Calories: to Count or Not to Count?

It’s all about calories in vs. calories out, right? So, should we be counting calories or not??

Woman Looking at Vegetables in Refrigerator ca. 2003

All calories are not created equal. 500 calories of fruits or veggies is not, in any way, equal to 500 calories of processed food made out of a hundred ingredients, most of which are chemicals, or sugar, but certainly not food that will fuel your body properly. So, what’s the point of counting calories when calories are not what we should be measuring at all?

Shift the focus from calorie counting to eating whole, real, seasonal foods that fuel your body, satisfy your taste buds, and make you feel good. No diet, no restriction, no labels, no counting, and no one-size-fits-all attitude…because, let’s face it, that’s just no fun at all. Besides, when we’re eating real, healthy foods, our body becomes more in-tune with our hunger and satiety, in other words, when we need food, and when we’ve had enough.

pea on fork

We should be aware of (especially for weight-loss) portions and proportions. A portion is simply the amount of the food we’re eating. It’s not necessary to measure the precise weight/size of everything we eat; however, eyeing approximate portions ensures that we’re not eating far more or less than what we need (which is different for everyone.)

Proportion is the ratio of nutrients; protein, carbohydrates, and fat. It’s important to eat a balance of each nutrient (hence the term ‘balanced meal’) as each performs a different function in the body.

Counting calories is irrelevant, so spare yourself and focus on nutrition. Lastly, counting calories can often lead to food guilt, which is a huge waste of time and brainspace (is that a word?) Likewise, exercising simply to burn the calories we’ve consumed, or are planning to consume, is one of the most miserable things ever. Eat to fuel your body and work out to challenge, strengthen, and energize your body for endorphins, health, and fun!

For more on portion control, eating right for you, losing weight, or to get your own customized meal plan to meet your nutrition goals, email kiley@onehealthyhamptons today.

One Healthy Breakdown: can you count enough reasons not to count cals?

 

Healthy Holidays: NYE with Wellthily

Just because Thanksgiving and Christmas have come and gone doesn’t mean it’s time to hibernate. Celebrate New Years Eve in sweat and style with Wellthily & Gurney’s Montauk as they welcome back a summer favorite, Cyc Fitness! Come for the day or stay for the weekend to ring in 2016 the wellthy way. Resolutions rides and retreat are happening December 31st through Jan 2nd. Join OHH to sweat with Cyc, ring in the New Year with LDV Hospitality, and stay well with Wellthily. Click here to book your bike and email hi@wellthily.com for more information on NYE retreats!

wellCan’t make the New Year’s work outs? Join Wellthily at Gurney’s Montauk all January long for free weekend workouts with your favorite NYC trainers from Exhale Spa’s Sarah Ambrose to BFX Studio’s Colin Turek and more. Click here to view the schedule and sign up!

One Healthy Breakdown: make January your healthy kick-start to a welfull 2016!

Healthy Holiday Eating with Bloom & Spark

Aside from cozy fires, warm sweaters, and time with family, the holidays are often full of endless parties and copious amounts of food. There’s no need to deprive ourselves; it goes against the abundance and gratitude that the season brings. Here’s how staying present at the party can help you to in maneuver tricky situations and feel your best:

food-sweet-cookies-christmasBefore the party, make a plan and stick to it. Think ahead what you will eat and what you won’t eat to feel good about yourself. By planning ahead, you can have what you like without going overboard. Maybe you skip fried food, minimize sweets, or limit drinks. Maybe you make a compromise with yourself – have the dessert but skip the appetizers. You could stay near the veggie plate while you chat to avoid mindlessly devouring the plate of pigs in a blanket. You could bring your own homemade dish to ensure that you at least have something healthy to eat. Whatever your game plan is, decide ahead of time and stick to your plan! Eating a light meal or healthy snack at home before you go to the party will ensure that you don’t grab whatever is in front of you out of hunger. These superfood balls may be just the trick to your nutritious and delicious pre-party plan.

IMG_5792Bloom & Spark’s Superfood Balls:

Superfood balls are really popular right now for good reason! The great thing about them is that once you have the base, you can really add anything you want to make them your own. Start with dates and nuts in the food processor and feel free to add coconut flakes, cinnamon, vanilla extract, maca, goji berries, chocolate, even essential oils like peppermint and cinnamon. You could even roll them in ground up candy canes for a festive and tasty holiday touch! These are also the perfect thing to bring to a party if you want to avoid sugary desserts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 10 dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp maca powder
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1-2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions: Mix everything (except the cocoa powder) in a food processor. Once all ingredients are incorporated, take out half of the mixture and set it aside in a bowl (if you want to make half of the batch chocolate like I did.) Add the cocoa powder to the mixture that’s still in the processor. (If the mixture is a little dry you can add 1-2 tsp of water while it’s still in the food processor to moisten.) Roll both mixtures into bite size balls and let them cool in the refrigerator before serving/eating. Yum!

IMG_5800*Caroline O’Neill is a year round Hamptons resident and health and wellness lifestyle blogger of Bloom & Spark with a passion for nutrition, yoga, food, spirituality and personal development.

 

Healthy Holidays: Nails Au Natural

It’s the holiday season and we’re all aiming to stay healthy. It’s not just about the food we eat – what we put on your skin goes into our body as well. The same goes for what you put on your nails. Lately, there have been a number of articles circulating about the toxicity found in nail polish and I’ve done some research that’s worth sharing.

Red_nail_polish_in_applicationThere are various chemicals like toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor found inside standard nail polishes. These polishes can wreak havoc on your nervous, reproductive and endocrine systems. They have been linked to birth defects in babies, an increase in allergies, and the production of cancer causing agents.

Luckily, there are alternatives. There are polishes that are either 3-free, 4-free, or 5-free (of the above chemicals.) Personally, I opt for 5-free polish and acetone-free remover because I prefer to use as little chemicals in my everyday life as possible.

IMG_3256As a new mom, pre-school teacher, and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I am definitely more conscious of my health and well-being; what you put in your body daily effects the big picture. During pregnancy, I only used 5-free nail polish and that became my new normal. Here are a few of my favorite 5-free brands to seek out if you’re looking to go au natural with your nails as well:

  • RGB (my favorite because they also make a base and top coat and remover, so I can depend on the the consistency of their products)
  • Ella + Mila
  • Tenoverten
  • Uslu Airlines
  • Spa Ritual
  • Priti NYC

As for the holiday season in the Hamptons, I love going on walks and taking in the fresh air that smells like pine and firewood or cozying up by fire and drinking homemade dark chocolate hot chocolate! Here’s my go-to recipe:

Hannah’s Hot Chocolate: (makes 1 serving)

Heat one cup of almond milk on stove on low heat. Add 1/4-1/2 bar of dark chocolate (depending on desired taste – I prefer Nibmor’s 80% dark) and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Stir until melted and enjoy! You can also add vanilla, peppermint, or other flavors of choice.

*Hannah Oehl Ruppel is a pre-school teacher and graduate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She loves to follow wellness and sustainable beauty, living her life as naturally as possible. She lives in NYC with her husband Tyler, her son William, and their dog Stella. She escapes the city to Shelter Island every summer and weekends, where her family has been going since she was little.

Healthy Holidays with Lifeway Kefir

Lifeway Kefir is helping to keep us healthy this holiday season! Kefir, sometimes called the “champagne of dairy” is a cultured probiotic dairy beverage that’s been around for more than two thousand years. With the consistency of drinkable yogurt and a tart and tangy taste, kefir’s versatility ranges from granola to smoothies, salad dressing, to holiday treats.

Here are the health benefits of kefir plus a delicious recipe for “Strained Kefir with Fresh Pear, Nuts and Seeds,” brought to us by Lifeway Kefir.

  • Kefir contains live and active probiotics, live organisms that provide a myriad of health benefits. Like other fermented foods, including miso, sauerkraut and kimchi, kefir supports a healthy gut, where 70-80% of the cells that make up the immune system are located.
  • Kefir may help to maintain a healthy weight. It is high in protein, which increases satiety and reduces hunger cravings throughout the day.
  • Kefir can improve your skin, as it contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), a popular ingredient in skin care products.
  • The live and active probiotic cultures found in kefir may help support healthy digestion.
  • Not all brands of kefir are lactose free, but Lifeway Kefir’s unique fermentation process and specific cultures ensure their kefir is 99% lactose-free. Unlike other dairy products, it is suitable for most people who are lactose intolerant.
  • Kefir can improve mood, as it contains tryptophan, the amino acid that helps raise levels of serotonin in the brain.
  • Kefir supports bone density, as one serving provides 30% of your daily calcium needs.

Strained Kefir with Fresh Pear, Nuts and Seeds by Lifeway Kefir

Kefir_parfait_pear_nuts_fbIngredients:

  • 1 32 oz bottle Lifeway Plain Whole Milk Kefir
  • 1 ripe pear, sliced*
  • 1/4 cup mixed nuts and seeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Ground cinnamon, to taste
  • Ground nutmeg, to taste
  • Honey, to taste
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

The night before, or up to three days in advance, line a fine mesh strainer with cheese cloth or coffee filters. Rest the strainer over a deep bowl, careful to make sure the bottom doesn’t touch, and pour in the kefir. Cover the bowl and strainer with a lid and place in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least eight hours, to strain. After the kefir has strained, transfer the thick cream to a container with a lid and place in the fridge until ready to use. Discard the liquid whey, or save for use later. You will have 2 – 2 1/2 cups of thick kefir cream. To prepare the pears: clean, slice and remove the core of the pear. Add to a bowl with lemon juice and toss to coat. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

To serve: add 1/2 – 3/4 cup strained kefir to a bowl or parfait glass. Top with sliced and seasoned pears, nuts and seeds of choice. Drizzle with honey, if desired, and serve cold. Feel free to use sweet or sour apples, plums, bananas or berries – whatever is in season and you have on hand!

One Healthy Breakdown: a super healthy sweet treat – the best of both worlds!

December Ground & Grow Challenge

We’re growing our roots to get ready for the New Year. Tree pose (Vrksasana) is a classic yoga pose that grounds, lengthens, strengthens, opens hips, and encourages correct posture. The busy month of December is the perfect time to root down, ground ourselves, stay balanced, and foster growth into 2016. To perform tree pose, stand strongly and balanced on one leg, while bending the other knee so that your foot is resting on the ground, your standing ankle, or above your knee. Once balanced, place your hands in prayer position and then slowly move them to reach upwards to grow your branches. This month, you’ll be alternating between tree pose and chair pose to maximize grounding and growing. To perform chair pose, (Utkatasana) stand straight up, with weight evenly dispersed in both heels. As you inhale, reach arms up as you bend your knees and squat down, keeping knees and thighs together, as if you’re sitting in a chair. Keep arms and torso up at a slight angle and roll shoulders down. Stay in the pose at least 10-20 seconds to maximize benefits. Chair will not only ground you down, it will also fire up your glutes and thighs to burn some serious calories. Just print, pin, or save the calendar below and commit to grounding and growth all month long! Think of it as preparing your body and mind for what’s to come as the holiday season ramps up and we turn the corner into a fresh, new year of opportunities.

Dec Tree Challenge One Healthy Breakdown: ground yourself and grow your life simultaneously!

Hamptons Strolls are The Bee’s Knees

Since my twin girls were born in June, I’ve learned the benefits of long walks outdoors. We have a gigantic double stroller that I take everywhere. We especially enjoy strolling down to the local marinas in Springs to enjoy the fresh air and beauty.

IMG_3342The walking has kept mama happy and fit. I used to be a long-distance runner, but six marathons put a lot of wear-and-tear on my body. I needed an exercise that was not only easier on my joints, but one that the twins might enjoy as well. Long afternoon strolls have been the perfect solution.

As a city transplant, walking has been a great way for me to explore my new neighborhood and meet new neighbors. I’ve gotten to know places like Harbor Marina on Gann Road, Pussy’s Pond on School Street, and of course, Springs General Store on Old Stone Highway. I often chat with people I meet along the way; the most common question I get is “are those twins?” People are always intrigued, My one complaint: There aren’t enough sidewalks!

Much like running always did, walking has kept me grounded. As a new mom of multiples, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed…that’s a bit of an understatement! Getting outside, stretching my legs, and breathing fresh air definitely helps to clear my head. And the girls are always happy, as they enjoy the movement and the views.

We definitely plan to stroll during the holiday season, when the days are short and dark. The girls already have snowsuits in the event that we get some colder weather. We’ll continue to take walks down to the marinas to see how many boats remain. The harbor is always an oasis of calm, and a reminder of why we live here.

One Healthy Breakdown: sometimes the simpler the better. Stroll on!

*Colleen DeBaise is a journalist and founder of the Hampton Bee, a digital publication that covers the East End business community. She’s also a retired marathon runner who secretly plans to make a big comeback to running, maybe at next year’s Hamptons Half-Marathon! For now, strolls are doing the job just fine!

Hamptons Handpoured Holidays & Butternut Squash Soup

Here’s how local superstar, Brittany Torres, owner and founder of Hamptons Handpoured candle company, spends the holiday season.btI love spending the holidays ice skating in Central Park, seeing the tree at Rockefeller Center, biking on the quiet roads of the Hamptons, walking my dog, Dahlia, decompressing with lots of yoga, and enjoying my homemade butternut squash soup! I’m addicted to butternut squash soup, but most delicious varieties are loaded with cream. Every fall leading up to Thanksgiving, I make homemade butternut squash soup and have it almost everyday! Here’s my recipe:

butternutsquashsoupBrittany’s Butternut Squash Soup:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 onion, diced
4 cups cubed butternut squash, fresh or frozen
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add carrot, celery, and onion. Cook about 3-5 minutes until vegetables have begun to soften and onion turns translucent. Stir in butternut squash, thyme, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 30 minutes until squash is fork-tender. Use an immersion blender to purée soup. Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and carefully purée in batches in an upright blender. Enjoy and happy holidays!

One Healthy Breakdown: skate, yoga, eat, repeat!

*Until January, 2016, we’ll be spreading health through the holiday season here in the Hamptons! If you’d like to share your own holiday tip, trick, tradition, recipe, etc. as part of OHH’s #HealthyHolidays, email kiley@onehealthyhamptons.com.

Healthy Holidays OHH Style

The magic of the holiday season surrounds us and we’re determined to make it through feeling healthy, happy, grounded, rested, well-fed, balanced, and ready for 2016!

IMG_3036Although it’s easy as pie to cut sleep, eat all the cookies, skip breakfast, have another cocktail, and end up completely burned out, tired, bloated, hungover, guilty, and miserable come January, let’s not!

hangoverOHH’s #HealthyHoliday Tips:

Keep it simple: yes, there will be parties and cocktails, gingerbread, latkes, toasts, roasts, cookie exchanges, peppermint bark, and a hundred reasons to indulge. And that’s ok. But all of those ‘extras’ sure do add up. To offset the indulgences, keep things simple at home. No need to make a three-course meal; instead, allow yourself permission to keep things light and basic. Make a “kitchen sink” salad, smoothie, or snack – just make sure you’re using whole foods. Keeping meals simple allows our body to maximize digestion and nutrient-absorption. Here’s a super simple salad made of arugula, sauerkraut, tomatoes, avocado, and hard-boiled eggs for your dose of greens, probiotics, healthy fat and protein all in one!

FullSizeRender3Eat your veggies: there’s no way around it – veggies are healthy and you must eat them. Don’t fret, you can easily increase your veggie intake in a yummy, easy way. Try making a meal that centers around vegetables instead of meat or pasta, like a meatless stir fry, hearty soup, or holiday smoothie. We don’t often give veggies the opportunity to be the main attraction, but doing so is a super simple, healthy, and affordable way to fuel our bodies. Secondly, try replacing your usual comfort foods with veggie-loaded options. Instead of your go-to mashed potatoes, try cauliflower mash. Forget the french fries and instead roast a new variation of squash, like acorn, delicata, spaghetti, butternut, kobucha, or pumpkin. When you’re urged to grab chips or crackers to snack on, eat crudite to satisfy that craving for a crunch.

Treat yo’self: we’ve said it before and we’ll say again – it’s all about balance. Let go of the labels and ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. Indulging in holiday treats is not only acceptable, it’s actually good for you! Consciously eating food that gives you immense pleasure can fulfill your heart, satisfy your cravings, and feed your soul. Whether it’s a family recipe that you look forward to every year or a new discovery on your journey, choose to indulge wisely and enjoy every single bite.

balancedNews flash: it’s not just about the treats. Or the veggies. Indulge in something that has absolutely nothing to do with food, like a bubble bath, scented candle, holiday movie, pedicure, song download, nature walk, novel, dance party, magazine, TV marathon, or anything that makes you feel pampered and rejuvenated. Just like we deserve to enjoy the cookie, we deserve a break, some self-care, and even a good nap!

Move and be still: we already established that most of us will be indulging a bit this season and that is A ok…as long as we remember to move (ie: exercise) and be still (ie: meditate/sleep/breathe.) Schedule your workouts (and your stillness) as you would meetings and don’t skip ’em. Get your turkey trot on, try a new class, rake leaves, shovel snow…whatever it takes to stay active and accountable. And mindful. Taking time to slow down, live in the moment, and embrace the holiday spirit is equally as important. Combine the moving and the stillness with a yoga class or non-workout workout. Sweat, enjoy, breathe, repeat.

One Healthy Breakdown: here’s to spreading health and holiday cheer this year!

Healthy Holidays at The Beach

Jamie Lerner is a private in-home fitness trainer and studio instructor specializing in flexibility, strength, core power, alignment, and balance as well as cardio and dance. How does Jamie stay healthy through the holiday season in the Hamptons? Here’s how:

IMG_4670Gratitude + inspiration. I’m grateful for the love and support that is all around us, it’s always available if we let it in. I’m grateful for the comforts of the privileged life we live here. I’m inspired by the millions of people on earth who devote their lives to helping others who suffer.

Healthy Thanksgiving. Whenever I’m home for Thanksgiving, I like to offer a fitness class that morning. This year is no exception. It gives us a feeling of community, an hour or so to put the preparations and fuss and visitors aside to take care of ourselves, and offers the best possible insurance that we’ll feel so much better before, during, and after the feast! And then I teach a cardio class Friday morning to help burn it all off!

Mindfulness tricks. No tricks! Plenty of treats! It helps to keep in mind that a treat means something out of the ordinary, not something you consume or experience every day. When you get an impulse or craving for something that qualifies as a treat, try filing it under “hm, sounds good! Let me hold off on that today, maybe tomorrow.” The next time that impulse arises, punt it again and continue to enjoy the anticipation. You may forget about it entirely or the special situation presents itself to treat yourself. It could be food or drink, an activity, a big purchase, or another indulgence. As for staying healthy, my fitness/dance/movement practice has gotten me through cancer, heartbreak, the blues, anxiety, and continues to sustain me as I contend with the aging process. That, and spending as much time as I can with dogs!

IMG_1691It’s also good to remember that even though it’s getting colder and we’re busy-busy-busy, the beach is always there, year round, waiting to calm us down, open us up, and reconnect us to life.

One Healthy Breakdown: What a great reminder – we sure are lucky to be surrounded by beach and beauty in the Hamptons! Happy holidays, Jamie, and thank you for sharing your insight!

*Until January, 2016, we’ll be spreading health through the holiday season here in the Hamptons! If you’d like to share your own holiday tip, trick, tradition, recipe, etc. as part of OHH’s #HealthyHolidays, email kiley@onehealthyhamptons.com.

IMG_3036