Juicing

Juicing has been something that I have wanted to do for quite some time now. Thanks to the generosity of my best friend I now have a Bella juicer. It was given to me as a graduation gift (I finished law school this year) and have been trying out new recipes every week. My favorite thus far has been a smooth and delectable combination of beets, carrots and a few other goodies from Bonappetite.com . I modified the recipe a bit for what I had on hand and it is included below. The number of combinations and flavors is incredible and I love experimenting  with a variety of vegetables and fruits that I had not tried until now.

Green and Pink Juices

Here  you can see two juices that I put together. The lean mean green machine consists of kale, broccoli, cilantro and cucumbers. And the pink drink was one that I played around with throwing in fresh pomegranate, a small grapefruit, a few apples, and some kiwis. I certainly learned my lesson with the pink drink, because although it tasted scrumptiously, the grapefruit made the drink a bit too tart.

The drinks are very filling and, as you would guess, nutrient rich. I get the produce used in my juices from my fabulous local coop, The George Street Coop, and there will be more on that in a later post. The Coop provides locally grown organic produce, so I know what I’m getting.

This piece would not be complete if in addition to all of the benefits of juicing I didn’t mention some of the downfalls as well. Despite all of its benefits juicing has brought a new list of challenges that I am meeting head on one by one. First among them is the waste created by the juicer. This particular model of juicer is a juicer and separates the juice of the produce from the fibrous parts of the plants. I am thus left with a great deal of material once I have finished juicing. Some of that material I incorporate back into the juice bottle to get the benefits of the fiber, however, there is still a lot left over.

Tumbling Composter

Now juicing is not cheap, especially not when going with organic produce, and it takes a lot of raw material to get a little bit of juice. So I have recently built a tumbling composter (see photo, I still have to drill holes in the barrel) and have begun planning my garden for the next growing season. If I become ambitious I may even construct a small green house to get a head start, but I think I am getting ahead of myself.

In the long run, I think that juicing has inspired a host of other habits that I am going to be grateful for and enjoy. I look forward to gardening and continuing to try and reduce my harmful impact this earth. I’m a noob at both gardening and composting so we’ll see what happens.

I want to pose a question to you all. Now that I have some experience with juicing, I wanted to get the feed back from those of you who have tried blending. Do you recommend one over the other? A combination of the two methods? And if you use a blender that you like, which do you recommend? Thank you for taking the time to read and for you feedback.

BEET, KALE, CARROT AND APPLE JUICE RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 1 large beet
  • 1 lb of carrots
  • 1 gala or empire apple
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 of a peeled lemon

Continuing Education

One of the first things that was stressed at my law school orientation was that one’s legal education would never be over. That is true for every profession, every field of study, every facet of life. For as much as we think we know there are volumes waiting to be written.

I admit, my initial gumption for a Whole Foods Plant Based lifestyle has waned as of late. Over the past few weeks I have not been as adamant as I once was about not consuming any animal products and staying away from processed foods. Part of that is a result of the fact that I live with others and I do not always prepare my own meals and my busy hectic schedule. In other words, excuses.

The most noticeable thing to change was my once ever abundant energy. Do not mistake that to mean that I have lost any of my enthusiasm or desire to live life to its fullest. I just find that I’ve slowed down, and I’m not actually doing it. I’m not accomplishing even the tiniest things in my day, whether it was running an errand, writing a blog, or simply making it known somewhere to someone through some small action that I am here, that I exist. This is, or rather was, a small phase that I was going through and with the writing of this piece I declare that obstacle overcome.

I would like to take a moment to thank those of you who reach out via the blog or via twitter and those who welcome FoodPhenomenon into their networks and have put up with the never ending curiosity.  I look forward to connecting with more likeminded persons.

This thing called life is only as hard as we make it. I’m convinced now more than ever given the events of the past few weeks/months that we are the masters of our own realities, the good and the bad. I wish you all love and peace on your journeys, wherever they may lead you and I hope that in striving to be our best individually we become our best collectively.

namaste : )

Eating Out as a Nutritarian: Café Blossom Review

Eating out has taken on a whole new meaning since deciding to lead a healthier lifestyle. I had planned a day of adventure for myself and my cousin in the beautiful city of NYC and needed to find a whole foods plant based friendly place to eat. Through some digging I came across the vegan restaurant aptly named Café Blossom.

I was initially wary of the self proclaimed “vegan” restaurant. Because a vegan diet consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains, many things can fall into those categories and be considered vegan, but they will not necessarily be considered a whole food. I mean to say that many vegans, while not consuming meat or dairy, still consume an alarming amount of processed foods with high sodium content and high oil content.

That is the background that I went into the restaurant with. There were a variety of options on the menu and looking back I could have made a better choice. There are 5 items listed that are followed by the word “Raw” and I probably would have been better off choosing one of those.

But I chose to order a “Soy Bacon Cheeseburger”. I should have known better but I was tempted by my old habits. The thought of vegan friendly bacon was too overwhelming. The sandwich itself, however …..

Not so much.

It was greasy and oily, and the bacon did little to the burger except add a few extra calories, some unnecessary sodium. and other chemicals. It’s saving grace was that given that it was soy based it did add some protein. The bun was your typical white bread made with bleached white flours and sugars and not a whole grain in sight. And as you can see in the photo below, I should have opted for something like the steamed kale rather than the sweet potato fries as they were soaked in oil as well.

Were I to go back I would have most likely try for a salad with dressing on the side and maybe some added tofu or avocado on top or perhaps the Zucchini linguini.

Have you been to Cafe Blossom? I would love to hear about your experiences down below in the comment section. Please feel free to tell me about other eating establishments that you would recommend.

Banana Peanut Butter “Ice Cream”

Banana Peanut Butter “Ice Cream”.

via Banana Peanut Butter “Ice Cream”.

I love ice cream. Have loved it and will always love it. However, given my new lifestyle, dairy is no longer a part of my diet. And let’s face it, coconut milk ice cream at $6.00 a pint is not an affordable alternative.

In my daily trolling of the pages and pages of wonderful things on pinterest, this particular pin caught my eye. It linked to a recipe for Banana Peanut Butter “Ice Cream”. A frozen treat with little to no added sugar and a wonderful blend of flavors. I took a crack at the recipe and you can see my results below. Kudos to the developer of this ingenious snack.

What’s summer time without a naturally sweet frozen treat to beat the heat? (If I could’ve have squeezed in one more rhyme I would’ve ;) )

You can check out my results below. It tasted amazing …. and that was without the chocolate chips and honey. Next time though, I’ll be sure to add the chips and maybe some agave in place of the honey. This would go fabulously with a side of strawberries, mango, blueberries or other fruit.

Give it a try for yourselves! I’d love to hear how yours turned out!

Banana Peanut Butter “Ice Cream” (from Got Chocolate)

  • 1 1/2 bananas, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 3 T peanut butter
  • 2 tsp honey (or better yet agave!)
  • 1 rounded T chocolate chips

Pop the sliced banana pieces in the freezer until they are frozen solid.

Place frozen bananas in a food processor and blend until you have a smooth pulp.

Add peanut butter and honey and mix thoroughly.

Stir in chips by hand.

Remove to a freezer-safe container and freeze until solid

Food for Thought

It seems only fitting that the first post (after my welcome post that is) be a comment on an article that I came across in the Op-Ed section of the New York Times today (click here for article). Titled “The World is Fat (Especially America)”, it  discusses a recent study published in journal BMC Public Health that sheds light on the global impact of the growing problem of obesity.

Deciding to get healthy can be a wonderful personal decision with numerous personal benefits. However, I am very much of the philosophy that we each have a responsibility to each other, towards other individuals on day to day basis and to the world as a whole. Obesity not only affects the economy via the health care system, but it also places an undue burden and weight (no pun intended) on other areas. As noted by the study, food demand in countries with higher levels of obesity is greater than those without. Strikingly enough, were the entire world to eat like Americans it would be equivalent to adding 473 million adults (of average BMI) to the world’s population. In terms of sustainability that number is staggering. It certainly turns on its head the issue of “population control”. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so worried about the number of mouths to feed on the planet, but rather the amount of food going into each mouth. This is capitalism. We can’t all have it all. But what one person should?

 

The health care debate is a prime example of the traditional model that America follows for solving its problems. Do what you like, however you like, and we’ll throw something else at it later to counteract the consequences. In the health context that means, eat what you like, remain as inactive as you like, and when symptoms of (insert leading cause of death here) start to happen we’ll shove expensive medications down your throat or use a highly invasive expensive surgery to “correct” the problem for however long that lasts. That model is clearly unsuccessful and unsustainable. Just some food for thought. Less depressing and cynical posts to follow, I promise.

Hello world!

Hi there!

 

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my new blog. I’ve recently taken a greater interest in my health and nutrition. Not that I haven’t always been interested in it, but I am now more interested than ever because I have come across something that works for me and something that I believe can work for anyone. As we all know there is nothing new under sun so the purpose of this blog is to share my health journey through recipes, photos, reviews and more. I’m looking forward to reaching out to and hearing from like-minded and not-so-like-minded individuals alike (too many uses of the word like?…..o well). So here goes nothing!