Fashion Forward Veggies


The last time I went to the supermarket I was astonished to find they were out of broccoli. Then my colleague shared that she had to go to three different supermarkets to find kale. It seems that vegetables have become more popular than ever. With the organic industry boom, community supported agriculture on the rise, and locally sourced foods and farmer’s markets popping up left and right, eating healthy couldn’t be more exciting and accessible. As a foodie who believes that all whole foods are super foods, I absolutely love that vegetables are finally enjoying the spotlight.

Variety is the key to a healthy diet, not only because different foods have unique nutritional properties, but also because it is the best way to avoid the health halo in which we risk turning something we love into something we can’t stand.  These fashionable and varying veggies make it much easier to say “Don’t forget to eat your veggies, they’re delicious!” without any irony. 

Behold Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, arugula, bok choy and cabbage are popular examples of cruciferous vegetables. These veggies are super rich in nutrients including several phytochemicals; vitamins C, E, and K; folate; and minerals. They are naturally low in calories, carbs and are low on the glycemic index. They are also a great source of fiber! Animal studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables have active compounds that are generally believed to inhibit the development of cancer (specifically bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung and stomach).  Incorporating at least six cups raw or three cups cooked cruciferous veggies into your daily diet is linked to lowered cancer risk, protects against mental decline, and improved heart, bone and eye health! 

With a cred list like that, you can’t go wrong loading up on cruciferous vegetables.  But how can you add these delicious foods to your recipe repertoire?  

Tip 1: Clean you veggies, especially leafy cruciferous greens like kale. Always practice proper food safety even with vegetables.

Tip 2: Steam, sauté or stir-fry to maintain some of the beneficial nutrients, specifically water-soluble vitamins such as folate (vitamin B). 

Tip 3: Use aromatic flavors such as garlic, onion and herbs to create tasty low-calorie side dishes.

Cooking Ideas 

Arugula: Use in salads, on pizza, with pasta, in a sandwich or Panini, with eggs and in quiches. Try the arugula pesto from Blog Lovin. 

Cauliflower: Add pureed cauliflower to basically anything and add nutritional value without changing the flavor. This is a great trick not only for you but also for kids!  Add to mac and cheese, pizza dough, cookie dough, mashed potatoes and bean dip. Join the caulimania and enjoy the roasted buffalo cauliflower bites from Clean and Delicious. 

Kale: Use in soups, pesto, salads, smoothies, veggie burgers, wontons, savory pastries, pastas and in burritos. Try this awesome kale and roasted squash quinoa salad from Eating Clean Recipes. Great for every meal! 

How are you going to incorporate cruciferous veggies in your diet? 

Originally posted on NYHRC Tumblr 

Co-Written by Debi Zvi, RD, CDN and Alanna Cabrero, MS, RD, CDN 

Edited by Tamara Cabrero & NYHRC Team 

Picture from BlogLovin, Eating Clean Recipes, and 123rf on Flickr. 

2014 Food & Fitness Trends!

Getting fit, losing weight and feeling great are always top priorities for the New Year. How we achieve these goals is constantly evolving to fit our busy, eclectic lifestyles. 

Here are a few of the top food and fitness trends for 2014!

Clean Eating. I don’t mean practicing food safety like washing your greens, the idea behind Clean Eating is to eat foods in their “whole” state. With increased awareness of frankenfood (GMOs) or fake foods, people are paying more attention to what they put in their bodies rather than just looking at calories and grams of fat. This means staying away from processed/refined foods and additives like artificial chemicals (i.e. artificial sweeteners), flavors and preservatives. Next time you have a meal, ask yourself: Is this food or foodstuff? 

Farm-to-Table. Following in the footsteps of the clean eating approach, choosing cleaner, sustainable, exotic meats (like goat and rabbit that come from small-scale producers) as well as seasonal produce from local farmers offers a new feel-good approach to eating. A few of my favorite farm-to-table restaurants in NYC are Rosemary’s (don’t forget to visit the rooftop garden that supplies their kitchen!), Roberta’s in Bushwick, Brooklyn (where I had my wedding reception—oh yeah, ahead of the trend!) and Blue Hill NY (you can also visit their farm).

Promoting Healthy Gut Bacteria. It’s just not enough to take away foods that may be bad for your gut, i.e. the Standard American Diet (appropriately called SAD); we also have to promote a happy gut. The hundreds of trillions of bacteria (or lack thereof) may predispose us to obesity and a whole range of inflammatory chronic diseases including metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and perhaps cancer. Eating foods high in fiber such as whole grains, vegetables, fruit (not just supplements), fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, yogurt, kombucha and kefir increase our microbial diversity and keep our gut healthy.

Egg Yolks Are Back! Woohoo! Blood cholesterol (aka having high cholesterol) is strongly affected by saturated fat, but not so much by dietary cholesterol. So, unless you are at particularly high risk for cardiovascular disease, there is no need to shun the egg yolk! This awesome whole food is loaded with choline associated with brain health; lutein and zeaxanthin two antioxidants particularly great for eye health and vitamin D, a vitamin that most Americans highly lack.

Fishy Fish. I get it; most people have a love hate relationship with anchovies and sardines. But there is no denying these fish are really good for you. They are extremely high in omega-3 fatty acids, amazing for your skin, hair and heart. In addition, they are chockfull of calcium and vitamin D. They are also on the bottom of the seafood chain, so they are naturally low in mercury and PCBs. If you are interested in the canned fish experience, check out Maiden Lane in the East Village. If you’re not sure what to order, try their excellent fish board!

Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts. I will be talking more about these amazing vegetables in later posts, but for now, all I can say is—eat them. These cruciferous super vegetables are incredibly beneficial to your health, versatile and go well with just about anything.

Express Workouts. High intensity interval training (HIIT) involves short bursts of exercise with brief recovery breaks. Jenn Hamlin, a group fitness instructor at NYHRC, describes Tabata, a specific form of HIIT, as the perfect New York workout. “It enhances your athletic performance activating both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems and spikes your caloric expenditure while decreases body fat in the shortest amount of time!” It’s an efficient method of training that still gives you time to grab lunch. 

Corporate Wellness. Ask about Worker Incentive Programs. These are part of employer-based health promotion programming and health care benefits. They are becoming very popular and many businesses offer them. Imagine how quickly you would achieve your goals if you also paired it with nutrition counseling!

What trend are you looking forward to trying out in 2014?

Written by Alanna Cabrero, MS, RD, CDN  


Fitness Trends 2014: 20 Popular Workouts For The Year Ahead. Huffpost Living. 

2014 Nutrition trends and their nutrition benefits. Rachel Begun.  

The Top 8 Healthy Food Trends for 2014. Wake Up World. 

10 Fitness and Wellness Trends of 2014. Well+Good’s

Fitness trends 2014: Zumba not the HIIT the trendspotters thought 

Exciting new fitness trends are making workouts easier. The Wellness Advisor, Fall 2013/ Winter 2014.

Edited by Tamara Cabrero 

Originally posted on NYHRC Tumblr