4.07.2014

ABC Kitchen Review

We had the pleasure of dining at ABC Kitchen over the weekend. A little bit about them:


ABC Kitchen with Jean-Georges
We are passionately committed to offering the freshest, safest ingredients, presenting a seasonal menu, that is locally focused and globally artistic, and  cultivating a healthy relationship on our tables and for the planet. ABC Kitchen & Michelin star Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten invite you to enjoy our award-winning cuisine, curated in alignment with the farm-to-table movement.  Our menu is free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, insecticides, antibiotics, hormones, is GMO-free, and naturally and humanely sourced from regional farmers and fair trade cooperatives, celebrating community and the future of the slow food movement. Our atmospheric elements, under ABC Home curation, feature environmentally conscious stories, honoring the preservation of the arts and global sustainability.

I looked at this meal as a last supper in a way, because I will be embarking on a 60-day Summer "Get Fit" challenge starting TODAY. It was a great way to go out with a bang!

House Thyme Lemonade 


roasted fiddlehead ferns


line caught tuna sashimi marinated with ginger and mint


roast carrot and avocado salad, crunchy seeds, sour cream and citrus

red snapper with chilies and herbs, baby market potatoes and spinach

 roasted brussels sprouts with mustard vinaigrette

pan roasted diver scallops, cabbage, sunchokes and apples

cookie plate...

All of the food was incredibly fresh. My red snapper literally tasted like the ocean. The vegetables were perfectly cooked. For a decedent meal it all tasted very fresh, light, and nourishing.

3.18.2014

I am an Introvert...

It's been a while since I last posted. I've been busy planning things and just trying to get through this unmotivating winter. Looking for fresh starts and ways to kickstart my life up again right now. It's not easy, but I am trying. I hope to update you all soon on recent developments.

Today I want to talk about being an Introvert. I'm sure a lot of you out there are as well.  I want to describe how and why I am an Introvert, and how it affects my life. Maybe this will shed some light on how you are perceived too, or maybe it will shed some light on how you are perceiving Introverts like me. It doesn't boil down to shyness and self-esteem issues... those traits need not apply!

As an Introvert, I do not like crowds, small talk, social gatherings that include more than 4 people (especially social gatherings that include strangers), putting my personal life out there, bragging, talking about myself, talking on the phone, video conferences, and the list goes on! But as the years have gone by I have realized it's not because I am shy. I love my close friends and I have no problem being myself around them. I have no problem presenting ideas or public speaking (as long as I am beyond prepared!) I was also very much into performance art as a youngin' because playing SOMEONE ELSE was exhilarating. If I'm not myself, I'll let it all hang out with no problem. My "introvertedness" stems from a need for having all the facts, modesty, and not being afraid of being alone or needing attention as well.

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The Facts
A couple of months ago I was on a shoot for a commercial (I work in TV) and one of the talent read me immediately. We were in a production meeting, the first time speaking with talent in person, and throughout the entire conversation I kept pretty quiet and took notes and jotted down questions and ideas. To many, this would seem that I am either not interested, have no idea what I am doing, am inexperienced, and/or have no business being there. It's quite the opposite as this talent pointed out. At the end of the conversation she said, pointing to me, "I like this girl, she sat here and just figured us all out." Brava, my dear - YOU figured ME out! I don't just talk so that I have a say in something, I don't just jabber because if I don't people will think I have nothing to offer. I also don't upstage people higher on the food chain. I am calculating. I draw diagrams, pictures, make lists, raise questions, write paragraphs all before I open my mouth. With whatever I am about to propose, I have my idea ready and questions already answered. Maybe I should have been a lawyer but what is perceived as shyness/inexperience is really someone who is crafting something, and they'll share when they have all the i's dotted and the t's crossed! I am not saying that people who speak their minds all the time are wrong. I'm just explaining why I act this way. Carry on how you carry on!

Modesty
I am not one to speak of my achievements. I don't boast about things that I've done or talk myself up. I usually don't even bring it up unless I am asked. I never one-up people, and I also like to have an air of mystery. I probably do this to a fault because sometimes you just have to share your accomplishments otherwise people will never know you have these talents or experiences under your belt. This is an area though that I really do not know how to improve. The thought of me talking myself up makes me gag!

Alone Time
I was an only child growing up and both of my parents worked until my mom got sick. Being alone never bothered me. I had my movies and my pets, and I acted out plays in my room and I was ok with it! I did a lot of growing up on my own. I had friends, hung out, played sports, participated in plays and other activities as well, but being on my own was cool too. This has created an interesting trait in myself in that I like to work alone on projects, and I like to partner up with people who are collaborative and share information with me. I think this Introverted trait in particular is the most versatile of all. I like to be around like minded people... just not for very long. :o)

Again, my point in this post was to share why I am an Introvert. We get labeled so many different things: angry, bitchy, shy, losers, uptight, negative, rude, weirdoes, mean, snobby, etc. We are not.... for the most part. There are some evil people out there no matter how introverted they are or not! :o)

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Extroverts, I want to hear from you! 
What makes you one and what are the myths about you?

2.21.2014

Zucchini Noodles with Herb Sauce

Happy Friday! Last night was my weekly zoodle experience. Zoodles are just noodle shaped zucchini slices. You can make them with a julienne peeler or a spiralizer. I use a peeler, but I recently purchased this spiralizer and am waiting patiently for it. Will do a post/tutorial on that when I get it.

This is a great way to eat a "pasta" type of dish without the gluten and with less carbs in general. This recipe is also vegetarian but you can totally sub the beans for ground turkey, chicken breast, or any favorite protein. Salmon would be good too! The sauce in this dish is also amazing. Make it a staple sauce for any meal to top it with extra flavor. It could even be a salad dressing.

Zucchini Noodles with Herb Sauce
This is about 3-4 servings but in my opinion if you workout you can get away with more just by yourself!


Ingredients: 
3 zucchini or summer squash (pictured here is summer squash)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 pint sliced baby portabello mushrooms
1 can butter beans (or white cannellini beans)
handful fresh italian parsley
handful fresh basil
1-3 peeled garlic cloves (depends on your preference)
1 lemon, just the juice
olive oil
sea salt
ground pepper
red pepper flakes

Equipment:
julienne peeler or spiralizer
blender or nutribullet
large pan

The Herb Sauce:



In a blender or nutribullet (note: the bullet will make a creamier sauce) add in the fresh parsley, basil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, 2 tsp olive oil, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes to taste. Blend up until you get a saucy consistency. In a regular blender it might be a bit leafy but that's ok! Taste test to see if it needs anything to your liking- like more salt/pepper or more basil. Leave off to side.

The Veggies:
In a large pan heat 2 tsp of oil (or use spray if you are watching your fats). Add in the mushrooms and a little sea salt to get them going. When they start to get fragrant and brown, add in the sliced cherry tomatoes. When the liquid from the veggies starts to bubble, add in the beans and stir carefully as canned beans can break apart. Once the beans are heated through, add in your zoodles. Once again, stir carefully and combine all the veggies together. Only cook the zucchini for a few minutes until warmed through... you don't want soggy noodles! Now add in all of your herb sauce and coat the veggies. Let it once again all get warm and you are done. Remember to taste before serving in case you feel it needs anything. You can also top the meal with some extra fresh herbs and parmesan cheese.



Enjoy!

2.18.2014

Freelee The Banana Girl

This is a long one folks... the brain is in overdrive!

I'm not sure if any of you have seen Freelee the Banana Girl on Youtube, but I am kind of hooked on her videos. A super spirited Australian gal who looks awesome... and she promotes a healthy lifestyle and image. Her eating habits might seem very unorthodox to some (most): high carbs via fruit and potatoes, vegan, and all raw for the most part... but it's her message that I find so much deeper than just the food she recommends people to eat to be healthy. She herself got to where she is with this lifestyle and thinking. She wasn't always this way. People who don't like her automatically shun her for her eating (she'll eat just fruit all day... in large quantities) and the fact that she is so lean (jealousy)... But her energy and passion tell a different story to me. I may never just eat fruit and potatoes, or get as lean as her, but that's not her total point at all -  it's also about thinking like her and having a healthy relationship no matter what you are doing!

I truly believe we are all different. One day I think eating vegan is the best (because someone said so) and the other day I think having lean animal protein is healthy (because someone said so), and the next day I think eating for my blood type is better (because someone said so)...etc. All of that nonsense aside, I just watched one of Freelee's videos and she said some things that got to me so much. I repeatedly watched it to transcribe some quotes. They hit a nerve in me because the problem is not 100% what we eat - it's also the relationship. I have a HORRIBLE relationship with food and myself. I mean HORRIBLE. I hate myself when I eat, basically. Even if I do well for a few days, all of the sudden something hits me and I get to a desperate emotional point where I just start to binge again. And Miss Freelee touched on this point and it helped me understand more as to why this happens to me.

I'm not saying this video changed my life and I'm only going to eat fruit... I only just watched it, and as she says it takes "time and patience"... but it definitely made me think a bit deeper into the issue.

Here is her video on the topic of the Biggest Loser Winner Rachel Fredericken and her huge weightloss that won the competition. I'll share some things that stuck out to me below as well. Hope you don't mind Freelee - all good intentions here to spread the message.

Click here to watch video. I had to remove it because it kept auto-playing!

Some quotes in this video that really stuck with me... Thanks, Freelee!

(on losing weight quickly the restricting way and feeling awesome... for a second)
"It is not long term... it is not sustainable.... so that 'feel good' feeling is short lived"

(on restricting calories to 1200-1600)
"You need a constant supply of glucose to the brain in order to burn fat efficiently... and with 1600 calories, or even 1200 calories that is no where near enough... so people start to go into Ketosis. They start to lose water weight.... The body dehydrates. So they see this weightloss on the scale and they're like 'Yeahhh!!!! I've lost weight this is awesome, it's working!" But it's not working because you are dehydrating your body."

(continued on restricting carbs and water loss)
"When we drop the carbohydrates out of the diet then we drop water which is unhealthy - we need that water to dilute toxins... it (weightloss) needs to happen gradually. You can't just get these quick fix results - they're not going to last"

(on shows like The Biggest Loser)
"These shows... condition the population to think, "hey! I can get similar results... I'm gonna get a gym membership, restrict calories" and guess what? They binge out. They give up their exercise and they think, "I'm undisciplined, I'm hopeless.." That's not it at all! The brain has these basic fundamental needs that if you don't meet them then the brain is going to make you meet them. If you restrict, restrict, restrict, the brain is gonna all the sudden go, "STOP! You need to go and get some calories - now go eat some crap!"

"It flogs your metabolism... it really damages your metabolism and forces you to become a fat storer. You are making the brain think it's starving. You've got to make the brain stop thinking it's starving by feeding it enough glucose consistently. There needs to be a steady, steady, supply of glucose... if there isn't the weight is gonna come back."

(on cutting corners)
"Every single time you cut corners, you cut your carbs, you are going to end up binging out.... and gaining it all back again."

(and my favorite - on "yo yo" dieting)
"The shows don't promote healthy eating and a healthy relationship with food. They don't promote abundance - they promote all this restriction. Get out of this merry-go-round of restriction. You owe it to yourself. It's going to take time. If you don't have what it takes to stay on board... then you're going to be stuck in that circle that the diet industry whats you to be stuck in."

A lot of what she's saying spoke to me. I've been watching her videos for a while now and this one in particular made me think differently about things. I saw myself in a lot of what she is saying. I may not be obese, but I am overweight and out of shape and I have the horrible relationship with food that she talks about. It's an ongoing battle but out of the 1,000 steps to get there I feel a few closer today.

I hope this video and some of the quotes I pulled helped you maybe understand a little more about this topic. And if you already know and practice all of this, that's awesome! Share your story below either way. :o)