Lessons Learned Through 1 Year of Marriage and Powerlifting (Plus, Our Anniversary Celebration!)

This past weekend, I celebrated both 1 year of marriage and 1 year of powerlifting. Aidan and I celebrated our first anniversary with a trip to D.C. and a fancy hotel stay, and while away for the weekend, I started reflecting on the lessons learned through a year of marriage and a year of consistently working out.

I wanted to share the things I’ve learned and the things I’ve found to be important in both of these areas because the more I thought about it, the more many things overlapped (surprisingly!).

Be Supportive:

I spent the last quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 deep in the development, marketing, and finally, actual running of my online course, Build Your Biome. And, man, it was a lot of work. It was something I really wanted to get out into the world, and I needed support to be able to do that.

Through my long days (and nights, if I’m being honest) working on this program, my husband was there to support me. He cooked meals, did the household chores, and gave me pep talks when technology was about to make my brain explode.

When he has rough weeks, I’m right there by his side to help do the same.

When it comes to powerlifting, I give my body the support it needs. I feed it good food (and enough food), I give it the rest it needs, and I listen to it. When I was working incessantly to create my course, there were (many!) weeks that my body just couldn’t handle going to the gym for my usual 4 days per week. I listened to that signal and, for a while, just went twice a week.

Bottom line: in both your relationships and healthy habits, it’s incredibly important to be supportive. Pick up the slack when your partner is having a rough time (and enjoy the same in return), and give your body the food and rest it needs to function its best.

Sometimes It’s Hard Work, But It’s Worth it:

 

As someone who’s been in an 11-year relationship, I honestly think the key to a healthy marriage is communication. If something bothers you, say so. Figure it out. Talk about it. Don’t let resentment fester until it’s a huge problem — discuss things before they get to that point!

I get it, though. Conflict is hard. It sucks to have to talk about negative things and have difficult conversations with people you care about deeply. But you know what? This is what healthy relationships are built upon. And if you want to experience a life-changing amount of love, you need to be willing to put in the hard work to get it. Communication (at least for me) is definitely the hardest part…I like to shy away from conflict! But let me tell you — it’s well worth it.

I also tend to be someone who shies away from things that I’m not good at. Who likes to do things that they know they don’t really excel at? Not me! I’m the first to admit that I’m not a great powerlifting. And, truly, I don’t expect to be at 1 year in. But my body does a lot of weird stuff that makes some of the major lifts difficult (I’m looking at you long femurs…), and honestly, I’m just not that strong (yet!).

Normally, though, I probably would’ve given up on this hobby a while ago because I tend to be a competitive person. I like to to be the best at something, and it’s hard to admit to myself that not only am I not the best, but I’m not even close (probably the weakest person in my gym!).

Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m so far behind others that I don’t see the point in trying to compete that’s kept me going. Honestly, I’m not sure! But what I do know is that lately I’ve been focused simply on competing with myself instead of others, and that feels really great.

My point in all this? Do the hard stuff. The rewards are worth it.

Have An Identity Outside of Your Relationships and Hobbies:

I realize this is kind of cliché advice, but it’s really good advice! Whether we’re talking about your relationship or your health habits (like eating well or exercising), you can’t let these things take over your life completely.

It’s so important to have other relationships in your life and focus on things that aren’t health-related. Focusing on one person or activity is a recipe for disaster!

You can’t depend on one person to meet all your social needs, and you can’t expect a healthy, happy life if you focus so much time and energy on one or two aspects of health like eating well or exercising while neglecting the rest.

Be well-rounded in your life — have a variety of social relationships and think about and do things outside of health!

Mix It Up:

What I LOVE about my coach is that he changes up my lifting cycle every 4-8 weeks. For one cycle, I might focus on hypertrophy, and the next might be gearing up to max out on a particular lift. There’s enough consistency in there to see results, but it’s not the same thing over and over again (which not only gets boring, but also gets you sub-par results).

I take this lesson into my marriage as well. We are huge travelers and love going on adventures together, and this has been a huge part of our relationship. To experience a new culture or place with my husband makes our bond stronger.

I imagined that being with someone for over 10 years might eventually get a little boring, but I’ve been surprised to find that life is just as fun if you make sure to mix up your daily routine as much as possible!

And if you’re thinking: “I don’t know… I don’t like to travel” or “I don’t have much time off” – it doesn’t have to be travel necessarily! Even just exploring a different neighborhood nearby, or trying a new restaurant can be a dose of adventure when you need it, so get creative!

Point is, you’ve got to mix it up. Your exercise regimen won’t be as effective if you do the same thing all the time, and your marriage won’t be as strong if you don’t get out of your usual routine once in a while.

Celebrate The Milestones:

I consider this the “treat yo’self” lesson. Celebrate the wins as much as possible! This helps you stay motivated to keep up a good habit (like exercise), and it helps celebrate the hard work you’ve put into a relationship or your healthy routine.

For exercise, one of the ways that I treat myself is by buying new workout clothes as a celebration of particular milestones. Hit a new max? Time for a new sports bra! There’s something great about pulling on brand spankin’ new spandex or a new sports bra that really gets me excited to go to the gym and reminds me of how far I’ve come.

My husband and I never really celebrated our relationship on a yearly basis until last year when we got married to celebrate 10 years together. This year, we decided we should probably get in the habit of celebrating in some way, so we headed to Washington, D.C. for the weekend and splurged on a fancy hotel (The Jefferson).

Such a great opportunity to mix up our daily routine, spend lots of quality time with each other without other distractions, and certainly a treat for both of us!

The Jefferson Hotel was absolutely gorgeous, and the service was phenomenal. Here’s a few pictures to make you a little jealous, and remind you to TREAT YO’SELF every once in a while to celebrate your accomplishments in life. 😉

Classic, beautiful decor.

 

This photo makes the bathtub looks rather small, but in reality, it was so deep and luxurious. Loved it!

 

The best way to be welcomed to a hotel. I don’t even like white chocolate, but these were SO GOOD.

After indulging in those chocolate-covered strawberries, we headed out to explore D.C. Since we only had about two half-days to spend here after driving from NYC, we picked 3 main things to do: the International Spy Museum (really cool!), searching for hidden doors at the Mansion on O Street (quirky, weird place but super fun…we found 8 I think!), and checking out the Dupont Underground (slightly disappointing, but it sounds like they’re working on adding some cool stuff down there).

I must’ve been so consumed with being out-and-about because I didn’t take any pictures of D.C.! Lame on my part — sorry! Next time, D.C., next time…

For our first afternoon, we went to the Spy Museum, then headed back to the hotel for some drinks and then dinner! Possibly went a little too far with the “treat yo’self” idea when we g0t $18 cocktails at the Jefferson’s lounge, Quill. But, wow, they were seriously well-made. Absolutely a splurge, but I gotta say, they were really good, and the atmosphere was great. So…don’t judge me.

I got the House of Orange (Bols Genever, Pierre Ferr and Dry Curacao,
Aperol, Orange bitters) and Aidan got the Triple Crown Jewel (Bulleit Bourbon, Tarragon Lemonade, and Strawberry Grenedine). So good!

We went out for Italian food after having these drinks (yes, I ate gluten — lobster ravioli, in fact). After we finished, it was pretty late, so we headed back to The Jefferson for a bath and bedtime.

The next day, we headed to the Mansion on O Street and the Dupont Underground before heading back home to NYC. It was a short trip, but so much fun, and a reminder that we’ve put some much hard work into our relationship over the last 11 years, and we’ve made a beautiful life together. <3

How do you celebrate life’s accomplishments? Comment below!

Want to See What’s Inside Build Your Biome? Here’s a sneak peek!

I’m so excited to open up the Build Your Biome course again, and I hope you’ll join us!

In this video, I go over the 8-week course outline. You’ll see exactly what you’ll learn in the course, plus get a sneak peek inside the website itself to see what the videos look like!

Want to join the program? Click here to register!

A European Adventure – Visiting Paris, Lisbon, Sintra, Reims, and Epernay

I just got back from an absolutely incredible trip to Portugal and France!

As a wedding gift, my long-time best friend Kristin gave me a flight to Paris with her for a much-needed girls trip (our first one together!). (Also, sorry Aidan, apparently this wedding gift is just for ME :)).

We knew we wanted to visit somewhere other than France since we had both been to Paris before, and spent a while deciding where to go. First we though Barcelona might be fun, but since we had both been there before too, we wanted to find somewhere new to the two of us.

We were looking at cheap flights from Paris to other destinations in Europe and stumbled upon Portugal! Now, I’m a big traveler and of course I have a huge list of destinations that I want to go to…surprisingly, Portugal hadn’t been on it. But, boy, it DEFINITELY should’ve been.

I absolutely loved our time in Portugal, which I’ll tell you about in a bit!

First stop, Paris!

So we flew into Paris and stayed one night at the Terrass Hotel in Montmartre (complete with an awesome rooftop bar – check out my video below!). A really nice hotel – we loved our stay there.

Montmartre is a super cute little area with tons of shops and restaurants lining the hilly streets. We spent our night there relaxing, ate delicious food, and explored the cemetery right outside our hotel the next day before our flight to Lisbon.

The Montmartre Cemetery view from Hotel Terrass

Creepy feet on a grave in Montmartre.

I love finding random graffiti… Thought this one was particularly cool!

Then it was off to Lisbon, Portugal!

 

Oh, Portugal, you’ve completely stolen my heart.

The Santa Justa Lift in Lisbon. (Pro tip: Check out the Carmo Convent behind it to get up to the second level of the lift without having to pay to take it. You can’t go all the way to the top without paying, but you get a darn good view on the second level!)

The spectacular Carmo Convent. This place is awesome and well worth a visit. Won’t take you too long to go through it, but it’s pretty amazing.

 

Honestly, Portugal in general was really amazing. The people there are incredibly kind. After coming from Paris where you get pushed around in the metro until you’re ready to punch someone (sorry, Paris, I know you’ve got some things going for you but you’re just not my cup of tea…), Portugal was a breath of fresh air.

Literally EVERYONE we met was so friendly and helpful and it really made a great impression on me. I only hope travelers coming to NYC think so much of us 😉

 

Lisboa <3

 

We stayed 2 nights at the Living Lounge Hostel in Lisbon. While it wasn’t anything to rave about, it was reasonably priced accommodations in the heart of the city. It’s also a great place to meet other travelers, so if you’re traveling alone I’d highly recommend it!

But we learned one thing about ourselves during our time there — even though we thought we could hack it without a private bathroom, by the end of two days there we decided we needed our own bathroom! So we moved to Brown’s Boutique Hotel down the street. Our room didn’t have a window, which I found a bit odd, and they were also doing construction there. Can’t say our stay there was the best, but hey, we had our own bathroom!

Our first full day in Lisbon was unfortunately a rainy one, so we opted to visit the famous Lisbon Oceanarium (Oceanário de Lisboa).

I grew up in Massachusetts and have been to the Boston Aquarium quite a few times in my life, so let’s just say I’ve got high expectations for any famous aquariums. While I can’t say that Lisbon’s aquarium beat out Boston in my mind, I still absolutely loved it and would highly recommend a visit!


Some stunning aquatic life

 

After the aquarium, we headed back to the center of Lisbon for some lunch!

Now, if you’ve read anything about Lisbon, you probably know that it’s home to the Time Out Market, which is every bit as amazing as you think it will be.

So. Much. Amazing. Food.

I only got to eat there once during my stay, but had we spent more time in Lisbon I definitely would’ve gone back! Affordable meals from so many amazing restaurants in Lisbon.

 

A food lover’s dream…

An amazing piece of cod with a potato and egg concoction. Portugal is a GREAT place for a seafood lover!

Fish and chips with local cod and house-made tartar sauce. (Yes, I eat gluten when I’m on vacation – I tolerate it just fine, so it’s something I’ll enjoy when I’m away from home!)

Pasteis de nata – the famous dessert of Portugal. They are custard tarts…so good! I only had them once while I was there, and now I’m craving them…

Lisbon is a perfect city to just wander around and get lost in. There are signs all around for “miradouros” or lookout points where you can climb up the many hills of Lisbon and see beautiful views of the city and the ocean. Below are some of my photos from just wandering around!

The view from one of Lisbon’s many “miradouros”

Be still, my heart…

My favorite street art find of the whole trip. I’m utterly obsessed with this.

The homogenous (and beautiful) rooftops of Lisbon.

You see some bizarre things when you travel… (The sign reads “More love, please”)

These adorable little trams are all over Lisbon to help bring people up and down the 7 hills the city is built upon.

The night before we left for Sintra, we ate at a delicious restaurant called Bistro Gato Pardo. I had the most amazing shrimp in a buttery, herbed sauce that I just sopped up with bread. I’m still daydreaming about that meal!

If you’re in Lisbon, check this place out!

Next, it was off to Sintra – a quick 40 minute metro ride away!

If you’re planning a trip to Lisbon, you’ve probably read that you should go to Sintra.

It is literally a fairy-tale of a place, and you absolutely MUST go.

But! Almost every article and guide I read before going said to do it as a day trip. I disagree entirely.

If you love amazing historical sites, nature, and good food I recommend that you spend more time here. Sure, you could do it all in a day, but you’d definitely be rushed and exhausted.

We stayed one night at the Moon Hill Hostel (which we loved! We had our own suite, complete with a bathroom and everything. Highly recommend staying here if you’re in Sintra!). It was so nice to be able to take our time at the many different sites in Sintra (and we only ended up seeing 3 — there’s way more!)

I still feel like I could’ve spent more time there, and in fact, we almost decided to add on another night at the Moon Hill Hostel to stay longer! I guess I’ll just have to go back someday 🙂

So if you’re going to Sintra – trust me, you should stay the night unless you’re planning to take the 40-minute train back out the next day. You won’t have time to see everything you want.

Here are some of my photos from Sintra’s amazing sites.

Walked up tons of steps to get to the top of this mountain to see the beautiful historical sites of Sintra… Climbed the equivalent of 116 flights of stairs that day! You can take a cab or bus up the mountain, but if you’re able to hike, it’s really worth it to do so. So much beauty on the way up!

Simply incredible. The Castle of Moors of Sintra (Castelo dos Mouros).

This place was the highlight of the trip for me – it was so cool to be up this high and explore this castle. If you’re headed to Lisbon and thinking about skipping a trip to Sintra – DON’T! You simply can’t miss this.

 

Next up was Palacio de Pena (i.e. real life Disneyworld). I can’t believe this place even exists.

Yeah, this place is real. I know. It’s crazy.

After spending the day hiking around visiting these sites, we were sweaty, exhausted, and of course ready for some food!

We chose Incomum by Luís Santos, which was a quick walk from Moon Hill Hostel, and deeeeelish.

We started with a cheese plate (as we did almost every night!). This one was particularly good…served with toasted bread with cranberries in it (I think?) and tomato chutney.

Scallops and mushroom risotto. (Also, anyone know what those green things are? They tasted kind of scallion-like and were really yummy! I’m curious to know what they are as I haven’t seen them anywhere else.) My friend had the sea bass, which was utterly amazing, but I didn’t get a picture of it. Guess I was too jealous of her for ordering it that I couldn’t bring myself to take a pic…

Before we headed to Cabo de Roca the next morning, we had to fit in one more historical site in Sintra – Quinta de Regaleira. If I’m being perfectly honest with myself, it was a slight letdown after the absolute wonder of both Castelo dos Mouros and Palacio de Pena.

Not that it’s not amazing, of course – it is! – but after seeing the incredible views the day before, this was just slightly less exciting. I’d recommend visiting it before you go to Castelo dos Mouros and Palacia de Pena so you’re not totally spoiled 😉

Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra

 

After Quinta da Regaleira, it was off to Cabo de Roca. You can take the 403 bus from Sintra to get there in about 30-40 minutes. Absolutely worth the trip.

Cabo de Roca is the Westernmost point of Europe, so you’re on the edge of the world! We could’ve easily spent more time here than we did, but we were in a slight rush to get back to Lisbon. There are tons of walking paths around the cliffs to explore, so make sure you book enough time to really enjoy it!

We spent a few hours here, and like I said, easily could have done more.

I walked down to those people on that skinny edge of rocks (you can see them, but they’re really small from all the way up here).

Where I walked from…See the tiny people at the top?

Me, down on the rocks. Awesome views!

After spending some time in Cabo de Roca, it was time to head back to Lisbon. We were trying to get back for a Fado show (the famous music of Portugal), but accidentally missed it due to some travel issues (oops!).

Instead, we settled in our hotel for the night at Hello Lisbon São Bento Valley Boutique Apartments. I don’t know why we expected anything different given that “apartment” is in the name, but we totally weren’t expecting to walk into a fully functional apartment! Here’s a video of ours below.

Once we settled in, we looked for a restaurant to enjoy our last night in Portugal. We ended up at Churrasqueira da Paz, which was a great choice!

They bring over the options of fresh fish for you to choose, then grill up your choice. They also have steaks (which, by the way, are a very common thing to find in Portugal and always good). I won’t say I was blown away by the food I ate here, but it was simple, super affordable, and delicious. We also got a pitcher of the house wine (which was 3 euros!) and shots of ginjinha, a sour cherry liquor made in Portugal.

It’s a tiny little restaurant, and due to the proximity of the tables, we ended up meeting many travelers that night and talking for hours. We closed the place out!

My food photos from that night weren’t very good since I didn’t bring my big camera, so I’ll just leave you with our cheers to Portugal!

The next morning we flew out very early, so we got a look at the sunrise. Ciao, Portugal!


Then we were back to France!

We headed straight to Reims, part of the Champagne region of France, after landing at the airport.

What were we here for? Why, champagne tasting, of course!

Our first stop was Mumm Champagne house. We had a few others on our list, but sadly some of them don’t operate in March when we were there.

Look at that bubbly goodness…

Their cellars were interesting and it was definitely fun to be there, but I will say that I had a better time at Moet & Chandon in Epernay next.

I liked their tour much better, their cellars were more interesting to look at, and for about the same price as Mumm, you could opt for a tasting of two different champagnes (a white and a rosé).

I’d still recommend both tours because it’s fun to see different cellars and taste different champagnes, but if you’re just going for one I’d choose Moet & Chandon!


After exploring the Champagne region for a day and a half, we went back to Paris for the final night of our trip.

And of course, we had to go out with a bang.

We booked our tickets for the famous Moulin Rouge show! I didn’t know what to expect for this, and part of me thought it might be over-hyped.

But I had a lot of fun! It was less raunchy than I thought it would be, but it was an amazing spectacle. The costumes, the acrobatic acts, the dancing…it was all incredible. Sadly, no photos were allowed during the show, so I can only show the evidence that we went!

Entering the theatre.

The sparkly stage.

Our terrible selfie in front of the entrance.

There you have it! Our entire trip to France and Portugal. We were so sad to leave, and I can’t wait to go back!

Leaving Paris!

Interested in the places we visited? Check out my Google Maps Lists for the cities below. Note that I didn’t end up going to every place on these lists, but they were things I was interested in checking out!

Paris

Lisbon

Sintra

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How To Keep a Food Journal (Plus 10 Things To Keep Track Of)

How To Keep a Food Journal (Plus 10 Things To Keep Track Of)

Meal LoggerWhenever I start working with a client, I always tell them to keep a food and symptom diary. It’s one of the most important tools to use when we’re trying to figure out possible food sensitivities, as well as instrumental in losing weight and keeping it off. In fact, it’s been shown that those who keep a food journal at least 6 days a week lose (on average) twice as much weight as those who don’t (1). In my experience, a combination of a paleo elimination diet with keeping a food journal provides the best results in terms of finding hidden food sensitivities. For these reasons, I think keeping track of your intake with a journal is one of the best things you can do for your health.

 

What App Should I Use to Keep Track of My Food?

I’m always experimenting with new phone apps for this purpose because I find that they are the easiest way to keep track of my intake. I’ve tried the usual ones like MyFitnessPal, but they are time-consuming (if you’ve ever tried this app, I’m sure you’ll say the same!) and too calorie-focused.

One app I’ve found recently is called Meal Logger, and it has by far surpassed all the other apps I’ve tried. Meal Logger works on your desktop, iPhone, or Android and is super easy. Instead of entering each food and portion size individually, you just snap a picture of your food and upload it to your journal. You can also put a note that corresponds with your picture (i.e. “2 scrambled eggs and sweet potato”). Keeping track of your food literally takes 30 seconds!

With Meal Logger you can also add a “Daily Note”, which patients have been using to enter some of the symptoms they had that day, keep track of blood sugar levels, or let me know that they had a stressful day. Some patients also just upload a picture and use the note that corresponds with it to enter their symptoms there. Though I wish Meal Logger included some built-in tools for symptoms, there are easy ways to include them even without that.

You can also connect with your nutritionist or other professional via Meal Logger so that they can see what you’ve been eating, which is my favorite part of the app. As a dietitian, I can send an email to a client inviting them to use the program. When they accept, they show up as one of my clients and I can see whatever they have put in their diary. It’s a super easy way for me to keep track of what’s going in everyone’s mouth! When we have follow ups, I don’t have to wade through emails upon emails looking for your journal – it’s all right at my fingertips.

I highly suggest checking out Meal Logger if you’re looking for a program that will let you easily keep track of your food intake. It doesn’t rely on calorie-counting (though there are some tools within the app if you really want to go that route), it makes it easy to see portion sizes, and you can even connect to your nutritionist or other professional through the app for easy transfer of information.

 

10 Things to Keep Track Of

When you’re keeping a food diary, you should of course make sure to put everything that crosses your lips into the journal. Though you can enter food items without pictures via Meal Logger, I highly suggest snapping some pics before entering the information, especially if you’re keeping this for your dietitian! But beyond the obvious, let’s talk about some things you should make sure to include:

  1. Spices: It’s possible to be sensitive to spices, so it’s a good idea to include these in your journal. Since we’re just taking pictures, you’ll want to make sure to include any spices beyond salt and pepper in your note that goes with the picture.
  2. Cooking Fats: It’s always useful to know what fat something was cooked in, so definitely include this information in your note, too.
  3. Hidden ingredients: This goes along with what we’ve already mentioned – make sure to write down any ingredients that aren’t obvious from your photo. For example, if you made a sauce that was on top of your chicken instead of writing “sauce”, write down exactly what you made the sauce with.
  4. If you ate out: If you ate out at a restaurant, make sure to write that in your note! Though you may know now it was a meal outside the house, you might forget later when you’re looking back or if you’re sending it into your nutritionist, he or she may not know.
  5. If you didn’t finish the meal: You’ll be taking pictures before you start your meal, so make sure to write yourself (or your nutritionist) a note that you didn’t finish your meal. If you want to be extra good, you could even take another picture of the stuff you didn’t finish. Or, just write a quick note approximating the portion that was left untouched.
  6. Bowel Movements: Yeah, maybe not the most pleasant thing to write about but it’s important! You can write this in your Daily Note or put it in your journal – either way works. And be a little specific – was it loose, formed, diarrhea, etc?
  7. Your specific symptoms: If you’re trying to get rid of reflux, hives, or whatever other symptom you may have, make sure you keep track of when these symptoms are popping up for you throughout the day. When you (or you and your nutritionist) look back at older diaries, you’ll then be able to pick up on patterns and potentially find hidden food sensitivities.
  8. Life Stress: If you had an extremely stressful day, write it down! Stress can be related to your symptoms as well as food, so don’t forget about it.
  9. Exercise: Meal Logger allows you to keep track of workouts as well – make sure to use this feature!
  10. Sleep: Meal Logger also allows you to track sleep. You can sync it with a device you use for this (like a FitBit) so that it will be done for you, or you enter it manually.

  Do you have any favorite apps for keeping track of your meals?

Sources:

1. Hollis, Jack F., et al. “Weight loss during the intensive intervention phase of the weight-loss maintenance trial.” American journal of preventive medicine35.2 (2008): 118.

Butter in Astoria, NY

Butter in Astoria, NY

IMG_1944I thought I would link to this post all about butter from weheartastoria.com (if you live in Astoria and haven’t checked out this blog – do so! They’re a great resource for the neighborhood!). You might be able to find these butters elsewhere (I know Kerrygold is sold far and wide, of course) but for those in the area, this is a great guide to finding butter locally!

Astoria is a great place for a foodie, and I’m glad to call it home. Now that I’ve tempted you, here is the link for the butter article. Enjoy!

 

NEW: Food Log Tune-Ups

NEW: Food Log Tune-Ups

diaryDo you have some lingering symptoms that you’d like to kick? Not sure if you’re eating enough or too much carbohydrate? Think FODMAPs might be bothering your gut?

I’ve recently decided to add a new option: food log tune-ups! These are email appointments – basically, you send me your food and symptoms log, I’ll take a look and we’ll email about what might be contributing to your issues or keeping you from your goals.

First food logs are $40, and any subsequent logs are $25 each. I really hope that having this option allows us to trouble-shoot some minor issues or give you some added support and suggestions.

Food log tune-ups are for curre you’d like to make a food log appointment with me, check out my Services page.

As always, let me know if you have any questions!

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You can now find me on ChrisKresser.com!

You can now find me on ChrisKresser.com!

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 9.36.47 PM

I am so thrilled to be a part of the Chris Kresser community! If you’re unfamiliar with Chris’ work, definitely take the time to go through some of his blog posts. He is a wonderful source of information regarding nutrition, and I recommend his work highly!

Click here for my post on his site!

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Caramelized Orange Juice Carnitas

Caramelized Orange Juice Carnitas

 

[yumprint-recipe id=’2′]Secret tip: orange juice. Seriously, it makes these carnitas to die for. Yes, you can make carnitas without it, but don’t.IMG_1489

Kitchen equipment:

  • Dutch oven or slow cooker

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 lbs pork shoulder, chopped into big cubes (you can easily do a bigger roast, just add a little more of all other ingredients. Trust me, you’ll want leftovers)
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbs lard
  • salt and pepper
  • lettuce for wraps
  • any other toppings you’d like!

Directions:

  • If you’re starting with a full pork shoulder, trim the skin and chop the meat and fat into large cubes. 
  • Coat the bottom of the dutch oven or slow cooker with lard
  • Chop onion and poblano pepper and add to dutch oven
  • Add pork shoulder
  • Sprinkle on all the spices and toss
  • Squeeze orange juice and grate some zest into the dutch oven
  • Mix it all together
  • Let simmer on low for ~2-3 hours with cover on
  • Once the orange juice has evaporated and the fat has rendered, take off the cover and turn up the heat to let the meat crisp up in the fat
  • Put meat in a lettuce wrap and add whatever toppings you’d like!

 

Ancestral Health Symposium (a quick recap!)

Ancestral Health Symposium (a quick recap!)

IMG_1442This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Ancestral Health Symposium at Harvard University. I had a blast! It was really fantastic to meet some like-minded dietitians, physicians, and all sorts of other practitioners in this field and put our minds together.

Some highlights for me included:

1. I spoke with Dr. Eugene Fine from Albert Einstein College of Medicine about the future of therapeutic low carbohydrate diets. Let me first say that I am a huge proponent of individualized dietary therapy. For some, carbohydrates can be absolutely great and they do just fine with them. However, a lot of people have damaged metabolisms that can benefit from a carbohydrate-restricted approach. During his panel, Dr. Fine brought up a current issue that many doctors are facing – perhaps they believe a restricted carbohydrate approach could benefit their patient, but they have no dietitian to refer them out to. That’s because at the moment, dietitians do not learn about restricted carbohydrate diets in school, so any expertise is learned outside of the classroom and the hospital. This is a big problem. Dr. Fine and I have been chatting via email and my hope is to perhaps be able to take on some NYC patients who have no dietitian so they can get the support and guidance they need.
2. I briefly talked with Dr. Thomas Seyfried, author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease. I had actually never heard of his book, but after hearing him speak at the conference, it is next on my list to read. Really, really interesting stuff. Cancer has always been something I’ve been fascinated with, and it’s a population that I would love to work with in the future. He pointed me in the direction of a dietitian using restricted ketogenic diets to help patients and told me to get in contact with her, and we’ll hopefully be speaking over the phone in the near future.

3. I met three dietetic students from the University of Connecticut, as well as a few dietitians. It truly amazes me how many like-minded professionals are out there – it’s just a matter of meeting them. It was great to talk to these students/dietitians about what it’s like to use these dietary principles in practice.

4. I met Stephanie Schilling of Living Clean, Cooking Dirty. She’s in the same Masters program as I am, and it was wonderful to meet her in person finally!

5. The food!!! I had some amazing food this weekend in Boston and at the Sustainable Dish dinner at Diana Rodger’s farm in Carlisle, MA. Here’s the Sustainable Dish dinner menu, catered by Chive Events (which, strangely enough, I found out I went to high school with one of the owners!).

I also had the amazing pork trio at the Russell House Tavern in Cambridge.

6. Spending some quality time with my mom! I took my mom with me to AHS this year because it was held in Massachusetts, near where I grew up. We had a great time together!

All in all, AHS was a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend attending this symposium in the future if you haven’t been to one yet!