Saturday, May 29, 2010

I Love you for Sentimental Reasons

Oh the weekend we've all been waiting for! Finally it's ok to wear white, and it finally feels like summer is here. Here are a fun great links I found this week:
  • Keep It Fresh! Fresh the Movie is coming to Boston in a couple of weeks and they have some great sustainable foodie events! Check out the complete list here.
  • Beantown: I get a lot of questions about some of my favorite things in boston, especially vegetarian restaurants. If you look right about this post you will see that I have created a "Boston Guide" with some of my favorites. Check it out here!
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Grill up some vegetables for me!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Vegetarian Nutrition for Your Whole LIfe

I am honored to be able to join four of my favorite dietitian bloggers at the Food for Your Whole Life Symposium in next weekend, where we will be live blogging and tweeting. Corinne, Janel, Lindsay, Jess are so excited to see the entire line-up of amazing health and nutrition professionals.:Dr. Oz, Brain Wansink,Mollie Katzen, Michael Roizen, David Katz, Roger Clemens, Karen Collins RD, Keri Gans RD, James Joseph, Petra Kolber, Joan Sabate, and Elisa Zied RD.

For the past two month's we've been posting on a variety of nutrition/healthy living topics that cover the entire life span on the official conference blog. Check out what’s already been written about here, and follow each of our blogs for updates on posts.

I decided to highlight the Hows and Whys of Vegetarian Nutrition in my post. You can see it here or I have attached it below!

There are many reasons for why one decides to become a vegetarian or vegan. Maybe you don’t like the idea of having to kill animals for sustenance, you want to be more environmentally friendly, or you are looking to improve your diet. Whatever the reason, you’re definitely not alone. More than 5 million Americans are vegetarian[1] and these people are not all tree-hugging, dreadlocked hippies! Maybe you have heard of Alicia Silverstone and Tobey Maguire, even Aristotle and Einstein! I personally believe strongly in the power of a plant-based diet. I have been vegan for more than a year and a half, and vegetarian for many years before that. I ran my first marathon on an entirely plant based diet, and find my energy levels drastically increased when eating this way. But don’t just take my or anyone else’s word for it. As a nutrition student I strongly believe in the importance of scientific proof to back up nutritional claims. Before you decide whether this diet is right for you, it’s important to arm yourself with some facts! While a simple Google Search will find you bundles of information, I’ve outlined some of the Whys and Hows of vegetarian nutrition just for you!


For Your Health The typical vegetarian diet includes lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals when compared to the Average American diet, and this has been shown to reduce the likelihood of having chronic diseases. Vegetarians also appear to have lower LDL (Bad) cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension.[2] Vegetarians are also at a lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes.[3] Studies have found that diets high in fruits in vegetables may reduce cancer risk, while a meat heavy diet increases the risk of certain cancers. [4] Plant foods contain many beneficial compounds that, by acting through multiple mechanisms, provide protection against heart disease. [5] Vegetarians have been shown to have a 24% lower risk of dying of heart disease than non-vegetarians.[6]While you don’t have to be sickly thin to be a vegan or vegetarian, people with these diets usually have lower body weights and BMIs.[7] With over 2/3 of Americans either overweight or obese, this is welcome news to the healthcare community. Obesity is associated with many chronic disease, mainly, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and certain types of cancer.

For the Planet’s Health: Vegetarian diets are also usually LOW CARBON diets. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide, even more than transportation![8]Livestock production also takes a significant toll on natural habitats, and in large scale operations can render much of the landscape barren.[9] Growing plants also uses less water than livestock need. While an estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound. [10]Plant-based protein also requires 1/20th of the fossil fuel energy needed to produce beef! By reducing meat consumption, we can help to cut our fossil fuel demand


But What am I going to eat? There’s a whole bounty of foods to choose from! Nuts, Grains, Fruit, Vegetables, and Beans are the basis of vegan diets, and vegetarians also eat dairy and eggs. These foods are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals, to protect you from cancer and heart disease. If you find that you are missing sausage in the morning, there are also many faux meat products to choose from. I much prefer Tofu scrambles to egg whites, any day! Instead of looking at this as an EXclusion diet, think of it rather as an INclusion diet-have you ever tried green chickpeas or Romanesco cauliflower? Browse the produce section of your grocery store and pick out something new to try this week!

What About Protein? This is hands down the most common question any vegetarian will ever receive, and ultimately of very little concern. The American Dietetic Association [11]A recommends that healthy Americans get around .4 g of protein for every pound of body weight. For a woman who weighs 150 lbs that is 60 g of protein. A common misconception is that meat is the only source of protein. Quite the contrary-in fact only fruits and oils have no protein. Beans, Nuts, and Grains are great sources of protein in a vegetarian diet. 1 cup of chickpeas provides 18g of protein (1/3 of our example’s needs) and 1 oz of walnuts (about 14 halves) has 4g of protein. Plant proteins also provide many other nutrients. Those walnuts are also an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, needed for heart and brain health.

Myth: I can’t cook, and I won’t be able to eat out with my friends ever again! Contrary to popular belief, all vegetarians do not have to sit alone at their kitchen table with a plate-full of iceberg lettuce. Due to the increased popularity of meat-free diets, almost all restaurants now offer a wide-array of vegetarian dishes! Don’t be afraid to ask your waitress if special accommodations can be made. Pepperoni can easily be held on a pizza, and Cesar salads are perfectly fine without the chicken. Certain cuisines are very vegetarian friendly-try Indian or Asian! Invite your friends to dinner at your house to highlight some fine vegetarian cooking. Besides the plethora of cookbooks you will find in your local bookstore, the internet is a cornucopia of great vegetarian and vegan recipes! Some of my favorites are,

Do I need to supplement my diet with a multivitamin? If you are eating a well-balanced healthy diet, then you have very little be concerned about. The two nutrients that cause strict vegetarian and vegans are Iron, Calcium and B12. Incorporating fortified soy milk, and whole grain cereals in the diet will help insure these needs are being met.

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables! Even though you are no longer eating meat, you cannot eat all junk food! Just because oreos and potato chips are vegan, doesn’t mean they should be eaten every day. A diet of soda and Doritos is not a healthy diet, vegetarian or not. Remember the root of the word vegetarian, and eat your fruits and vegetables. Try to get 5-9 servings of both each day. Before you get scared away from that number-incorporate 1 piece of fruit and 1 cup of vegetables with every meal, and have two pieces of fruit as a snack every day!

Whether you’re a carnivore, omnivore, flexitarian, pescetarian, or locavore, everyone can incorporate more vegetarian meals in their life! Join many cities and people around the country and try implementing “Meatless Mondays” in your life. Set aside just one day a week to be vegetarian.

A well-planned vegetarian diet is healthy for all stages of the life cycle, from pregnancy, through adulthood, and appropriate for athletes. If you incorporate a wide range of whole, plant-based foods within your diet, these foods may provide health benefits in the prevention of certain chronic diseases. You can also sleep well at night, knowing you have lessened your impact on the environmental degradation and needless animal suffering. While I strongly believe that everyone should find the diet and lifestyle that best suits them, I hope you will consider some of the benefits of a plant-based diet, and join us at least once a week!


[1] Craig, WJ., Mangels, AR, Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets. Journal of the AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION July 2009 Volume 109 Number 7 p. 1266-1282.

[2] See 1.

[3] Tonstad, S, Butler, T, Yan, R, Fraser, G. “Type of Vegetarian Diet, Body Weight and Prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care May 2009 vol. 32 no. 5 791-796

[4] Cross AJ, Leitzmann MF, Gail MH, Hollenbeck AR, Schatzkin A, et al. (2007) A Prospective Study of Red and Processed Meat Intake in Relation to Cancer Risk. PLoS Med 4(12): e325.

[5]Rao, V, Al-Weshahy A. “Plant-based diets and contol of lipids and coronary heart disease risk.” Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2008 Dec;10(6):478-85

[6] Key TJ, Fraser GE, Thorogood M, Appleby PN, Beral V, Reeves G, Burr ML, Chang-Claude J, Frentzel-Beyme R, Kuzma JW, Mann J, McPherson K (1998). “Mortality in vegetarians and non-vegetarians: a collaborative analysis of 8300 deaths among 76,000 men and women in five prospective studies.”. Public Health Nutr 1 (1): 33-41. PMID 10555529.

[7] Newby, PK, Tucker, KL, Wolk, A. “Risk of overweight and obesity among semivegetarian, lactovegetarian, and vegan women.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 81, No. 6, 1267-1274, June 2005.

[8] Steinfeld, H. e al. Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental issues and options. Food and Agriculture organization of the UN. Rome 2006.

[9] Marlow, HJ, et el. “Diet and the environment: does what you eat

matter?American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 89 (5): 1699S. (2009)

[10] Kreith, M. “Water Inputs in California Food Production.” Water Education Foundation. 1991.


Are you vegetarian or Vegan? Are you willing to reduce your meat consumption for your own health and the health of the planent? I don't believe we all have to be militant, and that even going meat free for a day a week is a step in the right direction. Animal products should be looked at as special treats or sides to a meal, with plant-based food forming a strong foundation.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Haute Oatmeal Bar

I eat oatmeal almost everyday, and besides being a very healthy whole grain, with a few simple add-ins it's simply delicious! I have already visited my friend oatmeal in the past, with some of my favorite combinations, but i decided to take my love up a notch and have an Haute Oatmeal Bar Brunch.

mix it up
My new love, steel-cut oats were highlighted. While they take slightly longer to cook than regular or quick oats (45 mins vs < 5), it is worth it for the creamy, hearty result. as Naveen said; "A transcendental whole grain experience"

Haute Mix-Ins

Chocolate chips

Cocoa powder
Chocolate covered cacao nibs
Flax seed
Bing cherries
Fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, banana
Savory-soy sauce, korean hot pepper, nutritional yeast
Brown sugar
Chocolate chips
Almond Butter
PB Butter

Hot Combinations

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie-almond milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, stevia

S'mores-marshmallows, chocolate chips, soymilk

Mexican Hot Chocolate- Chocolate chips, paprika, almond butter

Chocolate on Chocolate- cocoa powder, chocolate chips, cacao nibs

Strawberries and Cream-fresh strawberries, vanilla, soymilk.

PB&C- peanutbutter and cherries

Nutty Oats: Almond Butter, GrapeNuts, Cinnamon.

and of course mimosas with 100% orange-mango juice and bubbly

an excellent kickoff to a bright summer's day!
What is your favorite oatmeal add-in?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Can't Buy me Love

This weekend is shaping up to be spectacular! I jumped out of an airplane in an amazing skydiving adventure and am basking in some sunny weather, and hosting a Haute Oatmeal Bar with friends.

probably the scariest waiver I've ever had to sign

Here's a few links I love this week!

-Zorbing- I'm checking off my life to-do list, and constantly adding things on. Latest: ZORBING! who doesn't want to roll down a hill in a giant plastic bubble??

-Cheap, Healthy Good: While I'm all for splurging on nutritious foods, nice meals out, and the occasional cocktail, i do try to reign in my spending habits a little bit CHG's list of 10 Cheapest, Healthiest Foods Money Can Buy
is an excellent list!

-A good loaf: A good friend and coworker wrote a beautiful piece about what it means to be a baker, here.

-Women Food and God- Just bought Geneen Roth's book about the tangled relationships between women and food. it's been getting a lot of great buzz lately, and I can't wait to read it!

-Anyone have $350 they want to loan me? I'm dying to go to Foodista's International Food Blogger Conference on Seattle this summer. I'll have to come up with some schemes asap.

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, May 21, 2010

New Openings: Farmers Markets and Vegan Cupcakes

I adore the transition between spring and summer. days are warmer and longer, but it's not too hot yet, and Boston may decide to just downpour every once in a while. Change is in the air, in the world, in my life. Classes are over, work has began, and a reshifting of priorities and free time is happening. Doors are opening. Not just personally, but also around Boston.

On Tuesday Copley Farmers Market opened. One of my favorite Markets in Boston, and where I fill any CSA gaps. There were mainly greens, and plants for your own garden, but I found these little jewels from Atlas farm:

I will be returning many Tuesdays and Fridays this summer

Also, CherryBomb, a new cupcake shop in Boston opened on Thursday, and Janel and I went to scope out their vegan cupcake selection.

I was very impressed by the wide array of vegan products, and resisted the urge to buy one of each. A repeat visit is necessary.

sometimes you just need a little white sugar....

their signature Cherry Bomb Cupcake, with cherries throughout, and a very fluffy icing

A basil-olive oil cookie. Intriguing.

I love having friends to share sweet treats with!

Hope your weekend is super sweet!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How Do You Eat? TEDx Cambridge Recap

I was lucky enough to volunteer and attend TEDXCambridge this Sunday. Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Ted Talk, a gathering of people to share their "ideas worth spreading."

The Program, and Speakers were fantastic. A brilliant group of organizers pulled off a flawless show. The name tags and program were all menu-style and they stuck amazingly close to the food theme.

I was only able to attend the third session and after-party but it was well, well worth it.
Here I've gathered a few of my thoughts, and many of these things I continue to ruminate over. Live Tweets can be seen here #TedXC

-NYTimes Perfume Critic Chandler Burr & his 'swat team of scent' assailed our noses with a flight of beautiful aromas. "Perfume is an art. wine is not." His lovely use of adjectives heightened smell to a whole other level-"a spectacular scent of the most limpid, lovely ,fruity, light neoclassical, post-modern perfumes" I loved his book' The Emperor of Scent," and his passion shines through in all that he does. I'm Dying to go to one of his "scent dinners"

-The Neuroscience behind why some foods taste bad with Don Katz. Sweet is good, bitter is bad, but through experience this can be rewired. Looking forward to investigating the epigenetics of taste soon.

-Wylie Dufresne of WD50, one of America's top chefs leading the molecular gastronomy revolution: "how you eat is intrinsically linked to how you cook"

-A very interesting talk from Dan Barber about ethical Fois Gras, and Spain's Goosewhisperer.

-Fransico Migoya and the science of chocolate (which I have already heard, in depth from Naveen) Sampling of Black Truffle Dark Chocolate Bubbles. and a reminder that Vegetarians are people too (too bad he only brought 2 french toast chocolate bars sans bacon).

-Coco Krumme- The more expensive you tell people a bottle of wine is, the more they will like it. You can also use the descriptor words on a bottle to determine the price of the wine: A "velvet" wine is probably expensive, while a "bight juicy" wine is probably cheap.

-John Gersten-Mixologist and Drink Bar Manager. Old is new again, and What's outside the glass is more important than the drink.

-Kenji Alt of The Good Eater and@thefoodlab :'Free yourself from recipes' and every time you cook you are preforming a science experiment

-Wheeler's Black Label Vegan Ice Cream, Drink, Savenors, and Chive (sustainable catering) sponsored the Reception, and I had a brief stint as a wine-pourer.

-Seeing Wheeler, Jared & Andrew, the men of Observational Gastrophysics, Shayna of MIT Food and Ag Collab, Willow of Slow Food Boston, and Wayne of Renewacyle.

-Drinking Capsacian Spiced Elixer-out of this world good!

Being surrounded by people who were deeply passionate about what they were doing/studying/selling is always an inspiration to me. Tino took some gorgeous photos, and Naveen's still glowing.

Check out the Official Blog and Website of TedXCambridge, and keep your eye out for future inspiration from this crew!

priyanka and I make kickass volunteers fyi

So, How Do YOU Eat?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gas Station Burritos.

A friend told me that they had the best meal the other night, and I truly had to see this place to believe it. Tales of a little Mexican restaurant, in a gas station, in Beacon Hill, seemed to crazy to be true. Low and behold, I found Villa Mexico Cafe, and it was muy excellente!!
Within your average gas station convenience store, nestled between the Doritos and the mtn dew, is a little burrito station, where two employees make fresh burritos, taco, tamales, and tostados.

Veggie no cheese burrito
Tons of vegetables, and beans, and very little rice-just the way I like it! The salsa and sauces that were in the burrito tasted delightfully smoked.
filling and oh so satisfying.

And an added touch-a mint, to kill the burrito breath afterward.

so fresh
Villa Mexico, Tu tienes mi corazón.

You can find them here, and a googlemap of the location here

Friday, May 14, 2010

SuperStar Love

Links I am LOVING this week!

-Rappin about Healthy food. Add it to your playlist:

-Superstar eating: Listen to your Hunger. Geneen Roth is the author of Women, Food, and God, and I just love her eating guidelines. Fight emotional binge eating, and yo-yo dieting, by listening to your body and its true hunger. Listen to her explain her guidelines here I'm really trying to work on this.

-Feel like a superstar by Boosting Your Self Esteem! Studies show that just five minutes of outdoor exercise each day can boost self esteem

-Superstars Run Far, ON Plants: Scott Jurek, Renowed ultra-marathoner, talks about vegan diets, as interviewed by Mark Bittman, here I agree 200% when he says "This isn’t an elimination diet but an inclusion diet."

-the REAL Superstar: Things Madonna and I have in Common: 1. We both love Coconut water. 2...........?

Jam-Packed weekend, with work, new restaurants to try, yoga,& TedX Cambridge!
What's on your agenda??

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Going a Million Miles per hour

Whew-its been a couple of whirlwind weeks!

I had finals, finals cramming, an quick trip to Michigan and a handful of birthdays to celebrate. I've checked out some fun new spots in Boston, got some amazing things to eat and drink, and plan on sharing some/all of it with you someday soon. (Sneak preview-my new favorite place for cocktails is Clink in the Liberty hotel. They have a list of delicious cocktails that are each under 150 kcals).

Libertea and Spatini are my faves
I was awarded Outstanding Dietetic Student in a Didatic Program by the MDA, which was a huge honor. I will also be the Treasurer of MSDA in the upcoming year.

I got some gorgeous Moo Cards courtesy of Foodbuzz [Have you checked out Healthbuzz yet?]

so excited

so legitimate

mini moos!
Looking Ahead:
-This summer I am working at the bakery, and doing two social media internships with All-Access Internships (a website designed to help dietetics students) and Rebecca Scritchfield, (a RD in DC) I am very excited to see how these two use social media, and plan on learning a lot.

-I'm checking places off my list of things to do and see. I just started a 30 day pass to Boston Body Pilates, and my marathon training plan will start soon. Hopefully I will have more time to do some experimenting in the kitchen and hang out in the sun with some amazing friends.

-I'm super excited to volunteer and attend TedX Cambridge. From their website:

How Do You Eat?

Sunday, May 16th, 2010
MIT Stata Center | Kirsch Auditorium
Cambridge, MA

TEDxCambridge presents “How do you eat?” a celebration of food, Sunday, May 16th at the MIT Stata Center. We’re bringing together chefs, psychologists, writers, designers and engineers for a surprising look at science, art and the future of food.

The event is inspired in part by Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize wish “to create a strong, sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity.”

“How do you eat?” is a question meant to be interpreted broadly. We are reaching out to an eclectic pool of speakers including Boston-area chefs, restaurateurs, biologists, psychologists, engineers, designers, artists, writers, and food historians. We’re particularly interested in content related to: sustainability; international development; the global obesity epidemic; the science of food; cutting-edge food technology; architecture, design & food; and food.

They have a great line-up of speakers, and while they will all be amazing, I am especially excited to hear Kenji Alt and Chandler Burr.

-I also am excited to attend the Food for Your Whole Life Symposium in New York City as a media blogger with four fabulous nutrition bloggers–Janel, Jessica, Lindsey, and Corinne. Dr. Oz, is headlining, along with other renowned health experts, including Mollie Katzen, Michael Roizen, David Katz, Roger Clemens (not the pitcher), Karen Collins RD, Keri Gans RD, James Joseph, Petra Kolber, Joan Sabate, Brian Wansink, and Elisa Zied RD. It's going to be a great event, and the four of us will be live-blogging the entire event!

Stay Tuned!
What's the near future hold for you?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

To my amazing mother,
who taught me what good food was at a very early age

Everything I said last year holds even more true this year.
Love you mom!