Heat Up with Thermogenic Foods

Heat up” from the inside out with  with Thermogenic Foods and spices

. A hot bowl of chili is a common winter food. But do you know why?

Lean protein and cayenne pepper as well as salsa, chilis and mustard are thermogenic foods.

Thermogenic foods & spices – if you have even heard of them – have gotten most of their “press” by being known as fat fighting foods during dieting.

Foods that can be listed in the  thermogenic category love to get rid of the stored fat. After eating food; energy is required to process it. This increase in metabolic rate is referred to as the ‘Thermic effect’ (TE) of food or ‘Diet induced thermogenesis’ (DIT).   Here’s where the diet thing comes in. Some scientists suggest that planning meals based on this concept may help you to control your weight.

But we are talking northern winter here in the Adirondacks…. burning fat is a great thing for most of us that are not outside as much as other seasons. All together it is a great package. Being inside more our metabolism gets more sluggish from decreased activity so the increased metabolism/burning calories/heating us up a bit is a terrific deal!

What are some more T foods?  Some of the foods are ones you might guess.  Cayenne pepper, hot peppers, chili powder,  ginger and mustard.  Green tea, parsley, apple cider vinegar, celery, cabbage and brussel sprouts are some that you might not guess.  Even more are salmon, berries, chili powder and lemon squeezed into a glass of water. For all you farm to fork people, you gotta love this, one of the best examples of a thermogenic food is lean protein!  Chili with grass fed beef – wow!

As a rule, these foods stimulate metabolism, improve glucose levels and remove water weight.

Oxford Polytechnic Institute proved that cayenne pepper stimulates the metabolism by approximately 20%.

It not only stimulates the body’s metabolic rate, but also cleans fat out of the arteries. British investigators added ordinary mustard to a meal, causing the average metabolism in 12 subjects to shoot up 25%! Green tea – either iced or hot is said to inhibit the action of amylase, a primary digestive enzyme of carbohydrates, and therefore moves food more quickly through the digestive system, raising the metabolism quicker, and burning more calories.

Apple cider vinegar has always been  suggested as a tonic – but if you are not liable to do that on a regular basis then at least make your own salad dressing. [ Use organic non-pasteurized  vinegar and you will get more positive benefits than just increased metabolism.  This live vinegar is actually a probiotic as well. When condiments were made by fermentation methods – they were truly healthy symbiotic foods that actually had a purpose for being eaten with a meal – more more of my blog posts under the cultured category!]

Not all fat burning foods have to be hot. Vegetables (preferably raw) also increase your metabolism.  It is suggested that red or green cabbage should be shredded, raw or steamed but …actually ….the best benefit from cabbage is when you naturally ferment it. The vitamin C content will get very high.  It was this natural sauerkraut that kept people from getting scurvy on long ocean voyages.  The probiotics are great for your immune system. (there I go about probiotics again….)

And don’t forget garlic, great for cold and flu prevention too.  Even grapefruit and oatmeal are on the “list”. Eating porridge with a grapefruit in the morning may be more beneficial for us in winter than we think.

Here’s more thermogenic foods with added benefits : cinnamon, cloves, turmeric and bay leaves actually have drug-Iike properties that help us handle the sugar in sweets. So French toast or cookies with cinnamon may balance that insulin level. Salmon, parsley, tuna and tumeric are even more.  I guess with all this said, an addition of Indian style foods more often would be a “hot” thing to do during the winter time.

And Coconut oil is SO on the list.  It is a great winter time addition to your diet. Not only does it increase metabolism but has wonderful nutritional value as well as giving a boost to your immune system.  Coconut oil is so good that it deserves its own article.  I have a friend that swears his wife is in a much better mood when she adds coconut oil to her diet in winter!  Ever tried homemade French fries in coconut oil ? A treat not to be missed! My kids just love these and won’t let my husband buy frozen french fries ever again!

Tumeric is a “hot” topic in the nutrition field right now too!  I make two styles of potato rosti and add tumeric to the potato “base”. It gives the potato a very nice color.  So now not only is it great to eat but to put on your skin and to eat for your skin  “As an antioxidant, it helps fight off free radicals, which add signs to skin aging.” explains Rachel Nazarian, M.D., at Schweiger Dermatology Group. “Studies have also shown that ingestion of turmeric helps protect against the aging effects of sun-damage UV radiation and the formation of wrinkles and dark spots.”  Tumeric is the “mild but very yellow” part in curries and probably the yellow in a really yellow mustard.

So throw in lots of thermogenic spices during the winter months, burn a little fat while your sitting in front of the fire and “heat up” from the inside out!

Adirondack Maple Syrup – Liquid Gold

Is it Liquid Gold Time Yet?!

What has always been local and sustainable, is one of the oldest food industries in Northern NY and is exclusively made in only a few areas of North America?  It’s our “Liquid Gold” – maple syrup.


Now that it is maple syrup time it makes me thankful for yet another wonderful food source available to us here in the North Country.  It has been used as a sweetener and health food for centuries, and is part of the North Country mantra – a sign of warmer weather – flowing sap means spring!


A website that lists 125 of the “healthiest foods” calls maple syrup “one of the many wonders of the world.”   It gives maple syrup credit for a healthy dose of both manganese and zinc – trace elements good for your immune defense, health of your heart and – men – you need to check it out for the health of your prostate!

It is agreed that TOO much sugar of any form, even natural, is not a particularly good  “health” item.  But lets face it – sweet IS one of our major taste sensations is it not?  Did you know, that in 2011, the University of Rhode Island identified 54 beneficial compounds in maple syrup, five of which have never before seen in nature. These compounds have anti-inflammatory properties, which prevent illnesses including heart diseasediabetescancer and Alzheimer’s. And in comparison to honey, maple syrup contains fewer calories and has a higher concentration of minerals.

While cost can certainly seem a factor today even here where it is produced, don’t forget to go with the seasons and make a one of a kind meal for family or friends using maple syrup. It is stated that one-gallon weighs 11 pounds and is made from approx 40 gallons of precious sap! So as most people know, it takes a lot of sap to make a little of the product – but like any really good food – a little goes a long way.

Think “out of the breakfast box” when cooking with maple syrup.  While a great pancake is only made greater when served with the “real thing” (pancake syrup in the store can not come close) – there is much more to maple syrup than breakfast.  You can use it as a marinade for fish or meat, or to glaze & caramelize vegetables.  And desserts are a given – maple ice cream, maple pudding (with local fresh eggs- yum!) and even maple poached pears.  Then there is maple fruit bread, maple BBQ ribs, maple glazed carrots – the list goes on. And please, don’t microwave.

Experiment with replacing the present sweetener in some of your recipes with maple syrup. To substitute for sugar in cooking, generally use only 3/4 cup maple syrup to each cup of sugar. To substitute maple syrup for granulated sugar in baking, use the same proportions, but reduce the other liquid called for in the recipe by about 3 tablespoons for every cup of syrup and add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of maple syrup used. When maple syrup is substituted for all sugar in a recipe, reduce the amount of liquid used by one half, if maple syrup is substituted for half the sugar, reduce liquid amounts by one-fourth.” Baked goods made with maple syrup should be baked at a slightly lower temperature than the same recipe using granulated sugar.

While sugars are always downplayed in the “healthy” food scene, we a have access to a wonderfully versatile sweetener. It has much more “culinary” potential than we give it credit for and in small amounts, we in the North Country get to satisfy our “sweet tooth” with a natural flavor that many other people in the world only get artificially.

You can stay at The Lake Clear Lodge and visit many of the maple producers nearby.  The Paul Smith’s VIC offers programs or you can visit the VIC’s sugar house. For  many more in this region see The Maple Weekend site.

The Lake Clear Lodge offers maple cooking classes both at “maple time” as part of the Stay Packages and throughout the year. Check them out.

Here are some of the basic maple definitions:

Maple sugar candy, has a semisoft texture and fabulous flavor, is made from syrup that’s boiled, cooled, stirred and poured into molds.

Maple sugar blocks are more granular ,and can be chipped or shaved and added to cereals or beverages.

Granulated maple sugar comes from syrup that is boiled, cooled, stirred and sifted. It makes a wonderful addition to baking and beverages.

Maple butter (cream or spread) is syrup that is cooked and stirred to give it the smooth, creamy consistency and flavor of soft maple fudge.

Pure (natural) maple extract is a flavoring made from alcohol and sugar maple tree oils. It adds maple punch to baked goods, frosting and fudge.

Imitation maple extract  uses synthetic ingredients to create flavor similar to pure maple extract.

PDF poster Benefits of Maple Syrup and its benefits

Enjoy Liquid Gold season!


Chef Cathy Hohmeyer specializes in real food preparations that keep nutrients in

Follow my blog at www.OldWorldKitchen.net

Chef Cathy

Lodge schnitzel

Secrets to Eating Out Healthier


I’ve always adored dining out.

Yet ever since I switched to eating Real Food and prioritizing ancestral food ways, I’ve felt more and more challenged by my experiences in restaurants.

How do I make the healthiest possible choice?
Is it better to eat the pasture-raised chicken that was fried in canola oil, or the CAFO-raised grilled chicken salad with olive oil & vinegar dressing?

How do I find out how ingredients were sourced (and what they are!) without embarrassing the servers (or myself)?

That’s why I am so glad my friend Kristen Michaelis (AKA Food Renegade) wrote The Renegade Guide to Dining Out Click here to view more details

As a health and wellness blogger who loves a good meal out, I’ve received hundreds — literally hundreds — of emails from readers over the years asking these questions.

I’d always felt like my hands were tied answering them because my system for prioritizing food choices when out takes A LOT of information into consideration and weighs it all on a delicately balanced scale.

That’s why I’m so pleased to be able to offer you Kristen’s e-book!

Pre-orders of the e-book are on sale now Click here to view more details, but while we wait for the e-book’s release, I want to start answering your questions!

In the example above, Kristen would actually choose the CAFO-raised grilled chicken made with olive oil (or no meat at all) over the pasture-raised chicken that was friend in canola oil.

Here’s why.

She believes (as I do) that the single greatest thing you can do for your health is to switch to nourishing, wholesome, traditional fats.

It’s hard to put into practice, I know!

I used to just dismiss caring about it altogether when dining out. I’d accepted that I was never going to get a good meal made with good fats if I wasn’t eating in my own home.

Kristen felt the same way. But then she noticed she was slowly putting on weight, 5 to 10 pounds per year. So she started being more strict with how she prioritized good fats — even when dining out.

Want to guess what happened?

The weight started melting off.

Yes, the weight-loss is a convergence of choices. It’s not all about how she prioritized my food choices when eating out.

But she’s convinced it’s a significant factor, and here’s why. Not too long ago, she had a week where she “cheated.” She splurged. She stopped following my rules when dining out.

Want to guess how many pounds she lost last week?

None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

She actually gained two pounds.

In my next email, I’m going to teach you Kristen’s system for prioritizing food choices when dining out.

It’s not about weight loss, I promise.

It’s not a diet.

It’s just how I choose what to eat in restaurants so that I can be optimally healthy.


P.S. If you haven’t already checked out The Renegade Guide to Dining Out, you’ll want to!

It’s on sale right now for a ridiculoulsy low price .

Click here to view more details

And feel better about eating out!

Chef Cathy

Adirondack Wellness Chef


10 Reasons Why We “Get it Right” on Thanksgiving – free lessons for a wise Christmas and beyond

Offering free lesson series from now to Dec 28th – sign up below

What are 10 Things we generally “GET RIGHT” at Thanksgiving time!!

#1 We intend to remember to be Thankful for all we have!

#1 repeat – We intend to remember to be Thankful for all we have!

#2 We use the turkey drippings to make a healthy “bone broth” gravy

#3 We use the leftover turkey carcass to make bone broth soup

#4 We take advantage of the healthy cranberry. Wise cranberry sauce includes gogi berries too.

#5 We remember that the CONDIMENT TRAY used to be an important part of a meal – but most of us dont know how to prepare it so that we get the REAL benefits from it.

#6 The traditional gelatin dish !  If you still have this as part of your “traditional” dinner, this also has an extremely healthy part of your dinner – or any meal or snack. I use to go to a friends house when I was little and she always had a gelatin “salad” at Thanksgiving.

#7 We make use of healthy root vegetables.

#8 We use alot of colorful foods for this meal. A variety of colors means a variety of nutrients.

#9 A great Thanksgiving table will use cultured dairy. An awesome meal will have cultured beverages too.

#10 Even desserts have a healthy component : we use pumpkin and apples and even lots of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger.  Nuts are used alot but most of us were never taught how to prepare these in a healthy way.

Its not often that we get our Family together to share a meal! Why not make your next holiday meal together extra special and nutritious !

I will be offering a series of posts on how to make your next meal “extraordinarily nutritious”.

Follow along the preparations of ONE meal and learn WHY Old World preparations are the most nutritious.

SIGN UP HERE for the free lessons , this will give you access to our free forum

BONUS  free video conference

Listen in HERE for some background on how and why foods can be truly Nourishing.

See you on the inside !  Chef Cathy, Adirondack Wellness Chef

Lodge chicken soup

Broth Cuisine for the Flu Season

Guest Post by Lynn Cameron

The Old World Kitchen specializes in appetizing Soups and Entrees made with nourishing and easy to digest Bone Broths – delivering rich food value for those that choose carry-in meals regularly or on occasion.

Chef Cathy produces real stock created from hormone-free NYS farm-raised produce as it is available.  Beef, chicken and fish creations alternate according to seasonal supplies of fresh and natural ingredients.  The Lodge restaurant kitchen is NYS inspected and certified for catering/carry-out.

If you haven’t the time or resources to make enough broth in your own kitchen, and if you have the need or desire to get the nutrition and taste benefits of rich bone broth in your meals – call Cathy for the help you need!   Store some in the freezer for emergency health support or take it for supper to ‘grandmother’s’ house.


A simple broth soup may start a meal well

Add vegetables, grain and/or legumes,

 It becomes a sustaining main course

SOUP & SOURDOUGH take-away is available

Save time and 5% with Value 6-Packs for busy homemakers and caregivers.

Choose from a menu of simple broth for a convalescent to a hearty supper stew

ALL made with traditional bone broth stock base

& a sprouted grain, sourdough, or gluten-free biscuit

SOUP & SOURDOUGH SUPPERS are perfect for:

  • the nutritional requirements of housebound seniors
  • busy and dedicated caregivers of elderly relatives
  • tempting aroma & authentic taste for the sensitive palate
  • tasty, nutrient-dense suppers for picky eaters
  • satisfying, low-calorie comfort for those with special dietary needs
  • quick early suppers to sustain after-work activities
  • comforting, easy to digest late suppers after a long day
  • recovery support from illness

Broth-based soup does more than please the taste buds as convalescent care has proven.

Sadly, broth seems gone from the American tradition even as science validates what grandmother knew – rich homemade bone broths can regenerate a weakened system.

Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.  Broth and soup made with fish heads and carcasses provide iodine and thyroid-strengthening substances.

When stock is cooled, it congeals due to the presence of gelatin. The use of gelatin as a therapeutic agent goes back to the ancient Chinese. As supplements and medicines occupy center-stage in health research today, so two hundred years ago gelatin held a position in the forefront of food therapy. Although gelatin is not a complete protein, containing only the amino acids arginine and glycine in large amounts, its protein is immediately ready for use in tissue building making it particularly nourishing for children, the convalescent and the elderly.  Gelatin, heritage from the French and probably the first functional food, is easily digested and tolerated well by all systems.  Gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, which means that it attracts and holds liquids so crucial in diets of those on medications that cause dehydration.   It helps digestion in everyone by naturally attracting digestive juices for assimilation of food.

Gelatin has been researched and used continuously for the three centuries that diet was a major form of therapy for all illness.  Babies had fewer digestive problems when gelatin was added to their milk.  It was found useful in patient convalescence from a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer and early cookbooks dedicated whole chapters to its proper preparation.

Only stock made from bones and dairy products provides

calcium in a form that the body can easily assimilate.

Broth is important because gelatin in properly made bone broth helps the body use protein in an efficient way – a rare protein-sparing nutriment when meat is a luxury item.  For the malnourished, those with a limited food budget, caregivers and senior homes, this is an important dietary consideration because quality protein is as essential as it is costly.

An important source of minerals disappeared from the American diet when homemade stocks were pushed out by easier and cheaper imitations.  This has provided enormous opportunities for long-term profit for all industrialized food processors.Image

The protein in food has receptors on the tongue called glutamates that the human body has recognized as the meat taste since Paleo times.  In the 1950’s General Foods and other food conglomerates discovered that hydrolyzed proteins could mimic this meat taste naturally pursued for eons by humans as a nutrient-dense food source. Because these fake molecules artificially satisfied the tongue, soup became popular as a powdered base from a package or can – which are likely to contain the disrupting chemical we all know as MSG.

The food industry has worked for decades to conceal from the public that MSG causes a wide range of reaction, from temporary headaches to permanent brain damage.  As early as 1957, scientists found mice blind and obese when MSG was administered; in 1969, MSG-induced lesions were found in the hypothalamus region of the brain.  Decades of studies all point to MSG as toxic to the nervous system.

You CAN have your Pancakes and Eat them too!

September 26th was National Pancake Day – who knew?  Image

……except for pancake lovers maybe

…..except that there is less of them now that gluten and grain and flour is taboo..

This is about a better way to make pancakes… it is NOT about alternative flours – the alternative flours and ancient grains can be awesome but if you or someone in your family is partial to “white flour” pancakes – read on.

Do pancakes HAVE to be on your no eat list?  Well, that is up to you, as long as you know all the info – for most of you, if you want your grain you can eat it too. Yes there are all sorts of recipes for pancakes now, all free of something. I am talking about good ole flapjacks and why the traditional way of making them is still one of the best in my book.

Answer this – how many years has there been a form of bread in the world?  Then how come – like all of a sudden – bread is “not healthy”.  There are a few reasons, most of them wrapped  up into us humans fooling with foods and processes that nature gave us.

As early as 8000 B.C. bread was a staple with the Egyptians honing the practice of rising bread before baking. Bread was used as a form of money in times past – I am sure I do not have to say again – bread has been around a long time.

Let’s cut to the chase – you need to know about sourdough – REAL sourdough

REAL sourdough Fundamentals:

1) First of all – sourdough does not mean that it is sour. Don’t let the word sour turn you away, think of sourdough as a PROCESS not a flavor. It is a culturing and enlivening of ground grain.  And – sourdough is not just for bread! Anything you make with flour, you can make “sourdoughed”..

2) Sourdough is a live culture that does amazing things to flour and it can help you make bread and bread products that are lower in gluten (our ancestors did not make a gluten problem so they did not have a gluten problem) I have some friends that order my sourdough bread, when other bread products make them feel like they should not be eating it.

3) It rises the bread without any other commercial yeast you buy from the store

4) You can make your starter from thin air -literally!  So really it is an awesome, self – perpetuating, “sustainable” food source that can always be around to make any kind of bread products you want – I made sourdough brownies the other day that were amazing.

Why did I make brownies with sourdough?  Mostly – because this process works within the batter and makes your baking goods more digestible. Once you start seeing the wonders of sourdough you won’t want to make anything without it.

Think of your bowl of sourdough as a little fish tank with invisible little friendly fish – you have to feed them, most everyday. But if you are using it most everyday you want your little critters to be healthy and happy. You say hello, you feed your little batch of starter and – poof – a couple hours later it is bubbly and growing. When it gets to this jiggly stage is when it gets fun. When you don’t want to bake for a while – you just place it in a fridge – and will wait til you feel like wanting to deal with it again – it is very patient with you.

Now back to jiggly!  You add this sourdough to a recipe and it transforms it to – well – a more cohesive batter that has a life of its own.  Except for really cool pancakes – it you like a really spongy pancake – pure sourdough pancakes may be for you, and they are not like a rock in your tummy.

Sourdough baking is an artisianal process – meaning that does not follow strict rules on time, temperature and amount of ingredients.  If you are a real “measurer” in the kitchen I may lose you right here – but on the other side it is a very forgiving, it is an “anyone can do it kind of thing”.  It is just one of those processes that your mom or grand mom would have shown you – that you could have worked on together in the kitchen, like learning an art that you finally master and can teach to your kid!  Bakers were once revered in the communities – and specialized in this craft alone.

So lets make pancakes!   Here is my favorite!  It is especially good to do on days that you have been feeding your sourdough but just have not gotten to making anything with it.

Here is how easy it is once you have the sourdough: While you are heating a griddle place a couple cups of sourdough into another bowl, add a bit of sugar if you want plus an egg, a dash of salt and a dash of baking soda (you can add more flour too, but why do that is you have lots of starter?)  Place coconut oil (or other good oil) on your griddle – make pancakes with that starter. done.  The jigglier the starter – the spongier the pancake!

Want to know more??  Come to one of my sourdough classes at www.LodgeOnLakeClear.com – my resort in the Adirondack Mts where I am Executive Chef – and passionate about sharing Old World healthy methods of cooking.

Bring a group and learn how to incorporate Old World preparations into a New Age!

This article from a Baker’s Forum does a nice job at explaining the history and science of sourdough.  Go here for more.



Beyond organic produce available – preorder by Wed PM for pickup 10/23/14


This will be the 4th season that Barbara and Timothy Martin will supply most of the root crops that I put-by for my 40th Winter isolated on an Adirondack lake.

This week I will drive to their farm for autumn produce. Their vegetables are beyond mere organic. Their root vegetables come on later and with slow ripening that seems to help elevate the sugars (brix) responsible for their delectable taste.

Accordingly their bio-dynamic methods yield products of exceptional keeping qualities; soil tilth and quality are cumulative and does not happen in just a single season.

Stored properly, carrots from their small farm kept well into March, crisp and sweet . . . for those who purchased enough of them. This reflects their high brix value – superior flavor is the value added.

See MORE about why BRIX is important

PRE-ORDER Before Thursday 10/22 :Here  and see more items  here  from the Old World Kitchen Store

Or email your order to  lynn@frontier.com

Lynn plans to travel to the farm on Thursday, 10/22/14. Choose from their list below and email me your selections – 20 lb. minimum.

Remember that high brix food weighs more due to the weight of the minerals (already chelated) contained in their sweet juices. Mix and Match from the list here.