Winter Warmup: Brodo – A New Kind of Hot Beverage
Put down that coffee cup. If you’re looking for a winter warm up pass up Starbucks and head to Brodo instead. If you haven’t heard already, broth is the hottest superfood this winter, and it’s being served up daily at this East Village takeout window (attached to the restaurant Hearth), AND now you can visit their newest location in the West Village!
Simmered for 18 hours, the drinks contain amino acids and minerals like magnesium, calcium and gelatin (all of which fight inflammation, boost digestive health and even help your hair and nails grow). You can choose from organic chicken, grass-fed beef or the signature house blend (a hearty mixture of turkey, chicken and beef), and make your brew even better with add-in options like ginger, chili oil and freshly grated turmeric.
Brodo, we’re feeling you.
The Best Mexican Spots Around NYC
When the weather starts warming up, I automatically start craving some serious Mexican food…and a few ice cold cocktails. This typically happens to me each year when the temperature hits above 65. I don’t know what it is, but warm weather, great Latin/Mexican food and minty mojitos and limey margaritas are like a culinary match made in heaven. I’m guessing I’m not alone here, so I figured this is the perfect opportunity to do a quick run-down of my favorite Mexican and Latin spots around town.
And yes, you CAN do Mexican food and margaritas without throwing the concept of ‘healthy eating’ out the window. Watch the heavily cheesy, sauced-up, fried stuff and massive portions and you’re a big step ahead before even taking the first bite. Soft tacos, fajitas, basic burritos, traditional chicken, fish or lean beef and pork dishes, ceviche, and black beans instead of refried, are some smart picks to start with – and they leave a little more room for a bit of guacamole and a couple of chips.
Here are a few of my go-to’s in the city:
- Delicia Brazil – 322 W. 11th St. btwn Greenwich & Washington — I was lucky enough to be introduced to this tiny, non-descript,’mom-n-pop’ Brazilian place in the West Village by a friend a number of years ago. When I say ‘mom-n-pop’ I really mean it–Delicia’s owned and run by the very friendly Brazil-transplant, Jose, and his sister who whip up authentic, homey dishes. If my grandmother was Brazilian, this is exactly what she’d make. The wait for food can be long at times, but it’s so worth it. My standard order is always the heart of palm salad followed by the passionfruit baked chicken and a side of black beans, rice and farofa (a Brazilian side dish made from ground yucca). And if you can save some room for dessert, a few bites of the passionfruit mousse are well-worth the indulgence. The food’s basic, but so good and the incredibly reasonable prices are always appreciated.
- Mexicana Mama – 525 Hudson St. & 47 E. 12th St. — “The Mama”, as we endearingly call it in my apartment, is my neighborhood Mexican place. The food’s so good, I’m here year-round. In fact, I made a dinner run there just tonight and had a Rachael Ray spotting (she lives in the hood). Awesome, authentic Mexican and possibly the best salsa I’ve ever had. It’s so addictive, I’ll often just get some to-go and have it at home for a quick, healthy snack with fresh cut veggies.
- Barrio Chino - 253 Broome St. @ Orchard (barriochinonyc.com) — This is a fairly recent and very welcome discovery on the Lower East Side/Chinatown. Solid Mexican food mixed with Chinese decor. It’s a pretty tiny place, but the fusing of cultures totally works. I’ve sampled the fish soft tacos (a perfect portion btw), enchilada verdes and the tequila shrimp all of which are fantastic. And if I had to rate mojitos around the city, their fresh strawberry mojito would be on the very top of the list. Keep in mind, the place is small so be prepared to wait for a good hour or more sometimes on a busy night. That much more time for another mojito!
- Yerba Buena – 23 Avenue A @ 2nd St. (yerbabuenanyc.com) — I must admit, the first time I ate in this cozy Latin restaurant in the East Village, it was actually snowing outside. But the delicious, refined Latin fare (the guac and pomegranate-glazed short ribs are a must) and incredible, creative cocktails (the “Hemingway” with fresh grapefruit juice, lime and rum is amazing) warmed things up real quick. The restaurant opened just last year and the reviews that followed speak to it’s speedy success (read: go early or if you’ve got a large party, definitely make reservations).
Have a Mexican spot you just can’t get enough of? Or another favorite restaurant? Tell us here.
Dining Out Without Tossing Your Diet
When it comes to being healthy and losing weight, let’s be honest-New York City presents a whole new set of rules. Along with the countless gyms, spas, yoga studios and organic grocery stores there are also hundreds of bars with delicious, sugary cocktails, a cupcake shop on every corner, and an infinite number of exquisite, delicious restaurants. With all of these temptations waiting to sabotage our good intentions at every turn, losing weight in Manhattan can be very tricky.
A good place to start in navigating Manhattan’s many trials is learning how to make healthy choices at restaurants. Below I lay out six steps to remain true to your healthy intentions when dining out.
Step 1: Be choosy about the restaurant.
Obviously, it will be a lot harder to eat healthy at Dallas BBQ than Angelika’s Kitchen, but we can’t drag our friends to a vegan restaurant every Saturday to dine on seaweed and daikon radish. Try to choose a restaurant that focuses on locally sourced, high quality ingredients. There are a ton of restaurants in Manhattan that are moving to the farm-to-table model. A fabulous guide for finding these restaurants is the new book Clean Plates.
To write this article, I tried out these tips first hand with a few girlfriends who are focusing on being healthy, and have a tendency to over-do-it at restaurants. We went to Hundred Acres, a restaurant that focuses on good food, not “health” food, knowing that it would be a good prototype for the average diner.
Step 2: Before looking at the menu, decide what you want to eat.
Just take a few moments before reading the menu to think about the following things:
- Do you want something hot or cold?
- Creamy or crunchy?
- Spicy or mild?
- How hungry am I?
Our cravings are very connected to what nutrients our bodies need. If we pay attention to these needs, we will feel satisfied sooner.
It is important to realize that menus are created to entice you to spend money and choose the most decadent foods, so it is very important to stay true to what you want and not get too romanced by your options.
Step 3: Be picky
None of us were particularly starving and weren’t in the mood for heavy protein. The entrees were all very intricate with lots of heavy sauces, so we asked the waitress if the chef could prepare a simply grilled piece of fish with his freshest veggies for us to share. Allison felt a little uneasy being so demanding and picky. I reminded her that if we are going to spend money (not to mention that new yorkers are expected to be picky) then we might as well get exactly what we want.
Step 4: Don’t get caught up in social obligation.
To supplement our fish, we ordered a few apps: lentil soup, beets with feta and arugula and a kale salad. We didn’t order any alcohol. Kelsea mentioned that she felt bad that we weren’t ordering wine or very much food. Servers can be pushy about getting patrons to spend a lot of money. Instead of over ordering, we just gave our waitress a really good tip. We were pleasantly surprised by how gracious and wonderful our waitress actually was despite our skimpy order.
We also feel pressure to over eat to “match” what our friends are ordering. There is a very strong feeling of comradery in drinking the same amount of wine and ordering the same number of courses. I encourage you to find comradery in conversation and connecting. It’s a lot healthier to fill up on conversation instead of chocolate lava cake.
Step 5: Enjoy your food.
Receiving maximum enjoyment from our meals allows us to eat less to feel satisfied. To really perfect this important step, do the following:
- Take three deep breaths before you eat to calm your nerves
- Smell your food to fire up your digestion
- Eat slowly! Taste every bite, chew thoroughly and put your fork down in between bites
- Stop eating when you feel you have reached maximum energy – there is always that one bite that makes you feel just a little weighed down, just a little sluggish – stop there regardless of how much food you have left on your plate
Step 6: Get your money’s worth.
We all have this idea that if we spend money on food, we can’t let it go to waste. But remember this: all food goes to waste – it doesn’t need to go through you first. If you still have hang ups, get your food to go and eat it for lunch the next day. There is absolutely no reason to stuff yourself just because you spent money. Then you are just spending money to feel like crap – now that is a waste!
My little experiment proved successful. By examining our eat-out patterns we were able to start creating positive healthy habits. We filled up on great conversation, were nurtured by healthy food and left with out guilt or a stomachache.
Weekend Line Up: A Food Adventure In Williamsburg
Morning Pick Me Up: The Scoop on Coffee (& Our Top Spots!)
Coffee seems to be hot on the scene of late. Everywhere I turn there’s multiple mentions about new brewing techniques, single-origin roasts, fair-trade practices, organic blends, decent decaf on the rise (finally!), and more. So what’s the real bottom line with coffee? Healthy? Not-so-healthy? Uber-caffeinated? Eco-conscious or eco-consumption?
Here’s the DL:
* Health factor: Go ahead and drink up! Coffee’s loaded with antioxidants. In fact, studies find that it’s the greatest source of daily antioxidants for most Americans (tells you something about our fruit & veg intake!). Both decaf and regular coffee provide the same amount of antioxidants. Coffee may also help lower risk of developing diabetes and Alzheimer’s and can increase energy and mental focus.
* The downfalls: Too much of a good thing and you’re jittery, anxious, possibly dehydrated (if you’ve completely foregone water for coffee all day). Coffee may raise blood pressure and throw off sleep patterns if you’re consuming excessive amounts. Stick to 1 to 3 smallish cups a day, curb caffeine after 3 or 4pm if you’re sensitive and you’re golden.
* Calories??: Coffee on it’s own, plain and simple is a whopping ZERO calories. Tack on sugary sweet syrups, whipped cream, have a venti-sized latte made with whole milk every morning and yes, you’ll take a 0 calorie coffee to 200, 300 or 400 calories in no time. Go black, or stick with a small amount of whole milk (or half & half on indulgent occasions!), low-fat, skim or soy. Less milk allows you do grab the whole milk without doing much damage. If you’re doing a latte, make it a small and go low-fat or less frequently whole milk for an indulgent – yet filling – beverage. If you like your coffee light and sweet, 1 packet of sugar in the raw has a mere 16 calories…grab it and leave the artificial sweeteners behind.
Our Favorite NYC Spots
*OST Cafe – A shout out to my neighbors Alex and Aaron, the owners of this cozy, comfy spot that’s always buzzing thanks to the free Wifi. Serving up free-trade Intelligentsia coffee (so good!). 441 East 12th Street (Avenue A), (212) 477-5600, ostcafenyc.com
*Gimme! Coffee – My newly found obsession. Hipster coffee, small space, cool crowd on Mott St. Perfect coffee break spot when you’re shopping around Nolita. 228 Mott Street (Prince Street), NoLIta, (212) 226-4011; 495 Lorimer Street (Powers Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn, (718) 388-7771; gimmecoffee.com.
*Stumptown Coffee Roasters at the Ace Hotel – Super-cool spot tucked next to the Euro-chic Ace Hotel. Great direct trade coffee out of Portland. 18 West 29th Street (Broadway), no telephone, stumptowncoffee.com.
*Abraco – another East Village gem, I’m not partial or anything, serving up stellar cappuccinos and drip coffee in a tiny (constantly packed) space. What would you expect in the East Village?! 86 East Seventh Street (First Avenue), no telephone, abraconyc.com.
*Mojo – Ok here’s one for the west side folk! Great coffee (not to mention great sandwiches & homemade soups) and an overall relaxed, cool vibe. Plenty of peeps on their mac books thanks to the free wifi. Located in the West Village at 186 Charles Street. (212) 691-6656.
The NY Times also has an opinion. Check out their favorite New York City Java spots here.
Marissa’s new book, The Cheater’s Diet is now in bookstores everywhere ! Find out where to get a copy or order it for your Kindle at cheatersdietbook.com. Become a fan on Facebook for more sneaky tips, tactics and recipes. Happy reading…life is too short not to start cheating!
New & Noteworthy: NOURISH Opens In The West Village
The West Village just got a little healthier! A big congrats to our very own Marissa Lippert for the opening of the healthy little gem NOURISH. Located at 95 Greenwhich Avenue, Nourish Kitchen + Table is a takeaway food shop that focuses on locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. They’re bringing together healthy AND incredibly delicious food in a cozy, cool neighborhood space.
“There are plenty of New Yorkers who want to eat well and be more thoughtful about where their food comes from, but either don’t have time to cook or don’t have decent options nearby. Nourish Kitchen + Table serves to change this,” says owner Marissa Lippert. “You can rest assured that when you walk through our door, you’re coming away with a fresh, wholesome meal that’s well-portioned, will make you feel good and that will taste amazing (we take this part very seriously)!”
Marissa, a licensed nutritionist and long time devotee to all things healthy, started NOURISH using a kickstarter campaign. She and Sarah Russell brought the concept to kickstarter and got 163 backers to contribute even more the $18k they were looking for. Just over a year later, their dream became a reality.
NOURISH opened it’s door’s this morning, and will start out serving breakfast and lunch. In time they plan on also serving dinner, and will be offering monthly cooking classes, private dinners, and catering services. “Our goal is to create an on-going experience for our customers, making eating well more accessible, approachable and much more enjoyable,” says Marissa. “Information, authenticity and wholesome, amazing food is at Nourish Kitchen + Table’s core.”
Nourish Kitchen + Table
95 Greenwich Avenue, New York, NY 10014
Magic Mix: Can Juicing Save Your Skin?
As women, we spend a fortune on fancy creams and cleansers (and even prescriptions) in search of clear, glowing skin. But what if the solution was as simple as what we were consuming? This week, our friends at Clean Plates NYC talked to Jil Larsen of Magic Mix Juicery who healed her skin problems by changing her diet. She shares her secrets and power of taking in the good stuff!
Physicians told melasma sufferer Jil Larsen (pictured) that she would forever live with dark skin marks, and could never step outside without harsh chemical sun protection. Today, you wouldn’t know it by looking at her. She left her job at a law firm, started studying nutrition, and has now founded Magic Mix Juicery in NYC. We asked her how diet transformed her.
Q. When you first introduced healthier foods into your diet, did you notice the difference right away?
A. It was a battle, because I had to wean myself off the standard American diet: dairy, meat, sugar (huge sugar addiction). I eliminated one thing at a time, seeing what worked and what didn’t work. Once I started incorporating living foods and all the plants (green juices, organic foods), that’s when I really started seeing that my body was starting to change, starting to replenish. I think I was overfed and undernourished, and this made up for years of an imbalance you don’t notice until either your skin or your energy levels change.
Q. Did you have to try a few different “diets” before finding the right one?
A. Absolutely. In the beginning, there was a lot of craving. I think it was more about being addicted to certain things (like the sugar), and I started to see what could I substitute it with. When I wasn’t eating wheat, I would eat all the [conventional] gluten-free products, but that really wasn’t helping me either. . .It took a little while until I figured out, okay, it’s the nutrients that I’m missing.
Q. You don’t insist that everyone follow the same diet that worked for you. Why?
A. I think everybody has a different makeup. I’m not here to deprive people of what they feel they need in their lives. For some people, meat works; for some people, dairy products work. It’s all about finding out what works for you. I think, most importantly, it’s about eating good quality food. So if you feel like having a steak, hey, absolutely have a steak, but look at where it comes from: how was it raised? What was it fed?
Q. Do you now have a morning routine?
A. I drink a large glass of water with some lemon juice and cayenne pepper, so it gets my metabolism going. Then I come to work (which to me, isn’t work anymore), and I’ll make myself a superfood smoothie, which consists of coconut milk (which we make here in-house with young Thai coconuts), a tablespoon of vitamin green powder, some spirulina, some cayenne pepper (I love my cayenne pepper!), and a banana. That gives me the boost to get to lunch, have a clear mind and get the day going.
Q. What advice do you have for someone battling a chronic condition?
A. I think what’s important is to breathe, not stress out too much. Take time to yourself to find out what it is that you might really be missing in your life, whether it’s a nutritional deficiency, or in your career, relationships or physical activity. Look at all those aspects and see where you might be able to improve. And be kind to yourself. Don’t fret over little things, because gradually, the more you work on making yourself happy, the other things fall into place.
Magic Mix Juicery
102 Fulton St. (@ William St.)
New York, NY 10038
Lena Latin Grill : Fast, Flavorful, & Healthy!
Quick and easy does not always equate with quality when it comes to “fast” food. However, we found the perfect pit spot to re-energize and get nourished while running around town. Lena Latin Grill turns out fast, fresh, delicious fare for a great price.
As soon as I entered Lena Latin Grill I was instantly impressed by its simple yet stylish decor. Clean hard wood floors, sleek benches, and these great overhead bins filled with fresh wood used to feed the wood burning ovens. Lena is a fusion of a fast food place and table service restaurant, catering to those of us who want great healthy food and appreciate atmosphere, but don’t necessarily have the time for a long sit down lunch.
With a whole host of healthy choices, the menu offers everything from wraps and salads to full platters. A BIG bonus is that many or the items are organic, hormone-free, and naturally grown. Who’s heard of that with “fast food”? Lena is truly an exceptional place.
The menu allows you to craft your own meal offering selections of proteins, sauces, sides that can be combined in any fashion you like. Choose from steak, chicken, fish, or tofu, and then jazz them up with any of their flavorful sauces like chimichurri, lemon & butter or mojo. Pick your favorite side — coconut rice, sweet plantains, grilled corn, or more and decide whether to throw it all in a wrap, in a salad, or on a platter. There is something for every discerning palate, and Lena is a place you can truly have it “your way”.
However, if you’re like me and can’t decide when there are so many delicious options, Lena also gives you the choice of having it “their way.” I chose one of the house specialities, a wrap with grilled tilipia, lemon & butter, lettuce, tomatoes & avocado. Fresh, flavorful, and packed with good stuff, it was one of THE BEST wraps I have ever tasted… and it under $10! Beyond worth it.
Top off your meal with one of their fresh juices. They’ve got great tropical flavors like mango and papaya that are filled with antioxidants and flavor! Oh–and there’s a divine little coffee bar where you can grab columbian coffee, a cafe con leche, or a fresh pastry any time of the day. You can get it all at Lena (including an exclusive deal at the end of this article).
So whether you are in search of great food in a hurry, or a flavorful meal just the way you like it, head to Lena Latin Grill. It’s worth the stop… any time of the year.
Insider Info: Tell them HealthyStyleNY sent you and get an extra free addition when you purchase of wrap + fresh juice, or and extra side when you purchase of a plate + juice.
City Food Find: SLICE
How much do you love a fresh slice of pizza? There is nothing like a fresh out of the oven pizza, oozing with cheese and other tasty toppings. In the world of celiac disease and gluten intolerance there are some choices for gluten free pizza (Pizzeria Uno on a national level and numerous local establishments across the country). Here in New York I know of at least a dozen Italian restaurants/pizza places. Besides being gluten intolerant, I also am dairy and tomato intolerant, which definitely can be a challenge when it comes to enjoying pizza.
I recently had the opportunity to eat at a restaurant in the city called Slice, a magical pizzeria that caters to the vegan,vegetarian, wheat-free and gluten-free communities. Now you are probably thinking how I ate pizza if I am allergic to tomatoes! Lucky for me Slice has 2 non-tomato sauce options; homemade hummus and pesto (which happens to also be vegan and nut-free). The biggest dilemma for me was which one I should put on my slice. I chose to do one with hummus and one with pesto. Let me just say, WOW!!
Slice is located on the Upper East on 2nd Avenue between 73rd and 74th street, and in the west village on 535 Hudson Street (Perry/Charles). All of their slices and pies are made to order so you can eat as crazy or simple as you want. My pie of choice was half hummus, half pesto with mushrooms, broccoli, goat cheese and arugula. Don’t worry if you are not gluten free, there are several whole wheat pizza options as well. All meat options are free-range. Vegans can delight in rice or vegan mozzarella.
Even the menu is fun at slice. You can choose appetizers from the “prerequisites”, pizzas from the “core curriculum or “honors” sections. Feeling daring, become a “genius by building your own pizza. If you are looking for “extracurricular” activities how about ordering one of their egg and dairy free desserts. Are you ready to customize your slice but don’t live in the area? Not a problem because Slice offers a homemade pizza kit online www.healthypizzakit.com. Slice really does offer the perfect food! For more information on slice visit their website www.sliceperfect.com
Northern Spy: More than just great local, seasonal food
Looking for a foodie’s favorite spot to check out this weekend? Well, if you haven’t been to Northern’s Spy’s EV restaurant (or tasted their good stuff at their Highline kiosk), it may be time to check out this delicious little gem.
Northern Spy Food Co. is one of NYC’s most prominent hot spots for seriously excellent, authentic local and seasonal fare. The brainchild behind Chris Ronis, and SF transplants Christophe Hille (formerly of A16), and executive chef Nathan Foot (formerly of Myth), Northern Spy merges a cozy restaurant vibe with a small neighborhood-friendly marketplace, featuring local artisanal products from yogurt, to Brooklyn Brine pickled vegetables to maple syrup and tasty treats by Liddabit and Nunu chocolates.
Not only are these guys committed to shopping it up at the farmers market, changing the menu on a weekly basis, showcasing great quality seasonal and local ingredients and farmers, but they’re also making a point to bring good, fresh food staples and sundries out of their restaurant and into your own kitchen. Read: they’re helping us get a little closer to our food source and consider where and who it’s coming from. And that’s what makes Northern Spy one of those game-changing neighborhood spots where you can sit, schmooze, nibble and sip for hours on end (I’m speaking from personal experience here…multiple times over).
As for the food itself, Foot is serving up some of the best flavors and refined yet simple and well-balanced food I’ve ever had. Killer salads and seasonal vegetable dishes, ridiculously creamy Wild Hive polenta, nutty grains like red quinoa and wheatberries, a class Bobo roasted chicken and crazy good pork dishes. Luckily, I live in the neighborhood and have experienced most of the menu – and I can confidently say you can’t really go wrong. Here’s a handful of my favorite dishes:
Butternut squash soup
Kale salad with Clothbound cheddar, kabocha squash, almonds and lemon dressing
Wild hive polenta with braised greens, roasted mushrooms and creme fraiche
Freekah risotto with squash
Bread & winter squash salad with baked eggs (for all you brunch lovers, it’s freaking awesome)
…and though it’s not pictured below, please, please, please indulge a little and have the pear and frangipane tart (I promise, it’s well worth a few extra calories!) One final note, get the pickled eggs, might sound odd, but they’re a must-have starter dish or snack. Happy eating in the East Village…
Have a favorite neighborhood find? We want to know! Please do share (below)!!