Make your own vitamin water

Orange Lemon WaterStop spending money on those fancy waters that you find in the stores and make your own. Today, I whipped up some orange, lemon flavored water. So simple to make, yummy to drink, and high in vitamin C!

Orange Lemon Water

Not to mention, the cancer fighting agents found in the pith.

You can make any water of your choicing and the kids have a blast getting involved!

So throw in some grapes, raspberries, cherries, pineapple, etc. Try a new flavor each day and get int those much needed nutrients!

Orange Lemon Water

Dinner with David Wolfe

I know, I know you are jealous right now. Don’t be. I was fortunate enough to attend a private dinner with raw food guru David Wolfe, but my opportunity to speak with him was just about nonexistent. Sure, I could have, with enough effort and forcefulness, made an adequate attempt to carry a conversation with David. But that’s just not my style.

With a dinner of about 70 attendees, I was more than happy to listen to what the raw foodie had to say, and was very much looking forward to his wise words. It was about an hour of mingling before everyone was in their seats. David made a quick speech and notified us that he would be speaking more throughout the dinner in addition to relocating his seat after each course. This was going to be great! Except that my immediate section was skipped right over, and David didn’t really speak very much to the group as a whole. Ah well. I had an amazing 7 course raw dinner, met some new and relatable people, and ate at an amazing restaurant in what David refers to as the “best hotel in the world”. Now that’s saying a lot, the man has traveled virtually everywhere!

Enough said, let’s talk about the menu:

We began with a Green Shot-Orange, grapefruit, avocado, pineapple, spinach, kale, and raw coconut water.

This was yum!

Next up was a shot of Fresh Nutmilk Cacao Smoothie-Sprouted almonds, hempseeds, spring water Wuyi tea, banana, cacao, maca, flaxseed, and fresh cocao nut.

There was a bit of a kick to this one on the spicy side, must have been the tea.

At this point people were starting to feel a bit hungry, and out came the Live Gazpacho Soup-tomato, cucumber, and lime. It was delicious.

Sprouted Enzyme Salad was next. It had an amazing dressing on top that everyone was raving about. The ingredients of the salad consisted of kale, red cabbage, carrot, red onion, alfalfa sprouts, shaved turmeric, Greek olive oil, sweet potato, and tahini/lime dressing.

This salad was rather large and at the end, we were all wondering how we were going to fit any more food into our bodies. Still three more courses to go!

Raw Goji Cacao Truffle Intermezzo-cacao, cacao nibs, turmeric, raw honey, cranberries, goji, almonds, pink sea salt, and coconut oil.

Seems I missed the photo of this one-it was one small truffle that I popped in my mouth so quickly, the camera didn’t stand a chance.

It was nice to have a small sweet treat in between meals.

Up next, Raw Ravioli with house made vegan cheese-beet ravioli with fresh herbed cashew cheese and Cayenne yellow pepper basil sauce.

Oh-my-yum! I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t eaten many beets in my lifetime, my mother was never a fan, but boy was this good!

An finally, the rich and decadent Chia Mousse Tart! Made of avocado, blueberry, chia mousse on a sprouted walnut, almond, flaxseed, raw honey, date tart.

So good!

I’m not sure how the staff managed to make such a delectable meal for 70 people while maintaining the dignity of live and nutritious foods, but they did. Many thanks to the Olive Room, David Wolfe, and Dimitris, the owner of the Agora Market (located on the first floor of the hotel), for putting together such and amazing feast for us all.

And lucky me, I head back to the Olive Room for another raw dinner in a week. Keep your eyes peeled for the next review!

How I kicked the flu in 24 hours

Frozen Wheatgrass
Frozen Wheatgrass

I’m not sure if I ever really had the flu before and if I have, it’s been quite some time. With the constant badgering from the government to get flu shots via commercials and other advertisements, it’s a wonder that people share a common fear of the dreaded flu.

I am anti-vaccine (a conversation we won’t get into right now), so needless to say, I did not get the flu shot. Nor have I ever gotten it for my son. So when the H1N1 arrived, let’s just say, I was a bit fearful.

Using my Nathan hydration backpack

Well without further ado, I managed to finally get the flu this past week, right in the first couple of days of June. Yup, it was 90 degrees outside and I was smacked with the flu virus. It started on a Saturday, I could feel what I thought were cold symptoms coming on. Sore throat, stuffy head, all things I had experienced before this season.

Admittedly, I’ve had a rough past few months, and lost my path of a good diet and nutrition. With the rise of a previous injury to my foot causing a lack of ability to run, my eating habits had gone south.

Stress from a divorce and child custody battle had caused me some emotional stress and I quickly started learning that I too (like most of my family) have an interest in emotional eating. I quickly packed on 15 pounds in a matter of months (just about 2), and my all around vested interest in good health had seemingly gotten lost.

So as soon as I started noticing symtoms of illness, I took no time to pop a few pills and medicate. I had a big work function approaching in a matter of days, and no time for illness. By Sunday night, I was sicker than I had felt in a long time. I was so bad that when I walked, I was dizzy. My breathing was heavy, my coughing caused an explosion of pain in my head, and the sheer thought of movement was dibilitating.

With a few words of advice from my boss (a raw foodie who is holistic and virtually against the use of drugs), I quickly realized that my approach was all wrong. I remembered a chapter the I had read Mayim Bialik‘s book, Beyond the Sling. She mentioned that the use of medication would only prolong an illness. That the drugs simply masked the symptoms and prevented the rapid healing that the body wanted to offer.

I made the decision in that moment, that I would stop the over-the-counters, and medicated holistically and alternatively through proper dietary choices. After all, ““Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”  “. And with this knowledge, there is truth.Green Lemonade

I started drinking a vegan sports hydration drink made by Vega. I juiced lemons (5 to be exact) and added it to water. I drank this a lot. I remembered when my boss was making a meal with lemons and as she squeezed the lemons in her hands, the juice squirted on her shirt, bleaching the color out of it. She had made the comment, “if the lemon juice could bleach my shirt, imagine how cleansing it is for your insides”. I kept this statement in my mind as I drank my lemon juice, and while it was pretty sour (I added no sweeteners), I know that it was healing.

In addition to the lemon juice, I made a green lemonade which I believe to be super healing I drank 2-3 of these for two days straight.

I used a dietary supplement called Sovereign Silver, a bio-active silver hydrosol. It’s an immune building and support supplement that can be taken in several forms. I purchased the nasal spray for immediate response by my system. (This product was recommended by my boss).

Recommended by my local organic market, I purchased a herbal cold and sinus blaster (store brand). They are drops that you add to water and tastes strongly of mint-very strongly. Some of the ingredients are horseradish root, echinacea, garlic, elderberry, cayenne fruit, licorce herb, and the list goes on. A dropper full of this in a glass of water, twice  day, helped to clear the mucus out. But boy was it a bit of a challange to drink.

I also purchased some elderberry cough drops with Zinc in them.

WheatgrassI recently read on Healthy Bitch Daily that wheatgrass is so magical, that it can virtual heal a hangover, so I thought, “why not?, maybe it will heal the flu too”. Wheatgrass is available in the grass form by the tray or in frozen cubes in your freezer section. I had the cubes, so I thawed out 4-6 of them and drank through 20 in two days. I have to admit, within a hours of consuming both the wheatgrass shots and my magic healing exlixar (the green lemonade), I was feeling major improvements.

Within 24 hours of using the above methods, I felt a huge difference. I ate no solids, simply juiced. It was like magic, I felt 90% better and just in time to throw together the big party for work!

Do you have any natural healing secrets? I would love to hear other experiences with natural healing through foods.

Happy Healing!

Mayim Bialik of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ on her book, work, and vegan lifestyle

Mayim BialikDepending on your age, you might remember her as a young Bette Midler of the 1989 film, “Beaches”. It was during my adolescent years of 1990-1995, that I watched Mayim as the star of the hit show Blossom. And if you are of a younger generation (or just hadn’t seen either of the previously mentioned), you may know her from the CBS sitcom, The Big Bang Theory.

I can remember watching Blossom and admiring her unique sense of style and down-to-earth personality. Who could have known 22 years ago, that I would one day have a chance to speak to Mayim?  The actress has just as unique a style and personality as the character which she portrayed.

In fact, it seems as though Mayim is able to relate to her characters rather well. In her current sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, Bialik plays a neurobiologist. What you might not know, is that Mayim has a PH.D. in Neuroscience. If you think that is coincidental, think again. The character Amy Farrah Fowler was given the role of scientist because of Mayim’s degree.

Mayim appeared on many other shows throughout her career including Seventh Heaven, Bones, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and many more.

Among her many talents, there is one that is most important; Mother. Bialik has a unique style of parenting that many might find hard to understand. She recently wrote a book, Beyond the Sling, a real-life guide to raising confident loving children the attachment parenting way, explaining aspects of Attachment Parenting (AP), which she and her husband have embraced.  Methods include Elimination Communication, Co-sleeping, and baby wearing just to name a few.

The reaction to this book has caused quit the frenzy. People seem to be up in arms over some of the approaches Bialik takes in parenting her two sons, Miles and Frederick.

I read this book cover to cover in a matter of days, and I must say, it all makes sense. ALL of it. I’m willing to bet the critics out there have yet to take the opportunity to read Beyond the Sling. Personally, I learned a great deal from Mayim’s book, and am thankful that she decided to share her own views with the public. It takes great courage to stand up proudly for what you believe, and Mayim has done so with grace.

Having said that, I have profound respect for Bialik as a mother and must admit, I find it shocking that other mothers out there have been so harsh in their judgments. As a mother, we take criticism for every little action we take and have all experienced what this feels like. It is my hope that people will learn from this book rather than critique.

With each word I read, I felt inspired to have more patience and become a better parent all around. So for this book, I am thankful. Oh and did I mention, Bialik is vegan?

Mayim was gracious enough to take the time to conduct an interview with me over the phone. Here is what she had to say:

I’d like to start out by saying that I grew up watching Blossom and absolutely loved that show. How have you managed to stay out of the negative aspects of the Hollywood scene unlike so many other stars that start out at a young age?

In general being a nerd, my parents really emphasized the importance of education.

On Veganism:

In your book, you mention that your mother would not feed you milk from other animals as a young child, but you weren’t raised vegan, is that right?

The Concept of vegan didn’t occur to her, vegan hadn’t reached Manhattan in 1974, but she knew out of primitive instinct not to feed us milk of another animal.

My parents became vegetarian a few years ago. They wanted an easier environment for their grandkids, to be able to eat whatever they had at their house and stuff like that.

When and why did you become vegan?

I had a taste aversion to meat at 19, and there were some foods I had never eaten since I was kosher at the time, like lobster or shellfish of any kind. I have always been an animal lover, and always felt guilty eating meat. I cut out dairy in college, and have never had sinus infections, or been on antibiotics since then. Before, I used to sneeze all the time. I dabbled in dairy a bit, and when my first son was born he was allergic to it from receiving it through my breast milk.  After my second son was born, I was still eating eggs until I read “Eating Animals”, and that was the end of that. I got my husband to read it and he went vegan not long ago. It has been about 4 years since I have been a total hard core vegan.

I don’t want to feel like I want to not do something but am not consistent enough to give something up and I don’t want to have to find out where the line is, I just erase the line altogether. For example, I don’t want to have to wonder if these eggs are free range, I just don’t eat them at all. (Her comment about “erasing the line” is my favorite by far!)

How do you explain veganism to Fred and Miles?

I just tell them that this is the way we eat. It’s what our pediatrician, and Mommy and Daddy believe grows the best bodies and brains for the two of them. I do not want them making comparisons to others and don’t want them to go around saying that we are healthier than others.

Our kids have broad interesting fantastic set of foods that we do eat; we love Asian, Mexican, and Italian foods, we definitely aren’t limited in our selections.

(Mayim told me about a vegan hostess type cupcake known as the “Faux-stress Cupcake” served at Real Food Daily, located in Southern California. After having had check out their website, it is now on my to-do list to check them out! Thanks Mayim!)

BEYOND THE SLING

I found this book to be so inspiring. What inspired you to write this book?

Thank you. I was not looking to write a book, I just became an accidental voice for attachment parenting. I am not a pediatrician of family therapist. My degree in Neuroscience helped, but most people that practice attachment parenting don’t have a degree in Neuroscience, and participate in AP because it’s what feels right.

In the book you talk about your “family room”, the bedroom that you and your husband share with your two boys. I am curious, how is it decorated?

We have bookcases and baskets for the boy’s clothes. We have never had one piece of baby furniture. The curtains are Japanese fabric-I love Japanese décor. Our marriage contract is on the wall, as is done in the Jewish community, and there is a Japanese wood cut and a painting of mother and baby that my husband’s grandmother painted.

Any kids stuff in there?

Not furniture-wise, but we have all of their books and dress-up clothes in baskets, and the toys are all in the living room. They also each get a drawer of a dresser for all of their “stuff”: key chains, small collectibles, etc.

Will you write another book?

Yes, another one is in the works, I think I still have a lot left to say.

I think you do too. Have you always written, or is this recent?

No, writing comes from my sense of humor and lack of ability to not be honest. I really only wrote in college for all of my papers. I work really well with small blocks of time. My husband will spend hours on a paper and get an A+, I won’t get an A+, and won’t spend hours on anything, but I can get a B and it works fine for me.

THE BIG BANG THEORY

You play the role of scientist in the show, but you really are a scientist. How has your degree in science helped you to relate to the role of Amy?

They made her a neurobiologist because I am a neuroscientist, I mainly use my own ideas for the character but also drew from a skit from SNL called “Good Morning Springfield”, showing three junior high students and featuring a really awkward girl played by Maya Rudolf

Do you watch the show?

Do you mean “Big Bang Theory”? It sounds like you mean SNL!

Yes, the Big Bang Theory.

No, I don’t like to watch myself.

What were you really thinking when you were caught on “What Not to Wear”?

I was thinking I couldn’t believe I had a whole week of shopping in front of me.

Did you enjoy it?

Yes, but I’m still not sure that I know how to throw an outfit together.

What advice do you have for couples that are separated, and just one parent is invested in attachment parenting or a vegan lifestyle?

There is nothing about attachment parenting that says anything about being divorced or single. We all have the idea of the ideal parent, and none of us get there. We all do what we can to make changes in our life.

I know people that practice AP and have their kids in school or day care or are single parents.

There are not really any rules about attachment parenting in that sense.

If you could give one piece of advice to parents, what would it be?

Listen to yourself, you are your child’s expert not anyone else

What is the most important lesson you want your children to learn?

I’m not perfect, no one’s perfect. My actions remind them of that all the time.

I felt so inspired by so many things Bialik had to say and appreciate the sharing of her own personal lifestyle. I highly recommend reading, Beyond the Sling, for all parents of children both young and old.

The Big Bang Theory airs on Thursday nights on CBS at 8 Eastern time.

For more about Mayim, check out her website

View Beyond the Sling, a real-life guide to raising confident loving children the attachment parenting way.

Photo credit- Denise Herrick Borchert

Raw Chocolate Cake

Raw Chocolate CakeThis cake is so rich and delicious. Make sure you have a few people to share it with, you won’t be able to finish it on your own (although I could, but I won’t). It is so insanely delicious, it is like a combination of cheesecake and fudge, it’s blissful. I think I need to remove it from my house right now, otherwise my hips may be yelling at me in a few days.

Crust Ingredients

Mix all ingredients until it is doughy. Press into a round cake pan lined with plastic wrap or parchment. A springfoam pan works best, making it easy to pop out the cake once it is ready. Refrigerate while preparing the filling.

Filling ingredients

  • 2 cups cocoa powder Raw Chocolate Cake
  • 3/4 cup agave
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup of coconut butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon Lucuma powder

Fruit of your choosing (I used strawberries)

Combine ingredients until smooth and creamy. Pour onto crust, add fruit on top, and return to refrigerator.

(my 4 year old son took on the job of mixing)

The cake is ready once firm.

Raw Chocolate Cake

Blossom

Located in Chelsea, New York this seemingly hidden vegan restaurant provides an elegant setting without the extravagant prices.

If you aren’t looking for the exact address, you might just miss this hidden jewel.

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Blossom was recommended by my cousin that lives close to Manhattan, but is a carnivore by all means, so I wasn’t sure at all what to expect.

I must say, I was in for a surprise, and so was my cousin (not only a carnivore, but a bit anti-veggie).

Check out the delectable menu we were fortunate enough to enjoy:

We each ordered a starter to split. I, the Seitan Empanadas and my cousin, the Black-eyed Pea Cake- crispy cake of Yukon gold potatoes, black eyed peas, chipotle aioli.

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For the main course, I decided (after much decision making, everything sounded so amazing!) on the Pistachio & Pepper Dusted Tofu (I’m a huge fan of pistachios!)
(root vegetable crepe, lemon truffle emulsion, frisée in red beet vinaigrette)

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Rob opted for the Seitan Scaloppini (pan-seared seitan cutlets, white wine, lemon & caper sauce garlic mashed potatoes, sautéed kale)

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Dessert was just divine. We shared the Lavender Coconut Crème Brulée and the Chocolate Cake (?), couldn’t find this on the menu when I checked their website.

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Definitely check out Blossom if you are ever in New York. They have three locations to choose from.

Cheese Mites and Maggots | NutritionFacts.org

Cheese Mites and Maggots | NutritionFacts.org.

Mites, Anal Suckers, and Maggots in your cheese? Might not be so hard to give up after all!

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