’t need to buy organic.
So you need to buy organic: meat, milk, and produce that you can’t scrub (like broccoli, berries, or mushrooms).Â The exception is eggs.Â We learned that last week.
With fruit, you need to beware of shiny skins.Â They are sprayed down and that pretty shine is the build up of chemicals.Â If you are willing to scrub this off (lemon juice works well), then you can feel free not to buy organic.Â But with something like an apple or cucumber where it’s almost impossible to get it all off, you should choose organic.Â As Hil says, “if a bug isn’t going to eat it, neither should you.”
With fruits like pineapples, bananas, melons, avocados etc, since you peel off the skin, you don’t need to buy organic.
Almonds, all nuts actually, come in shells, so any pesticides they were exposed to were removed along with the shell!Â Hilary also says if you buy your nuts in the bags instead of boxes you’ll save money.Â Check out the unit price next to the total price.
Other things that don’t have to be organic:
Here are more of Hilary’s insights:
Sugar is sugar.Â Cane sugar, agave, maple syrup, corn syrup, it all metabolizes pretty much the same, according to Hilary.Â I’m not sure I buy this totally, it’s probably the first thing I’ve seriously questioned, but she claims it all hits your blood system the same way. If you read the “turbinado” bag, it is a “cane” product so I suppose she is right.Â She has been about everything else :)Â Since sugar is cane and the skin is taken off before processing, then you don’t need to buy organic.
It’s cheaper and better for you to buy frozen veggies in a BAG not a BOX.Â Make sure they are flash-frozen to preserve the nutritional value.Â Veggies in boxes have usually been cooked once and have additional stuff on them for flavor.Â When you cook them again, you are killing the reason you are eating them.
The vine attached to the tomato means that the fruit still has a small source of energy and will last longer on your counter top.
As long as the only additional ingredients in canned beans is water and salt, you’re good to go!
If you are cooking with olive oil, which Hilary does not recommend due to its low smoking point, you don’t need to spend the money on “Extra-Virgin.”Â The only time you should use olive oil is for dressings and sauteeing over low heat. Hilary suggests cooking with coconut oil, which I have tried, and adds an interesting dept to my dishes.Â I use grape seed oil for simple sauteeing.
Vegetables that have been fried are not good for you.Â When you cook something until it’s crunchy, you’ve taken away all it’s nutritional value.Â Might as well get chips instead!
Speaking of chips, the “crunchy” rule applies as well.Â To my shock and disappointment, sweet potato chips are not better for you than regular potato chips.Â THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS WHEN BUYING CHIPS: the fat source - what kind of oil was used to make them.Â Look for bags with nut oils instead of vegetable or canola.
If you are going to buy pasta, choose the ones with whole grains so you’re actually getting the fiber the box claims you are.Â At the end of the day it’s all pasta and there are many better choices for your source of carbs.
Veggies in the deli case are shinier and more expensive, both of which signal a bunch of stuff has been added.Â Opt for the veggies at the salad bar for a lower price and fat content.
More to come on how I’ve been executing Hilary’s actual nutrition plan for me.Â It ain’t easy, I’ll tell you that much, but totally worth it when I execute her rules properly.
Did you know that Radio Shack is an authorized iPhone dealer?Â Yeah, me neither. I guess the better question would be, did you realize they still existed in the market with Best Buy, Target, Walmart, etc?!! As a last resort, I went in to buy a charger for my Samsung camera after venturing to every other electronic store under the sun.Â I digress.Â They sell iphones AND the apple care warranty.Â According to the guys inside, when new iPhones come out, “it’s crickets in here. Everyone waits in line at the apple store or at&t while we’re sitting here fully stocked.” Alrighty then. Looks like I’ll be making another trip to Radio Shack pretty soon!
I was surprised to find out that Atlanta is teeming with talented chefs.Â Another shocker is that vegetables are really hard to come by in the “farm-to-table” looking eateries.Â Their southern food is flavorful, rich, and mostly devoid of anything green.
That being said, I love the fare I have found around town.Â So many new places are opening as well, I’m working hard to discover them all as well as the classics.Â The following are the city’s latest and greatest.
The Lawrence (Midtown)
You can tell the boys in the kitchen were not so pleased at my request for a picture, but I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to snap a pic of famed chef Shane Devereux and his all-bearded crew!Â I’m a fan of his other restaurants, TOP FLR and Sound Table, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Shane had elevated his game for The Lawrence, a casual, yet sophisticated, Midtown venue.Â After my veggie intro above, I need to say that The Lawrence menu has the biggest selection of veg I’ve seen in ATL.Â I have no complaints about The Lawrence.Â It’s my current favorite!
Barcelona (Inman Park)
New to Inman Park, this tapas restaurant and wine bar already has a great buzz going.Â Unfortunately I can’t find the picture of my paella, but I can tell you I did sit at the table above and enjoy every dish that was served on our 4-top.Â The service is a bit slow and the noise level (as well as the bill) is high, but the energy in the room kept our spirits high.Â I would go to Barcelona again for a spread or simply grab a glass of wine and a snack at the bar.
Decatur’s Watershed (started by Indigo Girl Emily Sailers) moved across town to the southern tip of Buckhead on Peachtree and 28th.Â The neighborhood could not be more delighted to have a trendy spot!Â Think Local Three menu in a “southern contemporary” decor. Â Reservations are hard to come by, but the bar is huge so you should be able to find stools and enjoy dinner.Â Since they’re new, they’re still working out the kinks, but the food doesn’t need any tweaking.Â Whatever the pasta dish is, order it!
Octane Coffee Bar (Grant Park)
My favorite coffee shop opened its third and largest location in Grant Park (next to Six Feet Under).Â It’s a tough decision in the afternoon - coffee and sweets or beer and chips - but it can be done.Â Right now Octane is outlet-less, but I’ve put a word in with management to open at least a couple! Here you’ll also find a bigger bar and a bake shop that makes delicious things you should enjoy but eat sparingly.
Others you need to know:
- Lure - The new hot spot with great fish and a fun scene.Â Or so I hear. The decor and patio look amazing and the location should make it successful.
- Spence - Top Chef winner Richard Blais’ new place is a let down in terms of both food and decor.Â On paper it should be perfect; hopefully the execution will come around.
- F & B - From Holeman & Finch, this french bistro is already bustling in Buckhead.Â I haven’t tried it yet.
- Cib0 e Beve - Way up north on Roswell, this cozy Italian spot is not new, but no one really knows about it.Â Sit at the bar and tell Matt and Justin I sent you.
- Abbatoir - This chophouse has been around even longer, BUT it’s got a new chef.Â I should say THE chef: Tyler Williams of Baccanalia (Altanta’s best restaurant) to make the food more approachable.Â It worked.Â I love it!
- Aria - Another one that is not new, just wanted you to know it’s still alive and kickin’.Â The food was fresh, not too heavy, and all-around fabulous.
Egg cartons these days look like advertisements for spa retreats:Â free range, all natural, grass-fed, etc.Â And just like an ad, it’s meant to SELL you on the product, and doesn’t always deliver.
Hilary took me the through the explanation of what everything ACTUALLY means, and I was shocked at what I found out!
Brown v. White Color
The egg is actually the same.Â They bleach the eggs white because they look more appetizing that way!
Hens are not in a “cage” but are still crammed together in a barn or warehouse with no access to the outdoors.Â It’s basically just as bad as being in a cage.
Can be interchanged with Cage-Free.Â Stocking density may still be high and forced molting through starvation is allowed.Â They can also be debeaked!
The barn or enclosed area is open air and has access to the outdoors.Â However, the door to get there is made to be unattractive (or be barred) so they elect to stay inside.Â Â Â The quality of the outdoor area is also not regulated.Â The issues in Cage-Free and Free-Roaming may still be present if they pack too many bird into the barn.
Grass-Fed/ 100% Grass Fed/ Pasture-Raised
Technically the animal (hens, cows, etc) must only be fed grass the last 120 days of its life.Â Otherwise they can be fed anything.Â For eggs, you can assume the hens were raised in fenced-pastures with open-sided shelters so they have a better life (living like normal chickens) than in the above terms.
Hormone and Antibiotic Free
The animal has not been injected with any hormones.
MEANS NOTHING! The term is totally unregulated by the FDA. This is a marketing tactic by companies who have no other claim to make!
First of all, organic does does not mean “healthy” for any product (organic cookies are still cookies!).Â It actually only means the 70% of the ingredients are organic.Â The USDA does not view chickens the same way they do other animals so even if the eggs are “organic” they can still be raised in constant confinement, being staved and debeaked.
That being said, Hilary advises that we buy organic eggs because it means what the hens are fed is organic.
Bottom line: You are looking for 1) Organic, 2) No Hormones or Antibiotics, 3) Grass-Fed and Pasture-Raised
Clipix is a new website that allows you to “CLIP” things you want to remember to do or buy.Â When you see it, you’ll think, “that’s just like Pinterest” because it’s based on pictures and links.Â Or you can align it with ReadIt or Pocket.Â The purpose of this site is the same: keep track of things you want. However, they’ve added features you’ll love!
You can also collaborate with friends or family on a mutual project like vacations or Christmas lists.Â There is a mobile app that allows you to clip things from your browser and photo library as well.Â I use this the most.
What I like is that my Clipix is private, unlike my Pinterest boards that I hope you follow and find helpful.Â It’s become my personal to do list :)
I think we’re all over the no carb diets, so now the question is, what kinds of carbs should be be eating?
Hilary broke this all down for me the other day so I’m going to simplify her lessons for you here.
According to Hilary, there are two types of carbs: simple and complex. Simple is straight up sugar. Complex carbohydrates are also sugars but they include fiber, texture, and taste. When we eat clean, complex carbs, they don’t allow the blood sugar to spike and crash because the complexity allows for a slower release into the blood stream. A good rule of thumb: the sweeter something is, the more simple it is and therefore higher in sugar and calories.
Click the image to enlarge the chart. It’s Hilary’s easy way to explain the Glycemic Index.
You want to eat everything to the left of the arrows.
Fiber, which helps absorption of nutrients and digestion, is a hot topic right now. Hilary says you can identify good fiber by texture. It will be “stalky” (hard) and “barky” (crunchy and dense).
I asked her specifically about taking wheat grass shots. She loves the idea and nutrients, but points out if you eat it with something fibrous, like nuts, your digestion slows down and your body has more time to absorb the nutrients. If you drink it on its own (like I used to), it runs right through your system and you don’t get the benefits.
You won’t be surprised to hear I also asked about wine specifically. Hilary says to eat as much veggies with wine to help slow down the absorption of sugar and alcohol. Most people would think to eat something more starchy (like potatoes or carrots), but that just adds sugar and calories, which you are trying to minimize. So get the fiber from veggies instead!
I’ve written about my cutie pie GF Kim and all her helpful tricks before. In my book, she’s the perfect example of a strong, smart, independent, and needless to say beautiful woman. She and her BF John of 2 years are just as happy as can be…on their own terms (which I have a lot of respect for). So it’s no surprise that they pass Samantha’s relationship “test” with flying colors.
I’ve been following relationship writer and matchmaker Samantha Daniels on Huff Po for a while now. Her articles are practical, not gimmicky. Check out her recent list of questions that refer to how you and your partner take each other’s feelings and interests into consideration. Hopefully you can answer yes to all of them :)
Guess who is throwing themselves back in the ring with Google ladies and gentlemen: Microsoft.
Microsoft completely converted Hotmail to Outlook and the service is said to be “bloody brilliant” according to Gizmodo. They say, “Microsoft has poured serious brainpower into making Outlook the most functional web client ever seen. So many functions.”Â Additionally it looks sleek and feels good to use.Â They recommend we all just try it.Â Screw the Hotmail stigma and forward your current account over to see if you like it.Â Setting up an account and transferring your email is quick and painless.
Do it fast so you get your real name!!!
For all the details on the functionality of Outlook.com, read Gizmodo’s article here.
When I lift weights, I have several goals:
- Gain muscle and strength
- Burn fat
- Be completely exhausted in 1 hour
Those are no easy feat, especially when you fly solo without a trainer. Â But, it can be done if you have knowledge of proper form, experience with different exercises that work each part of each muscle group (there are several parts per group), and a heart rate monitor.
1. Â You Need An Understanding of Exercises and Form.
You can’t expect to bake a cake if you don’t know how much to put in of each ingredient, right? Â In your daily workout, you need to understand what you’re doing, know how to do it, and be able to challenge yourself.Â Form and variety are the keys to changing your body. Â This is my way of saying, if you’re unfamiliar with how to use machines and free-weights correctly, hire a trainer. Â Yes, it’s an investment, but your body is worth it. In a month’s time, you’ll learn so many different exercises, proper form (which is crucial for your body’s safety), and what you need to do to hit your personal goals. Â To cut costs and stay motivated, sign up with a friend.
My trainer Cederick taught me his philosophy of Angles and Reps (see our workouts here). Â When I’m not with him, I can repeat the workouts, or close to it, and add in other things I pick up along the way (in group fitness classes, etc) to keep the workout challenging.
2. Â Heart Rate Monitors Keep You On Track
Looking at my heart rate monitor (this Polar model $109), I know that I need to stay in “zone 3” Â - 145-160 beats per minute - in order to burn fat. Â During a weight lifting workout, I will drop below that which is why I need the watch to tell me when I need to increase my intensity.
There are two ways I do this: Â lift heavier weights (do fewer reps) and active recovery. Â Active recovery is when you let the muscle group you’re working out rest or remove the weights from the equation. Â For instance, if I’m working out chest, I might do a set of push ups in between sets. Â If my chest is burned out, I’ll opt for mountain climbers to keep my chest engaged and pick up my heart rate.
If you buy a heart rate monitor, you can ask the staff at your gym to help you set it up.Â There are several components you can’t input without testing.
3. Â The Cardio Component
Before a workout, I get in 10-15 minutes of cardio (whatever I feel like) to warm up my body, mentally lay out my workout, and burn 100 calories just to get that out of the way. Â Before I start lifting weights, I’ll grab light weights and do exercises to wake up my muscles and secure my heart rate in the fat-burning zone. Â This is the kind of stuff you do in group fitness classes: Â squats with press, lunges with a curl, jab-punch combos for 1 minute on each side, shoulder raises and circles. Â After a couple minutes of that, I’m ready to get to work.
Usually my caloric goal in a weight lifting workout is to hit 400 calories. Â If I haven’t by the end of my workout, I’ll hop back on the treadmill or bike and hit that mark within 10 minutes.
**Please note, I’m not a fitness professional.Â After 15 years of exercising, I’ve learned a lot and simply share my experience with you here.
The answer to this question is actually very simple: I’m tired of being hungry ALL THE TIME.Â I eat healthy and constantly, so why I am I always hungry?!!!
I’ve tested out nutritionists in the past, but never committed for one reason or another.Â I just want to eat clean food without a bunch of crap in them, enjoy veggies and sweets, drink wine, and not be hungry.Â Is that so much to ask?!
According to Hilary King at BLAST900, it isn’t.Â Whew.Â That’s a relief.
The reason I am taking on her program is due to her unbelievable knowledge of food and promise to hold my hand through it.Â Don’t be deceived by hew cutie pie looks, she’s smart as hell and is the most aggressive person I’ve ever seen talk about nutrition.
Hilary’s basic philosophy:Â
your meals and snacks
should have the same amount of
protein, carbs, and fat.
The objective is to train your metabolism, keep your blood sugar stable, and feel satisfied and energized instead of stuffed or hungry so you can SUSTAIN a healthy lifestyle.
Well, that’s what I thought I was doing, but when she broke down a day of my food (calling most of my “healthy” snacks candy!), I saw I was so far off base.Â According to Hilary I wasn’t eating enough fat or protein so my blood sugar was on a roller coaster.Â Huh…ok…
In Hilary’s program which is loosely based on Venice Nutrition, everyone has a different allotment of protein, carbs, and fat, which is calculated precisely for you.Â Mine is:
- 250 - 300 calories
- 25 - 30 grams of COMPLETE protein (nut & plant proteins don’t count)
- 18 - 22 grams of carbohydrates per meal
- 7 - 9 grams of fat per meal
- Eat every 3-4 hours
I’ve been at this for two weeks now and I have to say, it’s not easy to do.Â Especially the way I eat, which is mostly things that don’t come out of a box. I consider myself educated and conscious of nutrition (thankfully Hilary does as well), but I’m still learning so much about the composition of food and what my body does with it.
And guess what, now you will too! Each week I’ll offer you the nuggets of nutrition she teaches me.Â Hilary has also said she’d check in each week to answer questions you leave in the comments.Â This week you’ve learned:Â each meal and snack should have the same amount of protein, carbs, and fat.
Because the protein part is the hardest for me, I’ll give you the list ofÂ “Complete” Proteins here:
- Lean white meat
- Red meat
- Greek Yogurt (with more than 12g protein)
- 365 Whey Protein Powder (I like Vanilla)
- Aged cheeses
Nuts, nut butters, and plant proteins don’t count!Â They offer just additional protein, but should only be considered for your fats and carbs.
(Full Disclosure: This program has been in no way discounted or bartered.)
This is a great meal for when you feel like eating super healthy, but don’t want to sacrifice flavor!Â Below is a recipe I adapted from Bon Appetit.Â You can also make the meatballs for a pasta dish or just to have as a snack!
Spring Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs
Serves 4.Â I usually only make half of the broth and all of the meatballs.
- 6 ounces ground chicken (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup brown rice breadcrumbs
- 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, divided, plus more for garnish
- 4 garlic cloves, 2 minced, 2 thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 large egg, whisked to blend
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon grape seed oil
- 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, sliced into 1/4” rounds
- 2.5 cups low-salt chicken broth
- Cooked Basamati rice (see fool-proof here)
- 3/4 bunch of broccolini (or broccoli)
- 1/2 cup 1/2” rounds peeled carrots
- 1 cup (packed) baby spinach
- Chopped fresh basil
1.Â I suggest portioning out everything French style (mis en place if you will).
2.Â Mix chicken, breadcrumbs, 3 tablespoons Parmesan, 2 minced garlic cloves, chives, egg, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl.
3.Â Form into 1/2”-diameter meatballs (makes about 28).
4.Â Heat oil in a small pot over medium heat. Cook meatballs until golden all over, about 3 minutes (they will finish cooking in soup).
5.Â Transfer to a plate; set aside.
6.Â Add leek to pot and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes.
7.Â Add 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves; cook for 1 minute.
8.Â Add broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Add carrots and simmer until pasta about 5 minutes.
9.Â Add broccolini and simmer for a minute.
10. Add meatballs and simmer until carrots and broccolini are tender, and meatballs are cooked through, about 3 minutes.
11. Add spinach and stir until wilted.
12.Â Season with salt and pepper.
13. Garnish with parmesan and basil which really make the soup.Â You can eat it without it, but it’s so much better with the two.
Two bands I love just dropped new albums to lift our tired popped out ears for the end of summer.
You probably know Passion Pit from their wildly popular first album “Manners.”Â Even though their high-pitched, electric, playful songs didn’t get a lot of radio play, I know you’ve heard Passion Pit’s “Moth’s Wings” before.Â Gossamer is very much like that album.Â I also need to say that the Passion Pit concert I saw in LA goes on my list of top ten ever. The energy in the room is unlike any other I’ve every felt at a concert…and…you get to jump around like a crazy kid :)
The Gaslight Anthem offers a heavier rock sound like we rarely hear these days (and I honestly long for).
Both are included on the Rdio playlist below, The Dog Days of Summer 2012.Â I made it with weightlifting workouts, bbqs, and trying to be productive around the house in mind.Â Well, that’s how I’m going to use it.
If you haven’t signed up for Rdio yet, do it (and you can follow my lists).Â I love being able to pay $10 a month and get unlimited music and sync it across all of my devises.Â Rdio’s “New Releases” section is the best discovery tool for new music (along with the “>Band Of The Day app).
While you’re at it, follow Clintus on Rdio, I’m loving his mixes right now.
BTW, yes, I’m aware of Spotify, I just really like Rdio right now.
I’m writing a piece for The Huffington Post about visiting spin studios when you travel. It’s a fun thing to add to your itinerary and helps you stay in shape while you’re on the go. SoulCycle, the wildly popular NYC spin studio where I taught from 2007-2009, seems to be the source of the resurgence of private spin studios.
It’s hard to articulate the SoulCycle experience - dark room, loud music with a heavy beat, Swinn bikes lined up close together, inspirational instructor, dynamic ride that you can only do on an indoor bike - all of that sounds predictable. But the SoulCycle ride accesses some part of you that is screaming to get out and play! In the darkness, you can open yourself up to a personal journey and catharsis I’ve never felt in any other group fitness class. (Read one rider’s experience here). With this final piece and flawless branding, they’ve created a cultish following that packs their studios every hour and generates tons of press to the point that SoulCycle seems perfect.
As and instructor there for 3 years and a person who knows that nothing in life is perfect, I thought I’d give you the honest-to-goodness truth about Soul Cycle.
1. The ride is in fact the most exciting, uplifting, and fun fitness experience I’ve ever known. Period. It’s not THE HARDEST; it ‘s the one that keeps you mentally in shape to keep up your fitness routine. In other words, worth every penny.
3. Riding as a “posse” and not doing your own thing, you will ride harder and get stronger. Follow their instructions and learn how to ride their way.
4. Spinning does not make your legs “bulk up.” Think about it, it’s thousands of repetitions with light resistance that tones your legs, not make them huge.
5. Their many movements to make the class more dynamic and fun helps to isolate muscle groups, strengthen your core, and pull in your waistline.
6. All instructors are not created equal, but they’re pretty darn close. I like: Stacey, Laurie, Kym, Lori A, Janet, Melanie, and Sue.
7. You can’t rely on the class to be your only source of fitness. Even though the class includes an “arm segment” where you use weights to tone your muscles, it’s a cardio workout and you need to lift weights on other days.
8. You don’t burn as many calories in a spin class as you think you do. According to my heart rate monitor, I only burned around 420 per class (45 minutes), which is what I usually burn when I lift weights for 1.5 hours. In an hour BLAST900 class, I burn 600 calories.
9. FlyWheel was started by one of the founders of SoulCycle, Ruth Zuckerman, who I love and admire as a woman. I used to take her class often because that woman has serious soul. Ruth had to change the game to make her Flywheel different. By adding a computer to the bike, your ride focuses on RPMs and the power you are actually exerting. There is a big screen overhead so you can see how you compare to others in the room. The ride itself is in no way as introspective or as fun, in my opinion, but it’s challenging. If you don’t know SoulCycle, FlyWheel is a solid ride I bet will be a 100 times more exciting and productive than whatever your gym offers.
10. The SoulCycle family is not as inviting as you might want it to be. All of the staff works hard and efficiently. If you want in on a more personal level to join the inner circle party, you’ll have to make the effort to get to know the instructors and the other riders. When you do, you’ll appreciate the connection.
When I write the HuffPo piece you’ll have more perspective on what other studios offer in different cities. Unfortunately there’s not a lot out there that’s why you should make an effort to spin when you travel to the big cities. If you’re in NYC or LA, you now know where to go :)