From Soil to City

How to Eat to Lose Weight

Did you try one of each of the cookies on Santa’s plate? Indulge in latkes with extra sour cream and brisket? Good! We did too! And now the New Year is upon us and we are ready to real it in and refocus on mindful eating and overall health!

If your intention in 2018 is to reduce body fat and lose weight, Local Roots NYC can help! Success in achieving health goals involves a combination of clear intention, a specific game plan and execution of the plan.

Start or maintain an exercise program that includes resistance training (weights), flexibility and metabolic conditioning (“cardio”); to help you stay accountable, partner with a friend or officemate. Drink lots of water and remember to take a few rest days – self-care is crucial to long term success. A workout is only as powerful as the foods you put in your body and don’t worry, we got you covered with all the best ingredients for your new lifestyle.

Below is a list of seasonal foods that can help you get rid of some of the extra that comes along with enjoying all the wonderful holiday foods for weight loss and body fat reduction.

Calorie reduction is the key to weight and fat loss. Veggies offer a lot of bang for the caloric buck. They are high in fiber and nutrients and low in calories. You can eat them raw (for the most part) so prep time is kept to a minimum too. A good rule of thumb is “the more color, the better.
So why local? Most fruits and veggies are composed of about 70-90% water and once plucked from their nutrient source (tree, plant, or vine), they undergo a higher rate of respiration. This means that the moment it is harvested, it will begin to lose moisture, their quality and nutrient levels decrease, and they begin to spoil. In fact, apples you purchase at the supermarket are already 9-12 months old (!!!) and the majority of their antioxidants and nutrients are lost and are essentially just a ball of cellulose and sugar. A study at Penn State showed that spinach retained only 53% of its folate after eight days. To shorten their time from nutrient source to you, buy your produce from a local source. You can see our list of conveniently located markets on our website or find another CSA or farmers market near you.

Make Meal Prep Easier by washing and chopping veggies on a Sunday or Monday so you can grab them out of the fridge during the week for an easy snack or as ingredients to your favorite vegetable dish. Check out the extra special benefits of these low calorie/ high fiber local items:

Sweet Potatoes: These little tubers may be one of the world’s healthiest foods and have it all, but topping the list is beta-carotene. We convert beta-carotene into retinol, which is key for eye and skin health and immune function. Eat your sweet potatoes to keep the flu at bay and your skin glowing this season.
Dish Idea: roast them whole and enjoy as your side dish or use as a salad fixing.

Fennel: This sweet anise flavored bulb is an MVP for heart health. It’s high in fiber, which helps lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood (it also plays a role in satiety). If you are dairy free and looking for easy ways to add calcium to your diet, try adding slices of raw fennel to your next salad to boost calcium intake.
Dish Idea: Slice and sprinkle salt on and eat raw.

Napa Cabbage: In addition to being low in calories and high in fiber, Napa Cabbage offers a good amount of potassium. Potassium works to keep our nerve and muscle fibers conducting efficiently and promotes water and electrolyte balance. Make sure to include cabbage into your health and fitness routine this year to support weight loss and killer gym sessions.
Dish Idea: Saute napa cabbage with any of the other veggies listed here, dicing them and adding into a Chinese meatball dish, or try your hand at making kimchi!

Butternut Squash: A cup of cubed butternut squash contains more potassium than a banana – how about that for a little pre or post workout fuel? In addition to all that potassium, butternut squash offers Vitamin E. The free radical squelching antioxidant works to keep us protected against cancers and sun/ environmental damage.
Dish Idea: Try a hassleback so you can keep the skin on, roasting, or pureeing into a soup. You can find more dish ideas on our recipe page.

Black Spanish Radish: These beauties may have detoxification benefits. In a 2007 study, researchers found that extracts of Spanish black radish and isothiocyanate compounds provoked detoxification in human liver cancer cell lines. This means that eating cruciferous vegetables like Black Spanish Radishes may reduce the risk of cancer via stimulation of detoxification enzymes.
Dish Idea: They’re packed with flavor so you can slice them thin or dice them into thin strips to top onto salads, sandwiches, or grain bowl.

Protein is the building block for muscle repair and growth. The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. Muscle mass is more metabolically active than fat mass so lift weights and eat your protein!

To lose weight and body fat you must reduce overall calories but you needn’t diet! Fill half your plate with colorful local fresh veggies, fill ¼ with lean protein like our fish or chicken and ¼ with whole grains.

Article contributed by Jess Dart, personal trainer specializing in efficient exercise plans, easy balanced meal planning and a non-diet approach to goal achievement. If you need guidance, contact Jess Dart at