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Stone Soup: Healthy eating haven in Midtown Kingston – Hudson Valley One

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During the warm months, people can eat outside at Stone Soup on Broadway in Kingston. It’s right across from the crenulated Andy Murphy Midtown Neighborhood Center.

You know the story: Stingy villagers are tricked into sharing ingredients with a stranger (or a tramp or a monk or a wily pilgrim, depending in which country the traditional tale is told) who says he’s making “stone soup” that just needs a bit of this or that to be perfectly delicious. Soon everyone is adding to the soup. In the end the pot is full, and they all feast on it (minus the stone, of course).

In Kingston, Gwenn Sorensen and Steve Lewis have been cooking for the locals for ten years at Stone Soup Food Company. Little trickery is involved, however, unless unobtrusively getting people to eat wholesome home-cooked foods – thereby being nourished into good health and well-being without them even realizing it – is what’s up the couple’s culinary sleeves.

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Situated amidst a string of eateries old and new, the Midtown establishment is known for its down-to-Earth delicious soups, salads, sandwiches, mac-and-cheese (some say it’s the best around), roasted and grilled veggies, fish and meat specials and quiches. Oh, and the sweet stuff, all done in-house and dangerously irresistible. What’s more, CIA-trained Steve and his partner, Gwenn, cater like crazy. They’ve managed events for multitudes, including the manufacturing of decorated cakes that just beg to be cut into and devoured. Like I said: dangerous.

On their so-called day off, after prepping and delivering food to one event and waiting to send a couple of those cakes out the door, they sat and told me their story. “We are in the middle of the workingpersons’ district, with the school, the hospital employees and so on, who tend to want to eat out a lot but are also very budget-conscious. When we first opened, people didn’t appreciate the fact that we make everything from scratch. So they balked when we charged $2.95 for a cup of soup. People weren’t used to real foods. We had to watch our price point, and we didn’t make much money.”

But they made it through, she says, and never lost faith. “You’ve gotta keep going, and here we are. I’ve always cooked – for about 40 years now. Steve was a chef for years, and then went to work for Sysco Food Company as a chef/consultant. Now we have six employees. We’re steady; I wouldn’t say business is booming, but it’s steady. The resurgence of new places gives us competition. But we do all right with the catering.”

One of Gwenn Sorensen’s creations

He says, “Our walk-in trade we really appreciate, but that extra catering trade is how we get paid. Our walk-in trade is how we pay everybody else.” Sorensen and Lewis do a lot of luncheon and wedding catering, with regular clientele such as Temple Emmanuel (“We do their Passover every year”) and Chamber of Commerce mixers and local church events. “The Methodist Church uptown asked us to do a convention for people who came in from all over the country; they wanted us to do gluten-free macaroni and cheese, one soup, some wraps and dessert platters for 350 people. I said, ‘Sure, why not?’”

These clients discovered Stone Soup when a group of regulars who’ve been playing water polo at the Y for the best part of 20 years recommended them. “During the nice weather, they sit outside and eat breakfast after their thing at the Y.” Like other longtime businesses in town, they support worthy causes and donate their services when they can.

The crowded kitchen is well-organized to produce this constant flow of fresh food. In one area, Sorensen bakes. Her shadow cake, alternating layers of chocolate and vanilla cake with chocolate mousse and vanilla crème in between, is famous. One refrigerator holds these rich temptations. One wall out front is covered in autographed photos of famous people who have played at UPAC.

Lewis says, “Only a couple have actually been in this place. We go there to feed them when they’re on location to do their show. We enjoy pleasing people. I wouldn’t say we’re ‘cutting-edge.’ We’re not gluing things together with scallop enzymes. But we make honest, good food, as natural as we can, and still make it be affordable. We start with real food, whole food. Do we use canned black beans and tomatoes? Sure we do. But we have a walk-in full of vegetables and real meats.”

“I’ve always said that great chefs are illusionists,” says Lewis. “We are able to take relatively understandable stuff and not only make it taste great, but assemble it in the way that increases its value.”

“Your desire for it, the eye appeal and texture,” Sorensen chimes in. “Everything has its own design – not only the flavor profile, but the design. I think both of us try to do that.”

He says, “She’s more the artist. I cook quite a bit of food here, but she can orchestrate it from there.”

At Stone Soup, there’s something for everybody: vegan, meat and potatoes, whatever. “I would like people to know that we are as complicated or as simple as they are looking for and everything in between. We try to cover that whole range of dietary restrictions,” says Sorensen. “For our desserts, we use only local dairy products and real, unsalted butter and Belgian chocolate and fresh strawberries and raspberries. Our eggs are sourced locally. We walk the middle line. People trust us.”

Lewis wraps it up: “I want people to know that it’s a privilege to serve the public and garner that trust. We work every day to hit that mark. We realize that fewer Americans cook on a regular basis. There’s a certain pity to that, but we want to fill in, whether they’re taking it home or coming here for lunch with a friend. It’s a real privilege to do that.”

Stone Soup Food Company, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., 470 Broadway, Kingston; (845) 340-0470, www.stonesoupfoodcompany.com.

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Don't Let These Problems Get in the Way of Healthy Eating – ConsumerReports.org

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A slight drop in appetite is typical with age. And because your sense of smell and sense of taste decline over the years, food can seem less appetizing, notes Ronan Factora, M.D., a geriatrician at the Cleveland Clinic. Chronic conditions such as dementia and kidney failure can reduce appetite, too.

Smart solutions: You don’t need to be overly concerned unless you’re unintentionally losing weight. But to ward off problems, stay as physically active as possible. Exercise, including resistance training, helps you retain muscle mass, which keeps your metab­o­lism humming and potentially ramps up appetite.

And consider tai chi: A study in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine last April found that older adults who practiced this regularly reported increased appetite.

If you get full quickly, consider eating five smaller daily meals instead of three larger ones (with protein in at least three meals). Add healthy nutrients and extra calories, if needed, by including milk powder, egg whites, olive oil, and drinks such as fruit smoothies in your diet.

To stimulate your appetite, suck on hard candy before meals, says Lauri Wright, Ph.D., R.D.N., a nutrition professor at the University of North Florida. Prescription appetite stimulants such as megestrol acetate (Megace and generic) improve appetite only slightly but boost the risk of blood clots and fluid retention.

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14 Simple Ways to Stick to a Healthy Diet – EcoWatch

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By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Eating healthy can help you lose weight and have more energy.


It can also improve your mood and reduce your risk of disease.

Yet despite these benefits, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can be challenging.

Here are 14 ways to stick to a healthy diet.

1. Start With Realistic Expectations

Eating a nutritious diet has many benefits, including potential weight loss.

However, it’s important to set realistic expectations.

For example, if you pressure yourself to lose weight too quickly, your plan to achieve better health may backfire.

Researchers found that obese people who expected to lose a lot of weight were more likely to drop out of a weight loss program within 6–12 months (1).

Setting a more realistic and achievable goal can keep you from getting discouraged and may even lead to greater weight loss.

Summary

Having realistic expectations increases your chances of maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviors.

2. Think About What Really Motivates You

Remembering why you’re making healthy choices can help you stay on course.

Making a list of specific reasons why you want to get healthier can be helpful.

Keep this list handy and refer to it when you feel you need a reminder.

Summary

When you’re tempted to indulge in unhealthy behaviors, remembering what motivates you can help you stay on track.

3. Keep Unhealthy Foods Out of the House

It’s difficult to eat healthy if you’re surrounded by junk foods.

If other family members want to have these foods around, try keeping them hidden rather than on countertops.

The saying “out of sight, out of mind” definitely applies here.

Having food on display in various areas of the house has been linked to obesity and increased consumption of unhealthy foods (2, 3).

Summary

Keeping unhealthy foods out of the house, or at least out of sight, can increase your chances of staying on track.

4. Don’t Have an “All or Nothing” Approach

A major roadblock to achieving a healthy diet and lifestyle is black-and-white thinking.

One common scenario is that you have a few unhealthy appetizers at a party, decide that your diet is ruined for the day, and proceed to overindulge in unhealthy foods.

Instead of considering the day ruined, try putting the past behind you and choosing healthy, unprocessed foods that contain protein for the remainder of the party.

This will help you feel full and satisfied rather than stuffed and frustrated.

A few off-plan choices make very little difference in the long run, as long as you balance them with healthy foods.

Summary

Rejecting the urge to judge your day as “good” or “bad” can prevent you from overeating and making poor choices.

5. Carry Healthy Snacks

Sticking to a healthy diet can be tough when you’re away from home for extended periods.

When you get too hungry on the go, you may end up grabbing whatever is available.

This is often processed food that doesn’t really satisfy hunger and isn’t good for you in the long run.

Having healthy high-protein snacks on hand can help keep your appetite in check until you’re able to have a full meal (4).

Some examples of good, portable snacks are almonds, peanuts and jerky. Also consider filling a small cooler with hard-boiled eggs, cheese or Greek yogurt.

Summary

Take healthy, high-protein snacks when you’re on the road or traveling in case you’re unable to eat a meal for several hours.

6. Exercise and Change Diet at the Same Time

You may have heard you shouldn’t change too many things at once when trying to improve your health. In general, this is good advice.

Still, research shows that when you make both dietary and physical activity changes at the same time, the results tend to reinforce each other.

In a study in 200 people, those who began eating a healthy diet and exercising at the same time found it easier to maintain these behaviors than those who started with either diet or exercise alone, then added the other later (5).

Summary

Simultaneously beginning to exercise and changing the way you eat increases your chances of healthy lifestyle success.

7. Have a Game Plan Before Eating Out

Trying to maintain a healthy diet while eating out can be very challenging.

Still, there are ways to make it easier, such as checking out the menu before you go or drinking water before and during the meal.

It’s best to have a strategy in place before you get to the restaurant rather than being overwhelmed once you get there.

Here are 20 clever tips to eat healthy when eating out.

Summary

Having a plan before eating out can help you make healthier food choices.

8. Don’t Let Traveling Derail You

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, being outside of your familiar territory can make it difficult to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few tips:

  • Research the restaurants and supermarkets ahead of time.
  • Challenge yourself to stay on track for most of the trip.

Summary

You can stick to a healthy eating plan while traveling. All it takes is a bit of research, planning, and commitment.

9. Practice Mindful Eating

Eating mindfully can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Take time to enjoy your food and appreciate its ability to nourish you. This increases your chances of making successful, lasting behavioral changes.

In a four-month study, overweight and obese women who practiced mindful eating significantly improved their relationship with food (6).

Another 6-week study in women with binge eating disorder found that binge episodes decreased from 4 to 1.5 per week when the women practiced mindful eating. Plus, the severity of each binge decreased (7).

Summary

Adopting a mindful eating approach can help you achieve a better relationship with food and may reduce binge eating.

10. Track and Monitor Your Progress

Logging the foods you eat into a diary, online food tracker or app can help you stick to a healthy diet and lose weight (8, 9, 10).

Measuring your exercise progress is also beneficial and provides you with motivation that can help you keep going.

In a three-month study, overweight women who were given pedometers walked farther and lost six times more weight than those who didn’t use them (11).

Summary

Tracking your food intake and exercise progress can provide motivation and accountability. Studies show that it helps you stick to a healthy diet and leads to greater weight loss.

11. Get a Partner to Join You

Sticking with a healthy eating and exercise plan can be tough to do on your own.

Having a diet or exercise buddy may be helpful, especially if that person is your partner or spouse (12, 13).

Researchers studying data from more than 3,000 couples found that when one person made a positive lifestyle change, such as increasing physical activity, the other was more likely to follow their lead (13).

Summary

Having a partner join you in making healthy lifestyle changes can increase your chances of success.

12. Start the Day With a High-Protein Breakfast

If your first meal is well balanced and contains adequate protein, you’re more likely to maintain stable blood sugar levels and not overeat for the rest of the day (14, 15).

In one study, overweight women who consumed at least 30 grams of protein at breakfast felt more satisfied and ate fewer calories at lunch than those who ate a lower-protein breakfast (15).

Summary

Eating a high-protein breakfast helps you stay full and can prevent overeating later in the day.

13. Realize That It Takes Time to Change Your Habits

Don’t be discouraged if it takes longer than you expect to adapt to your new, healthy way of living.

Researchers have found that it takes an average of 66 days to make a new behavior a habit (16).

Eventually, eating healthy and exercising regularly will become automatic.

Summary

Do your best to stay motivated and focused while you adapt to a healthy lifestyle. It takes 66 days to make a new habit, on average.

14. Figure Out What Works Best for You

There is no perfect way that works for everyone.

It’s important to find a way of eating and exercising that you enjoy, find sustainable and can stick to for the rest of your life.

The best diet for you is the one you can stick to in the long run.

Summary

Weight loss methods that work for some people are not guaranteed to work for you. To lose weight and keep it off, find effective strategies that you can stick to in the long term.

The Bottom Line

Breaking your habits and improving your diet is not easy.

However, several strategies can help you stick to your diet plans and lose weight.

These include mindful eating, keeping unhealthy snacks out of sight, carrying healthy snacks and managing your expectations. Still, one of the keys to a successful diet is finding out what works for you in the long term.

If you’re trying to lose weight, some of the strategies above may give you a significant advantage.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.

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Students should prioritize healthy eating – The Crimson While

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Olivia Moody, Staff Columnist

So many people claim it is impossible to live a healthy lifestyle in college. Students complain healthy food is expensive or that they don’t have the space to cook meals. They complain they don’t have the money to spend on a gym membership and the Rec Center is always too crowded. Those are a bunch of excuses, quite honestly.

To begin, healthy food does not cost any more than unhealthy food. It’s probably easier to run through McDonalds for breakfast than to run to the store and grab some eggs. But hey, eggs will last a lot longer. You can get a good four meals out of that, and they’re what, $2 or $3? Grab some chicken and vegetables and meal prep for the week. It’ll end up saving plenty of time.

I know it can be a little difficult to cook in the dorms, but that pertains to freshmen only; the rest of you have no excuse. And freshmen, there are kitchens in the dorms. Use them. It may be a little inconvenient to lug food and dishes to the first floor just to cook, but isn’t it worth it in the long run? Make a dinner out of it get the roommates together and prepare a nice little meal for yourselves.

And for those of you who are in a fraternity or a sorority, you have three meals made for you every day. I know those meals aren’t always the healthiest, but nearly all of the houses have a salad bar. For example, the Alpha Gamma Delta house has a salad bar with grilled chicken on it. Every day I make a salad with grilled chicken for both lunch and dinner. I choose to ignore the unhealthy choices and go straight for the protein and veggies. You are more than capable of making these same decisions, no matter the house you are a part of.

I know the Rec Center stays crowded, but that’s just an excuse. It might be a little intimidating at first, but I promise nobody is really paying attention to you; they’re too busy focusing on their own workout. Put your headphones in, zone everyone else out and do your thing. If you don’t feel comfortable using the machines, try one of the group classes. The Rec offer class after class, day in and day out. And if the free Rec Center isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of inexpensive places around town to join, like Planet Fitness and Crunch Fitness.

We all sit here and complain about how the “freshman 15” is a very real thing, but we don’t do a darn thing about it. We go out, splurge on late night snacks and refuse to go to the gym.

So here I am, encouraging you to stop making excuses. Get your butt off of the couch and turn off the Netflix. Stop going through the drive-thru, walk into the store and grab some fruit and vegetables. Buy the frozen ones if you need to – it’s a little cheaper. Go get a gym membership, or walk yourself into the Rec Center that is free for full-time undergraduate students. Make it a lifestyle. Make it a routine. Once you start, I promise you won’t want to stop. Living healthy is a choice, and one you need to be willing to make.

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