9 Tips to Eat Without Guilt This Holiday Weekend

by | Jun 30, 2014

Photo by rushdi13

For many newly minted foodists, the upcoming long holiday weekend will be the first real test of your new anti-dieting healthstyle that embraces real food and enjoyment.

Although it can be a little challenging to get started, switching from a dieter’s mindset to a foodist’s mindset is fairly straightforward when we’re in the comfort of our normal lives. But when confronted with a situation where we have multiple days of sun, fun and celebration, fear of sugar, fat and binges can easily seep in.

Can we really handle all this freedom?

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Summer Tomato Holiday Wish List 2013

by | Dec 9, 2013

Photo by wsilver

As my healthstyle has evolved over the years I’ve acquired an arsenal of tools that are indispensable for keeping me on track. This year’s wish list has all my latest and greatest obsessions, as well as a few old standbys I can’t live without.

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Summer Tomato Holiday Wish List 2012

by | Dec 10, 2012

Photo by apparena

For this year’s holiday wish list I focus on the gear that I cannot live without. Whether the foodist in your life is new in the kitchen or a seasoned chef, there’s almost certainly something here they’ll love. Happy shopping!

Summer Tomato Holiday Wish List 2012

1. Mercado farmer market bag $24.99

One of the things I’m most proud of this year is the launch of Mercado, the farmers market bag I helped design over at Quirky. I’ve been using mine religiously for over eight months, and don’t know how I ever shopped without it. On big shopping days (e.g. Saturdays at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market) I use two to get all my produce home safe and unblemished.

2. Fitbit One $99.95

I’ve been using the new Fitbit One for the past couple months and love it. The new design is sleek and much more durable than older models. The display is also much sharper and easier to read. The Fitbit is still the best simple pedometer I’ve found to ensure I get my daily 10,000 steps. Tracking your weight is one of the most effective ways to find trouble spots in your healthstyle.

3. Fitbit Aria scale $129.95

If weight control is one of your goals, monitoring your progress is essential. Now that Fitbit has created their own wireless digital scale you can have your activity and body weight data in the same convenient place, making it easier to stay on track.

4.  Scanpan cookeware $91.73

I know that non-stick cookware is controversial, but I’ve still always preferred it since it is so much easier to clean and I don’t like spending any more time in the kitchen than I have to. Earlier this year I discovered Scanpans, which are eco-friendly, non-toxic pans that are dishwasher safe—it’s like all my dreams have come true. They can be a bit pricey, but I think they’re an investment worth making. I originally planned to recommend the two pan set, but it is already back ordered. This 10 1/4 inch fry pan is a good place to start.

5. The 4-Hour Chef $21

I think this book by Tim Ferriss would make an excellent gift for anyone who has just moved out of the home or out of the dorms, and needs to learn to cook on their own. It’s a simple, easy to follow cooking lessons that can take anyone from clueless to proficient in the kitchen. I recently wrote a full review of this book if you’d like to know more.

6. Le Creuset French Oven $256.99

I got my Le Creuset French oven as a graduation gift back in 2010, and use it constantly. I’ve been reluctant to recommend a $350 pot, but I also know it’s an amazing gift to receive and is worth every penny. Also, I found it on Amazon for $100 less than mine was from the super fancy cookware store, so now is as good a time as any to splurge.

7. Yogourmet Electric Yogurt Maker $49.95

Another new hobby in my household this year is yogurt making. We got this electric yogurt maker and have been using it to create our own batches of creamy yogurt, that I now eat almost daily. It’s fun to play around with different kinds of milk and starter cultures. I learned that if I choose pasture-raised dairy (e.g. Straus Organic milk), my skin doesn’t break out like it does when I use more industrially produced organic milks. Cool, right?

8. Aeropress $25.95

Though we still drink lots of tea, coffee is also a big part of our lives. Since I was in high school I’ve experimented with drip, French press, stove top Bialetti, espresso makers, cold brews and more, but by far my favorite device is the Aeropress. Not only does it make the best tasting coffee, it’s also the easiest to clean. And for $25, you can’t beat it. For the ultimate coffee experience invest in the stainless steel filter ($16.50) as well.

9. Sous Vide Supreme $429

When we first got our sous vide machine, I honestly didn’t think we’d use it much. The grill and stove top had always worked perfectly fine for me, and sous vide seemed like an extra step that felt unnecessary. I was wrong. The food we make using the sous vide, including vegetables and eggs, but mostly fish and meat, inevitably turns out better when we use the sous vide. The machine uses a water bath to get to a uniform temperature throughout the food you’re cooking, so it always turns out exactly how you want it. If it’s meat, that means you can hit that perfect medium rare, then just finish it on the grill for flavor. It’s cooked perfectly, and the food spends less time at high heat, which is a known source of cancer causing compounds. We use ours constantly.

Happy holidays!

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Moving Portraits: How Food Saved My Family

by | Dec 5, 2012

Darya Pino: Sharing Good Food at the Holidays from Moving Portraits on Vimeo.

My friends over at Moving Portraits asked if I would share one reason the holidays are special to me, so I sat down with them (and Toaster) last week.

The holidays are one of the few times in the year I get to visit my dad, whom I love more than anything. This is the story about how my trips home for the holidays helped him transform his diet, and save his life. This is the success story I’m most proud of at Summer Tomato by far.

Moving Portraits is a San Francisco based production company specializing in micro-documentaries for individuals, families, and small businesses. Moving Portraits transforms clients’ stories into vivid films, integrating intimate interviews, stunning visuals and personalized music.

Co-founders Simone and Haley Jude have more twenty years of filmmaking experience between them, and they love showcasing the beauty of stories on film. You can find them on Facebook at facebook.com/movingportraitssf and on Twitter @movingsf.

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For The Love Of Food

by | Nov 30, 2012

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week romantic meals help you eat less, why you should buy organic meat, and how to fight holiday weight gain.

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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For The Love Of Food

by | Nov 9, 2012

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week sitting goes out of style, mindful eating competes with nutritionists, and we learn the truth about boxers vs briefs.

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato,  Google+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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Summer Tomato Holiday Wish List 2011

by | Dec 12, 2011

Photo by WTL photos

It’s time to start holiday shopping for all the wonderful healthy foodies in your life. My goal this year was to be extra creative and come up with an interesting and useful mix of items that I personally adore. I also tried to hit a range of price points.

Hopefully there’s some stuff in here you wouldn’t have thought of on your own. Happy shopping!

The 2011 Summer Tomato Holiday Wish List

1. Fitbit ($99)

Paying more attention to my daily activity has been the most positive behavioral change I’ve made this year. Since the Jawbone Up is no longer an option, my pedometer endorsement this holiday season goes to the awesome Fitbit pedometer.

Though the web interface and social features aren’t the greatest, there is a beautiful simplicity in the Fitbit’s ability to show you your daily steps at the push of a button. The latest version also shows you how many flights you’ve climbed, a nice feature for those of us who pride ourselves on taking the stairs whenever possible. I wear mine everywhere.

2. Harsch Gairtopf Fermenting Crock Pot – 5 Liter ($119.95)

What better way to get more probiotics into your diet than doing your own lactofermentation? We’ve been making our own sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi at home using this 5 liter fermenting crock pot. The biggest worry when doing this stuff on your own is contamination. This device is clever because you fill the seal with water, which allows gas to escape but doesn’t allow any air inside.

We’ve tried several methods of fermentation at home, and this is by far our favorite. It is way easier than it sounds, and the sauerkraut we’ve made is superior to anything we’ve ever found at the store or the farmers market. Bye bye stomach aches.

3. Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, by Sandor Ellix Katz ($14.48)

If you do decide to dabble in home fermentation (or are just curious and want to learn more before trying it out) you should also pick up this book. It was recommended to me personally by Michael Pollan, and is the definitive and most accessible book on the subject.

4. Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, by Nathan Myhrvoid ($450.15)

Arguably the most amazing food book ever created, Modernist Cuisine combines breathtaking photography with cutting edge science and foolproof recipes. Created by the former CTO of Microsoft, this ostentatiously 1% item is the epitome of awesome for the special foodie in your life.

5. Bodum Bistro Automatic Gravity Activated Salt and Pepper Grinder ($39.74)

This is admittedly a little ridiculous, but the way it works is clever and I think it would make a great gift, particularly for guys getting into cooking (my boyfriend thinks it’s the coolest thing in our entire the kitchen). Basically it is both a salt and pepper grinder that creates perfectly calibrated seasoning by just tilting it over your food. It works really well and I’ve liked it way more than I expected.

6. Sleep Mate ($54.95)

Few things are as valuable as a good night’s sleep. If you’ve ever had trouble sleeping, particularly if you’re sensitive to background noise, the Sleep Mate really can help by creating soothing, ambient background noise. It’s like a blanket for your ears.

7. Withings WiFi Body Scale ($159)

When this scale first came out a couple years ago I thought it was a joke. Why would anyone want their scale to tweet out their weight to the world? But while the social feature got the most attention in the press, it is an optional feature (I opted out) and the scale is actually really cool.

The Withings scale talks wirelessly to your computer, creating simple to understand graphical displays of your weight and body fat over time. It can even tell the difference between different people in the house just by stepping on it. I was skeptical of the body fat readings, but I’ve found them to be very similar to measurements I’ve had from hydrostatic testing. And as long as you weigh yourself at the same time every day in the same outfit (aka first thing in the morning in your birthday suit) then the readings are consistent and can be a great way to track progress over time.

8. Bodum Pavina Double-Wall Thermo Tea/Coffee Cup (set of 2, $14)

Not only do these insulated cups look amazing, they keep your tea or coffee remarkably warm without heating the glass enough to burn your hands. We swear by them.

9. Sous Vide Supreme ($399)

By far one of the coolest cooking methods around, sous vide gives you the ultimate control when cooking meats and vegetables. It’s pricey (though it has dropped about $100 in the past year), but if you can afford it and are obsessed with food it is a fabulous addition to the kitchen.

Related: You may also want to pick up the vacuum sealer ($129.99) and some vacuum bags ($19.99) to get started.

10. Nesco 700 Watt Food Dehydrator ($59.49)

Baked kale chips are good, but dehydrated ones are even better and last longer. With a food dehydrator you can make your own dried fruit, vegetables and even beef jerky to your own preferences (cranberries without sugar!). Definitely go with this higher-powered device over the cheaper ones, you’ll get more consistent results in way less time.

Need more ideas? Check out last year’s list.

What do you want for Christmas?

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