Portland houses the International Test Garden for roses, which basically means there are thousands of different varieties of the fragrant flower planted in a handful of large gardens around town. Thanks to our warmer than usual weather most of these are already in bloom, so earlier this week I decided to organize a picnic among the roses. To start I made a salad topped with strawberries straight out of my garden (those are already in season too!). For the main I made a tasty dish with campanelli noodles, caramelized onions, fresh herbs, goat cheese, and a little bacon. While I thought of this as a fancy pasta dish my boyfriend pointed out that it was really just fancy mac and cheese. Tom-a-toes Tom-ah-toes, people!
This dish was a hit and simple to make, but healthy it is not. For a 1/2 pound serving (which is a small bowl-full) this dish clocks in at 320 calories. Not awful at face value, but when you factor in the dish contains 7 grams of saturated fat and 850 mg of sodium—basically 35% of your recommended daily allowance of each—you can see why this was a meal I definitely needed to burn off, stat! (Here’s a healthy mac and cheese recipe to try, if the craving strikes.)
How could I melt away those 320 surplus calories? (more…)
There are a lot of things I don’t miss about New York City: The crowds, the noise, the smells, the expense. But there are a few things I do miss after living there for 10 years. While my friends rank high on that list, so do bagels.
In the morning, few things beat a boiled-to-perfection bagel. Glossy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these carb-tastic treats were a mainstay of my life in the city. When I went back for a visit this past week, my former local bagel shop was one of my first stops. I got a whole wheat bagel heaping with strawberry cream cheese. (In New York a “schmear” is more of a gob than a dab.) It was, not surprisingly, delicious.
It was also a total gut bomb. Full of sugars and carbs the breakfast didn’t feel light in my stomach and pretty much zapped my energy for the next hour or so. (Hello food coma!) This tastes-so-good, feels-so-bad treat also came at a high caloric cost. 450 calories, to be exact.
So how could I burn off the 450 calories in this bagel with cream cheese?
Walking is one of the easiest options for shedding pounds, and it can improve your health in a number of other ways, too: Taking a stroll boosts your spirits, adds additional exercise to your life, and apparently, it can spark your creative side.
Multiple studies have proven that exercise helps memory and decisiveness, but the New York Times recently reported on a study from Stanford University that took things a step further: The researchers found that stepping away from your desk, even to walk around the office, can do wonders for your the creativity portion of your mind. (more…)
This week I met up with a couple of girlfriends for a welcome home dinner. We went out for healthy Mexican food at Porque No?, one of my favorite restaurants here in Portland. They have tasty fish tacos, homemade tortilla chips, and delish guacamole. They also make a mean margarita. I ordered one, but I got way more than I bargained for—a margarita served in a full-on pint glass. (As in, way bigger than the one below:)
A pint of margarita means essentially two cocktails in one, at least. Margaritas are already known for being one of the more sugary, calorie-loaded cocktails out there so I knew I was breaking some sort of rule by drinking it. (At least I stopped at one!) When I checked the calorie count for this tequila spiked treat I found that a 3.3 fl oz serving has 153 calories. Not bad, until you factor in that the one I had was around 16 fl oz! Multiply that number by 4 and you’ve got over 600 calories in a glass!
(Too bad they weren’t following our recipe for a Skinny Margarita!
What are a few ways I could have burned off the 612 calories in this big and tasty drink? (more…)
Recently I was lucky enough to spend 10 days in Japan. It was cherry blossom season—and a trip that’s been on my bucket list for a while. I only learned two new Japanese words—”konichiwa” is “hello” and “arigato” is “thank you”—but I figured out at least a few explanations for why Japan continues to rate high in rankings of the world’s healthiest countries. Here are a few tricks that are helping our neighbors to the west—who boast the greatest proportion of citizens over 100—live long and healthy lives:
Fish comes first: Eaten raw, cooked, or somewhere in between, not a day went by that I didn’t have fish during my trip. All of this seafood was good for my body and brain: the blend of lean protein and healthy fats makes fish a staple in many diet and healthy eating programs. I’ve always liked sushi, but this visit gave me a new appreciation for sashimi—basically raw fish any rice: You get all of the benefits of the fish without the calories or sugar of the rice!