“You’re invited to the Bug Banquet,” the email read. Ewwww! Must I go? I am psychologically averse to insects, but as a good sport, I’ll try.
The Bug Banquet is a culinary exploration of entomophagy, the practice of eating insects. It was created as an “experience” to help guests enjoy insects as food. Founders Chloé Bulpin, a senior at at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and Alex Gandarillas and Matt Kominsky, two Johnson & Wales University culinary students, believe in the power of visual imagery to educate.
The intriguing menu was served cocktail style and the presentation was gorgeous.
- Pesto Flatbread: cricket pesto, mozzarella and artichokes
- Tempura Skewers: crickets, silkworms and scallions with a spicy sriracha sauce
- Watermelon and Waterbugs: compressed watermelon, apple and waterbug
- Spicy Silkworm: Korean-style marinated silkworms with hummus and roasted cauliflower
- Dark Chocolate-Coated Crickets
- Sundae Shooters: waterbug ice cream, caramel, and banana
- Several different cookies and tarts made with cricket flour
How did the creations taste? The comment most often overheard was, “I would never have known.” Ground crickets in pesto tasted “like escargot.” Waterbugs had a “floral extract that is not off-putting.” Roasted crickets tasted “like roasted fava beans with a crunchy outside and a mushy middle.” Dark Chocolate-Coated Crickets were “reminiscent of a Ferrero Rocher candy.” (more…)
Beyonce, the entrepreneur, has started another business, this time with her trainer, Marco Borges. Together they have launched a vegan meal delivery service called “22 Days Nutrition.” The name comes from the common myth that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Last winter, under Borges’ direction, Beyonce and Jay-Z became vegan for 22 days and they loved it (although they don’t seem to be vegan now). Borges is the author of a soon to be released diet book titled, “The 22 Day Revolution.”
Their website describes the meals as fresh, wholesome, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free, as well as 100% organic and GMO-free. That’s a lot of buzz words and diet restrictions. The soy-free part is odd because vegans classically eat soybeans in the form of tofu, seitan, veggie burgers, meat analogues, and edamame.
A week’s worth of meals is delivered via a cooler placed at your front door. You just unpack, load the fridge, reheat, and eat. And pay the bill. At one meal-a-day, a one week supply costs $103.45, two meals-a-day goes for $153.46, and three meals for $194.04, all with a $19.95 shipping fee. Multiply that expense by three for a 21 day supply. (more…)
I am well aware that not everyone loves beer, and that is more than okay. I am not recommending that you have beer in the fridge to drink necessarily, but I am here to share with you some other benefits of beer, plus some surprisingly ways to put it to use.
Beer strengthens the bones and heart
If you are a beer drinker, you likely know that it is a great post-run beverage because of the carbs, but did you also know that beer has high levels of silicon, which has long been linked to bone health? Not only that, but beer has proven to reduce the risk of heart disease in those who drank a pint daily. Great news!
Beer is rich in protein and vitamin B
Beer is also high in antioxidants, protein, and vitamin B. Please don’t try to just get your protein intake via beer, but if you are choosing between beer, wine, or liquor, pick up a pint.
Beer can be used for marinating
Like its cousin wine, beer is an awesome addition to a lot of recipes, especially when marinating meats. Since beer is acidic, it tenderizes meat, as well as adding flavor. (more…)
Food in 2014 is taking a turn for the healthy; and we think it’s about time. Though the shift started in 2013 when 58 percent of surveyed consumers said they thought a lot about the healthfulness of their foods and beverages, it’s predicted consumers will become even more focused on health throughout this year.
We try our best to predict the food trends for the upcoming year, and we successfully predicted health being a major factor in food for 2014. Now that we’re a quarter of the way into the year, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and Dr. Elizabeth Sloan—a food trend guru—have decided it’s time for some of those predictions to turn into actual trends. Here, a list of what to expect (and most likely, what you’re already experiencing):
Getting Real Food
The majority of consumers check the ingredient list for ingredients they recognize. They also specifically look for foods made with simple, real, and natural ingredients.
Specialties Aren’t So Special
Specialized diets are becoming mainstream, and consumers who once relied on nutritional supplements are now turning to fortified foods instead. According to IFT research, most adults are making a strong effort to take in more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Athletes need protein—it’s a must. According to a recent article from Runner’s World, athletes can expect fatigue, loss of muscle mass, and heightened risk of injury when protein consumption is low. (The article recommends 0.55 to 0.77 grams per lb of body weight, meaning a 130-pound person should eat 72 to 100 grams of protein a day.) Meat is often the first protein people consider, but studies confirm it’s not necessarily the best option. So, why not try something new?
Check out three of the newest forms of protein to hit the market:
1. Blue-green Algae: Forget steak, eggs, or even tofu, you can get your protein from algae. ENERGYbits has hit the fitness scene with tiny little bits made of spirulina, a blue-green algae. The bits contain a complete protein with the algae, glucose, and nitric oxide. The company claims that these three ingredients can provide an athlete with the rapid access to glucose and protein for top performance. Additionally, the bits claim to give the body an energy boost that many have to use caffeine or chemicals to achieve. ENERGYbits’ protein concentration is at 60% which is very hard to find in most protein sources. A lot of research states that spirulina contains the highest concentration of protein in the world.
Almost all of today’s most popular diets are low-carb, high-protein. Atkins has been big for decades; Paleo is an ever-expanding movement, thanks in part to its following of cross-fit fans; and other plans like Dukan, Medifast, and Southbeach aren’t got anywhere anytime soon. But, while this eating formula may result in noticeable weight loss for most folks, a new study, profiled in a Huffington Post article, suggests high-protein diets may also shorten your life. That’s a pretty big deal.
Here’s what we know:
- Diets that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates help the body shed fat. There are two main reasons for this: Protein is harder for the body to digest than other nutrients so you automatically burn extra calories as you digest and metabolize it. Also, proteins are more filling than many other types of food. Eat a bowl of pasta and you may be hungry again within the hour. Eat a chicken breast and you may forget to eat your snack. (more…)
Portland is a little like New York City in the sense that almost everyone here has some sort of passion project. Maybe they work full-time but are super passionate about sewing, or writing poetry, or teaching fitness classes. Or, in the case of my friend Jeff, maybe they’re trying to get a start-up food company off the ground.
Jeff is the co-creator of Bogg’s Trail Butter, a concoction he dreamed up while biking across the country: Essentially, he decided to blend his trail mixes to make them easier to carry. Fast forward a few years and he’s well on his way to creating a nut butter empire with flavors like Mountaineer Maple and Expedition Espresso. These nut butters are delicious but they’re also full of protein, fiber, fat, and carbs—basically all you need to keep going in the outdoors for a run, bike, ride, or trip to the mountain.
I took one of the squeezable pouches on a ski trip this past weekend and was really psyched to see how easy it was to eat, even with gloves on—you literally just squeeze and go—and also how full I felt afterward. After a few tablespoons I was fueled up for about 90 minutes of play. (Of course I ate some more on the ride home—but, after all, this blend is full of the ingredients needed for fueling a workout and for recovery.)
Eating before a workout can help prevent low blood sugar and fatigue—both of which can greatly decrease your exercise performance! What you eat will vary based on the time of day, what you’re doing for exercise, and how long you plan to be active. Prior to exercise, your main focus should be carbohydrates. It’s good to have little bit of protein and fat as well- make sure that your carbohydrate ratios are a little higher. It’s best to eat both simple and complex carbohydrates before working out to get a good balance of quick and slow-released energy.
Fats and proteins take more time to digest, so they will help keep your stomach satisfied so that it’s not growling while you’re at the gym. Protein will work on repairing muscles after your workout is over (and at that point, it’s good to consume more). In general, fiber is your friend—but not before a workout. Ingesting too much fiber before a gym session could leave in a pretty uncomfortable situation! If you have no problems digesting dairy, having a little bit before you exercise is just fine. However, just like fiber—stay away from it if you have any digestion issues.
Here are a few simple options to eat before exercising:
Whole Grain Toast with Peanut Butter and Honey
One slice of whole grain bread or toast topped with one tablespoon of peanut butter and one teaspoon of honey (or sliced banana) provides a great source of carbohydrates, plus a little bit of protein and fat. This snack is easily digestible and will provide a quick source of energy.
What’s not to love about eggs? They are inexpensive, readily available, and easy to cook. Despite their former bad wrap, they are actually a nutritional powerhouse with good fat and the vital nutrients vitamin D and choline. They seem like the answer to everyone’s breakfast protein problem.
Until you simply can’t look at another egg.
Burnout happens. But you still need to start your day with a breakfast that will stay with you and keep your willpower strong as you stroll past the donuts in the break room. Here are five breakfasts with plenty of protein and where eggs aren’t the star. I guarantee they will fuel your long run or keep you from hitting the vending machine before lunch.
Cottage Cheese: This dieter’s staple found popularity for good reason – one half-cup has 16 grams of protein! Sprinkle with some milled flaxseed and your favorite fruit (I hear kiwi is awesome) for a heartier-than-it-looks morning treat. You can even use it to make these breakfast brownies.
Protein pancakes: The eggs are hiding in many varieties of this fitness staple, but you’ll never know it. Try my Vanilla Coconut Protein pancakes. Make a big batch on the weekend and reheat throughout the week for a quick breakfast. (more…)
This summer, Chris Gomez is taking his students to Six Flags and the first thing he’s going to do is ride a roller coaster. In fact, the kids may have a hard time getting him to do anything else. For Chris, a special education teacher from New York, being able to fit in to a coaster car again means another triumph on his weight loss journey.
At age 34, Chris admits to being slightly overweight most of his life with a few periods of weight loss in between, but due to emotional eating, late-night snacking and lack of portion control (eating multiple desserts), he could never keep the extra pounds off for very long. As a die-hard Mets fan and sports enthusiast, Chris knew as his weight continued to climb, his energy plummeted and his ability to participate in the activities he once enjoyed like softball, were beginning to decline.
Chris describes his a-ha weight loss moment, saying, “I was sitting at a friends’ house and ordered 20 chicken wings for lunch and half way through I realized that I couldn’t continue to do this to myself. One day a doctor would tell me that I was running myself into the ground and I would have nothing to do about it. So I decided enough was enough.”