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.

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.