Fashion Friday: Commuter Shoes

I still consider myself a fair weather exerciser, so the main component of my active lifestyle is walking around the city (including to and from work). Unfortunately, although many of my dress shoes are quite comfortable, they just can’t take five miles a day on the Boston sidewalks. Thus, I’ve finally resorted to wearing commuter shoes. This puts less wear and tear on my fancy footwear. Plus, I’m motivated to get more steps in, since tennies are so darn walkable!

Commuter Shoes

L to R: Caradona, Memorandum, Hello Fashion, Atlantic-Pacific (for more sneaker styling, see here)

New Balance for J CrewLuckily, sneakers don’t have to scream goofy American tourist. In fact, when done right (see photos above) they can actually look quite chic. My trusty mint green Keds are filthy beyond repair (note to self: Scotchguard the next pair), so I splurged this red pair of New Balance kicks from J. Crew to achieve that urban-chic/woman-on-the-go look captured in the photos above.

If you’re in the market for new commuter shoes, check out a dozen of my favorites below. They’re perfect for springtime strolls!

Best Commuter Shoes

1. Keds (sale $24.95)

2. Bergdorf Goodman ($195)

3. Anthropologie (sale $69.95)

4. Finish Line ($69.98)

5. Keds (sale $34.95)

6. Anthropologie ($109.95)

7. Keds (sale $24.95)

8. Bergdorf Goodman ($195)

9. Keds ($50)

10. Keds ($50)

11. Zappos ($50)

12. Finish Line ($79.99)

Which pair is your favorite?

– Kelly

P.S. I love my Toms, but they’re just not a practical option for walking around the city, as I tend to bust through the heel after less than ten wears.

Apps I Love: Map My Run

Best Running App - Map My Run

The long awaited signs of spring (blossoming magnolia trees in Back Bay, sailboats on the Charles, pleasantly cool temps) ignite an uncharacteristic urge to lace up my Nikes and soak up the sunshine on a scenic jog. With the Boston marathon in town this week (yesterday, actually!), running seems to be contagious throughout the city, inspiring me to kick up my mileage and pace. With these goals in mind, I’ve been especially happy with a new app I just downloaded: Map My Run (the #1 running app).

Simply press start when you begin running (and stop when you finish), and the app will map your route, keep your time, and calculate your pace, along with a host of other features and statistics. It’s an excellent tool to monitor the progress of your workouts, especially if you’re training for a race. 

I’m fairly certain I’ve used a primitive, web-based edition of Map My Run a few years ago, slowly plotting my route on a computer to track my mileage, but this weekend was my first experience with the app, and I absolutely love it! In fact, I just might be inspired enough to make this running thing a habit. No promises, though 😉

– Kelly

The Best TED Talks on Food Systems, Nutrition, and Public Health

Surely a sign of progress, there are now an abundance of TED talks that explore food, nutrition, and public health. Below are my very favorites — a collection of videos that I consider informative, important, and incredibly fascinating! If you have a favorite TED talk that’s not listed here, send me a link in the comments below.

PART I: PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTHY FOOD ENVIRONMENTS

How an Obese Town Lost a Million Pounds (Mick Cornett)

I just got back from OKC this week after visiting a college roommate, so this Midwestern town is fresh on my mind. Regardless of whether or not you’ve ever been to the Sooner state, you’ll definitely be inspired by this talk from current mayor Mick Cornett. Equal parts entertaining and inspiring, this story highlights how city planners and public health professionals can play an important role in fighting the obesity epidemic, and shows how important a walkable environment is in promoting health.

Teach Every Child about Food (Jamie Oliver)

Oliver has gained a well-deserved reputation as a tireless advocate for childhood obesity prevention. In this talk, Oliver explains just how important improving nutrition is to our children, and just how serious of a problem the American food environment has become. Our kids deserve better than this, and Oliver explains why.

How We Can Eat Our Landscapes (Pam Warhurst)

In this delightful and motivational story, Warhurst describes how a grassroots volunteer gardening movement is creating a supportive framework for the local food economy. Her talk celebrates the small actions of the community, and highlights the importance of edible landscapes.

PART II: WHY ORGANICS ARE IMPORTANT

From Fabels to Labels (Urvashi Rangan)

Identifying healthy products at the supermarket can be a challenge, especially when packages tout a variety of health claims and nutrition buzzwords. In this talk, Rangan explains which food claims and labels are more credible than others, and also makes an excellent case for supporting organics.

Why is Organic Food so *#@! Expensive? (Ali Partovi)

If the previous talk didn’t convince you of the importance of organic farming systems, this one surely will. Tech giant Partovi dispels a lot of myths surrounding organic food and industrial agriculture. This talk is a must for anyone that thinks that organic farming is expensive and inefficient, and that industrial agriculture is necessary to feed the world.

PART III: SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS AND FOOD POLICY

How I Fell in Love with a Fish (Dan Barber)

Sustainable food enthusiasts and seafood lovers alike will enjoy this engaging talk from Chef Dan Barber, which explores the sustainability of farmed fish. If you enjoyed Barber, be sure to check out his other TED talk about ethical foi gras. Or, if you’d like to learn more about sustainable seafood, be sure to check out this TED talk from chef and National Geographic Fellow Barton Seaver.

Turning the Farm Bill into a Food Bill (Ken Cook)

A new farm bill has passed since this 2011 talk first aired, but many of the points remain relevant. Cook explains how, despite the growing demand for responsibly produced food, government programs and legislation still favor industrial agriculture and the profits of a few food giants over family farms and public health.

Hungry for more? Check out the line-up from the TedxManhattan conferences (here are 2015 and 2014 to get you started) which are focused on “Changing the Way We Eat,” and are the sources of many of the videos above. The TED website also has a “What’s Wrong with What We Eat?” video playlist, a “Talks for Foodies” video playlist, and a “Plantastic!” video playlist. Additionally, Netflix offers a bundle of food related TED talks, in a collection called “Chew on This.”

– Kelly

My 4 Favorite Food Documentaries

Over ten years ago, Morgan Spurlock comically captured the dangers of eating too much fast food in his seminal 2004 documentary, Supersize Me. Since then, there has been no shortage of documentaries for those interested in learning more about nutrition and the food system. Overwhelmed by the number of food-centric films on the menu? See below for four of my favorites.

Food Inc. (available on Netflix)

Watch to Learn: Why To Pay Attention to Where Our Food Comes From

If you’re wondering why there’s such a fuss about farmers markets and organic, local food, this must-watch 2009 documentary clears things up. While those unfamiliar with the food movement may be ready to dismiss food system issues as frivolous, this film explores how the choices we make at the grocery store can affect not only our own health and well-being, but the well-being of all the people and animals throughout the food chain. (Note: If you enjoyed Food Inc., and would like to learn more about food justice and issues of farm labor inequality, then check out Food Chains, also available on Netflix.)

A Place at the Table (available on Netflix)

Watch to Learn: Why Hunger and Obesity are Two Sides of the Same Coin

While Food Inc is probably the most well-known food documentary, A Place at the Table is, in my opinion, the most important. This profound 2013 film explains how hunger and obesity are both symptoms of the same problem: poverty and food insecurity. (If you’d like to learn more about this issue, see the blog post I wrote after I first saw this film.)

Bite Size (available on Vimeo and Amazon Instant Video // $4.99 to rent)

Watch to Learn: How to Support Kids Struggling with Obesity

Although this new 2015 film doesn’t feature any of the big name narrators or interviews that similar food documentaries include, the message is actually pretty powerful. This documentary follows four obese children, each taking a different approach to get healthy (from team sports, to community groups, to a healthy boarding school). Regardless of the weight loss tactics, what really stood out was how important it is for kids to have someone (be it a parent, coach, or school counselor) advocating for them, and how much this support affects their health and success.

Fed Up (available on Amazon Instant Video // $3.99 to rent)

Watch to Learn: How the Industrial Food Industry is Contributing to Childhood Obesity

Focusing on added sugars’ contribution to childhood obesity, this 2013 documentary is somewhat of a cross between Food Inc. and Bite Size. The film explores why today’s food environment is often considered ‘obesogenic’ (full of obesity-inducing triggers and cues) and how our unhealthy, corporate-controlled food system negatively affects kids.

While the films listed above are my favorites in the genre, I have seen a number of other food documentaries (including Forks Over Knives, King Corn, The World According to Monsanto, Inside Chipotle, and Food Matters, among others). The next food film that I’m hoping to watch is Cafeteria Man, an inspiring documentary that chronicles a school lunch success story. What are your favorite food documentaries?

– Kelly

My New Favorite Healthy Habit

I am happy to report that I’ve picked up a new healthy habit—one that’s been on my to-do list for quite some time now. For the past month or so, I’ve started brushing my teeth in the office bathroom after lunch.

3 Reasons to Brush Your Teeth After Lunch

This simple activity can have a surprisingly big impact on well-being. Here are three reasons why I’m smitten with the post-lunch brush:

  1. My mouth feels clean and minty. An obvious benefit, but enjoyable nonetheless! (This is particularly appreciated on days when I eat something garlicky or heavily spiced.)
  2. My teeth are healthier. All that extra brushing and flossing adds up – your dentist (and your gums) will thank you!
  3. I’m less prone to snacking. In the afternoon, when energy starts to wane, the vending machine / snack run / office cookies can be awfully tempting. But a fresh brush signals that meal time is over.

Really, the biggest obstacle to overcome was to actually bring a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss to work (yes–I floss in there, too). Once I had it in my desk, it’s been easy to motivate myself to get up from the computer after lunch and step into the restroom for a quick brush. Additionally, there’s a certain novelty associated with brushing at the office, so it doesn’t seem like quite the tiresome chore as it does at home (at least not yet).

Do you brush your teeth at work?

– Kelly

Decorate Like a Dietitian: Healthy, Inspirational Pieces for the Home

The home should be a sanctuary that inspires healthy living, not a cave for Netflix binges and mindless snacking. In Slim by Design, Brian Wansink offers several hacks to make your kitchen slimmer, such as not storing cereal boxes on the counter, keeping fruits and veggies on the top refrigerator shelf, rather than the crisper, and avoiding buying junky snack food in bulk. These small tweaks are research-tested ways to curb mindless eating, which Wansink also implements in the homes of his celebrity clients.

Tips and tricks aside, the design aesthetic of your house can also encourage healthy choices, and that’s what I’m posting about today! When I see enticing pictures of food (be it a donut or a carrot), I crave it. That’s why I like to fill my home with inviting images of delicious fruits and veggies. (This is also the inspiration behind the #foodpornindex campaign from Bolthouse Farms.)

If you’re looking to make your home a catalyst for healthy choices, then see below for my pick of pieces to decorate like a dietitian!

Bouffants and Broken Hearts

^^In my dream home, I would have one of these delightful illustrations by Bouffants and Broken Hearts turned into wallpaper for a powder room (or other small room). Some of her illustrations are available as prints, or on a few other trinkets (such as coffee mugs) on Society6. But wallpaper is totally my end game with these. Just imagine how dramatic it would look with crisp, white trim!

Artichoke print - Etsy

^^For a similar look on a smaller scale, this artichoke print from The Joy of Color is available on Etsy for $21 (along with many other fruit and vegetable watercolors).

Coconut Milk - image via Dark Rye

^^For those that favor pop art, I love this riff on Andy Warhol’s iconic pieces using organic coconut milk from Whole Foods Market. (Note that this isn’t a print for sale, just an image that I stumbled upon on the Whole Foods Pinterest page.)

The Wheatfield - by Katie Daisy

^^Katie Daisy is hands-down one of my favorite artists! (Check out her Etsy shop, The Wheatfield.) I have the ‘farmers market’ print framed in my bedroom, and I gave the ‘Go play outside’ print to my mom for her birthday last year.

Peeled Orange - Elizabeth Mayville

^^Another recent Etsy favorite is Elizabeth Mayville. (You may recognize some of her prints from Design Darling). I recently bought this peeled orange print and am currently on the hunt for a frame and the perfect place to hang it.

Orange Trees - image via Coco + Kelley

^^Plants are another great way to bring you back to nature and inspire healthy choices! Citrus trees, in particular, are especially beautiful (as evidenced by this Domino Magazine photo from Coco + Kelley), but unfortunately, I doubt they’d survive in the Boston tundra.

Herb Garden

^^Lastly, I’m finishing up with a photo of my (short-lived) herb garden. I posted this picture to Instagram about a year and a half ago, and the plants died less than a week later. Not even kidding. Nonetheless, for those with green thumbs, herb gardens are a great way to reconnect with the food system, even if on a tiny scale.

– Kelly

P.S. There’s a lot more where this came from! Check out my Pieces for the Home Pinterest page.

Blizzard Food: Healthy and Delicious No-Cook, No-Refrigeration Meal Ideas

Blizzard Food: Healthy and Delicious No Cook No Refrigerator Meals

In preparation for the most recent blizzard (Juno), my mom called urging me to stock up on nonperishable and no-cook food, in case of a power outage. As I entered Whole Foods that Monday afternoon (the ultimate post-work/pre-blizzard grocery frenzy), my mind went blank. Food that doesn’t require cooking? What I am supposed to do? Eat packaged junk?

Not knowing what to buy (and feeling anxious to join the ever-growing checkout line), I grabbed apples and bananas, a can of lentils, a loaf of whole wheat bread, and a couple of KIND bars that I saw near the register (#impulsebuy). Luckily, our power never went out, so I spent my snow day enjoying warm, cozy meals, such as this spaghetti squash bowl.

Now that I’ve had some time to form a plan, I thought I would share some meal ideas that don’t require cooking, power, or any refrigerated items. Hopefully this will give you some ideas for what to stock up on before the next storm!

Healthy Granola

Breakfast: Granola with fresh berries. Shelf stable almond milk (or even shelf stable dairy milk) might be a welcome addition to this bowl, although most shelf-stable milks recommend refrigeration after opening, so it’s good to have more than one carton on hand. Also note, berries certainly keep much longer in the fridge, but they won’t spoil if you keep them on the counter for a day or two. After all, they’re outside for hours and hours at farmers markets and farm stands.

Blizzard Food: Healthy and Delicious No-Cook No-Refrigerator Meal Ideas

Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich with strawberries and bananas, plus an apple. You can make this more exciting by trying different nut butter and fruit or jam combinations (almond butter + figs, cashew butter + raspberry jam, etc). Note that most natural nut butters (aka, the only nut butters worth buying) recommend refrigeration after opening. However, that is mainly to preserve freshness. Natural peanut butter won’t go rancid if you leave on the counter for a few days, it just won’t last quite as long.

Blizzard Food: Healthy and Delicious No-Cook No-Refrigerator Meal Ideas

Snack Ideas:

  • Apples with Peanut Butter
  • Rice Cakes with Almond Butter and Raisins
  • Dried Fruit and Nuts/Trail Mix (I like almonds, pistachios, dried cherries, and dried cranberries)
  • Nutrition Bars (such as KIND bars, Larabars, or Luna bars)
  • Fruit and granola
  • Popcorn (already popped, of course)
  • Shelf-stable, ready-to-serve hummus (like this one) with cut vegetables

Blizzard Food: Healthy and Delicious No-Cook No-Refrigerator Meal Ideas

Dinner: Mezze platter with bean dips, whole grain crackers, fruit, nuts, olives, chocolate, and & wine.

  • White bean dip: Drain (and rinse, if possible) a can of white beans. Mash with a fork and add olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, a pink of cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with carrots and whole grain crackers, such as these Kashi Original 7-Grain Crackers.
  • Black Bean Dip: Drain (and rinse, if possible) a can of black beans. Mash with a fork and add a few spoonfuls of salsa, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Top with diced avocado and serve with whole grain crackers or baked tortilla chips.
  • Small bites: Jarred olives and nuts, such as almonds or cashews, make great finger food. For fruit, sliced apples and pears are always a popular choice, but berries are great too. Also, be sure to have a quality chocolate bar on hand to break apart and nibble at.
  • Wine: It’s a snow day! If you’re going to be stuck indoors, you might as well uncork a bottle and celebrate!

Tips: I recommend washing fruits and vegetables the night before you think you may lose power, just in case your water goes out as well. Also, be sure to fill up your water bottles and mason jars with water, or stock up on water bottles. For more information on food safety during power outages, check out this webpage from the USDA.

– Kelly

Bon Appétit Food Lover’s Cleanse

Bon Appetit Food Lover's Cleanse 2015

Turkey Breast with Roasted Broccolini (image via Bon Appétit)

As a staunch proponent of whole, unprocessed foods and balanced meals, I’m certainly not a “cleanse” girl. But a two-week cleanse filled with foodie favorites like pork tenderloin, chia pudding, and chocolate bark? Now I’m listening!

Bon Appetit Food Lover's Cleanse 2015

Morning Barley with Squash, Date, and Lemon Compote (image via Bon Appétit)

The Food Lover’s Cleanse, dreamed up by the folks at at Bon Appétit, isn’t really a cleanse so much as a boot camp for cooking regularly and getting familiar with some of the lesser-known “superfoods”. Now in it’s fifth year, this creative meal plan demonstrates the growing overlap between nutritious and delicious. I only can’t believe that I’m just now learning about it (thanks to Emily, and her intriguing healthy lunches)!

Even though the 2015 Food Lover’s Cleanse wrapped up in mid-January, you can still access all of the delicious recipes online. Here is a one-page overview of the menu for all two weeks, a printable PDF of all this year’s recipes, and printable shopping list. Prefer to do kitchen prep ahead of time? This is a link to big-batch recipes that are used throughout the cleanse.

Bon Appetit Food Lover's Cleanse 2015

 images via Bon Appétit

While your grocery bill might suffer (superfoods don’t come cheap these days), it really does make sense to follow the menu plan to it’s fullest, as many ingredients are repurposed throughout the cleanse. For example, barley makes an appearance in a dinner pilaf with leeks and lemon, and then is prepared for breakfast the next morning with squash, date, and lemon compote. Similarly, chevre cheese is served alongside a sliced pear as a snack one day, and then shows up in an egg scramble with caramelized onions the next morning. With quality ingredients like these, the attention to waste reduction is much appreciated!

That being said,  if you’re simply looking for nuggets of inspiration to escape your culinary comfort zone, the recipes can also stand alone. Seeing as my grocery budget is pretty maxed out at 2-3 recipes per week, I probably won’t follow the cleanse to a T (at least not this year). However, browsing the menu plan certainly gave me ideas for recipes that I want to make and foods that I want to cook with. Have you tried any recipes from the Bon Appétit Food Lover’s Cleanse? Do tell!

– Kelly

Weekend Web Roundup

Those that know me best know firsthand that I am a die-hard book pusher and article emailer. What can I say — I have a passion for sharing and curating content. In lieu of keeping these articles in my inner circle (and also because the blizzard allowed for more screen time than usual, #whatjunoaboutdat), I thought I would share a few fun features from around the web!

School Lunches Around the World - Sweetgreen

School Lunches Around the World // Sweetgreen: To bring attention to school nutrition, Sweetgreen (my current favorite fast casual restaurant) recreated typical school lunches from 9 different nations, including the United States. It’s fun to scroll through the different lunch trays to see how the US stacks up! These meals might be intended for children, but they certainly give me plenty of ideas for my own lunches. (However, it’s also worth noting that in few other countries outside of the US is children’s food terribly different from adult food.)

What 2000 Calories Looks Like - New York Times

What 2000 Calories Looks Like // New York Times: The average American adult needs approximately 2000 calories per day, a goal that’s easily attainable with a few carefully planned, home-cooked meals. However, it is also easy to blow through a days worth of calories in just one restaurant outing. In this incredible photo feature, journalists capture what 2000 calories looks like in food from several popular chain restaurants, as well as a few days worth of home-cooked meals. This will definitely make you think twice before eating out again!

28 Days of Kindness - Greatist & Kind Bar

28 Days of Kindness // Greatist + KIND snacks : For the month of February, Greatist (a fun nutrition and wellness site) teamed up with KIND for a month-long random acts of kindness challenge. Giving back is such an incredible boost to mental health and happiness, and I’m absolutely loving the fresh ideas on this calendar! (Like #20- make sure everyone in the group convo feels included. So easy, yet so meaningful!) If you feel inspired to join the challenge (and I hope you do!) share your acts of kindness on social media using #28daysofkind. You might win some freebies from KIND bar, and more importantly, you might also inspire someone else to pay it forward!

What’s on your radar this week?

– Kelly

 

Sofritas Monday – Give Tofu a Try Today!

For those of you that are hesitant to embrace Meatless Mondays, maybe Chipotle can help convince you. After all, they’ve got free burritos.

Sofritas Monday

Don’t let the word tofu scare you off. These are not the squishy, lifeless soy cubes from your aunt’s yoga café. The sofritas are made from shredded, organic tofu mixed with chipotle chilis, poblano peppers, and lots of fragrant spices. In fact, the final result is actually comparable to the taste and texture of ground beef.

Chipotle Sofritas

Sofritas Bowl (see the end of this post for my go-to Chipotle order)

The first time I tried the sofritas was actually prompted by a Chipotle coupon as well, because to be honest, tofu and I didn’t get off to a great start. My first attempt at cooking those jiggly soy bricks ended in a miserable failure. I was in college at the time, and a friend recommended that I cook the tofu like meat. So after letting it bathe in a delicious teriyaki marinade overnight, I pulled out the George Foreman Grill. To my dismay, the slippery tofu slid right off of the grill and splattered onto the floor. So much for that approach!

Fast forward a few years later… Slowly but surely, I am warming up to soy proteins. (I have also ditched the Foreman grill). For example, soy chorizo (okay, definitely not a health food) is absolutely delicious in this recipe. And soy crumbles are actually quite pleasant when used in vegetarian Sloppy Joes or Bolognese sauce.

Do you think you’re ready to give soy foods a try? Ease your way in with the carnivore-friendly sofritas! Also, if you’re curious about the safety of soyfoods, be sure to check out this handout from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics!

– Kelly

P.S. Are you curious about what this RD gets in her Chipotle order? I go for the Sofritas Bowl (or sometimes a Vegetarian Bowl or Pork Carnitas bowl), Brown Rice, Black Beans, Bell Peppers & Onions, Pico de Gallo, Corn Salsa, Lettuce, and sometimes Guacamole. No cheese, no sour cream, no tortilla – no problem!