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healthy living

5 Places to Unpack Your Passion

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5 Places to Unpack Your Passion

Last September, I found myself sitting in front of my computer, debating whether or not to sign up for a 3-part course called "Confident Cooking" at Sur La Table. I wanted to sign up, but I knew that I wouldn’t know anyone there and frankly, my cooking skills were severely lacking. In a moment of blind ambition, I pressed purchase.

Fast forward to the first class: I showed up early, put on my name tag and apron, then took a seat waiting to see who I’d be working with for the next 3 weeks as we conquered making chowder, biscuits, risotto, pasta, and more. I ended up getting paired with a newlywed about my age and her mother-in-law. As we talked, I discovered we had a lot in common and that they too weren’t pros in the kitchen - it was quite a relief to learn that we all had this in common.

Image Credit :  Kaboompics

Image Credit : Kaboompics

Over the next couple of hours, I learned how to properly use a Chef’s Knife and worked with my team to prepare a great meal. By the end of the class, we’d made a delicious salad with purple grapes and toasted walnut vinaigrette, buttermilk biscuits with maple butter, and a pot of sweet potato chowder with chicken and corn. The first class was a success: the food was delicious, I didn’t burn any food, and no injuries from the knife work. I left feeling energized, accomplished, and proud of myself for trying something new. I couldn’t wait to tell my roommates about the class and pick a night to cook for them that week. Needless to say, they were impressed by my new skills. Over the next few months I took a few more classes, cooked for more friends and along the way, I discovered a passion for cooking - one I never thought I’d have.

Image Credit : Kaboompics

Image Credit : Kaboompics

How did I end up at a cooking class?

Earlier that September I had been doing quite a bit of soul searching - I was trying to find my happiness. I asked myself a couple of hard questions: aside from continuing education for work, what have I learned for myself lately? When was the last time I tried something new?

During my search, I realized that learning makes me happy.  I missed everything from the challenge of a new activity to conversing with family about these challenges. Most of all though, I missed the fulfillment that conquering these new challenges gave me.  
Three hours into Knitting Boot Camp...

Three hours into Knitting Boot Camp...

Realizing that the only learning I had done in the past few years was centered around work was a motivator to sign myself up for my first cooking class - and I’m extremely happy I made the decision to do so.  Since September, I’ve continued to go to new classes outside of my comfort zone. Last Saturday, I spent my day at Workshop SF learning how to knit! Not my most successful endeavor but it was a fun day meeting new people and trying something I hadn’t done before.

 

I’m so happy that I made the decision to step out of my comfort zone and try something new, and I would encourage others to do the same.

San Francisco has an abundance of places to take workshops/classes to learn or even just try something new. I invite you to get our of your comfort zone and explore interests that may bring you happiness.


Top 5 Places I Recommend:
 

Workshop SF: Their motto is “Drink Beer and Make Stuff.” Workshop SF offers a wide variety of classes, ranging from making leather wallets to sewing to brewing your own beer and pretty much everything in between. Check out their website to see everything they’ve got to offer.

Image Credit :  Pixabay

ODC: Located in the Mission, their facility offers traditional dance classes (tap, ballet, jazz) and even goes into an eclectic offering of Salsa, Belly Dancing, Bollywood and admittedly what sounds the most fun to me: “Vogue and Tone.”

Image Credit : Pawel Kadysz

San Francisco Outdoor Adventure Club: Full of multi-sport weekend trips, this is the one if you’re ready to brave a new physical endeavor. Their trips include weekends in Tahoe, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting. If you need a getaway, consider signing up their surfing and beach vacations in Costa Rica.

Image Credit : Dino Reichmuth

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Endgames Improv:  Most classes here are about 3 hours long but are fairly small, allowing for a lot of personal interaction. You can hone your skills in character or scene work, sketch writing, or musical improv. While you’re a student there, you also receive free admission to all of their shows.

Image Credit : Markus Spiske

Sur La Table: Classes include basic knife skills all the way through baking macarons and cooking various cuisines (French, Thai, Italian, etc). Classes are offered on weeknights and weekends -  they even have date night options that both friends or couples could attend together.

Image Credit : Tranmautritam


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How Much Do You Know About Your Cup Of Joe?

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How Much Do You Know About Your Cup Of Joe?

As a Registered Dietitian, one of the questions I get regularly is surrounding the topic of coffee and whether or not it is healthy or harmful. The answer, unfortunately (like everything regarding nutrition) is not black or white.

The average person in the US consumes about 3 cups of coffee per day. I’ve heard everything from people being “addicted to coffee” to “plugging their nose while downing an espresso shot” purely to reap the benefits of the caffeine. However, the majority of people I talk to genuinely enjoy the taste of their morning brew as well as their morning ritual of having their cup of coffee to start the day (myself included)!

In recent years, there have been numerous studies that indicate coffee delivers more health benefits than risk.  Coffee is one of the largest sources of antioxidants in the western culture diet.  Moderate consumption has been shown to lower cancer risk, decrease risk for developing Parkinson’s disease, help to control insulin levels and decrease risk for type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease.  Coffee is also believed to increase cognitive function and athletic performance.

With these benefits – it seems like drinking coffee is a no brainer right? So what are the potential problems with coffee?

The first problem is what you put into your coffee.  The average Starbucks order is 300-400 calories.  This is like a dessert for breakfast.  Made with love, but also a whole lot of extra fat and calories.

Solution - Switch to a non-fat milk latte and try to decrease the sugar you add in (yes – honey, agave, and Sugar in the Raw is still sugar). Try jazzing up your coffee with cinnamon or vanilla powder (for more antioxidants and polyphenols). My favorite substitution when brewing my own coffee at home is using organic unsweetened Silk soy milk.  It provides a creamy/vanilla flavor while saving money!

Short on time in the morning? Easy! I set my coffee pot the night before! Oh, technology these days!

So how MUCH coffee should I drink?

Experts recommend 3 cups (8 ounces each) is “moderate consumption”.

Who should limit coffee/caffeine intake?

If you have hypertension, are elderly, are pregnant or breastfeeding it is suggested to limit intake to about 200mg of caffeine per day.

How to choose the best coffee?

Look at the quality and how it was grown. Fairtrade and organic ensure high quality coffee beans. Coffee is a heavily sprayed crop with pesticides so it is important to look into where your beans are coming from.

Does coffee affect hormones?

Caffeine has been found to exacerbate stress and increase cortisol levels (cortisol is your body's stress hormone that increases when your body is under physical/mental/emotional stress). If you are someone with an increased sensitivity or have thyroid issues, you may want to be mindful of your caffeine consumption.

When is the best time to drink coffee?

It is important to listen to your body and know how caffeine affects you.  For many people with sleep issues – caffeine is often a contributor.  I recommend drinking your coffee earlier in the day and limit it in the afternoon to avoid sleep disturbance.

The verdict?

Coffee is a win! The latest research is that coffee is not “bad” for you and can offer many health benefits. However, like all things in life, moderation is key and it is important to be mindful of how much you are drinking, what time of day, and those little additions (big calories) that you are putting into your coffee!



Image Source : Chevanon

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WORRIED ABOUT YOUR NUTRITION?

WORRIED ABOUT YOUR NUTRITION?

HERE ARE A FEW SIMPLE RULES.

 

What’s the number one question I have asked to me on a daily basis? The answer, what can I do with my nutrition to best supplement my workouts? Unfortunately there isn’t a simple answer to that question as everyone’s body is very different. I have some simple rules though that can help those who question whether their diet is helping them:

CARBS:

First off, please don’t stop eating carbs… They are the number one source of energy for our bodies, without consuming them your workouts will suffer! If you are trying to lose weight what I have found as a good rule is to limit your carbs to 2-3 servings per day. This means if you have a bagel for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, and rice with dinner you have had 3 servings of carbs. Cutting down to 2 carbs a day still keeps your energy up throughout the day but still keeps your overall calorie consumption down.

 

Ok now second off, which carbs you eat matter. Whole grains are the best carbs you can eat as they break down slower in your body so that they give you energy throughout the day. Examples of whole grains are brown rice, whole grain pasta (whole wheat if whole grain isn’t available), sweet potatoes (all colors), and oatmeal.

PROTEINS:

Ok so this portion is for those of us who indulge in animal meats for our diet. Sorry to my vegetarian friends, but I will write something for you soon. General rules for meats in your diet, try to limit red meats to 1-2 times per week, and that white meat is your friend. Chicken breast meat is the best possible, pork is also a good choice, and I love me some ground turkey. If you can stand it the next level is throwing fish in there 2-4 times a week. I know a lot of people can’t do fish and that’s fine if that’s you, but if you can get it into your diet a couple times a week at least the fish oils are great for your health. Lastly, eggs are great! One of my favorite foods for sure, and it’s cool if you get rid of the yolks and just go egg whites but you really don’t have to.

WHEN SHOULD I EAT?

EAT BREAKFAST!! Haha but seriously eat something in the morning… it’s not that hard and once you start it will become easier and easier until you’ll feel incomplete without it in the morning. Ideally beyond breakfast you should eat every 3-4 hours, so the exact time will depend on when you start your day. Think about having 3 full meals and 1-2 snacks, if this sounds like too much food for you then cut down your meals!

 

VEGGIES:

I know this is getting long so I’m going to keep this short, mix the colors of your veggies, get in mostly green but also red, orange, purple, and yellow. Secondly, from the section above I’m suggesting you have 4 or 5 meals per day, so try to have 3-4 of those include some sort of veggie.

 

WATER:

The recommended daily water intake is half of your body weight in ounces. This means if you weigh 140 pounds, you should be having about 70 oz of water per day, if you don’t know how many ounces of water your water bottle has feel free to ask us!

 

That’s all for now folks! I will come out with a second version of this soon with sections including: fats, alcohol, fruit, and more. Please feel free to reach out to me for any bits of advice on the side or if there is a section you would like me to cover in the next post!

 

 

Learn more about Coach Anthony here

 

 

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