Is Your Trainer Trained?

Is Your Trainer Trained?

Do you ever wonder what the initials after your trainer’s name stand for? Or what initials should a trainer even have? EALM asked fitness trainer Tiffany Chag, CSCS to let us know what credentials a personal fitness trainer should have and what they mean. Here is her response!

Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight cc

Chag shared “It is most important that the trainer has an up-to-date personal training certification accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA).”  Just so you know, some require a four-year college degree while others take only 20 minutes to complete online.  She let us know there are many personal training certifications out there, but there are three widely recognized personal training governing bodies and their respective certifications.”

 

  1. National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA): offers both the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification and the Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification.  The CSCS is the most recognized and respected certification in the fitness profession, intended for trainers focused on maximizing athletic performance.  In order to sit for the four-hour exam, you must have a four-year college degree.  The CPT, also highly regarded, is intended for trainers working with the general population.
  2. American College of Sports Medicine—Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-CPT):  Like the NSCA-CPT, this certification is intended for trainers working with the general population.  As stated on its website, the ACSM, “advances and integrates scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.”
  3. National Academy of Sports Medicine—Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT): This certification is also meant for trainers working with the general population and focuses more on corrective exercise through balance and functional movement.  They created the Optimum Performance Training (OPT) model to design personal training programs.

 

Tiffany made us aware of additional certifications trainers may earn. “Many trainers complete certifications for special populations such as triathlon training, pre- and post-natal, weight loss, and youth or seniors. Trainers can also obtain certifications focused on different modalities of exercise, such as: kettle bells, TRX (the black and yellow rope you see hanging around your gym), or spinning/cycling.  If you’re looking for something in particular, ask if a trainer has a specialty certification or if they’ve ever worked with someone in a similar situation.  Most trainers will gladly provide referrals, if you’re interested.”

Photo Credit: Justin Liew via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Justin Liew via Compfight cc

Tiffany Chag’s Words of Wisdom for the World of Fitness:

“Ask questions!  I can count on one hand the number of times a prospective client has asked about my background—this always surprises me. The more you learn about the trainer, the more likely you are to find the right match to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Working with a trainer should be challenging and should push you outside your comfort zone, but mostly…it should be fun.  In between catching your breath, ideally you’re able to eke out a smile!”

Thanks Tiffany!! You can check out more about Tiffany Chag, CSCS and her certifications at: www.tiffanychagtraining.com ~ Facebook.

Laura Cipullo and EALM’s Words of Wisdom for the World of Fitness:

Look for the initials CSCS, CPT and or NASM-CPT. Ask questions and make sure you don’t push too hard to cause injury!! Also check out www.destructivelyfit.com to see if your trainer has been trained to work with eating disorders.

Teaching Food Waste and Hunger without Worrying Your Child

Teaching Food Waste and Hunger without Worrying Your Child

In the springtime, a mother asked me, “How do I teach my child about food waste and hunger without worrying or shaming her?” Well, I didn’t have the answer, but I now have a way to at least start the conversation. In honor of Hunger Action Month, read on to learn about nutrition student and Rescuing Leftover Cuisine volunteer Hannah Husby’s recommendations to turn extra food into meals for others. –Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD and Mom

Photo Credit: jbloom via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: jbloom via Compfight cc

Ideas for Food Rescue Hannah Husby, Nutrition Student, NYU   While we worry a lot these days about all the food we are eating, we should consider turning our positive attention to food we may be wasting. Of course, everyone wastes food from time to time; it’s easy to want to buy all the beautiful produce at the farmer’s market, only to find you bought too many peaches—and the last two became rotten before you could eat them! (For tips on how to avoid this, see this post.) This waste tends to be more annoying than anything for us, but for those that face issues with food insecurity, having that peach before it gets soft could make a difference between going to bed hungry or not. Short of eating everything in your fridge right now so none of it goes to waste, what can be done to help? It actually takes a surprisingly small amount of time to make a difference. Big cities across the country can use help feeding their homeless and secure food, and this can make an incredible impact. Here are a few places to check out in New York City:

City Harvest – Known for everything from food rescue to nutrition education, City Harvest has served New York for over thirty years and continues to eliminate food waste every day.

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine – A smaller and recently created non-profit, Rescuing Leftover Cuisine also aims to feed the hungry by taking donations from restaurants and businesses, no matter how small, and can always use volunteers to transport this food directly to shelters and pantries.

Food rescues can also be found all over the country by checking out Feeding America, but if there are no rescues in your community, you can actually create your own with the help of City Harvest!   Volunteering, even just an hour or two a week, can do wonders not only for the community you live in, but also for yourself, connecting you more with those around you and creating a fresh perspective on those day-to-day complaints we all face. And it certainly helps you appreciate how wonderfully delicious those peaches are!

Chef It Up…Read EALM’s kitchen “aides”

Chef It Up…Read EALM’s kitchen “aides”
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Ever wonder about the best way to store coffee, the correct temperature for cooking a cut of meat, or how to make a flakey pasty crust?

In today’s digital age we often just turn to Google for instantaneous answers to all of our questions. But there’s nothing quite like having this information in one easily accessible place. Keep in mind that not everything we read on the Internet comes from reliable sources. Finding trustworthy answers to these kinds of questions often requires us to research many different sites. Whether you are a dietitian, chef, home cook, or simply someone who eats (i.e. ANYONE!), you probably have a variety of questions about food and cooking. Why does a certain food do that when it cooks? Where does our food come from?  How has food changed over the years? If you’re at all curious about food or cooking, here are three highly recommended books to help answer your questions…whether you’re an at-home food scientist, a “YUMPIE” chef or simply a literature loving foodie. These books are sure to make your epicurean experiences that much more satisfying.

 

Three kitchen “aides” to help the three different kinds of foodies:

For the scientific cook:

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On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee

For the more experienced and the science-minded person, On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee is a great resource—an encyclopedia dealing exclusively with food and cooking—and one of my favorites reference sources! McGee’s book contains definitive answers to many of our everyday food questions…and so much more. The book begins by focusing on the most commonly used ingredients. So here are just a few of the things you can learn: the difference between cream and milk, how eggs are graded, and various cooking methods for meat and fish. It provides descriptions of some of the more than 2,000 cultivated varieties of edible plants. It discusses different flavors. It explains the baking process and how to create a variety of sauces. It reveals how to brew alcoholic beverages. And it includes in-depth descriptions of cooking methods and materials. This book is a “must have” for nutrition and culinary students as well as professional chefs. It’s also a great reference tool for the at-home chef to keep close at hand. You can easily research the reasons behind a specific food reaction and/or quickly find answers to your daily cooking questions.

 

For our “YUMPIE” chefs:

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Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks and Good Food by Jeff Potter

If you want to learn about food science but actually are not too fond of science, Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food by Jeff Potter may be the perfect book for you. A quick read, it helps you effortlessly expand your knowledge about food science. Potter breaks down the complexities of food science into easy-to-understand terms. And once you understand the science behind cooking, you’ll be able to view your recipes from entirely new perspectives. Your kitchen will be stocked with blank canvas for you to create masterpieces. Potter also includes some basic foundational recipes to help the concepts solidify in your brain. You’ll learn why something happens and then be able to attempt it in your own test kitchen!

 

By the way…. YUMPIE is a real word! A YUMPIE is a young, educated, career-orientated person who wants to get ahead in the world.[i] Don’t believe me? Check out dictionary.com.

 

For the literature-loving foodie:

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Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson

If you want to learn more about food and cooking but are really more interested in the story than the science, Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson would be perfect for your next beach read or even a good option for your book club. Written by food writer and historian Bee Wilson, Consider the Fork takes you on an adventure depicting how your kitchen tools affect your food. Written as a novel rather than a reference tool, it includes some science and history but is also interwoven with personal experiences. Wilson’s book provides an interesting visualization about how the tools we’ve used throughout history have shaped what we eat today.

 

No matter what stage of the game you currently may have reached in your kitchen comfort, knowledge and/or expertise, you’ll learn much more about food and how best to prepare it with each one of these books. Not only will they help you when you’re in the kitchen, but you’ll also be able to impress your family and friends with some fun food facts the next time you’re out for lunch or dinner. Or, perhaps, if you wind up trying to solve a crossword puzzle laden with food clues!


[i] YUMPIE. Available at Dictonary.com

To Drink or Not to Drink?

Some Things to Keep in Mind Before Your Next Sip
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

In honor of Labor Day Weekend, we wanted to share the following blog on drinking and alcohol. We wish you a healthy and happy holiday weekend!

Photo Credit: Darwin Bell via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Darwin Bell via Compfight cc

In 2010, the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans included a recommendation to drink alcohol in moderation. Moderation here is defined as: one drink or less per day for women, and 2 drinks or less per day for men. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) notes that one alcoholic beverage is equal to 14 grams of alcohol. That means, one 5-ounce glass of wine, one 1.5 ounce serving of liquor (tequila, vodka, gin, and so on), or one 12-ounce bottle of beer. Alcohol can affect every person differently based on your height, weight, health status, family history, age and how often/how much you decide to drink.

Alcohol clocks in at 7.1 calories per gram, which is more calories per gram than protein and carbohydrates, but less than fat. So, how does alcohol breakdown in our body and is it a health risk? Contrary to popular belief, alcohol is considered a fat, not a sugar, when it is broken down in our body. The thermic effect (energy needed to breakdown foods/drinks) of alcohol is 15-22% versus the 12% for food. That means, it takes your body more energy to breakdown alcohol than food. Does that mean that people who drink will burn more calories and have a lower body weight? No. The research examining alcohol consumption and body weight regulation is mixed. Some studies concluded that alcohol consumption in women was related to a lower body weight, but the study could not control for exactly how many ounces these women drank. Another study found no correlation between alcohol and weight in women, but concluded that men who drank had a lower body fat percentage but not a lower waist-to-hip ratio (the ultimate indicator for heart health and diabetes risk). Most studies did not address long-term consumption either, so there is no evidence to see how one’s drinking habits affect them in the long run.

Extensive research from the American Institute for Cancer Research (aicr.org) has uncovered the link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk in women of all ages. The majority of the research found a 10% increased risk for breast cancer with every 10 grams of alcohol/day – that’s less than one drink. Alcohol is also an Oestrogen/Estrogen disruptor, as it influences the hormone levels and its receptors.

It’s also important to know that your body considers alcohol a toxin. When you consume it, all other metabolic processes slow down to get the alcohol out of your system more efficiently. And because alcohol is considered a fat (1 of the 3 macronutrients), other fat breakdown is significantly curbed at that time.  Now, we shouldn’t start drinking alcohol on an empty stomach, rather we should be mindful of the foods we consume while we enjoy our drink. Alcohol can affect our mood and our brain function, which can ultimately affect our food choices. That’s why being mindful when we enjoy our drinks and food is important. The second we feel out of touch with ourselves from a cocktail, it may be time to stop sipping and stay present.

Photo Credit: Dave Dugdale via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Dave Dugdale via Compfight cc

 

For a useful tool on calculating the amount of alcohol in your drink, check out:

http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/ToolsResources/CocktailCalculator.asp

 

Most importantly, NEVER drink and drive!

Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services does not recommend drinking alcohol.

Healthy and Happy: The Positive Role Team Sports Play on Adolescent Girls

Headline: Sign Your Girls Up For Team Sports this Fall!

Photo Credit: evoo73 via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: evoo73 via Compfight cc

Healthy and Happy: The Positive Role Team Sports Play on Adolescent Girls
By Lauren Cohen and Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services

 

Do you remember what middle school was like for you? If you’re like me, you probably try not to remember. Being a teenager is difficult. Between the physical changes, social changes, and mental changes, overwhelming is probably an understatement—and that’s not even including schoolwork! And then there are the girls. The pressure and social anxiety to “fit it” is exacerbated by the feeling that you need to wear the right clothes or carry the right backpack or have the right friends. As many times as we try to profess that all girls feel it (yes, even that “it” girl!), it is an isolating and lonely sensation. While we can’t eliminate the discomfort that comes along with being a teenage girl—we can work to improve it.

 

New research suggests that team sports may be the answer to helping adolescent girls live happier, healthy lives. While research is continuing to expand our knowledge as to why this is the case, the results show a varied and wide impact. In an essay published by the World Health Organization, the benefits of participation in team sports are classified into five categories; physical, mental, social, intellectual/ educational development and reproductive health.

 

Physical Health

Physical health is improved in two ways. First, it can reduce the risk for diseases that often affect children and adolescents including diabetes and high blood pressure. Secondly, it can reduce the risk for chronic diseases that often develop later in life including cancer, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. Physical activity also continues to prevent childhood obesity, which has a close relationship with adolescent depressive disorders.

 

Mental Health

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that roughly 11% of adolescents develop depressive disorders by age 18—and girls are twice as likely to have a depressive episode then boys. While that is a scary statistic, it is important to remember that there are many ways to combat and understand depressive disorders. Team sports are one of them. It has a positive effect on a young girl’s physiological well-being and can reduce levels of anxiety and depression. There are new studies that suggest physical activity as a treatment option  – since it often acts as an anti-depressant and lowers stress levels.

 

An article published by the LA Times in April 2014 recently addressed a study suggesting that calling a girl “too fat” by people close to her are more likely to become obese by age 19. The link seems to be emotional—if girls feel bad about themselves, they turn to food for comfort.

 

Social/Intellectual/Educational Health

With lower levels of stress and increased physical health, studies show an upward trend in academic and intellectual success. There is also a higher rate of interest in graduation from high school and college with a lower rate of dropouts and higher GPAs—particularly in math and science. Socially, these team players experience a sense of belonging, a community, and teammates who share a common interest and goal.

 

Sexual Health

Limited research also suggests that inclusion in team sports gives young women a sense of pride, respect, and empowerment towards their bodies.

 

In many settings, adolescents may be encouraged to view their bodies as sexual and reproductive resources for men, rather than sources of strength for themselves. Early studies conducted in the US have found that adolescent girls who participate in sports tend to become sexually active later in life, have fewer partners, and, when sexually active, make greater use of contraception than non-sporting girls.

-Girls Participation in Physical Activities and Sports: Benefits, Patterns, Influences, and ways Forward; Bailey, Wellard, Dismore

 

With increased rates of adolescent pregnancy and poor sexual health & education, the hope that young women will display bodily empowerment and respect is certainly desirable and correlates with participation in team sports.

 

As we already know, physical activity already has such a wide range of positive impacts that reach from muscle toning to mind toning. When we add the element of team building and comradeship, it really might be the best mixture for adolescent girls. Even if practice is just once a week, sign up! The tools she gains and the resources she learns are the very skills that teach us to live a happy and healthy life.

 

 

 

Resources

 

http://www.icsspe.org/sites/default/files/Girls.pdf

 

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-in-children-and-adolescents/index.shtml

 

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/07/11/peds.2011-2898

 

http://www.newkerala.com/news/2014/fullnews-27523.html#.U0LBgK1dVK4

 

http://www.torontosun.com/2014/03/24/team-sports-help-children-be-healthier-do-better-in-class-study

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Lycopene!

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Lycopene!
By Alyssa Mitola, RD and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Photo Credit: jacki-dee via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: jacki-dee via Compfight cc

What is Lycopene? Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant. Although chemically related to vitamin A, lycopene does not function in our bodies like the vitamin. Rather lycopene serves as the most powerful antioxidant of the >600 carotenoids, riding our body of harmful free radicals and oxidizing species. Lycopene is a red pigment found in fruits and vegetables. You may already know that tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, but lycopene is also found in guava, papaya, watermelon, grapefruit, and apricots.

Photo Credit: EJP Photo via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: EJP Photo via Compfight cc

Lycopene is constantly being researched for its potential health benefits, most notably in relation to cancer and cardiovascular disease. The strongest research comes from lycopene’s role in preventing prostate cancer. Many studies have found that people with higher intakes of lycopene have reduced rates of prostate cancer (Giovannuci et. al 1995; Zu et. al 2011). In addition, a 2013 study published in the British Journal of Medicine showed people consuming higher amounts of lycopene had less incidences of cardiovascular disease. Researchers are also currently investigating lycopene’s role in sunburn, gingivitis, osteoporosis, asthma, and mental disorders.

 

The health benefits of lycopene are numerous and we should try to include sources of lycopene daily. However, this does not mean lycopene should be taken as a supplement. Rather lycopene should come from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Lycopene is actually more bioavailable (available to our bodies) when it is heated. Therefore foods like tomato puree, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and tomato juice are even richer sources of lycopene. When purchasing tomato-based products, be sure to look out for no sodium or low sodium products. Eating lycopene with a healthy, fat like olive oil, will also increase your body’s ability to absorb the lycopene. With tomatoes in season get your fill of lycopene. Serve your tomatoes with some olive oil or make some homemade salsa, a tomato salad, or a fresh pot of tomato sauce!

  

 

References:

1) Giovannucci E, Ascherio A, Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Colditz GA, Willett WC. Intake of carotenoids and retinol in relation to risk of prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995;87(23):1767-1776.

2) Fielding JM, Rowley KG, Cooper P, et al.: Increases in plasma lycopene concentration after consumption of tomatoes cooked with olive oil. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 14 (2): 131-6, 20.

3) Holzapfel NP, Holzapfel BM, Champ S, Feldthusen J, Clements J, Hutmacher W. The Potential Role of Lycopene for the Prevention and Therapy of Prostate Cancer: From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Evidence. Int J Mol Sci. 2013;14(7): 14620-14646.

4) Zu K, Rosner BA, Clinton SK, Loda M, Stampfer MJ, Giovannuci E. Dietary Lycopene, Angiogenesis, and Prostate Cancer: A Prospective Study in the Prostate-Specific Antigen Era. JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2014) 106 (2).

5) Jacques P, Lyass A, Massaro JM, D’Agastino B.  Relationship of lycopene intake and consumption of tomato products to incident CVD. British Journal of Nutrition (2013), 110, 545-551.

6) Story E, Kopec RE, Schwartz SJ, Harris GK. An Update on the Health Effects of Tomato Lycopene. National Institute of Health Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2010; 1: 1-24.

 

Weight Shaming is Such a Shame

Weight Shaming is Such a Shame

By Lauren Cohen and Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Photo Credit: ashley rose, via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: ashley rose, via Compfight cc

There are a series of phrases out there so vile that I am embarrassed by the following sentence. They include; “thigh gap,” “food shaming,” “FUPA,” and “butterface.” These are just a few of the grotesque ways we have manipulated the English language to diminish the beauty of another person. A person.  A person who is made of cells, and matter, and muscle, and fibers, and water, and feelings, and emotions, and self-hate. We don’t need your help to belittle ourselves—we do just fine on our own. But we don’t have to.

 

Weight shaming—or perhaps better described as body shaming—is something we all fall victim to. It’s easy to accidentally offend. When I was thirteen, gangly and tall with a rough case of acne, a woman pulled me aside while I was bathing suit shopping. I was in a bikini and she asked me, with a soft and serious tone, if I was eating enough and if I would like her to speak to my mother. I was horrified, confused, and virtually naked. I am sure she had good intentions; but I can still feel today that sensation of brutal exposure.

 

Body shaming is a real life nightmare. It feels like walking into to your high school cafeteria completely nude. The room falls silent and everyone laughs. I don’t need to explain it to you—no doubt you have felt it at one point or another. But… why?

 

It comes from all over. From our parents and our friends, from the media and from ourselves. As a society, we forget that people are built just the way they are built. Everybody is different and every body is different. Sometimes they’re small; sometimes they’re large. Sometimes busty or curvy or lean or petite. There are extremes, of course, and those often require nutrition intervention for both over and under nutrition. But for the majority of the population—we need to work on some serious body loving.

 

There is a theory out there—the set-point theory—arguing that individual bodies maintain a certain weight and frame for extended periods of time. If you think of your lifespan as a graph, this would be a plateau. Provided that the plateau is not in an extreme, I like the idea behind this theory. To me, it is a scientific way of asserting that your body is all your own.

 

Your body is very smart. Think about it. It knows how to take care of itself, when to ask you for more food, when to enforce more sleep, when to suggest an appealing exercise or crave a specific meal. Your body takes care of you—now it’s time for you to take care of your body. Give it some lovin’.

 

 

How do you show your body love? What can we do to help prevent body shaming?

 

Restaurant Review: ReViVer, Wild, Back Forty

Restaurant Review Blog
ReViVer, Wild, Back Forty
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

Sometimes it can be hard to find a balanced choice for dinner or lunch that is delicious and consciously prepared. Luckily, the team at Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services has found 3 wonderful restaurants that fit the bill. Read on to learn where to go and what to get on your next meal out.

 

ReViVer
(934 8th avenue between 55th and 56th street)
www.revivernyc.com

 

ReViVer is a great pick-up and go place located near Columbus Circle. If you’re in need of fast food that’s actually nutritious, then look no further. The restaurant’s mission is to have “the perfect union of culinary art and nutrition science.” The menu was developed with the help of a Registered Dietitian to provide balanced dishes that meet certain nutritional pre-requisites – and it actually tastes good! When I ate there, I noticed there were many options for the carnivore or vegetarian.

At Reviver, there are four core Food Principles: Balance, Nutritious, Clean, and Pure. Each dish is balanced to have proportions of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Each dish is nutritious in that it promotes vegetables, fruits, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They also have a futuristic technology they use to cook their antibiotic-free and hormone-free proteins, which is used to prepare the mahi-mahi tacos.

ReviverTaco

Think of ReViVer as your go-to for a quick lunch or dinner. It’s something you would make at home, but just don’t have the time to do. The restaurant is also now on seamless, making your dinner plans that much easier.

Eating at ReViVer is every New Yorker’s dream for healthy take-out. Your palate will be satisfied and your heart will be happy and healthy.

 

Wild
(535 Hudson Street between Charles St. and Perry St.)
www.eatdrinkwild.com 

Wild

It’s time to go wild over some delicious pasta, pizza and veggies. Wild in the West Village offers many conscious options for diners. It’s a great place to eat-in or pick-up for lunch and dinner. Wild’s mission is to “give people a positive environment to eat nourishing, yummy food, and offer true piece of mind.” There are three locations: West Village, Williamsburg and now, Las Vegas.

SkinnyB*tchPizza

The Skinny B*tch Pizza is more than just a brazen name. Served on a gluten-free vegan crust, it’s made to taste more like a cheese-less flatbread than a pizza, most definitely worth ordering. The eggplant and squash have a great deal of flavor, which paired well with the house-made tomato sauce. We also sampled the Wild Mushroom Herb Pasta served with wild arugula. That was delicious. The only setback here was we were hoping to try the Spaghetti Limone Parmigiano (basically a lemon pasta) that was featured on the online menu, but it was not available when we got to the restaurant.

If you’re looking for a simple and solid salad, the Wild Arugula is a safe bet. More adventurous eaters may opt for the Quinoa salad (with curry) or the Kale Salad (with smoked tofu).

Finally, we discuss the sweets. Wild caught our eye when we saw they had a Kale Cupcake. Now, we’ve seen kale in just about everything. But, a cupcake? This we had to try. Alas, that wasn’t available either. We opted for the vegan and gluten-free coconut brownie that was very fudgy and rich.

Even though there were a few menu inconsistencies, Wild is worth a visit. Your body and mind will thank you.

 

Back Forty
(190 Avenue B #1 between 11th and 12th street)
www.backfortynyc.com 

BackFortyCod

If you’re looking for a cozy farm-to-table experience, Back Forty has got you covered. The food is very fresh, and they source their veggies from local farms upstate.

You can’t go wrong with the halibut. Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Service clients say this is one of their favorite dishes there. As we expected, the menu changes with the seasons. If you can, try and sit in the garden while the weather is still pleasant. According to the website, Back Forty is a burger joint deep down, but a consciously sourced one at that. There are also plenty of options for vegetarians to enjoy.

They also have a Westside location on Prince Street, for those unable to venture into alphabet city. This summer Back Forty is offering Crab Boils in the East Village location if you’re looking for a chef-driven way to celebrate the season.

Don’t “Defriend” Fat

Don’t “Defriend” Fat
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

In the 70’s, we banned fat. In the 90’s we banned carbs – and neither really worked to improve our lifestyles and relationships with food. As new research comes out regarding the best ways to eat for a healthy body, heart health, brain health – you name it – our food industry adjusts accordingly to provide these foods for us to eat. But what if we simply had a neutral relationship with food and a positive relationship with eating? It seems we would be more likely to eat exactly what our bodies need and avoid the foods our bodies can do without.

Photo Credit: misterbisson via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: misterbisson via Compfight cc

Recently, an article was published in TIME Magazine with the title “EAT BUTTER.” There’s something that will catch the reader’s eye, but what is behind the cover? For over 40 years, Americans have been on a low-fat craze because it was believed to be the best way to preserve our hearts from heart disease. Turns out, the research was misleading and the way we interpreted the research was not any better for our bodies. According to Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University, ideally we thought “that if people reduced saturated fat, they would replace it with healthy fruits and vegetables.” What really happened was people replaced those calories with processed foods and snacks like low-fat cookies, cakes, crackers and more.

We started regaling fats as “good” fats and “bad” fats, and we did the same with cholesterol. Giving these positive and negative titles to foods can lead to overeating and or food avoidance. It is important to understand that fats, like all foods, are neutral. They are essential in our diet for brain health, blood sugar regulation and for keeping us feeling full. Carbs (sugar, fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy) are also essential in our diet for energy, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Avoiding one or the other can lead to undernourishment and side effects like fatigue and mood swings.

Photo Credit: Pauline Mak via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Pauline Mak via Compfight cc

In 1996, Dr. Walter Willet published research concluding that removing fat from our diets and replacing that void with carbohydrates does not reduce our risk for heart disease. It just so happens that around the time this study was published, the Mediterranean diet started gaining popularity. All fats are important. All carbs are important. All proteins are important. There is actually research supporting Mediterranean diets with 40% fat. But the fat source is mainly monounsaturated fats. Remember, when you eat fats like dairy, oils, nuts, and so on, you are typically getting a bit of saturated and unsaturated fat. So while the jury is still out, stick with moderation and try to eat more wholesome nutrition the majority of the time.

Ultimately, the TIME article is not saying Americans should drop everything and start eating butter or loading up on saturated fat. The message seems to be implying that we should no longer be afraid of fat, and we can start incorporating all types of fat in moderation. It’s time we changed our thinking from exile to acceptance. Allowing ourselves to have access to all foods will decrease the desire to resist any particular nutrient or food group. We will all be healthier for it.