Expo East with Nounos Creamery

This past weekend I attended Expo East in Baltimore on behalf of Nounós Creamery, a Long Island-based authentic Greek yogurt company that I represent. If you haven't had a chance to try Nounós yet, hopefully you will soon. The company started in Southampton and has been around for about four years, but just started expanding outside of New York State in the last year. You can now find the yogurt in the northeast, Texas, Chicago and Southern California. For those in the Hamptons, it's in Citarella, Schmidt's and several local farm stands.

Nounós is unlike most Greek yogurts on the shelf because they use the traditional method to strain the yogurt. Big yogurt companies rely on mechanical straining. At Nounós, they simply use cheesecloth bags and let gravity do all the work. The entire yogurt-making process takes about three days and you can taste the slow-food difference. It is creamier, tangier and fresher-tasting than any yogurt in the store. In fact, Nounós is the only company with FDA approval to sell yogurt made with this method outside of New York.

Expo East attendees got a chance to sample all of the unique Nounós flavors, including classic plain, this past weekend. We also debuted three new whole milk yogurts. In addition to the fresh and delicious taste, attendees were blown away by the innovative packaging for the yogurt. The original low-fat flavors come in little glass jars, and the new whole milk flavors are packaged in ceramic. Both materials are better for the yogurt and the environment compared with plastic.

Check out our booth and be on the lookout for Nounós Greek yogurt!

Expo East

Ina Garten at Bridgehampton Library

This past Friday I had the pleasure of seeing Ina Garten speak at the Bridgehampton Library in their Fridays at 5 series. I had been looking forward to this for weeks and the event lived up to the hype.

Gates opened at 4:30 pm and we headed onto the back lawn to grab a seat. Before Ina came out at 5 pm, there was a lovely reception with local wine and snacks. The spread was fabulous! I had salmon on toast, some fresh veggies, a piece of brie cheese, and a small salmon quiche. I helped myself to some wine as well!

Ina came out right on time and was interviewed by her friend (and movie director) Rob Marshall. I have always been a big fan of Ina and her recipes, and my respect for her only grew after hearing her speak. Ina emphasized that truly great cooking is very simple; it just requires the best ingredients. I love her emphasis on fresh, wholesome foods and find that even her most decadent recipes can fit into a balanced diet.

Ina had no culinary training, but rather a passion for food and cooking. Her main message was to do what makes you happy every day. I can get behind that!

Why I Love Breakfast

Everyone who knows me well knows that I love breakfast. Yes, I believe that it is important to eat a morning meal to get your metabolism up and running for the day. Yes, I love most breakfast foods, like Greek yogurt, fruit, whole grain toast, eggs and smoked salmon. But really, it's the ritual of breakfast that I love the most.

I'm sort of a morning person, but I will fully admit I'm not a people person in the morning. I relish the hour or so I get to myself before the rest of the house gets up (the dog included). Breakfast is me time. A time to wake up. A time to relax and simply enjoy before the day really gets started. Some people have meditation; I have breakfast.

Nourishing foods, freshly ground Hamptons Coffee and a New York Times crossword: it might sound simple, even silly, but I have so much value for my morning routine. We live in such a fast-paced world, so many people rush through the day without taking some time for themselves. It doesn't have to be breakfast, but I encourage you to find a few moments when you too can simply enjoy. Take a 15-minute afternoon stroll, get away from your desk during lunch, or head to bed a few minutes earlier and read a new book. Find time for yourself no matter how stressful the day. You will learn to look forward and cherish the few moments for you.

How to Build the Perfect Salad

Salads are my go-to lunch. They pack a ton of vegetables into one dish, they're super filling, and they can be eaten at home or on-the-go. There are so many possibilities for delicious salad combinations, but I generally stick to this formula when crafting my lunch:

Step 1: Pick a Green Base

Generally, the darker the green the healthier it is, but you don't always need to opt for spinach or kale. Romaine works well if you’re in a crunchy and crisp mood and there may be some days when you're just craving iceberg---and that's fine. You can also use chopped salad mixes that incorporate cabbage, carrots, Brussels sprouts and more.

Step 2: Add More Color

Pile on the color: tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, carrots, radishes, mushrooms, summer squash...seriously anything goes. I love to add leftover roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower from dinner the night before. Go to town here.

Step 3: Choose a Protein

You need a protein to help keep you satisfied. Leftover grilled chicken or steak, canned tuna or salmon, or hard boiled eggs are go-to options if you like a little meat. For vegetarian protein sources, try quinoa, beans, hummus, seeds, chickpeas or lentils. Remember, a serving of animal protein is about the size of a smart phone; for vegetarian sources the standard is half a cup.

Step 4: Dress it Up with Healthy Fat

Adding some healthy fat to your salad will bring flavor, promote satiety, and aid in absorption of all the nutrients in those vegetables. Olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice or splash of vinegar is the simplest way to go. If you buy a dressing, pick one with simple ingredients, preferably organic, and stick to just about one tablespoon of dressing. You can also add avocado, cheese like feta, or nuts. If you add a fat source go easy on the dressing.

This salad started off with spring mix, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. I had leftover basil chicken as a protein, and my fats were avocado and homemade tzatziki. I just used some vinegar as a dressing since I had two fats. (And some whole grain pita chips on the side!)

This salad started off with spring mix, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. I had leftover basil chicken as a protein, and my fats were avocado and homemade tzatziki. I just used some vinegar as a dressing since I had two fats. (And some whole grain pita chips on the side!)

5 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy in the Hamptons

I am lucky to live in a health-conscious community.  Wellness is a way of life out here and it doesn't have to come at an outrageous cost. Here are five super simple ways to stay healthy in the Hamptons.

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5 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy in the Hamptons

  1. Shop the local markets. In the summers we are blessed with a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables grown right outside our doors. Choosing local produce is better for the environment and is one way to ensure a minimum amount of nutrition is lost in transit. In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables there are plenty of purveyors who offer minimally processed, locally made dry goods such as breads, grains, granolas and jams. I always buy the local stuff if possible.
  2. Hit the beach. There's nothing better than spending an afternoon basking in the sun on the sand, but there are other ways to take advantage of the local beaches. Running on sand provides a solid workout and beach yoga gives you awesome views. You'll find me walking my dog Brock on village beaches in Southampton.
  3. Get out on the water. Surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, swimming...there are so many different ways to work out on the water. I love to kayak around the North Sea Harbor.
  4. Order the fish. Fish is one of the healthiest protein sources you can choose and we are lucky to have plenty of it locally in the Hamptons. Choose local fish at your favorite markets and when ordering at restaurants around town.
  5. Take a cruise around town. On a beach cruiser, that is! Whether you are just cruising around or clipping in for a serious ride, biking is a fun way to get outdoors and be active with friends and family.

Why I Became an RD

Lots of people get intimidated, even turned off, when they hear I'm a dietitian. I think the word "dietitian" sounds a little strict, and people often interpret the word to mean "food police."

I'll be the first one to admit I'm a healthy eater. I eat a ton of vegetables. I eat whole grains and beans. I eat fruit every day and I eat fish a few times a week. But I also eat dessert. And pizza. And the occasional burger.

Everyone has their own interpretation of what "healthy" means. My philosophy is about eating wholesome foods and using food to nourish your body, mind and soul. Good health is about so much more than nutrients (though nutrients are super important too). 

I became a dietitian because I love food. I love to eat good foods to nourish my body, but I also respect the power food has as a part of culture, the ability it has to bring joy, and the role it plays in our families and communities.

Yes, I start my day with Greek yogurt and fruit and eat salads most days for lunch, but I also go out for ice cream. I drink wine and eat cheese. When I travel, I eat the local specialties and on holidays, I eat the traditional dishes.

As a dietitian my goal is to help clients find the balance that works for them. I strive to help others learn to love and appreciate how eating well makes them feel and understand the connection good food has to health. I help clients develop a healthy relationship with their food, and emphasize that their is a place for food that is indulgent and fun.

I became a dietitian so that I could help other learn to love food, not fear it or agonize over it. I became a dietitian to help create a healthier, happier and well-fed world.

 

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