With summer around the corner, the On the Pin podcast turns to healthy eating, and co-hosts Dennis Crowley, Foursquare CEO and co-founder, and editor-at-large Sarah Spagnolo welcome two fitness-minded guests: Cedric Hutchings, CEO of Withings, the brand behind innovative fitness tracking products like a tweeting scale, and Laurie Cole, SoulCyle senior master instructor. To see the list of all restaurants and cafés mentioned in the podcast, download the Foursquare app and save this list.
The conversation begins with Laurie Cole’s favorite vegetarian spot, the inventive Dirt Candy, in Manhattan’s Lower East Side—a “temple to vegetables” that both Cole and Dennis Crowley agree stands up to its reputation. It’s just one example of a place that serves true farm-to-table fare. For a similarly memorable experience across the pond, Withings CEO Cedric Hutchings recommends a place he recently visited, the River Café, set on a luxury barge on the Seine, in Paris. (While not diet-friendly, the risotto is a standout according to Foursquare users.) Quality ingredients also takes center stage at the Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges, in a 19th-century house turned elegant dining option in Westchester, New York. A tip? Come for lunch, which is equally as delicious as dinner, says a Foursquare user. And try the calamari…
When the topic veers to whether or not these are the healthiest of restaurants, Hutchings shares that for him, staying healthy is about eating slowly and with friends; he wants a social experience that’s pleasurable. “Look at the dish for 30 seconds before starting in,” he says. “That way your brain can register the meal.” Find 15 more NYC restaurants for healthy food here.
How does Cole change her eating habits healthy as summer approaches? Like most people do, by cutting back on wine, pastas, and heavy foods. Her favorite place this time of year is Café Gitane, on Mott and Elizabeth, in SoHo, where the avocado toast is a must-order. For her veggie-only diet, steakhouses are—surprisingly—a great option. Try Bowery Meat Company, in the East Village, or Alexander’s in Cupertino, San Francisco, where Hutchings admits that he prefers the aged meats. Crowley’s pre-summertime strategy: cut out sugar from his diet.
The conversation quickly veers to a tech theme and Hutching’s Smart Body Analyzer—a product Crowley owns—which tweets Crowley’s weight once a week. It’s just one example of a new type of product that delivers actionable insights to consumers, allowing them to make small improvements in their lives. Simple tech items that provide feedback for long-term change? The podcast guests are all on-board; in fact, Cole’s been using an app called the CRON-O-Meter, which tracks the number of grams of fat, sugar, and protein a consumer ingests each day, in addition to SoulCycle’s just-released app, of course.
Foursquare data shows a recent surge of popularity for the ‘express lunch’ taste. How do the On the Pin podcasts do it? Cole goes for kale salads. Her favorites include Mulberry and Vine, in Tribeca, for the kale salad with pickled onions; Northern Spy, on East 12th Street, for cheddar-topped version; ABC Kitchen, with chopped kale and sliced jalapenos. Further afield, try Gjelina in Venice, CA, she says, for the beet and kale salad, and while there, don’t miss the nearby Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. Check out some of L.A.’s other healthy spots here. Hutchings prefers a sandwich to-go (with real butter), while Crowley’s been heading to Sweetgreen. Another downtown healthy food standout: The Fat Radish, for roasted carrots, though the restaurant’s specialty, the scotch egg, is decidedly less wholesome.
There’s much more to episode 5, including Crowley’s take on quantified self and a recap of five years of his Withings weight data, debated and analyzed by the podcast foursome. And the Foursquare Taste Popularity Challenge, hosted by Foursquare data scientist Max Sklar. Listen now, and subscribe for more.
By Sarah Spagnolo, Foursquare editor-at-large