If you're a BRAVO viewer, you're aware of Below Deck, their franchise that focuses on yachting and what takes place on luxury boats, from the craziness of the staff to those who book their trips. The show has a number of crew members and the chef is always a highlight worth noting from keeping up with guests' demands, transforming meals and keeping the crew balanced while they preside over their domain in the galley. We hung out with Chef Adam Glick of Below Deck Mediterranean to find out about how he got into yachting, what it means to be an Adventure Chef and what's next for him with his partnership with Jazz Apples.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We have a number of questions as our readers are avid fans of the show. But first, can you tell us about your style of cooking as we have seen you as a yachting chef.
CHEF ADAM GLICK: I believe in a cooking style that is very simple and not over doing it. I’m not a big fan of over doing food. A lot of chefs kind of push the limit too far. I just don’t think that it’s good to do. I call myself an Adventure Chef. I believe in a rustic style of cooking that is the exact opposite of a yachting chef.
I want to live my life in a way that I am passionate about. I believe that it is inherent in our DNA to want to eat outdoors and to eat food that is cooked over a fire. We are the only species that have the ability to do that on the planet!
When you go to any other country and eat street food, which is 99.9% of what the world eats, it's not about sitting in a restaurant. It's about getting a stick, meat and fire! In all my travels that was when I was the most satisfied. When I'm in Hawaii, I grab a pineapple and chicken and I'm so pumped! I have the chills now because there is something about just talking and enjoying simple food! I don't want to have to have a team of employees to plate a dish and I want to take a stand for this style of cooking. I am convinced that there is a client for me in the way that I want to present my food.
AM: From the show, we would have never expected that. Can you go back and tell us how you got into yachting?
CAG: I was cooking in San Diego at a restaurant at a nice hotel and I was peeling a bag of 50 pound onions and got an email that said, "Hey Adam do you want to cook on a boat?" I quit my job that day. I put the onions down, walked to the chef and said I was done. I was 21, I interviewed and got the job and I have been on a boat ever since and have never looked back.
AM: With your years on the yacht, how did you get onto Below Deck Mediterranean?
CAG: During my 20’s it was the peak of yachting for me. I did get kicked around and beat up a bit, but the end of my 20's I was fired up. It was a Russian Charter that I was on that drove me - a grown ass man to the top of the deck crying as I hated my job. I kid you not, but the same way I got the yachting job initially is how the production crew of the show reached out to me. They had called me 2 years in a row and I turned them down because I didn't want to ruin my career. But on that day with everything going on and knowing that this was going to be the last time that they would call me, I said yes.
I don't yacht like I used to in terms of jobs. I may do 6 weeks a year. I have a few calls from time to time asking me to come back and right now it's about being the Adventure Chef and of course coming to Below Deck which is a different yachting experience.
AM: As someone working on the Below Deck Mediterranean cast, what is that like?
CAG: It's very different than traditional yachting. We sign our lives away for 45 days straight - that's 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and knowing that a camera is always there!
My role on the show is to show how I am able to adjust when the guests change their minds with food choices and how to interact with the rest of the crew. I learned to just keep my head down and make great food confidently that I can be proud of! I'm not the captain and I can't say no. I also know since I have been on for a few seasons, that the production team can be interesting and they can put together whole sentences that you never said and literally, put words in your mouth.
I called them out on one the other day and said, "I never said that – I know I didn’t." They sent me back an emoji. That was seriously the response that I got! On the opposite side, there are times when the storylines are going your way! This season, I didn’t give them a lot to jumble up, I kept it clean and I just cooked good food the whole time. I didn’t get involved with anyone. I should have watched my language better, but they wouldn’t hire me if I wasn’t going to say those things.
AM: What makes the show so successful?
CAG: People are curious about yachting. On a traditional boat, people will pay up to 1 million dollars for these kinds of trips. Most people are not booking these charters and they want to be able to behind the scenes which is why the ratings of this show on a Tues. night are doing so well!
AM: You definitely stayed out of the drama this season, but it seems that Conrad has really had a rough go of this season!
CAG: I remember the first day that Conrad started dating Hannah, I told him it was a bad idea and that he needed to nip it in the bud. I took him to an area where they weren't filming so I could just talk to him. I guess he's young and there's only so much you can tell people before they have to learn the hard way. You'll see that as you go through the season that it's a bad idea.
AM: As the Adventure Chef, does that mean we won't see you on Below Deck Mediterranean next season?
CAG: Oh no, I am actually going to fly to the South of France as the next season is filming soon - so that's another 6 weeks with the team.
AM: How big is the production crew?
CAG: Commonly when you watch, you’ll see a sailboat with 2 masts and looks very old school, it’s in all the shots - they're on that boat. Every morning they shuttle between the second boat and the hotels. There are 70 people in that crew. All on location at any time 20-30 are on the boat. Whatever union rules are, as they are union, you can only handle the camera for X amount of hours a day and then they swap.
They work as hard as we do for sure. They’re on the boat and it’s not a lot of room.
AM: The show has been a great spring board. Tell us about your Jazz Apples.
CAG: It's been a cool ride and there have been a lot of cool opportunities that have come out of it like the Jazz Apples. They called me and asked if I wanted to do a roadtrip. I was in as that’s what I do. I’m promoting myself as the Adventure Chef and these guys are promoting themselves as the Adventure Apple – it’s an apple that you would take a picture with on the side of the cliff and I like to be on the side of a cliff with my van. They gave me a case of
the apples to see what I would do with it. That’s how Jazz Apples and I came together through this great brand alignment.
AM: We can't wait to see more of you as the Adventure Chef.
CAG: Seeing brands like REI, Patagonia, Outdoor World etc. that are pushing for outdoor cooking - it's where it's headed and I'm thankful to be on the forefront of it.
PHOTOS COURTESY | Zev Schmitz/BRAVO (Adam Glick + Hannah Ferrier)
Last weekend, the Gelato Festival America touched down for the second year in a row and had its first Jersey City Edition at Liberty State Park in Jersey City. A professional judging panel which consists of eleven judges enjoyed evaluating participating gelato creators over a 2 day period. Attendees had the opportunity to enjoy authentic gelato and to assist in voting for their favorites. In addition, guests enjoyed demonstrations, contests and games, ceremonies and of course - tasting gelato.
Best flavor at the Festival was given to Dark Chocolate Surprise (this flavor included 80% dark Chocolate from South America with a little bitter infusion), presented by Giacomo d’Alessandro from Polosud Gelato, Coffee & Pastries in New York, NY. Taking 1st place meant that not only did he receive a medal from Florentine goldsmith Paolo Penko, he will compete in the North American Semi-Finals in 2019 for a chance to be 1 of 3 Americans to compete in the Gelato Festival World Masters in 2021 in Italy.
The Gelato Festival America is on a missoin to spread the culture of artisanal Italian gelato in the US, this year featuring eight cities. Held in collaboration with strategic partners Carpigiani, ISA, Italian Exhibition Group Sigep and main Sponsor PreGel, the Gelato Festival America 2018 generates the first entrants into the Gelato Festival World Masters 2021, the challenge for the best artisan gelato chefs on the planet. The first eight gelato chefs selected at each stage of the Gelato Festival America 2018 will win the right to continue the challenge towards the final – it’s the World Cup of gelato, a journey with hundreds of trials over four years on five continents!
The Gelato Festival made its debut in Florence in 2010 inspired by the idea of he first gelato recipe by the architect Bernardo Buontalenti in 1559. Since then, the Gelato Festival has expanded its borders, beginning in Italy, then spreading throughout Europe and finally in 2017 to the United States - A total of 64 festivals, preparing the whole planet for the world championship of the Gelato Festival World Masters 2021.
The four 1st place winners from the 2017 Gelato Festival America, along with the eight 1st place winners from the 2018 Gelato Festival America will be competing in 2019 for one of the three spots to head to the Gelato Festival World Masters 2021 in Italy. The 2nd and 3rd artisans will be selected in 2019-2020. In the Gelato Festival World Masters 2021, there will be a total of 36 chefs from all over the world competing for the main title.
Additional gelato categories and their winners are below:
- The Fabulous Flavors of Jersey City '18 Winner: Dark Chocolate Surprise by Giacomo d’Alessandro of Polosud Gelato, Coffee & Pastries.
- The Fabulous Flavors of Jersey City '18 Runner Up: Buontalenti by Niccolo Pomposi of Gelateria Badiani
- The Fabulous Flavors of Jersey City '18 Third Place: New York I Love You! by Noel Knecht of Black Dog Gelato
- The Gela-to-go Award: The most sold gelato at the New Jersey festival was Dark Chocolate Surprise by Giacomo d’Alessandro of Polosud Gelato, Coffee & Pastries.
- Technical Jury by ISA: Persian Paradise by Mike Guerriero of Gelotti in Caldwell, NJ.
- Popular Jury by PreGel: Peach-Mango with Calamansi by Peter Jose of Jersey & Co Gelato in Jersey City, NJ.
- Kids Jury: Partly Cloudy by Jenny Ao of A La Mode.
- Speed Cup Race by ISA: Jenny Ao of A La Mode. Sponsored by ISA, Speed Cup Race is about speed. Each Gelato chef has 30 seconds to serve as many perfect servings of Gelato as possible. Jenny was able to serve 11 perfect cups, followed by Mike Guerriero of Gelotti with 9 and Dolma Yang Chen of Roots with 8.
- Stack It High by PreGel: Mike Guerriero of Gelotti. Sponsored by Pregel, each Gelato Chef was given 30 seconds to stack as many scoops of gelato into a cup as possible. Mike set a record with 22.
- Best Video: The best video made was by Kristina and Pierre Frantz of Dolce Brooklyn in Brooklyn, NY.
Read the July Issue of Athleisure Mag.
We are firmly in the summer season and although we have been working out and watching our intake, we know that there are other tips that are important to keep in mind when it comes to working out. We decided to tackle 5 Belly Foods by getting tips from Eraldo Maglara, NSCA-CPT.
If I had a dime every time someone has asked me “can you get a six pack just by doing 100 crunches a day?” I would be a very wealthy man. Most of us have cometo realize (by now) that no amount of sit ups, leg raises or “crunches” can sculpt your abdomens to look like a pro bodybuilder. On the other hand, a well-balanced approach of foods and fitness tips can get you ready for that summer beach body you will be proud to share with everyone.
One of great things about yogurt is that it has evolved over the years. Just a while back, I could count the number of varieties on my hand. Today, there are over twenty manufacturers and an array of varieties. However, what makes yogurt so appealing to your belly is that it is low fat, low calories and it helps improve your digestive system.
Fitness Tip: Having a yogurt mid-morning can help you avoid unwanted calories at lunch and /or give you the boost you need for your evening workout.
Research has shown that eating cherry’s or blueberries can help reduce belly fat. The chemical (which gives the fruit it’s color) helps burn stomach fat. Moreover, berries are good source of antioxidants which play a big role in protecting your body from free radicals which can play a big role in heart disease, cancer, etc.
Fitness Tip: After a great training session, your body depletes itself of vitamins and minerals. Having a cup of berries can replenish those lost nutrients and help you keep unwanted fat around your waist.
There is no doubt that eliminating the bad fat from your body (i.e. trans-fat, heavy saturated fat) will lower your cholesterol levels; which has been linked to heart attacks, strokes and type 2 diabetes. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat (good fat), low in cholesterol and a great source of fiber.
Fitness Tip: Avoados contain a great amount of potassium. Eating them, can maintain proper function of your vital organs (such as your heart and your kidneys) which is necessary to maintaining a strong and fit body.
Having a well-balanced breakfast is key to starting off your day on the right track. Eggs (over the years) have played an integral part in our morning routine for good reason. The vitamin content in eggs include Vitamin D (which attacks the visceral fat around your organs) and Vitamin B12 (responsible for burning fat cells) is an ideal choice to help maintain your belly looking “eggstra”ordinary.
Fitness Tip: Protein is the cornerstone for building your muscles. Eggs contain a good amount of it which makes it an ideal food to have post-training.
Personally, I believe cucumbers are underrated. Given the fact that they are loaded with H20, low in calories and help with bloating, cucumbers are a great source of vitamin A, B and C which boosts your immunity and supply you with an abundance of energy for the day. Did I also mention they are great for reducing puffiness around your eyes? Underrated....nevermore.
Fitness Tip: Flushing out toxins is a great way to keep your system running optimally. While working out, slice up a few cucumbers in your water and enjoy the best of both worlds.
Eraldo Maglara, NSCA-CPT is a personal trainer, author of The Real Fountain of Youth: Simple Lifestyle Changes for Productive Longevity, a book on healthy aging. He is also a contributor to media outlets across the country, has been featured in numerous publications and is the host and Executive Producer of the show "Healthy Lifestyle with Eraldo" seen in Philadelphia.
Read more from the June Issue and see 5 Flat Belly Foods and Fitness Tips with Eraldo Maglara in mag.
We're always excited to be introduced to a number of creatives across verticals here at Athleisure Mag. A few weeks ago, we got an advanced copy of Soul: A Chef's Culinary Evolution in 150 Recipes and from the selected dishes, colorful imagery and the voice of Chef Todd Richards, we had to interview him for this month's issue. He brings to life what soul food means as a genre and how it can be interpreted within its classic dishes as well as being utilized in other dishes that are not commonly thought to align with this category. Chef Richards is self-taught, passionate about educating others about the food and bringing the love and community that surrounds it.
ATHLEISURE MAG: How did you know that you wanted to be a chef and what was your journey to getting there?
TODD RICHARDS: I really knew that I wanted to be a chef when my first job was being a butcher at Kroger in Atlanta and people at the meat counter would ask me questions about how to prepare things. I figured that I needed to know how to prepare those items that I was serving so I started studying and I thought, "this is really cool." There was someone across the street that needed someone to grill so I thought, if I can cut the meat, then I should be able to grill. So I started working there and then I never really looked back. The creative process of learning how to butcher and preparing meat satisfied that creative need that I had.
AM: You've been on Iron Chef and have 2 James Beard Nominations for Best Chef in the Southeast, what do these accolades mean to you and what was it like being on the show and receiving these honors?
TR: It's such a great honor to be on Iron Chef and to be a James Beard Award Nominee but it doesn't just stop there it really fuels me to be even better, and I think that that has always been the catalyst that I got from my parents. What happens right now is great, but you always have to keep striving regardless of how many awards that you may win.
AM: Tell us about Richards' Southern Fried at Krog Street Market in Atlanta.
TR: Well Richards' Southern Fried is a chicken walkup. I really wanted to do Fried Chicken because mainly at the Ritz Carlton, it was one of the most popular dishes that we served - imagine that you're at the Ritz, one of the most luxurious hotels and that's what people are eating! We put that on the menu and people went crazy!
We also entered that recipe into a couple of Fried Chicken competitions and we won those as well. I knew that we had something really good going on, and it was like, we need to do this because people always ask about it. That's how Southern Fried started.
AM: How do you define Soul food and why is that an area you decided to focus on as a chef?
TR: Well the first thing is that soul food is only defined by 1950's/1960's just in that genre of food. It was only in that time period that there was an African American contribution in that area not before and then not after. Really it's a misnomer of the technically driven cuisine that soul food is. Most people do not understand it that way, but if you think about it, how in the hell do you make chitlins taste good - you have to have skill to make them good and to make something like collard greens taste good. Those things are all technically skilled recipes and I believe that soul food has the same place as French cuisine or Japanese cuisine.
AM: With your cookbook being available, what was the thought behind creating Soul?
TR: I wanted readers to know that soul food is always progressing. Soul food, especially in African American culture, is not just one straight society and there are a lot of different variations in our culture and in our food that we're known for. If you take the ingredients and explore them, in different manners and in understanding the technique, there are different ways that we are talking about in true American cuisine that have techniques from all around the world, but is distinctly, African American cooking in taste.
AM: When we flipped through your cookbook, we were struck with the Collard Green Pesto as we're fans of pesto - looking through the offered recipes there are classics, twists on a classic as it pertains to soul food as well as taking dishes that are not in this area of food and adding soul to it - how do you go about doing that?
TR: When you think about collard greens that our grandmothers put on the stove - the way that they approached it with the onions and braising the pork and things like that - it was always a technical cuisine. So when you look at other cuisines around the world, it's always starting with the simplest of ingredients and how we just do them correctly without destroying the integrity of them.
When you look at collard greens and why it makes sense for a pesto, it stands up well to oil, it loves vinegar, creams and stuff like that. So it makes sense that as a leafy vegetable that it would work in a dish like that.
AM: If you had to choose 3 meals that you would cook over a weekend, what would they be that are in your book?
TR: Well, fortunately, we grow a lot of food in our home so right now we're growing a lot of tomatoes - so definitely tomatoes! Sliced tomatoes with a little vinaigrette and all the flowers that we still have held over from the winter - like brussel sprout flowers. The next thing would be my mom's Fried Catfish because I don't think that there is anything better than dipping it in your own hot sauce. The way that she always prepared the catfish, it was crispy and you just dipped the catfish in the hot sauce and all this vinegar, pepper and using garlic and onions in there as well which has really great sensibility. And because I love to have a cocktail, strawberries are in season right now - the Strawberry Rum Cooler is a great way to use strawberries. Don't get those really pretty ones, get the ugly ones that are kind of soft and when you bite into them the juice just runs down your chin. Those are the strawberries that you want for a Strawberry Rum Cooler!
AM: What are your 3 favorite meals that are in this book?
TR: It is so hard because the book is divided by ingredients. In this period of time right now, onions, spring lamb is available - I use that as a reference because my answers today will be different then when it is in the fall when there are collard greens. Seafood is universal so you can enjoy that any time. But just to understand that we are at the end of collard green season so having the Collard Green Pesto with Poached Oysters might be at the end of that season but pairing it with tomatoes - it will make it make more sense.
AM: What's on your playlist when you're cooking?
TR: The great thing is that in the back of the book, there actually is a playlist and on Spotify there is a soul food playlist as well that we put up. And growing up with my parents, we were the hospitality center of our entire family - every birthday, holiday, Christmas party - I think that we even had a bah mitzvah at our house. It didn't matter we loved any reason to celebrate and food and music were intertwined together. They had the same exact place. When we were talking about soul as a cultural reference, that's one thing that African Americans - that we do. We want everything to look good visually, to taste good and to hear our passion in cooking. That to me is why I put the soundtrack in the back of the book.
AM: We love the trend where cookbooks have transcended to being lifestyle cookbooks. It feels like we're literally hearing you share your personal life as you talk about mentors and your method - was that a conscious choice?
TR: As a chef who probably has hundreds of cookbooks - I know where they all are. I still read Larousse Gastronomique - one of the bibles of cookbooks that has over 10,000 recipes. But for a consumer, we have to make cookbooks relevant so that people can continue cooking and do it with their kids. Today they are so phone sensitive and are connected to their devices. I wanted to make sure that people can always connect to the cookbook. It's as easy as when you put that song on and someone says, "man remember when you came to the house and we started smoking some ribs and we played that song from the book," or visually, you see some ugly tomatoes at the store and everyone is walking past and I know that I can make the best dish with those tomatoes. Those are the reasons why I wanted to put all those things in the book.
This is the gift that my parents gave me - being prideful and our culture which is the other sense that they gave me. Reading is so important to understanding us as a people and we have to produce things that people visually want to understand so that they can get out of their own stereotypical kind of minds and to just indulge themselves into delicious food.
AM: When you're not cooking in Atlanta, where can we find you grabbing drinks/dinner, where do you shop and what do you do in your personal time?
TR: People ask me that question all the time and it is a really difficult question to answer in the sense that I work so damn much - I like to go home! But there are a lot of good chefs that I just gravitate to and a number of them are good friends of mine. In Athens, Jerry Slater just opened The Expat. Jerry and I have had a long history in working together off and on. I look at Guy Wong who's another great friend of mine who has Ton Ton and Miso Izakaya. I look at Hector Santiago with El Super Pan. Anne Quatrano who is the matriarch of Atlanta dining scene. Every time I go to Bacchanalia I'm blown away and I feel like I just sat in my own living room having the most delicious meal. Then I go to the godfather of fine dining in Atlanta with Gerry Klaskala's Aria who everytime I see him he gives me the biggest damn hug ever! And he's only like 5'2" haha.
AM: Are you involved in any charities or how do you give of your time?
TR: Yes I am on the board of Wholesome Wave which is really important to me because we support Snap Benefits which means that dollar for dollar we match with EBT so people can go to Farmer's Markets and to get fresh food. That one is always dear to me and Lupus Foundation. Lupus affects African Americans especially African American women more then any other people in the country. It is an under served disease that affects a lot of people.
AM: Is there anything that you want to share with our readers that we can keep an eye out for?
TR: Well, the Soul Tour is traveing from NYC to the West Coast with many stops in between. Over the next month we will hit Nashville, Chicago, New Orleans, Charlotte and then back to NYC and of course many many places in Atlanta. Anyone can find me on Social Media - if you're in Atlanta, I want to know where you are and if you buy the book, I'm glad that people are posting but I want used cookbook posted - get into the kitchen and utilize it. I want to see wine stains, hot sauce stain - some boil that popped over on the book! It's great to be on the coffee table, but it's better to be in the kitchen!
PHOTO COURTESY | Excerpted from Soul by Todd Richards. Copyright © 2018 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation. New York, NY. All rights reserved.
What's your food's journey, what are the myths and activism that are taking place in the industry? We talked with international investigative journalist and documentarian, Nelufar Hedayat that explored these areas within her new show, Food Exposed on FUSION. This season she tackles issues alongside an array of celeb guests that include Nicole Richie, Moby, Jordana Brewster and more.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about how you got into journalism and the various shows/positions you took that eventually led you to your current show?
NELUFAR HEDAYAT: I should really attach my CV, which would be boring so let me give you the abridged highlights version. I started out in journalism when I was 20, so ten years ago now. I was fascinated by how the War in Afghanistan was being presented. I was watching a lot of Afghan coverage and it was so different to what I was seeing in the Western News. This got me going and I made a tester tape with my friend Reva and submitted it to BBC Three under the extremely brave commissioner at the time, Danny Cohen. He decided to allow me to make a one-hour documentary about what life was like for young Afghan girls my age so off we went. That was basically the start. The doc did very well for BBC Three and was winning awards, so I was asked what more do I want to make. Boom/flash! Here I am today with Food Exposed. A series I have been dreaming to make for 5 years at least.
AM: What is 'Food Exposed' and what is the purpose behind this show?
NH: A: It’s a doc series that investigated the hidden, darker side of food production. I traveled the world to go to where the issue was and speak to people first hand allowing the story to dictate where we went in order to present what we found. A lot of it was quite shocking even to me! From Palm Oil and Pork to water and the dairy industry we tackle all the issues we saw as being on the brink of changing the outcome for people and the planet.
AM: You have a number of celebrities that are in each episode. What was the process like in creating the theme of each show and attaching the topics/celebs to each one?
NH: This one’s easy. We really tried to find people who can amplify the issue and really be a beacon for people to discuss the topics we covered for Food Exposed. Nicole really cares about making sure she has a zero waste household and campaigns for the issue too. Jordana, a Yale graduate, was passionate about understanding GMOs and Moby has been an advocate for animal rights for thirty years. It wasn’t that we had to find spaces for them—they fit very effortlessly into the discussions we are trying to have.
AM: There seems to be an interesting mix of food, activism as well as pop culture within this show, what topics would you like to tackle that you have yet to do in this season?
NH: Oh my goodness so so many. I want to understand where the future of our food productions lie. How will we feed the earth with the planetary space we have. It would be great to look into insect proteins, sustainable farms and clean meat too. So so many—you’re making me think about season two already...
AM: What celebs would you like to see in upcoming episodes?
NH: I think the issues and subjects drive the celeb interviews but I’d love to chat to Miley Cyrus and Chris Hemsworth about plant based eating, Mayim Bailik about the world's class based food production and I'd shoot for Leonardo DiCaprio or Vice President Al Gore about the environmental impact of food production. I can think of so many more, but what's interesting here is that these guys are using their talent gotten celebrity to drive discussions and issues. I have a lot of respect for that.
AM: What is your favorite episode in this season?
NH: You’re making me choose between my children. So hard to say! There are ones that have special places in my heart like the Dairy episode directed by Will West. I expected to see dairy cows treated horrifically by an industrial system rife in misinformation, but when I saw people treated as collateral damage I was shocked. Then there’s the Waste episode for which I teamed up with the folks at the World Food Program to launch the #recipefordisaster campaign. Together we are trying to nudge people to think differently about food and food waste, and a scene from the Waste episode of Food Exposed with Nelufar Hedayat (I eat a very brown banana) has become the symbol for the campaign, which is excellent. This is the kind of impact I would hope the films have.
AM: What have you learned about foods that you wouldn't have learned via this show?
NH: I think the one thing that I was really not expecting to find out was how interconnected we all are around the globe. You only have to look at where your strawberries and asparagus and beef jerky comes from, or know that our food system is an illiterate one that isn’t always efficient for the planet, but works towards the bottom line of corporations and the global commodities market. Whether we like it or not, a drought in west or South America is as important to us as whether the produce we are buying is in good shape or organic and so on. We have been purposefully and systematically removed from knowing where our food comes from and this allows those who want to make a profit at any cost to do so unscrupulously. We have to arm ourselves with information and knowledge in order to make choices we are comfortable with and not let them be made on our behalf as we are kept in the dark.
AM: What is the takeaway that you want viewers to have in watching your show?
NH: I think the takeaway would be to inform and engage people with how the food we eat is produced. There’s a very famous saying by Paul McCartney that "If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” I think the same can be said for dairy farms in Wisconsin through to palm oil fields in Indonesia and GMO farms in Uganda. It’s easier to do something once we know. What I really don’t want to do is to prescribe a type of lifestyle to anyone. It’s absolutely not my intention to convert anyone to a certain type of diet. I think people make the best decisions for themselves and their communities when they know the truth about what’s going on and I’m trying to do that in one small way.
AM: Where are you based and in your area, where can we find you eating, shopping and going to work out?
NH: I’m based in London Town and you will always find me loitering near a Mildred or a good coffee shop. I tend to shop around East London, keeping it quirky, independent and local. I practically live online so Susi Studios is one of my favorite online stores. I’m also massively into Matt and Nat and other brands that are trying to bring new luxury design and innovative materials to the Fashion industry. It’s only now that I've turned thirty that I seem to have found my work out mojo and you will always find me running around Hampstead Heath Park or walking all over town!
Food has been a large portion of this month's issue especially as it pertains to keeping things fresh as we are in the beginning stages of enjoying all that is Spring. We've been fans of Claire Thomas' Kitchy Kitchen for awhile and chatted with the new mom about Farmer's Markets, her latest cookbook Sweet Laurel and how she stays creative with meals for her family includings pets, Mochi and Buster.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Can you tell us about your journey in the culinary world as in researching you, we realized that you have been involved in a number of areas!
CLAIRE THOMAS: Thank you so much! I started the blog The Kitchy Kitchen 10 years ago and my focus was on ingredient driven, simple food that was delicious and easy to prepare. Now that I am a new mom, that is more important than ever! It needs to be delicious but it needs to be done. I need to be able to put it together pretty easily.
Because of my background in photography as well, the food needs to be really beautiful as well. I do think that the cliché is true, we eat with our eyes first.
AM: The Kitchy Kitchen, what was the thought behind coming up with that?
CT: I grew up in a food family, my mom was a great cook. I grew up in Southern California where I was surrounded by a lot of great produce. I’m so lucky to have the great home that I have. I honestly was just inspired by the food world around me. I am also a huge Food History nerd so that was a part of it. But it was really about creating recipes that I was passionate about and that made people’s meal times a little easier to get inspiration for your home cooking. I love home cooking, I myself am a home cook and I think that it can be just as good as restaurant food.
AM: As you’re such an aficionado on this topic, here in the East Coast, we keep getting teased with the notion of Spring which doesn’t quite get here. What are 3 easy to make dishes that we can make at home that get us to this season even in the midst of the flip-flopping weather?
CT: One of my favorite things ever is a tartine which is just a fancy way of saying, an open faced sandwich. I’m from L.A., the land of avocado toast and I’m sure that this is familiar to everybody! For me, the idea of creating new recipes and trying something new can be a bit stressful for people. You have a new recipe and you’re thinking, “oh gosh, what if this doesn’t work – I don’t know?” I like the idea of taking something that you’re really confident with or familiar with and just adapting it a little bit. In my case, the tartine or open faced sandwich, I took ingredients I know like cream cheese – that full fat, it’s so delicious and then smoked salmon which is so beautiful and such a classic combo and then I add things like fresh lemon zest and fresh herbs chopped into the cream cheese. All of a sudden, it’s a completely different flavor profile. It’s elegant, it’s elevated, but it literally took 30 seconds. I do that with my food, my family’s food and even my pet’s food. I really think that whole delicious ingredients is so important for everybody.
AM: I love the tartines – do you have 2 other quick and easy items that can be made?
CT: I am also a big fan of scrambled eggs and being a mom I basically have 5 minutes to whip things together. Eggs are just a really brilliant canvas. So I’ll do things with scrambled eggs where for instance, if I have cheese left over from a cheese board – so fancy cheese, you can grate that in or melt it into the eggs and all of a sudden it has a completely different flavour, it's really delicious, it's also beautiful topped with things like fresh pro, it's really delicious, it's also beautiful topped with things like fresh prosciutto – and honestly, I’ve done ones where I have added a little bit of orange juice which is kind of an unique idea but my aunt from Australia showed me that and it adds a really beautiful brightness. So that’s one of my easy breakfast moments.
For dinner, I love pasta but my husband is paleo, so I had to come up with a few options there. I know everybody knows about zoodles doing zucchini noodles and sweet potato noodles.
I really love doing sweet potatoes that have been sliced thinly, but in sheets so that you can make lasagna with it. I love doing a nut milk cheese if you are trying to go dairy free as well. It’s really easy to put together as well. I have my second cookbook that just came out that I co-wrote with my dear friend, Laurel Gallucchi, it’s called Sweet Laurel. It’s all grain free, refined sugar free and dairy free baking recipes and you can find our recipe for our own Nut Milk Cheese, Everything Bagel Bread, pies, cakes, but they are all completely paleo and grain free. So I have been using that a lot for my husband’s meal.
AM: That’s fantastic, when it comes to your home, because we spend so much time running around so when we want people to come over and to have your friends and family with you, what should people have on hand whether you’re watching a game at home, brunch or a girl’s night in?
CT: I love that and it’s such a good point. For me, I’m so bad and my brother will come over and open my fridge and will say, “you have no snacks,” and I will say, “I know, I have a million ingredients though, so let’s make something.” One of my favorite things that I like to call my Lazy Hostess Recipes because you get to look very fancy and put together, but it takes about 10 seconds.
My favorite thing for movie nights, because I love Movie Nights, is I take out my air popper and, I let people pop popcorn as they need but then I set up my table where I basically clean out my pantry. I have all those flavored salts, different types of olive oil, brown butter, melted butter, truffle oil – all those things so that people can make their own DIY popcorn and it’s fun because all I have to do is put things out and I don’t have to do anything! So that’s the trick! So I’m actually not even making anything!
That same idea of flexibility and versatility is so important to me in the kitchen whether
it’s for friends, for family or my cat Mochi.
AM: How do you juggle your schedule and keeping meals creative?
CT: Dinner time is getting kind of hectic as we have our 8 month year old son now in the mix, we have our 2 pets and everybody eats at the same time - pets included. For me, I saw that I had eaten my 1,000th bowl of cereal and I was getting kind of bored with what I was eating and then looked over and saw Mochi eating out of her bowl and then I thought, "well my goodness," she eats the same thing everyday too. So, I was really excited when I came across the Purely Fanciful Feast Filets because they are a whole ingredient snack which is beautiful compliment to Mochi’s meals. Now that I am a mom, I literally read the nutrition menu to see what’s in it. I was really blown away by how simple the filets were. They were beautiful for my cat and Mochi was my first pet so she’s my fur baby so I want to make sure that she still feels like she is getting love and attention. So, the filets are a really great way to do that. So, I just flake them off, sprinkle it on top of her regular food and all of a sudden it’s new and exciting OR I just let her snack on it like a whole filet – while she likes it like that.
So, I kind of take a similar vibe with what I am doing with my own food. I use recipes that I am already confident with that I know how to make and then I just do a little adjustment – let’s add some new ingredients to the mix, what herb can I do that’s different then what I’ve had before? Things like that are small tweaks that take 30 seconds to do but all of a sudden it tastes really different and it’s not the same old same old.
AM: Being someone that is so creative, how do you maintain your creativity to bring it across the range of projects that you have going on?
CT: For me, it’s about finding inspiration in the world around me. For me that means, if I’m in a rut, I go to the Farmer’s Market and it’s spring time. Here in L.A., it’s 85 degrees and I know that in the rest of the country, it’s like Spring is eventually coming. When it finally arrives, it’s Farmer’s Market season! It’s across the country and they’re popping up everywhere. I love going because the best kept secret is that farmers actually know how to prepare their food better then anyone. If you talk to a farmer and you say, “what do you do with these carrots?” They’ll tell you and it’s usually something super simple and it’s usually different then what you would expect. They may shave it really thinly and put it in a salad because that specific kind of carrot has a really fabulous crunch and is already very sweet.
So I love going to the Farmer’s Market, and I love eating which sounds silly but to be a good cook you have to be a great eater. So if you’re in a rut, go ahead and eat, try something new, a cuisine you haven’t had before, try an ingredient, be adventurous that way, I think you can inform the food you make at home. Because adding a sprinkle of something or sometimes just reshuffling the deck in terms of how you incorporate the ingredients, that can make a huge difference. I feel that way about the food that I make for myself, but then also for Mochi and Buster, my dog’s food as well. I want to make sure that they are eating whole ingredients that makes them feel great because they are part of my family too.
AM: Do you have 3 favorite veggies as I had to ask!
CT: Well right now, it’s so fun as I have the veggies that I eat all the time because of my husband being paleo. So it’s like sweet potatoes is literally 90% of what we eat right now. Other than that, I’d say that in the season, right now everything is so fresh, bright and green. English peas is probably one of my favorite things in the world – I love doing a smashed pea tartine as they are the new avocado toast as that’s what I have heard. It’s so delicious, fresh and sweet. Zucchini blossoms are coming in so stuffing those with different types of fillings like a veggie quinoa filling, a nut cheese if you are trying to keep things a little lighter. Another veggie that I am really loving is Romensco, which looks kind of like a psychedelic cauliflower if you look at it very closely. But it’s beautiful with bright colors and when you roast it, it’s like candy. So that’s one of my favorite things to serve as a side with meals.
AM: Fantastic, where can we find out more about you and everything that you have going on?
CT: Absolutely, please check out TheKitchyKitchen.com for more information on my recipes, my DIY’s, my family content and then to find out more about Mochi’s new favorite snack, please check out FancyFeast.com/FiletYourWay.
We love a lifestyle cookbook and one that really takes what we do in the kitchen to other centers in our day to day. We talked with Melissa Coleman about her new cookbook, Minimalist Kitchen, hyggelig and how she solves problems as a maker.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your background and how you came from being a graphic designer, to a food blogger to now releasing your first cookbook as an author!
MELISSA COLEMAN: It’s my first book and maybe my only haha. I said before that I could not make a book unless it would pour out of me. I never thought that I would make a book until they called me and I was like yes! A little bit about my background, from the earliest days of my life, I have always been a maker. I like to make things and my medium has changed over the years, but I also came out loving food.
My mom would say that I would sit at the breakfast table and would ask what was for lunch or for dinner for the day. She would always say, “Well, Melissa eat to live – don’t live to eat and I am still living to eat." I love food! So, I painted in high school and then I studied graphic design and became a graphic designer.
About a year after becoming a graphic designer, I started my blog about 10 years ago as everyone had a blog. It was probably the second post that it turned into a food blog as it documented my recipes. I cooked a lot in high school as I liked to bake and I used to love watching Martha Stewart. It’s not a joke, but I used to workout to Martha Stewart!
AM: Wait what!?!
MC: Yeah! That was the early days when I was in college I used to record it. So, I would record her and then I got home from work, I would workout to Martha Stewart. So that’s where I learned to cook and bake in a lot of ways. I wanted to know how to do everything.
I like to make things and at my core, I am a creator. With food, I felt that as a designer, designers try to solve problems beautifully and with food, I needed recipes that were simple and wholesome and I tried a number of diets over the years. By the time I finished college, I landed on a whole foods diet. I like to eat whole foods and a vegetable forward meal. The vegetable forward part came into the blog later. As a designer who likes to solve problems, I created recipes of things that I wanted to eat.
AM: What is a Minimalist Kitchen?
MC: A minimalist kitchen is a paired down kitchen or a kitchen equipped with the essentials. Everything from the ingredients, to the cooking tools to the pantry – which is always the biggest trouble maker in the home as well as the techniques. I wanted to use efficient and even repetitive techniques. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel as I cooked. I want to be really good at what I am doing especially at 5pm on a Tuesday at night. It’s pairing down to the very best things for the essentials.
AM: Is this throughout your lifestyle?
MC: I do. It’s funny, in the book I say, “Where minimalism starts and stops in your life, let it be”. Because, I found success in the kitchen by just getting rid – I mean I have kind of always been a reductionist. When I painted and you looked at my style at the end of my painting career, it was very minimal. Then you look at my graphic design style – I’m a reductionist who likes the essentials. I don’t like to do things for the sake of doing things. That naturally flowed over to my life and part of that as an adult, and it wasn’t true as a child – I wanted to be responsible for less and when I keep less around, I am responsible for that and it gives me time to do the things that I want to do or that brings me joy. It extends to my closet, I kind of have a uniform and my friends know that I wear the same thing all the time and we laugh about it and I don’t care!
I like to pay attention to my habits and partly because I have always had a designer brain and that’s partly because as a kid, I would get frustrated about things and I remember my dad looking at me one time saying, “Do you want me to take you to this person to help you fix it?” And I was like, “No I will fix it”. And that’s kind of how I go about life. When I looked at my drawers, I would look at my clothes that would stay folded most of the season, the jeans on the floor that I would wear every single day and that was happening in the kitchen too!
I would have one spatula that I would always use and so I started to pay attention to that stuff and I started to get rid of stuff that was just collecting stuff and taking up space.
AM: Your book reminds us of our interview with Meik Wiking about hygge.
AM: And when thinking about that, it brings up notions of comfort and cozy things – how does this lifestyle and minimalism come together within this concept?
MC: Well minimalism can be seen as a stodgy, cold and austere word. But I don’t describe my approach as that. I say, that as a designer, I am a cozy minimalist. That’s kind of where hygge is – it brings the cozy in. Aesthetically, I try to bring visual warmth. Hygge is like the practical warmth. It’s sitting in front of the fire, playing a game and signing off from the rest of the world. It’s saying no to things or just being. Even for me, it’s a 2pm break in the afternoon because I need it and I am giving myself what I need and it goes back to responsibility. I wanted to be responsible for less so I deleted a lot of things that were in my life so I could do those things that I find most fulfilling. In those gaps and blank spaces, and there are plenty of those in our lives, which can be uncomfortable sometimes, we fill them with hygge moments. Just being, embracing the simplicity. Impotent is such a bad word but my fear is that I would become impotent of getting lost in the flicker of a flame or that I wouldn’t be able to taste the sweetness of an almond. That I would just overload my life with everything that I couldn’t see things for what they were.
AM: What drew us to the concept of this cookbook is that over the last few years, cookbooks have grown from including a recipe and an image to showcasing a lifestyle. We love that this book showcases a methodology in organization and are believers in creating that sense of placement in one part of your life, allows you to do so in other areas and to obtain clarity whether physically or mentally. How did you decide that this was the way that your pantry should be, these are the items that will be slimmed down to x, what you considered essential agreements and how you basically can be a coach to people’s kitchens to conquer the madness that is in there!
MC: RIGHT! For me, I learned to cook with a ton of time on my hands, I was fresh out of college and I didn’t have anything begging for my attention on the weekends. But when I became a working mom, it was so inefficient and I used to be a web designer that created blogs and we talked a lot about user experience and creating a good one. And I recognized that I was having the poorest user experience in my kitchen. So much so that I looked at my husband one day not too long after my daughter was born, and I said, “I’m quitting the kitchen or I am going to fix this place.” So the Minimalist Kitchen is the culmination of that big problem and over the years, I wrote about this but in one week, I stabbed myself twice in my catch all kitchen drawer with tools that I never used. But you know, you stick your hand in there because the spatula flips up and you can’t get it open and then you stab yourself. I was like, “why am I doing this to myself?” So I slowly started pairing down and it’s kind of an expensive process – or maybe I would say that it’s an investment to do this. We did it because my husband was in graduate school and I supported us on my design salary. So I just did it little by little. In the book I say, “that once you clean the front of the drawer, you notice the back of the drawer is very similar.”
It feels weird to publish this book as this process is never finished for me and I am constantly thinking of reworking space especially in the kitchen. I like that idea too because it frees it up for people and it doesn’t have to happen over night. Life is organic and changing and good things take time. That’s the truth of this system, it takes a little time.
AM: When it comes to the kitchen there are so many gadgets. We love our Breville Tea Maker, a number of items that we enjoy eating necessitate various products to make them versus having one tool that can do five things – so we’re always trying things out. So for you, when new things come to market and you feel that it works, do you do a mental checklist, where bringing in an item makes you remove something you have?
MC: EXACTLY! I’m always doing a mental checklist and I am able to do that because I have so much less on my checklist. I am probably the slowest adopter when it comes to buying things. I don’t have an Instant Pot and I’m not sure if I will because I have all of the other tools that I need and it would be a huge learning curve for me and I’m not sure if I would do something like that in my everyday. But I am so careful as I picture myself at the back door of our house saying (even my husband is a much bigger shopper then me), “woah, woah, woah what are you bringing in here?” It’s going to require work, we’re going to have to reorganize and we will have to get rid of something. Why spend time doing something that we don’t need to spend time doing?
AM: How did you go about organizing the cookbook and what would you say that someone should expect to read when they are going into it?
MC: When I am cooking in general, I mentally lump my recipes into weekend cooking, weekday cooking and make ahead – and as we started on the book, I said can we create tags so that people know exactly where to put the recipes in their life? I mean, I know where to put them, but people don’t know what to do with my recipes. So we separated them like that so that people could have it and I wanted to set them up with the most success possible. I feel like overwhelmingly that people are frustrated with their kitchens – which was true for me. How many expletives come out when you’re opening the Tupperware drawer? There are things in the kitchen that are expletively producing haha.
AM: So true and we get annoyed, stuff everything back in and then think we should do something about it!
AM: It’s like the Groundhogs Day, Kitchen Edition!
MC: Yes that would happen to me to! I remembered that my mom would deal with these things to. I used to think that she was so nutty and then I found myself doing the same things in my kitchen too!! I was like, “I can fix this.” I do think that it’s crazy and I want to acknowledge that I got the chance to really spend time on making my kitchen work and then to write about it! That’s a very rare opportunity and many don’t have time to do something like that because our lives are so busy – even a paired down one! I think that this book has done the work for people so that it will make them feel more successful in doing this and even down to where the recipe should go in their week.
AM: I agree it’s good for them to figure out when they should prep, where in the week they should go to the grocery store, it’s a nice map to follow! Especially when you live in a place like NYC where even the simplest task of going to the grocery store can be quite a journey. You know that you can only carry so much and that there is an option for convenience, but do you want someone else picking out your produce? Logistically, someone sending your food to you is great but syncing up the times and for those that don’t have a doorman – this is a problem. It’s nice to have order.
MC: True – even the shopping techniques, I shop a lot like a city dweller. I live in a large city but not like NYC – but I walk to the grocery store and I carry back everything that we eat for the week. I carry them on my shoulders like you do and I have enough fresh produce for what we eat that week and the pantry is stocked by way of Costco or other types of bulk shopping so I am only doing maintenance shopping or minor shopping. I hate grocery shopping with a child.
AM: The anxiety of walking up and down the aisles everytime you get to the grocery store can be a bit much.
MC: Absolutely and with my book, I wanted to get rid of that feeling of, “oh this is what I do on my Saturday, I shop every store – can’t I be doing something better with my life?”
AM: You know that you have to eat, you can’t do takeout all the time even if it’s healthy. But sometimes you get to the store and you hear all the sounds and other stimulations and you kind of need a plan to tackle it! So what are your 3 favorite meals from the book and what music do you play along when making those dishes?
MC: Ok so I realized that my 3 meals are all weekend meals. I don’t want to take away from the deliciousness of the weekday meals. When I sit down to a meal that took 15-20 minutes it’s still so satisfying, but weekends are celebratory around here as it is in every home. So on Friday night we kick it off with the Crispy Pizza with the caramelized onions or a cheese pizza with the base recipe. Anytime it’s pizza night, we listen to the Mamba Italiano Radio on Pandora – it always feels like we’re at an Italian restaurant. Or we make these Summer Veggie Fajitas – we love those. They are a Stonehenge in our lives. We used to eat them out all the time and then we started making them our whole married life. On that night, we listen to Spanish Guitar Radio on Pandora. Then on Saturday or Sunday morning, it’s a flow brunchy type of thing so we make, the Dutch Baby because my 4 year old picks it. It’s magical because it just blows up in the oven and we listen to Early Jazz Radio on Pandora and it sounds like you’re sitting in a French or European café. Early jazz radio is so good!
PHOTOS COURTESY | MINIMAL KITCHEN/MEREDITH BOOKS
Vanessa We know that the summer is coming and with that comes the realization, for some that they need to get on it when it comes to showcasing the summer body that has been under layers for the last few weeks. Whether you've been a Disciplined Debbie or a Late to the Party Lucy, we sat down with Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, and gastrointestinal issues and was formerly a Senior Dietitian at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC.Rissetto, RD who specializes in Weight Loss Management and Medical Nutrition Therapy as it pertains to diabetes, cardiac disease
As you work on the physical goals of your summer body, Vanessa shares with us how to get our food plan in sync whether you've been diligent or just starting!
Summer bodies are made in the winter… at least that’s what my trainer tells me.
Well, I’ve got news for him - Mother Nature hasn’t been on her meds this winter, so most of us have been hibernating more than usual since November. And, if you’re like me and you’ve been getting your cardio by pushing your cart down the aisles of your local grocery store, then I’m sure you’ve noticed that how, er, unappealing the produce is looking these days, while over in the chip aisle that strategically placed new Doritos flavor has never looked so good! Spoiler Alert: yes sometimes I do eat Doritos, and Original is still the best.
HOWEVER, this is not the time for Doritos (new or original), or cookies, or wine, or any of that fun stuff we have been making excuses for because it was from Thanksgiving, or a holiday party, or Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married.
Summer is upon us, people, and you're either going to be cool and comfortable basking in the sun with your shoulders exposed, or you're going to be searching for the a/c while hiding in leggings, and tunics. Side note - my daughter, who is six, only wears leggings, she doesn't see any reason for trying to squeeze into jeans when leggings are way more comfortable - her words not mine; clearly I’m raising a confident genius.
Wait, where were we… oh right, summer bodies - DUH! Which is likely the reason you’re even still reading, hoping I get to the point soon! You want me to impart my pearls of wisdom so you can get to work on that summer body the Friday before Memorial Day. Don’t worry, I got you; and you got this, with a few tricks and tips to help.
Rome was NOT built in a day
Guys, if you’ve been boozing it up every weekend, and ordering a daily takeout, you’re not going to do well if you start to subsist on kale and lemon water all of a sudden. Let’s be realistic here - If you’re used to drinking 6 drinks over the weekend, let’s aim for 4 this weekend.
“How can I even do that,” you ask. “Going out to bars on the weekends is basically what keeps me sane, with my job/office drama/family/single life (delete as applicable).” Well, I am a realist! So here are my tips:
Firstly, only drink spirits - vodka, rum, tequila – pure, no mixers. You’ll find you’ll drink less, which will make you consume fewer calories but still get your weekend buzz. And, if you’re tempted to drink more, (we’ve all had THOSE weeks) order a seltzer in between each drink since that will make you feel full, while disguising the fact that you aren’t really drinking. Which leads me to my next point.
OK, I know that wasn’t the perfect segue way, but I’ll try to come up with something more clever for the next one… So, you know when you’re watching RHONY and Ramona and Bethany are fighting over some nonsense that is the same nonsense they've been fighting over since the show's inception? This is the perfect moment for step two!
This is the time where I pick up my phone and start scrolling around for recipes that are quick and easy. Now I KNOW you’re on your phone while you watch TV, so instead of searching around IG and ending up on Beyonce’s mother’s European vacation, navigate towards pages that can actually help you. I personally love @SkinnyTaste for her easy recipes, @AllRecipes has pretty quick delicious meals, and you could also visit my page - @VanessaRossettoRD - but that would be a shameless plug and I wouldn’t do that sort of thing.
But do your own searches, find the things you like, and – if it’s really great, send it to me on IG in my comments, I’m always looking for new recipes!
To the Store!
Now that you’ve planned ahead, you can shop!
Meal prep is less daunting if you know what you’re making. Staples on my grocery list are: eggs, oats, almond milk, arugula, lemons, limes, avocados, onions, garlic, raspberries (8 g fiber per 1 cup when you’re craving something sweet), individually portioned 100 calorie bags of nuts, skinny pop (individually portioned bags), mini Kind bars (100 calories), non-fat Greek yogurt, peanut butter packets (Justin’s has 80 calorie individual packs), frozen bags of broccoli, green beans, and frozen cauliflower rice.
I then add in ingredients from the recipes I found.
My tip here is to plan 3 proteins, 1 starch, and 6 servings of vegetables that you can have on hand at home for dinners when you get home. That way when you come home from a long day, you don't have to stare into the abyss that is your fridge wondering what to eat - especially when it probably doesn't have any food INSIDE it right now anyway, but has plenty of those takeout menus stuck to the OUTSIDE, amirite? If your fridge is stuffed full of delicious food, you will heat it up and eat it instead of making that tempting call to your favorite pizza place. Trust me this is a way to avoid temptation, save money, and limit waste.
Get out there and exercise
Exercise will definitely help your summer body cause. But it’s also really good for your brain. And, it’s a great way to break up your day and stop you from raiding your cabinet, you know, the one with all the chocolate. If you’re looking longingly at your cabinet where you hid the cookies but the weather outside is nice, then even going out for a quick 30-minute walk is a win. It shifts your focus, makes you feel good and by the time you come back, you probably won't want those cookies anyway.
35 opportunities for greatness!
Look at your week as a succession of chances to reach your goal: you have 35 of them, actually. Every day, you get to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner and two snacks – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. That means you have 5 chances a day, and 35 chances a week to eat well! And, if you can eat well about 33 of those 35 times, you should be able well on your way to that summer body.
And for those of you thinking to yourself “eat well” is not a tip, anyone can say that! Here are some specific guidelines: have 1-2 cups of vegetables at your lunch and dinner, make sure the serving size of carbohydrates is no more than about ¼-½ cup, and don’t drink your calories, try to keep to water and seltzer (or fizzy water as my kids call it).
Follow these five tips to get you ready for the summer, and you’ll see the difference – and whenever you decide to cast aside your leggings and tunic and dip your toes in the ocean, I’ll be right there with you.
See you on the beach!
Read more from the April Issue and see Nutrition for Your Summer Body 2018 by Vanessa Rissetto, RD. in mag.
We love keeping it simple as we're constantly running in multiple directions. So when we had the chance to sit down with Siri Daly, Today Show food contributor, Author of Siriously Delicious, wife to Carson Daly of The Voice and mother of 3, we had to find out more about her lifestyle cookbook, dishes that are simple to make and where she eats here in NYC and in LA.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your food background and how this led to ultimately creating your own food book?
SIRI DALY: I am a self taught, passionate home cook. I grew up where my parents were great cooks. I loved cooking with them as a kid and then as I became a mother myself and found myself in this domestic situation, as I had to feed my family every night, that led me to start my own food blog – Siriously Delicious. I started that and it kind of gave me an outlet to just document what I was making every night for myself. Through writing and garnering an audience, it became something more. I was creating recipes then all the time documenting the good and the bad. This grew over time and allowed me to be on the Today Show and it was always a dream of mine to write a book. Especially, this type of book which is a love of food with simple and approachable recipes.
AM: Tell us about the book. In terms of approaching and writing it, how is it laid out and what should we expect?
SD: It’s sort of meant to be a snapshot of what my day is as a busy mom of 3 kids. The chapters are divided into Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Happy Hour, Sides and Desserts. So, again it’s really about recipes that are no fuss and the ingredients are those that you probably have on hand. It’s not about sifting flour or tempering chocolate. It’s simple approachable recipes that you can easily adapt if you have picky eaters, allergies or whatever it is. It’s balanced as there are plenty of nutritious recipes and those that aren’t. It’s a real tasty approach.
AM: Do you also have smoothies and items within those healthy areas as well?
SD: Yes! We have a smoothie recipe in the breakfast chapter and mini parfaits. So there is really something for everyone – from homemade girl scout cookies to rainbow popsicles that have spinach in the green section. I definitely think that anyone can find something that they can eat.
AM: Now, does Carson have a favorite recipe that he likes?
SD: That’s a good question as I don’t know if he has a specific recipe, but there are a ton in there that he requests pretty regularly. A few of our family’s recipes are in there like his mother’s Fried Chicken – she actually passed away this year so that’s a real special one. My mother’s Rhubarb Crisp that she has been making since I was a kid. There are recipes that really mean something to my family. Each one really tells a story and I try to convey that in my writing.
AM: What are 3 recipes that you love that are perfect for Spring for girlfriend get togethers?
SD: Spring – I would definitely say, one of the Bruschettas – one of my favorite being the smashed peas and the avocado toast – peas are so great in Spring. There is a great light chopped salad in there and a pasta with arugula pesto which I just made yesterday – it’s another favorite. I love making pasta salad in the spring as you don’t want to cook over a hot stove and make everyone crazy.
Oooo there are also the rainbow pops although that’s more summer, but they are so beautiful to look at. You can eat one for breakfast and it’s really a treat. Aesthetically it’s gorgeous and makes me think of days to come.
AM: How long did it take to put this book together?
SD: When I started writing it was probably a year. I did the majority of writing over the summer which was awesome. I love to write and being able to focus on my food and my own. It was such a treat for me and you know it was really more whole life in the making. As these are recipes I grew up on like my mom’s Tuna Casserole and I made my own version of it. It was definitely a labor of love.
AM: What is it about food that you enjoy so much and when did you realize that you enjoy cooking and wanted to continue in that vein?
SD: That’s a good question. There was definitely a time in my life when I stopped cooking and not because I didn’t enjoy it, but I was a single person in my 20’s that didn’t have a ton of time and I would do the whole – come home and take out and have microwave Trader Joe’s meals.
I remember feeling like something was missing and when I started to have children, I realized how much I love to create meals for my family. That’s what I love about food. It brings people together and the kitchen is that hub in our house. We’re always around each other and we try to really make eating together a priority most nights. Even if Carson and I aren’t going to eat because we’re not ready, we sit there with the kids. It’s just that shared experience over food which I love so much. It’s also so creative as you can have fun with it and not to take it so seriously. That’s why I created the blog and the book, Siriously Delicious. You don’t have to follow recipes to a “T”, you can use your own taste buds and your own ideas to make something your own.
AM: What are 3 dishes from your cookbook that you feel are the easiest to make in terms of less prep time that a busy mom or person would be drawn to making?
SD: Definitely for breakfast, the Mini Yogurt parfaits because you can make them for breakfast and you barely need a recipe because you put the granola in the yogurt and you can customize them any way that you want. Then you can make them with your kids and they’re amazing on the go which is a huge time saver.
For dinner, I’d say that anything that is some sort of a bar situation. So, I have a big potato bar. How simple is it to bake some potatoes and have all sorts of fun toppings? You can have it for dinner and you can also have it for a party as it’s customizable, fun and different. Something we make a lot is the Crispy Chicken Paillard! It’s customizable as my son is the only one that will eat a salad and my girls, they are against green things but they love the chicken. I will serve it to them with some carrots and I’m not a short order cook because I can make one meal and it’s great as a leftover because they can be chicken cutlets. It doesn’t take a lot of time.
AM: What are your favorite chefs and what are your favorite restaurants here in NY and in LA?
SD: When I wasn’t cooking at that time in my life during college – I was watching Food Network. Ina Garten is definitely one of my favorite idols. She just makes really elegant, simple meals that are comfort foods at their best. There’s something about the way that she does it on television that is really soothing. I LOVE her!
As far as restaurants and chefs, there’s in LA – we do a lot of Mexican (can’t think of a specific chef). There’s a place in Manhattan Beach called Love & Salt. There’s a chef called Michael Fiorelli who is awesome and one of my favorites. It’s a small place, but the food there is farm to table delicious that’s simple and seasonal dishes. We just recently went to Pizzana in Brentwood which is new. I believe it’s the people that are behind Sprinkles. Ridiculously – stupid good food!
Out here, there’s a place called Frankie’s 457. Frankie is actually a good friend of Carson’s. So when we go there, he sits with us. We don’t order and he tells us what we are going to eat. But it’s always delicious and one of our favorites out here.