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Our Favorite Post-Spin Eats

Where to fuel up before or after your ride in Fenway, Southie, and Harvard Square

CASSIE SHORTSLEEVE

If 45 minutes in the saddle has a way of revving up your appetite, we have the answer: great eats, right around the corner. Fortunately, here at HB, we’re lucky to be surrounded by tons of top restaurants in Southie, Fenway, and Harvard Square, but these 13 are some of our faves — plus, they’re all within walking distance of the studios.

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¡Olé! A healthy spin on Cinco de Mayo

It’s fiesta time! Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate Mexican culture, music, and of course, food. Indulging in a delicious Mexican dish is all part of the fun, so we have some healthy alternatives that won’t leave you feeling guilty. Whip up one of these classics and a margarita tonight con buenos amigos y  música fuerte!

guac

Tip: To keep guac fresh and green, add the avocado pits to your serving dish. A nice decorative touch, as well!

 

Without a doubt the healthiest of Mexican foods – Guacamole – is first on our list. The trick with this Mexican classic is to keep the ingredients simple and let the flavors do the work.

Ingredients:

  • 3 avocados, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and finely diced
  • ¼ cup finely diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • 1 serrano chili, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • A pinch of salt
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

Directions: Combine all ingredients into a medium bowl until well mixed but slightly chunky, season with salt, serve with tortilla chips. See full recipe  from Food & Wine here.

spinach-enchiladas-420Next up? Enchiladas. For a healthy swap stuff this classic with a fiber-packed green such as spinach.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package corn tortillas
  • 12 oz. fresh spinach
  • ½ sliced white onion
  • 1 tbsp. chopped onion
  • 8 large green tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bushel cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 oz. sour cream
  • 6 oz. shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or Asadero)

DirectionsSee full recipe from Shape here.

 

37_skinny-chicken-fajitasFlavorful and delicious Skinny Chicken Fajitas pack plenty of protein to keep you feeling full but not heavy all night long. To add even more protein, swap low-fat sour cream for plain Greek yogurt.

Ingredients ( fajitas):

  • 2 large red bell peppers cut into slices
  • 1 large onion, cut into thin rings
  • 1 pound chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) cut into strips
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 package Lawry’s Fajita seasonings mix
  • ½ cup water, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 8 corn tortillas

Ingredients (topping):

  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped romaine lettuce
  • Fat-free sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Reduced-fat cheese
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa

Directions: See full recipe from Skinny Kitchen here.

And finally – the most essential to our Cinco de Mayo festivities: The Margarita

margTraditional margaritas are high in both sugar and sodium, and can cost you upwards of 400 calories per drink. Instead of using pre-made mixes or syrups, stick to fresh lime juice and Himalayan salt, as used in this healthier twist on the Mexican favorite that boasts only 185 calories and 4g sugar per serving.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce añejo tequila
  • 
1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 
1 pinch pink Himalayan salt
  • Sparkling water (to taste)

Directions: Pour first four ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until condensation forms. Pour into an elegant glass and top with seltzer. See full recipe from Shape here.

 

See you in the saddle tonight for a #FiestaOnABike or tomorrow for a detox ride 🙂

Enjoy responsibly!

 

St. Patty’s Day green smoothie

Well, fellow Bostonians, the eve of the famous South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade is upon us! If you have even a bit of Irish in your blood–or even if you don’t–you know how crazy things get on St. Patty’s day in Boston. As we gear up for our Parade Kick-Off ride tomorrow morning at 10am (there’s still room, sign up here!), here is a green smoothie to either start or finish your festivities on a healthy note 🙂

Lucky Green Smoothie:

  • 2 cups kale or spinach
  • 2 cups almond or coconut milk
  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)

To our entire HB community, have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s day! Join us tomorrow for either a 1 hour ride with Rachel at 8:30 or our St. Patty’s day Kick-Off at 10am. See you in the saddle–dressed in green!

Patio Dining in the Bean – Make it a healthy Spring 2014

By: Raisa Hoffman

we can all agree, one of the most satisfying things to do after a tough workout… EAT

Particularly if you are meeting up with friends afterwards, the urge to splurge can be greater than you had intended. During the biting weather of the winter months, your health and fitness can slide due to difficult weather conditions, shorter days, compromised immune systems, and comfort food cravings. As springtime approaches, you have an increased desire to look your best when you’re not hidden under pounds of clothing. So while you are trying to get out of the Winter funk and improve your fitness for Spring, here are some healthy outdoor dining suggestions so that you can stop worrying about getting the flu, enjoy the weather with your friends, and start getting some color on your skin. Enjoy the patio dining opportunities that Boston has to offer, and its easy to keep it healthy!

Parish Café – Located in both the South End and Boylston Street, this casual café offers a wide variety of sandwiches and salads with ample outdoor seating.

ParishCafe-0001

Snappy Sushi – For Sushi lovers! This sushi restaurant is located right on Newbury Street with both inside and outside seating. Perfect for something low calorie and refreshing.

 snappy sushi

Sip -This trendy wine bar and kitchen is located in the theater district. Perfect for a date or a large group of people. Menu has anything from sushi to pizza. Outdoor seating places you right in downtown Boston across from the Ritz Carlton.

 sip

Cafeteria Boston – Located in Back Bay with both indoor and outdoor seating, this cafeteria-style restaurant serves nothing but organic foods from grass-fed burgers to local produce. Perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

cafeteria

Sweetgreen – This little salad bar offers the most outrageously healthy and satisfying salad dishes you can imagine. Located on Boylston Street across from the Copley train station, Sweetgreen is perfect for either a quick food stop or a date with a friend or significant other. Rumor has it we can expect another convenient sweetgreen location this spring… can’t wait!sweetgreen-boston

As any resident of Boston knows, springtime is a big deal. Fill the season with exercise and healthy eating while being able to enjoy the company of your friends and the weather all at once.

As the earth starts to rejuvenate, so should you. Jump into this spring with new intentions and goals for yourself!

It Starts With Food

On Monday, I finished my first pleasure read of the summer. A great stride, if I do say so myself. Every semester I find myself needing a stronger prescription for my contacts. I blame the hundreds of pages per week I’m required to read. That’s why it’s unlikely to find me reading anything more than online health and fitness articles and the occasional Sunday Globe front page until at least midsummer. This summer, however, is a little bit different. My interest in health, nutrition, and fitness has kicked into high gear, so you can almost always find me reading up on the fitness world’s latest and greatest. So, naturally, my first pleasure read was about food and its mind-blowing impact on our health. 

Note: When I come across something I love, I talk it up. Big time. Not because I’m an aspiring saleswoman, but because I truly believe in the value of whatever it is I happen to be raving about and want the whole world to reap its benefits. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always play out like that. But, I do believe that if I talk about something enough, the right people will listen.

So, without further ado, my thoughts on It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. 

ISWF

It Starts With Food (ISWF) is exactly what I have been looking for in a health book. It explains all the trappings of healthy lifestyle (and diet) and why they matter. It debunks the motives behind trendy gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free diets, and explains why we feel the way we do when we eat certain foods—something that I’ve been struggling to grasp for a long time—in a simplified yet oh-so-scientific manner. In my humble opinion, it is a book that would do worlds of good for the hundreds of thousands of Americans suffering from lifestyle related diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and even some kinds of cancer. If you want to understand the effect of what you’re putting into your body has on your health or are just seeking some motivation, seriously, read this book. Or at least a few of the creators’ blog posts (http://whole9life.com/category/whole-30/).

The book encourages you to make lifestyle changes, rather than failing on diet after diet. It offers a solution many dietary and lifestyle issues, should you so choose to listen. The creators wrote the book in conjunction with the development of a 30-day no-cheat program that recommends no added sugars, vegetable oils, dairy, or grains. Oh, and it claims to change your life.

I know what you’re thinking—don’t all diet gimmicks make that claim? Yes, but…Whole30 is different. Just read the hundreds of success stories on their website (http://whole9life.com/category/testimonials/), and at the beginning of each chapter. Whether you lose 20 pounds or simply discover more about your body and it’s response to certain foods, it just might, in one way or another, change your life.

What it is not: An over-complicated diet book with meal plans, cheat days, and unsustainable requirements that makes promises it cannot keep.

The Best PartISWF’s authors created the Whole30 program to show you how good you are capable of feeling. The program asks that you make various dietary changes for only one month as a science experiment, if you will. If you can make it through the 30 days and want to continue with the lifestyle changes you made, hooooray! If not, that’s O.K., too. But at least you know how you could feel with a little bit of effort. Heck, you don’t even have to do the program. But at least you will be able to understand the emotional, hormonal, and immune reactions you have to certain foods.

I finished ISWF with a new understanding of why my body does what it does. Why it doesn’t shed pounds when I restrict calories and exercise like a maniac. Why I crave sugar after dinner. Just about everything except for why my eyes are blue. I embarked on my first Whole30 journey with my best friend on Monday, July 8. Four days in and we are going strong! I’m going to continue spinning at The Handle Bar and see what impact a change in my diet will have in addition to my regular exercise routine. Reading this book and starting its 30-day challenge is my own way of raising the bar. How will you raise the bar this summer?

Falon Sweeney