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Wine Tasting 101 with Broadway “Mean Girl” Kate Rockwell

October 17th at 7pm EST

RESERVE YOUR VIRTUAL SEAT FOR JUST $15!

Kate Rockwell (playing Karen Smith), Taylor Louderman (playing Regina George), Ashley Park (playing Gretchen Wieners)
Pictured: Kate Rockwell (playing Karen Smith), Taylor Louderman (playing Regina George), Ashley Park (playing Gretchen Wieners)
Enjoy a virtual tasting with a wine expert. Kate Rockwell is WSET-certified, and spent years working in the wine industry

Meet the Broadway Wino!

Do you love wine and Broadway? Then you’re really going to love this brand- new virtual wine tasting event lead by Broadway “Mean Girl” . . .

Kate Rockwell, who most recently starred as Karen Smith in Mean Girls: the Musical on Broadway, is turning the spotlight onto her second love . . . wine!

Kate is a WSET-certified wine-lover with several years of experience in the NYC wine industry, and she’s using her time off the Broadway stage to help spread her love of all things vinifera (fancy word for grape).

During this virtual wine tasting 101 class, you will:

  • Learn the basics of wine tasting! You’ll learn Kate’s method for tasting wine, the questions to ask when picking out the perfect bottle for any occasion, and why she loves wine! Plus, you’ll be able to ask Kate questions live!
  • Try two wines side by side with Kate! She’ll lead you through the tasting and discuss the primary characteristics of those particular styles of wine and the grape varietals used to make them (what makes a California Pinot Noir unique? Why is it different from a French pinot noir? And why is it called something different in France than in the US?).
  • Discuss the nuances of the two SPECIFIC bottles Kate has selected to taste! She’ll discuss the individual producers from that particular vintage, how they relate to their overarching “categories” of wine, and why they either fit or don’t. Wine is like live theater – every bottle is a unique experience, and no two bottles will ever taste the same. That’s what makes each bottle special!
  • And of course, no Broadway Wino class would be complete without a special guest! One of Kate’s incredible Broadway star pals will join us for a glass of wine and a little B-way chitchat.

We’ll be tasting the following wines:

  • Au Bon Climat Chardonnay 2018
  • Presqu’ile Winery Pinot Noir 2018

Get your backstage pass to hang out with Kate and talk all things wine and Broadway on October 17th at 7pm ET!

RESERVE YOUR VIRTUAL SEAT FOR JUST $15!

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5 of the Best Healthy Food and Wine Pairings

Food and wine pairings are an important skill to master. You have to know the right type of wine that will enhance the flavor of a dish. The proper pairing can help achieve the right balance of flavors that would complement each other beautifully. But aside from achieving the correct balance of flavor, it is also important to choose a healthy pairing. You can indulge in good flavor without compromising on health. So, these are the best food and wine pairings that won’t make you feel guilty or damage your diet.

Turkey Chili and Red Wine

Turkey chili is a recipe that offers a ton of flavor and comfort. While beef chili is a common recipe, you can create a healthier version by using turkey meat instead. Turkey is much leaner and is just as flavorful as beef when it comes to this recipe. This hearty meal is the perfect way to cap off your day or to fuel you before an intense workout. It is a great meal option if you run out of vanilla flavored protein powders to energize you ahead of a good workout. It is also ideal for a lazy night in and you need to serve up a hearty meal.

This dish is loaded with nutrients and flavors as it uses ingredients such as beans, vegetables, and lots of spices (aside from the lean turkey meat). It is bold and complex, so you need to pair it with a red wine of your choice. In particular, Cotes du Rhone and Zinfandel are perfect with this dish. It adds a spicy kick to your palate without causing too much heat. 

Grilled Salmon and Red Wine

Another excellent dish that is hearty and healthy is grilled salmon. Salmon is a very tasty fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. It is, therefore, one of the healthiest kinds of fish you could consume as part of your diet. In fact, health experts recommend that you get at least two servings of salmon per week.

Grilled salmon goes perfectly with red wine. (Image Source: Unsplash)

This delicious fish can be served grilled as this adds a smoky element to the flavor. You can pair it with a delicious sauce or fresh herbs to boost the taste. When it comes to pairing it with wine, varieties such as Gamay or Pinot Noir go perfectly with salmon. The fruits that were used to create these wines complement the rich flavor of the fish beautifully. If you are a white wine fanatic, then you can also pair it with some Chardonnay.

Citrus Vinaigrette Salad and Sauvignon Blanc

If you are a fan of salads, then you’ll be pleased to know that there is a perfect wine pairing for that–Sauvignon Blanc. This particular type of wine is known for its hints of grassy and citrusy flavors. It goes perfectly with a salad that is made with citrus vinaigrette, particularly lemon. While some types of wine might be overwhelmed by the citrus notes of the salad, the case is not the same with Sauvignon Blanc. In fact, both salad and wine complement each other beautifully. 

White Fish and White Wine

Whitefish is another healthy kind of seafood you can indulge in. Not only is white fish healthy, but it also comes with a mild flavor. For this reason, it is best paired with white wines because it won’t overpower the flavor of the fish meat (which is the case with red wines).

Whitefish is also low in fat content, so it is a good choice for health-conscious individuals. To make it healthier, white fish is best served grilled or baked. Make sure to sprinkle fresh herbs such as dill on top along with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice. Whatever type of white wine you pair it with, it is sure to be a winning combo!

Grilled Vegetables and Red Wine

Grilled vegetables are another healthy meal option that you can try for your next food and wine pairing. This is a delicious combination that will make you forget just how healthy it is! The best thing about grilled vegetables is that you can use any type of vegetable that is available. Put them on a grill and season them, and you are all set.

Red wine and grilled vegetables make a good pair. (Image Source: Unsplash)

Grilled vegetables are best paired with red wines like Merlot or Grenache. But if you want to add a bold sauce to your grilled veggies, then you might want to pair it with Syrah. There are plenty of wine pairings that will go well with grilled vegetables, so have fun experimenting!

Enjoying your next wine night at home can be healthy and delicious. You can choose from any of the above wine pairings to indulge yourself without the guilt!

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Whey protein

Muscle helps with stability and balance. Are you looking to increase your muscle? Many try whey protein.

When it comes to building muscle, the most important part of the diet is protein. It is a building block of muscle tissue. If you want to build strong and lasting muscle, consider the benefits of whey protein.

Whey protein pros and cons

Protein is one of the staples of a strong diet along with carbohydrates and fats. Eating them in the proper proportions will help you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. As you get older, the body loses muscle mass. Building muscle becomes even more crucial for stability, longevity and proper body functioning.

Consider whey protein

Do you remember the Little Miss Muffet nursery rhyme? She sat on her tuffet eating curds and whey. Whey is produced when you are making cheese. It is the top layer that is separated out. This is a pure kind of protein that has many benefits to the body, especially for those who are trying to build muscle.

Now whey protein is not just for body builders. Muscle is important at all stages of life. To help muscles recover from a workout, whether cardio or a strength training routine, it needs protein for the repair and rebuild. Whey protein provides the most branched-chain amino acids for optimum return.

Well, you might be saying that protein is not hard to come by and you’d be right. Of all the nutrients in your diet, protein is the one that is most often not lacking. You find protein in many sources: meat, dairy, eggs, green leafy vegetables and seafood. But, the quality of protein is what differs. Animal protein contains a measure of fat as well as the protein.

What are some other benefits of whey? Think about how hard it is to lose weight. As you age, it doesn’t get any easier. Whey protein as a daily protein source can help with that.

Adding protein at every meal helps to balance your blood sugar. It eases those cravings for sweets and other unhealthy foods in the middle of the day. Your blood sugar is more even, just like eating complex carbs but without the added sugar intake. You can concentrate on eating healthier and getting the exercise you need to increase your weight loss.

Cons

There is a downside to just about everything. As far as whey protein goes, it may be the intake. The average intake is about 25 grams a day for the average athlete or person working out consistently who wants to lose weight and tone their muscles. Bodybuilders increase that six-fold to make great muscle gains in the least amount of time.

Consuming too much protein can cause problems with the liver. It will have a hard time breaking it down. If you use whey protein, use it wisely and compensate by lowering other protein sources in your diet.

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Volumetrics and Fat Resistance diets

Volumetrics, the diet of more food and more weight loss, which focuses on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and the Fat Resistance Diet, the diet of counting 1, 2, 3 to lose weight, which includes foods high in carotenoids, flavonoids, fresh herbs and spices. Weight loss does not mean to stop eating at all. It is more a change of habits and the food that encourages weight loss it is also healthy. There are different strategies to induce people to eat better and lose weight at the same time, both the Volumetrics and the Fat Resistance Diet seem to encourage good habits, so it could be worth to give one of them a try, if it suits your lifestyle.

Volumetrics, the diet of more food and more weight loss

The Volumetrics Eating Plan is based on the simple fact that people like to eat. And, if people are given the choice between eating more and eating less, they’ll take more almost every time. It has been burned into our society and culture. Just look at meal sizes over the last thirty years and you will notice that not only have the portions increased, the size of the plate has increased too.

Unlike diets that are based on deprivation, the Volumetrics diet doesn’t try to fight this natural preference. Its creator, nutritionist Barbara Rolls, PhD, argues that limiting your diet is not sustainable; you will just wind up hungry and unhappy and revert back to your original eating habits. Let’s take a look at the basics of the Volumetrics Eating Plan.

The Volumetrics approach

The approach Dr. Rolls takes is to help people find food they can eat lots of while still losing weight. The diet revolves around the feeling of fullness, or satiety. The theory is that people feel full based on the amount of food they eat, not the number of calories or nutrient density.

So, the trick is to fill up on foods that aren’t full of calories, which allows the dieter to stick to the main principle of calorie restriction. Dr. Rolls claims that in some cases, following a Volumetrics diet will allow you to eat more than you do now, while still slimming down.

Dr. Rolls has excellent credentials. She a professor of nutrition and director of the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior at Penn State University. She is also the author of more than 200 research articles. Volumetrics is based, in large part, on the work done in her laboratory.

What you can eat on the Volumetrics Diet

Since the diet doesn’t revolve around differences in body types or “good” foods and “bad” foods, Dr. Rolls doesn’t ban food types as part of the Volumetrics diet. She does, however, urge people to evaluate foods based on their energy density which is a critical concept for the diet.

Energy density is the number of calories in a specified amount of food. Some foods are more energy dense than others, like fats, which have a lot of calories packed into a small size. Water, on the other hand, has an energy density of zero.

Basically, this diet is a game to see how you can eat more food while eating fewer calories. Here is a short break down to give you some idea of what Volumetrics is all about.

Very low-density foods include: Non-starchy vegetables – Nonfat milk – Soup broths

Very high-density foods include: Crackers – Chips – Cookies – Chocolate and Candies – Nuts – Butter and Oils

Since water is the ultimate zero-density food, Volumetrics relies heavily on foods with a high water content, such as many vegetables and fruits, which are 80 to 95 percent water. These will fill you up without adding a lot of calories. Dr. Rolls also suggests eating lots of foods with filling fiber, along with adequate portions of lean protein and healthy fats from fish and other sources. Of course, energy-dense foods, like sweets, fats, and alcohol, are still allowed, but only in moderation.

Is Volumetrics the diet for you?

Anyone who loves lots and lots of food, will enjoy the Volumetrics diet. You will still have to do some simple math to calculate the energy density of foods, but at least you don’t have to track calories or deny yourself a small bite of that delicious chocolate mousse. If endless bowls of soup and piles of veggies and fruit appeal to you, dig into Volumetrics and watch the weight come off.

The Fat Resistance Diet, count 1 2 3 to weight loss

The Fat Resistance Diet was developed by Dr.Leo Galland who is recognized as an expert in the field of nutritional medicine. It is based on the concept that hormones, which include leptin and adiponectin, control the appetite and body fat levels in the body. When fat levels become too high in the body, inflammation occurs that subsequently alters the body chemistry and balance of these hormones. The idea behind the diet is to reduce inflammation which restores the body’s chemistry, reducing cravings, promoting fat burning, and helping the dieter to achieve a healthy weight.

3 stages of weight loss and control

There are three stages to the Fat Resistance Diet. In the initial stages carbohydrates such as grains and starchy vegetables are avoided, but as the dieter progresses through the three stages the amount of carbohydrates is gradually reintroduced.

Stage 1 concentrates on reducing inflammation and restoring blood sugar levels. This is achieved by an abundance of super foods and nine to ten servings of fruit and vegetables every day along with a relatively high intake of quality protein. The high nutritional quality of the this phase will help to re-balance body chemistry and cut your cravings for carbohydrates. This stage also provides a jump-start to the fat loss process.

Stage 2 increases your choice of foods so that the diet is suitable for long-term fat loss. After completing Stage 1, the insulin levels in the body should have decreased which allows for tolerance of more complex carbohydrates in the diet. Stage 2 allows for reintroduction of legumes as well as some whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice.

Stage 3 is the maintenance stage. In this stage the variety of foods increase further to include healthy grain-based meals like carrot raisin muffins, blueberry flax pancakes, and even whole grain pasta. The inflammation reducing foods are still emphasized while the caloric content of the diet is slightly higher to allow for maintenance of weight loss.

Recommended foods

The foundation of the diet is fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance, as these contain phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids which act as anti-inflammatories.

Foods which are high in carotenoids include: carrots, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, pumpkin, papaya

Foods which are high in flavonoids include: blueberries, cherries, pomegranate, citrus fruit, dark grapes, green tea, onions, dark chocolate

Fresh herbs and spices can also be used during the diet because they have important nutritional factors which reduce inflammation and improve the taste of foods without adding calories.

The diet also emphasizes increasing the intake of foods that are high in good fats like the Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish, walnuts, flaxseeds and dark green leafy vegetables. These fats play an important role in reducing inflammation as well as improving general health.

Is this the diet for you?

The Fat Resistance Diet is a solid weight loss plan based on nutritional science. Besides losing weight, this diet has an added bonus of helping to reduce inflammation within the body and supplying high levels of antioxidants to help control hormones and keep your body healthy and happy. If you like the idea of a diet plan based on scientific study, you might want to give the Fat Resistance Diet a try.

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Are you an emotional overeater?

By Andrea Metcalf, nationally renowned exercise expert, Certified Personal Trainer, and Author of Naked Fitness: The Proven 28 Day Lifestyle Program for a Slimmer, Fitter, Pain Free Body.

Take this short quiz to find out. Tick on Yes or No.

I turn to food when I’m sad, disappointed, or lonely.    
I often eat past the point of fullness.    
When I’m upset, I crave sweets or salty snack foods.    
When I go to parties or dine out with friends, I tend to overeat.    
If I eat too much, I feel guilty afterwards.    
I eat more than I should when I’m home alone or bored.    
My moods have the biggest influence on when and how I eat.    
I like to nurture family and friends with food.    
I think about food a lot.    
I am unhappy with my weight, but I overeat anyway.    
Eating is my favorite activity.    
I tend to clean my plate; I don’t like to waste food.    
I binge habitually.    
The large amount of food I eat embarrasses me.    
Sugary foods tend to calm me down.    

Scoring

Count up your yeses and your noes.

If you answered yes to eight or more questions: Your feelings of anger, frustration, loneliness, sadness, boredom, or even happiness might be causing you to overeat. And you are probably an emotional overeater. You may be eating too much or eating chaotically, but what you are really feeding is something in your life: relationship problems, broken dreams, financial worries, or problems at work. Try the strategies in this chapter, but don’t be afraid to seek professional help.

If you answered yes to four to seven questions: You may be struggling with some emotions from time to time. You are a borderline emotional overeater. At this point, it will be easier to get your eating habits under control by applying some of the strategies in this chapter.

If you circled three or fewer yeses:

The above is an excerpt from the book Naked Fitness: The Proven 28 Day Lifestyle Program for a Slimmer, Fitter, Pain Free Body by Andrea Metcalf. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.

© 2010 Andrea Metcalf, author of Naked Fitness: The Proven 28 Days Lifestyle Program for a Slimmer, Fitter, Pain Free Body.

A simple quizz.

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Vacuum sealers

Many people swear by vacuum sealers while others detest them to the utmost degree.

The question arises…

Are vacuum sealers worth it?

From the infomercials seen on TV, to the shelves of clearance items at your local general store, vacuum sealers are all over the place declaring their superiority over simple human packaging. Has the thought ever crossed your mind; “Are vacuum sealers really worth their high price and cheep looking design?” Well, if it has, you are in luck because we are going to take a look at what makes a good vacuum sealer and if they are really worth all of the hype.

Sealing mechanism

It doesn’t matter how much air a vacuum sealer can suck out of a package. If the mechanism used to seal the package does not work properly or leaves holes in the seal, you might as well have thrown your money into a fire. Some vacuum sealers have specialized bags that work specifically with the sealer to make sure the sealing mechanism doesn’t cause holes or tares.

The sealer works by slightly heating up the sides of the bag and pressing them together in order to melt the plastic to a point where no holes occur. Some sealers get too hot and end up burning through the plastic, creating possible entry points for air. When choosing a vacuum sealer, usually the ones with specifically designed bags work best because the plastic is composed of the exact make-up needed to prevent melting or holes.

Suction

Just like melted bags, a vacuum sealer is completely pointless if it doesn’t do what it says it will do; vacuum. Some of the sealers on the market today, either because they are poorly powered or do not have the best hardware, have extremely low amounts of suction for their intended use.

There is, of course, a flip side to this situation, which is a vacuum sealer with too much power behind the vacuum. When there is too much suction, the food inside the pouch can actually become crushed. Another problem with a lot of suction is that food can become partially dehydrated, which we discussed, leads to an increased chance for freezer burn. It is important to look for a vacuum sealer, which can control the amount of suction it puts on a piece of food as to not demolish it.

Worth it?

As many variables as vacuum sealers can have, it is not worth investing the money unless you do some serious research first and are willing to give up a few green ones in place of the Ziploc and straw method. If you have the time and patience, you could try numerous ones out to see if the work well, but you can get the same freezer results if you take the time to correctly package your foods.

In the end, it is eventually up to you alone whether you want to spend the money on the vacuum sealer, just remember to check for holes in your bags and also to initially freeze your bagged food to keep it from getting destroyed and helping to prevent freezer burn.