Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bits and Morsels

Toasted Montreal bagel with homemade lox at the Mile End stand at Hester Street Fair.

I’m a big supporter of nutritionist Joy Bauer. She is the nutrition and health expert for the 'Today Show' and runs one of the country's most advanced nutrition centers. I always look forward to seeing her segments on the 'Today Show,' because her advice is always easy to digest. For a TV personality she isn’t flashy in the least, but rather, more grounded than she even knows. Plus, she is really good at her job. She genuinely cares about getting people healthier, while fully understanding how hard it is. Her new cookbook, “Slim and Scrumptious,” is filled with recipes that are delicious and easy to follow; and best of all, they are good for you. Last week I met up with Joy at her office on 63rd between Park and Lex for coffee and a homemade snack of hers — soft baked oatmeal cookies and banana bread.

What do you eat everyday?

Joy Bauer with a copy of Slim and Scrumptious. Click to order.
Joy as Joy.
The thing that changes the most is dinner. I’m pretty monotonous with breakfast and lunch. A lot of times I take nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt or a plain yogurt and add a little vanilla extract. To that I will mix in a dollop of 100% canned pure pumpkin and whip it into a pumpkin pudding.

I eat that a lot in the car on the way to the Today Show. In the green room at the Today Show they usually have a spread with some healthy stuff, so I will usually hit the fruit before or after the segment. I always have 1-2 cups of coffee. At lunch I will do a big salad from Burger Heaven or Equinox or any salad bar.

I always get mixed greens with tons of vegetables, chickpeas and grilled chicken. I’m a nutaholic so in the afternoon I will always have a few handfuls of almonds. I keep them in the freezer at home. I’m also big on apples, plums and peaches. So I am good for nuts and some sort of fruit in the afternoon. I also nibble on cheese. I can do string cheese or 2% Sharp Cheddar Cracker Barrel. It’s either nuts and cheese or nuts and fruit.

For dinner I try to cook five nights a week. I love cooking. I will put vegetables on the table while I am making dinner. Anything from sugar snap peas to cucumbers and baby carrots. I always put them out because I know people will end up eating it. For dinner I do a lot of stir-fries with brown rice and hoisin-glazed salmon with baked sweet potatoes. I make regular sweet potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes and sweet potato fries. Then I also do another vegetable like sauteed spinach or broccoli.

You can imagine dinner includes protein, vegetables and then some sort of controlled starch. We don’t do a lot of big pasta entrees, but occasionally we will have pasta with pesto or macaroni and cheese.

I saw that macaroni and cheese recipe in the book. I want to make it.

My daughter told me that if was going to write a cookbook I had to master the recipe and she had to give it the 5-star rating. I failed 6 times before she gave it two thumbs up. I’m glad she held out because I really was making it for her. I don’t like her to order it out all the time. For dessert I have some low fat ice cream.

Speaking of macaroni and cheese, does it blow your mind how many calories are in a typical serving?

It’s crazy.

It's upsetting, because it can be done right.

It’s not tricky or complicated. Traditional macaroni and cheese has 3 full fat artery clogging ingredients. It has butter, whole milk and full fat cheese. It’s mixed with white elbow noodles, which offer nothing in the way of nutrition. By changing the noodles to whole grain and by swapping out full fat milk for skim and the full fat cheese for 2% reduced fat cheese, and being creative with the seasonings, it brings it all together. You get this decadent creamy macaroni and cheese for half the calories and probably 75% less fat than the traditional recipe.

Joy's soft baked oatmeal cookies, straight out of Slim and Scrumptious.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Hands down it’s that I have the opportunity to dramatically change peoples lives. It’s not with these crazy unrealistic changes. Small things really do add up and to watch someone go from 500lbs to 150lb and go on hikes and feel good about themselves and to help people who have struggled with the same 10lbs their whole life.

Helping them to loose those 10lbs from a psychological standpoint and go from feeling insecure, fat and unhealthy to feeling gorgeous and glamorous. It doesn’t get any better. Then there is the health standpoint. Watching people add decades and years to their life because they lowered their cholesterol and got a handle on their blood pressure.

What’s the worst part?

The worst part is being out of the office and having dinner with people and hearing that they feel self-conscious ordering in front of me. I feel terrible when that happens.

What time do you get up to go to the Today Show?

I get up at 4:00, so I try to go to sleep at 10:00.

How did your job on the Today Show come about?

I was the nutritionist on The View for a couple of years and then I did a stint on Regis & Kelly where I put all the producers on a diet. A few of the producers from the Today Show were watching, and so they called me to do a segment. It’s always been a dream of mine to be part of the Today Show family. It’s also amazing to be able to reach so many people in a small amount of time with this health message.

What advice can you give to someone who eats a healthy breakfast and lunch, but buckles at 3:00 in need of a sweet treat?

The first thing to do is identify when and where your downfalls are so you can plan for it. There are two directions you can go in. I’m all about 90/10. 90% healthy and 10% fun. If that is your thing for the day and you want to have a biscotti or a palm sized piece of pound cake and stick with a skim latte or coffee with skim milk, then that’s fine.

The other direction is now you know that is an issue for you and you can pack a smart snack that is totable, doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and is a combination of health and your sweet fix. You can pack fresh fruit and pick up a nonfat Greek yogurt at any deli. Knowledge is power. You have to know where you go south and be ready for it. All the sweets in the book are legal. I especially like the cinnamon cheesecake fondue. It’s 5 ingredients that you blend together as a cold fondue for fresh fruit. It’s great for yourself at night and impressive enough for a dinner party.

Joy's banana bread.
What’s your workout routine?

I aim to walk for an hour a day. I always tell people to try to exercise every day and then if it happens for five days a week, then it’s a home run. I multitask and I’m usually on the treadmill on my blackberry. 2-3 days a week I do strength training. I have a 20-minute routine that involves pushups, planks and lunges. It’s reasonable and doesn’t feel torturous to me.

Do you have any tips on how to eat smartly when you go out to dinner?

You should have an idea of what you are going to order before you go in and omit the bread if you can. I feel like the bread is an extra that we don’t need. What you can do is know that there is going to be one thing that you are going to splurge on. Either it’s going to be the bread, the cocktail, the entree or the dessert. If you want to be healthy you can skip the bread and stick with one cocktail, either vodka with club soda or red or white wine.

Then go for a lean protein like chicken or fish. If it comes with an especially good sauce then just get it. Always ask them to double up on the vegetables, whether they are sauteed or grilled, and if you can, omit the side starch. For dessert, go for berries with a little whipped cream or split something sensational with a friend.

For more information about Joy Bauer go to:
Hester Street Fair entrance.
Last weekend I took my digital on a beautiful day to the newly opened Hester Street Fair (on the corner of Hester and Essex St). Usually, flea markets and fairs can be overwhelming, but the Hester Street Fair is manageable, even when swamped. Adam Zeller, Suchin Pak, and Ron Castellano are the fair's friendly creators.
Hester street fair founders Adam Zeller, Ron Castellano, and Suchin Pak.
The fair is especially wonderful as an incubator for small businesses that want to gain a following, without the overhead of rent. In addition to the Sigmund Pretzel Shop, Porchetta, Luke’s Lobster, and Broadway East, there are also quite a few nifty vendors where you will want to buy clothing and jewelry. If you like bagels, you must go on a Saturday and treat yourself to a Montreal bagel with homemade lox from the Mile End Deli stand. Once you go to The Hester St. fair, don't be surprised if you find yourself going back every weekend.

You should check their website here before you go as vendors are constantly being added.
Adam Zeller and Mile End owner, Noah Bernamoff.
Mile End bagels, direct from Montreal. Mile End, getting toasted.
Mile End - Toasted Montreal bagel with homemade lox.
Hearty omellettes from farm fresh ingredients.
The full monty omellette.
Soft pretzel from the Sigmund pretzel shop stand.
Lobster roll from Luke's.
Francois and his cousin Bruno of World Spices.
World Spices has a great selection of loose teas and interesting spices. They will tell you how to cook with each spice.
Curry Madras, Chili, Onion Bacon Salt, Special Rice and Paella, and Special Pasta and Ratatouille are among the many spices.
A tree ring necklace from Jessica DeCarlo.
You must check out the Gargyle booth.
Love the shades at Gargyle.
Lots of casual colors.
Last night was the opening party for Prime Ko, a kosher Japanese Steakhouse brought to you by restaurateur Joey Allaham. Jamie-Lynn Sigler hosted the party, which was packed, while passed food bites were devoured, including salmon on crispy rice crackers and extremely juice Wagyu beef sliders. The restaurant has a hip and modern vibe, unique among its Upper West Side counterparts. I can’t wait to go back to try the omakase menu.

Prime Ko
217 West 85th Street
Lychee Martinis.
Spicy salmon on crispy rice cracker.
Wagyu beef sliders.
Jason Binn and Joey Allaham. Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Joey Allaham.
Stephen Asprinio and Eli Kirshtein.

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