Dietitian Meeting #1

Photo Credit: Suat Emam

As part of the Get Well Challenge, I get to meet with a dietitian once a month for 15 minutes and today was my first appointment. Truth be told, I was a little skeptical about what she was going to tell me in 15 minutes. I really thought she was going to go through my food log and scold me for making less than desirable choices like the 100 calorie Cheez-it packs I bought from Costco. But it was actually pretty helpful. Jane Wilson is the resident dietician at Ellwood Thompson’s. We talked about my goals and she broke down how much protein and fat I should be shooting for each day along with adjusting the calorie recommendation that myfitnesspal.com gave me. She gave me some recipes that encourage a more plant-based diet. I left feeling like I had more direction and wasn’t just guessing as much about my nutritional choices. Tomorrow is the first weigh-in. It will be interesting to see what the results are. I can see me losing or gaining a few pounds.

On a bit of a side note – I really like MyFitnessPal. I can scan bar codes on my iPhone to get the exact nutritional information or access the extensive library on the site to log exactly what I’m eating. It’s pretty convenient as far as calorie tracking goes. At the end of every day it gives you an estimate of how much you will lose in 5 weeks based on that day. I wish it gave you a running estimate taking every day into account since no two days are the same, but an estimate is just that. The weekly weigh-ins will really show whether or not the tracking is helping. It also has a social feature where you can share your progress with friends if you’re into that.

Superfood Tonics and Vegan Ice Cream from a blender

Chef Jason Wrobel (Photo from JasonWrobel.com)

I had the opportunity to take a class with vegan and raw food chef Jason Wrobel at Organic Avenue on the Lower East Side last week. You might know the name Organic Avenue from the line of juice cleanses. At the event, Jason brought his use of Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs from LA and showed us some of his favorite recipes. I was equally intrigued and disappointed that Jason used the herbs. Intrigued because I’m a big fan of TCM, but disappointed that I’d never be able to make these recipes at home without spending a ton of money on ingredients I’d probably never use again.

The common thread through most of the ingredients was that they’re superfoods. I’m intrigued by superfoods because they are the most efficient way to get some really great nutrients. They are, by definition, calorie sparse and nutrient dense. Many of the ingredients Jason used were high in minerals and vitamins. He artfully explained the benefits. Unfortunately, there were so many, it’s impossible for me to repeat them here.

The most impressive part was when Jason used a Vita Mix to blend up some ice cream. And keep in mind when I say “ice cream” I really mean vegan frozen substance that kind of had the consistency of sorbet. He started with a healthy amount of ice, then added the ingredients and used the plunger while the blender did it’s thing. The results were a little surprising.

Of the six recipes, my favorite concoction was the Chocolate Jing Ice Cream. No surprise since I’m a bit of a choc-o-holic. This was the last thing that we tried and I was getting a little tired. Jason said it was heavy on the yang side, meaning it would create heat and energize us. It was actually creamy with a deep chocolate flavor. It did perk me up a little bit and made me a little loopy!

For a look at some of Jason’s recipes, check out this link to his website.

As for the event itself, I felt it was a little overpriced especially considering it was a 3-hour seminar over dinner time and didn’t include any food other than samples of the recipes. I wasn’t interested in paying $10 for a bottle of Organic Avenue’s green juice, and there wasn’t much else to choose from. I seemed to be in the minority though. Most of the other attendees happily sipped their juices as we learned about the tonics and ice creams.