Confused about food? You have a right to be

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In the New York Times last week, Gina Kolata stated that “Nearly everything you have been told about the food you eat and the exercise you do and their effects on your health should be met with a raised eyebrow.”

Her article, We’re So Confused: The Problems With Food and Exercise Studies, stated that there’s no real agreed upon standard of measurement or procedure for studies, they’re often contradictory, and what foods are associated with diseases like obesity and cancer can be nebulous. I’d add that studies often focus on a very specific nutrient, that, even if the study makes sense, may or may not translate to being meaningful for people in terms of what they should actually eat. (Not to mention the questionable nature of how some studies are funded.)

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NEWS: Biotech food a step closer to keeping you in the dark

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Vermont’s mandatory labeling requirements for genetically modified (GM) foods are set to go into effect July 1, 2016. As the date approaches, food companies invested in biotechnology race to pass a bill (called the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act by opponents) that would block mandatory labeling on a state and federal level and establish a voluntary national labeling standard for GM foods.

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Midtown Lunch Haven: Local Thyme

IMG_0991My own salad creation from Local Thyme - kale, grass fed beef, black olives, capers, sprouts and gluten and dairy free caesar dressing - plus a chocolate chia banana treat.

There are those restaurants that pretend to be health minded, and there are those restaurants that actually are. For someone like me that wants to eat organic and dairy and gluten free, this can be the difference between an anxiety producing or disappointing meal and a satisfying one. Local Thyme in midtown Manhattan is one place I know I’m in a safe zone; I can consistently pick up quick, substantial and delicious food without worrying about the integrity of the ingredients.

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Winter’s beauty food: green soup!

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Blending whole fruits and vegetables is one of the easiest ways to consume a ton of beautifying, anti-inflammatory antioxidants and nutrients in one delicious sitting. Retaining the whole fruit or vegetable means that you’re also getting all the fiber, which is a plus for digestion and blood sugar regulation (meaning your blood sugar won’t sky rocket). So while I do drink green juices on occasion, I mostly reach for green smoothies, which make a noticable difference in how I feel, how my skin looks and how peaceful my digestive system is.

As I write this though, it’s literally negative five degrees here in Newport, Rhode Island, and I’m currently not allowing anything below room temperature to come anywhere near my body. While you can drink a green smoothie at room temperature (and I do in this weather) you don’t have to force yourself to down anything cold in the winter. That’s where warming green soups with cooked vegetables come in!

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Dairy free hot chocolate and other warming winter drinks

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Enjoying the first snow of the year with my bestie Marina, post brunch at Cafe Cluny in NYC! :)

Winter is upon us, and to keep itself balanced, your body is most likely craving cooked foods as opposed to raw and warm liquids instead of iced. That’s because just as you change your clothes and your activities for the seasons, so too should you alter your diet to suit what your body wants in the cold weather. Right now I’m constantly making herbal teas like chamomile, mint and ginger, which are not only super comforting and warming, but are also hydrating, caffeine free and rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Herbal tea is also really good for digestion, so I’ll reach for some after a big meal, and I love “nighty night” tea to wind down before bed.

Apart from my herbal tea, which I just add hot water to and maybe a splash of unsweetened almond, hemp or coconut milk, sometimes I want something a little more fun or filling. Instead of buying a drink at a coffee shop that might have dairy, a ton of sugar and mystery ingredients, try making one of these simple, dairy free and gluten free drinks at home that are still super yummy!

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Underrated restaurant: Lavagna

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The seared scallops in parsnip puree with pancetta...amazing. 

I can’t think about Lavagna without getting hungry. It’s so classic Italian and yet so refreshingly delicious that I can’t stay away from it. And better yet, it’s unassuming, under the radar, and surprisingly well priced – three qualities a person can learn to covet in New York City.

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