Eating With the Season

Hello, winter.Eatwarm This cold front has me craving some serious comfort food and I know I’m not alone. If we can’t warm up out there, we’ve got to warm up in here (our kitchens, our bellies, our souls.) Luckily, with the right foods, we can.

As soon as the leaves turn color, the days shorten, and the temperature drops, those cravings for lite, raw, refreshing eats are replaced with desire for warm, hearty, comfort foods. Our bodies are naturally in tune with the changing seasons, as they should be. Our vitality directly depends on how we fuel our bodies, from our taste buds to our immune systems, (no sniffles!) and everything in between.

Eating with the season means fueling our bodies to align with our environment…and satisfying our souls too. With less sunshine, we’ve got to eat our Vitamin D. With an abundance of in-season produce, focus on the season’s freshest foods, like squash, kale, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes. Sauté your greens for heartier salads, roast your veggies, and load up on warming herbs and spices. Transform your green juice into a sweet smoothie or even a light soup. Cure your afternoon sweet tooth with cooked apples (baked, roasted, or even microwaved.) Utilize healthy fats, like olive and coconut oil, and slightly increase whole grains. It takes energy to keep warm and good carbs provide good energy. Most importantly, listen intuitively to your body’s cravings, even when it calls for nothing but sweet indulgence. There’s a healthy upgrade for everything, from cupcakes to pancakes, pumpkin pie to brownies, even cake, doughnuts (what!) and peppermint bark! Once in a while, go all out with the real deal and savor every single bite. Yes, allow for occasional indulging, but never forgo the veggies and continue to build meals around seasonal produce, lean protein, and good carbs.

Warm up in other ways by sweating in the gym, hot yoga, warm baths and showers, bundling up, snuggling under blankets, and lots of tea by the fire. See, maybe winter does have it’s perks.

FullSizeRender(5)One Healthy Breakdown: Beat the heat…with how you eat!

Warming Herbs and Spices

Well, the weather outside is (again) frightful. Until spring hits and we begin to defrost, there are things we can do to keep a little bit warmer. Here’s a list of herbs and spices to add to your next meal, soup, or even smoothie, to turn up that internal temperature. Plus, as if warmth isn’t reason enough, they all pack a powerful metabolism-boosting punch as well!

fire

  • Tumeric
  • Wasabi
  • Basil
  • Shallots
  • Carob
  • Rosemary
  • Ginger
  • Dill
  • Nutmeg
  • Star anise
  • Black peppercorns
  • Garlic
  • Miso
  • Cardamom
  • Fennel
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginseng
  • Allspice
  • Coriander
  • Chile Peppers

One Healthy Breakdown: Turn the heat up and warm from the inside out

Soup’s On!

Brrrrr, baby it’s cold outside! You know what that means: layers, boots, tea, and warm SOUP! Who says comfort food can’t be healthy?! We bring you OHH’s three favorite soup recipes, made from whole foods of course, to warm the body and satisfy the soul. Plus, they’re vegetarian/vegan, gluten free, and can be made dairy free as well. Enjoy and stay warm!

photo 1Fresh Tomato Basil Soup: Makes four servings.

  • 5 chopped tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • dash of sea salt & pepper

In pan, lightly sauté garlic and onion. Turn heat off and add basil. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with grated parmesan or romano cheese (or nutritional yeast for dairy-free) and serve in a bowl, garnished with basil leaves, or even over pasta as a sauce!

Lean Green Soup: Warm and tasty enough for dinner, light enough for a snack, in just minutes! Makes one serving. In food processor or blender, blend:

  • 1/4 cup chickpeas (or beans of choice)
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 handful arugula
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 zucchini or cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon miso (optional)
  •  1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • dash of sea salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup of water (more or less for desired consistency)

Heat and serve. Optional: top with a dallop of plain yogurt.

Hearty Crock-Pot Soup: Makes four servings.

Lightly sauté in a pan:

  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium chopped onion
  • 1 chopped celery stalk
  • 1 chopped garlic clove

In Crock Pot, combine 2 cups water, 2 cups broth (chicken, beef, or veggie), 2 cups rinsed lentils, (can use barley, farro, or brown rice instead) sautéed vegetables. Squeeze juice of half a lemon. Cook 5-7 hours on low and serve warm.

One Healthy Breakdown: soup in a pinch!

Holiday Flavored Smoothies

With the holidays just around the corner, incorporating some sweet seasonal deliciousness into your green smoothie is a great way to stay on track and taste the holidays in the healthiest way. Try these pumpkin pie, chocolate peppermint, and gingerbread smoothie recipes this season!

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:

Blend 1 whole head of romaine lettuce, 1/3 cup pumpkin puree, 1 large carrot, 1/3 cup cold cooked cauliflower, (optional, for creaminess) 1 scoop vanilla or pumpkin spice protein powder (Tone it Up sells this!) OR 1/3 cup yogurt of choice, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, dash of tumeric, 2 dates, and 1/2 cup almond milk. Top with granola or shredded coconut and be thankful for this healthy version of pie in a cup!

peppermint

Chocolate Peppermint Smoothie:

Blend 1-2 large handfuls spinach, 1/3 frozen banana, 1 piece ginger root,  2 teaspoons cacao powder, 6 fresh mint leaves, 1 teaspoon maca powder, (optional) 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, and a drop of natural peppermint extract with 1/2 cup coconut water. Sip with a smile! Much healthier than peppermint bark or Thin Mint cookies, but that same minty flavor!

gingerbreadcookies

Gingerbread Smoothie:

Blend 1 frozen banana, 2 heaping tablespoons oats, 1 piece fresh ginger, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, dash of cloves, a dash of nutmeg, and dash of sea salt with 3/4 cup almond milk. Yum, yum!

One Healthy Breakdown: Eat (or drink) your way through the holidays with healthy smoothies!

Hot Damn. Hot Yoga.

photo 2Looks like your typical yoga studio? Well, it’s not. It’s HOT in there…at Hamptons Hot Yoga (Bridgehampton.) No, like really hot. I guess that’s the typical response of a hot yoga first-timer? Shock? Shock initially, gratitude to follow. It’s not instant gratification, but it is gratification. I’ve been wanting to try hot yoga for a long time now and I’m so glad I did. I find that there is nothing quite like the benefits of yoga, especially for a body tired from spin, TRX, running, body combat, etc. Hot yoga combines each of the benefits of these other exercises (cardio, endurance, strength, agility, warming the body) plus stretching, lengthening, and challenging on a whole new level. While I love a good group fitness class, I despise feeling tight and compact afterwards. I love the post-yoga high that brings that sensation of long, lean, stretched muscles as well as a good sweat. Hot yoga brings the term ‘good sweat’ to a whole new level.

As unsafe, unnatural, and unpleasant as exercise in extreme heat seems, the class is conducted in a very specific manner, making safety the top priority. The precise rules, sequence, structure, suggested routine before, during, and after class, (LOTS of water, no food, no caffeine) all make the practice safe and beneficial for all. So, what are the benefits?

photo 1Benefits are countless. While the high heat allows the body to move and open more fluidly, excess sweat quickly removes toxins from deep within. Hot yoga is the perfect cleansing activity, it will leave you feeling renewed, rejuvinated, and pure. The postures and the heat works every part of the body; muscles, bones, organs, and even skin (our largest elimination organ.) Hot yoga claims to actually work 100% of the body. That makes 90 minutes pretty worthwhile doesn’t it?

Other benefits include; enhanced body processes (like metabolism, detoxification, mobility, circulation, oxygenation, and endocrine function.) Hot yoga also decreases stress, regulates blood pressure, improves immune system, and provides an overall ‘feel good’ vitality.

de467a032bb8ed4734e57c550e4e11aa_bigIt was great to see that the class was mixed, age, gender, ability, etc. It really speaks to the fact that anyone can do hot yoga, although I don’t think it’s for everyone. Anyone can experience this class, anyone can rest whenever they want, and anyone will feel the benefits for hours and hours after class. I was truly amazed at how I felt after class, with a new appreciation for the crisp fall air, my body, and even my simple daily routine outside of that oven.

You’re going to sweat. A LOT. You’re going to feel dizzy (at first, I’m told this sensation goes away after a few classes.) You’re going to want to guzzle water. You’re going to want to run out of the room. You’re going to daydream about ice cubes and stillness. But, you’re going to feel immense gratitude as well.

Hamptons Hot Yoga offers two variations; Bikram Hot Yoga and Hot Vinyasa, both open-level and all-inclusive. I gave the 90 minute Bikram class a try and plan to go back for more soon. There is not one downward dog and the class is the same every single time, a calculated sequence with exact purpose. This gives participants a chance to constantly improve their practice. Each of the 26 postures are performed twice with a few seconds rest in between. The first round sets the correct form and alignment, so your body knows where to go. The repetition allows you to push, go further, improve flexibility, and get the full benefits of the pose. The key, as with yoga in general, is to get the foundation down before pushing the body. Some of the poses are to be held for 30-60 seconds. This was a challenge. In the heat, it was a HUGE challenge. With sweat dripping down on the mat, focusing on the breath (and the rewards) is really all that keeps you going.

Vinyasa, meaning flow, is more of a fast-paced practice packed into a shorter (still 75 minutes) class. Vinyasa focuses on strength, balance, flexibility, and most of all: breath. Lienette, the studio director at Hamptons Hot Yoga, is very welcoming and informative. She clearly knows her stuff, as she walks the class through each and every posture with her words, not just telling you what to do, but how and why as well. And, even better, Hamptons Hot Yoga offers local a free week of classes so you can try it out!

One Healthy Breakdown: Hot yoga is like nothing else. I imagine the only thing it has in common with other workouts is the love/hate relationship. The benefits outweigh the burdens, if you can take the heat.

Breakfast Quinoa

Quinoa is a trendy (and yummy) little grain seed with all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Quinoa is gluten-free, cholesterol-free, full of antioxidants, and is almost always organic. Hows that for a healthy breakfast? This breakfast quinoa is just as delicious as it is healthy (and, its really healthy.) Breakfast quinoa has some serious staying power to fuel you through your entire morning. If you’ve overdone it on the oats, switch it to quinoa!

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Ingredients: (makes 4-5 servings – refrigerate extras for the whole week!)

  • 1 cup quinoa (best to pre-rinse)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1  teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
  • Optional: berries, banana slices, raisins, nuts, nut butter, carob chips, etc.

Boil about 2/3 cup water. Add quinoa, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and chi seeds and reduce to a simmer. Cook about 10 minutes, until the quinoa has absorbed the water and fluffed up. Turn heat off and add maple syrup and your add-ins of choice. Enjoy your superfoods!

One Healthy Breakdown: this breakfast is so sweet, you won’t even know it’s healthy.