Coconut water used to be that fun drink you had on vacation — down at the beach, the hot sun on your back, a big bowling ball-sized coconut between your hands, a straw in your mouth. Nowadays, it’s in stock at virtually every deli, grocery and specialty food market. And it only continues to gain popularity. Here’s the skinny on its nutritional value, and our favorite brands to drink right now.
Neophobia. It’s the fear of trying something new, and I see it in the clients I work with all the time. I’ve known a friend of mine for 20 years, and for 20 years she’s let neophobia rule her food culture. She eats only white food: pasta, bread, chicken, yogurt, potatoes and rice. Eating anywhere with her is pretty much a miserable experience. She’s anxious about eating away from home in the first place and constantly worries, “Will there be something I can eat?” When she’s ordering from the waiter, she’s got a rush of nervous questions: “Is it spicy? Is there anything green in it? Is the dish all mixed together?” Sadly, her rotten relationship with food and penchant for making dining a painful experience (for everyone) can probably be traced in a direct line back to her childhood.
Kefir, pronounced just like the first name of actor Kiefer Sutherland and not to be confused with kaffir, a type of lime, is a cultured milk. “So many people don’t know what it is,” says Jennifer Lynn Bice, owner of Redwood Hill Farm and Green Valley Organics, who starting making kefir on her family farm back in 1978. “It’s like a sister or cousin to yogurt in that it starts out with milk and we add beneficial bacteria or cultures.” Bice says the process leaves kefir liquidy and drinkable, whereas yogurt remains spoonable. The differences don’t stop there.
In this week’s news: A study wholeheartedly endorses whole grains; eating healthy may be better for your budget; and scientists create a pill that tricks the body into losing weight.
Breakfast is the one meal you don’t want to skip. It’s the first opportunity you have to take in good-for-you nutrients. A cold bowl of cereal, or some berries and yogurt may be fine in summer, but once winter’s chill is in the air, you may want something hot to shake off the cold. Cozy up to these healthy, bone-warming breakfasts, each with fewer than 400 calories.
Looking for a terrific new cookbook to start the new year off right? Check out our top five cookbooks of 2014.
You start each year full of fresh hope, earnestly convinced that, no matter what happened last year, this year you’ll surely stick to your list of resolutions. This is the year you’ll really adhere to your goals of exercising regularly, eating more healthfully, losing those spare pounds, cutting back on those bad habits, getting your life on track, making an impact. This year, unlike last year and the year before, you won’t begin to feel your commitment to those goals slowly, incrementally, erode until — wait, um … what were those goals again?
There was a time when carrot skins, radish greens and beet tops used to go straight from the cutting board to the trash bin. Then came the compost movement and all those vegetable scraps were destined for a future as fantastic fertilizer. Now comes chef Chris Barnett of Los Angeles’ Stir Market — a boutique California take on the classic European food-hall experience — who’s decided that one chef’s trash is indeed another’s treasure. Rather than toss his vegetable scraps in the garbage or compost bin, he uses them on his menu — think nose-to-tail cooking but with a carrot standing in for a pig.
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.
If you’ve been following my smoothie posts over the last year, you may have realized that I’m not a fan of the typical green smoothie. Don’t get me wrong — I adore dark leafy greens but prefer them enjoyed in savory ways, not blended with sweet fruits and ice.