Thursday, June 26, 2008

Resources, Books and a new sustainabIe market

I am constantly meeting new people as Sobel Wellness grows. Two new people I came across and their centers are:

The Running Center LLC
NYC's First & Only Training Facility for Runners
461 Central Park West
New York, NY 10025
Ph: 212-362-3779
Fx: 212-362-5017

Coach Mindy will appear tomorrow evening on ABC's 20/20 at 10pm EST to discuss a new flip flop that actually makes you fitter. This should be interesting since the New York Times just published that the flip flop is quite dangerous for walking and posture - so I am eager to hear from Coach Mindy tomorrow evening. Read the New York Times article here:

Matthew Grace who wrote a book called A Way Out. You can find more information about him on his website Matthew is a personal trainer and raw foods enthusiast. I'm just getting to know his work, but it looks very interesting and I have just ordered a copy of his book.

Lastly, I just just made aware of a new sustainable market that has opened up in South Street Seaport called the New Amsterdam Market. This new market is hoping to become a permanent fixture, tons of local purveyors show off farm-fresh cheese, produce, meats, and prepared foods — with a focus on sustainability. The market will features breads, honey, mushrooms, and other mouth-watering groceries. It will be open Sundays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m at South Street Seaport, South St., b/t Beekman St. & Peck Slip.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

reactions to Tim Russert's Death and CSA delivery

I've been following the news of Tim Russert's death and while many cardiologists and modern scientists find it "surprising" and cite that his coronary artery disease could have been controlled better with statin drugs, I hesitate to cite diet and exercise first. Tim Russert was a big man, with low HDL levels. He was "dutifully" trying to lose weight. How dutifully, I wonder. My own father died of a sudden heart attack at 48. His father died at 61. These were men who loved their food and I am not talking fruits and vegetables here.

We live in a society where we have an excuse and a drug or medical intervention for everything. We overeat, we take a pill, we don't exercise, we take a pill, there's a pill or a "procedure" for every medical ailment we often create for ourselves. There's a plethora of negative food influences out there from sugary cereals to high fructose corn syrup (its in everything what do we do - how about eating non-processed foods!) to trans fats. But we humans have the ability to make choices. We can choose our health and foods that still taste delicious without all the artificial processed junk. We can choose more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains (not breads, but actual whole grains, like quinoa and bulghur wheat), beans for protein and some pastured, grass fed animal protein (but not a 24 ounce steak - the body has no capacity to store that kind of protein) in 4-6 ounces in a meal serving. We need to monitor our portions and we need to eat real wholesome food that we chew carefully, slowly and mindfully, eating at a table with our families or friends.

We need to remove the stigmas that "healthy" food is "tasteless". I received an email this morning from Nina Planck on different kinds of salmon. King salmon (chinook) and Silver (Coho). Both of these varieties of salmon cannot be farmed and must be wild by design. Look for them. The redder the salmon, the more anti-oxidant qualities it has. Take your fish oil. I recommend Omega XL ( which has no fishy aftertaste and comes in a very small manageable pill. I take 2 daily. However, I have been studying with another holistic health counselor, Andrea Beaman, who successfully cured herself of thyroid disease and several "precancerous" conditions who does not recommend supplements, saying that a balanced diet can contain the proper vitamins. I've been studying the benefits of supplementation for at least 3 years now and I have so many conflicting views on them, but I too have to believe that your food can give you all the vitamins and minerals you need if you eat well. This means eat your green vegetables! Kale, collard greens, romaine lettuce, bok choi. Go to your farmer's market or join a CSA. I have tons of greens in my house now from my last CSA (community supported agriculture - a way of getting farm fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to your area through purchasing a share of the farm. Economically the farmer benefits by knowing he can sell all of his produce to a prepaid/interested audience who makes a commitment to 6 months of purchases. Purchasers get "farmers pick and the option to exchange anything they don't want/like with other CSA members) delivery. They taste phenomenal, scales above the organic baby greens they sell in whole foods. If you live near a farm or a farmer's market - now is the time to have greens. They are wonderful and in season. If you don't live near one, visit or if you are resident of New York City to learn more about how you can join or start a CSA in your neighborhood. I've still got some turnips at home that I am trying to figure out what to do with. I'll be searching for recipes tonight! I encourage you all to do the same.

At the conference I am working at today I have been avoiding the sugary scones, muffins and yogurts as well as the coffee and I cannot tell you how much better I feel. Its not that hard. I've got some raw cashews to snack on.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I've been eating a lot of sugar lately. I don't know if its because I have started organizing conferences on the side or I had my brother's wedding this weekend...but boy have I noticed how sensitive I am to sugar. I just can't eat it anymore. I had all of one cupcake at the wedding and today I had a scone and I tasted a cannolli at lunch. I'm in a fog now...a sugar induced fog. I feel unable to concentrate, depressed and not motivated. I get it. I haven't felt like this in years and tomorrow, I am bringing my own lunch and snacks so that I am not tempted by the white stuff. Its unreal how dangerous this stuff is. I urge you all to curb the habit.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

fage yogurt, sugary smoothies and ode to summer

Hello world. Greetings from 106th street my new abode. Today I got a post from Daily Candy on Fage yogurt. I've been eating fage for maybe 4 years now, ever since I returned from Greece where I fell in love with the yogurt there - which sorry, Fage producers, isn't even close to what you produce. However, Fage is a good replication of the real stuff. Fage brand yogurt which comes in a full fat version containing a whopping 20 grams of fat (and a good deal of it saturated) per 1 cup serving is a non-stabilized, non-processed wonderful tasting (without any added sugar) thick yogurt. Its great for snack, use in sauces, smoothies, what have you. It comes in a 5% fat, 2% or 0% fat version as well. I can sort of tell the difference between the full fat and the 0% fat versions, but the 2% and the 5% are fairly hard to distinguish. I love the 2% one and somehow I feel better about it. I've had their fruit ones as well - where you get something resembling fruit on the side and you can determine how much you add. So I add the bare minimum to get the taste without the tons of sugar added to it - but the amount of sugar in the entire fruit topping is still less than danon or breyers. Now what I wonder about Fage yogurt is if the milk comes from grass fed cows or if the cows are fed grains and given growth hormones. I believe that all the milk is imported from Greece or maybe even the yogurt is imported from Greece in the containers already. I wish it weren't pasteurized as I am sure the Greek yogurt in Greece, especially in the Islands or villages certainly was not pasteurized.

I'm started having Danon plain low fat yogurt as well which I don't think has any stabilizers in it. Its quite good tasting, but I am sure it comes from grain fed cows pumped full of hormones.

I went to a new smoothie bar yesterday. They only have smoothies in 24 ounce size. I went home and looked up their website - they have 73 grams of sugar per serving. 73 grams - that about 20 teaspoons of sugar - double the amount in a can of regular coke. I felt lightheaded and starving for sugary snacks most of the day afterwards. I had a new dark chocolate bar that evening (which I was planning to give to a client, but forgot) which had 14 grams of sugar per serving instead of my usual 5 grams or 8 grams and the same thing happened. Even with 14 grams of sugar, the chocolate tasted incredibly sweet and where in the past I would have been satisfied with 3 squares I felt inclined to eat half the bar which I would never do. Damn sugar and your addictive nature. I hope this diatribe from a former recovered sugar addict can help you on your quest to recover from your sugar addiction and shed some light on this very serious condition.

Summer is upon us. Thank God here in New York we're experiencing a bit of a setback in sweltering temperatures and the rain has lifted a bit so I can get some outdoor runs in. I hope that all of you are taking advantage of summer temperatures and getting out there on a bike, on the road or climbing rocks or whatever it is you do for fun and sweat! Does moving boxes count?

Monday, June 9, 2008

coconut oil

I love coconut oil, but today in the health food store I learned some even more wonderful things about it. First of all - only buy coconut oil (or any oil for that matter) in a glass container as oil and plastic will interact and you will actually be ingesting molecules of plastic in your oil if you use it from a plastic bottle. I just can't imagine that's good for you! Also coconut oil is a saturated fat - ooh saturated fat is bad, right? Wrong. Saturated fat has never been proven to be linked to heart disease. It has just been one dietary factor linked to heart disease, but more recent research shows that heating fats such as canola oil and other refined vegetable oils high in omega 6 are even more dangerous in that they break down and cause free radical production in the body leading to cancer. Coconut oil is more stable when heated and when used in moderation can be a healthy alternative for high heat cooking. Today I learned that a bit of coconut oil on the gums can help prevent gingivitis, a teaspoon taken before working out can really help with sweat production for detoxification and its really good for treating thyroid conditions - who would have thought. Best of all, it tastes terrific. The kind I bought today in a glass bottle is International Harvest's brand. Its certified organic and also raw - which means it has not been refined in any way. Refined oils have usually been heated, disinfected and bleached (because they went rancid!). This is as pure as you can get and its worth the extra money for an investment in your health!