Keeping Your Zen While the City Cleans Up…(Slowly)

We hope all our FIT readers survived the snowfall of the century! Is there anyone still waiting to get plowed out?

Assuming you have been freed, you will need to practice patience out there on the roads as the entire DMV area is still quite the mess. Three lane roads down to one, icy conditions, road closures…the list of traffic headaches goes on and on.

As a mobile training company, our trainers spend a lot of time in the car so they have picked up a few tips on avoiding road rage and driving in sub-optimal conditions.

Need some zen in the car? Make sure you have something to listen to that interests you – be it music, a good podcast, the news, etc. Won’t seem so bad to be “stuck in the car” if you feel engaged and interested.

Also, remember that other drivers are HUMAN BEINGS. Louis C.K. puts it best…(WARNING: may not be safe for work or with young kiddos around…)

Still need a good laugh/some real advice? Read these tips on how to drive your car in the snow…I think people in this area need this little lesson.

If none of these tips work, try to relax and unwind with a delicious, nutritious and hearty meal after a frustrating day on the road. Spring can’t be that far away…can it?

In honor of soup-week for all of the East Coast, check out this recipe:

Spicy Grain Soup (courtesy of Food and Wine Magazine)

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • Water
  • 1/2 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 3 ancho or dried mulato chiles—stemmed, seeded and broken into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 6 cilantro sprigs, plus 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced
  • One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 medium parsnip, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup salted roasted pumpkin seeds
  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the barley with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 35 minutes; drain. Return the barley to the pan and cover. In another medium saucepan, cover the brown rice with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain the brown rice and add to the barley.
  2. In a medium bowl, cover the bulgur with 1 cup of hot water. Cover and let stand until the water is absorbed, 10 minutes.
  3. In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil. Add the chiles, onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, cilantro sprigs and allspice and season with 1 tablespoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Puree the soup in a blender and return to the pan.
  4. Add the mushrooms, black beans, carrot, zucchini and parsnip to the pureed soup and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add the barley, rice and bulgur and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro and serve.

 

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GOOP’s Annual Cleanse

Today is a great day to take stock of 2016. Have you committed to some of the lifestyle changes you wanted to make in 2016 yet? Assess what your stated goals were for the start of the new year and make note of where you have had success and where you have started to make some good ole’ 2015 excuses.

Ok – now that you have done that, do  you need a little help??

Every year, GOOP announces an annual cleanse…and it is actually quite good and a great place to start changing habits. It may be a little restrictive for some of you, so feel free to play around with the recipes and add another (up to) 250 calories in there. Also, give yourself permission to have a day-off. This doesn’t mean go crazy and eat a whole pizza pie, but if you know you have a function during the week where wine or dessert will be hard to pass, make this your “meal off”. Make sense? See if you can stick with this kind of eating for MORE than the stated 7 days!

We linked the cleanse above, or you can follow here:

 

The Annual goop Detox

It’s that time again…time to stash the leftover holiday treats in the back of the freezer and cork the wine. After even just a week of following an elimination-based diet, we feel a bit more in control over cravings, significantly clearer in the head, and often a few pounds lighter. Most importantly, it’s a good way to set a healthy precedent for the year to come. While this isn’t a deep, deep detox, it’s a great way to give your digestive system a breather and break bad eating and addiction patterns that probably set in over the holidays (if you’re anything like us).

THE DETOX

This year, we decided to go a bit lighter on the grains—but we wanted to do it without going overly ascetic. We came up with some good solutions for filling and hearty meals that won’t leave you hungry during these colder months. And we teamed up with San Francisco’s Native Juice and LA’s Kore Kitchen for some delicious smoothie and juice recipes that are easy to superpower with supplements, should you need an extra kick in the pants. (Kore does a full, super clean meal delivery in LA, while Native Juice offers healthy snacks and lunches.)

As always, the rules are simple (but tough). Just say no to: alcohol, caffeine, added sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and nightshades (white, blue, red, and yellow potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant). If you don’t want to cook, Dr. Junger’s 21-Day Clean Program is a great option, since it’s two shakes per day (breakfast, dinner) with a clean lunch in between that’s easy to source from a salad bar.

DOES DETOXING REALLY WORK?

Yes. While it’s true that our bodies are great at detoxing on their own, it’s also true that these days, our environment and food system is overloaded with toxic and synthetic chemicals, making it tough for our systems to keep up. Detoxing is a nebulous and overly-marketed concept, though, and there’s a lot of crap out there, so we asked Bruce Lourie, co-author of Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things and Toxin Toxout: Getting Harmful Chemicals Out of Our Bodies and Our World for his two cents. In the latter, Lourie and his co-author, Rick Smith, exposed themselves to high quantities of pesticides and chemicals from personal care products, tested their blood and sweat, and then tried various things to flush the toxins out. The results are fascinating (and funny), and so we asked Lourie some questions.

WAYS TO HELP YOUR BODY ALONG

You want to keep your digestive system moving, so drink plenty of water (hot water in the morning is key), and think about kicking the week off with a colonic—they definitely get things going. We also try to get to the spa for a handful of treatments: Anything that gets the lymphatic system moving is clutch, and IR saunas are particularly great (and effective) as sweat is one of our body’s most effective means for flushing toxins. We rounded up our favorite spots for all.

The Diet Read Around the World

I assume by now, everyone has heard about what Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady eat (via their personal chef). But just in case…

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Bündchen and husband Tom Brady‘s personal chef, Allen Campbell, recently sat down with boston.com to talk about what the couple and their family eats and doesn’t eat in a typical day, and let’s just say if you want to follow their meal plan, you can say goodbye to pizza, pasta, cheeseburgers, and lots of other indulgences. 

To start, most of their diet consists of vegetables and whole grains. “80 percent of what they eat is vegetables,” Campbell says. “[I buy] the freshest vegetables. If it’s not organic, I don’t use it. And whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans. The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken. As for fish, I mostly cook salmon.” 

And while that on its own seems restricting enough, there’s also a long list of things the Bündchen-Bradys don’t eat. “No white sugar. No white flour. No MSG. I’ll use raw olive oil, but I never cook with olive oil. I only cook with coconut oil. Fats like canola oil turn into trans fats. … I use Himalayan pink salt as the sodium. I never use iodized salt.”

“[Tom] doesn’t eat nightshades, because they’re not anti-inflammatory. So no tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants. Tomatoes trickle in every now and then, but just maybe once a month. I’m very cautious about tomatoes. They cause inflammation.”

“What else? No coffee. No caffeine. No fungus. No dairy.”

“The kids eat fruit. Tom, not so much. He will eat bananas in a smoothie. But otherwise, he prefers not to eat fruits.”

Head over to boston.com to read more about Tom and Gisele’s diet, plus find out the treats Campbell cooks for their kids and how Bündchen packs her son Ben’s lunchbox. 

Every client I saw over the next few days asked me if I had read about their diet and what I thought about it.

I had a few thoughts…

First of all, they have a personal chef who would be skilled at making restrictions like this tasty, innovative and seem less restrictive. And let’s circle back to the whole “they have a personal chef” thing (and, it goes without saying, but…of course they do) – which means that they don’t have to worry about finding or preparing these difficult to locate ingredients. Also, it is worth noting that Mr. Campbell is referring to what HE prepares for them. He does not mention what they do on their own.

Truthfully though, most of what he is talking about preparing is totally aligned with the way I eat and the way we talk about food on this blog. Whole foods. Mostly plant based. Anti-biotic free, organic meats and eggs. Sugar = no-no. I just hope we don’t come off sounding as preachy and pretentious.

And that is what this came down to and why it stuck a nerve with people. The chef comes off sounding super pretentious and doesn’t mention things like “most of the time”. Furthermore, he doesn’t explain what things like nightshades are (and why SOME PEOPLE – certainly not all – might want to look into avoiding them) or the potential benefits of some of the items he says they absolutely never eat (for example, certain types of dairy and the veggies and fruits he mentions eliminating – all of which have wonderful antioxidents).

Look – the fact is, these are people who are compensated handsomely for looking and performing a certain way – so this might actually be the way they eat ALL of the time. If you were receiving millions and millions of dollars to stick to this level of restrictiveness, you would probably find it MUCH easier to do so. And, while you shouldn’t go around feeling bad for Tom and Gisele (poor moguls don’t get a cheat day?!?), you also don’t have to make it your goal to look like a supermodel or a professional athlete. I appreciated that for once, real information on how difficult it is to maintain the physique these two have to maintain really is. If I read one more article about a supermodel (or movie star) saying that they hike a few times a month and really love dessert (and don’t diet), I am going to scream. Because it simply isn’t true. Anyone you see plastered in magazines and on billboards goes to extreme measures to look the way they do. That means lots of money spent on multiple personal trainers (Molly Sims’ admits to having four), personal chefs who prepare restrictive meals, personal meal delivery plans, facialists, in demand dermatologists, some work here and there, etc. etc.

But the real reason I disliked the article is because I am not sure what was supposed to be gained from it. This type of eating and way of preparing food is not realistic for most people. And frankly, most people do not need this level of restrictiveness to maintain a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle. If you are in a position (and have a platform) to really help people struggling with committing to a healthy diet or struggling with obesity, why not use that platform to reach across the aisle and really help. This article would inspire most to give up and reach for that third slice of pizza. Because there are so few real world suggestions in this article, it reads as though Mr. Campbell is telling people that if they can’t have a personal chef and commit to eating like Gisele and Tom Brady, than they are all doomed to be unsatisfied with the way they look and feel. What if you don’t have access to only organic fruits and veggies? Are you destined to keep those extra 10 lbs? Raw Olive Oil not readily available by you or fit in your grocery budget? You might as well give up?

The answer is NO.

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In conclusion, let’s stop worrying about what Gisele and Tom are doing, and focus on the changes you can adopt and stick with to make 2016 healthy for you and your family.

xo

FITintheCITY