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Healthy Snacks and Ice Cream Alternatives From Food Matters NYC: Well-Balanced

You wouldn’t know it from how much we talk about cookies, but Birchbox staffers are a pretty healthy bunch. We love our veggies and mind-clearing workouts, and are always up to try the latest fitness class or nutrition bar. Our weekly column, Well-Balanced, is dedicated to our latest wellness obsessions—they might become yours, too.

Nutritionist and chef Tricia Williams in the kitchen.

Photo: Food Matters NYC

For this month’s Birchbox Magazine, I test-drove Fitist, a new startup that brings boutique fitness classes together into a single program. In addition to creating a custom workout plan for me, Fitist also introduced me to Tricia Williams, the founder of Food Matters NYC, a personalized food delivery service.

Williams, who is a chef/nutritionist, works with clients to design meal plans based on health history, workout routine, and goals. Instead of using calorie counts, she employs medicine guidelines to create the routines—that means no gluten, dairy, or refined grains, and Williams even focuses on the pH of the foods by cooking ingredients in high-alkaline water. If you’re looking to rehab your diet on your own, Food Matters also has health coaches and professional chefs who can visit your house to do a full “pantry purge.”

I gave Williams a rundown of my diet and asked her for simple changes that I can make. Read on for a healthy ice cream alternative, cocktail party saver and more.

Better Than Ice Cream: Dairy is a no-no, but ice cream doesn’t have to be. Williams approved nut milk ice creams, which can be found at natural food stores or spots like Lula’s Sweet Apothecary in New York. I’m partial to Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss ice cream, which tastes even more decadent than the traditional stuff. (Note: these are not low-calorie by any means.)

A Smarter Pre-Game: For nights when you’re going to be drinking, Williams has a special pre-game cocktail: chia seeds and water. “Put a tablespoon in water and wait until the seeds expand. It will fill you up so that you’re less likely to nosh and also helps reduce inflammation.”

Eat Grains Earlier: You don’t have to give up grains altogether; just take them off your dinner plate. Williams says, “Have them earlier in the day so that your body can burn them off and use them as fuel. When you eat them at night, they just convert to sugar.”

Top Snacks: Dark chocolate ranks high on Williams’ approved snack list, as long as it’s raw or 70 percent or darker. She also loves, almonds, pistachios (the ones in the shell, so you eat them more slowly), fresh fruits and veggies, and nuts. 

—Mollie

Want more healthy eating tips? Read what the world’s best spa chefs have to say.