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Better living through better nutrition with Olympic Athlete Garrett Weber-Gale

Monday, May 10, 2010

Farmers' market find: red-veined sorrel

Add it to soups and salads the local farmer and online resources say. The main benefit may just well be the splash of color it brings. Although, red-veined sorrel contributes a bit of tang with a fresh aroma as an extra benefit.

We found the good-looking specimen above in a parking-lot market in Austin. Finding new things is part of the fun, isn't it.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Annoying fruit hits the big time

Have you seen the "Annoying Orange" on youtube? Tens of millions have. So many, in fact, that this seeminly absurd concept may just become a business success. If it were only so easy to get people to actually eat more fruits and vegetables.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Meals in a pinch: Choices that certainly are better than a bacon cheeseburger and fries

Finding decent food is often a problem while traveling. We all know how pathetic the choices can be in some airports. In terminals like Minneapolis where you do have good options, time between flights can be your enemy. Plus, not everyone can or wants to spend $15 or $20 for a decent airport meal.

I found myself with a similar problem at a hotel recently. I hit the gym before a meeting and then jumped onto email figuring there would be time to grab a plate of food from the typical pre-meeting Continental breakfast. Budget cutbacks quickly set me straight. No food. My option was coffee or tea. It's at such times that nutrition bars can really save your bacon, so to speak.

The selection shown here range in calories form 170 to 240 with anywhere between 8 and 13 grams of protein. The vitamin complement was pretty good on every one of them. The list of ingredients was a little longer and more complex than one might like. Regardless, I've done worse in a pitch when it comes to a meal. I'll bet you have, too.

I picked up all of these at a Hy-Vee pharmacy near the Des Moines airport for a little over $6. (Yes, it was a heck of a sale.) I usually keep a couple bars in my briefcase when heading out on a trip. Not only are they better than nothing. They're better than so many other things one might eat.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Leave it to the iPhone to improve grocery shopping


Going off track when going to the grocery story is one of the biggest problems most of us have when food shopping. We either forget what we came to buy (that critical ingredient) or become overwhelmed by the enticing (but not always healthy) choices.

Austin food blogger Natanya Anderson found an iPhone App that helps her stay on track when shopping for food. She shares her thoughts on that in this interesting podcast from her equally interesting blog called, Fete & Feast.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sometimes healthy is going with the flow

Anthony Bourdain came to town a few weeks back. He was funny, coarse, irreverent and pretty darn interesting. If you've seen his No Reservations show on the Travel Channel, you know that healthy eating is not exactly his focus. One thing he said, however, really struck home.

Bourdain was talking about how his mother-in-law often apologized for the simple, unadorned meals she served to the noted chef. He said that such meals sometimes rival anything he eats, because they were authentic and came from the heart. I believed him. 'Tony' went on to talk about the importance of food connecting people. His advice when grandma serves a dried out turkey or mashed potatoes whipped into a starchy paste: Smile, savor the people you are with and ask for seconds.

I was thinking about that recently when taking my mom to lunch. At 89 she clearly prefers cheeseburgers over much other food. (Although, she feigns to eat them rarely.) I asked her what she wanted for lunch--Asian or Mexican. Her response was one I should have anticipated:

"Where do we get those sliders I like?

Since she wants them so often, 'where' is actually one of three places. So, off we went. At her age, within reason, I guess she should be able to heavy up on the cheeseburgers. I snapped the picture shown here and sent it to my kids. Grandma's penchant for burgers in her later years has become something of a family joke. It's also the stuff of a food memory that all of us will have for the rest of our lives.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Jaden Hair's 'Steamy Kitchen' truly a hot spot for great food

Down in Austin a few weeks back, I had the delightfully good fortune to meet Jaden Hair who founded The Steamy Kitchen. Jaden was speaking at an event called TECHmunch, which was a workshop for food bloggers.

She is upbeat, energetic and exudes energy. No wonder her many endeavors in the food world are so successful. She clearly gives the impression that she will accept nothing less!

As some of you know, Garrett Weber-Gale was in Florida giving clinics and training a few weeks back. He also has the opportunity to visit Jaden and to cook with her. He was, as Garrett often is, absolutely cranked about the experience.

I haven't had the opportunity to eat what Jaden cooks. Her food photography is painfully delicious, though. (Just look at the spicy shrimp and mango salsa she and Garrett cooked up.)

In case you didn't see it, Jaden did a piece about the experience on her blog at TLC online. Enjoy but be forewarned. You are going to be hungry afterward.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Into the vegan thing? Check out the "Queen" according to The Daily Beast

If you're not familiar with The Daily Beast, you should check it out. This is not the typical news source, although the topics of the day are often covered. I've been clicking over to its Hungry Beast section every so often. Yes, you get Easter hams and spring salads but also stories like the one on "Vegan Queen" Nava Atlas. It's interesting stuff that is well worth putting in your favorites.

The world of food is fascinating and diverse. The Daily Beast adds to that with stories that often go beyond the typical.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Baby how you have changed

It really wasn't so long ago that Americans just assumed kids should eat baby food from the grocery store. The commercial below is from 1960s and is pretty much standard fare for that era.




My how times have changed. A Google search for "baby food" yields some 77,800,000 results. All the major manufacturers are represented, of course. A quick look at sites from stalwarts like Gerber and Beech-Nut yields a lot of nutrition information. Technology and changing mindsets have also brought interesting alternatives into the fray such as wholesomebabyfood.com and organic option Earth's Best.

While only you can decide what's best for your baby when it's time to go beyond mom, it's great to see so many great choices. After all, there is no doubt that the best way to get kids to eat well is to start them doing that from the very beginning.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sometimes, too many things are bigger in Texas

Brisket, ribs, corn bread, cobbler. All of it is good tasting stuff that definitely is not good for you if you have too much. Garrett wrote about the challenges of balancing Lone Star State tradition with moderation for this month's online edition of Texas Monthly.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nutrition circa 1954: Strong boy eats meat; pretty girl eats vegetables. Video flashback.

Young Ralph has more fun and gets more pep by learning to eat the right foods. Check out this flash back video. A little fact. A little myth. Fun to see the American approach to healthy eating from 56 years ago.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chickens in all the places you would NOT expect to find them. (In this case they come before eggs.)

Brooklyn, New York? Madison, Wisconsin? Austin, Texas? Yes, the backyard chicken is beginning to be a bit of a rage. It will be interesting to see whether this is a fad or a trend. Meanwhile, here is a video I came across earlier this year from @SkeeterNYC on Twitter. Check out her blog at Food Curated. There is definitely some cool stuff to be found there.

Get your chickens at My Pet Chicken.

Brooklyn's Backyard Chicken Keepers *food curated* from SkeeterNYC on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Forget the brisket, try a little barbecued tofu.


Barbecued tofu on Big Green Egg from Garrett Weber-Gale on Vimeo.
I have to say it was pretty good. Here's how to do it:

This easy recipe from AthleticFoodie and Garrett Weber-Gale is simple enough for anyone to make: Press liquid out of firm tofu. Cut into half-inch slices. Marinate in barbecue sauce. Lightly spray with olive oil to promote some sizzle and prevent sticking. Get your grill smoky. Cook three to six minutes on each side, depending upon how brown or seared you like it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

You gotta love food and cooking to get a Vita Mix for your anniversary


It's not like getting or giving a vacuum cleaner...really. This is one utilitarian gift that truly rises above the cries of, "You didn't really get an appliance for your anniversary, did you?"

Truth be told, my dear spouse wanted one of these way more than I did. Just a day into owning a Vita Mix, though, I have to admit that I am becoming a convert. This machine rocks. In fact, it might be able to grind rocks into a smooth puree. (No, not really, so don't try it.) It certainly makes fast work of just about anything else you want to turn into soup, or a smoothie. Want a little more texture? Just back off on the speed and time. Or put some ingredients into the mix later. (By the way, it also makes healthy cooking easier.)

At the moment I am thinking about a container of leftover three-bean stew on the counter. Hmmm...add a little vegetable stock...toss in a bunch of cilantro...give it a buzz...might make a fine soup.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Getting picked up on The New York Times is pretty cool. That's just what happened the other day when Garrett Weber-Gale wrote about food, nutrition and healthy eating on his blog. Check out this commentary from NYT writer Stuart Elliott. Garrett wrote a fair and balanced critique of the recent McDonald's TV spots featuring Chicken McNuggets and implying that nuggets were there food choice of Olympic athletes. He does make the rare trip to the arches but took exception of the basic message in the spots.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Olympic gold medal training with underwater bikes...you kiddin' me?

Check out this recent post on The Food & Water blog by Garrett Weber-Gale. Biking underwater while training in Florida with Randy Reese. Does eating well and being a fanatic for good nutrition help on the trick bike? Well, it certainly can't hurt.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Help us build this blog

This blog is dedicated to helping people live better lives through better nutrition. It's centered, quite obviously, around the philosophies and lifestyle that helped Olympic two-time gold medal winner Garrett Weber-Gale excel at a world-class level. What most people don't realize is that they, too, can eat better and live better. Simple recipes, nutrition tips, easy ways to stay healthier...these things and more will be included here.

Now we need your help.

The AthleticFoodieTM blog is obviously kind of a mess so far with an ill-defined design and an unclear editorial focus. We want it to be what readers want it to be. What should we include? News feeds? Reader submissions such as recipes, videos, photos? A nutrition forum? Video on cooking healthy food? Training tips?

All great ideas welcome! Just add them as comments.

And THANKS!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Garrett Weber-Gale swims 100 freestyle old-school in tribute to Matt Biondi

Check out this story in The Austin American Statesman about Garrett swimming the 100m freestyle in the briefest of briefs. Solid time that makes a statement.