NYC is only a 3.5 hour train ride from Boston but I can’t believe how different our two cities really are. From the amazing restaurants with healthy options to the wacky fitness and food trends. Today’s guest blog is something you would never find me blogging about… eating bugs! I didn’t believe it myself. I also asked Becky to share her favorite healthy NYC restaurants for those (like me) who are not ready to give Jiminy a taste.

Hey guys! I’m Becky, a marketing/food studies student at NYU with a few thoughts on the future of food and fitness. You can check out my food styling/photography work and see what I’m eating at my website,

Step aside, powdered whey/soy/pea protein! The newest healthy food trend has arrived, and it might surprise (and maybe terrify) you, but trust me—crickets are the new quinoa. Think about it—all over Asia, Africa and even Australia, bugs are enjoyed as a nutritious and sustainable source of low-carb, low-fat protein. Blame the negative stigma surrounding bugs on American media (I’m looking at you, Fear Factor), because there’s really nothing to be afraid of. Most bugs serve as a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids.

And get this—100 grams of top sirloin beef has about 29 grams of protein and 21 grams of fat, while the same amount of grasshopper contains 20 grams of protein with only six grams of fat. The nutrition aspect is only part of the appeal, because insects are by far the most sustainable living protein source out there. Farming insects emits ten times less greenhouse gas than farming livestock does! Crickets are a great example of the sustainability of eating insects, because they require six times less feed than cattle to produce the same amount of protein. They also produce 80 times less methane than cattle! Here’s a fun fact for you wannabe cavewomen—insects are a paleo protein source in the most literal sense—our Paleolithic ancestors really were munching on crickets and beetles!

Exo cricket bars

Don’t get me wrong—just because I’m down with entomophagy (eating bugs) doesn’t mean I’m about to munch on a mouthful of mealworms or throw a caterpillar in my bag for a snack between classes. As entomophagy becomes more widely accepted, I suspect we’ll see a rise in healthy, protein-packed packaged food producers that use insects. My current favorite of these is Exo, a protein bar company based out of New York City that uses fruit, nuts and cricket flour (dehydrated and ground crickets) to create sustainable, nutritious and seriously good bars (think Larabars with added protein and nutrients). They come in PB&J, Cashew Ginger and Cacao Nut, all developed by a 3 Michelin Star chef. As if the health benefits and the environmental sustainability aren’t appealing enough, the taste and texture will have you chirping with joy (… bad joke?).

If you’re like Sarah (who says she could never eat crickets) and still aren’t sold, I can definitely recommend some amazing and bug-free food spots in NYC.

Foods collage

My favorite go-to affordable breakfast in the West Village is at Oatmeals, a cozy café that serves up—you guessed it—all kinds of oatmeal (see top left picture). Think Pinkberry but for oats (seriously, why didn’t I think of this?!). With a seemingly infinite range of healthy topping options (from fresh fruit to chia seeds, hemp hearts and greek yogurt), you won’t even feel guilty when you indulge in a bowl of salted caramel apple oats every once in a while.

For lunch and dinner, my all-time favorite meal in the city is at Westville (top right), where the list of perfectly prepared market vegetables takes up almost an entire page of the menu.

After dinner, you can find me at Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Company in Union Square, where the froyo-like soft serve is made of just fruit, water and a touch of organic cane sugar (bottom right pic). I also can’t get enough of the gluten-free and vegan baked goods at Babycakes on the Lower East Side, which somehow taste even better than the gluten-filled alternative (bottom left).

Hope you fit foodies are inspired to try a crazy new product, or at least discovered some new NYC eateries to check out. Best of luck!


Hello from Paris! You may recognize today’s guest post author, Jessica Smith. She has appeared in many fitness magazines as the beautiful fitness model and trainer as well as many fitness DVD’s. To say I was flattered that she was interested in writing a guest post on my blog is an understatement. From my Jawbone Up to heart rate monitor and RunKeeper app, I’m taking her advice below seriously and you should to. Enjoy Jessica’s post!

Could constantly plugging in be causing you to disconnect with your body?

Ditch Your Data Device

One of the things I’ve been contemplating lately is whether or not technology is actually helping or hurting us when it comes to our health and fitness goals. These days digital devices are changing the way view our workouts, food and even sleep! And as a certified personal trainer and wellness coach, I’ll be the first to admit there are some pretty amazing gadgets out there that can track everything from your calorie burn, step count and even sleep cycles, but how much good are they really doing for you? If we end up relying on devices to tell us what’s going on with our body, could they be doing more harm than good? Are we losing touch with our body’s true signals by placing too much importance on what that wristband says? Here are 3 reasons I think you should consider ditching your data device (at least for a little while):

1) You may not realize it, but that little device could be putting an awful lot of pressure on you.

 Hear me out – I get that tracking stats is important and that measurement and milestones can be very helpful in goal achievement. I also know there are two sides to every coin, and that those benefits are not without potential downsides too. Have you ever felt the need to get up and move after a long, stressful day simply because you haven’t reached your step count or calorie burn goal yet? Sometimes the most important thing you can do for your body is rest, something your device may not always register at the right time. And the rest I’m talking about here isn’t just laying on the couch eating chips out of the bag, but true, restful rest like taking a nap, treating yourself to a massage or even doing a little meditation when you feel you need it. It can be hard to hear that internal voice crying out for that kind of a break if you’ve got a device buzzing or beeping at you to remind you that you haven’t done “enough” for the day.

2) You know that saying, “a watched pot never boils…?”

Well, there may be some truth to that.

I understand that it can be helpful to track calories, distance, heart rate, and all that jazz, and that it can help you lose weight (especially if you had no previous idea of how many calories you were eating and/or not burning off), but if you’ve been using your device for awhile and the scale seems stuck, focusing all your attention on those numbers could be hindering your progress rather than helping it. Here’s why – in my years of coaching and training (not to mention my personal experience with being 40 pounds overweight), I’ve found that usually weight gain isn’t just a matter of calories in, calories out, but rather a symptom of something beyond what you can measure with a tracking device. For me, I find that the harder I work to “diet and exercise,” the more weight I gain! Instead, when I start tuning into my body in all areas of my life I’m able to find the right balance of work, play, food, rest and movement that made me feel healthy, happy and full of energy. To get to that place where losing weight simply becomes a positive outcome of a positive life, you may need to ignore what the numbers and data say to truly find what makes your body, mind and spirit feel the absolute best.

3) You don’t need a device to tell you how far you can (or should) go.

Sure, it’s nice to know that you ran 5 miles or burned 500 calories with that last workout, but the truth is, you don’t need a device to tell you when your workout is done or how far you have left to run! Tuning back into your body could help you push yourself even further without that much extra effort. By honoring your body’s need to rest on certain days (no matter what that activity meter says) you may be able to replenish a depleted gas tank and push yourself even further or faster on your next workout. By eating when you are hungry (instead of skipping a snack because you’ve reached your calorie intake for the day) you may be able to starve off a binge attack later. Not to mention ladies, you know that there are certain times of the month where your energy levels drop, and that’s a natural part of your cycle that is worth honoring, not fighting through just to make a certain daily goal.

Jessica smith gomez lr 6287

Finally, I’m not saying this has to be a permanent break up! If you love your data device and have found success using it, by all means keep at it. But, if you’ve been feeling a little stuck or frustrated lately, you may want to take a trial separation for a bit. Who knows, once you are ready to start using it again you may find that you both appreciate each other even more than before you got together!

Tell me, what do you think? If you are a dedicated device user, did any of this ring true for you or do you think I missed the mark? I love to hear all points of view so please share your thoughts and opinions with me in the comments below. And special thanks to Sarah for allowing me to share this guest post!

About The Author

Jessica Smith is the host of JESSICASMITHTV, co-author of the Thin in 10 Weight Loss Plan (Sunrise River Press, 2012), and a certified wellcoach, personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Having started her own fitness journey more than 40 pounds ago, Jessica knows how challenging it can be to lose weight (and keep it off). Recently named one of Sharecare’s Top 10 Online Influencers and one of SHAPE’s Hottest Female Trainers in America, she loves finding and sharing the latest info on weight loss, fitness, and healthy lifestyle habits. The star of several best-selling exercise DVDs, Jessica has over 13 years of experience in the industry, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Fordham University. For more info, please visit



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