Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Did anyone else read this article ? Five restaurants in Manhattan have been cited for not posting calorie counts next to prices.
I like the idea of disclosure and awareness on behalf of the consumer.
But do you think that calorie counts mandatory help keep a society slim?
In France, the nutritional content is listed on your fast food box, cup or wrapper. (After one too many glasses of champagne the night before, my little sister was craving Coke and a burger when we were in Paris last spring.) Right away, we knew that her burger contained 445 calories and 21 grams of fat. Sorry, my camera didn't seem to want to take a clear shot of the label. It also lists carbs, fiber, sugar and couple of other nutrients. From the fries to the Coke, we knew exactly how much we were eating.
(I think what my sister ate was like the Big and Tasty, which has 510 calories and 28 grams of fat here. Like many other things in Europe, the sandwich and other serving sizes were smaller, more like a Big Kids meal here.)
Would you like to see calorie counts on your fast food and restaurant menus? Or, if you live in a place where it's already mandated, what do you think about it?
Thursday, May 01, 2008
I'm a bit of a social butterfly.
In my former job, as a newspaper reporter, it was my responsibility to know what was going on in my city. And because I covered business and restaurants, I frequently went out for dinner or happy hour, in addition to my after-work social/volunteer events. Inevitably, there were cocktails flowing and high-calorie hors d'oeuvres circulating.
Last night was my first such meeting since starting here at SparkPeople. I baked vegan carrot cake and oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies for the group, and a local restaurant donated burritos, and chips and salsa.
My young professionals diversity group held a dialogue session on the feasibility of going green across the socioeconomic spectrum. A favorite local watering hole (a place I wrote about for my former job) hosted the event. Two big glasses of pinot noir, four hours and a few nibbly bits later, I headed home and added up my calories. Wow! More than a thousand just from that "cocktail party" noshing. Yow-za! And the rest of my day had been healthy: a smoothie with blueberries for breakfast, marinated bean salad over spinach for lunch...
Overall, I'm a healthy eater, but I've got a couple of bad habits that I'm slowly conquering. This one will be easy to overcome, but people will think I'm being a bit of a "party pooper."
Stick to club soda or alternate wine with club soda or water. My usual rule is no more than two drinks a night, but when one glass of wine is more than 8 ounces, that's clearly two drinks right there! I also try to limit my wine drinking to the weekends and only drink something that's worth drinking.
I'm the social director of the group, so it's my responsibility to secure food and venues. Next time, we're getting fruit and veggie trays -- much more figure-friendly.
Do any of you face the same temptations? Which social setting is hardest for you?
Monday, April 28, 2008
Korean food is my favorite comfort food. Luckily it's pretty healthy!
I moved this weekend, and my Korean stone pots have come out of hibernation. I'm excited to put them to use tonight.
I heat them on the stove (being careful not to touch them without using a pot holder) and heat them until sizzling. I add tofu, kimchi, various vegetables and a bit of cooked brown rice. When everything is almost ready, I add an egg and some hot pepper paste. Bibimbap (mixed rice) is ready! The stuff on the bottom gets crusty and caramelized... oh, it's so delicious.
Kimchi, if you haven't heard of it, is a staple in Korean cuisine. It's spicy pickled cabbage. The flavor is really complex and addictive. Napa cabbage is rubbed with ginger, garlic, onion, carrot, and hot pepper paste, then allowed to ferment for a few weeks. It's like a spicy sauerkraut. It's really good for you -- full of fiber and vitamins. Plus, because it is fermented, kimchi contains probiotics, which means it's very good for your gastrointestinal tract.
Mmm. It's an acquired taste, I'll admit, but there's always a five-pounds jar of kimchi in my fridge!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I love food. Wait, let me edit that: I love healthful, vegetarian food.
And I love to cook. No matter how exhausted I am, no matter how sick, how stressed, how busy, I cook dinner 95% of the time. I'm much more likely to skip a workout than skip making a nutritious meal. (That's not exactly a great habit, but hey, nobody's perfect!)
I'm starting a new blog entry series: What's for dinner?
I'll post about what I'm making (or what I've made for dinner), and I'll link to the recipe on SparkRecipes. I don't eat meat, so all my recipes are vegetarian. Occasionally you might find a seafood recipe, but I'm phasing that out of my diet.
I don't eat much dairy, so many of my recipes are vegan, too.
Last night was a Mexican-themed dish.
When you're cooking healthfully, sometimes you lose great textures, like crunchiness. I love Mexican food, but so much of it (in Ohio, where I live) is heavy and greasy.
I visited a new market near work and picked up a few items: 2 Haas avocados (don't fear avocados; their fat is heart-healthy!), a bunch of green onions, wonton wrappers, green chile-tomatillo salsa and low-fat plain yogurt.
I had a batch of baked sweet potato leftover from Monday night, a bunch of kale in the crisper and a can of black beans in the cupboard.
I whipped up kale, black bean and sweet potato "burritos." recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=290821 I used a smidge of canola oil spray on the top, then baked them at 400 for 15 minutes. They were crispy and delicious! We topped them with a bit of low-fat yogurt (so much better than sour cream) and a tablespoon of guacamole.
I did the math, and each burrito -- with a cup of salad greens topped with salsa -- was just 310 calories. I ate 1.5, and Fred ate two. We'll each be having the leftovers today for lunch.
Sounds good, doesn't it?
We're moving this weekend, so the rest of the week will be "clean out the fridge meals." Tonight: Tofu marinated in miso, ginger and sesame with kale, broccoli, scallions, celery and carrots, with quinoa or brown rice.
What will you be having?
Monday, April 14, 2008
Hello, SparkPeople! I'm Stepfanie, the newest editor and writer at SparkPeople. I'm really excited to be here. I'll be primarily working on SparkRecipes (I love to cook) and BabyFit, but you'll be seeing me on all our sites soon enough!
I had a wonderful first day here at SparkPeople, and I can't wait to get started. I'm a foodie and a vegetarian who loves to cook and explore farmers markets. I've got so many great recipes and ideas for food features that will be sure to whet your appetite!
But now I've got to get to yoga!
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