Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eat When You're Hungry Blog is Moving

Big news!! Eat When You're Hungry blog is moving. After much thought and many hours behind a computer screen, I decided to redesign my website so I can have more control over it. As part of the redesign, my blog will now be under the same roof as my regular website, at www.eatwhenyourehungry.com. Take a few minutes to look around and let me know what you think. And please bare with me as I navigate this new design. I will certainly make tweaks along the way, but one thing will never change: my message to eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full and love yourself.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Favorite Product of the Week: Keurig

As you know, I love my Nespresso machine, which makes amazing espresso for lattes, cappuccinos and other high-end coffee beverages. However, I’m not always in the mood for espresso. Sometimes I want regular coffee, and our old coffee machine began failing about a year ago. Because I loved the pod system of the Nesspresso so much I decided I had to have a similar system for coffee. The question was, which one?

I asked for advice right here on my blog. I posted to Facebook and I read every review I could find online. I was obsessed. My husband can vouch for that. I rewound DVR recordings just to watch a Keurig commercial. I read ads in magazines, I read reviews online and I talked to people about their coffee pod machines. While reviews helped me zero in on which machines I was interested in, the only way I felt I could make an informed decision was to taste the coffee. Not as easy a task as you might imagine. Until I discovered (when researching the Dolce Gusto, a coffee maker created by Nestle), that the day after Thanksgiving, Bed, Bath & Beyond was conducting live demos of the exact three machines I was interested in:

Dolce Gusto

During my daughter’s naps on the three days following Thanksgiving, I drove over to Bed, Bath & Beyond to taste coffee. The first day I tasted coffee made in the Keurig. They weren’t serving decaf that day and it was about 2 in the afternoon so I limited myself to just a tiny cup, but I must say, it was love at first sip. I tasted the Donut Shop variety and I loved it. It just tasted great, plain and simple. It was exactly the kind of coffee I like, it was the perfect temperature and there were no grinds at the bottom of the cup -- a problem that was getting increasingly worse with our old machine.

Day two was a demo of the Dolce Gusto. I don’t have much to say about this machine other than it’s kind of cute and has a very small footprint, which is nice. I just didn’t like the coffee it produced nearly as much as I liked that made in the Keurig. So I moved on. But I do have to thank the folks at Nestle for posting information about the demo on their website, as that is the only way I found out about the Dolce Gusto demo (and subsequently the other two demos, which I learned about in the store).

On day three I tasted coffee from the Tassimo. We have good friends who have this machine and they love it. About a year ago we even had lattes made in their machine and we talked about those lattes for a week. We loved them. But I wasn’t in search of good lattes. I was in search of good coffee. I will say that the cup of decaf Tassimo coffee I sampled that day was good. It just wasn’t great. I was of course limited to trying the variety they had on display at the demonstration so it’s entirely possible I would have liked a different variety better.

The Tassimo has some real positives. Most obviously, it makes everything: lattes, cappuccinos, drip coffee, hot chocolate and tea. If we didn’t already have the Nesspresso, we may have indeed opted for the Tassimo. It also has a smaller footprint than the Keurig and I think has a slightly better, more sophisticated look about it. To be honest, the smaller footprint was a big selling point for me. However, I didn’t love the coffee I sampled that day and that bothered me.

So, after much debate about which machine to go with, I decided to opt for the Keurig and I must say, I love it! I haven’t consumed this much coffee ever, and I look forward to every cup. The coffee selection is tremendous. I also just happen to like the brands of coffee that are made for the Keurig machine better than the brands made for the Tassimo. To date, my favorite varieties are: Donut Shop by Coffee People, Dark Magic® Decaf Extra Bold by Green Mountain Coffee, Celestial Seasonings English Breakfast Black Tea (I was very skeptical of this one, but I LOVE it!) and….wait for it…Green Mountain Coffee® Half-Calf!!! That’s right, they make half-caf pods, which means the machine truly answers all of my coffee prayers.

We've had the machine since Christmas Eve, thanks to my mom asking me exactly what I wanted this year (I did my research!). I keep telling her that I think this is my favorite Christmas present ever. I love the machine, I love the pods, I love the coffee and the lack of clean-up. I love that I can make a cup of decaf after putting my daughter to sleep and it takes a mere 30 seconds. I just looooooove this machine. I may just have to host a BYOP (Bring Your Own Pod) party one of these days.

Thanks again, Bed, Bath & Beyond, for your holiday demos!

Friday, December 17, 2010

(Delicious) Three-Ring Circus Last Night

Two blog posts in two days, I can hardly believe it. Last night I had exactly 45 minutes to get to and from the store and buy food for two meals I'll be cooking for company on two different nights this weekend. Amidst my hurrying and scurrying around to find recipes, make a grocery list and get my butt to the store, I decided to try a new recipe for the three of us on a Thursday night. Why? Because we didn't have anything at home to eat, and I a) didn't want to eat out again, b) couldn't take another night of tacos, and c) have been wanting to try this recipe from The Pioneer Woman for quite awhile.

So I did. And it was fantastic! I will say that Emily whined the entire time I cooked and Jeremy and I were laughing (sort of) at the three-ring-circus that was our kitchen during my rushed cooking of this meal. But the only reason it was so rushed was because I had a hungry 16-month old who was clearly still dealing with the frustration that comes with her parents child-proofing the kitchen. The horror!

Otherwise, it's actually quite easy (and fun) to make. My hubby and I have been craving good Italian food, and we both agreed that this pasta was definitely restaurant quality. The only change we made to the recipe was adding pancetta for some protein. It was delicious.

And despite my husband assuring me that the alcohol was cooked off, I still felt uncomfortable serving it to Emily, so I didn't. Any pointers there are completely welcomed.

I'm also trying to improve my food photography skills, which is a bit difficult considering that my primary tool right now is my iphone. We're noodling around with the idea of getting the Nikon D3100, but until that happens, my iphotos will have to do. Not bad, I don't think ??

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Curried Couscous Salad -- A Gift In Itself

I made a new recipe last week that I think I've talked about (or ate) every day since I made it. The recipe comes courtesy Giada De Laurentiis and it's a keeper! I actually think it is a wonderful holiday recipe because of the warm roasted cashews and tart dried cranberries. Add to that the curry powder, roasted cauliflower and lemony dressing, and you're transplanted to another planet -- one with the most perfect salad in the world! The curry powder really wakes up your taste buds, which is important because you don't want to miss any of the flavors and textures abundant in this dish. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to share the joy that is this salad with anyone yet because my hubby doesn't care for curry powder or dried cranberries (more for me!). So I'm sharing it with you right here. Please do yourself a favor and make this salad. Let me know what you think!

Recipe is here.

Video is here.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Favorite Product of the Week: Nespresso Essenza

One of my absolute favorite products that my husband and I use on a daily basis is our Nespresso Essenza machine. We registered for this when we got married and were over the moon when it appeared in our kitchen. Our machine (Essenza C100 model) makes single-serve esspresso that has the aroma, taste and crema that rivals any latte I've ever ordered in a restaurant or coffee shop. In fact, I prefer it to the lattes I used to get at the place around the corner from us, which shall remain nameless. It takes up barely any space on our counter and seriously makes the best esspresso ever. The aroma alone brings a smile to my face.

We have a milk frother (also made by Nespresso) as well because we usually drink our espresso in lattes or an occasional cappucino, though this stuff is so good we have, on occasion, sipped it just as it is (i.e., without milk). This machine feels at the same time like an absolute luxury and a total necessity, if that makes any sense at all. The quality is top-notch, so you think it is indeed a luxury, but when you get used to having it in your house, you cannot live without it. Ever. Again.

During the winter months we make lattes on a daily basis, and on hotter days we make iced lattes that I think we could sell on the street for a hefty price. They're that good. In fact, when I was on maternity leave, I got so used to my daily afternoon iced-latte that I wondered how much of I hard time I'd get if I bought a second Nespresso machine to use at the office. I decided against this, but haven't entirely called it out of question in the future.

Anyway, we looooooooooooooooooooove our Nespresso machine and tell everyone about it. That said, we don't love our regular coffee maker and are ready to replace it. The debate I'm having is whether to go with the pod system for drip coffee (we love it so much for esspresso!!) and if so, which one: Keurig? Tassimo? Others? Any/all suggestions welcomed!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Intuitive Eating: Book Review

I've been putting off writing a review of Inuitive Eating because I'm afraid my words won't do justice to it at all. Because this book made such an impact on me, I want this review to be extra special. I was lucky enough to find this book right after finishing Making Peace with Food, and let me tell you, I couldn't put it down.

The first chapter of Intuitive Eating is called Hitting Diet Bottom, and hit it I did. The second chapter looks at what kind of eater you are: the careful eater, the professional dieter, the unconscious eater, an on and on. There are then sub-categories under each of these. If you've ever struggled with eating and cannot find a description of yourself on these pages, you should probably write your own book because I felt so immensely understood by these authors in their picture-perfect descriptions of me and how I chose my food at the time.

The book then takes you through the 10 principles of intuitive eating, starting with Principle 1: Reject the Diet Mentality. This principle was hugely important to me. It lays out in a very clear and compelling way, all the reasons why diets don't work and, frankly, aren't good for you. Here's just one nugget, from page 49 of the second edition:

"A thirty-two-year study of more than 3,000 men and women in the Framingham Heart Study has shown that regardless of initial weight, people whose weight repeatedly goes up and down--known as weight cycling or yo-yo dieting -- have a higher overall death rate and twice the normal risk of dying from heart disease. These results were independent of cardiovascular risk factors, and held true regardless if a person was thin or obeses. The harm from yo-yo dieting may be equal to the risks of staying obese."

Even after I'd finished the book, I often came back to this chapter after overhearing someone in an elevator at work talking about needing to "go on a diet" or "spend an extra hour at the gym" because she ate a, gasp(!), brownie. It was my salvation to come back to this book for reassurance that the non-dieting path I was on was the right one for me.

Another one of my favorite quotes from the book can be found at the beginning of chapter 12. It says:

"Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect realistically to squeeze into a size six, it is equally futile (and uncomfortable) to have a similar expectation about body size. Respect your body so you can feel better about who you are. It's hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical of your body shape."

So rational, and yet so far from the reality of so many people. We're taught that our bodies are a constant project to be poked, prodded, evaluated and dieted down to the "perfect" size and shape, which of course doesn't exist.

Elyse Resch, who I'm lucky enough to know and study under, brings a spiritual approach to the book which I found particularly comforting and inspiring. Evelyn Tribole brings an entirely different energy (and she has lots of it!) that's focused on the facts and motivating her readers to give up dieting and trust their bodies.

The one chapter that was tough for me to swallow while in the midst of healing from my eating disorder, was the one dedicated to Principle 10: Honor Your Health -- Gentle Nutrition. Because I had such a fear of fat during my unhealthiest years, this chapter was difficult for me. I had to put this chapter on the back burner for years because I needed to focus on anything but nutrition. To focus on nutrition at the end of this otherwise life-saving book, felt to me like giving an alcoholic a glass of wine on new year's. So I had to ignore it.

That said, the book is written by two nutritionists, so they had to share their wisdom about nutrition, and their advice is solid. I would just recommend skipping this chapter until you are fully recovered from your issues with food. I also know for myself that when I don't worry about nutrition, I get it. Does that make sense? When I don't worry about nutrition, I'm free to eat a burger and fries, but I'm also free to eat an entire bowl of brocolli. So I'm quite confident that all in all my body is getting a wonderful array of nutritients, vitamins and minerals. I just can't "try to be nutritious" because it screws with my head.

I could go on about this book, but I'll wrap it up here. If you had only one book to read on the subject of recovering from disordered eating, this would be the one book I'd tell you to buy. So, if you haven't already....

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Making Peace with Food: Book Review

Here it is. My first book review, and I've not written one before, so this is going to follow no particular format. I'm most excited to tell you about this book because it was the first book I ever read on the topic of non-dieting. I discovered it deep in the stacks of my college library and sat down on the library floor to start reading the book. I couldn't put it down at the time because I was in such desperate need for help. So without further adieu, my first book recommendation:

Making Peace with Food by Susan Kano

This book feels like a textbook and workbook all in one, and from the illustrations sprinkled through every chapter, you'll see right away that it was published in the 80s. But don't let that scare you. This book marked a turning point in my life, and I imagine in the lives of many other women and men struggling with eating disorders.

The cover of the book tells you exactly what you're getting. "OVERCOME YO-YO DIETING, BINGE EATING, FOOD ANXIETY, BODY ANXIETY, AND SELF-DEFEATING GUILT." Does the book accomplish this? Yes. Well, as much as a book can. The rest is up to the reader to dig deep and implement in his/her life.

Each chapter of Making Peace with Food includes a "Personal Questions" section at the end that asks the reader to answer questions that will usually illuminate themes from that chapter as they appear in his/her life. Many sections also include goals for the reader to strive towards on the journey of overcoming food anxiety.

One of the biggest takeaways for me in this entire book -- that I still talk about with clients today -- is the "setpoint theory."

Basically, the notion of setpoint theory is that our bodies each have a weight they are happiest at. This is the weight where we feel most energized, alive and frankly, comfortable. Our bodies want to be at this weight, so if we eat a little less than usual one day because we're in back-to-back meetings, our bodies aren't going to drop weight. They're going to fight to stay at their ideal setpoint weight. Likewise, if we eat a little more than usual one night, we're not going to bust out of our pants immediately. Our bodies will fight to stay at their ideal setpoint weight. Setpoint theory is very complex, and different things affect our bodies' setpoint weights throughout our lives including age, activity and genetics. The whole idea of setpoint theory spoke to me when I was going through my own process of recovery and I think the theory makes a lot of sense.

In general, I think Kano does an excellent job of relating her personal experience to readers and also imparting a hefty amount of information to the reader to convince them (if you've been dieting all your life, you need to be convinced that it doesn't work) that they can achieve freedom from food anxiety.

Great quote from the book, page 18:

"Some of us are meant to be very thin; some of us are meant to be very fat; and most of us are meant to be somewhere in between. We all deserve to be at peace with our bodies instead of in a constant state of tension and dissatisfaction. We all deserve to be proud of ourselves and our bodies no matter how fat or thin we are."

Making Peace with Food will help you understand that belief and so many more. It will also help you, especially if you're just starting out on this journey, to make peace with food and with yourself. Let me know if you've read this one and what you think.