DO-RE-MI + FOOD

We all know the song, “Do-Re-Mi”, from “The Sound of Music”. The first line says, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” For so many of us, we need to start at the very beginning when it comes to food.

I can’t tell you how many clients come to me completely bewildered. Not only are there so many diet plans, but studies frequently come out contradicting previous findings.

EGGS ARE A GREAT SOURCE OF PROTEIN, AND HEALTHY. (JUST KIDDING, NO THEY’RE NOT)

WE NEED TO CONSUME LOW-FAT DAIRY PRODUCTS. (NOPE……FULL FAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO.)

CARBS ARE EVIL. (SOME CARBS ARE PACKED FULL OF NUTRIENTS LIKE WHOLE GRAINS)

It is beyond confusing to navigate through all of this information and that’s even before we get bombarded with messages about our bodies. We need to look a certain way, dress a certain way, and are held to an impossible standard. We constantly see images of beautiful women, who have had hours of hair and make-up, along with a touch of photoshopping. No wonder we feel the way we do!

Before you can make any kind of healthy eating plan,  you first must understand what foods you like to eat. I know this seems very basic but I have a lot of clients who are eating foods that they do not like but are ONLY eating them because they believe that they’re healthy. They are choking down things like egg whites and spinach, quinoa, and celery juice. I can tell you with certainty that this method NEVER works in the long-run. Without feeling satisfied, all of that “healthy” eating will go out the window the minute a bag of Goldfish crackers comes into view.

If this sounds familiar, take a week off to be curious and to explore. Go back to the beginning and think about what you’re in the mood for instead of automatically reaching for things that you don’t like. Once you have a better understanding of what you like, you can then tweak your diet to make it healthier. You might discover that you actually DO like broccoli but can only enjoy it when cooked with a sprinkle of cheese. Maybe eating a salad is good in theory only, since it always leaves you yearning for more. Maybe you will decide that you will NEVER eat an asparagus again. Do this experiment so you can build a solid foundation, instead of living with a flimsy one that keeps collapsing. (Hence the need to keep “starting over”, every Monday!)

 Start at the very beginning because it’s a very good place to start!

Leave a comment »

CORONAVIRUS: OH, THE SITTING!

Living life in the middle of the pandemic has certainly been challenging and we all have experienced unexpected side effects.  Since the infection rate is very low in New York, I’m starting to see more people in person. While I expected some strength losses, I wasn’t prepared to see people hobbling in from too much sitting. 

Without getting too technical, in a seated state, your hip flexors are shortened and your butt muscles, the glutes, are lengthened. Staying in this position for too long can cause all kinds of muscular imbalances resulting in lower back, hip and knee pain. Now let’s add the pandemic. So many of us are working from home. Instead of having a commute from the suburbs into the city, the travel time is now from the bathroom to the kitchen. While commuting via public transportation was a hassle, it often involved a lot of walking and stair climbing. Once in the office, there were more moving opportunities—even small things like going to the bathroom down the hall or taking a few flights of stairs to the cafeteria. All of this movement adds up. At the end of the day, there used to be a commute home which, again, involved moving.

Unfortunately, exercise of any kind—even just moving around—can’t be stored up. Being sedentary Monday-Friday and trying to exercise it away on the weekends will not alleviate the problem. The solution? Do your best to get up and move during the day. I am not saying that this will be easy. But I know for certain that even 5-10-minute walking breaks throughout the day will help tremendously. Set your phone as a reminder!

Another issue I’m seeing in people is a lot of neck pain. This is due to having a less than optimal workstation. My husband was one of these people. He finally went to his office and hijacked his work chair. That made a tremendous difference. If you have no idea when you will be going back to work, make the investment in correcting your workspace.

As I was writing this blog, a client of mine sent me a link to a NY Times article about the same issue. See the link below–they give some great tips!

From my perspective? PLEASE MOVE YOUR BODY! And do it as frequently as you can given your set of circumstances. Muscular imbalances don’t go away immediately—they stick around wrecking havoc.

Leave a comment »

SAUTÉED FISH WITH TOMATO-PEPPER SAUCE

Use your favorite firm, white fish and you will LOVE this recipe!! It also looks just lovely!

ingredientsSauteed-Fish-with-Tomato-Pepper-Sauce

4 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 cup chopped tomato

1½ cups chopped red bell pepper

3 tablespoons chopped red cherry peppers

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon creole seasoning

2 tablespoons dry red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon

16 ounces firm white fish, cut into 4 pieces (4 ounces each)*

¼ teaspoon black pepper

½ cup finely chopped yellow onion

8 small pimento stuffed olives, sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

directions

Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 30 seconds, then add 2 tablespoons canola oil. Add tomato, bell pepper, cherry peppers and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep garlic from sticking. Transfer the tomato-pepper mixture to a food processor or blender. Add thyme, creole seasoning and red wine, then blend until smooth. Set aside.

Use a paper towel to pat fish dry, then sprinkle each piece with equal amounts of black pepper. In the same skillet used to cook tomato-pepper mixture, add the remaining 2 tablespoons canola oil and heat over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add onion, then nestle fish fillets in onions. Sauté for 5 minutes without moving fish.

Pour tomato-pepper mixture into the skillet, surrounding but not covering the top of the fish with the sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes. Fish should reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) and easily flake with a fork.

To serve, remove fish with a spatula and spoon sauce around the serving dish. Garnish with olives and cilantro.

*Cooking note: Use any firm white fish, such as grouper, tilapia, cod or snapper.

(recipe found in Food & Nutrition Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 1)

Leave a comment »

COWBOY CAVIAR

ml-cowboy-caviar-articleLarge-v2

THANK YOU NEW YORK TIMES! I think this recipe is my new obsession! I used grilled corn and it was DELICIOUS. It’s the perfect side dish!

INGREDIENTS FOR THE DRESSING

⅓ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Kosher salt and black pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SALAD

3 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded if desired, and diced

½ red onion, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed

1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed

1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels (from about 2 to 4 cobs) or thawed, drained frozen sweet corn (about 8 ounces)

1 red, green or yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced

1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced

½ cup chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish, if desired

scallion, white and green parts, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Tortilla chips, for serving

DIRECTIONS

Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper to combine.

Add the tomatoes, red onion, black beans, black-eyed peas, corn, bell pepper, jalapeño and cilantro. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

To serve, toss well and season to taste. Sprinkle with scallions and serve with tortilla chips.

(recipe found in the New York Times August 23, 2020)

Leave a comment »

MY RADIO DEBUT

Last week, I was interviewed on business talk radio 1. The interviewer, Arthur, was brand new to his job–I think he was more nervous that I was! It’s a 6-7 minute quickie!

 https://businesstalkradio1.com/rhonda-markman-08-28-20-fitness-louie/

Leave a comment »