Monthly Archives: September 2010

GS Obsessed

I’m taking this post to share with you some amazing things that are in my pantry that you might become obsessed with also.  Everyone has foods that they can’t go a day without.  If I was stuck on a dessert island this is what I would take with me (along with some fage  0% greek yogurt and a spoon)

Galeo’s Miso Caesar Dressing

This stuff is a like a dream come true.  It’s this amazingly creamy, caesary, asian flavor, with only 14 calories in a tablespoon!!  The miso flavor is not overwhelming and it tastes good on everything.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  I put it on salads, dip raw veggies into it, put it on veggie burgers and hamburger buns.  When the whole foods in tribeca was out of this stuff, I literally scoured every whole foods in the local vicinity so i could stock up again.  Yea I know…obsessed.

American Spoon Pumpkin Butter

While I’ve never been a big jam person…this stuff literally tastes like pumpkin pie in a jar.  In the mornings, I’ll spoon a little into my greek yogurt — it sounds a little odd, but literally tastes like a pumpkin pie yogurt parfait explosion of deliciousness.  It’s also quite delicious on whole wheat toast and lowfat vanilla frozen yogurt.  And to top it off, there are no added preservatives or other yucky things that other jams have — it’s just pumpkin, maple syrup, and spices.  Yum!

Mini CLIF bars

A couple weeks ago I was sitting in class, when one of my classmates whipped out one of these bad boys and started eating.  I was astonished.  Mini clif bars??  What is this nonsense?  Usually Clif bars are ginormous energy bars that are not exactly what I need on an average day.  However, as my runs for the marathon keep getting longer…I was hoping to find something to eat along the way that would keep me going, but not make me want to puke (powerbar energy gels are disgusting!).  I picked up a box of these babies (100, 110 calories each).  Not only do that fit perfectly in my running belt, they make a perfect, portion-controlled snack when you need a quick energy boost.

Yogi Ginger Tea

As someone who is always freezing, tea is an important staple in my pantry.  I’m constantly on the lookout for new, yummy flavors of tea.  A couple years ago I tried out Yogi ginger tea and it is beyond delicious.  Ginger is great for digestion and circulation, and this version of tea is gingery without being too spicy or overpowering.  Perfect for curling up on the couch with at the end of a long day (or in this case rainy) day.

Food for Thought

Fall is definitely a busier time for me (and for basically everyone I know!).  The lazy days of summer are finally over, and it’s time to get back to work – or in my case – school.  And while it was nice during summer to take a little mental vacation – now it’s time to get back to work!  Recently, a friend of mine asked me if there were certain foods she could eat that would give her a little more “brain” power.  While there is definitely no one food that is a panacea for feeling mentally sluggish, there are definitely foods that can sharpen your brainpower.  According to a recent article in Cooking Light, nutritionist Karen Ansel recommends these foods to help amp up your mind:

  • Blackberries and blueberries

Blackberries and blueberries are full of antioxidants called polyphenols.  Polyphenols reduce inflammation and make it easier for neurons to send information in your brain – helping to improve our ability to understand new information, according to a 2009 Tufts University study.

  • Salmon

While salmon get a lot of attention for being a heart-healthy food, it’s also amazing brain food.  Why?  Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids which comprise the fat in your brain, and also vitamin D, which has been proven to help aid against cognitive decline.

  • Spinach

Spinach is truly a nutritional powerhouse, full of vitamins like folate, vitamin E and vitamin K.  According to a 2006 study in Neurology, eating cruciferous vegetables such as spinach can delay cognitive decline by 40%.

  • Coffee

A recent study in Finland discovered that people in their 40s and 50s who drank 3-5 cups of coffee a day “reduced their odds of developing Alzheimer’s by 65% compared to those who downed fewer than 2 cups a day.”  Drinking black coffee with skim milk is a great way to get a good energy boost and improve brain power.

  • Chocolate

As if I needed another reason to eat more chocolate!  According to a 2009 study, as little chocolate as 1/3 of an ounce a day (2 hershey’s kisses for example) can help protect against memory loss.  So maybe eating more chocolate can help me find my keys??!

  • Apples

Another reason to love this crunchy fruit — they contain quercetin – an antioxidant that helps protect your brain cells.  According to scientists at Cornell University, “quercetin defends your brain from free radical attacks which can damage the outer lining of delicate neurons and eventually lead to cognitive decline”.  And guess what’s even better?  Fall is the perfect season for apples – so make sure to pick up some good old Galas at your local farmer’s market!

My aching tush (and arms and hamstrings and calves)

As some of you may know, I’m currently training for the New York Marathon, on November 7th.  As the mileage keeps increasing, I find that after certain workouts, I just get INSANELY sore.  On Monday after running 10 miles (woohoo!) I was literally hobbling around my apartment afterwards, hoping the aching in my thighs would end!  While stretching regularly after workouts (stretching cold muscles before a workout can be damaging and may tear muscles if done too vigorously) is always a good thing, sometimes stretching just isn’t enough.  What else can you do??

While most of you may not be training for something like the Marathon, sore muscles are common whenever you do a strenuous, ball-busting workout.  Particularly when you start a new workout routine, sore muscles can be really hard to overcome.  But the worst thing that you can do in this situation is to stop exercising altogether.  Sore muscles means the exercise is working!  Delayed-onset muscles soreness (DOMS) is the muscles soreness that occurs 24-48 hours after doing a strenuous workout.  Basically your muscles get teany-tiny little tears in them, and the pain is caused by both these microscopic tears, and the accompanying inflammation that goes along with it.  Sounds a little scary right?  But, your body is a pretty smart machine, and muscles eventually adapted to the new stresses placed on them by getting stronger.  Or in other words…No pain, no gain.

So what can you do to make the pain go away faster?  While there isn’t a be-all end-all cure for DOMS, there are several things that you can do to alleviate some of the pain and make recovery quicker.

First, STRETCH!  Stretching is a HIGHLY underrated activity that goes a long way towards making you feel better, faster.  I always find that I’m rushing to get home or to go somewhere after a workout and stretching really is the last thing on my mind — but incorporating just an extra 5 minutes to quickly stretch can make such a difference!  While stretching won’t make the pain go away immediately, stretching after a workout can, according to Rick Sharp, an exercise physiologist at Iowa State University, “help break the cycle.”

If the pain is truly awful, try taking a day off, or do light exercises that are easier on your muscles, such as swimming, elliptical or even walking.  Getting the blood flowing through these muscles will help to alleviate the soreness by providing fresh blood and oxygen to these muscles, leading to faster repair.  Also, anti-inflammatory meds can be taken to alleviate the symptoms of DOMS.

Finally, applying heat to the muscles can be effective at increasing blood flow to the areas of soreness and providing “healing nutrients to the injured site”.  Heat wraps such as Thermacare (you can pick up at any drugstore) help.  I find that sometimes just taking a hot bath with some salts in it can really reduce my pain and make me feel a million times better.

The bottom line is that the pain will go away — just take it easy for a couple days and don’t let the temporary soreness sideline your exercise goals!

Tailgating without expanding your tail

Football and food naturally go hand and hand.  I mean clearly when you are watching huge, beefy men go at in on a field you think — nachos!  wings!  But football season is pretty long, and if you’re trying to stay on track with your goals and be healthy…indulging in these foods every weekend may not be your best gameplan.  So how can you enjoy football season and stay healthy?  For this question I turned to SELF magazine’s nutritionist, Cristin Jones for some helpful tips on how you can make any tailgate healthier.  Here are her great tips!

Grains: A simple swap to make is whole grain buns instead of typical white buns. You likely will be eating hot dogs, hamburgers, meatballs, sausages and pulled pork at some point this season so serve them on something with a little fiber! You might be making a pasta salad or baked ziti for your crowd of guests so use whole wheat pasta in there as well to make everything a little more filling. Lastly go for baked chips – you’ll save a lot of calories and fat by doing so.

Fruit: If you watch the game outside of your house, pack an apple to eat it after the game. You likely didn’t eat much fruit at the game so snacking on a piece now won’t be as awkward as eating it pre-game and it’ll be a nice way to get back on track. If you are hosting at home, make a fruit salad to go along with the other fare.

Vegetables: You really can get a lot of vegetables into a classic tailgate. Saute peppers and onions to have on your sausage, burger, or fajitas. Make homemade salsa with fresh tomatoes, onions, and cilantro for your baked chips or burger. Or try a pasta salad but make it so that has at least as much vegetable as there is pasta (ideally a little more Veg:Pasta). Coleslaw is another great side. If you make it yourself you can chose light mayonnaise and use less salt.  And of course a veggie tray with ranch dip (use lowfat sour cream or whipped cottage cheese) is great for snacking on throughout the game.

Meat & Beans: Swap out your hot dogs and sausages for their healthiest alternative. Try chicken sausage and all beef, uncured hot dogs. Hamburgers and grilled chicken are excellent choices. Shrimp makes an easy, healthy, filling appetizer. Be sure to grill or bake your meats rather than have them fried. Don’t forget about beans! They make a nice appetizers and side dishes or can be incorporated into a main entree like chili.

Beverages – Beer calories add up fast, especially when you are eating typical football fare along with it. There is really no way around it, you need to limit your beer intake if you want to avoid gaining weight. It’s fine to have 1-2 beers but that is the max. Zero calorie alternatives are seltzer, diet soda,  coffee, tea and of course water. Whether you are hosting at home or tailgating at the stadium you should have a few of these on hand as beer-alternatives!

Now go and get your game on!

Kickoff into Fall

Hey folks!

So after a LONG vacation..I’m back up and blogging.  And it seems like all of a sudden since I’ve gotten back — Fall is here!  I must say…fall is my favorite season in the city…between Fashion week, Halloween, the leaves in central park, and amazing fall cuisine (think delish roasted sweet potatoes and baked apples!!  mmm) there’s plenty to enjoy.

Perhaps one of the things that I’m trying to learn (at the begging and pleading of D) to enjoy this season is….Monday Night Football.  As someone who originally thought that a defensive lineman was a type of argyle sweater and that Tom Brady was another member of the Brady Bunch, I’ve decided to tackle football season – Gotham Skinny style.  This week’s posts to all things fall football — a delish chili recipe, what to eat at a game, and an outdoor workout that will get you running down the field faster than your average running back.

Nothing screams football and fall more than a bowl of homemade delicious chili.  Chili can be a great way to meet your protein and veggie needs and pretty much tastes delicious on just about everything (chili on scrambled eggs is a personal favorite and a delicious brunch meal!).  Plus, chili is a great meal to make for a crowd.  Here is a vegetarian chili recipe that I have made several times and that is a huge hit (even with meat lovers) it tastes totally sinful but is chock full of veggies and fiber-rich beans.  Round it out with some homemade cornbread and you’ve got a taste of culinary victory!

Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili

courtesy of Cooking Light, January 2010

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)


  • 2  red bell peppers
  • 3  tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 2  teaspoons  ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
  • 1  teaspoon  paprika
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 4  garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2  cups  organic vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2  cups  (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 1  (28-ounce) can no-salt-added tomatoes, undrained and chopped
  • 1  (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2  cup  thinly sliced green onions


1. Preheat broiler.

2. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise. Remove and discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place pepper halves in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and chop peppers.

3. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cumin and next 4 ingredients (through garlic); cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add bell peppers, broth, squash, and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans; simmer 25 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with green onions.

Nutrition Information:

Fat:8.3g (sat 1.2g,mono 5.2g,poly 1.3g)