Posts tagged with "veggies"

Banana illustration by Mina Tocalini

3 Quarantine Nutrition Hacks

Are your clothes fitting more tightly on you than what you are comfortable with these days? If you indulged in “The Quarantine Diet” of added sugar, refined carbohydrates and more sugar, you are not alone. There isn’t a person on the planet who hasn’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way. There are memes about Zoom meetings in pajamas. We’ve seen the jokes about annoyed pets who are ready for their owners to get back into the office. The most popular subject…drum roll, please… has been COVID weight gain, or “The Quarantine 15.” With some of us gaining upwards of 10 to 15 pounds at this point, these particular memes aren’t quite so funny anymore.

While some things are more difficult to control, like job loss, financial dips or getting sick, take advantage of the variables you do have control over. One of the easiest things you can master right now is your nutritional health. Making healthier food choices is more important than ever as we are collectively less active these days. Many places in the U.S. still have closed gyms and workout facilities, and home workouts aren’t for everyone. That leaves a lot of us with a perfect storm of weight gain, too little movement and too much snacking at home.

Life has disrupted us in a major way, and yet, there are still things we can do to reverse some of the damage. At 360 Magazine, we have rounded up 3 strategies from Los Angeles Nutrition Coach Natasha Maxwell to help get you back on track if the quarantine weight gain has claimed you as a victim. Nobody knows when COVID-19 lockdowns will end. If this is going to be the “new normal,” you will have to reincorporate the healthy habits from your old life into this new one. If you are totally new to nutritional habit building (the food choices practiced consistently in your daily life), these tips are still a great help. Stick with us through the end for a bonus summer recipe!

How to Reclaim Your Body during Quarantine:

  1. Drink More Water!: This one is often overlooked as a weight management tool although it is as equally as important as the food choices we make. According to Natasha, “As a nutrition coach, I cannot express the number of times I encounter new clients who scoff at the amount of water I suggest. That number should be at least half of your body weight; in the summer I recommend upwards of 100 ounces. Yes, that’s right, 100 ounces minimum. The lack of sufficient water is harmful to your body and can affect it in a number of ways including salty food cravings, waste buildup and digestion problems. That waste buildup can mimic true weight gain, also known as “water weight”. Bloating from dehydration is no fun either and is likely the reason that it’s sometimes hard to button your pants.” As Natasha stated: Drink your water, please!
  2. Be mindful of your sugar intake this summer!: What comes to mind when you envision summertime treats? Maybe it’s popsicles, banana pudding or key lime pie. These are all fine in moderation, but too much sugar can lead to weight gain and excess puffiness. For those looking to lose weight from our extended stay indoors, we will have to keep track of our sugar intake, even when lounging happily by the pool. Some ways around overindulging in sweets include substituting fruits for other sweets, avoiding sodas and packaged fruit juice and being more mindful of limiting foods with labels listing corn syrup, glucose, sucrose, etc.
  3.  Seek out new and healthier recipes!: The likelihood of entertaining guests during summer or being invited to someone else’s party or backyard BBQ is relatively high. Either way, food will be high on the list of priorities. Think produce, lean meats and fewer refined snacks when debating over a menu. Natasha especially urges the consumption of produce. Fresh vegetables and fruit are higher in water content, and an ample water supply can come in handy when you’re feeling a little dehydrated from the heat! Sliced cucumbers and carrots with a homemade dip are a win. Seafood and lean poultry options on the grill with veggies are also a great combo. For plant-based options, think stuffed pepper recipes, veggie hummus wraps and rainbow-colored salads with incredible ingredients and flavor. Who said healthy recipes can’t be tasty, too?

This pandemic is stressful and has affected us in a multitude of ways. Emotional eating is understandable, given our current circumstances. We don’t have to be rigid around everything we eat, but being more aware of what we are indulging in and how often is the key to weight maintenance and weight loss. Make a plan for your nutritional habits and find the balance that works best for you. We wish you luck!

As promised, here’s that bonus recipe you’ve been waiting on. It’s Summer Ceviche!

Let us know what you think with a comment down below!

Ciclismo Classico Cycling

Ciclismo Classico Cites Four Bike Trips In La Bella Italia That Burn Up The Road, Gelato and Carbs

The calories are climbing. But who’s counting? You are climbing, too, on a bike somewhere in Italy, burning up the road, gelato and pasta carbs as leisurely as you can.

Food — and the pursuit thereof — is a passion of Ciclismo Classico, the first company to launch small group guided bicycle tours in Italy 30 years ago.

Lauren Hefferon, founder and owner, recently asked her Ciclismo Classico guides in Italy about the gustatory delights guests can anticipate. Here are inner foodie-inspired sketches of specialties in four distinct regions.

Puglia, Basilicata, Campania, and Calabria

Pedaling Sea to Sea across the Italian peninsula is the scenery and gelato-driven Bike Across Southern Italy, part of the Giro del Gelato series, a six-day immersion (from $5,995 per person) in everything beautiful. The 2019 departures are Aug 27-Sep 7 and Sep 24-Oct 5. A tour of Matera, the famous city of stone, may be hard-pressed to compete with the fact that guests enjoy unlimited gelato (ice cream) daily, sampling flavors from some of the best artigianale gelateria (shops/stands offering artisanal ice cream). There are also demonstrations on how to create gelato and granita, a semi-frozen dessert usually made of fruits.

Cycling (an average of 39 miles daily) from Fano to Porto Ercole, the real Mediterranean diet emerges: pastas including tube-shaped paccheri, vermicelli with anchovies and wild fennel, linguine with lemon, spaghetti with clams and a 20th century creation, scialatielli; veggies; olive oil; fresh seafood; buffalo mozzarella, eggplant parmigiana and pizza! Also included:

  • The constant perfume of orange and eucalyptus
  • Amazing guided visits of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites
  • “Old World” hospitality from Italian natives
  • Breathtaking rides along the cliffs of the Cilento Coast
  • Sampling freshly-made Mozzarella and fresh peperoncini
  • Guide Frank Yantorno treats his guests to a cooking class where wife and husband together show how to prepare their fresh produce. These may include home-made scialatielle (a short and thick version of linguini), a pretzel-shaped fried pizza and le fritte, (French fries) over which home-produced honey and rosemary are drizzled. For details see here.

Sicily

  • Tastes turn to love and gelato come spring. Enrico Pizzorni, guide, says Sicily (and southern Italy) have the best gelaterie (ice cream shops) in the world. Gelato was birthed here when Romans stored snow from Mt. Etna in caves to be delivered it to the rich who in turn mixed in fruits and honey, creating sorbet. Today suited business men enjoy gelato or granita in a brioche (a cool morning sandwich) on their way to work. Whipped cream, pistachios, almonds, ricotta, honey and lemon can also be folded in. Other infusions include rosemary, onion of Giarratana, Moscato (wine) and Aztec chocolate with hot pepper. On the Aeolian Islands flavors vary by season: watermelon, fig, prickly pear and peach.

Focacce, pizze, calzoni, pidoni, scacce, arancini, and panelle are among the salty or sweet snacks villages display. In Palazzolo Acreide, a tiny village the Greeks founded some 2500 years ago, is Corsino that serves state-of-the-art sweet pastries highlighting their locally treasured almonds and ricotta.

Guests bike some 28 miles a day on the 2019 nine-day La Bella Sicilia, from $5,695 per person: April 21-29, My 5-13, May 20-28, Sept. 15-23, Sept. 29-Oct 7, Oct. 13-21, Oct. 27-Nov. 4 and Nov. 10-18. For details see here.

Puglia

The charms that lie in Italy’s boot until recently have been largely ignored. But Ciclismo Classico has a soft spot in its heart for La Bella Puglia, a nine-day tour from $5,395 per person. Departures in 2019 are April 26-May 4, May 25-June 2, June 7-15, Sept. 6-14, Sept. 20-28, Oct. 4-12 and Nov. 2-10. Guests bike on average 39 miles a day exploring fertile valleys, the cone-shaped dwellings (trulli), cave dwellings (sassi) and villages perched on steep limestone hills. See here.

For guide Henrick Murphy this is a journey of the senses through orange groves and eucalyptus trees, sampling freshly made mozzarella and fresh pepperoncini and imbibing what he calls a “cycle-food bomb” of fava bean puree with cicoria (chicory) at a farm in Alberobello. A guest favorite is cime di rape (turnip tops) with orecchiette (little ears pasta).

In Puglia peasant traditions are still intact. The cuisine reflects roots born of necessity and sometimes scarcity. Seafood, olive oil, artichokes and dense bread are plentiful, as is the ubiquitous orecchiette with tomato sauce. One town is famous for its capocollo, a traditional dry-cured neck of pork, typically sliced very thin.

Piedmont

This region of the northern Apennines is a favorite of both Enrico and Henrick. Enrico’s passion for gelato is satisfied here with what he calls “killer fresh, fruit-based gelati. He can’t get enough of a hazelnut torrone (nougat) made from a secret recipe.

Added Henrick, “On the last day on our Piedmont: Barolo & Truffles trip we stop in to meet with honey producer Giuseppe Pitarresi who has been producing honey and various other related organic products since 1990. We are lucky enough to visit the hives and afterwards have a taste of il Re (the King) of energy boosters — honey!” We’re zooming up those hills after that!”

The per person rate for this eight-day immersion into the food and wine of the Piedmont is from $5,195. Departure dates still available in 2019 are August 23-30, Sept. 20-27 and Oct. 4-11. Guests cycle an average of 35 miles daily, enroute enjoying:

  • Sumptuous dinners at Enoclub in Alba and Schiavia in Acqui Terme;
  • Introductions to vineyard-laden hillsides of world-famous local wines such as Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera with private wine tastings with local hosts and sommeliers;
  • A meet-up with a truffle hunter and his dog for a lecture on truffles.

The Piedmont is considered Italy’s greatest single wine region. Piemontese cuisine blends northern Italian and French influences. Truffles and mushrooms are seasonal key players. Come autumn cyclists may sample Tartufo Bianco (white truffle) at Fiere del Tartufo (International Truffle Fair) in Alba, Moncalvo and Acqui Terme.

La cucina Piemontese is a mosaic of more than a thousand recipes from the diverse areas and tiny valleys. Two foodie experiences include cucina casalinga, dishes made over generations at home. Young people are creating locande (inns) that serve authentic dishes with a slick, innovative presentation. See here.

For more food and wine themed tours from Ciclismo Classico see here.

For a full listing of trips in Italy and across the globe with additional information, detailed itineraries, trip availability and reservations please contact Ciclismo Classico by phone: 800.866.7314 (US & Canada) or 781.646.3377 (outside of North America), or visit online.

About Ciclismo Classico

Small group sightseeing through Italy by bike was a new concept in 1989 when Ciclismo Classico burst onto the scene to become the first company in the world to specialize in active cycle tours of Italy. Leading this charge was Lauren Hefferon who established another world-first: a woman-owned bike tour company.

This company’s rallying cry then and now is “Pedal Your Passion!” Tours are led by native-born guides who on average have each served Ciclismo Classico clients in excess of 10 years. Daily rides are carefully blended with a variety of cultural and culinary experiences and served up as the Ciclismo Menu that includes musical evenings, language lessons, wine and beer tastings, personalized cycling clinics, cooking demonstrations and opportunities for spontaneous discovery and cross-cultural interaction. Guests are carefully matched with a tour style and pedaling pace perfect for them, then outfitted with a quintessentially Italian, high-performance Bianchi bike. Having now expanded beyond Italy to represent tour destinations worldwide, Ciclismo also offers hiking itineraries, private and custom trip planning, photo tours and the ease of touring by electric bike. Recognized by media icons such as National Geographic Traveler and Outside Magazine, Ciclismo Classico is widely considered to be one of the premier active travel companies in the world.

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Boost Your Metabolism to Speed Up Weight Loss

ILana Muhlstein, MS, RDN

Metabolism is essentially the rate in which we burn food for energy. Therefore, a slow metabolism doesn’t burn the calories from food as quickly and the excess of calories consumed will be quicker to store as fat. On the upside, someone with a slow metabolism will likely feel more full and energized from less calories and should therefor focus on filling and satisfying low calorie foods.

Cruciferous veggies like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, and cabbage are a great example. They are very high in fiber, which can help absorb excess fat and calories and promote elimination. These vegetables also contain iron and calcium, which and both minerals are essential for a healthy working metabolism.

Whey protein, found in protein shake powders like shakeology, are also great for boosting metabolism. Protein requires extra energy to breakdown, causing your body to burn excess calories and jolt your fat burning potential. The lean protein can also stimulate our satiety hormones and contribute to feeling full and satisfied which can prevent overeating. Whey protein also contains leucine, an amino acid, that can help build muscle, which can improve our metabolic rate, aka speed in which we burn calories.

Beans and legumes, like lentils, are amazing for boosting metabolism. They are very rich in plant based protein and iron, both essential for maintaining a healthy metabolism. Additionally, beans and legumes are rich sources of resistant starch. This starch is harder for the body to break down, meaning that it helps keep us fuller longer, can lower our blood sugar response, and encourage our body to burn more calories to break it down. The high fiber content can also help reduce fat storage in the body and improve elimination, which is very helpful for enhancing a positive metabolic system. 

 It has been studied and shown that your metabolism works about 2x stronger in the first half of the day, compared to the second half. You are eating food at the same time that you are engaged in your daily activities which is ideal for burning more calories. Even walking to and from the bathroom, or getting in and out of the car is more calorie-burning than sitting on a couch. In fact, using your brain and reading emails has been shown to burn more calories than watching TV. Therefore, the more you eat in the first half of the day, and the less you eat later at night, the better your metabolism will work.