All Posts By Sally Wadyka

Do You Kombucha? The Fuss About Fermented Foods

by in Food News, Trends, October 27, 2014

Fermented Foods
There’s nothing new about fermenting food. In fact, it may be one of the oldest food preparation techniques around. Long before we were sipping pricy Kombuchas at the local café, our ancestors were using this process as a means of keeping their food from spoiling in age without refrigeration. “Fermentation was one of the earliest forms of food preservation,” says Kathie Swift, RDN, author of The Swift Diet (Hudson Street Press, 2014). “Traditional cultures were intentionally fermenting fruits, vegetables and grains well over 10,000 years ago, but they lost popularity when modern conveniences came into use.”

Lately, despite our ability to preserve and refrigerate food, fermentation is all the rage again. So what exactly are fermented foods (and beverages)? And why should we make a point of including them in our diets? We asked Swift — a huge fan of fermenting — for some answers.
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Thinking of Going Paleo? Nom Nom Says, Yes!

by in Cookbooks, October 25, 2014

Nom Nom Photo
You don’t have to eat just like a caveman to call yourself Paleo. Or at least that’s the attitude of Paleo blogger and cookbook author Michelle Tam, creator of NomNomPaleo.com and the book, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans. “I’m not a slave to ‘this is exactly Paleo,'” she says. “Cavemen ate bugs and raw meat.” For Tam, the real goal of eating Paleo is to make smart choices and be more conscious of where your food comes from and how eating it makes you feel. Oh, and it’s got to taste good too!
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Nuts About Seeds? From Chia to Flax and Hemp, What Seeds to Sow

by in Healthy Tips, October 13, 2014

Chia Seeds
Sure, they’ve been lurking on the shelves of health food stores for decades, but suddenly, it seems, seeds have been pushed into the limelight as the latest (and littlest!) superfoods. “Seeds give you a lot of nutritional bang for your buck,” says Alissa Rumsey, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “You don’t need to use much in order to get a good dose of protein, fiber and other nutrients.” Here, the seeds to sow in your diet — and the all the good things you’ll reap when you do.

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Slim By Design: How to Change Your Environment (and your waistline)

by in Uncategorized, October 6, 2014

Slim By Design
Is your house making your fat? It’s possible that the urge to reach for a cookie instead of an apple or to dig into second and third helpings really isn’t our fault. According to food psychologist Brian Wansink, director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, our environment is the biggest predictor of whether or not we have healthy eating habits. He’s identified what he calls the “five zones” where most of our eating and food choices occur — home, favorite restaurants, workplace, grocery stores and our kids’ schools. In his new book, Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life (William Morrow), he explains how each affects us and how we can take more control.

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The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor

by in Cookbooks, Uncategorized, October 2, 2014

Skinnytaste Cookbook Cover

What does skinny taste like? Just ask Gina Homolka. For six years, low-fat foodie Gina Homolka has been satisfying the tastebuds of a loyal following with her Skinnytaste blog. Her recipes reflect her own eating philosophy — delicious, healthy, seasonal dishes that also just so happen to be low in calories and fat. This month she debuts The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor.
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Meet Nutritional Yeast (That’s “Nooch” For Short)

by in Trends, September 13, 2014

nutritional yeast
The name sounds strangely antiseptic, and the powdery flakes look suspiciously like what you’d sprinkle into the goldfish tank. But that does not deter certain cooks and bloggers (mostly vegetarian and vegan ones) from singing the praises of nutritional yeast. So what exactly is this supplement and what has it done to deserve a spot on the health food hot list? Read more

Free of Gluten and Dairy, But Always Full of Flavor

by in Cookbooks, September 8, 2014

deep-dish pizza
When Silvana Nardone’s son Isaiah was ten, he was diagnosed with an allergy to gluten and dairy. His first reaction was, “What am I going to eat?” But lucky for him, his mom was more than up to the challenge. “He told me the one thing he really wanted to be able to eat was cornbread, so I spent the next two months trying — and failing — to mimic the exact taste and texture of gluten-full cornbread,” says Nardone, who is also a contributor to Healthy Eats. Eventually, she nailed it and was inspired to keep finding ways to make Isaiah gluten- and dairy-free versions of all his favorite foods. In her latest cookbook, Silvana’s Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Kitchen, she shares what she has learned. Read more

10 Health Foods We’re All Saying the Wrong Way (Kefir, Anyone?)

by in Healthy Tips, August 18, 2014

kefir

It’s a cruel fact: Many of the foods that are potentially good for us also have names seemingly designed to trip us up. Who among us did not have the red-in-the-face moment of learning that quinoa wasn’t pronounced “kee-noah”? To spare us all future embarrassment in the aisles of the Health Food Hut, here’s a guide to several food words known to cause verbal stumbles.

Acai
What it is: This dark purple berry is now ubiquitous in health-food store products everywhere, thanks to its reputed superfood powers. It’s a storehouse of antioxidants and may help support the immune system.
How to say it: You’ll sound like a pro at the smoothie shack when you ask to have “ah-sah-EE” added to the mix.

Agar (also, Agar-Agar)
What it is: This gelatinous substance is derived from red algae and used as a thickener and gelling agent in foods like puddings, jelly candies, soups and sauces. Because it comes from a plant (unlike gelatin, which is derived from animals), it’s popular with vegetarians and vegans who can’t resist a good pudding.
How to say it: It’s pronounced “AH-ger,” which, beer lovers will note, rhymes with lager.

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Testing the Waters (the Maple Waters Trend, That Is)

by in Trends, August 11, 2014

maple water
There is certainly no shortage of trendy ways to hydrate yourself on a hot summer day: smoothies, energy drinks, kombucha teas, vitamin-infused waters and, lest we forget, the ubiquitous coconut waters. Not to mention the boring old plain water that comes out of your tap — free. But if you’re thirsty for yet another option, you’re in luck. The latest beverage to show up at the grocery store is maple water.

Not to be confused with sweet, sticky maple syrup, maple water is basically the thin (supposedly not sticky) sap that is tapped directly out of the tree. “It takes 40 gallons of maple water to boil down to one gallon of syrup,” explains Kate Weiler, Co-Founder of Drink Maple. “People think maple water is going to overly sweet but are pleasantly surprised by its refreshing quality.”

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How Your Co-Workers (and Everyone Else) Influence Your Weight

by in Uncategorized, July 17, 2014

thinfluence cover
Research in recent years has made it clear that losing weight and getting healthy isn’t something that happens in a vacuum. One study that garnered numerous headlines several years back found that a person’s chance of becoming obese increases by 57 percent if a close friend is obese, 40 percent if a sibling is obese, and 37 percent is their spouse is obese. That’s some hefty (pun intended) pressure on your social circles.

But Harvard professors Walter Willett, MD, and Malissa Wood, MD, have taken the research several steps further. Their new book Thinfluence examines how friends, family, colleagues, online communities and the environment exert influence over your health behaviors — and how you can make them work in your favor. Here, Dr. Wood talks about what it takes to stay on track.

Who exerts the biggest influence over your behaviors and why?
For most people, it’s whoever you spend the most time with. And that often ends up being your co-workers. You might spend more time with them than you do your family and eat more meals at work than you do at home.

What are some ways these people can negatively — or positively — influence your own behaviors and choices?
The influences can be very powerful. If you work with a group of people who like to go out and eat unhealthy food every day for lunch or always order in pizza when you’re working late, those decisions will shape your behavior. But, for example, I’m lucky enough to work with several women who all decided to make some efforts to get healthier by eating better and exercising more. I spend all day with these people, so that has had a very positive effect. Read more