Friday, July 31, 2009

Sweltering Summer

A customer came into the bakery last week and told my coworker and I we should write a book about working there in the middle of the summer. I told her I'd title it "My Sweltering Summer." As the temperatures rise and humidity increases, I am working too close to ovens that raises the entire building temperature at least 10 degrees. When good-intentioned customers bring up the fact that it is very warm inside, I just retort with a pleasant "It's my own personal sauna." And judging from the number of times I have been told so, the sweat must be VERY good for my skin.

For I have been just sweat-alicious lately. I grew up in an extremely dry environment (read decade drought) and just have never been able to fully adjust to humidity. My sweat glands didn't even habituate after living a year in Thailand. So I try to just accept my Shiny, glistening nature.

So This girl just dusts on some baby powder in the morning, stays away from foundations that would clog up the poors, and carries around a little paper towl for occasional dabbing.
I also drink A LOT of water. and While Grape Powerade Zero tastes like a liquid popsicle, to avoid the sucralose I've been packing a coconut water to make sure my electrolytes stay ok. On a whim at Whole Foods I picked up a O.N.E. Coconut water with Coffee Flower.
SAY WHAT??? It never occurred to me that Coffee Trees must have flowers. I love the taste of plain coconut water, and have been pretty turned off by the Tropical flavors a lot of other brands mix in (Pina colada-no. Passion Fruit-No. Cashew Fruit-gag me). but this, THIS IS DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!Apparently the coffee flower has about the same level of caffeine as a cup of green tea and lots of polypenol antioxidants. Plus I love their slogan- "Some O.N.E will change your life" So corny but adorable. This little dude is super tasty, and currently Whole Foods has a 75 cent off coupon-making them about 1.75-I'm going to go stock up!

So Random House, I await your offer. I'll refer you to my agent.

P.S. Clear Flour was Rated Best Bread in Boston by Boston Magazine! So if your in the area, stop by! You will be greeted my shiny, smiling face! [and if you're not tempted by the decadent pastries, try the Pain Meunier-Miller's Bread, or a Fire-Roasted Tomato Roll, or my favorite-Volkornbr0t- 100% organic rye berries with sunflower seeds!]

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

LaraBars and Coconut Milk Kefir!

The people at Whole Foods must think I'm crazy. I called all the stores near me and made the poor workers check to see if they had the newest flavor LaraBars in stock. Finally, the largest WF in the Boston Area-on River St. in Cambridge, said they were in!!
So I went on a lil walk and snagged the three new flavors: PB&J Tropical Fruit Tart and German Chocolate.

All get three HUGE thumbs up!!!
First PB&J-Just like a sandwich, minus the bread!! Salty and sweet and kicks the Peanut Butter Cookie Flavor out of the water!! Fruity and PB-y-there's nothing better!
Tropical Fruit Tart-Like a combination of a Pina Colada and an Orange Cremsicle-very fruity and coconut-y! Heavy hints of Orange.
German Chocolate-Definitely my favorite Jocalat Flavor. This and the Mint are the only two I like.... but this one is VERY good and up there with the normal Lara Bars.
So Glad to have these three in my LaraBar Line-up!

While I was at Whole Food I also picked up a Plain Coconut Milk Kefir.
Coconut Milk is all the rage right now-yogurts, ice creams, milks, and now Kefir. Pretty tasty! The sourness of Kefir but the richness of coconut milk. The Plain is unsweetened. I added Stevia and Fresh Blueberries from my CSA for "Berries N' Creme"!
The Kefir has 70 calories per 1 cup, and was 4.70 at my whole foods. It is low in protein (1g) and higher in fat (6g) but it was fun to try!

I love trying new foods, and more new reviews up next! If the sun ever comes back, I'd really like to lay out and get my Vitamin D quota after spin today. Hope you have a Happy HumpDay!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fabulous Fennel

One of my favorite thing about getting a CSA this summer is figuring out what to do with the vegetables that I wouldn't normally purchase. Case in point-Fennel. Now I know what anise tastes like, and I'm sure I've had the bulb snuck into salads, but I have never intentionally eaten Fennel. So I hit up handy-dandy google, and found "Where's The Revolution's" Rustic Bake Fennel Recipe made it for a potluck. {side note on the potluck. My good friend and neighbor Kate and I invited everyone in the building, ie we slipped notes under their doors telling them to come and meet their neighbors and have some yummy free food. A grand total of 1 neighbor showed up and she was a subletter. GEEZ. Everyone in the building is college age and almost all go to BU, yet we have no sense of community :( oh well, I invited a lot of friends, so the night was a success anyways} Anywho the dish turned out to be delicious and delightfully simple! Fennel+tomato+Whole Wheat bread from Clear Flour=a great Italian-esque dish!
and check out Kate's gorgeous Pizza with lots of CSA veggies!!
I've been making a lot of green smoothies, both cause they are Nutritious and Delicious and because I have beet greens coming out of my ears!!
I Loved Cheap Healthy Good's list of 246 suggestions for greens-definitely going to make some of these recipes!
What do you do with Leafy Greens besides the obvious salad?? Thanks to the monsoon season which has been this summer, I have a lot more to get through before anything else starts growing!! Happy Monday!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Running Raw

I had the pleasure of seeing Tim VanOrden speak on Tuesday to an group of New England Raw Foodists in Walthum MA. It was much more of a sharing than a telling- we had to be kicked out of the building at 10 and I can't believe I spent 5 hours talking and listening to others around the topic of living foods. As a newcomer I was warmly welcomed, and before I even got inside the hall I was pleasantly suprised by a table of raw treats for sale from Aimee's Livin Magic.
I was blow away by the prices!! Here's what i got: 1 lb raw organic hazel nuts- 6.25. 1 lb raw organic brazil nuts 6.75. 5 oz organic sundried tomatoes $5. 8 oz organic raw cocao nibs $5, 8 oz chia seeds $5.
THAT IS SO CHEAP!!!!! Definitely buying more from them next time!
There was a delightful raw potluck beforehand filled with a wide array of organic living dishes.
Then Susan Allison, a certified raw chef and personal trainer demonstrated a Chia Gazpacho Soup, which was quite good, though salty, thanks to the addition of dulce and seat salt.
After our stomachs were satisfied, Tim came up to the podium to speak.
Tim (who resembles a much fitter and healthier Ben Stiller) travels around the world promoting an 100% raw vegan lifestyle for everyone, but especially athletes. He has a youtube channel in which he shows his athletic abilities eating only uncooked fruits and vegetables. He wants to provide those who are considering starting a raw diet with some back-up; something to show those who question the safety of undergoing such an "extreme" lifestyle change that a raw diet is a valid choice. Tim's discussion really struck me, and was very inspiring. He wasn't trying to sell anything, (he doesn't even have a book published) and his entire speal was about how positive energy, perception, and belief can change the way you live. He has such a deep passion for this subject, spending over 6 hours a day researching new scientific breakthroughs in physiology, genetics and nutrition, and then converting it into concepts the average person would understand. One field which I hadn't heard discussed in the scientific community is "Epi-genetics"- a field that believes that perception can manipulate genetic code. These implications are very exciting because it means that we are not bound to anything-that we have the power to change how we feel, look, and preform. I want to do more research on this subject, but it sounds like a very uplifting prospect!

He is big on the harmful affects of stress and the wonders of respect and love. Stress and fear, decrease digestions, kill cells and lower intelligence for one thing. We live in a society that feeds on fear. We are constantly being told of all the horrible things that are happening in the world and kept in perpetual cycles of fear. Fear sells things, happy people don't need things. (Right after this I watched Bowling for Columbine, which says much of the same things). Yet we live in a world that has such abundance, such wealth, and we have so much to be grateful of!
He emphasized that he is not a superhuman-no history of athleticism, no one in his family is athletic, but with the power of choice he turned his life around, from a depressed fatigued screenwriter in LA to an uber-healthy, ultra-athlete on a crusade to share his wealth of knowledge.

He eats just produce. No Supplements, no superfoods, a couple of nuts every once in a while. He's a huge fan of Green Smoothies (blended greens + a Banana + fresh fruit=delicious and nutritious. I think a huge testament to the nutritious aspect of living foods is that Tim only eats 1500-2000 calories a day to maintain his weight and preform at such high levels. Normally someone with his lifestyle it would be recommended that they eat 3000-4000 or more calories per day. Now I'm not saying you should follow right in his footsteps! He has taken several years to adjust his diet to his lifestyle and go through the detoxing process. Much more information is available on his website! Since he doesn't have any books out, I highly recommend checking out his website RunningRaw and his Youtube Channel.

I am not raw, but I love raw foods, and the energy that they bring you, in such a natural, unrefined, totally guilt-free way. I try to incorporate as much raw, living food in my diet as possible, but I don't see myself going 100% raw anytime soon. For those who are interested in the lifestyle, I highly recommend reading Alissa Cohen's "Living on Live Foods." There are so many resources available online and a variety of blogs (check out Gena at Choosing Raw Raw Epicurian and Gone Raw ) Going 100% raw is not for everyone, but there are many healthy foods that are raw, and delicious too! If you're in Boston, check out Grezzo Restaurant, and Pure in NYC is great! (I also love Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley!) But even if you don't want to or don't feel ready to adapt a raw lifestyle-Look on the Bright Side! You'll be much healthier, and happier!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Where do the Weeks go???

Week Recap:
RIP TJ Scallywaggles: Vegan Pizzaria in ALLSTON, MA. Apparently there is now only 1 in the entire US! They were a little hole in the wall-workers Co-op, that struggled with debt, but went out with a bang with an all-you-can-eat pizza party! Farewell Friend.

And then a little mid-week adventure to Revere Beach, just North of Boston and T-accesible. A bit ghetto, but sand and sun and a sand-sculture contest!

and some summer reading
Peter brings up some interesting counter-arguments to an "only eat local" mandate. I'll discuss once i finish reading! But the more I read about factory farming and just agribusiness in general, the happier I am to be vegan! GO SEE FOOD INC (if you haven't already done so!!) Just try to eat a fast-food burger after watching!

I have been working and playing and not doing much cooking on my own, just working my way through the forest of greens that is my csa. But some of my lovely friends did a little pickling and generously shared their bounty:

And thanks to a suggestions from i tossed some zucchini in the left over "juice" and made more pseudo pickles!

Although my sister retains the crown of Queen of finding good new music, I have a new favorite source of JAMZ. RCRDLBL is a site that offers free mp2 downloads of the day. Indie, Quirky, usually upbeat, LOVE. I subscribe to their email newsletter-and new songs pop up in my inbox everyday, ready to be uploaded onto iTUNES. That's the hardest part of teaching aerobics classes and SPIN-finding upbeat songs, that will pump people up without offending anyone!

Things to do this week: 1. figure out what to do with FENNEL! AHH it popped up in my CSA this week and I have do not recall ever eating something with fennel as the main star so that is my goal this week. 2. Plan sky-diving expedition. 3. Have a Building-wide Potluck. Lofty goals? I think not!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Skinny Crisps and Zevia

On the way back from the airport in Denver we stopped at Fort Collin's Whole Foods to stock up and I picked up a bag of Skinny Crisps for us to try/snack on. My mom recently discovered that she is gluten intolerant, so these looked like a good treat to share-vegan, lower calorie, and gluten free! Of course I picked the Chocolate Chip Brownie flavor and I'm sure glad I did. These were phenomenal!! Thin, crispy crackers with a great chocolate flavor and sprinkles on top!! They are low carb, high fiber, and the ingredients are: Almonds, chickpea flour, golden flax seeds, psylium husks, unsweetened cocoa powder, sea salt, turbinado. Delightful! You can order them off their website or check out retail locations!
I didn't get to try to other flavors but they also sell: Plain, Toasty Onion, White Sesame, Seeded (fennel, black & white sesame), Cinnamon Crisps and Sweet & Spicey BBQ

I also tried Zevia-an all-natural soda line sweetened with stevia-my all-time favorite sweetener!! I opted for the Cola flavor, and two friends pickout out the Lemon-Lime and Rootbeer.
I think rootbeer was my favorite flavor, but they were all good, and had none of the bitterness that can sometimes accompanies stevia. The sodas come in Orange, Black Cherry and GingerAle.

Question: Are you a soda, pop or coke kinda person? In Wyoming its Pop. I came to Boston, was made fun of for calling it Pop and switch to the more "eloquent" "soda." Come back to Wyoming, freshman christmas, and was teased for calling it soda. (all in good fun of course!). So now i switch back in forth between the two, depending on my mood and location. I have never understood calling all carbonated beverages coke. but whatever makes you happy!!

Hope you're having a Wonderful Wednesday! I'm off to teach spin and then to the beach!! And maybe Harry Potter tonight! (or bruno, we'll see!)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chilly Chili

Like I said in my last post, home was lovely, the people amazing and the food delicious.
Roomie and I, in a golf photo shoot by my lovely friend Mei
and I stole my sister's sweatshirt because it ROCKED "Nothing Artificial Added" ahaha She had to pry it from my hands at the airport. (L)Roomie, Sista, me and T.pain
Right before I left for our epic car ride across I-80 to MI and OH I made Matthew Kenney's Raw Chili from "Everyday Raw" This cookbook is amazing! I HIGHLY recommend it.
At first I was doubtful that this would turn out well, chili's never really been my thing, but I had all the ingredients so I thought I'd whip it up. He recommends warming it in a dehydrator before serving, but personally I prefer my chili chilly (i also love cold leftovers-maybe its 'cause I'm too lazy to reheat?)
Here's the my version of Kenney's recipe:
Chilly Chili
  • 1/2 Head of Celery
  • 1 Red bell pepper
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 cup almonds (raw, soaked for 6 hours)
  • 1.5 cups sundried tomatoes, soaked for 6 hours, in 2 cups water
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons orgegano
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar (Braggs, Raw)
  • 1 TBSP agave
  • .5 tsp cayenne pepper

Throw everything into the food processor, blend, and Voila!!
That's How I like to cook!!! Tasty by itself, with chips, with tortillas, with swiss chard (roll it up like a tortilla!!) with dehydrated sweet potato chips i made:
(thinly sliced sweet potatos dehydrated with a little bit of sea salt)
Got me 1500 miles across the united states that chili did.

And I brought back all my raw food cookbooks from home, so this will be fun! especially since I have greens up the wazoo from my CSA:
Back in Boston, and missin the mountains, but its nice here too! Jumped right back into work today-Spin and Clear Flour, oh Baby.

Side note-I've been really wanting to do a Raw food fast/cleanse. If anyone has any tips or suggestions, I'm all ears!!!

Happy Monday!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Wild Wild West

Sorry for the delay! Vacation is wrapping up and its back to "real life" in two days!
I love Boston and living there, but it was very nice to go Home and just relax for two weeks. Well I don't know if it was super relaxing, but good nonetheless! (I think I am unable to "relax" i have to be constantly moving and going!) My roommate from Long Island came with me, so it was fun being a "tourist" in my own state.
Airplane prep! Odwalla "mocha-walla" (my new favorite flavor!) and Blothouse Farms Green Monsta-also delic. and I (heart) jetblue and the cashews they give out!
Driving up from Denver

We crammed a lot into 10 days! Wyoming is so beautiful and that is something I've definitely realized since leaving it! Now I love being in the mountains under wide open prairie blue skies, breathing in unpolluted air! And the fourth of July is a great time to be there, because everyone makes the pilgrimage home, to a place where fireworks are still legal. Nothing says America like blowing stuff up to celebrate your nation's birth! Loved seeing my friends from highschool and going back to old haunts and seeing all the "sights"
So much tasty food at my house! I had fun trying all the new gluten-free foods my mom is finding! I adore this jam-no added sugar! My new favorite snack is a (brown) rice cake with this jam and some nut butter-these two being my current favs!
And my mom's beautiful garden

And the jars of goodies she cans each fall: salsa, beets, jams, oh my!
I also took full advantage of the overflowing pantries and kitchen equipment to make lots of yummy new raw recipes which i will share soon! This is my all time favorite raw food, just because its so simple and delightful!! Banana ice cream, ie 1 frozen banana, "juiced" Turns out just like, no, better than frozen yogurt!!
Recipes and more eats up next!! At a wedding/family reunion now, and back on the east coast tomorrow!! Farewell, wild wild west!