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cooking energy

26 Jun

6835168360_2805c66ff0“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” -Harriet van Horne

Try this experiment:

1. Cook a meal after an argument you had, a broken tire, commuting delays, or after a general bad day.

2. Cook a meal after you just finished a project you are proud of, just came back from an inspiring exercise session, snuggled with your kids, husband/wife, pets, took a leisurely stroll, or after a general good day.

In each case, what do you think your food will taste like?

The energy that we put into making our meals is incredibly important. When we are in a negative state of mind, the end result of our meal won’t taste very vibrant. When we are in a positive state of mind, our food will sing with good energy, taste, texture and overall appeal.

We teach this fundamental concept to our cooking class students and summer campers. Learning how our energy affects our food (and countless other aspects of our lives) at a young age will help solidify good cooking habits for the future.

The next time you cook, think about what mood you are in. If you are in a bad mood, try simply smiling while sautéing, prepping, assembling – maybe put on some music. Even these little steps can cause a major shift in your energy.

Your taste buds will thank you!

Photo courtesy of Summer Skyes 11

everyday movement inspiration

24 Apr

3992106452_fbffd3e6b0Time can fly as you sit for extended periods of time.

You become engrossed in email, writing papers, reading articles, responding to requests, and all of the sudden you’ve been sitting for 3 hours straight!

Here are some tips on being more mindful of movement while sitting:

  • Get up every hour: set yourself a google calendar alarm, or any other sort of alarm that works for you. A constant reminder to get up might just do the trick!
  • Activity bursts: like our advisor Dr. David Katz encourage us to do – get up and do some jumping jacks, we just did and boy does it make a difference!
  • Stretch it out with these yoga poses: neck rolls, seated forward bends, eagle arms and stand up pigeon here + back and shoulder release, chair twists and side stretches here
  • Take a fresh air break! Go outside, and take a 10 minute walk. You’ll come back to your desk feeling refreshed and clear headed.
  • Learn more about stand up desks, and make your own set up work for you!

What keeps you jazzed and moving while working?

Photo courtesy of Dominic’s pics

take pride in being outside

15 Feb

photo-5Many of us spend our days indoors.

Whether we are teaching, marketing, trading, defending, problem solving, designing, entertaining, creating, consulting, financing, advising or diagnosing we do much of it inside.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency Americans spend about 90% of their time indoors. A significant amount of time indeed!

Being indoors can certainly impact your life as most of us sit for long periods of time, and breathe in lots of indoor air.

We are here to help inspire that remaining 10% (if not more) of your time to be spent outdoors, even in winter time. Read below for 5 daily outdoor and wellness tips for each part of your workday:

Before work:

  1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier to go for a walk outside. If you live in the country, take a walk around your yard. City dwellers take a walk to your nearest park. Bring your beloved coffee/tea in a to-go cup, sip as you go.
  2. Take a look at some early morning outdoor exercise programs like an outdoor bootcamp.
  3. If it’s cold out, prepare yourself by layering, and keeping your extremities warm and bundled (hat, scarf, gloves, boots).
  4. When the sun is shining earlier in the day, wake up with the sun for even more time outdoors.
  5. Soak up your vitamin D: try for at least 5-10 minutes of sunlight in the morning, and bask in it’s glow.

During work: 

  1. Get up from your desk every hour to stretch and get your blood flowing. Check out some simple yoga poses you can do while at your desk.
  2. At lunchtime, try to step away from your screen and prepare your lunch while clearing your head. Eat mindfully, focusing on chewing properly. Connect with coworkers, and have a chat/laugh a little! If you are working solo, play some music or daydream. If you must eat at your desk, catch up on some reading.
  3. In cold weather, eat by a cracked window to breathe in some fresh air.
  4. In warmer weather, eat alfresco.
  5. Consider a stand-up desk.

After work: 

  1. When you return home put your clothes, bag, coat etc… away in it’s proper place. Expending the effort right when you get home will save your sanity in the long run!
  2. Hungry? Have a light snack like nuts, hummus + crackers, fruit, crudités.
  3. After you’ve digested your snack it’s exercise time! Get those sneakers on and go outside for a power walk, jog, bike ride. If it’s warm and you like yoga or pilates, bring your mat to the park, your lawn or roof for an outdoor session. If you have a garden, garden away!
  4. Near a nature preserve, go for a hike, or exercise somewhere with a great view.
  5. In the city, chose to exercise away from traffic fumes.

Weekends: 

Plan outdoor activities with loved ones:

  1. Go for a hike
  2. Take a walking tour of neighborhoods
  3. Garden
  4. Play outside
  5. Go ice skating

Take ownership and pride in being outside! Your body, soul and mind will thank you!

future of food in 2050

5 Nov

Last week the nation celebrated Food Day, a movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food. The marquee for the event was a conference entitled Future of Food 2050.

Our advisor Dr. David Katz was a guest panelist at the event, speaking alongside Eric Meade, Vice President and Senior Futurist, Institute for Alternative Futures and Andrea Thomas, SVP for sustainability at Walmart.

We had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Katz prior to the event, asking him some of our questions regarding the future of food. Here are some highlights:

Butter Beans: What will the role of the lunch server be? Will there be an educational component to school cafeterias?

Dr. Katz: The only food options will be wholesome, mostly direct from nature, mostly plants. Education about food will be culture-wide, and by 2050 there won’t be much need for it in cafeterias anymore.

Butter Beans: Will nutrition education be incorporated into state and national education standards?

Dr. Katz: Yes. Food literacy will be as important and universal as any other kinds of literacy. There will be gaps, as there are with literacy, but not for want of embracing it as a priority.

Butter Beans: What will Myplate look like in 2050? What will the ratio of meat:vegetables be?

Dr. Katz: Meat will be optional/discretionary. MyPlate will no longer exist because the government will have acknowledged its conflicts of interest, and outsourced dietary guidelines to an independent organization such as IOM.

Butter Beans: How do you see the role of nutrition and food education evolving in schools and government policy?

Dr. Katz: The primary driver of dietary change will be culture change, and that in turn will change the food environment. Good choices will be easy choices, and often the only choices – reducing the burden on the educational system. But education about food choice, food important, food effects, food selection, and food preparation will be universal because these will be considered basic, modern survival skills.

Dr. Katz also noted that, “In the case of food, much depends on whether we make decisions while we still have options, or have decisions imposed on us because our options have run out. 2050 will look one way if we choose to update our culture, and quite another if we wait for demographic, economic, health and ecological calamities to make our choices for us.”

What will the state of our food system look like in 2050? Dr. Katz reflected that if our culture deemed that our health mattered as much as our wealth, you would see investments in our health increase.

Dr. Katz believes that we have to find ways to get our culture to think of health as a form of wealth, and not address health issues after they have manifested themselves, rather address them beforehand. He promotes prevention as a solution to health problems down the road, and in his vision of 2050 we are all much better off than we are now, as long as our culture collectively decides, and acts on creating a better food future for all.

Photo courtesy of trendhunter.com and usda.gov

early bird food & garden summer camp special

26 Oct

Being followers of our blog, you may have heard about our food & garden summer camp. It’s a blast for our campers, as they get to explore the New York City foodshed and have fun food adventures!

At camp, we learn all about the food cycle, from sprouting seeds, composting and harvesting fresh produce from local rooftop farms, to writing our very own cookbooks. As the weeks progress our campers have explored farmer’s markets, created their own pickles and preserves, and have made bread and ice cream from scratch!

Our campers learn expert kitchen skills from local chefs, take tours of cheese caves, and trips to master chocolate makers. They also have plenty of opportunities to play outside, and go foraging and berry picking at summer’s peak.

We are offering an early bird special on our camp tuition: sign up by October 31st and receive 15% off camp tuition. Camp runs throughout July & August. For more information visit our website for our printable and online registration form.

Here are some additional details that may help answer some of your questions:

  • Camp runs from 9am-4pm
  • Camp date are: Monday, July 8th to Friday, August 16th.
  • We offer pick up and drop off in Brooklyn or Manhattan.
  • Campers are 6-12 years old.
  • We offer early care from 8-9am and after-care from 4-5pm.
  • Our daily fee includes a morning snack and home cooked lunch, 1 camp t-shirt, transportation to and from trips, and all activity materials.
  • Click here for payment details.