All Posts By

Anne Young


Heart-Healthy, One Bite At A Time

March 9, 2017


The Journal of the American College of Cardiology recently published a review of trending foods and diets recommended for cardiovascular health. Don’t worry, we know that getting dinner on the table is hard enough without having to wade through dietary statistics to figure out what to cook, so here’s the digest.

  • A predominantly plant-based diet filled with fruits and leafy green vegetables is best for cardiovascular health. They have been proven to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, and are the best source of antioxidants (supplements have not consistently demonstrated benefits).
  • The current recommendation is to eat your produce in whole form and avoid juicing, unless you are otherwise unable to consume sufficient fruits and vegetables.
  • Nuts may help control cardiovascular disease risk, but because they are high in calories, they should be eaten in moderation as a substitute for empty calories.
  • For those with a gluten related disorder, a gluten-free diet well-balanced in vegetables, fruits, legumes, beans, nuts and other healthy fats may be beneficial. However, for those who do not suffer a gluten related disorder, a gluten-free diet has not been proven to have any benefit.
  • When it comes to fats, liquid vegetable oils decrease cardiovascular disease risk (particularly olive oil), increasing “good” HDL cholesterol and decreasing “bad” LDL cholesterol. In contrast, solid fats (such as coconut and palm oil) increase risk factors and should be avoided.
  • Unsaturated fats are associated with a lower risk in mortality, and trans and saturated fats are associated with an increased risk of mortality.
  • Animal proteins (in contrast to vegetable proteins) are shown to increase mortality—particularly processed red meat which is associated with cardiovascular deaths.
  • Despite the latest popular belief, one should limit dietary cholesterol such as eggs.
  • In general, a diet high in added fat, fried food, processed meat, eggs, and sugar-sweetened beverages is the most detrimental to one’s health—associated with a 56% increase in coronary heart disease, a higher mean BMI, higher rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes.

Want to put these heart-healthy findings into practice? There’s an app for that! Foodstand helps you build healthy eating habits into your daily life through guided micro-challenges — with friends. If you want to incorporate more servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet, join the Eat 5 Servings of Fruits & Vegetables A Day Challenge. Looking to eat less meat, animal fats and eggs? Join the Eat Less Animal Products Challenge. If sugar-sweetened beverages are your achilles heel, go for the Avoid Sweetened Beverages Challenge. Or if you want to ditch fried and processed foods, challenge yourself with Eat Real Food. And don’t forget to invite your friends—building heart-healthy habits is better together.



February 20, 2017

Overloaded with all things politics? We are too, but we couldn’t let Presidents’ Day go unnoticed. So Mr. President, we’d like to treat you to a food makeover in honor of this historic day. We’ve been keeping tabs on some of your menu favorites, and you might want to consider swapping out a few items…

Goodbye, Diet Coke. Hello, green tea and sparkling water. President Trump proudly states that he doesn’t drink coffee or tea, but he should reconsider. Antioxidant-rich green tea would be a better choice than artificial sweetener and artificial color-laden Diet Coke for his caffeine fix. Or is it the bubbles you love, Mr. Trump? If so, give Fruit-Infused Sparkling Water a try. It’s cold and refreshing, and fresh fruit gives you a bit of sweetness too (and better bragging rights).

Adios, KFC and McDonald’s. A good-quality cheeseburger every once in a while isn’t going to kill you, but constant consumption of Big Macs, fried chicken, and fast food might. A diet with less meat and more vegetables helps lower your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and helps counteract climate change. And fast food is typically highly processed—packed with bad fats, chemicals, salt and added sugar. If it’s chicken you’re after, try these Garlic and Herb Roasted Chicken Thighs. Or if you’re jonesing for a burger, go for Eggplant BLT Sliders or Blackened Barramundi Sliders.

Ditch the chips. Sorry Donald, Lay’s potato chips and Doritos corn chips don’t count toward your daily vegetable intake. Instead, grab some Roasted Chickpeas for when the salty crunchy craving hits. They’re high in fiber and nutrients without any bad fat from the fryer.

Switch out ice cream bars for Banana “Ice Cream”. Store-bought ice cream is packed with added sugar and saturated fat. Making Banana “Ice Cream” at home in your food processor is equally as sweet and creamy, no added sugar required. Plus, it’ll help with your fruit intake.


Our health should be the ultimate nonpartisan issue. Congress is out of session so our members of Congress are in their home states for the week, and they would love to hear from you. Pay a visit to your Senators and Representatives, attend a town hall meeting, and tell them why protecting your health, the health of our communities and our planet is important to you.

Have an opinion on Sonny Perdue for example, President Trump’s pick for Secretary of Agriculture? Or the President’s pick for the Food and Drug Administration Secretary? Dislike that the proposed 20% tax on imported goods from Mexico to fund the wall would dramatically increase the price of your fruits and veggies? Or are you concerned about the effect a mass deportation would have on farming, our food economy, and the undocumented workers who grow America’s crops? Speak up for your health and your food!

And if your diet needs a makeover too, check out Foodstand’s Avoid Soda, Eat Less Meat, Avoid Fast Food, Eat Real Food, and Avoid Sweets Challenges to take your health into your own hands. And tell you friends so we can enact change together.

Features Recipes


February 1, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017. You might know it as Groundhog Day, but it’s also the day that most people kiss their unsustainable New Year’s resolutions goodbye. According to Foursquare and Swarm data, the first Thursday in February is the day that the rise in fast food check-ins and downturn in gym check-ins meet. Why? Every January the internet is abuzz with crash detoxes and diet fads, none of which are healthy or sustainable. And evidently, most don’t make it beyond a month.

But developing good eating habits isn’t about extremes like swearing off gluten forever, never eating fries again, or pretending dessert doesn’t exist. It’s about making a habit of choosing the better option (and even indulging once in a while). Here are some simple swaps you can make in 2017 to get and stay healthy this new year.

  1. Breakfast pastries for toast—Breakfast pastries (aka dessert in the morning) flood your body with a ton of sugar, and set you up for a mid-morning crash. Try whole grain toast with nut butter and banana slices; avocado, olive oil and sea salt; an egg, sautéd spinach and Sriracha; goat cheese and berries… Bottom line, ditch the added sugar for some whole grains, protein, healthy fats and fruit.
  2. Sugary cereal/granola for homemade muesliMuesli is a combination of raw oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and other whole grains. It is high in protein, low in added sugar, and delicious with milk or yogurt.
  3. Soda for seltzer—Seltzer aka soda water aka sparkling water is cold and fizzy without the chemicals or added sugar. If you need some sweetness, try adding frozen or fresh pieces of fruit to the bottom of your glass.
  4. Pepperoni pizza for veggie pizza—Thin crust pizza piled high with veggies from your local, family-run pizza joint is lower in fat and higher in vitamins, minerals and fiber than your typical meat-laden, chain-store pizza. Better yet, make it yourself!
  5. Hamburgers for veggie burgers—A thick slice of grilled mushroom or eggplant is a sustainable, meaty burger alternative, with less fat, and more vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Try these Eggplant Sliders the next time you get a hankering for a burger.
  6. Spaghetti for spiralized veggie noodles—Spiralized zucchini or squash is a great vehicle for your favorite pasta sauce without the refined carbs. Spiralized noodles give your body the vitamins, minerals and fiber it needs, plus extra flavor too. Try this recipe for Zoodles with Basil Pesto.
  7. French fries for sweet-potato “fries”Baked Sweet Potato Fries are lower in fat and higher in antioxidants. Plus, they’re naturally sweet, and help curb sugar cravings.
  8. Chips for crispy chickpeas—Protein-rich, Roasted Chickpeas are craveably crispy and salty, but without the bad fat from the fryer. Plus, they’re higher in fiber and nutrients too.
  9. White flour cookies for almond flour cookies—Almond flour is packed with protein, and making the cookies yourself lets you control the sugar. Try these Sesame and Anise Cookies that are sweetened with maple syrup.
  10. Ice cream for banana “ice cream”—Store-bought ice cream is packed with added sugar and saturated fat. Making Banana “Ice Cream” at home in your food processor is equally as sweet and creamy, no added sugar required.
  11. Candy bars for dark chocolate + nuts—Candy bars are often packed with sugar and chemicals. If you want a chocolatey treat, try dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher) with a handful of toasted almonds. Dark chocolate has less sugar, and nuts are full of protein to help your body manage the sugar load.
Features Recipes

Eat Healthy With 10 Minutes + $10 Per Day

January 5, 2017


You know you need to eat more healthfully, but doing so when you’re short on time and on a budget is NOT easy. Which is why we’ve come up with delicious and nutritious, easy-to-execute, minimally-processed, affordable meals so you can ditch the frozen dinners and cheap, bad-for-you snacks. With a little Sunday night prep, each of these meals can be made with less than 10 minutes of prep time. Budget < $10 per person per day

Track your healthy, home cooking habit by joining the Cook Dinner More Often Challenge on the Foodstand app. Happy cooking!



Breakfast: Frittata Muffins

Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein, and can be a key part of a balanced, no-added-sugar breakfast when combined with your favorite veggies. Bake them in muffin cups so you can grab one in the morning on your way out the door. They travel well, and can be eaten fresh out of the oven or cold out of the fridge.

Give your chopped veggies a quick stir fry (1 minute) while you whip up your eggs. Stir in the veggies, season with salt and pepper to taste, and pour into greased muffin cups. Bake on 400 until golden brown. Eat fresh, or store them in individual reusable containers in the fridge for a grab-and-go breakfast.

Avg Price: $2.00
Prep time: 3 minutes


Lunch: Protein Salad

Assembling salads can be time-consuming, but if you plan ahead with the right ingredients, you can put this together in a jiffy. Combine baby kale, lentil sprouts, sliced mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, chopped cauliflower, chopped cabbage, a couple of slivers of smoked salmon and a heaping spoon of hummus in a to-go container. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If your mushrooms, cauliflower, and cabbage are pre-chopped, you can assemble this in a matter of minutes. Adding hummus to your salad gives you extra fiber and protein, and acts as a dressing without wilting your salad during the day.

Avg Price: $3.60
Prep time: 3 minutes

Dinner: Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

Despite its name, the slow cooker is your best friend for speedy meals. Before you leave for work, toss your favorite veggies, grains, and protein in a slow cooker with water (or stock) and seasonings. Turn it on low, and by the time you get home, dinner will be ready! My favorite combination is lentils, chickpeas, tomato, organic chicken breast, farro, cauliflower, bell pepper, and garlic. Seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, and fresh rosemary (which doesn’t wilt), or chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, and coriander. On a cold winter night, this stew is filling, warm, and fully balanced for a nutritious meal.

Avg Price: $3.00
Prep time: 4 minutes



Bonus Snack: Sweet Potato Crisps

Thinly slice a sweet potato (with a knife or a peeler), toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and rosemary, and bake for 2 hours at 250 degrees. Flip them once about halfway through the baking process. Snack on these instead of chips or french fries.

Avg Price: $1.00
Prep Time: 4 minutes





Breakfast: Overnight Oats in a Jar

The McDonald’s Dollar Menu has got nothing on this delicious, healthy breakfast. Jars give the ultimate convenience, but if you definitely need to discard your brekkie container, make it in a recyclable solo cup. Start with a base of plain rolled oats, then top with almond milk, nuts, cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey or coconut nectar for a bit of sweetness. By the next morning, you’ll have a DELICIOUS and filling breakfast that is ready to go when you are.

Avg Price: $1.17
Prep time: 2 minutes



Lunch: Avo Egg Sandwich with Sprouts

Assembling a sandwich is one of the easiest things to do in the morning, but ensuring it holds up until lunchtime is the trick. This avo egg sandwich can be prepped in 5 minutes if you follow the right order of operations. First, heat oil in your egg pan. Put 2 slices sprouted whole grain bread in the toaster. Crack 2 eggs in the pan, season with salt and pepper, give it a quick stir, and turn the heat to low. Slice half of the avocado and sprinkle it with lemon juice. Grab the toast, flip the eggs, and slather one piece of toast with avocado. Once cooked, place the eggs on top of the avocado, top with sprouts, close your sandwich, and wrap it up. You’re done!

Avg Price: $2.20
Prep time: 4 minutes



Dinner: Butternut Squash Chana Masala

Butternut squash is quite surprisingly affordable this time of year since it’s in season, and is a great source of carotenoids and vitamin A. The squash seeds can also be scraped out and toasted for a yummy snack (or most grocery stores sell pre-chopped squash, saving you a ton of time). Making chana masala is pretty simple—in a large saucepan, start with a base of tempered cumin seeds followed by sautéed onion, ginger, and green chili. Add in spices (coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, and turmeric), toss in the squash, chickpeas, and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste, and wait for it to cook. Top with lemon juice, and serve like a “stew” with a whole grain like quinoa, barley, or farro for a well-balanced, filling meal.

Avg Price: $3.39
Prep time: 4 minutes



Bonus Snack: Roasted Crunchy Chickpeas

Rinse and pat dry canned chickpeas, toss in your favorite spices (our favorites include chili powder and curry powder or rosemary and lemon zest), salt and pepper to taste, and olive oil, and roast for 30 minutes at 450 degrees. There you have it—a delicious, crunchy snack for the week.

Avg Price $0.75
Prep time: 5 minutes



Photo credit: Nutrition Stripped

Photo credit: Nutrition Stripped

Breakfast: Sweet Potato Toasts with Almond Butter and Pumpkin Seeds

Swap sweet potato slices for your morning toast (they toast up in a toaster using the high setting for several cycles, or a total of about 15 minutes in a regular oven), and top with almond butter and pumpkin seeds—this is Mother Nature’s pop tart! You’ll get a healthy dose of fiber, protein, and hunger-fighting goodness with this hearty breakfast. If you’re on the go, sandwich two slices of sweet potato together and eat it on the run.

Avg Price: $1.15
Prep time: 4 minutes



Lunch: Baked Eggs in Portobello Caps

Baked eggs are a perfect lunch to make before you head out the door in the morning. They take 2 minutes to prep, and bake to perfection while you’re getting ready. Lather two portobello mushroom caps in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place on a greased baking sheet. Crack 2 eggs in a bowl, whip, and stir in your favorite chopped veggies like broccoli, spinach, or thawed frozen edamame. Carefully pour half the egg and veggie mixture in each mushroom cap. Pop them in the oven at 375 degrees, and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Place them in a reusable container (preferably glass for easy reheating), and out the door you go!

Avg Price: $2.75
Prep time: 2 minutes



Dinner: Shakshuka

This Israeli brunch favorite can also be served as a one-pot dinner. You can customize it however you like by tossing in added veggies like broccoli or zucchini. This is also a perfect contender for chopped, frozen veggies to cut down on time. Start by sauteing onions and garlic in olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Add in a can of chopped tomatoes and veggies, and season with salt, pepper, paprika, chili flakes, and cumin. Let it simmer until tomatoes are mostly cooked.  Make a few dents in the tomato sauce with a big spoon, and crack each egg directly into each dent in the sauce, leaving space between each. Cover, and let the eggs get poached in the stew and either finish on the stovetop or pop it in the oven for 2 minute bake. If you like, serve it with a slice of whole grain pita bread.

Avg Price: $4.25
Prep time: 5 minutes


Bonus Snack: Apples with Almond Butter

Apple slices with almond butter are easy to prep at home or at work (especially with an apple corer), and provide the perfectly sweet, juicy, and tart snack you’re looking for at 3pm.

Avg Price: $1.75
Prep time: 2 minutes


Now that you have a game plan, maximize your dollar and the clock by carving out a little time to chop your veggies on Sunday nights. Or if you’re in a serious pinch, start with frozen, pre-chopped veggies. Stock your pantry with nut butter, canned beans, and whole grains so you have some on hand. And keep nuts and seasonal fruits in sight so you have an easy snack always at your fingertips.



January 3, 2017


Good health in the new year isn’t a get-skinny diet, or a miracle superfood. Instead, the best piece of advice we can give is to eat a variety of real, unprocessed foods. It’s that simple. Here are some of our top picks for 2017—both what to eliminate, and what to enjoy—to become your healthiest you. Happy New Year! And happy eating too.


  1. Sweetened fruit yogurt. Don’t be fooled by the fruit on the label—one small strawberry yogurt can make up over half of your daily added sugar allotment even before you walk out the front door. Try unsweetened plain greek yogurt instead, and add your own fresh fruit.

  2. Liquid sugar. Whether it be soda or freshly-squeezed orange juice, consuming sugar in liquid form delivers your body with a huge quantity of sugar without any fiber to help your body process it. Ditch soda entirely, and stick to whole pieces of fruit.

  3. Artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame, Sucralose, Sorbitol and others have been linked with an increased risk for metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Plus, they reprogram your taste buds into thinking fruit and other naturally sweet foods aren’t sweet enough.

  4. Packaged snack foods. While they may appear harmless, even savory packaged snacks often contain high levels of added sugar, sodium, and even chemicals and dyes. Stick with whole-food snacks like a piece of fruit with almonds, or carrots with hummus.

  5. Processed meats. Classified as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization, processed meats are said to cause colon cancer. On top of that, they often contain high amounts of sodium which can lead to heart disease, and nitrates which likely cause an increased risk of diabetes.


  1. Radicchio. With four times more antioxidants than romaine and a ton of disease-preventing polyphenols, dark red radicchio should make a regular appearance on your dinner plate. Counteract radicchio’s bitter flavor with fresh fruit and balsamic vinegar in a salad, or mellow its flavor by wilting it down with olive oil and sea salt.

  2. Butter beans (aka lima beans). They are high in protein which is great for blood sugar levels, and high in soluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol. Plus they’re a hearty vegetarian protein and taste delicious with almost anything (in stews, in tacos, sautéed with greens).

  3. Green moong dal flour. Another excellent source of protein and dietary fiber, green mung bean flour is a flavorful and nutrient-rich substitute for white flour that can be made into a wrap. Use it as you would a savory crêpe or breakfast burrito—our fave is scrambled egg, onion, chili peppers and fresh coriander.

  4. Fruit for dessert. Swapping added sugar for fresh fruit gives your body a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and fiber, and may even help sharpen your taste buds. Try pairing with roasted pecans or almonds for a richer treat.

  5. 100% chocolate. Ditching sugar doesn’t have to mean giving up your chocolate habit. Many chocolatiers make a 100% cacao bar with no added sugar that is just as flavorful and high in antioxidants as their 70-90% dark chocolate counterparts. Try this François Pralus bar, and avoid lower quality unsweetened varieties you find in the baking section at your grocery store.

  6. BONUS! Kelp. You’ve probably seen the hype, and it is so real. This protein-packed, sustainable, plant-based, gluten-free, zero-junk ingredient should be added to your repertoire. Use kelp noodles to replace lo mein or spaghetti for a healthier version of your favorites. You’ll also be able to get your hands on some Kelp Jerky soon so you’ll be able to snack to your heart’s content.

From the Team


December 28, 2016


Foodstanders knocked it out of the park this year! Each and every one of you worked incredibly hard at developing good eating habits, one day and one choice at a time. On top of that, we all did it together—congratulating each other’s successes, giving words of encouragement, and sharing helpful hints and tips with the community. You’re creating a healthier you, and a healthier planet. Give yourself a big pat on the back for all of your accomplishments! You deserve it.

Don’t forget to keep up the great work this upcoming new year! Continue rocking your Challenge and start 2017 on the right foot—you’ve got this!



December 12, 2016


Holiday season is in full swing, and you likely have more than a few festivities on the calendar. And joyfully, partaking in the delicious food and drink doesn’t have to mean getting off track. Rely on your good eating habits to embrace the season and appreciate every bite of delicious food you eat, by being mindful and making the better choice. And don’t forget, you can eat your favorite holiday cookie and still be a good eater—simply use a free pass and remember to enjoy it!

Here are our Top 5 Holiday Good Eating Tips to help you stay on track:

  1. Start the day off right. Eating a protein-packed breakfast like Baked Eggs with Herbs, Quinoa Cups, or plain yogurt with fresh fruit helps you avoid the morning sugar rush. Eating well early in the day can prevent getting off track once the sun sets.
  2. Veg out. You’re bound to find veggies and hummus on the buffet table. Eat those first, and then have a small serving of something more decadent. And if you’re in charge of a dish, make these Roasted Butternut Squash Skewers, this Braised Fennel and Blood Orange Salad, or a Turnip and Kale Gratin.
  3. Swap cookies and cakes with fruit. The holidays are notorious for dessert overload—get your sweet fix from fruit instead. You can roast them like this, poach them in wine, or blend them for a dairy-free ice cream.
  4. Drink responsibly. If you’re going the alcohol-free route, swap sugary soda for sparkling water with fresh fruit. If you are drinking alcohol, opt for wine or clear cocktails without sugary mixers (beware of margaritas, mojitos and fruit punch). And be sure to alternate alcohol and water to stay hydrated, not feel as hungry, and avoid the dreaded holiday hangover. Plus it’ll help you Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day!
  5. Plan your passes. If you’ve decided to use a free pass and eat a cider doughnut at your school or office party, then do it, and enjoy every minute of it! But don’t let one turn into two or three or four.

Join one of Foodstand’s Holiday Challenges to stay on track—focus on eating less processed food and less sugar: Avoid Soda, Avoid Sugar at Breakfast, Avoid Sweets, Avoid Added Sugar, Drink Less Alcohol, Drink 8 Glasses of Water, Make Your Lunch, or Cook Dinner More Often. And while you’re at one of your holiday parties, invite a friend to do the Challenge with you! It’s much more festive when you do it together.

Behind the Plate


December 12, 2016


Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN is not only a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, she’s also a classically-trained chef, and an award-winning cookbook author. Clearly a top-notch nutrition expert, Jackie has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America, and The Food Network, among many others. Plus she’s a Foodstand contributor! Many thanks to Jackie for her continuing wisdom and tips.

Please tell us about what you do.
I wear lots of hats in the world of culinary nutrition. Some of what I do includes working as a recipe developer for national publications and websites including Rachael Ray Every Day, Livestrong, and Fitbit. I’m also a spokesperson for food companies, including KIND Snacks and Wonderful Pistachios; a recreational chef instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education; and a cookbook author. I do tend to spend a lot of time cooking in my kitchen and shopping at Whole Foods Market and my local farmers market … and I love that!

The holiday season is upon us. Any good-eating advice to avoid overindulging?
Incorporate plenty of exercise into your routine, especially before a meal if possible. Fill up half of your holiday plate with a non-starchy veggie, like a leafy salad. Then go ahead and allow yourself to enjoy a taste of all your favorites.

How do you define good food?
I define good food simply as that which is real, fresh, and plant-based.

How did you become interested in good eating, and when did you know you wanted to work in nutrition?
My mother was a caterer and showed me from a very young age where “good” food comes from and what it tastes like. That ranged from getting chicken from a certain farm on a Tuesday when it was freshest, to befriending produce managers who gave us special tastings, to plucking grape leaves from wild vines in northeastern Ohio where I grew up. I also was interested in the medical field. So, I combined these two passions and became a registered dietitian nutritionist. But I didn’t stop there; I then went to culinary school after college to learn classical cuisine techniques … to make sure the healthy cooking techniques I was creating were born from a solid knowledge base.

Countries across the world are taking action on their nation’s food systems—for example, Brazil recently added the right to food to its constitution, and introduced enviable and comprehensive good eating guidelines that include everything from nutrition to sustainability. What efforts would you like to see the US take to help the American people eat better?
With the new administration taking over, my major worry in the food arena is about the loosening, if not deteriorating, of environmental regulations and climate change goals. My hope is that industrial farmers and food companies will take action and do the right thing, not just aim to meet minimum government regulations. I’d love to see all cities step up and make composting simple for all consumers. I hope people take their own action and “vote” with their pocketbook, supporting natural and organic foods as well as food companies that share and follow a planet-friendly sustainability mission. And at minimum, I hope Americans become increasingly aware of food waste—and do their part to reduce their own. Small changes really can add up to make a big difference.

What three ingredients are always in your fridge/pantry?
Avocados, almost every nut in existence, and maybe a dozen different vinegars.

What’s one piece of advice you can give to someone trying to develop better, long-term eating habits?
Eat more non-starchy veggies! Fill up half of every mealtime plate or bowl with them. And select them seasonally, as possible.

What’s your favorite healthy snack?
I’m a big fan of hummus! My mother was Lebanese, so I’ve actually been making and eating it all of my life—way before it was ever mainstream. I often scoop it up with English cucumber slices. But when I need a munchie treat, I enjoy it with organic blue corn tortilla chips. My mother certainly would not approve of this nontraditional pick!

How do you incorporate a variety of vegetables into your diet?
I could spend hours sharing all of the ways I incorporate vegetables into my meals. But, in a nutshell, I try to include them in practically every single dish that I make, including many desserts! For breakfast, I love sautéing up a seasonal hash out of any leftover veggies or veggie scraps I have—and topping it with a fried organic egg or two. For lunch, I’m a fan of a stuffed roasted or a grilled vegetable burrito. For dinner, I enjoy making major statements out of large vegetables, like heads of cauliflower or whole eggplant. And pumpkin purée, fresh herbs, zucchini and other vegetables may find their way into my desserts. Basically, I think of vegetables as the most versatile and playful foods in the kitchen!

Good eating habits need to be developed from an early age, not only to set the foundation for habits one keeps as an adult, but also to stop type 2 diabetes in its tracks. What do you think is the best way to educate our children about food?
The best way to educate kids about good eating habits is to have them get involved as soon as possible, including taking part in food shopping and preparation (as age-appropriate), as well as having them plant and care for of at least one vegetable or fruit of their choosing. That’s exactly how I was raised and wouldn’t change a thing about that!

How do you manage to eat well when traveling or on-the-go?
I think it’s important to have a healthful mindset. I don’t think of traveling or being on-the-go as anything “special,” but rather just a normal part of life. So, the only thing that really changes in these instances is I may dine out a little more and I need to be sure I have a planned, portable snack on hand. Vegetables and other healthful options are available all over the world; you just need to make it a point to choose them!

If you could get the general population to change one aspect of their eating habits, what would it be?
Other than enjoying more non-starchy veggies, I encourage all to sit down, take your time, and truly savor your meals way more often than you’re likely doing right now.

Favorite vegan proteins?
Beans, hemp seeds, or pistachios are nearly always in my daily eating repertoire.

Favorite sweet treat with no added sugar?
I “crave” a juicy, ripe, super-sized wedge of watermelon … when it’s in season!

Many people (ourselves included) eat well throughout the day, but get into trouble at that nighttime snack hour when it’s easy to grab sugary cereal or ice cream. What’s your favorite better-for-you late night snack?
I often have a “see-food” late night snack! What I mean by that is I keep numerous see-through lidded bowls and jars of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits on my kitchen counter—where I can see them. I mix-n-match a small bowl of them to satisfy my need for something sweet, salty, and crunchy. And if I really need something on the sweeter side, I toss in a little surprise of a few chocolate chips!

What’s your favorite part about what you do?
I don’t think of what I do for a living as a “job”! I absolutely love what I do. That’s my favorite part—all of it… including knowing that in some small way I’m helping others improve their health. And you can’t beat getting paid to do what you love!

Good eating isn’t about perfection, it’s about habits and progress. From time to time we all eat something we don’t feel so great about later. What is your advice for those oops moments?
Be positive and forgive yourself! Instead of dwelling on what you did, focus on what you’ll do differently in the future.



November 21, 2016


The holidays are all about good cheer, gratitude, family, friends, and delicious food. But the season can also conjure up feelings of guilt and dread—tempting food overcomes our better judgement, leaving us full of regret. Every year festive recipes flood the internet, and come January, they are replaced with articles about weight loss and getting back on track after an indulgent month of overly rich food and too many desserts. But partaking in holiday festivities shouldn’t mean getting off track. The good eating habits you’ve been developing—being mindful and making the better choice—allow you to embrace the holidays, food and all, and enjoy the season even more.

The key to success is practicing moderation, which is why Challenge check-ins include free passes. You shouldn’t have to forgo a slice of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner to be a good eater. Have one serving of pie, use your free pass, and enjoy it even more—knowing that you’re continuing to develop good eating habits and eating pie, at the same time!

Here are our Top 5 Thanksgiving Good Eating Tips to help you keep up the good work:

  1. Don’t starve yourself on Thanksgiving morning because you know you’re going to eat a lot at dinner. Eat a well-balanced meal with protein and fiber to fill you up and give you energy. If you’re famished come dinner time, you’re more likely to over-indulge and make poor choices when filling your plate.
  2. Plan ahead. If you know you’re going to have meat for dinner, then don’t eat meat for lunch. If you know you’re going to have a piece of pie with whipped cream for dessert, don’t have a pastry for breakfast. Plan your Thanksgiving day meals in order to enjoy your free passes at dinner and still stay on track.
  3. Fill most of your plate with vegetables. One awesome thing about Thanksgiving dinner is all of the delicious vegetable side dishes. Sautéed green beans, crispy brussels sprouts, stuffed winter squash, and caramelized carrots should make it easy to cover most of your plate with veggies. Then fill the rest with turkey, gravy and stuffing.
  4. Don’t take too much. Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you should have to unbutton your pants to feel comfortable after dinner. Overeating likely means regret and guilt, neither of which are any fun. Plus, you need to save some room for pie, right?!
  5. Eat one bite at a time. If you eat too quickly, you won’t fully enjoy your Thanksgiving meal, and will likely overeat. The good news is that eating one bite at a time is much easier with your family and friends!

Yes, Thanksgiving dinner is about food, but it’s also about people sitting around the table, and having good conversation with those we care about. Share how the good eating habits you’ve been developing allow you to stay on track, and keep you and the planet healthy.

Invite your friends and family to join a Mindful Eating Challenge with youEat At Least 1 Distraction-Free Meal, Eat One Bite At A Time, No Food Waste or Stop Eating 2 Hours Before Bed. Let’s help each other maintain our mindful eating habits this holiday season!

Behind the Plate


November 14, 2016


Elettra Wiedemann is the Founder & Editor In Chief of Impatient Foodie where she delves into good food for the fast paced lifestyle. She’s also the Executive Food Editor at Refinery29, a retired fashion model, a triathlete, trilingual, and holds a Masters of Science in Biomedicine form The London School of Economics! Impressive! Here she is to give us a deeper look.

Please tell us about what you do.
My food site, Impatient Foodie, aims to marry the ideals of the Slow Food movement with the realities of fast paced, urban life.

How did you become interested in good eating?
My mom and dad taught me how to cook some basics when I was a kid, but it wasn’t until I started modeling at age 19 that I got more involved with my food and what I was eating. Being on the road all the time required me to relearn some old cooking habits to eat cleaner, healthier meals. A few years into modeling, I got accepted to The London School of Economics for a MSc in Biomedicine. While there, I took classes in public health, environmental policy, and cultural theory. As part of the LSE’s program requirement you have to write a dissertation that brings all your classes together. So what brings public health, environment, and culture together? Food. I wrote my dissertation on the future of feeding urban populations in light of climate change and that was really the game changer in my life as far as becoming passionate about food.

How do you define good food?
I think “good food” is any meal that has been prepared with some aspect of consciousness in mind. I always say if all Impatient Foodie does is get one person to reconsider buying a tomato in the middle of winter, that would be perfectly fine with me.

Talk a bit more about Impatient Foodie.
While at the LSE, I came to realize the wider ramifications of everyone’s food choices on issues like climate change, water shortages, desertification, ocean depletion, etc. The Slow Food movement and luminaries like Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, Mark Bittman, and Joan Gussow have been making these links for a long time, but I found that when I attempted to apply their advice to my life, it felt impossible—my kitchen was too small, my schedule was too busy, and I think the 6th ring of Hell is NYC’s Union Square Farmer’s Market in terms of crowds and convenience. In short, I am very impatient. So Impatient Foodie is like my open journal where I try to marry the ideals with the reality. Sometimes I win, sometimes I fail, but I am always trying!

Countries across the world are taking action on their nation’s food systems—for example, Brazil recently added the right to food to its constitution, and introduced enviable and comprehensive good eating guidelines that include everything from nutrition to sustainability. What efforts would you like to see the US take to help the American people eat better?
I think in today’s culture convenience is king, whether we like it or not. So, for me, anything that makes healthy eating and conscious food choices (local/seasonal/organic) more convenient is a huge plus. Thrive Market’s petition to the US government to have SNAP benefits be accepted online is a great example of this. I also think companies like Hampton Creek are game changers in this space. Their philosophy is similar to mine: Make healthier foods just as yummy, just as convenient, and just as well priced as processed foods, and people will opt to make the more conscious/thoughtful decision.

What’s always in your fridge/pantry?
Hummus, spaghetti, extra virgin olive oil, canned cherry tomatoes, eggs, Sriracha, bread, oatmeal, coconut oil, hemp seeds, chia seeds, dried fruits (usually cherries or cranberries), vegan protein powder, almond butter, Anita’s Coconut yogurt, and chocolate bark.

What’s one piece of advice you can give to someone trying to develop better, longterm eating habits?
If this person is new to the kitchen, my advice is to start slow and build confidence. I developed my Impatient Foodie 30/6/5 Challenge to show how easy grocery store shopping and home cooking can be. With a $30 budget, you can buy just 6 items that make a minimum of 5 meals.

What is your go-to dinner party recipe?
I like to make a soup or salad for the appetizer, and a pasta for the main. My olive oil cake has been a repeat winner.

What’s your favorite meal on the go?
Hummus and toast or almond butter and toast.

Is there any aspect of your diet that you’ve been trying to improve? If so, how have you been trying to improve it?
Recently I’ve decided to be what I call VWIC: Vegan Whenever I Can. Whenever I am about to eat a meal, whether out or at home, I ask myself, “is there any easy way I can make this vegan friendly?” If the answer is yes, I do it. If not, I don’t sweat it. I find that if I just pause to ask the question, four out of five times there is a vegan alternative that is easy to make and just as delicious and filling.

How do you incorporate a variety of vegetables into your diet?
I am a vegetarian so I eat a lot of vegetables. One of my favorite things is to roast up a bunch of carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, etc. and serve them with my beet tahini spread. I also like to stuff pita bread with a bunch of chopped up fresh vegetables and hummus. I also do “end of the week” rice bowls when I have a bunch of vegetables I have not used in my fridge. I cook up some sushi rice (my fave), chop up all the vegetables and herbs, and mix them in with the rice. Depending on what the flavors are, I drown the rice and vegetables in either olive oil and top with hummus, or toasted sesame seed oil and Sriracha.

Good eating is more than what you eat, it’s also being mindful about how you eat it. What is your favorite way to enjoy a good meal?
Of course, I love to eat with friends and family. But I recently went on a silent retreat and ate 20+ meals alone in total silence and loved that too (was not expecting to)! Since I have returned from the retreat, I try to eat without any distractions, like I did there. It makes me enjoy my food more, and feel fuller, longer.

How many nights a week do you cook dinner?
I’d say average of five nights per week.

If you could get the general population to change one aspect of their eating habits, what would it be?
I’d suggest that everyone eat less fish and meat because of the carbon footprint and ocean depletion.

Good eating isn’t about perfection, it’s about habits and progress. From time to time we all eat something we don’t feel so great about later. What is your advice for those oops moments?
Just enjoy the oops moment while it’s happening, and get right back on the wagon immediately. We all slip off sometimes and that’s totally cool, just try not drag it into the rest of your week (or longer!).

What’s your favorite good-eating advice for those of us who are insanely busy and have very little time to spend cooking?
You should check out Impatient Foodie cause that’s what the entire site is about 😉