The one thing I hear again and again as I talk to people starting out on the plant-based path is how lonely the journey is. Many people find themselves with no one to get advice from or share experiences with. To avoid this, you have to seek out and build the community of people who share your values and experiences.
Most New Yorkers, including myself, are lucky enough to live in an area with access to quality supermarkets that offers a wide variety of fruits and vegetables from all over the world, in and out of season, as well as farmers markets, community supported agriculture clubs, food cooperatives, and other alternative food buying models.
Winter is one of my least favorite seasons. While I do like cold, crisp days (that's what autumn is for!), I do not like frigid temps, numb extremities, and bundling up. But today the weather is loverly and I'm looking forward to getting outside for a walk in a bit.
Planning meals for yourself can be daunting, especially if you’re cooking for one. Eating alone can also make it easier for you to choose less than healthy meals or ready-to-eat meals that don’t give you much in the way of nutritional value or quality. So instead of opting for takeout, frozen dinners, cereal, or even ice cream, consider hosting regular potlucks. Potlucks are a great way to catch up with friends over a meal that doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Here are 8 tips for planning consistent and successful weekly or monthly get-togethers:
I live, work, and play in Brooklyn, except when I’m living, working, and playing somewhere in the Hudson Valley. I spend so little time in Manhattan (or any of the other boros for that matter) that this blog probably shouldn’t be called blended “nyc”. :o/
this is a guest post
While many people say that you can't run away from trouble, a growing number of people find that relocation therapy is the best answer to their problems. In fact, moving can be just the thing to change one's life dramatically--for the good. It may be just the old story of a small town girl moving to the big city, but when you see the beauty of NY real estate and Central Park, it may be just the thing to change your life entirely. Many cities have that kind of effect. Consider Silicon Valley for example. Tons of computer geeks, tech nerds and entrepreneurs created a place where almost anyone can get a job if they're motivated enough.
Simone Turner, Certified Health Coach and fellow Institute for Integrative Nutrition Grad is like me when it comes to our blender recipes - we don't have any!
Transition foods like soy burgers, texturized vegetable protein (TVP), soya chunks, seitan, crumbles, and the countless other fake meats out there may satisfy our emotional attachments to their animal counterparts, but these are highly processed foods that have little nutritional value.
The most interesting (and highly annoying) observation you’ll make is the number of nutrition and food “experts” you’ll encounter as you make your transition to a plant-based diet. It will seem as though the people around you will have acquired degrees and certifications in healthy eating, nutrition, and vegetarian diets OVERNIGHT. Everyone: Friends, family, and strangers alike, will take a sudden interest in your eating and food buying habits and drive you crazy as they point out health concerns, inconsistencies, the latest nutrition and diet studies, “what vegetarians eat” or don’t eat, their own personal dietary philosophy, and other unsolicited opinions.
Cooking fosters self-sufficiency and helps you hone lost skills and academic subjects like hand/eye coordination, motor function, reading comprehension, fractions, chemistry, time management, and focus.
This hearty, crumb-topped main dish will serve six people generously, and still leave plenty to freeze in small portions for easy weeknight suppers. Using dried beans gives the dish superior texture and the beans a chance to soak up all the flavors of the garlic and herbs. 1 ½ lb. dried cannellini beans 6 sprigs plus 1 ½ Tbs. chopped fresh thyme, divided 3 sprigs plus 3 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley, divided ½ medium onion, unpeeled, plus 1 large onion, diced 2 cups 3 whole cloves ½ large or 1 medium fennel bulb, stalks and fronds reserved; bulb quartered and diced 2 cups 12 cloves garlic 6 cloves peeled and halved; 6 cloves minced, divided 3 Tbs. olive oil, divided 2 cups diced carrots 1 tsp. white wine vinegar ¾ cup coarsely grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese, divided 1 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
Transitioning to a plant-based diet doesn’t have to be all or nothing, and it certainly won’t happen overnight, in a month, or even three months. It’s important to remember that wherever you are right now in your life, you’ve had X amount of years of a specific relationship with food, and that you are now reframing that relationship.
Organic Soul Chef Madea Allen is a professionally trained whole foods & community foods chef and health coach working in private practice in NYC. She's also a good friend and colleague.
Now that it's getting colder, it's all about the warm beverages baby!
I've started back up with the Yogi Tea chai (herbs + assam tea) and I usually add half & half, but after ordering about ten pounds of raw almonds from my buying club, I figured it was time to make some milk (and cookies. Flourless almond butter cookies, yeah!). After my previous almond milk experiment, I decided that the 1:3 almond to water ratio was a good bet, blanched when I'm not being lazy, and sea salt (important!).
Of course I'd find a way to squeeze green smoothies into the NY Locavore Challenge and here's one just for us NYers!
Apples have started making their appearance at our farmers markets and are the best time to experience all the varieties available in New York State (over 100).
I never cease to be amazed and amused by how much people complain about NYC: it’s too dirty, there are too many people, too many lights, too many potholes, too many homeless, too many tourists, too expensive, blah, blah, blah. Well, if it’s too much for you, then why are you still here? Get the fuck outta here already and move to someplace else! And then it will be less complaining about all of that stuff because you and your like (and your stuff) will be gone.
This is a guest post.
In many ways, I close myself off to life in all its fullness.
I close myself off to others, as a form of self defense.
It happens to all of us. When you left yourself open in the early part of your life, you likely would get hurt from time to time. That pain taught us to close ourselves off in different ways: don’t let others in, use humor to keep some distance, hurt others before they hurt you, back away from anything new, and so on.
I close myself off, and miss the world. I miss out on life when I do that.
I’m keeping it pretty simple for the recipes that are going into the Vitamix for this challenge by focusing on the food of the day and going to my neighborhood farmers market or my buying club to source ingredients.