Sunday, April 5, 2009

Williamsburg around Midnight

One of the most popular breakfast combinations, salmon and cream cheese on a bagel, is also one of the worst foods for any time of day.

The bagel offends because it is made with highly processed, refined flour that has just about zero nutrients left to the grain after so much milling. The cream cheese offends me in a variety of ways. Barring the dairy, it's also so high in saturated fat. I have the least problem with the salmon. High in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a good source of a linoleic acid that has been found to have an anti-inflammatory affect on your blood, boosts your mood and makes you feel full longer. The problem with smoked fish has to do more with the high salt and carcinogens linked to the smoking technique.

So why am I spending so much time on deconstructing this combo? Friday night, I was the offender. After having seen a really fun Gomez show in Williamsburg, we were hungry. We'd passed on dinner beforehand.  

And by the time the show got out, all the local restaurants near Bedford Street were closing up shop (probably to make way for the cheesy nightclub scene that unfolds. Is that chav? Must ask husband), save the 24-hour bagel joint near the subway. 

Harking back to a time in college when we'd roll into Columbia Bagels next to the old Marlin bar on West. 115th Street, I had pretty much this order pictured above.

Only this time I ordered tofu cream cheese.

I am evolving.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I digress

This blog was created to discuss all health, fitness and nutrition news worth highlighting.

But, fingers crossed, we're about to sign a book contract this week that may take a lot of my time in the upcoming months. I'll not only be busy writing and researching but traveling a bit to get to better sources. Alas, not everything can be found in NYC!

Very exciting! 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The White House Victory Garden

This week, Michelle Obama broke ground on a project close to my heart: A White House organic "farm." I wrote about it in detail in my column, Food for Thought, on

The Obamas are not the first First Family to grow one on the White House lawn. Eleanor Roosevelt introduced the idea during WW2. Families across the country followed suit with small plots of land where they grew their own fruits and veggies to put on the household table.

Above is a neat diagram of what the new plot at the White House will look like. Alice Waters has been petitioning Presidents for years to start one but I can't imagine Laura Bush nor Hillary Clinton getting their nails dirty. And they didn't.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Exercise and cravings

I don't consider swimming as a form of exercise. 

Part of this is conditioning: growing up in an urban environment, the pools were often humid, musty places in the basements of even my local prestigious private schools.

The other reason is more emotionally charged. What if this happens?

Finally, swimming makes you fat. The very act of it keeps limbs soft and pudgy, not lean and well-defined.  A University of Florida study found that swimmers have a harder time losing weight than runners.

A recent report goes one step further. Runners have different cravings than swimmers. Runners, say the scientists, actually crave light, watery foods like fruit and have suppressed the hunger hormone, called ghrelin. Meanwhile, swimming, even in cold water, increases this nasty little hormone , plus drives a hankering for more fatty, rich, processed carbs like bread or biscuits.

So there.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Did you see 60 Minutes last night?

Me neither.

So here's a recap of the grand dame of farmer's markets:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Shake it up

I'll forgive this journalist's light reporting because the facts are intriguing. We eat salt to boost our moods, say University of Iowa scientists this week. 

Even though our bodies only need about 8 grams a day, Americans crave higher intakes of the old NaCl, say researchers, because it activates a pleasure mechanism in the brain to elevate our mood.

I like this one because I am an addict to anything that triggers my happy hormones. Anything. It goes this way: life is just too short to endure or suffer through unpleasantries. And while this may suggest some destructive behaviors on my part (which I can be guilty of, but never regretful of!), it doesn't always. Sometimes my rationale to happiness can be circuitous, such as: skip the party and forgo the fun because I have to get up early tomorrow to get on a plane to take me to an even better venue (say, a Miami beach for my wedding anniversary which we're doing next month!). 

In other words, moderation for me is often regulated by my need to weigh my options to decide which is the more advantageous and make me happier in the long run.

So today, it's salt.  Husband and I are sneaking over to Esca for fish from the salty seas and we don't have a rezzy. We're celebrating a bunch of things. They're all in the works and thus not yet open to announcement. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thank you "dal-ing"

In appreciation of all the help my cool-ass brother and his girlfriend have provided me in the last 10 days, I will prepare a dinner tonight recognizing my bro's gf's Indian heritage:

Lentil Dal c/o the January 30th New York Times. 

The accompanying photo is silly. Why are lentils piled high in what appears to be a salt shaker? I hate stagey vignettes in print or real life. By real life, I mean in homes where the residents put a bunch of knick-knacks in an arbitrary arrangement in a corner or by a window and ta-da, consider it home decor. I consider it corny.

Anyway, if the dish tastes good enough, I'll even bring a dish over to their place tonight. I'm trekking out to Brooklyn every night for the last week anyway.

This is from a girl who could count on one hand how many times she visited that borough in 2008.

(By the way, why is everything so much cheaper out there? Josh doesn't believe me when I say I pay $1.50 for 1 apple here. In Brooklyn, they're 60 cents a pound.)