Tuesday, July 9, 2013

BIG Announcements: New website, Zumba classes & more...

I've got some big news and today, good things are happening in threes!

Fancy new diggs: The Piece o' Cake blog has moved to a new website that you can find here. I needed a place to offer my nutrition services and post my Zumba® schedule and had been dragging my feet on building a new website for the longest time. It's finally here, so go check it out! Never fear, I'll still be blogging about nutrition, health, food & fitness. That includes the juicy stuff I know you love, like inexpensive or truly unique workouts, new recipes (including tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes) and my views on the latest diet trends. 

Zumba® summer event: Next month, I am offering two half-price, hour-long Zumba® classes down near Astor Place at 440 Studios (in Manhattan). 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Don't Wait: Cherries!

One of my favorite things about summer is the return of sweet cherries. Plump, juicy, firm and delicious, cherries don't just make you feel like a kid again, they also come with a number of health benefits.

One cup of raw sweet cherries, with pits, is an excellent source of vitamin C (16% DV or daily value) and fiber (12% DV) and a good source of potassium (9% DV). Cherries also are a great source of antioxidants, which fight inflammation and disease. In particular, those deep reddish purple Bing cherries most of us are familiar with, are loaded with anthocyanins, a type a flavonoid. If flavonoids sound familiar it is probably because you've heard about the heart healthy benefits they bring to red wine and dark chocolate.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Making Old Favorites Minus the Milk, Eggs or Meat

Recently I've been doing a lot of reading about food allergies and food intolerances. I also found myself craving some childhood favorites: rice porridge (mine) and sloppy joes (my sister's). But I've been trying to amp up my vegetarianism, including eating vegan foods half the time, so the childhood faves were going to require some creativity. Between all the researching diet restrictions and my own choice to avoid certain foods, it feels like "ingredient substitutes" has become the theme of the past week.  

If there are foods you are avoiding because of a medical condition or for personal reasons, or if you've ever tried to throw a party where some of the guests follow special diets, you know what I'm talking about. Just because there are certain foods you (or a friend or family member) aren't eating, doesn't mean you want to give up on some of your favorite dishes. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

5 Tips to Avoid Coming Home from Vacation with Souvenir Pounds!

At this time every year I just can't help but write about travel. Not only is everyone planning and setting off on vacation, not only do I have a major passion for seeing the world, but I also love sharing my tips for eating well and staying in shape while having an adventure and not feeling like you are missing out on anything.

I was bitten by the travel bug when my husband (then boyfriend) and I celebrated our college graduation by backpacking Western Europe for four weeks. Over the years, I've learned that I get the most out of a trip, and come home feeling the best, when I take a whole mind & body approach to my travels by combining the adventure of seeing the world with the rejuvenating benefits of healthy eating and staying active. Here's how to discover new cultures, get some R&R and still make healthy choices.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Crazy Easy, Super Tasty Chickpea Salad

One of my favorite salad toppings is marinated chickpeas. I used to search for them every time I'd have lunch from one of those cold buffet bars...until I realized, "why don't I just make them myself?" This is one of those recipes that you can slap together whenever you have some downtime and then store in the fridge to pull out later for a quick take-to-work lunch, a dinner side dish or an anytime snack! It's also one of those things that tastes better after it sits a little while (in the fridge, anywhere from an hour or up to a day in advance) so the flavors can meld.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Own Mastectomy Experience

Last week, Angelina Jolie's announcement of her preventive bilateral mastectomy and breast reconstruction, after finding out she carried the BRCA1 breast cancer gene, was met with mostly positive reaction. But some questioned whether this information was helpful or would just result in a surge of young women requesting genetic testing, which is not recommended for everyone and may result in unnecessary financial, emotional and possibly physical costs to pay.

I'm no stranger to controversial discussions around breast cancer. After my own mastectomy I came to understand that (my diagnosis) ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), can be a source of heated conversation for many people, particularly for DCIS patients and those women who have been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

FREE Workouts all Summer Long in NYC

I love summer in the city. I love that the weather is finally comfortable enough for me, someone who is always cold, to skip the subway and walk all of Manhattan, from downtown to uptown, morning to night. I love August, when tourists and locals alike leave town and suddenly the city is quiet and peaceful. Most of all, I love all the great free events that return each May. I feel so connected to my city when I'm enjoying an evening Jazz performance or yoga class in one of our public parks.

One of the best things about these summer offerings is the free outdoor group exercise classes. Offered all summer long, they are a great introduction to a new fitness activity and an opportunity for starting healthy new habits in a stress-, judgement-, and commitment-free environment, surrounded by the energy and beauty of NYC.