To Juice or not to Juice

Check out my latest contribution to Sport Club La’s E-book! 

http://sportsclubla.com/corporate/ebook/juicing101

 

Some highlights include:

Why is fresh squeeze/cold pressed juice good for you? What are the benefits? How much should you drink?

  • Green juices are good because they’re high in potassium, which helps with muscle contraction and prevents cramps, also get plenty of solids too—like healthy fats, grains, whole fruits, and vegetables.
  • Contain plethora of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
  • When a juice is usually blended, it’s designed to be more palatable by adding in high quantities of sweet juice and sugar whereas fresh pressed doesn’t have that. What vegetables and fruits provide what nutrients. For example, what provides antioxidants, promotes digestion, increase energy, help with stress, relaxation etc.
  • Great way infuse body with nutrients you might not get otherwise or have a difficult time obtaining
  • With smoothies the fiber from the fruits, vegetables, herbs or spices are retained but when you juice the pulp (which contains fiber) is extracted leaving just the liquid behind.
  • Daily juice is kind of like a multivitamin with the megadose of nutrients you get.
  • Cold pressed retains more vitamins minerals and enzymes
  • But calories counts are higher and it lacks fiber of whole fruits and vegetables
  • Carrot juice will be an excellent source of vitamin A, cashews are a great source of copper, orange and pineapple will provide you with excellent source of Vit C
  • Be wary of too much sugar though
  • If you hate greens, it’s a great way to incorporate them into your diet without eating them. 
  • Makes it possible for those not eating enough raw produce to get much needed nutrition without added supplements
  • Juicing allows for a more varied, interesting, nutritionally balanced diet

 What fruits and vegetables blend well together. What to think about when making juices at home?

Think colors of the rainbow so Kale, apples, and cucumber, spinach, celery all go well together.

Carrots and Orange go well together and so do carrots and orange with yellow produce such as lemon and pineapple. Apples tend to mix well with most vegetable juices and help to sweeten it. When you are making a juice you want to choose something bitter and pair with a sweet. Or pair sweet with bold foods and some neutral foods such as celery and lettuce or winter squash and eggplant which are all neutral. Bold foods would be foods such as purple kale, cranberry, red chili pepper, and grapefruit. Sweet would be apple, apricot, peach, grape, and mint to name a few. My favorite is combining cucumber, romaine, celery, spinach, kale, ginger, lemon, and apple!

How to do a cleanse. Why should you do a cleanse? Who should do a cleanse?

Scientific evidence regarding detox dieting is scarce at best. Gerard E. Mullin, MD, MHS, director of integrative GI nutrition services at Johns Hopkins Hospital, says the lack of scientific research on detox dieting leaves much to the imagination in regard to efficacy.

People with diabetes, low blood sugar, and eating disorders and growing children, teens, pregnant women, and older adults as those who should avoid.

If you are going to cleanse I recommend no more than 3-5 days and be sure to supplement with plenty of protein because juices contain no protein! You need at least 0.8 g/kg day and active people need more!

There is really no need because you have this wonderful thing called your liver. So I really don’t believe you should “do a cleanse” unless you have been eating pretty crappy and want to “flush” your body with a ton of nutrients. But again be sure to also include healthy sources of protein as well!

In Today’s Dietitian it examines the pros and cons of detox diets.  

How to do it:

Keep these points in mind:

  • Eat real food instead of drinking liquids only
  • Avoid laxatives and detox supplements
  • Maximize your calories with natural, whole foods
  • Eat consistently throughout the day, every 3-5 hours
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Be physically active
  • Aim for at least 1,200 calories a day
  • Be sure to get protein!

 

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Hydration and Metabolism

According to an article published in “Health and Healing” in July 2003, staying well hydrated allows your metabolism to function optimally. You see, when you are well hydrated, water keeps contents moving properly throughout the body. When you are dehydrated, just the opposite occurs: cellular mechanisms slow down, thus decreasing the amount of calories you could be burning if you were in a properly hydrated state! Some studies suggest that even mild dehydration can slow down metabolism, and a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that drinking water (about 16-18oz) may increase metabolic rate by up to 30 percent in healthy men and women.

Not only does being properly hydrated boast these benefits but drinking water before a meal and after can help fill you up, further promoting any weight loss efforts.

Still not convinced to start sipping more water?

What if I told you that mild dehydration is the number one cause of daytime fatigue? So while you’re reaching for that candy bar to break the afternoon slump, maybe what you really need is a nice big cup of cold H2O.

Going to the gym after work? Start sipping water at least an hour before exercise and be sure to replace fluids during exercise. Dehydration of even 1-2% will negatively affect performance and body functioning.

Not a fan of plain water but want to looking to consume more fluids? Try these tips below:
1) Add cut up fruit and vegetable slices like orange, cucumber, and lemon to your water.
2) Mix 1/4 -1/2 cup juice in with 8oz water for a little flavoring
3) Mix fruit with water and freeze in cube trays and add the flavored ice cubes to your water! Or make “juice cubes” pouring the juice into the cube trays to freeze and then add to your water
4) Try flavored seltzer
5) Make iced tea or a hot herbal tea

*When flavoring your water be sure to watch for added sugar content

 

Health & Healing, July 2003, Vol. 13, No. 7.

APEC (2013). The importance of water and your health. Retrieved from http://www.freedrinkingwater.com/water-education/water-health.htm

Casa, Douglas J., Armstrong, Lawrence E., Hillman, Susan K., Montain, Scott J. (2000). National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Fluid replacement for athletes. Journal of Athletic Training, 35(2), 212-224.

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2003) 57, Suppl 2, S19–S23. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.160189

 

A Foodie’s take on Whisk Boston: A “culinary experience”

If I’m being completely honest, it takes a whole heck of a lot to impress me. It’s no easy feat just ask my boyfriend. But, when I had the chance to experience Wink and Nod’s new culinary experience, known as Whisk Boston, I was more than impressed..I was blown away. 

A little difficult to find, I practically stumbled upon it after walking down a flight of stairs into a dark room, searching for the nearest staff member and asked if I had arrived at Whisk. Certainly, I had, but being a pop-up restaurant, Whisk was located at their newest location, Wink and Nod in the south end. If you have ever been to Lolita in Boston, this will kind of remind you of an upscale Lolita. Kind of eclectic but quaint and fun at the same time!

Upon meeting and greeting the other guests, I noticed the cute arrangement on each of the tables, put together by Jill Kerri, our wonderful host for the evening. 

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We started out with a Caraway Sourdough bread paired with salted and peppered butter. The black pepper was such a nice touch to the butter!

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Whisk collaborates with different restaurants around the city, by “popping-up, and showcasing their innovative display of flavors and somewhat bizarre combinations. By doing so, they are able to have full control over their kitchen and creatively express their culinary genius. Jeremy Kean, chef and one of the owners, uses his idea to take students from prisons as well as the street and put them in a kitchen. It is also clear that through his work he strives to elevate the dining experience. 

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For our first course we had a Strawberry Gazpacho, paired with an island creek oyster, fennel, and smoke. Remember what I said about bizarre combinations? Yup- never would have ever thought of a strawberry gazpacho with an oyster, but of course together, it all made sense as the sweetness of the strawberry blended with the saltiness of the oyster. Whisk has partnered with Wink & Nod’s “cocktail/wine/booze etc” program, so I of course embarked on a wine pairing journey. With the gazpacho dish I had an Alma Negra Malbec- my favorite wine of the night. 

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For our Second Course, we were served a black bass with faro, orange, and ponzu. I had a chateau de labourons with this course. An incredibly fun dish overall!

Third Course: Foi Gras Torchon served with a white chocolate veloute, sea scallops, and lime, paired with a Fino Sherry. Again, taking the sweet and pairing it with the salty. I am not typically a fan of Foi Gras but this was hands down my favorite dish of the night. 

For our Fourth Course, we had a Kalbi short rib with cherry and tiny veggies (literally half the size of my thumb), paired with a Pecchenino-Dolcetto. Where they get the veggies I have no idea, but one of the things I appreciate and respect about Whisk is that they prepare everything in-house and use local food, seasonal ingredients whenever they can. I do apologize for the spelling of the wines as I don’t typically venture out of my Malbec comfort zone. Part of the fun of this whole experience for me was definitely getting to experience some news wines that you won’t generally see elsewhere. 

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Okay, onto the Fifth Course: Whipped Brie (yummy!), with chocolate, honey, morel, and a thin cracker. Another one of my favorites for the night. I have never had cheese with chocolate! With honey-totally! Chocolate- never! It was super tasty and a perfect pairing once again. 

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Lastly, for our final course, we are served a deconstructed rhubarb parfait with a pistachio base and cherries. Elegant and sophisticated- taking a common dessert from my parent’s era and making it over for the younger generations 🙂 With this course, however, I did think the jelly on top had kind of a weird texture and wish there was another texture element such as something crunchy or a smooth, cold ice cream. The cherries were also quite strong, which semi-overpowered the dish. 

Nonetheless the food was impeccable and it is quite clear the passion that these chefs have and the love they pour into their dishes. I am not sure how long they will be around at Wink and Nod, but you can join their mailing list on their website for news on the next spot! (Their website is here.)

Of course, the night did not conclude with just great service and even better food. Jill, our host, made sure we left with a goodie bag full of stuff and also put together a few raffles! To tell you a little bit about what was in our bags, we received a bottle of wine from Sweet Baby Vineyard, located in New Hampshire, a quote printed out by Kal Barteski, Sparkly Soul Headbands, and a candle that says OWP and is not just a candle! You can WEAR IT: It’s a solid perfume, MASSAGE IT: it’s warm massage oil, BURN IT: it’s a candle. Objects With Purpose are made from organic coconut, shea, apricot butter with essential oils.

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We also received little mesh bags from Blue Mercury filled with petite samples and $25 gift card! Annnddd adorable Kiel James Patrick bracelets, which I wear daily now, along with a plethora of other goodies! 

I am so grateful for experiences like these, and can’t thank Jill and the other bloggers enough for such a wonderful night!

Whisk is located at 3 appleton st in the South End currently. 

Restaurant Review: Del Frisco’s Chestnut Hill

Last weekend I was invited to check out the new Del Frisco’s in Chesnut Hill with some of my favorite people, Blog and Tweet Boston! Being an SCLA Private Trainer, I have become quite familiar with the area known as “The Street,” which boasts a ton of family friendly, and upscale restaurants and shops including The Cottage, LuLuLemon, Pinkberry, Treat Cupcake, and Davio’s to name a few. In the past year there has been some major construction out in the CNH area, not to mention the recent opening of my upstate NY favorite, WEGMANS! Because I am generally in this location to work, let’s just say making bad financial decisions has become more commonplace.

Due to the fact that a majority of the exercise machines and group fitness rooms at work face Del Frisco’s, that means I have only been salivating over the mere thought of steak since the restaurant opened, as it stares at me day after day. Not wanting to be distracted while training clients any further, I of course jumped at the chance to join my peers in this dining experience.

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We arrived at the restaurant early and were greeted with their signature cocktail, the V.I.P, which was infused with pineapple and clementine vodka. We also started out with their ahi tuna tacos, cheesesteak egg rolls, deviled eggs with a truffle chive vinaigrette (Yum!), and two of their wood oven baked flatbreads. The cheesteak egg rolls were a little too greasy and rich for my liking, but my disappointment was quickly overcome with their flatbreads, which included mushrooms + arugula, and a shaved brussels sprouts +bacon +fontina flatbread. Both boasted caramelized onions to top them off, and the mushrooms + arugula had a hint of truffle oil flavor to it, which I am always a fan of on pizza. I also appreciated that the crust was not too thick or thin but just right!

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After wetting our appetites with the above, large plates of some of the main dishes were served. There was a short rib stroganoff with pappardelle noodles, with crispy onion strings piled on top, a 12 oz sliced filet paired with a generous sized crab cake, and their seared asian tuna salad consisting of shaved Napa cabbage, arugula, mango, avocado, almonds, tomato, topped with a ginger-sesame dressing. The filet was so tender and juicy and everything was quite fresh! Unfortunately, because there were so many of us and only one dish of each, I only got to sample a little bite of each, which left me starving until I got home. The food is atypical of my usual diet, so the appetizer course didn’t quite fill me up as I managed small bites, anticipating the main courses that are more in line with what I usually eat.

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After the main course, we finished off with petite donut ball versions ( as I’ll call them) of their rich and delightful six-layer doberge lemon cake. While lemon is typically not my preferred dessert of choice, who can say no to lemon buttercream icing and lemon glaze? A little too sweet for my liking, but nonetheless delicious! I highly recommend this dessert if you dine at Del Frisco’s!

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All in all I think everyone was pleased with the meal and I certainly enjoyed myself! If you plan on dining at Del Frisco’s, I will tell you that there are not too many paleo and waist-friendly options. Many of my clients complain about the lack of nutritious options, though the chef does seem willing to make the appropriate modifications if you ask. They were able to accommodate gluten sensitivities but am unsure if they would do so during a normal busy dinner-service. Regardless, there are a few healthy options such as the Ahi Tuna Steak, The Asian salad we had, Bay of Fundy Salmon, Brown Bag Fish, 8oz Filet paired with roasted asparagus, and Kale and Brussels Sprouts to name a few.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Del Frisco’s Grille
33 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA

Disclaimer: While I received this meal free of charge, all opinions are my own.

Question: Have you dined at Del Frisco’s before?

The Handle Bar Opens Newest Location in Fenway!

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Last Saturday I was invited to try out The Handle Bar’s newest cycling studio in Fenway. Having recently checked out SoulCycle, I couldn’t wait to compare the two! Being a spin newbie, I must admit spin is not always my preferred exercise of choice ( I always have a difficult time locking those damn shoes in!), but nonetheless was excited for a sweaty cardio sesh. Spin studios are abuzz these days with boutique shops popping up all over the place, similar to Crossfit “boxes.” So, naturally I had to see what all the craze was about. High energy, high intensity are just a few words to describe this 45 minute dynamic spin class. The Handle Bar provides both new and experienced spinners with a place to sweat and spin without all of the bells and whistles of some of the other spin studios. Filled with passionate instructors, whose goals are to make you feel challenged and inspired, you are sure to leave with a great workout under your belt and a sense of empowerment.

Unlike SoulCycle, I didn’t really feel like our rhythm was set to a beat or that we were having a dance party or engaging in any choreographed moves on the bike. It was simple and straightforward. I did like that both studios incorporated weights with the Handle Bar literally using a weighted bar for arms! We incorporated an abs circuit as well but me +coordination= major fail. I can’t seem to figure out yet how to crunch and do pushups while also moving my legs…so I didn’t get much of a workout during these portions. The bikes were also a tad close together so every time I went to do a pushup I was hitting the girl next to me. Fortunately, the room was cool and the music wasn’t blasting, which I appreciated. I know others who prefer the deafening music at other studios and the heated rooms, but to each their own. This studio at The Handle Bar worked just perfectly for me.

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My class was also extremely challenging, with a huge focus on sprints and hills. I loved our instructor Jenn who’s got a crazy free-spirit about her that was uplifting and challenged me to push through to the end.

The Handle Bar offers a single class for $20 and 5, 10, 20 and 40 class packages, ranging in price from $95 – $640. Riders also have the option to purchase a 1 month unlimited class package for $175 or a 1 year unlimited class package for $1680. Bikes can be reserved online up to seven days in advance and walk-ins are also welcome.

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After class, I walked out to the reception area, which similar to SoulCycle, offers apparel and a wide array of products, including adorable T’s, drinks, and rental shoes. It was a tad smaller and cramped a bit in the front, but perhaps it is the location. I have never been to the one in Southie so I can’t compare. The lockers also were open cubbies so I hope you trust your neighbor when you go! I felt a little uncomfortable about just leaving my stuff out in the open, but again, I guess it is part of the “no frills” aspect of The Handle Bar.

In terms of pricing, The Handle Bar offers a single class for $20 and 5, 10, 20 and 40 class packages, with prices between $95 – $640. You can also  purchase a 1 Month Unlimited: $175
First-Time Month Unlimited: $100
1 Year Unlimited: $1680
AND Shoe rental is complimentary for unlimited riders.
It is recommended to make a reservation online and single rides and packages can be purchased in studio or online. Bikes can be reserved online up to 7 days in advance. Walk-ins are also welcome.

In comparison, your first class at SoulCycle is $20 at and a single walk in after that is $30.

All in all I enjoyed my experience at The Handle Bar. Even though I am TERRIBLE at spinning, I was excited to check it out and was pretty impressed. Ultimately, YOU have to find what you want out of these exercise specific studios. Some like it hot and loud with more a spa like feeling (soul cycle), while others like myself prefer the no-frills, chilled room, simple and basic spin class (The Handle Bar). I have yet to try out Flywheel but that is certainly next on my list!

Question: Have you been to The Handle Bar? What did you think? What is your favorite cycling studio?

Disclaimer: I received this class complementary. I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own. 🙂