Call it a takeout-container takedown, a boon for the environment or, if you prefer, a headache for New York City restaurants. The Big Apple is banning those plastic foam containers often currently used for everything from cold drinks to hot meals, with tepid “doggie bag” contents somewhere in between. The citywide prohibition, which was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio last week, will go into effect in July.
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Grains do OK on a plate, but mound them into a bowl and they are a terrific foundation supporting heaps of veggies, legumes, leafy greens, nuts, proteins and, depending on the dish, fruit. These concoctions have been dubbed “grain bowls” and taken over menus across the country. Spanish chef José Andrés, who debuts his new veggie-centric cafe Beefsteak in 2015, says, “There is nothing more comforting than a bowl full of beautiful vegetables and warm, filling grains. This is the bounty of the earth in a bowl!”
Juice cleanses (sometimes called juice fasts) are a popular way to jump-start a healthy lifestyle and get nutritious fruits and vegetables into your diet. While many brands, like Organic Avenue and Blueprint Cleanse, were once offered exclusively via delivery in the local New York market, juice cleanses are more accessible than ever. Several brands are now distributed at grocery chains like Whole Foods and natural markets, ship overnight and have spawned their own full-on juice cafes. If you’re thinking of starting a cleanse in the new year, keep in mind that these natural juices should not be used as a long-term meal replacement. Rather, treat them as a way to kick-start your new routine and complement your diet. Here are a few ways to get your cleanse on.
At the end of last month, Sam Kass — White House chef, Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy — stepped down. Thirty-four and recently married, Kass, who has played a pivotal role in first lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to encourage healthy eating and reduce childhood obesity, said that, while he loves the first family (they attended his wedding in August) and remains a staunch supporter of their work and mission, he is ready to join his wife, TV journalist Alex Wagner, in New York. “I have to put our future first,” Kass, who started as the Obamas’ personal chef in 2005, when the president was but a lowly freshman senator, told the Wall Street Journal.
You could try closing your eyes, but soon it will prove significantly more challenging to ignore the calories in the foods we order in chain restaurants — sit-down and fast-food eateries, as well as other retail food outlets — across the country.
Tomato yogurt is a thing? You betcha. You may have noticed the yogurt aisle leaning more savory, with veggie-based yogurts, thick and tangy ethnic yogurts, and sheep’s milk yogurt taking up real estate in the dairy section. These yogurts offer essential protein and are loaded with calcium (good for those of us over 40). Another bonus: When you subtract the fruit, you’re not only looking at lower sugar content but endless ways to incorporate the creamy stuff into your dishes. From marinades to toppers, salads and spreads, savory yogurts are a great cooking shortcut, recipe substitute or snack. Here are three brands that are worth taking a closer look at.
Oh, what to do when, at 11:30 p.m., in both a famished and weary state, you return to your hotel and discover that ordering a black bean burger via room service will take 45 minutes? One glance at the won’t-save-you-either minibar reveals nothing more redeemable than a $10 container of Pringles. A vending machine, of course, would instantly sate those late-night cravings. But do you really want your impromptu dinner to be comprised of a decidedly bad-for-you bag of chocolate chip cookies?
Instant smartphone gratification leads to updating Facebook statuses, sliding through potential Tinder dates and curating Pandora playlists. Entertainment options aside, your iPhone or Android can also be a solid resource for eating better. In fact, a Gallup study says 19% of adult participants regularly use at least one mobile application that supports healthy living, while about 50% of those who use smartphones have at least one such app. The study says calorie-counting tools, health recipes and food/exercise diaries are the most commonly used apps. You can get in on it too. Learn how many calories are in a slice of multigrain bread via Fooducate, skip the cross-country Big Mac for a nearby brown rice bowl discovered on Food Tripping and find out where to gorge on sustainable sushi from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. Embracing a healthy — and delicious — lifestyle has never been easier, especially with the help of these seven new empowering apps.
Those of us who are addicted to coffee (put down that third cup of joe and raise your hand) would probably love to think all that java consumption is good for us in ways beyond just waking us up. Well, guess what? A new study has found that drinking coffee – both caffeinated and decaf – may be beneficial for your liver, helping to protect it.