Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

Unrecipe of the Week: Chicken in Tomato Tarragon Sauce

February 1, 2016

Lately, I am facing the ultimate dilemma; trying to eat clean, and longing for something warm, hearty and a little more comforting. When I saw a photo of this on the New York Times cooking site, I knew I had to try it. It was quick, healthy and full of flavor, taking those boring chicken breasts to a better place. The sauce is good enough to eat with a spoon, and was perfect over pasta for the non-carb deprived members of the family. This one may become part of my regular dinner rotation this winter!

Photo via The New York Times

Photo via The New York Times

Chicken Breast In a Tomato Tarragon Sauce: (adapted from Pierre Franey)

Heat olive oil in a saute pan, and add 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Season with salt and pepper and saute for about 3 minutes on each side to brown, turning often.

Add a large diced shallot or two, and a few diced garlic cloves to the pan and saute quickly. Add a handful of chopped fresh tarragon (or 2 teaspoons of dried tarragon), 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup of drained capers, 1 cup of dry white wine and a couple of big squirts of tomato paste. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Add a can of drained, chopped tomatoes(or pureed tomatoes for a saucier dish), and continue to simmer covered, for about 8-10 more minutes. Serve over pasta or zucchini noodles and enjoy!

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Move It or Lose It!

May 27, 2015


The New York Times recently reported on two large-scale studies which link the role exercise plays on longevity.

One of those studies, conducted by Harvard University, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and The American Cancer Society among others, reviewed aggregated results of six surveys, in which respondents reported thier exercise habits. The over 660,000 adults were then categorized based on their activity levels. The categories were:those who didn’t exercise, those who exercised less than the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate cardio (or just 21 minutes a day), those who exercise two to three times more than that, and those who exercise three to five times the recommeneded amount. They also reviewed 14 years worth of death records for the group.

Those who exercised less than the recommended amount still had a 20% lower mortality rate than those who did not exercise at all. Those who did one to two times more than the minumun recommendation (approximately 42 minutes per day) had a 31% lower rate of mortality, and the group who exercised two to three times the more that the minumum (about 64 mintutes per day) had a 39% lower rate of mortality.

The second study reviewed the mortality rates of those who exercised vigorously, versus those who worked more moderately. Of those who met the minimum guidelines, the people who categorized 30% of their workouts as vigorous lowered their mortaltiy rate by another 9%. When an even higher percentage of their workouts were listed as vigorous, the rate dropped to  13%.

The bottom line? Get up and move! Even a few minutes per day can make a difference. Finding an hour per day, and pushing hard for just 19 minutes of that can reduce your chance of death by a full 39%! Isn’t that worth the effort?

Let’s go!!


photo GIF: Come Alive |Glasshouse Images

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Can You Exercise and Still Gain Weight? SPOILER: YUP!

November 19, 2014


Did the New York Times act responsably when they wrote about a recent study of weight management and exercise?
The article, entitled “Exercising but Gaining Weight,” takes a look at research conducted at Arizona State University, following 81 healthy, but sedentary women who were overweight.

The women participated in a supervised exercise program where they walked on a treadmill 3 times a week for 30 minutes, at a pace that represented 80% of their maximum endurance.

They were told not to alter their diet or eating habits during the 12 week study. At the end of the study, all of the women had significantly increased their aerobic fitness, but many had also gained weight attributed to fat, not added muscle.

Are you shocked? I certainly am not. The average 150 pound person would burn about 142 calories walking briskly for 30 minutes.A 200 pound person might burn about 172 calories in the same time. Do the math, and at best, these people would have lost between 1.4 and 1.7 pounds over the 12 week period. That’s it. Less than 2 pounds!

I would venture to guess that the increase in activity led them to be a little hungrier, and maybe a little more tired, causing them to eat a bit more and move a bit less throughout the day. It’s no surprise to me, that these people gained weight.

I see woman at the gym struggle through a cycling class, only to spend the next hour or two at the juice bar, replacing practically every calorie they burned with carbs. Exercise isn’t a magic pill. Slow, consistent cardio doesn’t burn much fat. To see results, it takes a combination of strength training and cardio with intervals to spike your heart rate.
What you put into your body is of even greater importance. Moving more and eating more, especially more of the wrong foods, is going to cause weight gain. It’s that simple.

A congratulatory post workout snack at Starbucks would run about 600 calories for a tall Pumpkin Spice Latte and a muffin. Try that three times a week and see where that gets you.

I calculate a 6 pound weight gain from that alone!

It doesn’t take a degree, or an elaborate study to come to these conclusions.

Did the Times do a disservice to it’s less fitness conscious readers by printing this study? Does it send a message that exercise isn’t going to help you lose weight so you shouldn’t bother?

While I am sure people are using this study to validate their sedentary existence, I am not going to give up my gym membership just yet.

Read the article in it’s entirety here:

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Chilling at Bedtime

July 21, 2014


d4jm9-331.jpgI love to sleep in a cold bedroom at night. I prefer to burrow under the covers, rather than have the room warm and toasty. While it can sometimes be a bone of contention , this article in the New York Times gives another, perhaps more compelling reason to turn the thermostat down at night.

Sleeping in a cooler room can alter the amount of brown fat our bodies carry.
Brown fat, which has been discovered in tiny amounts in the upper backs and necks of adults, is thought to have be metabolically active.  This healthy fat aids in   burning calories, maintaining core body temperature, and taking sugar out of the bloodstream.

Studies performed on healthy men showed that sleeping in a room cooled to 66 degrees, allowed their bodies to double their stores of healthy brown fat in just four weeks, and improved their insulin sensitivity.  When the same men slept in an 80 degree room for four weeks, their brown fat levels fell lower than they were at the onset of the study.

While the effects of these findings were minimal, it is interesting to note that subtle tweaks in temperature could offer small metabolic health boosts.

The original article can be found here.

photo: glasshouse images

Exercise: Getting to the Heart of the Matter

June 1, 2012

The New York Times ran a story today about the potential negative effects of exercise on a small part of the population.
In analyzing the data from six different rigorous exercise studies involving 1,687 people, about 10% got worse in at least 1 or more measures related to heart disease. These included insulin levels, blood pressure, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

About 7% of those tested showed a decline in 2 or more factors.

The results were not related to age, race or gender. They also were not affected by how fit the people were at the start of the program, or how much their fitness levels improved. There appears to be no correlation between the decline in health measurements and any other factor.

There is great concern that this gives inactive people an excuse not get moving.

While the article is interesting, yet inconclusive, the 300 comments are more fascinating.

Many are questioning the other factors not followed in the study: diet, sodium intake and what type of exercise was done. There is no reference to these individual’s genetics. There is also concern that the subjects were not followed long enough to know what, if any effect this had on mortality rates.

Most agree on one thing: the benefits seem to out weigh the risks. There are many more pieces of research supporting the positive outcome of exercise, than this small study. Perhaps fitness is another place where “one size” does not fit all.

Stay tuned for more on this controversial topic.

Kitchen Confidential

September 30, 2010

New York City has recently instated a policy requiring all restaurants to post the letter grade received at their health inspection. An A denotes a score of 0-13 worth of violations, B 14-27 points, and C, 28 points or more. If a restaurant gets a score of 14 or higher, they are re-inspected in two weeks.  They can report the second grade, or post a sign that says, “grade pending”.  A few weeks later, the restaurant’s representative appears before a tribunal, where the grade is arbitrated and finalized.

Henry Alford, a home cook and writer for the New York Times, arranged to have a food inspector come into his immaculate kitchen for a “mock” inspection. The results were surprising, and eye- opening.

Here, are a few key take-aways from the article that are worth keeping in mind at home, (and a couple of my own suggestions too):

Don’t wash your hands or your floor sponges in the kitchen sink; you don’t want to contaminate the sink that is being used for food preparation. Keep liquid soap and paper towels in the bathroom for hand- washing instead.

Keep cutting boards free of nicks and cracks where bacteria can grow. This also holds true for cracks in wood countertops and floors.  Wooden cutting boards can be sanded to eliminate nicks. Plastic cutting boards can be washed in a bleach solution to disinfect them, but should be replaced when deep cuts appear.

Buy a thermometer to insure that your refrigerator temperature stays at 41 degrees or below at all times.

Keep pets off the kitchen counters. Cats tend to climb up on the counters and are often tracking feces from their litter box on the bottom of their feet.

Damp sponges and dishtowels are breeding grounds for germs. Keep towels clean and dry, or use paper towels. The sponge can be microwaved for 8-10 seconds to kill bacteria.

Avoid placing bags and purses on the counter top. The bottom of a handbag is often teaming with harmful bacteria.

Use a scoop to retrieve ice cubes from the freezer instead of your hands. (‘Nuf said)

A safe kitchen is a healthy kitchen.  Use these tips to keep yours clean and germ free.

Bon Appetite!

photo: Glasshouse Images

All the News That’s Fit to Print

December 10, 2009

Today, the New York Times Thursday Styles section was full of articles that were very informative.

First, there was a story about the infamous party crashers who showed up uninvited to a recent state dinner. According to the article: (Washington D.C.) is “a city about rules, about conventions and if there’s no keg at the party, it doesn’t get crashed.”  Good to know.

Next, a bit about Alexander Wang, the 25 year old fashion prodigy that has taken fashionistas and ”even some regular people who are not size 2” by a storm. Surprised? We are too!
There is a piece on New York City’s first Costco, now open in East Harlem. The question on everyone’s lips is “ How do you lug a car full of household items home from East 117th Street to lower Manhattan without a car? Doesn’t the $30 taxi ride (if you can find one) kind of off set the savings?

Then there is an article entitled “Hey Tannenbaum, Nice Outfit!” about Christmas displays in upscale stores. I have just one question that has haunted me for years:
Who is this Tannenbaum guy, and how did a Jew get to be a Christmas icon?

Oh, yeah, and don’t forget the study on why exerciser’s heart rates run about 15 beats lower in the morning than in the afternoon? Put the scientific info aside here: by 6 pm, most of us New Yorkers are so stressed out that our heart rates are elevated just from our daily commute!

And finally, a little ditty about how to stand out at the Art Basel show in Miami Beach: How about a REAL python for a necklace? Interesting.

Today the Times out did itself, following through on their motto, ” all the news that’s fit to print”!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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