Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More holiday survival tips

This is a guest post contribution by Tiffany Matthews:

Tiffany Matthews is a freelance health writer with 20 years of medical experience. She contributes health and medical articles to on a regular basis.


Many Americans can put on an average of three to five pounds during each holiday season, and some add even more weight. No wonder: everywhere you look there are yummy treats just waiting to be eaten and if you do not eat them, someone else will.
If you want to avoid holiday weight gain – and what healthy foodie doesn’t?—you don’t have to completely deprive yourself of a few sweet treats and rich, delicious foods. After all, a tiny bit of indulgence once a year is not such a bad thing.  But when you are baking and eat half the gingerbread men right off the tray, or you eat more candy than you put in the candy dishes you are filling, you might be in for a bit of a tough time this holiday season.
It is possible to enjoy holiday treats without gaining more than a pound, and for some lucky people not even that. Here are a few suggestions.


Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
    Always Eat Before You Go – Never show up at a friend’s house or a party with an empty stomach. Always eat a healthy, light meal or large snack before you leave home. That way you will be full and less tempted to eat a large amount of calorie heavy foods.
    It is a Party, not an All you can Eat Buffet – If you can remember that one sentence, you will be less tempted to gobble up all the goodies. There is more to a holiday party than eating, so be a nibbler not a binger. Mingle and visit with people, dance, play games or sing songs. Find something you can do that will keep your mind off the food!
    Outsmart the Buffet - When dinner is served buffet- style, use the smallest plate available and do not stack your food; limit your helpings to a single story. Go for the simplest foods on the buffet: fresh fruits, vegetables, and shrimp cocktail are good choices. Watch out for sauces and dips.
     Be Selective About the Sweets – Take small portions and only choose your real favorites.
     The most important thing to remember when attending a holiday event where the food seems to be the focus is that there are plenty of other things to do. Socializing to keep your mouth busy as opposed to chewing is a useful strategy that will pay off for you on January 1st.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving Survival Guide: Enjoy but don't overdo

How to cope? Here are some healthy-foodie ideas for a Thanksgiving without guilt or remorse.

1. Eat a full breakfast and a light lunch. Don't "save up" for the big meal--you'll be famished, a perfect recipe for overindulgence.

2. Take a walk before dinner, weather permitting. Even if the weather isn't all that great, get off your duff for at least a half hour of exercise--more if at all possible. It can be before noon, while the turkey is in the oven, or during half-time if you're involved in watching football. Find the time!

3. Lay off the booze until dinner is served. Pre-dinner alcohol lowers your inhibitions and leads to useless extra calories, not just in the drinks themselves but also in snacks you'll likely add on.

4. Decide in advance whether and how much wine or other alcoholic beverages you will drink. Then pace yourself so you can stick within your pre-set limits.

5. Eat only your favorite dishes, and pass on the others. Pick only one out of these three: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and bread stuffing/dressing. Easy on the gravy, too!

6. Wait at least a half hour between dinner and dessert. If this requires a request to your hostess before the meal, go ahead and ask. If you have no influence over the timing, step away from the table and come back later. Make up an excuse if you need to. Waiting for dessert is crucial--your brain will have time to get the message from your full stomach, and you won't want as much dessert, or maybe not any.

7. Pick one dessert or very small portions of more than one.

8. Take a walk after dinner.

Remember, the fat-producing, health-sabotaging culprits in this meal are alcoholic drinks, gravy, sauces (such as that superfluous stuff people put on green beans at TG), toppings (I'm thinking of marshmallows on sweet potatoes, horrors) and desserts. Minimize those!

Take larger portions of turkey (especially the white meat), baked potatoes, roasted root vegetables, green veggies with as little sauce as possible, salads without mayonnaise, fruit salads, and just a little bit of cranberry sauce (too much sugar).

We have so much to be grateful for, including the amazing bounty that makes not eating too much such a concern. On Thanksgiving Day, let's appreciate the love in our lives, our family and friends, the pleasure of sharing this wonderful meal--and eat mindfully while we're at it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Key to Healthy Eating

Or as the headline goes: "The #1 Way to Eat Healthy." Guess what? It's by following the Mediterranean diet. We knew that, of course......but here's a link to a nice video about how to ease into this way of eating, if you're not already there. It's from Eating Well magazine.
We find this diet easy to follow, because we love all of its components (fish, olive oil, wine, nuts, fruits and veggies, grains and beans) and don't miss most of the things that it eschews. Well, except for cheese -- I don't eat a lot of it but also can't really give it up.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

My new blog........

I just started a "rant" blog called What a Drag It Is Getting Old. Of course, that's such a cliche that I couldn't get that exact URL. Apparently there are lots of other people out there ranting about the indignities of aging. Mine is at this link. And I'm also adding it to my blog roll on this site.
I have no idea how often I'll write anything there. It will be a different type of exercise than Healthy Foodie -- now more than three years ongoing -- has been. What a Drag will be more of a diary, and whether it gets readers, comments or even much activity from the author remains to be seen.
Blogging can be informational, instructive, interactive or confessional -- or a bunch of other things too, I suppose.
Mostly, whatever we post goes into the vastness of the Internet, read by few or no others, but lasting for all eternity as far as we know.
What a weird thing.
I'll continue to blog about healthy eating here, though.........
Yours truly, about 2 years ago

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Family Night @ La Poste

Or maybe they're calling it community night. In any case, beginning this week La Poste in Clifton will be closing on Mondays except for one time a month. On the "second Monday" they'll open for a few hours in the evening for a family-style meal.
Monday November 11 was the inaugural event; here's a photo of the buffet table.
For $20  a person, there won't be a menu, but platters of food will come out of the kitchen from 6-8 PM. This week the entrees were fried chicken and roast pork, with enough pasta and veggie sides to satisfy vegetarian eaters, as well.
Alcoholic drinks are not included but are available.
Though you can't see it in my no-flash photo, there's also a jazz band playing, which will be part of the scene ongoingly. Children are welcome, and many were in attendance.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Eating at the bar @ Zula's (OTR)

We had tickets to see the new conductor with the Cincinnati Symphony on Friday night; beforehand, with no dinner reservations, we luckily snagged two seats at the bar at Zula's Bistro.
It was perhaps our third or fourth meal there, and this was one of the best.
The bar scene was lively -- and by the time we left to walk to Music Hall, beyond lively to rather insanely crowded.
Zula's bar
Both the drinks (well designed and executed cocktails) and the food were truly spot-on. We each had one of the seviche-type seafood starters, or small plates -- mine was tuna, his salmon. I had a salad with haricots verts, olives, and a few slices of hearts of palm, while he ordered a vegetarian flatbread. That turned out to be so large (and delicious) that I helped him finish that rather than order another plate.
Tuna with avocado and Serrano chili

The wine choices combine the more familiar with some adventurous, less commonly available glasses.
All in all, it was a way fun start to the evening.
And the concert was fabulous!
Zula is at 1400 Race Street and is open for dinner every night except Sunday. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Remembering Charlie Trotter's

Charlie Trotter in his famed dining room
Did you ever make it to the world-class restaurant that Charlie Trotter owned/chefed for decades, in Chicago? As you probably know, Trotter died suddenly on November 5th, at just 54. He had closed his famed foodie mecca a couple of years ago, saying he wanted to do something else with his life.
We managed to get there once for a fabulous, multi-course, extravagantly expensive dinner. It must have been 10 years ago, but I can well remember the evening. Strangely enough, I can't remember much about the food, only that it was a genuine pleasure to spend hours in that dining room.
Chicago remains a fantastic restaurant city, but Trotter's was unique and I'm sure has been missed.
And now he won't be doing anything else, poor man.
RIP, Charlie Trotter.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Django to expand; Bakersfield's sister restaurant in the works

Two restaurants known for tacos are moving beyond their core strengths.
Django Western Tacos, on Hamilton Avenue in Northside, already has added several more adventurous dishes to the menu, including a grilled salmon entree -- a steal at $12 00 that my friend pronounced "the best salmon dish I've ever had." Within the next few months, they'll head further in the direction of a restaurant that also serves tacos rather than a taco-centric place, according to the manager.
Django: tacos and more
This move becomes possible due to physical expansion -- wherein they'll have room for a walk-in freezer and the ability to offer a greater variety of foods -- and for strategic reasons, given that the 'hood already has two other tacos places (Barrio and Tacocracy).
Meanwhile, the best (IMHO) tacos slinger in town -- Bakersfield in OTR -- is developing their second restaurant across Vine Street, called Eagle. (This has been in the works for a few months.) According to a hostess at an eatery near Bakersfield, Eagle will be "more of a restaurant with a bar [instead of] the bar with food that Bakersfield now is." (Don't tell that to me -- I love their tacos, in large part because they make their tortillas in house. Of course, they also make one or two of my favorite bourbon drinks.)