Monday, July 19, 2010


Poached eggs over sauteed kale with guacamole and asparagus

My mom always said breakfast is the most important meal of the day. She used to drive me crazy saying that, but she was right. The reason is that the body has been fasting for presumably 6-8 hours (hopefully closer to 8), without replenishing nutrients, it will not function properly. Ideally, you should eat within an hour of waking up. Now, for many of us, this is tricky because we like to work out first thing in the morning and the last thing we need is one more obstacle (making breakfast) in our way. For others, they say that they just aren't hungry when they first wake up. Both groups still have to eat, even something small and even if you don't feel like it.

In addition to the skipping breakfast altogether, the mistakes that I see with breakfast tend to involve eating the wrong thing. Baked goods are never the answer, I don't care if they are sugar free, fat free, low fat, high fiber. It's really not a good balance of macronutrients. In other words, baked goods (muffins, croissants, etc) are generally sugar bombs with little healthy fat and very little protein to keep your blood sugar stable. From time to time, it is ok to have your favorite muffin (hopefully homemade by someone, rather than from a package at the convenience store) but it should not be part of your routine. Another common breakfast-cereal with skim milk, is on my list of not great breakfasts. Let's just assume that we are talking about some sort of "whole grain" variety and not the sugar loops kind. First of all, the "whole grains" label on many of the packages is misleading. There may be other grains, beside wheat or corn but most of them are not in the "whole" form, but no one monitors the accuracy of that claim, so it can slide. More than the false claims of health on the box is the simple fact that many cereals are not enough calories to keep you going through the day. Again, there is not enough protein and coupling it with non fat milk, there's not enough fat to keep you satiated for very long.

The key to maintaining good health and to losing weight is to keep blood sugar levels even and the way to do that is to eat often and to include protein and healthy fat at every meal-in addition of course to all the vegetables that you should be eating too. Make breakfast part of your routine and mix it up-don't have the same thing everyday. Prepare some hard boiled eggs when you have some time and they will be ready for you as you head out the door. Smoothies are another quick fix. You can use fresh or frozen fruit, almond milk or full fat coconut milk or coconut water throw in some flax seeds, maybe a little spirulina (a seaweed that is packed with nutrients), half of an avocado (for some healthy fat) and a scoop of organic protein powder for a completely satisfying meal. The addition of the fat and protein will keep you going until lunch.

I already have my breakfast planned for the morning, how about you?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I love FIG!!! It has been my favorite restaurant for quite some time because the menu is insanely delicious. It is the epitome of seasonal California fare, with an emphasis on local and organic food. The menu has a runner along the bottom listing seasonal produce, specifically what is at its peak and what produce is about to hit the market and it is obvious that the chef respects the value of perfectly seasonal produce. You really can see and taste the influence that the Santa Monica farmers market has in every dish. For someone like me, a menu that emphasizes seasonal produce is right up my alley, but for god sakes they also have something called bacon wrapped bacon for all of the meat eaters. That dish is crazy, pork belly wrapped in bacon and served as a starter with cabbage and baby heirloom tomatoes. I could eat a plate of that alone.

Here is the greatest thing about Fig that I just found out. Apparently, starting yesterday, everything on the menu from wine and cocktails through dessert is 50% off daily between the hours of 5-6. This may be the best deal in the city. There is no special menu, no smaller sized plates, it's the whole menu at 50% off! Now, granted this might be a little early for most of us to eat but it is so worth it. If you work, you need to leave early to take advantage of this deal. They also have some really good lunch specials as well, but nothing compares to this 50% off deal.

Fig needs to be at the top of your restaurant if you love to cook or eat. It is such a great, shining example of simple, clean food that lets the ingredients speak for themselves. It isn't fussy or pretentious, and it displays how perfectly seasonal fruits and vegetables can taste so good. As someone who loves to cook and eat, I love Fig and get so much inspiration from its menu. I can't wait to go back.

Fig Restaurant
Located in the Fairmont Miramar
101 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401