Bushwick Nutrition

Learn to Love Healthy Eating

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Gaiman Crepes

Just finished "The Ocean At The End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman. In addition to his amazing ability to unite the fantastical with the every day life, Neil cooks! The recipe below is one deliciously described in the story for "Lemon Crepes… with a Bushwick Nutrition Twist." 

Mix the following ingredients and leave the mixture in the fridge overnight. Make sure there are no lumps. 

  • 1 cup of all purpose flour 
  • a pinch of salt 
  • 2 eggs (free range) 
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk (organic!) 
  • 1 cup of water 
  • 1 tbsp of melted butter 

Once you are ready to cook (ideally on a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning), grease or butter a nonstick frying pan. Heat it until it’s really hot. Make sure to stir the mixture to get an even consistency. 

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Filed under neilgeiman lemonpancakes lemoncrepes crepes healthytoppings lettie hempstock learninglark

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Recipe Alert: NYHRC’s PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte)

It’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season! And you know those calories (mostly from sugar) can really add up. DIY and you’ll save bucks in your wallet and inches off your waist! 


Hard workouts this week? You deserve a treat.

With this DIY PSL (pumpkin spice latte) you won’t have to turn around and get right back on that treadmill. Most PSLs have 200 calories, 20% daily intake of saturated fat and a whopping 25-30 grams of sugar (that’s 6 teaspoons on sugar). Making your own version cuts calories, fat, sugar and cost. This recipe is easy to make…even in the tiniest NYC kitchen.

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Filed under pumpkinspicelatte nyhrc alannacabrero coffee sugar addedsugars

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Guest Hosting for Muscle & Fitness (Part 1)


I was invited to be the nutrition expert for Muscle & Fitness’ 90-day program called RE:FORM. It was created for the every day man (or woman!), specifically to answer one major question: what’s the best way for someone who doesn’t go to the gym to go from “average” to “fit” in that much time? Tyler Stewart, Muscle & Fitness digital director, took the challenge.

The first part of the video provides great workout tips by Dan Trink, CSCS. The second part is a grocery shopping tour hosted by yours truly! For the food component go to the 3:30 mark. 

Re:Form Video Part 1

Stay tuned for following segments at Muscle & Fitness! 

Filed under muscleandfitness re:form dantrink groceryshopping groceryshoppingtour 90dayfitnessplan weightloss musclebuilding protein produce meats tylerstewart reformvideo alannacabrero

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Pichuberries: Peruvian Wonder #3


Pic and recipe from Peru Delights. 

The pichuberry (also known as golden berries, cape gooseberries, or Inca berries) is a total superfruit! It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, iron and phenols (high in antioxidants). Other properties of this unique fruit:

  • Jam-packed with cancer-fighting phytochemicals called withanolides that have been demonstrated to slow the growth of tumors
  • High in vitamin D; rare for a fruit. About 1/2 cup provides 160 IU of vitamin D (~25% of the daily value)
  • Great for controlling blood sugar levels because it is low on the glycemic index (25), high in fiber (5.5 grams), and relatively high in protein (2 grams). This is a great combination for diabetics and anyone looking to follow a healthy diet.

How To Use Pichuberries

Pichuberries can be used in an array of dishes. The fruit resembles a small yellow tomato, like a tomatillo. They possess a unique sweet, mildly tart flavor perfect for savory and sweet dishes. Some recipe ideas here. Truly diverse, savory dish ideas include chili, salsa, muffins, skewers, or quinoa salad (pictured) and for sweet dishes add them to cereal, yogurt, popsciles, or dunk them into melted dark chocolate and make frozen chocolate pichuberries! Yum.

Edited by Tamara Cabrero 

Filed under pichuberries pichuberry peruvianfood superfruit cancerfighting recipes lowglycemicindex vitamind peru perudelights alannacabrero

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Yup, that is Bruce Lee and me sharing the spotlight in the October issue of @Muscle_Fitness! ;) I wrote a short article on ways to use pumpkin as well as pumpkin seeds to boost nutrition as well as displace some calories coming from fat and sugar.

It’s pumpkin season, so be sure to stay tuned for a post on pumpkin and all it’s benefits- including yummy recipes.

If you get a chance, pick up Muscle and Fitness and flip over to page 100! 

Filed under muscleandfitness pumpkin 1food5ways protein pumppkinpuree roastedpumpkin pumpkinseeds pumpkinsoup brucelee

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Maca: Peruvian Wonder #2


Maca is a healing and rejuvenating root plant commonly known as “Peruvian Ginseng.” It is an adaptogen, which means it raises the physical body’s state of resistance to disease. It is typically taken as a pill, liquid extract or as powdered maca root (my favorite). As with most plant-based foods, color matters! Different maca types can be yellow, black and red. In addition to being high in calcium, iron, vitamin C and amino acids (protein), maca has other beneficial healing properties. To name a few:

  • Has the ability to regulate, support, and balance hormonal systems making it essential for the adrenal glands and therefore stress management
  • Increases energy levels and fights fatigue, specifically black maca
  • Improves sexual dysfunction and sexual desire in both in men and women (postmenopausal as well) as early as 14 days from ingestion
  • Increases fertility by raising sperm count and motility
  • Improves bone health- both black and red maca
  • Reduces anxiety, depression, and improves overall mood, shown in small study including postmenopausal women
  • Influences memory and learning, specifically black maca

How To Use & Store Maca

Powdered maca root can be added to smoothies, green juices, shakes, salads, yogurt, or simply mixed in water.

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Filed under maca blackmaca fertility energy fatigue protein vegkitchen bonehealth mood adaptogen macaroot peruvianfood superfood macapowder rootplant healing alannacabrero

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Amaranth: Peruvian Wonder #1


Peru is having quite a culinary moment. The United Nations declared last year, the “International Year of Quinoa”, quinoa being one of Peru’s most well known food exports. The following three posts will talk about the amazing ingredients of traditional Peruvian cuisine. You might even call them super!

Superfoods are touted as functional foods that exceed basic nutritional content. They don’t just offer macronutrients (carb, protein, fat) but contain amazing nutrients that go beyond basic nutrition. In addition to quinoa, some Peruvian superfoods (or “whole foods” as I prefer to call them) are papaya, cacao, yacón (similar to sweet potato), Ají peppers, purple potatoes and, my personal favorites: maca, pichuberries and  kiwicha, commonly known as amaranth.

Peruvian Wonder #1: KIWICHA or AMARANTH

Known in the United States as amaranth or colloquially “mini quinoa”, Kiwicha is a small grain noted for its dense nutritional content, slight nutty flavor, and chewy texture. In addition, it’s known for its healing properties; to this day it is still used during Day of the Dead festivities.

Nutrition Facts:

This ancient grain is packed with calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. A ½ cup serving of cooked kiwicha provides 125 kcal, 4.7 grams protein, 2 grams of healthy fat, and 2.5 grams of fiber (mostly soluble fiber). 

Some other attributes worth mentioning:  

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Filed under amaranth kiwicha amaranthoatmeal peruvianfood protein grains ancientgrains NYHRC superfood functionalfood glutenfree alannacabrero miniquinoa

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Pregnancy and Me & Baby Makes Three


So, big news. I’m preggers! Yup. There is a tiny human growing inside of me. Such a  surreal experience, when you really think about it. My husband and I found out on Father’s Day; indeed a special day for my hubbie to learn that he’s going to be a dad! It was even more significant though because I felt like my own Papito was sending me a message or giving me his blessing, or both. He is deeply missed.

As you have probably guessed, this post is going to cover prenatal nutrition and the joys of pregnancy.

How Much Is Enough 

When you become pregnant, you often hear the expression, "Eat up! You’re eating for two now!" This statement is very deceiving. My doctor quickly put it to rest by clarifying, "Alanna, you are eating for 1.1, not 2." Which means that even though your appetite may be off the charts with weird cravings and a hunger that tells, nay, screams at you to eat every two seconds, the reality is you should only be eating an additional snack of approximately 150-200 calories during the first trimester. If there is only one baby, the second and third trimester requires about 300 calories more - the size of a small meal a day, not double your food intake.

So what’s the trick to making you feel like you’re eating more without packing on the pounds uncontrollably? Eat throughout the day. I found it helpful to eat at least a little something every 2-3 hours. I went to town on fruits such as cherries, watermelon, and plums. I snacked on yogurt, cottage cheese, and hummus, being mindful of the types of “dippers/sauces” I was consuming. I couldn’t get enough peppers, cucumbers, and celery. And anything with lime and a little sea salt was like a little slice of heaven!  

Taming the Symptoms

I consider myself pretty lucky. I’ve had mild symptoms of nausea, headaches, and fatigue, which are all quite common but nothing overly debilitating. I found that the following tips really help subdue the symptoms significantly:

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Filed under pregnancy prenatalnutrition protein carbs weight alannacabrero

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Meat: I’ve Got a Bone to Pick with You


Picture by Peter Hellberg 

We need to address the elephant in the room… meat. A staple of the American diet, meat is a big one of the big taboo topics for my clients. On average, Americans consume 8 oz of meat per day, including beef, pork, and poultry- 45% more than the USDA recommends and three times the global average. That is roughly 200 pounds of meat per person per year!   As much as we personally believe we can’t live without meat in our diets, with the Paleo Diet, South Beach and Atkins Diet ringing in our ears, research tells a different story.

Let’s Take a Look at the Numbers

The popular calorie counting app, My Fitness Pal, reports that a generic burger with lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickle, onion and a bun comes to a whopping 942 calories, 59 grams of fat (37% of which is saturated fat!), 1,000 mg sodium and 57 grams of carbohydrates (refined, of course). The ugly truth is that this good old-fashioned burger provides half your recommended daily intake of calories and sodium, and far exceeds the recommended daily intake of fat and saturated fat. To make matters worse, most people wolf it down in ten minutes or less.

Veggie Power & The Chronic Connection

In order to develop the Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2010, the USDA conducted extensive research defining what the “ideal nutrition intake” should be. This process revealed exciting health benefits, "Vegetarian-style eating patterns have been associated with improved health outcomes, including lower levels of obesity, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure and lower total mortality.” This should come as no surprise when we think about what vegetarian style food sources contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy unsaturated fats, phytochemicals and low glycemic carbohydrates. Most vegetarian foods are naturally low in saturated fat, dietary cholesterol and toxins like nitroso compounds, heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and glycation—end products formed in cooking, curing and processing meats. Not only do these toxins increase risk of cancer but they also speed up the aging process. Research has also shown that vegetarians have a lower overall rate of cancer and that plant-based diets (including plant-proteins) have been linked to a 20% lower risk of developing breast cancer. I’ve got your attention now; I bet! 

What To Do? 

Don’t panic! If you are not ready or willing to give up meat, there are small changes you can make to improve your health.

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Filed under vitaminb12 iron research USDA NIH vegetables vegetarian cancer vegan meat

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Watermelon-Mint-Cherry Pops


Last year, I wrote about the benefits of watermelon. Watermelon is not only filled with nutritious benefits, but it’s naturally sweet taste and high water content make it a perfect fruit for blending and making ice-pops (of course!) without any added sugars or even water. 

Watermelon-Mint-Cherry Popsicles

Makes 10 popsicles. Each popsicle is ~20 calories. 


  • 4 cups of cubed, fresh watermelon - make sure to use the watermelon juice as you cube 
  • A handful of fresh mint or spearmint leaves 
  • 1/4 cup of sliced cherries- about 8 cherries (in season as well!) (optional) 

Place watermelon and mint in blender. Blend and stir as needed. Once blended, it should provide around 3 cups. Add to pop maker, leaving about 1 cm from the top. Add 1 tsp of sliced cherries to top and freeze. 


imageThese pops are super kid friendly! Little Fiana was enjoying every bite (or slurp, I should say ;) 

Filed under watermelon watermelon popsicles watermelonpops mint cherry kidfriendlysnacks