One Healthy (or not so much) Paris Recap

Travel does wonders for the mind and soul, especially traveling to Paris! Here’s a quick recap of our trip along with some healthy tidbits we can all learn from the Parisians.

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Say this three times fast: fresh French food. Food is fresh in France. Whether it’s fish, fruit, veggies, meat, bread, or wine, fresh and locally made is the standard. You can taste the difference, from the simplest salad to a baguette to a gourmet meal.

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Restaurant menus change often because seasonal goods are preferred and expected. Everything is less processed. Interestingly, people sensitive to gluten or dairy often don’t feel the effects abroad, which leads us to believe that it may actually be the processing and not the food itself.

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During the cooking class we took, the first 90 minutes was dedicated to walking through the market, the butcher, the cheese vendor, and the fish market, seeking the freshest of fresh, which included dover sole, asparagus, tomatoes, and the herbs in the vinaigrette.

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As a nutritionist, I often encourage clients to grocery shop with a list; having a strategy as to avoid extras like Oreos sneaking into the cart. Interestingly, the people of Paris shop for groceries almost every day. Instead of stocking up on bulk items, they tend to buy just what they need for that nights’ meal, every day. Less freezing, thawing, bulking, and money. Smart.

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Regulations on meat and poultry are also more specific and there are simply no antibiotics or GMOs allowed…at all. Again, smart. As for wine,  there’s a push for biodynamic/organic wine, made without sulfates or chemicals. The wine tastes cleaner, goes down smoother, and doesn’t result in a headache or hangover the following day. Super smart.

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Being that we live in such a young country, it’s amazing to see such extensive history, like the palace of Versailles. Paris exemplifies the statement “worth the wait.” From the architecture to the wine and cheese, Paris is about the end result, not instant gratification.

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Cheese and refined sugar. Two things I rarely indulge in, but vacation (especially Paris!) calls for  complete indulgence. And with that, it’s time to get back on track with all things green.

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Last note: one thing we’ve far surpassed is our incidence of smoking. Ew. But if sitting is the new smoking, all of the walking around the beautiful city may just cancel it out? Definitely not promoting smoking – less smoking, more walking. And remember, Paris is always a good idea.

One Healthy Breakdown: travel, learn, drink, and eat your way around the world!

 

Holy Guacamole!

The only thing better than avocado is guacamole! This guac cuts fat and cals – olé!

Recipe adapted from local celebrity chef, Katie Lee via SELF Magazine.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 whole avocado
  • 1 medium-sized tomato finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion or scallions finely chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and steamed OR 1/2 cup shelled edamame OR 1/2 cup green peas

Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor until it’s mixed to your ideal guac texture. Guac is perfect for crudite, a salad topper, and yes with chips, salsa, and a cold marg (once in a while!)

One Healthy Breakdown: just when we thought guacamole couldn’t get any better!

 

Light Up the Grill, it’s BBQ Season!

It’s barbecue season, baby! In addition to soaking up the sunshine, take advantage of grilling outside. Everything just tastes better on the grill, doesn’t it? Light it up and bring on the bbq’s!

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Burgers and dogs aren’t the only things to barbecue, there are so many yummy, healthy options. Grilled veggies taste amazing and are super easy too. All you need is a grill pan. Here’s how:

Eggplant: slice into thin round pieces. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with dried herbs for more flavor. Flip periodically. Grille about 10 minutes.

Zucchini/summer squash: slice into thin round pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Use a grill pan.  Grille about 5-10 minutes each side.

Asparagus, broccoli, or brussels sprouts: cut if needed, drizzle with olive oil, and grill away. It’s that simple and SO delicious! Shake them up so that they grill evenly. These smaller veggies only take about 5-10 mins.

Lettuce or cabbage: drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice or red wine vinegar. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Romaine works great, it’s a simple delicacy! For cabbage, cut into four wedges and grille sides evenly for about 10 minutes. Lettuce only about five minutes.

Mushrooms: drizzle mushrooms with balsamic vinegar and a little oil. Grille for about eight minutes, flipping halfway through. Place over a salad or use whole grilled portobello mushrooms in place of burgers. Talk about a healthy upgrade!

Onions and peppers: slice onions and/or peppers. Drizzle olive oil and flavor with salt and pepper. Grille in tinfoil or on a grille pan. Great as a side with fish or sausage.

Corn on the cob: Brush with olive or coconut oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. If you like a little spice, add cayenne pepper and fresh lime juice. Grille for 15- 20 minutes total.

Garlic or scallions: Using whole bulbs, cut the root end off and brush bulb with olive oil. Grille for about 10 minutes until skin in brown. The perfect addition to flavor any dish.

One Healthy Breakdown: Grab a cold drink and light up the grill. No heavy sauces, no complicated recipes. Just fresh veggies meet grille, nothin’ better.