She SAID: Fresh Diet… Delivered

Terri Kennerson

A quick internet search will net you any given number of diet remedies and so-called perfect solutions to help you lose weight and reveal your best self. The thing that most of these deals have in common is the notion of a quick fix or a short term solution. Any freshdiet2amount of common sense dictates that 1) there’s no such thing as a quick fix, and 2) the key to losing weight and keeping it off comes with a shift in lifestyle food and exercise choices.

The Fresh Diet is out to convince more people to play the long game in the battle of the bulge. With daily deliveries of 3 meals (and two snacks) based on a Mediterraean Diet, Fresh Diet Fairies (their words, not mine) arrange fresh selections based on your dietary likes and dislikes. The food is actually fresh… never frozen or freeze dried. You can choose meal plans to suit your needs (and wallet) over the  period of a week or month.

The Fresh Diet delivers to 12 states (including 44 metro areas and nearly 600 cities) in the continental United States.

While The Fresh Diet doesn’t make any outrageous dietary claims, they do keep daily deliveries to a specififreshdiet3c number of calories, based on gender. The idea is that with a steady diet of fresh ingredients and balanced meals, your body will have no choice but to shed excess weight.

Prepare to pay for the privilege of having your meals delivered daily. A month-long program runs more than $1,000. If you don’t spend nearly that much on food regularly, such a price tag may cause you to pause. If you’re not sure how much you actually spend on food weekly/monthly… it might be time to revisit the ol’ budget. It is absolutely possible to plan, prepare, and enjoy the same kinds of meals on your own, likely for much less. But because the plan is specifically designed for busy people with no time for such trivialities, the question becomes… why would you want to?

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She SAID: Kombucha Crave

Shahada Karim

I’m an admitted Kombucha addict. This is an interesting fact, considering that once upon a not-so-long-ago, I shunned the idea of any additional ‘boosts’ (read: caffeine) and abhorred the addictive nature of many coffee addicts. Since I neither like the taste or smell of coffee, it was easy to take such a righteous stance. If one could not get through one’s day without a jolt, then perhaps one should evaluate one’s life choices. Right? Wrong.

I happened upon Kombucha with affiliation of some controversy: the oft legally challenged Lindsay Lohan had been arrested for some thing or another, and blamed Kombucha for her problems. The miniscule amount of fermentation in this yeast-based drink allegedly possessed just enough intoxicant to inform her system that she ought to act as if there was something much stronger coursing through her veins (and let’s be honest, there probably was). Anyway, curiosity led to investigation, and eventually a taste of this drink that in fact does NOT contain enough fermentation to produce an alcoholic result.

It was love at first sip.

I started slow, with something easy and pedestrian like Reeds. The mild blend goes down beautifullykombucha1 and tastes a lot like flat soda. Goji Ginger was my favorite, and set me up to get a little more involved in the benefits of enjoying this fermented drink. I started to buy Reeds by the case, unable to have just one per day. They became my preferred drink, whether alone or accompanied with a meal.

I eventually graduated to Kejiwa, but at nearly $5 per 6-ounce bottle, that habit got to be really expensive, really quick. Plus, supplies were scarce. There’s some story about the makers blessing each bottle yada yada yada, and the result was that more often than not, those little bottles of exotic carbonated goodness simply weren’t available for purchase. If I were pressed, I’d have to admit that Kejiwa makes some of the best tasting kombucha… anywhere. But between long lulls between kombuchadeliveries, there was just no way to get a taste without jumping through a few rings of fire. Who has time for that?

Yoga teacher training happened sometime in 2014, and that’s when I came face to face with Health Ade. One of my teachers was a rep, and often carted the old-fashioned tonic bottles around with her. My first experience wasn’t the best. Since Health Ade is stronger than both Reeds and Kejiwa, the highly carbonated mix made its way directly to my sinus cavity and sent me into a sneezing fit.. The smell (like beer) wasn’t so pleasant either. But once I learned to sip it, my love for the blend grew. I went from the very pedestrian Pink Lady Apple (and now California Grape) to the much stronger Ginger/Lemon and Cayenne Cleanse (my favorite). It’s been about a year since I started drinking Health Ade consistently, and I show no signs of slowing down any time soon.

kombucha2Kombucha drinkers claim a myriad of health benefits, from introducing healthy bacteria into the gut, to providing mental clarity and flushing toxins from the body. You can take or leave any of these claims. But I’ll tell you what I know for sure: I’ve never felt better. Kombucha energizes me (it’s the caffeine. Shut up), keeps my system moving and relatively clean, probably keeps my skin clear, and honestly just tastes good. I’ve tried a few generic brands from my local Farmer’s Market, but found that even those home-grown recipes don’t hold a candle to Health Ade. It’s still an expensive habit ($5 a bottle seems to be the going rate), but the bottles are bigger (16 ounces) and I’ve learned to pace myself.

I still roll my eyes a bit at the hordes of coffee addicts lined up at any given café-du-jour, anxiously awaiting their bitter fix. But I smile inside with a bit of empathy as a clutch my hefty bottle of Health Ade, because I get it. We all have our little… habits. And let’s face it, like many an entertainer who found themselves in handcuffs and facing the possibility of rehab or worse, we could all be strung out on something a lot stronger.

*All health claims are the sole opinion of the author, and do not reflect any formal or independent study on considerations, potential positive/negative effects, or benefits of consuming Kombucha.

She SAID: Post-Party Detox

Terri Kennerson

Who declared the 4th of July Holiday an indisputable cheat day?

*raises hand

If you did not declare that on America’s Independence Day you would eat and drink all that was before you (and then some) you’re probably alone. Millions of people gorged themselves on just about everything they could get their hands on in the spirit of independence (I declare thee free from… diets!), and those millions are likely paying for it today in the form of bloating, lethargy, constipation and general yuckiness. If ever there was a time to detox, it’s now.

EAT THIS:

No matter how you slice it, you really can’t go wrong with any dark green leafy vegetable.cheatdaydetox Broccoli, Spinach, Lettuce, Kale… all are fantastic sources of low-fat, high-fiber goodness. Besides nourishing the body with everything from folic acid to vitamin c, they’ll help push out all the madness consumed within the last 24 (48… okay 72) hours. Eat them raw, steam them, bake (yes, bake) them, or sauté them. Just don’t smother them in butter or cheese and you should be good to go (and by ‘go’, we mean don’t make any plans too far away from a clean, isolated bathroom).

DRINK THIS:

cheatdaydetox1Many of you will reach for a glass (or a gallon) of water. Consider reaching for coconut water as well. It’s low in calories, super hydrating and has more potassium than four bananas. Celebrity and athletic hype aside, coconut water is a natural diuretic, and might help move some of that Independence Day madness through your intestines and out of your body. Plus it’s a heck of a remedy for hangover.  Not that we’d know anything about that.

ENJOY THIS:

If you haven’t already, dig into a slice of watermelon. The sweet fruit is in season, and you’ve got the perfect excuse to enjoy it. One cup of watermelon will provide 17% of cheatdaydetox3vitamin A, 21% of vitamin C, 2% of iron and 1% of calcium needs for the day. It’s also full of healthy goodness like b-6, potassium, and zinc, and it contains more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable. Despite all of that, watermelon is still more than 90% water. And just like water (and coconut water) it’ll go a long way to clean out your insides. Plus, it just tastes good. Win/Win.

POP THIS:

If you’re like us, some of the food you consumed came from sources that couldn’t exactly be cheatdaydetox2confirmed. Prepackaged or processed meals often contain some kind of preservative to keep it fresher, longer. And let’s not even get into anything that your relative/friend/neighbor brought to the party. There’s no telling what they actually put in their famous 4th of July potato salad to make it so irresistible. Absorb some of the bad stuff with an activated charcoal tablet or two. Activated charcoal is typically used to absorb chemicals and toxins in the body.

Now that the fireworks, fanfare, and food are over we’re ready to get on the road to recovery.

Until next year… 😉

She SAID: How Sweet It Is

Terri Kennerson

Healthy food isn’t exactly rare in a place like Los Angeles. Healthy food that’s fast and relatively inexpensive isn’t so rare either. Healthy food that’s organic, exciting, tasty, fast, and inexpensive…

Now you have my attention.sweetgreen4Sweetgreen has come to Los Angeles and Santa Monica, and with a little luck and a lot of work, there will be even more locations in the near future. Challenging the hipster staple Tender Greens, the small restaurant offers an interesting selection of salads and grains that would pique the interests of  even the most sophisticated palettes. The staff mix all manner of greens, nuts, grains and dressings sweetgreen1together for a result that is truly harmonious. No more digging into a salad and wondering if someone… ANYONE actually tasted the combination before declaring it worthy of a menu.

Sweetgreen was born in 2007, with a plan to source local and organic ingredients from area farmers, and forward a mission to make for a better planet. Their biggest hub is in Washington DC (the healthiest place in the country), and mostly along the East Coast. Southern California in particular is naturally attractive for a restaurant like Sweetgreen, and with good reason. We’re stereotypically known for trying just about anything once; and the healthier it appears to be, the more likely we are to line up for it… with a smile.

sweetgreen2But competition in a place like Los Angeles is nothing to smile about. There are no shortage of organic pit stops that feature everything from cold-pressed vegetable juices to (actually tasty) gluten-free desserts. And with Tender Greens easily at the front of the class for salad destinations, the folks at Sweetgreen have their work cut out for them. If the menu is any indication, they may not need to be worried.

Of note are the Rad Thai (organic arugula + organic mesclun, sprouts, carrots, shredded cabbage, spicy sunflower seeds, cucumbers, basil, citrus shrimp, spicy cashew dressing) and Hummus Tahina (shredded kale + chopped romaine, tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, pita chips, local feta, housemade husweetgreen8mmus, baked falafel, cucumber tahini yogurt) salads. In fact, the latter might just convince a carnivore or two that vegetarians don’t actually sacrifice taste when they cut out the meat. Not only are the salads good; they keep. I kept the Hummus salad for 4 days (don’t you dare judge) and the greens were still crisp when I finally got around to digging into them.

And in true LA fashion, there’s even an online ordering function. Those of you who don’t want to be … seen … by the local paps making a dash for the salad spot, this app’s for you. And for the rest of us who are too lazy to battle LA traffic to satisfy a Rad Thai craving, just dial in and order up. Organic, Healthy, Interesting Fast Food is just a click away.

She SAID: Digest This

Terri Kennerson

” ‘Tis the day after Christmas and all through the house…”

Everyone is trying to get their bearings after eating and drinking enough to feed a small army. The average person gains about 1 pound between Thanksgiving and New Years (overweight or obese individuals gain up to 5 pounds). While that may not seem like a lot, that weight gain is not typically lost in the coming year. So, Happy Holidays! Here’s your annual holiday weight gain.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of remedies from all over the world to help you send those holiday pounds packing.

Ancient Chinese Secret:

Ginger Root has beedigestthis1n used for centuries to help with common stomach complaints. It’s a staple ingredient in both Eastern and Western cooking, but as medicine… it’s most effective when used by itself. Ginger paste or juice is typically used to treat nausea and digestion. A few preliminary studies suggest that ginger may even help lower cholesterol and prevent blood from clotting. That can help treat heart disease, where blood vessels can become blocked and lead to heart attack or stroke.

From Russia With Love:

Kombucha started in China, but really took hold in Russia in the digestthis21900’s. The drink is enjoying quite the surge in popularity these days. It’s nearly a staple drink in cities like Los Angeles, where manufacturers are flavoring the traditional tea with everything from plums to cayenne pepper. The lightly carbonated drink is typically made with sweetened black and/or green tea, which is fermented with a symbiotic colony of bacteria or yeast. Most health claims about kombucha have yet to be supported by scientific evidence, but it’s most typically used to aid with digestion and fatigue, and to maintain overall colon health.

(Middle) Eastern Promises:

A little bit of Fendigestthisnel goes a long way to help settle the stomach. The Mediterranean herb is used throughout the world to flavor a meal, or remedy many a digestive or respiratory problem. It’s common practice in many Middle Eastern countries to chew a little fennel at the end of a meal, to keep the gas at bay. It’s also been known to work wonders for heartburn.

So go ahead and indulge in those Holiday Favorites. Just follow up with a little spice (or fungus) to keep those Holiday Pounds from carrying over into the New Year.