new year

Happy Lunar New Year and some announcements

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Today marks the Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year. It’s the year of the wood horse. Got your lucky red underwear? As a New Yorker, I can’t help shaking my head at the madness of the Superbowl festivities in Times Square and the New Year festivities in Chinatown, but then again I’m working all weekend, so it doesn’t make much difference to me. Mostly, I just like the symbolism.

Though I didn’t plan it this way, it feels appropriate to me that it’s a new moon/new year the week I say goodbye to one clinical job and hello to another. If you’ve been with me a while, you know I’m a bit kooky like that. IMG_4813

My coworkers actually managed to surprise me with a cake on Tuesday. I got a good laugh about the leaf on top because at first glance I thought it was feather. Unless it is a feather? Hard to tell because I was out sick the day we did the botany of chocolate in science class. Anyway, my manager would have no way of knowing about the odd feather motif that came to be when I was working at this place, so it was one of those funny little moments that reminds me of why I don’t believe in coincidences.

Long story short: It feels like a really good time for change and for new endeavors.

As I hinted at a few weeks ago, I am expanding my time available for private clients. You can see more about specific nutrition services I offer on my Nutritional Counseling page.

I also have an event coming up in February in New Jersey where I’ll be speaking about Nutrition for Healthy skin. Email me at KeepingItRealFood(at)gmail(dot)com for more details if you’re interested in attending!

Lastly, I have a fun project I’m working on with a nonprofit organization where I have been interviewing musicians about life and healthy living on the road. If you or an artist you know would like to be included, please get in touch with me!

Do you believe in coincidences? Do you know your Chinese astrology sign? I’m an ox. Go figure. 

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First Thursday Things for 2014

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How was your first day of 2014? Today has been my day off after working yesterday, so I’ve been catching up on some of the little human things. There’s a big-ass snowstorm on its way, so it’s nice to have a day to do things like clean my closet and make soup. Because I have some red lentils, frozen spinach, and canned tomatoes handy, this recipe from Oh She Glows is sounding pretty good.

For me, a day off also means savory breakfast:
savory oats with brussels sprouts

This oatmeal had ground flax, grated zucchini, baby spinach, and an egg white cooked in, plus plenty of garlic, ginger, turmeric and red pepper flakes. I topped it with some leftover roasted brussels sprouts. Weird but delicious.

A few other things I’m enjoying today:

  • Food 52’s “New Year’s Resolutions Made Easy” —worth a look for the beautiful photos alone!
  • New York Magazine‘s restaurant critic Adam Platt introduces his top picks by sharing some thoughts on the myth of anonymity and the restaurant critic’s role in a  world where everyone is a critic.
  • This piece from Glamour‘s “Jake” columnist  in which Jake meets a woman who’s frozen her eggs. It offered a perspective I hadn’t really considered and made me feel less weird about wanting to put mine on ice. I don’t mean to imply that male validation is the important factor here, but knowing that there are men out there who will think positively of it instead of viewing me as selfish and/or desperate was encouraging. It’s only something I’ve been thinking about more recently, and it’s very expensive, but I’m a gal who likes options and is willing to work hard to make things possible.
  • Adopt-a-Pet. I’m starting to want a dog for real. I don’t know if this will be the year, but the wheels are turning. Anyone moving and need someone to give your goldendoodle a good home?

I also finally got snow boots, something I’ve not had since I lived in Boston. Sometimes it seems like I just got to New York, an anxious 22-year-old kid in need of a a change of scenery. Other times, I feel like I am both halves of an eccentric NYC couple who’s been living here for 30 years. We love reading the Times over coffee on a Sunday morning while listening to WNYC. Either way, I’m happy to be here.

Mostly, I’m just excited that now that the holidays are over, things can finally start moving again!

What are you most looking forward to this year? What do you eat for breakfast on a day off? 

What I Ate Wednesday #143

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Happy New Year! Are you excited for 2014? It’s cheesy, but I am. I hate New Years Eve (which is why I willingly volunteered to work New Years Day), but I love the fresh, clean feeling of January 1st. I always try to make good choices to inspire more for the 12 months ahead, and I try to sneak a few lucky foods in there. 

As we welcome a new year I thought I’d use this week’s  What I Ate Wednesday to pay tribute to the poorly-lit workday meals that kept me going through most of 2013. It’s not always pretty, but hey, sometimes you just have to eat to live. I’m curious to see in what ways my tastes will change—and remain the same in 2014. Not a lot changed over the past year, except that I got over some of my kitchen fears and started paying a little more attention to presentation—at least at home! Packing and eating two desk-meals per day was new, but a welcome challenge. One thing I am hoping to do in 2014, though, is to not have to rely on shelf-stable peanut butter. This coconut oil stuff tastes good and I feel slightly better about it than I do palm oil versions, but nothing beats straight up ground peanuts. 

Anyway, let’s get to the “what I ate” part of the post, shall we? As always, many thanks to the lovely Jenn of Peas & Crayons for hosting the weekly link party—hop on over there to see more WIAW from other bloggers!

Here’s what I ate on Monday, which was a bit hellish, as we had less than half our usual staff, but thanks to a new Spotify playlist in my headphones, I powered through all the notes and to-do list items. I had hoped that spending slightly more time at my desk would keep me from getting hungry as soon, but thanks to the morning’s interval workout (something I do once a week instead of the usual, just to shock the system so my muscles don’t get bored), I was just as hungry as usual. One day, I will miss having this problem.

  • Breakfast: Zucchini bread oats with PB (pardon the recycled pic)
  • Lunch: Salad and chicken chili. A little while later I had some crackers.
  • Snack: Plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, ~1/4 c cereal, and ~1 tsp Fig & Ginger jam before running out the door for some after-work errands
  • Dinner: Another serving of last week’s Mushroom, Kale & Chickpea detox recipe; alongside some toast with hummus and roasted eggplant on top. I also had a small glass of wine. Apparently 3 ounces is my sweet spot.
  • Snack: I’d made another batch of the zucchini oats for the next few mornings and had ~1/3 cup left, so a few hours after dinner, I had that with a little warmed up soy milk. Even though I eat something an hour or so before bed, I wake up ravenous, so part of me wonders why I bother. However, if I don’t eat before bed, I wake up ravenous in the middle of the night, so hey…

One of the things I love about Jenn’s WIAW link party is the focus on creating a judgment-free zone. It can be so easy to compare ourselves to others, but one of the biggest favors you can do for yourself is to tune in to your body and listen to what it needs—not what you think you should want or what someone else tells you should need. You’re the expert on yourself, after all.

How did your tastes change over the past year?