Food

Food, Glorious Protein-Packed Food!

2016-06-24-18.13.31-e1466957578168.jpg

Food, Glorious Protein-Packed Food!

Food is one the best things I get the privilege of reviewing. Seriously, nothing makes me happier than waking up to an email from a local food purveyor's PR company.

"Lynda, we would love for you to try X. X is made and sourced locally, has won awards, and is a growing brand. We would love to send you some samples for review."

Now, I don't always say Yes.

I say no, in general, to most juices, protein powders, workout supplements disguised as food, and bars. They tend to be rehashes of one another.

I say Yes to locally crafted foods, and to random things that interest me.

This week, I bring you three Yesses - charcuterie from NYC's Les Trois Petits Cochons, Greek-style yogurt from Southampton's Nounos Creamery, and protein snack chips from Ips Snacks.

Les Trois Petits Cochons

Hubby used to be a classically trained chef, and in our house we eat a lot of charcuterie. Smoked duck breast on salad, a nice paté on good bread (I save my gluten for these moments), a good sausage with mustard and cornichons. Yum!

Les Trois Petits Cochons sent us four items in a cold box - Paté forestier, Saucisson sec aux herbes de provence, Smoked duck breast, and Terrine des Trois Rois.

2016-06-17 14.44.23
2016-06-17 14.44.23

The folks at The Three Little Pigs make some of the best charcuterie we have ever had.

We had the paté, sausage, and terrine on a tray with sliced bread, course mustard, and cornichons. They were all perfectly rendered, with great textures and flavors. So good! And the smoked duck breast? It was simply wonderful.

Seriously, their smoked duck breast is perfect - not overpoweringly salty and not dry. And the breast even included the tender! We had it on a salad of romaine, good tomatoes, mini cucumbers, and hearts of palm with a light ginger soy dressing. Fab!

Nounos Creamery

On Friday, Nounos Creamery dropped off a mixed case of their decadent and wonderful Greek-style yogurt. I received 12 jars of the best Nounos flavors - Apple Pie á la Mode, Fig and Orange, Strawberries and Cream, Vanilla Bean....

2016-06-24 18.13.31
2016-06-24 18.13.31

Nounos yogurt is just so good. Thick and creamy, intensely flavored without a lot of sugar, and satisfying. It is my favorite yogurt!

Ips Chips

I don't know about you, but I sometimes crave salty, crispy chips. Potato chips are yummy but deep fried, and the baked versions are not as satisfying. I also love pretzels, and while Snyders does a decent gluten-free pretzel, they are just pure carbs and salt.

Ips Chips are different. These are a corn-based chip with added whey protein. I received Sea Salt & Black Pepper Chips, Barbecue Chips, and Cheddar Cheese Chips.

wc_chips
wc_chips

The flavor and texture are great, even with significant protein! Even hubby, who loves junky snack food, loved these.

The only thing I noticed after eating them for a few days was that I started to notice the chalky texture of the protein. In normal life, I probably wouldn't try all the flavors so quickly, so I doubt that would be a regular issue.

Enjoy!

Pros & Cons of Calorie Counting

Soy-whey-protein-diet1.jpg

Pros & Cons of Calorie Counting

– Advice from Top Bloggers (including me!)

ProForm, leaders in the treadmills industry, are interested in much more than just exercising when it comes to health and fitness. They believe that it takes a combination of things in order to stay fit in a world of fast foods, restaurants and unhealthy eating. Their team of experts go out of our way to keep their audience informed on important topics related to fitness and health.

So, they turned to some top bloggers (including yours truly) for advice on the age-old subject of calorie counting. Some people practice calorie counting to ensure that they intake a healthy amount each day. And, when it comes to a healthy amount of calories, too little is just as bad as too many.

Some of the top bloggers below believe that calorie counting helps you make wiser eating choices. On the other hand, some tend to find it to be a serious waste of time. Read on to discover what I and the other health and fitness experts have to say about calorie counting and how it affects your personal wellness, health, and overall life.

Pros & Cons of Calorie Counting – Advice from Pilates and Reiki

Calorie counting can turn into an obsession if you’re not careful. It can be a very time consuming process. And, if you’re not careful, you just may lose focus of the desired results… actually losing weight. ProForm asked me for some advice on calorie counting versus Reiki treatments:

Do you think that calorie counting has a positive impact on personal health and wellness? Why?

I think the answer depends on how you and your brain tend to work. Many people do well counting calories, because the simple act of meal planning and calculating numbers forces them to eat less. So many of us ingest our calories mindlessly, but true calorie counting can only be done mindfully. The trick is cutting back enough to lose weight, but not too much.

That said, calorie counting can make some people over-focus on the numbers, instead of how they feel and how their clothing fits. Again, different personalities and learning styles need different weight loss strategies.

There are health problems that disappear for many with Reiki treatments. Do you think that weight problems can be combated with Reiki treatments rather than counting calories?

Reiki can definitely have a positive effect on weight loss, when combined with a good diet and exercise program. Daily Reiki self-practice, like and mindfulness practice, will help calm you down and keep you relaxed and focused.

It’s amazing, but just 20 minutes of self-Reiki care a day can make it easier to take of yourself better in what you eat and drink. And it also works if you pay someone to do the Reiki treatment for you. But you still have to actually be active in the weight loss, paying attention to what and how you eat and move.

Christina Aguilera recently credited Reiki with assisting her 30 pound weight loss. She stated that three times a week of Reiki treatments helped give her the focus and fortitude to eat healthy and keep the weight off, but she still has to eat healthy. You can’t Reiki away a bad diet!

Pros & Cons of Calorie Counting – Advice from Skinny Mom

Calorie counting is a hot topic among women who understand that health and beauty can go hand-in-hand. We asked Skinny Mom about calorie counting and the type of impact it has on the health and wellness of these women. Our team also inquired about Skinny Mom’s ideas on how personal health is affected by the calories found in various types of foods.

Do you think that calorie counting has a positive impact on personal health and wellness? Why?

I find that for myself and other busy moms, calorie counting is a tedious task that no one has time for! Keeping track of every calorie consumed and constantly adding them up is a chore that is unsustainable in the long run. This is especially true with busy Moms.

When you think about calorie counting from a common sense standpoint, you'll realize that all calories are not created equal. Think about it—are 100 calories in M&Ms equal to a 100 calories in blueberries in terms of health and wellness? No--the M&Ms are full of fat, refined sugar, and salt while the blueberries are full of vitamins and minerals.

The reason why people swear by calorie counting is that it gives their day structure. It takes the guesswork out of dieting because you’re able to calculate how much to eat throughout the day. A healthier and more effective method for creating structure within a diet is focusing on carbohydrates, the macronutrient that fuels your body and gives you energy.

Carbohydrates are strategically planned throughout the week to speed up your metabolism and get you lean and toned up fast! This is alongside a strong focus on vegetables, protein, and healthy fats. I like to follow a carb rotation plan and I call it my Power 30 Plan.

I actually used this method as a fitness competitor before I had my son. I’ve now tweaked it for busy Mom’s like myself. It’s structured enough to make you stick to it, but flexible enough to balance cooking for your family and enjoying occasional treats! This is a long term lifestyle that is truly sustainable.

There are so many food categories you cover. What impact do calories coming from varying food types have on personal health?

It’s SO important to get your calories from a variety of food categories because each food has its own benefit to your body. Every food has a unique vitamin and mineral complex and different foods work together for better nutrient absorption and more energy.

What I love about my POWER 30 Carb Rotation Program is that no food group is off limit. This is not one of those diets where you cut out a whole food category.  You pretty much can eat everything in moderation making it easy to follow long term.

The tricky part comes with timing and portion control of these different food groups. We want to maximize your energy and boost your metabolism, so choosing when to bring in carbohydrates is important.

Pros & Cons of Calorie Counting – Advice from Treadmill Reviews

Calorie counting works for some. Yet, there are others who consider it to be a major waste of time when it comes to personal health and wellness. We asked Treadmill Reviews how important calorie counting is to a person trying to become and stay physically fit. This top blogger truly believes in combining a healthy diet with working out using treadmills.

Do you think that calorie counting has a positive impact on personal health and wellness? Why?

Focusing on the multiple factors that impact a person's health will have a ripple effect that will improve the health and wellness of anyone. Each body type has other factors that will impact the way they improve their health and wellness.

For many people calorie counting is a way to keep focused on a balanced diet and make educated healthy food choices that they may have not otherwise. Each person should do the research and decide if calorie counting is the best way to improve their personal health.

What type of treadmill burns the most calories?

A versatile treadmill that offers multiple ways to get the burn going will be the best way to burn the most calories. A treadmill that offers incline training will substantially improve the amount of calories burned during a shorter workout time.

An advanced treadmill that monitors your calories is going to be great, but a treadmill that takes in your age, BMI, weight and height will give you the most accurate calculation of calorie burn.

Pros & Cons of Calorie Counting – Advice from Fitness Is Delicious

Calorie counting was once a very popular trend for people hoping to lose weight and stay physically fit. Many people still use it as a form of doing “balances and checks” when it comes to eating habits. But, top blogger Fitness Is Delicious isn’t a fan of the age-old approach to healthy eating. And, here’s why:

Do you think that calorie counting has a positive impact on personal health and wellness? Why?

In most cases, no. For the majority of us, counting calories is not a sustainable health habit. It's exhausting, it isn't always accurate and it doesn't place an emphasis on eating real, nutrient dense food.

Let me explain- let's say you need to consume 1,800 calories during the day to lose weight. What does that 1,800 calories look like? In a scenario where the person is focused solely on calories, someone may have the choice to eat an apple with almond butter, or a 100 calorie snack pack.

Although the 100 calorie snack pack may have less calories, it's not the better choice. The apple with almond butter provides nutrients, satiety and other health benefits. The 100 calorie pack is still a highly processed snack with little to no nutrient density and no satiety- not to mention it's probably made up of a laundry list of ingredients.

I'm not suggesting that calories don't matter at all, but your first priority should be focusing on nutrient dense food options that will support a healthy mind and body. There is a caveat (isn't there always?)- counting calories and/or macronutrients, may be a necessity for some athletes.

Depending on their fitness goals, these individuals need to track everything they are eating. That being said, they are the minority and for the general public and those looking for a healthier lifestyle, counting calories is not the way to go. Instead, focus on real, nutrient dense food that supports your everyday health and fitness goals.

When you were in college you counted your calories and learned the negative side of a low calorie diet. What advice do you have for those who think that is their next option?

When I focused on a low calorie diet, my diet consisted of things like sugar-free energy drinks, low calorie yogurts and salads with little to no protein; not to mention my meals were pretty tasteless. I was so focused on making sure I wasn't consuming a lot of calories, that I was missing out on eating real, nutrient dense food (that tasted delicious) and I was also screwing with my metabolism.

Your body needs calories to function every day; for things like hormone regulation, supporting a healthy immune system and even weight-loss- yes weight-loss. Your body has to have calories to burn calories! If you are stuck on a low calorie cycle, try something like a nutritional reset.

Take 30 days to focus on eating three, nutrient dense meals a day, that each include a protein, some vegetables, good fats and some fruit. Have some satiating snacks if you need and cut out processed foods and sugar. Take time to refocus your eating habits and psychological association with food by resetting the way you've thought about food in the past.

Pros & Cons of Calorie Counting – Advice from Performance Fitness LLC

Calorie counting is great for some, yet useless to others. Deciding what’s best for you should be based on your own healthy goals… physical health, or psychological health. That’s what the top blogger Performance Fitness LLC told us when we asked about the impact of calorie counting. Here’s the blogger’s take on the role it plays in creating a better life:

Do you think that calorie counting has a positive impact on personal health and wellness? Why?

That depends on the person and their approach to calorie counting. In terms of physical health, there are the obviously benefits of weight loss or weight maintenance, but in terms of psychological health and wellness, some people need to avoid counting calories or at least take a break from it.

I find that there are two types of people for whom calorie counting doesn’t work:

  1. The Game Show Contestant – This is the person who loves to play the “Beat My Calories” game. In a weight loss scenario, they set their calories in their favorite food tracking app, allowing for the necessary deficit to lose weight, and then try to constantly come in UNDER their deficit. In fact coming in under their calories at days end is a source of pride for this person. Remember that their calories have already been set at a deficit to allow for weight loss, so coming in under this number results in far too few calories being taken in. This person is also constantly starving, and eventually gives up on their plan because their extremely restricted plan is impossible to maintain, and they usually end up feeling like a failure.

  2. The Compulsive Counter – This person compulsively tracks every morsel of food to that point that it becomes their second job. They’re constantly thinking about their next meal and meticulously write down every detail of every food that they ingest. This person also ends of being miserable because the task of writing down every detail of every food becomes an all-consuming and overwhelming chore.

Calories are obviously important. Constantly eat in excess of your caloric needs, and you’ll never achieve your fat loss goals or be able to maintain your weight. If a client doesn’t fall into one of the above categories, then I think counting calories sensibly can be a positive exercise. After all, it can be great feedback to inform your food choices throughout the day.

However, I still prefer that clients use their energy to focus on what they eat; choosing minimally processed foods over highly processed items, prioritizing vegetables and proteins, and learning awareness of their food behaviors and overeating triggers. Even journaling without calorie counting can be a helpful exercise, helping to build awareness of portion size and even situations that cause overeating.

Your motto is A Better Body. A Better Life. What advice do you have for those working for a better life? How could calorie counting play into your plan?

  1. Take responsibility for where you are now.

  2. Forgive yourself for your past and move on.

  3. Realize that you can’t fix the past and you really can’t control your future, but you can try to make a better future through the choices (foods, working out on a consistent basis) you make in the present.

  4. Determine if you’re truly ready to make a change.

  5. Figure out why you’re motivated to make a change.

  6. Set your goals and then determine your action plan.

If you can calorie count in a sane way, by all means do it. It can help you to stay on track and reach your health and fitness goals, and create a better life.

Bottom Line: Calories Count, Even If You Don’t Count Calories

The one thing all of these top bloggers agree on is that whether you practice calorie counting or not, calories do count. How many calories you intake with each snack and meal of each day is vitally important personal health and fitness. But, not everyone has the patience, or the time, for counting calories. If you do, then good for you.

However, that shouldn’t be the main focus of your healthy living routines. Instead, you need to develop a healthy diet, and follow it each and every day. That means learning to make better choices when it comes to the foods you eat. In time, this should be so routine that you’ll never have to worry about counting calories again.

So, if you’re looking for an alternative to counting each and every calorie you intake, we have the answers. Plan your daily meals ahead of time to ensure that you intake the proper amount of calories and carbs. And, develop and maintain a healthy fitness routine to ensure personal health and wellness.

This informational series, “Pros & Cons of Calorie Counting – Advice from Top Bloggers” was created by the treadmill experts at Proform. Ready to combine an effective fitness program with your new healthy eating habits? Visit Proform treadmills and start your new healthy routine today.

Nutrition for Joint Health

Nutrition-pyramid.jpg

Nutrition for Joint Health

Excerpted with permission from the publisher, Harlequin Nonfiction from Healthy Joints for Life by Richard Diana M.D. Copyright © 2013 by Richard Diana

The Eleven Nutritional Commandments for Joint Health By Richard Diana, M.D, Author of Healthy Joints for Life: An Orthopedic Surgeon's Proven Plan to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, Avoid Surgery and Get Moving Again

1. Thou shall respect insulin as the body's primary inflammatory hormone and recognize that it is secreted in direct response to eating carbohydrates.

2. Thou shall control blood sugar levels by understanding the glycemic index and load of specific carbohydrates and by eating slower-digesting complex carbohydrates.

3. Thou shall help control blood sugar levels with fiber.

4. Thou shall avoid high fructose corn syrup.

5. Thou shall avoid trans fats.

6. Thou shall eat "smart" saturated fats, minimize processed polyunsaturated fats, and beware of fried foods, especially those fried in polyunsaturated fats.

7. Thou shall maximize omega-3 fatty acids.

8. Thou shall remember that omega-6 fatty acids are unsaturated and essential but still need to be minimized, because they are so easily oxidized and are the basis for inflammatory pathway building block, arachidonic acid.

9. Thou shall eat as much fish as possible, keeping in mind that salmon is preferable to all others.

10. Thou shall choose healthier animal proteins, like buffalo, chicken, and turkey, and leaner cuts of those proteins, like the strip and breast.

The Bonus Commandment:

11. Thou shall combine healthy fats and proteins with healthy carbohydrates in order to effectively reduce the glycemic index (GI) of the carbohydrates.

The types of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins we choose to eat can have a dramatic effect on how our joints feel. You can control inflammation and joint pain by eating joint-healthy foods. Sorting out which foods are beneficial to joint health is fairly easy as we eat only three categories of foods, namely, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. That's basically it.

You can get picky and debate where to put alcohol or sugar alcohols, but for our purposes it's worth reemphasizing that if you eat it, then it's a carbohydrate, fat, or protein. I often refer to those food groups as The Big Three. If you learn to balance The Big Three you will be one step closer to controlling joint pain.

Excerpted with permission from the publisher, Harlequin Nonfiction from Healthy Joints for Life by Richard Diana M.D. Copyright © 2013 by Richard Diana

Author Bio Richard Diana, M.D., author of Healthy Joints for Life: An Orthopedic Surgeon's Proven Plan to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, Avoid Surgery and Get Moving Again, retired from the Miami Dolphins after Super Bowl XVII to attend Yale School of Medicine. He has been an orthopedic consultant to several collegiate athletic programs as well as to the Boston Red Sox. Dr. Diana is a board-certified surgeon and has been named a Top 100 Doctor in America. He is a clinical instructor at Yale School of Medicine and attending surgeon at Yale-New Haven Hospital. For more information please visit http://www.healthyjointsforlife.com

Book Review: The Longevity Kitchen Cookbook

Ipomoea_batatas.jpg

Finally, a cookbook that offers gorgeous, tasty, easy to follow recipes featuring all the anti-aging power foods we love.

5/5 Stars

While I was working in the Caribbean, I met a lovely woman named Caroline Nation. The former publisher of W Magazine, Caroline had left the fashion publishing world and entered into the world of nutrition with her fabulous nutrition site, My Food My Health (use code "Lynda" to receive 15% off your first order).

We remained in contact, and a few weeks ago we met for tea and she handed me a copy of The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods [120 Recipes for Vitality and Optimal Health] cookbook, which is written by My Food My Health consulting chef Rebecca Katz, along with Mat Edelson (the pair behind The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen).

With a forward from health guru Dr. Andrew Weil, this beautiful book offers recipes for all occasions and times of day. There are great soups, appetizers, breakfasts, and even desserts. The recipes feature different combinations of power foods like asparagus, basil, blueberries, dark chocolate, kale, olive oil, sweet potato, thyme, and yogurt.

While The Longevity Kitchen is organized like most cookbooks, by meals, there is also an index that categorizes the recipes by health benefits.

Need some immune boosting? Try Chicken Tortilla Soup and Carrot Apple Slaw with Cranberries.

Under too much stress (like most of us)? Here come Sweet Potato and Zucchini Pancakes and Sweet Potato Bars to the rescue.

Enhance your memory and brain power with Golden Roasted Cauliflower aside some lovely Wild, Wild Salmon Burgers.

Blood sugar out of control? Even things out with Smoked Salmon Nori Rolls and Sicilian Green Beans.

You will also find Flexibility Promoters, Liver Boosters, Heart Strengtheners, Skin Enrichers, and LDL Cholesterol Reducers.

A well written and presented cookbook full of great information, beautiful photos, and easy to follow recipes that turn out well. Just a well done book!

The Longevity Kitchen: Satisfying, Big-Flavor Recipes Featuring the Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods [120 Recipes for Vitality and Optimal Health]

Book Review: Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal

8077920518_6d999ebe68.jpg

Learn the best foods to eat to support good health with any condition, as well as the foods to avoid, in this new book from Reader's Digest.

5/5 Stars

When I agreed to review Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal, I was not prepared for the size of this food and health tome. At close to 400 pages with lots of color photos, sidebars, and descriptions, this is bigger than many phone books.

Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal is divided into two sections, one focusing on foods and the other one ailments. Each is organized alphabetically, which makes it easy to navigate. Plus there is a long index in the back.

With each food you will find guidelines for food preparation and storage. You will also find information on GMOs (genetically modified foods), BPA and other additives (good and bad), mercury, and pesticides. And in case you forgot what vitamins do what, there is a breakdown of vitamins and minerals and an example of an "ideal diet".

Even foods we tend to think of as always good for everybody, like bran, are bad for some. While bran is great for diverticulitis, constipation, and hemorrhoids; it is bad for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and impedes mineral absorption.

Any food that someone can be allergic to is clearly labeled. While we are used to hearing about peanuts and dairy, I didn't realize that pears and jicama are also common allergans.

While food may not completely heal you of all ills, nutritional support is always helpful. For example, did you know that mushrooms and soy sauce are bad for folks with asthma? Or that women with fibroids should cut their beer consumption and eat more greens?

I gave this book to my health coach, Keren Hawkins, and she LOVES it! An easy tool to help her clients (like me) figure out what to eat and why.

Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal, Revised and Updated: The Best and Worst Choices to Treat your Ailments Naturally

Love this book!

 

Book Review: Unjunk Your Junk Food

27694882_b28996bab9.jpg

As an educated, junk food eating consumer, you must have this book.

Andrea Domsky and Randy Boyer, founders of NaturallySavvy.com, have outdone themselves with their handy reference book, Unjunk Your Junk Food. Seriously, I was not expecting to love this little book as much as I do.

Unjunk Your Junk Food: Healthy Alternatives to Conventional Snacks

I now look at it every few days to check out healthier alternatives to my favorite packaged junk foods. Every alternative has been taste tested by people who love the original version, so everything is good and will pass muster with friends and family.

And in addition to the food items, Unjunk Your Junk Food is packed full of recipes, definitions of hard to pronounce ingredients, and the actual negative side effects of eating the preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, and flavor enhancers packed into most conventional junk foods.

Love Klondike Bars but would like your ice cream free of polysorbate 80 (an emulsifier linked to cancer), artificial flavors, and high fructose corn syrup? Try Julie's Organic Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Many of my personal favorite natural brands are represented, including Kettle Brand Potato Chips, Brad's Chocolate Chip Cookies and Oatmeal Cookies (so good!), and even the conventional Breyer's Ice Cream.

There is a tear out list of the worst offender ingredients, as well as a detailed glossary defining each along with side effects.

Stop wasting money on bad natural alternatives for the junk food you crave, They don't satisfy the craving anyway!

With this guide you know you are buying an alternative that will satisfy that craving and give you the satisfaction of knowing that you are feeding yourself and your family healthy food. Highly recommended!