Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sardines

Sardines are one of nature's greatest Superfoods - they should not be overlooked!  You can find them in any supermarket for a great price.

They're perfect in an arugula salad with fresh red onions, lemon juice, salt & pepper and a little hot sauce!  The natural peppery flavor of the arugula, the spiciness of the raw red onion and the acid from the lemon juice perfectly balance the fat from the fish - sometimes I just put hot sauce on them and eat them right out of the can.  They're high in good fat and calories so they're perfect to eat early in your day to really fuel up.  I promise nothing will sustain you like this superfood will.

When I went to Paris a few years ago, every morning I would buy a can of sardines from a little mom and pop shop down the road from my hotel, a fresh baguette from the bakery and sit on a bench and mop up my fish with my bread.  This meal literally sustained me all day and gave me the energy to walk around the gorgeous city literally all day and into the night.  (Of course I snacked along the way- you can't pass up Parisian food especially when in the midst of endless summer farmers markets).  But the feeling is quite extraordinary- not thinking about food an hour later because your body is actually completely content.  Try it out!


Outdoor market on Rue Mouffetarde

deliciously sweet cherries

Eat Good Fats

Plain and simple (especially omega 3s)!  Forget the low-fat, fat-free craze of the 80s and 90s- there's a reason it didn't last.  Our brains are made up of over 60% fat- wouldn't it make sense that to keep it well and running we should supply it with what it needs?

-nuts, seeds (brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, pumpkins seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, cashews, pistachios)
-oils (olive oil, safflower oil, avocado oil, coconut oil*)
-fish, seafood (salmon, tuna, sardines**, flounder, mahi mahi, cod, fluke, trout, shrimp, lobster, clams, mussels)
-eggs

*Extra virgin coconut oil is not only great to cook with (especially popcorn) but a small amount rubbed in the palm of your hands is a great way to tame fly-aways and frizzy hair.

**Sardines- so special they get their own post ^

NYTimes Article that inspired this post <-- Click Here

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chicken: Double Flavor, 1/2 the price

The price of a raw, whole chicken can vary from as little as $3.99 to over $20.  Yes, the size matters (because usually it's priced by the pound) but the price also depends on how it was raised, where it comes from, and if it's Kosher or not.

The Kosher chickens are always more expensive than the non-Kosher ones (I guess because of the extra work that had to be done)- but did you ever notice they taste better too?  I used to think I was imagining it but then I found out it's because...they're all pre-salted!  So instead of spending the extra money, salt it yourself:

-unwrap your store bought, raw chicken take out any/all extra innards
-place in a large bowl
-cover completely with water and add at least 1/2 a cup of salt and 1/2 cup sugar
-cover with plastic wrap, place in fridge and let sit for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours
-when you're ready to cook it, take it out of water, rinse off any salt/sugar that may have not dissolved completely, and prepare as desired (roast, bake, fry, etc).

For the record, I did not discover this technique- it's actually quite trendy these days.  Just letting you know that I've done it (actually, I never make a chicken nowadays WITHOUT doing it) and it's not only a cinch but worth every second.  Every part of the chicken comes out tender and juicy (even the white meat).

Friday, February 24, 2012

Quantity AND Quality

Just about everybody knows there's really only one way to lose weight: consume less calories, burn more calories (i.e. eat less, move more).  Yet we're still constantly bombarded with ads for weight loss supplements, articles "revealing" the "secrets of celebrities" and foods with less calories so you can eat more and not feel "guilty" - all distracting us from the true answer we all have in the back of our minds.

Thing is, quality matters too.  If you just eat less, you will lose weight, no matter what you still continue to eat.  But if you eat mostly nutritionally vacant foods (sugar, white flour, saturated unhealthy fats, foods filled with chemicals and preservatives), you won't come even close to feeling your best.  These things drain your energy and affect your skin and hair poorly, can make you feel depressed and lead to mood swings, constipation, bloating and trouble sleeping.  Wholesome foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats contribute to glowing clear skin, shiny healthy hair, a regular digestive system, sounder sleep and feeling alert and happy.

Eat to live (don't live to eat) and keep moving.


"The Importance of Portion Control" - An Interview with Marion Nestle - The Atlantic

Peanut Butter

HuffingtonPost.com posted a foolproof article to help you pick out the best one- here are the two most important takeaways:

-choose peanut butters that contain only peanuts and salt

-most contain palm oil (to emulsify the oil and the nut meat to create a smoother texture) - Unfortunately, palm oil is not only extremely high in unhealthy saturated fat but the increased production of it has resulted in the demolition of rainforests and peatlands in Malaysia and Indonesia.