Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the national headquarters of Slow Food USA located on Jay Street in Brooklyn. Employees were kind enough to give me a short tour and a run-down of what they did in the office. I learned that a lot of “behind the scenes” work was carried out at the national headquarters, as opposed to fieldwork done at the local chapters. They told me that there are Slow Food USA chapters in every state except North and South Dakota. At the local chapters they organize community events and work to “support good, clean, and fair food.”
Slow Food events tend to encourage food pleasure in the community with activities such as farm tours, seasonal feasts, film festivals and taste workshops. Just recently the Slow Food USA organization hosted an event called the “$5 Challenge.” On September 17, 2011 participants agreed to share a healthy meal idea that cost less than five dollars. Over 5,572 meals were shared!
This upcoming weekend Slow Food NYC is involved in a World Food Day Rally. Manhattan residents are urged to speak out against genetically engineered foods. Participants will rally by marching from the Supreme Court Building into Thomas Paine Park. Other upcoming Slow Food NYC events include a discussion panel about the history and politics of food. This will take place on November 1st, at Barnard College.
My visit to the national headquarters was cut short because a few of the workers were headed to the Occupy Wall Street protests. They were going to examine the kitchen in Zuccotti Square and to help distribute food to the protestors. Slow Food USA supports the Occupy Wall Street Protest because protest participants are also advocating for good, clean and fair food.
Although short, it was great to get a glimpse of the Slow Food USA headquarters and to talk to the employees. I predict that, with time, this organization will continue to grow and become a prominent and important influence in our country. Park Avenue Nutrition suggests that you check out your local SlowFood USA chapter and get involved!

What Our RD’s Have to Say:

“It’s important to get back to the roots, find out where our food comes from, and appreciate the food grown locally. Supermarkets are inundated with processed foods shipped from around the world; this is neither fuel efficient nor nutritious. Instead of revolving on highly processed foods and popular crash diets, it’s crucial to focus on having a balanced, fresh diet for optimum health.”
–Alexis W. RD

A Recap: Three Reasons We Love Slow Food USA

1. They’re a nonprofit organization that focuses to “counteract fast food and fast life.”
2. They support community participation with food tastings and local foods events.
3. They encourage “good, clean and fair food.”

Check it Out!

Here’s a link to the SlowFood NYC website: http://www.slowfoodnyc.org/

-written by Fiona

Filed under Natural Living by on . Comment#

Flat Belly

Photo courtesy of www.bluewaikiki.com (Flickr)

With the Summer in its final weeks, our offices are busy with clients desperate for strategies to slim down and get their tummies looking beach body flat and toned.  This is such a popular request that I decided to offer up my top five strategies for a flat belly year round.

Keep in mind this list is just a general starting point for healthy eating and should not be used in place of seeing your doctor or consulting a registered dietitian.  Here’s to an amazing year of feeling and looking your best!

Strategy #1: Eat on Time!

Bloating is the number one complaint and often accompanied by gas, abdominal pain and acid indigestion.  Being busy and on the run causes many people to skip meals – so does :”dieting” and intentionally skipping meals.  Your body is a 24/7 machine in need of fuel to run smoothly throughout the day.  When we skip meals, air builds up in the system.

Talking, drinking and eating fast contribute to gas build up.  Going longer than four hours without eating is the top cause.  All leading to the build-up of gases in the upper digestive system.  Pain under the rib cage or chest and side stiches are often associated with gas too -it’s got to go somewhere. Read more on 5 Eating Strategies for a Flat Belly…

Filed under Uncategorized by on . Comment#




  • 6″ Whole Wheat Tortilla, lightly toasted
  • 2 tbsp fresh marinara
  • 1 oz. fresh mozarella, torn into pieces
  • 2 tbsp fresh vegetables of choice
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Splash of cold pressed olive oil

Preheat the toaster oven.  Spread marinara on the tortilla.  Place cheese and fresh vegetables on top.  Sprinkle the oregano and drizzle oil.  Cook the pizza for about one minute.  Watch to make sure the cheese doesn’t burn.


Hempseed Orange Apricot Bars


  • 3 cups chopped dried California apricots
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates or raisins
  • 1 cup shelled hempseeds
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (gluten-free)

Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.  Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until mixture forms into a chunky base.  Transfer mixture to the prepared pan and press with a spatula for even thickness.  Cover and chill for 1-2 hours until firm.  Slice bars and enjoy!

Filed under Health and Wellness by on . Comment#

Park Avenue Nutrition Seal of Approval: Reviews

Marmara Mediterranean Restaurant
1160 3rd Avenue (Between 93rd and 94th)
Lisa Cohn gives her seal of approval to Marmara; this Mediterranean and Turkish style restaurant uses fresh and all-natural ingredients to create their delicious meals. The grilled calamari is prepared with tarragon olive oil and lemon juice. This delicious dish is low in calories and full of flavor. Getting an A+ from Lisa Cohn and her nutrition assistants.

Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health
Lisa Cohn gives her seal of approval to the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health. This institute holds classes for the public on all different types of cuisine. One of Lisa Cohn's assistants, Naomi, had the honor of participating in an authentic Mediterranean vegetarian cooking class taught by Jennifer Abadi, author of A Fistful of Lentils. Mrs. Abadi shared that most of the spices in Mediterranean cooking came from India. The class made Laban, a tart thick yogurt that can be used as a spread as well as Shakshuka, a hearty tomato and egg stew with white beans.

Farainella Italian Bakery, Pizza & Panini
1132 Lexington Ave
Lisa Cohn gives her seal of approval to Farinella, Italian Bakery, Pizza, & Panini. This pizzeria makes their food with fresh, all-natural and organic locally produced ingredients. The 4ft long rectangular pizza is baked to perfection, and the shape reflects on the way pizza is cooked in Italy. One of Lisa Cohn's assistants, who has just returned from living in Rome for 4 months, says Farinella's pizza is delicious and reminds her of living in Rome. She gives her seal of approval to the Primavera slice, loaded with fresh mushrooms and zucchini; the pizza has very little sauce but tons of flavor.

Park Avenue Nutritionist Lisa Cohn in the News


Lisa on WFAN 660 New York, NY
+The best ways to start and maintain a diet or nutrition routine
+Steps that can be taken nutritionally to address the winter blues
+How media/societal influences about body image impact persons with eating disorders.
Listen to the Interview



Park Avenue Nutrition Wellness Services