A Good Food Day

Posted on | January 15, 2015 | 22 Comments

oldsweetsong_agoodfoodday

As promised, I’m giving away a beautiful, brand new copy of the cookbook my friend Tammy co-wrote with NYC chef Marco Canora. I don’t fall in love with cookbooks all that often. I mean, I love them because I love to read recipes because I love food. (what?! lay off me I’m starving!) And they are so fun to look it but it’s actually not that often that a cookbook comes along that I know I’ll actually use. The last one was Gwenyth Paltrow’s It’s All Good. And now, I have A Good Food Day. And I’m not just saying that because one of my besties co-authored it. I absolutely love this book. The recipes not only look delicious but they come from a health and wellness standpoint that closely aligns with mine. Cooking with whole foods without sacrificing any of the flavor or fun of eating.

From AGoodFoodDay.com:
“If you love food and want to eat well to feel good, this book is for you. If you’re already kicking ass in the healthy eating department and you want to breathe some new life into your favorite ingredients, this book is for you. If you’re just getting going on a health kick (’tis the season), and you’re freaked about being hungry or bored with the good-for-you stuff, get yo-self a copy. Get inspired and get cooking.”

Confession: I already sent three of these out as New Years gifts and now I’m giving a copy to one of you.

Simply answer this question in the comments section: what is your absolute favorite vegetable?

Good luck, friends!

THIS GIVEAWAY HAD ENDED

It’s Sweater Time

Posted on | January 14, 2015 | 1 Comment

Y’all. Y’all. It’s seriously cold here. Aaaaand we have no gas right now (long story). It’s times like these when I realize my sweater game is pretty pathetic. Like embarrassingly so. How have a I lived here for ten years with so few sweaters?! What is wrong with me?! Wait, let’s not get into that right now. Instead, let’s go on a sweater hunt, my friends. It’s a bit of an emergency.

p.s. I’m going to the Daily Show today. Look for me! I’ll be the one making out with Jon Stewart.

oldsweetsong_treasurehuntsweaters1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

 

Whole 30: First 10 Days

Posted on | January 12, 2015 | 2 Comments

Well, I made it through my first week. Actually today is the 11th day of Whole30. A.k.a. I am 1/3 through. It hasn’t been easy but it also hasn’t been ridiculously hard either. I haven’t wanted to kill anyone or pull all my hair out (yet), so that’s a good sign.

The Good:
– I’m eating delicious, homemade food constantly. Because I’m hardly eating out (and not drinking) I’m allowing myself to buy the best groceries I can. Mostly organic produce plus high quality meat and lots of them! I was working from home last week which made everything exponentially easier. I didn’t have to pack a lunch or figure out what snacks to take with me. I was always right by my kitchen which was stocked with delicious, Whole30 approved foods. I’ve also had tons of time to meal plan and chop (so much shopping!) and cook all this wholesome deliciousness. I made my own mayonnaise for christ’s sake (and it was effing delicious).

The Bad:
– I was sleeping pretty terribly. But that’s not totally out of the norm for me. Part of the reason I wanted to try a Whole30 is because of the possibility of improved sleep. The last two nights have been better so maybe I’m through the worst. My energy levels were also pretty low last week but who knows if that was because of the sleep or the change in my diet. I’m feeling more energized today so we’ll see what the future holds.
– I am cooking and/or prepping and/or meal planning a lot. Like pretty much all the time. You have to be insanely organized and have your meals planned out. You can’t really be all the spontaneous on Whole30. I am fortunate enough to have the time to devote to my Whole30 right now but I can’t imagine balancing all of this with a demanding full-time job or a couple of kids. But people do it, and they are more amazing than I.
– I really wanted a glass of wine or a sip of beer multiple times this weekend. But it was nice to wake up on both days with a clear head and hangover-free.

So, as I enter the next phase of this thing I’m feeling pretty okay. It’s a lot of fat which takes some getting used to. Not because it’s not delicious but because I’m so used to avoiding fat in my diet. It’s also more meat and less fruit than I’m used to. It’s a lot of change and I have no idea where this journey is taking me but I hope it’s somewhere good.

P.s. Here’s some of the deliciousness I’ve been eating. I tired to take a variety of pictures of what I’m eating but it seems heavily weighted toward breakfast. I’ll try to snag some more lunch and dinner shots this week.
oldsweetsong_whole30meals01
1. Dinner – baked sweet potato with leftover chili sautéed with spinach on top 2. Breakfast – two scrambled eggs with peppers, onions, spinach and avocado + hot sauce (Cholula is Whole30 approved!) 3. Lunch – arugula salad with leftover grilled chicken, olives, roasted red peppers and walnuts with dressing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. 4. Lunch – egg salad (with homemade mayo) on a salad of mixed greens, cukes and sugar snap peas. 5. Breakfast – has of sweet potatoes, onions peppers and spinach with fried egg and avocado and hot sauce on top. 6. Breakfast – Aidell’s Chicken Sausage with spinach, onions, peppers and leftover cauliflower mash + hot sauce 7. Breakfast – hash of leftover chicken, sweet potato, onions and parsley. 8. Breakfast –  two hard boiled eggs and hash of butternut squash, onions and baby kale 9. Lunch – spinach salad with grilled chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, coconut shreds and cashews with dressing of olive oil and red wine vinegar.

 

 

Ask Tammy: Fish-y Business

Posted on | January 8, 2015 | 1 Comment

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It’s January! Unofficial month of getting your shit together health wise. After all the damage we did over the holidays it just makes sense to reevaluate and make a few changes. The gym has been oddly uncrowded though so I’m not sure if everyone got the memo. You know, the memo that says “new year, new start, blah blah blah.” Anyways, I’m doing my whole Whole30 thing, but are y’all doing anything healthy-ish for the new year? If so or if you have any health-related queries hit me up and my pal and health sensei Tammy will answer them for you here. Oh and keep your eyes peeled next week because I’ll be giving away a copy of the brand spankin’ new cookbook Tammy worked on, A Good Food Day. I’ve already flipped through my copy and not only is gorgeous but it is a wonderful resource for anyone who is trying to eat healthfully, thoughtfully and deliciously. For now, here’s my latest question for Tammy.

Amy: I am always trying to eat more fish but the choices can be overwhelming. What are the healthiest type of fish and are there any types we should avoid?

6d2503970f2cfcbc88acc5ce506c63e1beautiful image from Eats&Arts

Tammy: Good Q! While I was working on the cookbook, one of my research discoveries that really stuck with me is the fact that only 1/3 of Americans eat fish on a weekly basis, and most of those that do have just one serving a week. Crazy town, right?! Fish is an awesome lean protein, quick and usually easy to cook, and many varieties are particularly good for you. We go deep into this in the fish chapter opener, so consider this a preview!

My top picks come with the most health benefits and are sustainable choices (some fish farms can be every bit as disgusting and environmentally harmful as factory cattle farms). For its unbeatable omega-3 fatty acid content, I recommend salmon, specifically Alaskan salmon and sockeye salmon. These are wild-caught since Alaska doesn’t allow salmon farming. Next to all those stacks of Chicken of the Sea tuna, you’ll find canned Alaskan salmon. Get that! It’s cheap and you can keep it in the pantry. (Bonus if you get the kind with bones in it: LOTS of calcium. And no, once you stir stuff into it, you don’t notice the soft, tiny bones.) Other varieties of fish with high omega-3 content are the little guys – anchovies, sardines, and herring. These aren’t in danger of being overfished and because they’re small, they don’t have the higher levels of toxins found in big fish. Grilled sardines, sardines packed in extra virgin olive oil (I like Wild Planet), marinated white anchovies, smoked or pickled herring – all awesome.

What to avoid? Before I answer that, I want to point out that the benefits of eating fish regularly far outweigh the potential risks from mercury and other contaminants. The concern about those risks is kinda overblown. Basically, the really big fish are the ones that have the highest mercury levels. So, the common ones I wouldn’t eat very often are swordfish, bluefin tuna, and bigeye tuna (the “toro” on sushi menus is usually from the belly of bigeye tuna). These are dangerously overfished, so another reason to avoid them. And for obvious reasons, go easy on any type of fish that’s breaded and fried.

Hello 2015!

Posted on | January 6, 2015 | 4 Comments

Okay, now that the news of my engagement is out of the way, I want to wish you a happy new year! In lieu of sending each of you one of my New Years cards in the mail, I’m posting them here for your eyeballs because I don’t have everyone’s address. I made two this year, one for personal and one for work-y type folks. Both came from my friends at minted and both turned out perfectly. Not all that surprising though because that’s just how they roll over there, ain’t it?

oldsweetsong_newyears2015Finally! All those selfies I force him to take come in handy. 

oldsweetsong_newyears20152I went with simple and selfie-less for my profesh contacts

I don’t know about you but the last few weeks flew by in a haze of engagement rings and poor eating and drinking choices. But that’s kid of the entire point of the holidays, ain’t it? Due to the aforementioned poor choices I started my first Whole30 on January 3rd. So far, so good but it’s only been three days. The gist of a Whole30, for those who don’t know, is no grains, no sugar, no legumes, no dairy and sadly, no booze. The food stuff is hard, no doubt, but the booze will be the toughest for me. I’ve been drinking (legally) for 15 years and I’m pretty sure I’ve never gone more than a week or two without. My relationship with alcohol has always been questionable at best so this will be good for me. Hard as shit and terrible at times, but good for me. I’m always hoping for improvement in my sleep and to shed a few pounds. I’ll be writing about some of my experiences here so follow along if you’re so inclined. And let me know if you’ve done a Whole30 or are doing one currently. Perhaps, we can commiserate!

oldsweetsong_happynewyeardoorThe front door to our apartment, looking all festive dressed in holiday cards.

You know, I liked 2014 a lot. I made some commercials, Matt and I bought an apartment and we were in the New York Times.

Not too shabby.

2015, you’ve got a lot to live up to. Let’s do this.

xo,

Amy

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