Guest Post: Beat The Heat With Coconut Water

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The summer heat is kickin’ and so are your legs while trying to stay in beach body shape so you can rock that itsy bitsy bikini. Working out and getting your sweat on during the summer can cause dehydration and overheating. It is super important to make sure your body is hydrated and full of those awesome molecules called electrolytes aka sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and so on. Without getting too scientific, electrolytes are charged particles that help maintain voltage and send electrical impulses between the cells. Think of your body as a battery, your heart, muscles, kidneys and nerves communicate and operate via these electrical impulses. Electrolytes give the charge to keep your battery running. When you exercise and sweat you lose electrolytes, or your charge. Without them you are like a dead battery, 0% on the charge bar.

Coconut water is a great way to stay hydrated and replenish electrolytes. Below are a few facts, so study up and stay hydrated.

It’s Juice! That’s right it’s not water, it’s juice that lives inside a coconut. If you were to go to a beautiful tropical island hack open a coconut with a machete you would find liquid inside, that’s the juice. In the big city we just run to the deli and grab a bottle. Look out for added sugars and from concentrate, keep it real.

More Potassium Than a Banana: One small bottle (about 9.5 fl oz) of coconut water can have up to 600mg of potassium, more than a banana which contains around 400mg. Great if you experience leg cramping before, during, after your workout or to recover from one too many margaritas.

No Dyes or Preservatives: Unlike other sports drinks coconut water does not contain any harmful dyes. You won’t see any color in coconut water unless it’s raw and pink. This is simply anti-oxidants interacting with light. If it’s pink it’s good! Be sure your “go to” brand does not contain preservatives, read the label.

Moisturizes: Dermatologists have found that drinking coconut water will hydrate your skin form the inside out without producing excess oil. For even more moisture use a coconut mask – sit back, relax and hydrate.

Beyond Potassium: The tropical juice also contains sodium, magnesium and calcium to help replenish those depleted electrolytes we discussed above.

No, Low, Healthy Fat: If you’re drinking coconut water without the pulp, there’s no fat, if you prefer a little coconut meat you’ll be getting low amounts of fat. Don’t be scared of a little fat, it’s great for your brain and can help settle a queasy dehydrated stomach and give you some energy. If you are afraid of fat choose the no pulp option.

Coconut water will help you stay charged and hydrated through these hot summer months so you can keep on sweating. Remember to drink good ole regular H2O as well, the classic hydrator.

8b23fa_98359f271ca346bd84885bdaecfb4925.jpg_srz_323_293_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzAbbey Matson~Health and Nutrition Counselor

After a decade working in several different industries spanning fashion, mental health, finance and clinical research, I recognized how often general wellness is ignored. We have become accustomed to feeling sub-par and eating anything convenient, regardless of the negative repercussions on our health and life force. I founded Mind to Body Health so I may support others in creating a life that allows the individual to feel well and function at full potential. I work with clients as a Holistic Health and Nutrition Counselor to help individuals understand their mind to body connection and determine what works best for their bio-individuality. Contact me today to learn more.

 

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My 5 picks for Thanksgiving Dining in NYC

turkey-city_450We’re New Yorkers. We can order anything from Lebanese to lasagna at 2am and have it delivered right to our door. While we know culinary brilliance when we taste it, our stove hasn’t been ignited since that night we tried to heat the apartment by turing the oven on. Let’s face it, we could cook but it’s SO much easier just to eat out. Thanksgiving is no exception.

During my seven years in the Big Apple, I haven’t traveled home for the holidays once. Since all my kin live on the west coast, I find it much easier just to make a reservation instead of making a turkey. Here are my picks for those of you who find yourself in NYC this Thanksgiving and feel the same….

Jane
Jane has been my go-to destination for my holiday feast for 4 years now. A casual American bistro smack dab between SoHo and Greenwich Village, it’s classic NYC fare. The space is comforting and warm (kinda like Grandma’s kitchen, only chicer) and the menu has all the components you’d want on your plate. T-day menu consists of a prix fix, three course with various options. You can’t go wrong with turkey and the trimmings but you could go with short ribs, risotto, or salmon if the bird isn’t your thang.

20081027-igobblenyFreeman’s
One of my all-time foodie favs is definitely Freeman’s. Located at the back of an alley, its charm doesn’t stop just at the decor. The food and design is rugged, rustic, and has a certain old world charm. Their holiday menu consists of turkey and the usual suspects, as well as their signature (almost better-than-sex) artichoke dip. Believe me the dip alone is worth the trek to the LES. Oh, and did I mention they have pie? Homemade pie.

Maialino
A little pricier than the two above, Maialino is one of the FINEST NYC restaurants you can pay a visit. Their Thanksgiving bill of fare has an Italian flare since it’s what they do best. Start with the zuppa di castagne (or chestnut soup), then get your roasted bird with Polenta instead of stuffing, and finish with their expertly executed Zabaione or Italian custard. They also have a special menu just for the wee ones that doesn’t require they sit at the “kids” table.

Red Rooster
I included Red Rooster simply because I’ve heard such amazing things about this uptown gem. You’re pretty much gonna get a typical Thanksgiving dinner here but chef Marcus Samuel is bound to throw in a couple culinary surprises here and there. They also have live jazz so prepare to be serenaded by some of the good stuff in the heart of Harlem.

Il Buco
I used to teach a couple in their home (with equipment and all) right across the cobblestoned street from Il Buco. Finally, I had salivated long enough and one day decided to visit their feast of the pig. OMG! THE BEST suckling pig I’ve ever had. Thanksgiving dinner here has your choice of that or traditional turkey. Part Italian, part Spanish, all delicious. A holiday feast here will change your life.

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10 Strategies To Nix Burnout And Nourish Your Inner Rock Star

I want to welcome my first guest blogger, Tripp Hanson! Woop wool!!! Tripp is not only a good friend but also an ah-maz-balls acupuncturist who healed my hamstring a few years ago when I was out of commission. Here he gives us a stress smack down and some easy-to-impliment tips. Don’t take my word for it…read on.

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Stress, it’s an overused word, right? We all toss it around casually and use it as code for a bunch of things: tired, overwhelmed, angry, frustrated, bewitched, bothered and…well, you know.  The thing is, it’s true. We ARE stressed! It’s one of the inevitabilities of the modern, urban lives we’re living. Especially the rockstar super achievers and dreamers of big dreams among us…we gotta be firing on all pistons! But do we actually realize what that means? I’m afraid that we might be numb to it, because it’s just. so. ever-present. Can’t be avoided, so what can you do, right? Have a drink. Pop a Xanax (not so good). Meditate. Pray. Get your workout in (much better)!

Stress is more than just the tough emotional stuff that confronts us during our day to day. It’s more than that feeling you get when you’re late for an appointment, or the deadline is looming large. It’s also the noisy city we live in; it’s the light shining in our window at night from the building across the street; it’s the genetically modified foods we’re consuming. It’s WORRYING about the companies that aren’t telling us about the genetically modified foods they use. It’s the schedules we keep (staying up long after the rest of the animal kingdom has nodded off and still finishing our to-do lists)! It’s the collapsed building in Bangladesh on the news. It’s world peace. It’s the cacophony of machinery ringing/buzzing/beeping throughout the day and night. Yes, all of that AND it’s your personal relationships, your job, your boss, your finances, your…fill-in-the-blank… ! It’s in great supply, clearly. It’s physical. It’s mental. It’s emotional. 

Now for some good news: stress is a good thing in doses. It gives the nervous system a work out. Your body is there, adapting and responding, cranking for you and doing the dirty work, while you’re polishing your aura and getting it ready for prime time. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a lot on your plate and have more things cookin’ than you can shake your money maker at. We have goals by the boatload. BIG plans! We go to workshops and buy books that promise to teach us strategies on how we can accomplish it all in a shorter period of time. You know what? I love us for that! We ARE the game changers of the world…but my question (and the real topic of our chat here) is this: are we working hard enough for our bodies??

Your body is a marvel. It handles incredibly complicated biochemical transactions in the understated blink of an eye. It manages hundreds of thousands…or millions…or even HUNDREDS of millions of functions, very quietly, in the background, while you go about your day, or at least that’s what it does when it’s getting what it needs. So how do we treat this “Maserati of a body” like the fine machine that it is? Believe me, I’m not preaching…merely speaking from experience. I’ve been one of those guys who takes some supplements, knocks off the sugar, steams instead of fries,  and kicks up the green smoothies until I feel pretty good. Then I get a little careless again, until one day, I realize I’m back to square one. Feeling pudgy, sluggish…(or as I’ve coined it: ‘pudge-ish’). That revolving door gets dizzying. There’s a better way, I’m learning. So, what’s going on under the hood?

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Our bodies will do their best to work around our lack of attention for a bit. They’ll kick up some adrenaline to deal with the stress, which kicks up the cortisol production to ease the discomfort and gives us the energy we need for our day. As a result, lots of other things have to wait:  digestion, for instance is put on hold. Bloating and gas are SO HOT, aren’t they? Oh yeah, and it can cause fatigue, weight gain, problems with sleep, and a reduced immune system. Did I mention that the sex hormones are ruled by the adrenals as well? Nothing to dampen our groove like some hormones gone wild. Suddenly that rockin’ bod of yours will do its best to have a heart to heart with you. It’s feeling the stress, and if you’re not listening closely enough, it’ll not only talk…it’ll pretty much start laying down the law. The Law of Cravings. You see, our ‘cravings’ are really our body’s child-like (as in tantrum-throwing, pissed-off-cause-I-missed-my-nap) way of insisting on what it needs. In other words, if it’s a craving doing the talking, we already missed all the friendly signals that came and went an hour or 2 ago, and now baby’s getting cranky! Think about it, when we’re jonesin’ for sugar, it’s the body’s way of demanding that we restore the glucose reserves NOW in order to meet the energy demands we’ve been placing on the body without re-fueling. We’re runnin’ on empty, mama, and it’s time to pony up. We’ve stayed too long at the fair and now nothing but cotton candy will do. When a plate of french fries suddenly seems like the perfect foundation of the food pyramid it’s our body’s way of saying, “We’re stressed the f*^$ OUT!!!!” Hungry again 30 minutes after lunch? It’s because the body isn’t getting enough of what it needs, and so it starts playing the ‘quantity-over-quality’ game with you, and any crap will do, as long as it comes in bulk.

Now, let me say that I fundamentally believe that we are indeed ALL gloriously rugged individuals, Supernovas in our own firmament. That means that there’s probably not one particular way to eat that applies to all of us. That’s why in my private practice, I run lab tests to determine exactly what your Precise Hotness needs. Let’s begin with some basics that can help support that energy production, which will combat the negative effects of stress. We can always fine tune later! Here are 10 simple practices that can establish a ceasefire between you and your Stressed Inner Superstar:

  1. Protein- get on it! I know this is a tricky wicket these days. I’m not going to enter the  fracas of what protein sources you should use right here on Lindsay’s blog. You and I can talk that one out in private! First, start where you are. Vegan? Kick it up with your favorite organic, non-GMO sources. Paleo? Add some organic grass-fed something. Easy for All? Mix up a big ol’ smoothie at home. A handful of fresh berries, some almond milk, and a wad of kale for extra credit; add a high quality protein powder (something that’s nutritionally complete with a variety of whole-food nutrients) and throw some avocado or coconut oil for some creamy luxury, and essential fatty acids to boot. It’s all good! Pour it into a BPA-free water bottle (or a recycled Ball jar for a few extra ‘you’re hot AND you’re conscientious!‘ points) and get on with your day.
  2. Carry a bag of unsalted, raw almonds or cashews. A small handful of them goes a long way to carry you through the vast expanse of a tedious afternoon. Or you could bring a baggie of home-made trail mix, you hippie you…withOUT any sugary stuff please;)
  3. Try munching on apple slices throughout the day. The malic acid in there helps keep things moving along, if you know what I mean. Detoxing is your friend!
  4. Some crudite and nut butter in Tupperware for when you’re on the move. 
  5. Ambitious? Dust off the juicer, and make a vegetable juice to start your day. Use a half of a cucumber, a couple stalks of celery, a handful of spinach, a knuckle of ginger, and half of an apple. Pour it into a(nother) Ball Jar and off you go! Happen to be rich? Buy the aforementioned juice at your local juice bar for dozens of dollars and skip the cleanup!
  6. Did I mention WATER? Drink it. Lots of good clean water! You should consume 1/2 oz per pound of body weight. More if you’re sweating a lot. Just do it! And throw a pinch of Himalayan sea salt in the jug for a natural electrolyte formula that isn’t the color of your Lulu Lemons.
  7. If your digestion generally feels like Times Square at rush hour, try adding some digestive enzymes to your day. In actuality, it ain’t what you eat, it’s what you absorb. If constipation is your constant companion, add some magnesium to the menu. In addition to the almonds and cashews we mentioned earlier, use kelp, molasses, bananas, kidney or black beans, brown rice, quinoa, or spinach. Eat up.
  8. Add some B complex vitamins and vitamin C to your day. That’s like a 3-way for your Adrenals.
  9. If you can’t eliminate the news, at least contain your consumption. Especially the cheap, sensational headline type stuff. It’s a stress that is unique to our civilization, in which we hear about things that are half a world away and we have no power over. Try to reduce as much of that static as you can…read something positive instead!
  10. Last, but SO not least? Hit the Pause Button: I know you’re busy! Me too, but stop for even 5 minutes. Stop checking your emails, your texts, AND Facebook constantly. Set a timer and see if you can go 5 minutes without. Too much? Okay, 3 minutes. Think of one thing you’re grateful for, and breathe. Can’t think of anything gratitude worthy? We’ll talk about that later. Just breathe…annnnd go!!

My challenge to you is to try any of the above, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Or hell, try them all (you are an over achiever after all) but something needs to be done if you want your light to shine as brightly as possible. So, get your sparkle on! Do the things that you know are better for you before the stress gets the best of you and the cravings kick in, and watch how much better you work your Particular Kind of Magic on the world!

TrippHeadshotCroppedTripp Hanson, MS, LAc is a licensed acupuncturist in private practice in midtown Manhattan, where he is the proud owner of Healing Perspective Acupuncture. Formerly a Broadway performer- ‘Crazy For You’, ‘Kiss Me Kate’, ‘Boys From Syracuse’, ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’, ‘Drowsy Chaperone’- Tripp understands the needs of the performer and the specific demands of intense athletic and artistic performance.  His practice serves a variety of clients in all walks who want and need to function optimally, and who seek holistic wellness as a means to that end.  Additionally, Tripp has performed on concert stages all over the world, appearing with the Manhattan Rhythm Kings, sharing the bill with Liza Minelli, Chita Rivera, Rosemary Clooney, Tommy Tune, Sandy Duncan, Christopher Walken and Gregory Hines.  For more info visit: www.HealingPerspective.com

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Why You Should Pretend You’re A Vegan

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If you’re anything like me, you’ve had your bouts with Vegetarianism. There was that time in once in high-school when you thought that eating a cheeseburger from McDonalds without the patty was a “veggie” burger. The time you declared yourself a veg because you only eat fish, which you already never ate. Yes, we were cool before it was cool to be Vegetarian. Turns out, that it’s not just good to beef up (no pun intended) your intake of plant based foods while also shunning animal products such as dairy and meat, but also good for you.  If the thought of giving up your steak is unquestionable- you can at least eat like a vegan a few days a week and still reap the benefits. Here’s why it’s healthy to eat like a vegan, or at least pretend you are one:

  • It can make you skinnier Not that I condone the idea that “skinny” is better than “fat” (ugh, I just hate typing those words!), but it’s a fact. Vegans just consume less calories than the carnivorious types. Also, because lots of processed super market foods contain animal products, Vegans tend to read labels and avoid foods they don’t make themselves. For example- marshmellows contain gelatin which is made from boiling skin, bones, and other animal parts. Or,  red dye, aka cochineal is made from grinding up insects!!!! Yuck! That’s enough to turn me vegan for good!
  • You will be healthier. Bill Clinton did it after his heart woes, celebs like Ruben Studdard of American Idol fame lost his unhealthy weight by becoming a vegan. The German Cancer Research Center did a study where they found that veggie men reduced their risk of early death by 50%, women by 30%! The better health can be contributed to the fact that you’re stuffing your face with green stuff loaded with vitamins vs saturated fats, cholesterol, hormones, antiboitics, toxins.
  • You will be a concious eater. No more can you just pick up fast-food on the way home, as a vegan you’ll have to plan your meals to insure you actually get enough of the good stuff. Meal planning and reading labels makes you a concious eater and that will not only make you feel better inside and out but cause you to put your attention on creating a healthy life for yourself. That’s good anyway you slice it!

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Still feeling overwhelmed? Don’t fret! There’s simple ways to work the vegan lifestyle into your routine. Try swapping your cow’s milk to almond in your cereal. Plan to cook veggie a couple days a week. Suggest going to a vegan restaurant instead of a steak house every now and then. In upcoming posts, I’ll be featuring some Vlogs (video blogs) with my good friend and vegan chef Jenné Claiborne , so stay tuned! Try treating yourself like a vegan- your body will thank you inside and out!

Do you dream about vegetables? Already cooking veggie-style? Maybe you have a recipe you’d like us to do a Vegan redo? We’d love to hear about it! Leave your comments or pictures below! 

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photos courtesy of sweet potato soul blog

How To Stay Healthy While Traveling

My New York Pilates studio is filled with amazingly successful clients. So amazing and successful that they are traveling for work all the time! Vacations are one thing- but traveling for work can be an exhausting, depleting task. Hours on a dehydrating airplane, lugging luggage the size of boulders, and eating fast food can leave you feeling completely trashed. By the time you get back home you’re “free” time is spent just recuperating until your next world tour. Luckily, I’ve compiled advice from some of the savviest travel mavens just for this occasion. It goes something like this:

  • Never Leave Home Without Eating Like Mama always told you- breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Turns out she was right about something- leaving your house for an am flight without filling your belly, is one of THE worst things you can do. Not only will you be more tempted to have a crappy airport danish and giant cup of java, you’ll be cranky and irritable during your flight. Stash some healthy snacks in your carry on like organic apples, granola/protein bars. They won’t perish easily and you’ll stay ahead of the hunger curve.
  • Pack Light.  Do you really need that extra pair of shoes? Five pairs of pants for five days? You may be glad your outfit matches perfectly, but your back will hate you for lugging your two ton luggage. Style expert, Leslie Gilbert suggests that you pick a items that can be dressed up or down like a maxi skirt or dress. Pick fabrics that are wrinkle free (scrunch them in your hand to test), and fill your boots and shoes with small items like socks or undies to maximize space.
  • DRINK- but only non-alcoholic and decaf beverages. Flying is drying (I’m a poet and I know it!) and while you may be tempted to throw one back before a particularly stressful flight you aren’t going to feel so great afterwards. Drink lots of water and herbal tea, to help you stay afloat and fight any jet lag.
  • Eat Your Veggies or at least drink them… Green vegetables are the holy grail in terms of vitamins and antioxidants, but when you’re left miles from a Whole Foods what’s a girl to do? Pack ‘em. Get a quality mulit-vitamin and a powdered green drink to add to your H2O. This will keep your immune system top-notch and battle against what’s lurking in that recycled air.
  • Take a Chill Pill. Health and lifestyle coach Kara Martin recommends battling travel stress and the upset tummy that can come along with it with a two pronged approach. Pack a probiotic so you can help balance intestinal flora that can get screwy in a new location. Stress is also a big issue with our gut. Martin suggests taking your “chill pill” aka a deep breath when you hit that traffic jam or your flight gets delayed.
  • Plan Ahead. Travel can also derail your workout prowess. Collect a couple short and easy exercise routines (something you could do in your jammies) for morning and evenings right in your hotel room. You won’t have to pack extra workout gear, heavy sneakers, and if you already have your 15min wake up and slow down routines you can just go on autopilot. Here’s to see my 10 min travel routine:

How do you stay healthy while traveling? I challenge you to find at least one way to have a healthier trip. Post your insights below and share with someone who is a road warrior just like you!

Get your personalized travel session by visiting our studio. By learning the technique of Pilates in a private, bespoke environment you will be able to maintain your FORM anywhere you go. Let us show you how!

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In Our Kitchen: Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving for me, is all about the food. There’s the old standards- turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes; but I like to mix things up. I interrogated my friends, clients, and fellow teachers for their picks in this holiday season. I’ve compiled a list for you to play with below:

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

by FORM Instructor, Amy Nelms (a vegan with a vengeance)                                  IMG_9279

  • 13/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 11/4 cups sufst
  • 1tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 soy milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons molasses

Preheat oven to 400.  Lightly grease a 12 muffin tin.  Sift together flour,sugar,baking powder,salt, and spices.  In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, soy milk,oil, and molasses.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.

Fill the muffin cups two- thirds full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean

 Roast Turkey with Sage and Orange Gravy

by super Pilates client, Casey Nicolaw (as seen in Real Simple)

  • 1  12- to 14-pound whole fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
  • 2  tablespoons  kosher salt
  • 8  large oranges, scrubbed
  • 1  large bunch fresh sage
  • 3  heads garlic, cut crosswise in half
  • 1  5.2- to 6.4-ounce package garlic-herb cheese spread (such as Boursin)
  • 4  large carrots
  • 3  small leeks, trimmed and rinsed, or 2 large onions, cut into quarters
  • olive oil
  • 6  tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  1. Remove the giblets, then rinse the turkey. Dry with paper towels. Rub the cavity with the salt. Cut 2 of the oranges into 2-inch chunks. Set aside a few sage sprigs for garnish later. Place the remaining sage, cut-up oranges, and garlic in the cavity. Loosen the skin from the breast and spread the cheese under the skin. Tuck the wings under the back; tie the legs together. Arrange the carrots and leeks in the roasting pan to create a “rack” and place the turkey on it; rub with oil. (The turkey can be prepared to this point up to 1 day ahead. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate.)
  2. Heat oven to 350º F. Roast for 1 hour. Place a foil tent over the turkey and continue roasting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours more or until an instant-read thermometer registers 180º F when inserted in the breast.
  3. Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Carefully move the turkey to a platter, pouring any cavity juice back into the pan. Cover with foil to keep warm. Set oven to 500º F. Cut the remaining 6 oranges into quarters and arrange in a shallow baking pan. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes or until brown.
  4. Meanwhile, discard the vegetables from the roasting pan. Pour the pan drippings into a 4-cup measure. When the fat separates and rises to the surface, spoon 1/3 cup of it into a medium saucepan; discard any remaining fat. Squeeze the juice from 12 of the orange wedges into the defatted broth; if necessary, add water or chicken broth to make 4 cups. Whisk the flour into the fat in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add the broth mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the gravy thickens and boils, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Arrange the remaining baked oranges with the sage on the platter around the turkey. Serve with the gravy.

Coconut Flavored Sweet Potatoes

by holistic health honey, Erica Trestyn

  • 3-4 medium sized Sweet potatoes, skinned and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1-2 TBSP of black strap molasses
  • ¾ teaspoon of sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Put sweet potatoes in a large bowl and pour over coconut oil & molasses.  Toss with remaining ingredients. Spread the potatoes on a large baking sheet or in a large roasting pan.  Roast for about an hour, tossing about every 20 min.*You can also try this recipe with butternut squash. Mash either for a “mashed potato feel”. It is super yummy & decadent!

Balsamic-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Crushed Pine Nuts and Parmesan
spotted by yours truly, Lindsay Lopez on Pinterest

  • 1 pound of Brussels sprouts
  • 1/8 cup pine nuts, finely diced
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  1.  Trim and peel away the outer leaves of each Brussel sprout and half them
  2. Slide the Brussels sprout halves onto the skewers, about six to eight halves per skewer
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place skewers halved-side up
  4. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over each skewer, trying to “fill up” the Brussels  sprouts
  5. Bake the skewers at 400 degrees for about 30min until they are cooked and crispy
  6. Plate the skewers on a serving tray and cover them with parmesan and the pine nuts

 

Thanksgiving Eggs Benedict

by FORM Instructor Alissa Alter Fuhrman

In a pan with melted butter, fry a large spoonful of leftover mashed potatoes into a potato pancake. Then in the same pan make a fried egg. Serve the egg over the pancake and cover with leftover gravy.

Let us know which of our recipes you tried and loved, or post a recipe of your own below!

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3 Fall Hangouts You Shouldn’t Miss

Two is always better than one. Such is the case with exploring NYC. Here’s my pick for three things you can do with your bestie here in the big apple:

1- Go High and Go Low

New York is always on the cutting edge of making the most out of what we got, like the High Line, the above ground park built on an elevated historic freight rail line. So, it’s no wonder that we would go below to have the Low Line too. The master plan of local lower east side architects and engineers to bring green space to an area lacking in both space and foliage. Nestled in the former Williamsburg trolley terminal, untouched for decades, these innovators have designed a remote skylight to deliver sunlight from the surface and actually provide enough natural light to allow plant life to flourish. Although it is in its early stages they are offering a glimpse into the potential of the future park. Visit the exhibition anytime between September 15-27 for its inaugural “day” fair with pop-ups from some of the LES’s best tasting goodies.

2- Go cheap

Our fair city is a museum mecca and Saturday September 29th, the Smithsonian is sponsoring Museum Day. It’s free, yes that’s FREE, to visit one of 28 museums. My pick is the little known Museum of Arts and Design. MAD (as they lovingly call themselves) is nestled kitty corner from the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle. Take a free (yup, there’s that word again) docent tour of the museum while inside and when you’ve taken in all your eyes can muster, wander upstairs to one of the area’s greatest kept secrets, Robert. Robert is a sexy little gem with one of the best views of Central park. Go for brunch, lunch, dinner, or late night snack but make sure to splurge on one of their specialty libations. You might even see a famous ballerina from Lincoln Center sipping one right in the booth next to you….

3- Go eat

New Yorkers know how to eat, and we celebrate the fact that we have some of THE best food in the world with the annual NYC Food and Wine Festival. October 17th-20th, it is a long weekend of cuisine infused activities that range anywhere from $20-$400. You can taste, listen, and party with some of the industries hottest chefs like Racheal Ray, Anita Lo, and Giada De Laurentiis. Stuff your face at one of the Grand Tastings and maybe bad boy Anthony Bourdain will be there to sign your t-shirt, eh I mean book.

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My vegan dinner last night

The holiday’s are upon us, (take it from Starbucks- when I went in there the other day it looked like Xmas threw up) and with the cheer comes fear. Fear of stuffing (yourself and the turkey), fear of family reunions, fear of finding your dietary restrictions amongst the spread. So, I’m taking the holidays head on and eating skinny style in preparation for the big day. I found this amazing vegan recipe in my new favorite mag, Whole Living. Make it for a lite dinner or as a side for the marathon feast. Super east to make and super yummy to eat. You’re welcome.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pistachios and Quinoa


Serves 8

Ingredients
4 small acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachios, chopped
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
Pinch red-pepper flakes
Directions
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush squash with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down on two baking sheets until tender and caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 2 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then fluff with a fork. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, parsley, feta, pistachios, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and vinegar. Season with salt and red-pepper flakes. Divide filling among squash.