Friday, May 25, 2018

A Diet Updated

Can we change the way we eat with relaxation and meditation? Is it possible to make for compulsive eaters to overcome binging? A diet book claims it can. Yet can it?

That's the premise of  Dr. Nancy L. Bryan's newest book, an updated version of  Thin Is A State Of Mind:The No Stress Weight Loss Guide (CompCare Publishers 1980). The book was first published in the beginning of the 1980's so some of the phrases and ideology are dated. To be honest the first twelve chapters were like gobbleydegook . The only chapter that actually made sense started very late in the book, at Chapter 13.The author goes on about biofeedback and cybernetics which for some over eaters does make sense. She uses a lot of her own experiences along with her own behavioral modification  to transform from fat to thin. The problem is that each person is unique - what may work for one dieter may not work for another.  Then what? The book also has some antiquated ideas about loving and hating oneself which, again to be honest, would not really fit a millennial's self view. Dr. Bryan writes a lot about hating oneself  - about hating the clothes fat people would wear and how that affects an over eater's personality . However , thanks to more acceptance , especially in modelling and magazines, plus sized women are embraced.  The only bonus in the first twelve chapters is that she does recommend that dieters treat themselves to other indulgences such as manicures or clothe shopping - anything that give the spirit a boost.

As I've written earlier, the real crux of the book starts at Chapter 13. Here, Dr. Bryan  explains about  abnormal metabolisms along with ergotropic and trophotopic metabolic pathways. There is also mention of cell nourishment which is crucial to losing weight. She explains the Pritikin and Atkins diet and a hybrid of the two. The South Beach Diet. It was created by cardiologist Dr.Agatston in 2003 and it focuses upon regulating metabolism. What would be better for readers, however, is a complete list of foods they can eat as well as including some recipes. If anything , readers will either sign up at the South Beach Diet website or buy the cookbook. Nutritional guide charts  should have been included as well. Dieters want to know what foods to eat right off the bat . Also how to they curb cravings?That should have been expressed in more detail as well along with how to switch bad for you foods with better choices. It's one thing for a dieter picking up this book and  reading how to deal with eating, it's more important that they have some kind of template to plan their meals and snacks.

Thin Is A State Of Mind The No Stress Weight Loss Guide may be right for some compulsive eaters.A better suggestion would be reading the book and also reading any book connected to The South beach Diet. Together they may prove to be the solution to losing weight and eating healthy.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Summer's Best Part Two

Yesterday the New York Times Food section published the best of summer foods. The sections main writers  from Sam Sifton to Julia Moskin weighed in on what was summer's best. We covered the best fruits  - watermelon rules - as always along with the best fries - surprisingly McDonald's Today the rest of the list is dissected and commented on. What's the best hot dogs, road trip foods ice cream and veggies? Find out here.

Sam Sifton covered hot dogs and sausages. His is an international list  that ranges from the North African merguez, spiked with harissa and cumin to the back yard friendly bratwurst. Also on his list summer sausage and andouille, rounded out by the German weisswurst and Latin America's morcilla. As for hot dogs, themselves, he really doesn't have a favorite or recommendation. I would say for the real kind  try Nathan's and for veggies dogs, always go with Morningstar Farms which tastes like the real thing, especially when grilled. Ligaya Mishan brings the healthy to the list with veggies. except there are only two choices - tomatoes and corn. These are the harvest of summer, and they're versatile Tomatoes can be the juicy , ripe middle of a mayo slathered sandwich or a key component in salsa crudo. Corn too, can be just as multitasking. It can be the base of chowders and salads. Unlike tomatoes, as Ms. Mishan's daughter pointed out , the ears bring people together Families gather to shuck the corns, removing the husks as strands of corn silk drift down to the floor.  Corn is also communal with people stretching across the table to roll their right from the grill corn in butter.Are there other summer veggies? Yes, carrots and radishes, both as versatile  but notably not popular.

Then there are the road trip snacks, Times regular contributor , Kim Severson gives her list. There is the roller hot dog which is a hot dog warmed on those descending rollers (I wonder what Sam Sifton thinks of them) Corn nuts and those Combos, cheese stuffed pretzel nuggets are also up there. There's also the bad for you stuff like beef jerky and pork rinds. These should be the locally made kind, she advises. The same goes for potato chips.She recommends the lard fried Gibble's from Pennsylvania and Alabama's Golden Flake  Her number one? The surprising choice of Mexican Coke. It's made with cane sugar  which gives it an old fashioned flavor. What would go with it? Ice cream! Tejal Rao gives her selections for summer's best. Hers are pretty straightforward. There is the classic Good Humor strawberry shortcake,It's a marriage of artificial strawberry and cake crumbs. - although to be honest Good Humor's Chocolate Eclair bar is twice as good. There's also the firecracker popsicle, a patriotic tribute of food coloring and fructose vying with the ultra classic Fudgesicle. Klondike Mint Chocolate Chip  Ice cream Bar along with Good Humor Giant Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich are also mentioned. Her number one is the Chipwich sandwich a mouthful of sweet ice cream and cookie, mine would have been her number five - Nestle Drumstick Little Drums With Choclately Swirls, simply because it had that nib of chocolate in the cone to prevent drips. It's always a fun surprise.

Are these the best of summer foods?Or are there better ones. It's up to you. What are your choices for the best  of summer foods? Rippers from the local hot dog stand? Cotton candy and shaved ice, form your boardwalk/ Or homemade ice cream from your favorite creamery? Don;t be afraid to share.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Summer's Best Part One.

What are the best foods of summer? Is it crispy fries eaten at the beach? Watermelon at a family picnic? Or the stuff bought at a rest  stop on that all important road trip. If you don;t have an answer, then go to the New York Times Food section. The section weighed in on what's the best nosh during the summer months.

The Food sections heavy hitters, Pete Wells, Sam Sifton, Julia Moskin KimSeverson , Tejal Rao and Ligaya Mishan weighed in on several summer staples from fruit to fries, veggies, along with picnic staples such as hot dogs and icy treats along with gas station goodies. There may be some disagreement out there from readers and foodies.Everyone has his or her warm weather favorites that they swear by or have always been a part of their lives. Yet some curious eaters many try their suggestions and discover something tasty along the way, Pete Wells covered  fruit  His picks are raspberries,peaches blueberries,  cherries, and at number one watermelon. They are all good and good for you.Peaches are my summer go to, although the others are also perfect  - not just for their nutritional value but also for their versatility.I agree with Mr Wells that the berries and the peaches are great in crumbles, betties and buckles.However we differ on watermelon, He wants to turn that luscious pink flesh into a salad with feta and tomatoes. My favorite way of eating it - cut into  wedges , straight from the fridge. There's something about sinking one's teeth into cool, refreshing sweet pulp - especially on a hot day

Julia Moskin covered the fries. They are a big part of our summer eating,particularly beach eating. There's something about  crispy fries, with a fine layer of sand and salt on them - or better yet, eating them with sea salted lips.  She  lists shoestring ones last, comparing them to hot hay  not enough meat and too much crunch. There are  disparaging words about their opposite - steak or plank fries, These are too much potato and not enough crunch. Of course, there is criticism about the curly ones too,,usually bought at state fairs and some food courts.Ms. Moskin feels that French fries should be eaten in bites and not lowered into the mouth like a drone payload, She also does not like the dusts or flavored salts that people douse on these ringlets.Surprisngly she likes waffle fries, (she uses them as an interesting base for sunny side up eggs) They're good for holding pulled pork and melted cheese, As much as I love crinkle cut fries, she does not. She does  give my favorite, Nathan's a pass, These are the best, crunchy on the outside, meaty inside. Her number one? McDonald's - simply because they are the perfect shape and color. I would have gone with the boardwalk ones or the Euro , truly french frites, served in a spiral cone holder . The last is a must at almost every SoHo cafe in New Yorkn usually accompanying  moules, Belgian style mussels steamed in garlic and white wine.

Tomorrow , we 'll go through the best hot dogs, ice cream, gas station goodies and that summer staple, veggies. Will what's chosen be your favorite. Come back and see.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Adding Oomph To The BBQ

We're officially at the start of barbecuing season. There's something fun about outdoor cooking, yet those burgers, dogs and ribs can be boring. Spike them and the traditional sides with different and new flavors It'll make for an exciting meal at the picnic table.

Hamburgers are a staple at any cookout. The best kind to make are the ones with chopped meat. With this you can add anything and everything to make them tastier. One crazy idea is putting an ice cube in the middle of a patty. Why? It melts, giving the burger a nice  juiciness .It won't have that dry crumbly, sticks in your throat texture. If you 're making these , remember just stick to salt and pepper as seasoning. Nix the onions. You want to have the full , flavorful juicy meat experience. Another filler is butter, which not only makes the hamburger juicier but also richer in taste.Use a knob of butter for a Wisconsin butter burger style let it melt on top. Another method is  first make balls out of the chopped meat, then add a teaspoon or small knob of butter.It would then be flattened and ready for the grill.If you and your family and friends like spicy burgers, then add a anywhere from 1/4 teaspoon ton one teaspoon of chili powder.If you want a different kind of heat, then add a drop or two of sriracha. Burgers can also get a lift by what 's placed on top of them. Instead of the usual tomatoes and lettuce, try a slice of avocado, or better yet, guacamole. Just spread on a thin layer so that the rich flavor doesn't overpower the burger. Another , healthier choice is wilted spinach and kale that's been sauteed with garlic and red pepper flakes.

Ribs are always on the menu at almost evrey  barbecue. The usual rib sauce consists of mixing ketchup with molasses and zinging it up with a dash of hot pepper. Instead think about adding bourbon to the mix. This requires two to three tablespoons  of it mixed in along side  apple cider, vinegar, and apple cider.Apple butter is added to this as a fruity sauce with a kick.Another variation has garlic and tomato sauce mixed with orange juice and ketchup. Sides are just important at a barbecue as the main dishes.Cole slaw is ever present at any cookout or picnic. Instead of glopping it with mayo, try a homemade salad dressing such as French or ranch. A healthier spin is using plain Greek yogurt zinged up with roasted garlic and lemon. Roasted corn is always welcome. Give it a Mexican twist by sprinkling cotija cheese on it.If you can't find this tasty Mexican fromage, then sub in Parmesan. It's first rubbing the ears with butter and then sprinkling the grated cheese on them.Potato salad is always a big treat. Instead of the usual German  - which is very good - try the more Mediterranean Sicilian style. Instead of mayo add olive oil and rice wine vinegar.Green olives and red onions round it out. A variation of this has tuna capers and a squeeze of lemon.Make it and pretend you're at the beach at the Taormina coast.

Barbecue season is here. Don't settle for the ordinary. Go out of the box and create a memorable,exciting cook out.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Sips Of Summer

With warm weather comes thirst. We need a cool glass of something, whether we're on the beach or in the backyard. Luckily, there's some new brands out there offering a cool drunk of something new and different.

One sip of summer is appropriately called Sipp. These are sodas that have a trifecta of flavor.made with organically grown flavors Beth Parentis created these refreshing bubblers. The ginger soda has hints of vanilla and lime, taking it a notch up from the usual ginger ale. I love their lemon married to elderflower and tarragon. The last gives the drink a refreshing bite at the end. Other flavors include ruby red grapefruit paired with honey and rosemary.,Another favorite is  the pear mixed with green tea and honey. Pear soda is rare but delicious.Blood orange soda has lime and jalapeno - not what you'd expect yet a perfect sip for any barbecue. Poland Spring , long known for their refreshing spring water, is now offering carbonated waters. These are not sweet yet have the invigorating flavors of various fruits. They run the gamut from black cherry to the citrus flavors, of orange, lemon, and lime. There's also strawberry and strawberry lemonade as well as a lemon-lime mix. They come in cans and bottles , perfect for long road trips or picnics.

BAI  which has given us tasty and zero calorie fruit ades over the past few years have also expanded in the sparkling water department. As with any BAI product, the ingredients are all organically grown and Fair Trade sourced.There is almost every flavor, from Bolivia Black Cherry to Lambari Watermelon Lime and Waikiki Coconut Lime. The flavors are intense like that of any fruit soda but without all the artificial flavors and colors. They're the perfect go to with sandwiches or just as a refreshing sip on a hot day,Pepsi has jumped on this bandwagon too, creating the artesanal Bubbl'r. It's also chock full of Vitamin A too for extra oomph.  It comes in the usual trendy flavors like pomegranate acai and blood orange but then it veers off into the unusual - like Mango Mingl'r and Cranberry Grapefruit Sparklr. along with Passion Fruit Wond'r. Pepsi has also bought Starbucks which explains the proliferation of bottles of their cold brew coffee.Chilled , these are great pick me ups that can be mixed with milk and chocolate syrup for a  boost. I like them iced with just a few grains of brown sugar. It's also a nice alternative to iced tea.

Summer is coming and with it the need for a cool drink. There are so many new ones out there that would go perfect as a thirst quencher. Try them in a tall glass ,full of ice.


Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Marriage Of Tastes

When Meghan Markle married her prince. it was not just a marriage of souls and hearts but a marriage of tastes. Yes, we have a lot in common with the Brits including some foods. Not much though. It should be interesting to see the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex adapt to each other's cuisines.

The one thing Harry and Meghan have in common cuisine wise is the big breakfast. We got the whole idea of eating meats with eggs along with griddle cakes or pancakes. Most countries around the world, especially on the Continent, start the day with just a roll and coffee.We have adapted some of that here, thanks to Starbucks, offering us versions of cafe au lait and cappuccino. Yet we still turn to the UK for our morning inspiration, with mounds of bacon, ham and sausage gracing a dish of eggs. Lunch is a mash up of American and British. The newest royal couple probably had the treat of McDonald's hamburgers and fries growing up but Meghan was also influenced by SoCal living . Her mother is a yoga instructor so there was probably a push for healthy food with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables. She probably continued this with fresh salads or smoothies for lunch.The English Sunday lunch would never work in a town where appearance is everything. Even an every day lunch consisting of fatty sausages in flaky pastry would be too rich  and caloric.This is not an arugula salad with a squeeze of lemon.

Will Meghan ever adopt to the lush English suppers? These are lavish meals, rich with roast beef and gravy soaked Yorkshire pudding. This last is a popover made with three eggs and the beef's drippings. There are veggies, usually the meal is called meat and two veg. These are typically carrots, Brussels sprouts and potatoes. The last is a staple and is cooked in a variety of ways..The most popular is chips, our French fries ,fried in fat. They're best served with fish, usually cod or plaice coated and fried in - what else - chip fat or lard. Do the English  eat California healthy at times? Yes, chicken but it is served but with mashed potatoes and gravy.Meat pies are another British  favorite. Pot pies, which is where ours come from,are usually filled with steak and kidneys, or fish. The last is popular in the romantic , sea surrounded county of Cornwall (of Poldark fame) Stargazey pie which would create shudders in the States is a pie of sardines, eggs and potatoes. Little fish heads, namely pilchards , stick out of the crust, gazing at the sky - hence the name. Will Meghan like it? Or ever taste it? Maybe , if she and Harry head off to Truro or Mousehole in Cornwall.

Meghan and Harry have married each other 's lifestyle's and eating habits too. Let's hope the California girl adds more fresh fruits and veggies to the prince's diet. It'll be a nice change up from traditional fare.

Friday, May 18, 2018

A Royal Breakfast

Tomorrow most of us Yanks will wake at the crack of dawn to watch one of our own marry into the British Royal family.How do we celebrate? By having a Brit breakfast - or at least one influenced by the United Kingdom

A British fry up breakfast is a great but heavy way to greet the day. It is an eye opener that does require mostly frying.It starts with meat. Most English like breakfast sausages, one made of pork called a banger. The best we have here is the Jimmy Dean sausages and for vegetarians - Morning Star Farms. Some like bacon - our bacon called streaky Irish with it. The bacon provides the perfect fat for frying up the other components.Every breakfast plate usually has one or two eggs, always cooked sunnyside up.This way the eater can dip either bread or a sausage into the yolk.About the bread. it cannot be toasted. It has to be fried, in the bacon drippings, or if that's all used up, butter.Iit shouldn't be too soggy with oil, A minute or two in the pan should do it.it wouldn't be a fry up without that Brit staple - beans. Heinz is the popular brand. Tomatoes give it some bite and also are a perfect foil for the meat and eggs. Usually the beefsteak kind are used but try the vine ripe for a sweeter , more vibrant flavor.Another must have is the vinegar laced HP sauce..It's kind of like a tart version of Worcester sauce  which can be used.If that's too intense at five in the morning, switch to ketchup.

Some Americans may feel that eating a huge meal that early may be too much. Try a Thomas' English muffin instead. These are based on the English , crumpet, a spongy kind of muffin brought to the US by Samuel Bath Thomas, from Plymouth in 1879. Slather clotted cream, another UK treat, on them, and then your favorite jam or marmalade. Clotted cream came from the Phoenicians who traded tin in Cornwall.It's cooked milk but has a wonderful buttery , nutty flavor. If not , try Kerry's Irish butter on a hot, toasty English muffin. Slather a rich , flavorful jam on top such as Aldi's Specialty Selected blackberry. You could celebrate the Scottish way with oatmeal.Don't go crazy with cooking the old fashioned rolled oats.. A packet of the instant will do.It may be too late to bake up a loaf of oatmeal bread but many stores do sell it. Toast up a few slices , slather on butter and that other English must have - marmalade. Tea is another must have. Coffee just won;t do.. One of the best is Typhoo tea which can be bought in the international section of some supermarkets like Stop& Shop.It's been around for over one hundred years and has a lovely , mellow flavor. If you can't find it, then go for Earl Grey or Lady Grey tea.

Celebrate an Anglo-American wedding with a Brit breakfast. Go wild with a full on fry up or nibble on an English muffin. Either way, it's a great way to enjoy Harry and Meghan's big day.