We often receive questions from our clients about our services, exercise and/or nutrition. Each month, we will feature one or two frequently asked questions, with the answers on our website.
Please do not hesitate to e-mail us in order to submit a question you may have. Even if your question is not published, we will do our best to answer you directly or recommend relevant resources.
How much cinnamon is it safe to consume on a daily basis?
Cinnamon is one of our favorite spices and according to Rebecca Katz (the Culinary Translator) it is an “anti-inflammatory, it provides digestive support and pain relief . . . stimulates the production of digestive enzymes and works wonders in the pancreas.”
There are two popular varieties of cinnamon – Cassia and Ceylon. They belong to the same botanical families and are generally used interchangeably for both medicinal and culinary purposes, because their essential oil profiles are similar. Cassia – think of solid, hard, sticks – is the one that is more fragrant and has a stronger taste, while the Ceylon cinnamon comes in thinner sheets.
In terms of medicinal value, most studies have been carried out using the Cassia cinnamon - which appears to be more popular globally. The potential downside to consuming the Cassia cinnamon is that it contains much higher levels of coumarin than the Ceylon. Coumarin is a compound that has a blood-thinning effect and can cause liver damage if consumed in large quantities.
The question pertaining to a safe dosage of cinnamon is one to which we have yet to find a definitive answer. In a roundabout type of way, some sources have come up with a ‘dosage’ of ¼ teaspoon per day. However, our general recommendation for persons consuming large quantities of cinnamon is to opt for the Ceylon variety – and then use it to your heart’s content.
What do you prepare for holiday meals?
This year we are keeping it simple . . . as in no more than 90 minutes of food preparation time. At the moment, we are thinking of Mujadara (a Middle Eastern rice dish with lentils and caramelized onions), a mixed greens salad with a citrus dressing, and steamed broccoli or green beans drizzled with melted garlic butter. For dessert, we might make Myra Kornfeld’s Naked Carrot Cake ahead of time and serve it with whipped cream or homemade vanilla ice cream. Finally, our house beverage is always Hot Mulled Apple and Cherry Cider served in everyone’s favorite mug.
How do you maintain your fitness level and body composition during the holidays?
We stick to our regular training routine; we are extremely picky about the holiday treats in which we indulge; and our meals continue to be whole-foods based with an emphasis on fresh, organic, seasonal fruits and vegetables.