Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
We went to the clinic for the egg retrieval. It was a tad stressful because once they ensured, via sonogram, that my follicle was indeed still there and large (holding the egg), I wanted to make sure they grabbed the egg while it was still there waiting.
I went upstairs to get in the hospital attire and wait with some other women. Women came and went and I was still sitting there after what seemed like forever. All the while, I was willing my egg to stay put until the doctor could take it out of me. Then, while some other ladies and myself were sitting in the pre-op waiting room, there was a TV showing CNN, and guess what they were featuring at that moment? A story about an EMBRYO MIXUP from a fertility procedure in Ohio. YIKES! Not something a bunch of women awaiting egg retrieval or embryo transfer need to see. Thankfully, I opted for the minimal amount of valium so that I didn’t lose my egg sitting right there watching that – lol. I almost passed on the valium, but decided it was important to be as relaxed as possible and the valium would help that. I had it last time they did the retrieval of multiple eggs. So, the nurse gave me the smallest dosage this time since we were just retrieving one egg. I’m usually quite the anti-drug girl, but there are times when I think they’re warranted… like fertility adventures.
Then, it was my turn. I practically jumped out of the recliner and skipped to the procedure room when my name was called. They double checked my identity (whew). And, I hopped up onto the table, put my legs in the stirrups and waited for the doctor. What came next I was a little unprepared for. You see, last time I had the procedure done, like I said, I had valium (probably a normal dosage, i.e. higher than what I had today) and I had been taking a strong anti-inflammatory prescription drug for a few days prior to the procedure. This time, I was instructed to take 600 mg of over-the-counter ibuprofin twice before the retrieval (12 hours apart). What I’m trying to get at is that this single egg retrieval was a little painful. Like… ouch! Sure, I’ve had worse pain before in my life, but this was a pokey kind of needle-like pain. Perhaps last time it felt the same when getting the multiple eggs, but I didn’t care because of the larger valium dosage I was on. That’s all I can come up with because I could definitely feel it this round.
BUT! It’s all worth it so far… we successfully retrieved my egg! YAY!!!! They’ll fertilize it today and let me know tomorrow if fertilization was successful. Then, we’ll let it grow until day 5 and transfer it into my uterus on Sunday. Yippee!
After the procedure, I felt like celebrating. So, off to Cafe Blossom we went. Yum Yum. We had a delicious lunch and as we were walking out, something cool happened. Someone recognized me from my blog. James, as I soon learned was his name, recognized me and called my name. My first thought was, “Aw geez… I’m wearing frumpy ass clothing.” Nonetheless! I was so happy to meet a fellow raw foodie who followed my blog – HOW FUN! He was such a nice guy and we chatted it up for a bit. Truly, apart from my big exciting fertility procedure, this was the next highlight of my day. Thanks for speaking up, James! :)
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
I’m still in New York (and loving it!) with plans to get back to sunny Arizona some time next week. Today, though, we had some sun. Yippee! Here’s a brief recap of vegan foodie heaven, NY style.
A couple nights ago we went back to Cafe Blossom (you all know this is my favorite place by now), and this time I went Raw. I had an enormous salad piled high with spring greens, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, jicama, and avocado (I love that everything there is organic!). It was delish! Then, I also had an order of their Raw Autumn Sweet Potato Rolls. Oh! And, of course, I had a large Field of Greens green juice (spinach, cucumber, apple, lemon, and ginger). I was feeling alive and on cloud 9 with so much organic raw food goodness. The food was fabulous, the atmosphere was wonderful and the staff, as usual, were awesome. (We’re going back there for dinner tonight!)
Another night we ventured out to Pure Food & Wine. I adore Pure. But, this particular dining experience was not our best visit to this great restaurant. I had the taco salad, which was pretty good. I especially like the portion size. I also had a very green juice that caused me to make faces when drinking it (you know, like when you do a shot of vodka or something), but I’m a hard core girl and I appreciate mega green juices so that was good. Bring on the greens! My husband had the lasagna and here is where there was some disappointment. The cheese was hard around the edges and dark yellowish like it had been sitting out or perhaps sitting in the refrigerator uncovered. The overall dish just didn’t look very fresh. Maybe someone who isn’t accustomed to raw nut cheeses might not have noticed this, but I wouldn’t have served it like that. All three of us at the table were quite surprised given Pure’s reputation. When it came time for dessert, I was oh-so tempted to get my favorite thing there: Mallomar! But, I ended up ordering the Peach Cobbler. It was pretty good. The flavors were extremely intense, making the super small portion actually not a bad thing. Overall, my husband and I liked it, the presentation was beautiful, it had unique flavors, and I loved the fresh peaches. But, I wish I had ordered the Mallomars; those are wickedly amazing.
Fast forward to today. My husband and I went for vegan (mostly raw) sandwiches at a little deli near our hotel. These sandwiches are loaded to the gills with fresh veggies, sprouts, avocado, etc. Well, I left my purse there! Doh! We were walking back to the hotel, when we decided to stop into Cafe Blossom for some green juice and raw cookies for dessert. We were there a good 15 minutes before I realized I didn’t have my purse!!! I said to my husband, “OMG! Wait here!” I ran out the door like a bat outta hell, and, in the process, I basically ran over a guy as he was going into Cafe Blossom. I ran like crazy back to the sandwich shop and found my purse – WHEW! – and then headed back to Cafe Blossom. As I was walking in, the guy I ran over was leaving. Apparently though, after I ran him over, he walked into the restaurant and exclaimed in front of my husband, “Did you see that lady running?” Turns out it was Matt Dillon. Ha! But, that’s not the only star enjoying the delectable food of Cafe Blossom. Currently, Ann Hathoway is doing Shakespeare in the Park and she’s been eating there like twice a day. Told you it was awesome!
We’re still in New York (it’s been almost three weeks) and we’ve extended our trip. I still have many restaurants to try and things to do. This week we have on the itinerary: Bonobos (Raw Vegan), SproutCraft (Raw Vegan with some fermented foods), walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, tons more green juice at Liquiteria, more Pure Food & Wine (ehem… mallomars!), a possible dinner at Rockin’ Raw in Brooklyn, and more visits to my favorite restaurant in the city Blossom (upper west side location).
Speaking of Blossom… tonight we met Gena (Choosing Raw) for dinner there. My husband opted for green juice and the soy bacon cheeseburger with Cajun sweet potato fries. I had a green juice and then went for a more macrobiotic approach: organic tofu (plain), gently steamed kale, and a side of their ”holy shit, this stuff is the bomb!” potato salad. (OK, that’s not really the name of it, but it’s what I call it.) For Gena’s dinner choice, she took the ultimate high road and went Raw with an enormous salad and an order of their raw sweet potato rolls appetizer.
Well, my husband and I had been kind of holed up in the hotel room for the day making calls and working, without much food other than my container of organic prunes from Whole Foods (gotta poop when you travel and prunes do the job!) and a smooshed berry flavored Vega bar. Seriously, guys, the Vega bars are just not that great. I love the ingredients and pretty much eat them just so I can have a quick snack with nutrients. But, do people seriously taste test these recipes before mass producing them? Did they try it and say to themselves, “This is actually good and people will love it.” I have my doubts. Don’t get me wrong… I love Brendan Brazier. I love Vega’s EFA oil. I love Sequel Naturals chlorella tablets. I cannot stand the vega meal shake. And, the bars? I tolerate the berry flavored bars. But the chocolate ones? Bleh… they sometimes taste like soap to me.
Anyway, I did not intend for the post to go on about Vega. Back to dinner. So, my husband and I basically only had prunes all day. We were famished by the time it came to dinner. I was in no mood for a salad because I didn’t think it would satisfy me. But, damn. I tell ya… when Gena’s plates came and all of the live raw food was in front of her, I was insanely envious. Her salad was huge and beautiful. The rolls, which I’ve had before, looked amazing. Yes, my food filled me up as hoped (and it was good), but I wish I would have gone Raw. Next time! Oh! And, Gena is such a sweetheart. She surprised me with roses for my birthday.
Funny story… so, it’s been raining pretty much non-stop since
we arrived. It’s the most bizarre weather for NY during this time of year. We literally have had about 2 days with some sun. And, all I brought for shoes are Crocs. You know, the shoes with holes in them that are basically made for wearing near water and are super comfy. Well, wearing shoes durable near water at the ocean or on a yacht is one thing. Wearing these through New York City with muddy puddles (while crossing Central Park) or disgusting dirty pools of water underground while walking from subway to subway is another thing. It’s really nasty. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and bought a pair of super cool rain boots. I was happy. I was proud. And, my tootsies were finally warm and toasty nestled inside my fancy new red rain boots. My attitude was GRRR! Bring On The Rain and my husband was calling me Wonder Woman (fitting now that I’m a brunette). I felt cool. It wasn’t until many hours later, after walking around in them all day, that I realized I had the enormous tag hanging out of the back of them. I am such a dork.
As most of you know, I usually follow a diet and lifestyle that is HRAV (high raw, all vegan) and always as organic as possible. The rest of the time, I go all raw. But… there are times, like now (traveling in NY), that I’m loving up both the Raw and the Cooked Vegan. I’m a foodie at heart. And, in NY, I’m surrounded by tons of vegan restaurants (some which offer Raw options) as well as a handful of Raw restaurants, and I can’t help but joyfully indulge. I’m like a kid in a candy store out here. I want to try everything! But, even though I’m eating a fair share of cooked organic vegan food, I’m drinking lots of fresh green juice to keep my cells happy and dancing. Again, easy to do in NY because so many places offer it. (Oh, and we’re taking digestive enzymes to help our digestion).
So, without further ado…. here are some details about our foodie adventures.
Our hotel is one block away from a place called Blossom. I’ve briefly written about it before here, and I need to write about it more. It’s organic vegan cuisine with a few raw options on the menu. The raw options are indeed very good, and the cooked vegan food is awesome as well. The staff is amazing and super cool. And… the green juice is mega delish (I’m in love with Field of Greens juice and have it almost daily). Needless to say, we’ve been spending a lot of time at Blossom.
Tuesday afternoon we went to the east village because later in the evening we were going to meet Gena (my new great friend) for dinner at Caravan of Dreams. We arrived in the area quite early so that we could walk around and check out Liquiteria (a super popular, wicked cool juice bar) and some other places. Liquiteria is hands-down awesome. They had a huge refrigerator full of organic Norwalk pressed juices – can you say HEAVEN? (And, they’re less expensive than One Lucky Duck’s pressed “to-go” juices.) I immediately bought one and chugged it down. Aahhh! Yum.
Then, we started walking down the street toward a neat farmers’ market, when I noticed a place called Stogo (pronounced stoe-go). I was instantly drawn to it because it said Gourmet Organic Vegan ice cream. Even though we were scheduled to have dinner about an hour and half later… I couldn’t resist. There’s this part of me that gets so excited seeing a business that is both organic and vegan, and frankly, I want to give them my business. I want to support them. “OK, twist my arm” (my husband says – haha) “let’s have vegan ice cream before dinner.” So, we did. It was phenomenal.
I admit though, that by the time we met Gena for dinner, I was stuffed (and I had only eaten a small ice cream – what the heck?). But, being the foodie that I am… I made room in my tummy for more great food at Caravan of Dreams. This place is fantastic. The inside is cozy, warm, and dim. They have plenty of raw options on the menu as well as tons of cooked vegan. It’s mostly organic as well. I decided to have two soups for dinner. One raw. One miso. The miso was very good. It was a big bowl packed full of veggies and miso broth. The raw soup was fabulous… oh my goodness gracious… the raw soup was fresh, clean, and so good. I would get it again and again and again if I lived here. I also ordered a crazy swamp-like kombucha drink that I actually was just not hard core enough to finish. I gave it to my husband. It was…. pretty ick. I mean, doesn’t it look swam-like in that glass? The ingredients were: fresh raw organic kombucha, aloe, spirulina, fresh green juice.
After dinner, Gena and I ordered some yummy tea. It was called “The Good For Everything Tea” made of ginger, cayenne pepper, lemon, and goji berries(?).
I knew that I had to have more of the raw soup though, so before leaving I ordered a bowl to go and ate it in the hotel room later that night. The ingredients: avocado, young thai coconut, and sea salt. That’s it. It’s fab! (Those are little flax crackers they gave to eat along with the soup. Not as crazy about those.)
Because of all of the food we ate Tuesday, we decided to fast a bit for the first part of the day while we visited the Museum of Natural History. Then, after the museum, we went and ate dinner at Blossom (again). After being on our feet all day at the museum, we didn’t want to venture far (and hello, we were starving!) so we stayed close to home and went for a great dinner and green juice at Blossom.
We went back to the east village for the afternoon. We found a very cool place called Cosmic Cantina. They’re open until 5am (my kind of place) and they serve all organic, all veg burritos, salads, and fresh citrus juices. Sweet! We stopped in and split a macro burrito which had a homemade whole wheat tortilla, brown rice, broccoli, tamari, and adzuki beans. It was quite good. Very clean tasting. If we get another chance, I’d like to drop by and try something else of theirs… maybe at 3am.
After that, I was craving my green juice. Since we were in Liquiteria proximity, we made a mad dash for them. I chugged down an awesome alkalizing green juice and bought two more for the hotel room later. That’s a picture of it in an ice bucket, staying chilled. It’s soooo good.
My husband has been looking forward to the release of the new movie “Moon” and it happens to be currently showing in both NY and LA. Score! We’re in NY! So, we went and saw Moon. It was weird and very good. A groovy story. After the movie, we tried another restaurant that I had on my list, Angelica Kitchen. We had sandwiches, miso soup, and kuchika tea. The tea hit the spot. It’s been raining pretty much non stop since we arrived in NY and the tea was nice, soothing, and warm.
We have many other places that we want to try… stay tuned for more raw and vegan foodie adventures in New York.
Thursday, June 11th, 2009
Today was a cloudy day in NY (many of them have been) so it felt like a good day to take the Kindle2 to Starbucks and enjoy some warm tea. I haven’t used my Kindle2 since I arrived so I was excited about checking out the new books I recently added to it. However, once we arrived at Starbucks and I was all nestled in my chair, warm tea in hand, I opened my Kindle cover and was met with: “Your battery is empty.” See in the photo to the right… the picture of the batter is EMPTY! Bummer. And, I hadn’t even been using it, so I’m not sure how this happened. Oh well. I just drank my tea and we “people watched” through the window. Good times.
Later in the day we ate a late lunch at Cafe Blossom – I am LOVING that place. I enjoy the Raw items, the cooked vegan foods, and the fresh organic juices they have. YUM! As I sit in the hotel writing this past 10pm, I’m wishing very badly that it was early enough to go grab some of their green juice and an order of their (Raw) Autumn Sweet Potato Rolls. All I have in the room is water and a Vega bar (chocolate) and if you followed my Twitter and FB update earlier today, you know that sometimes I don’t like those bars because they taste like soap?!? Hence, my apprehension to tear into the lone bar sitting by the TV across the room.
-A new Organic Trade Association report reveals sales of organic products in 2008 grew 17.1% over the previous year. Organic food sales grew more than three times the rate of nonorganic food sales.
-According to the Journal of Applied Nutrition, organically grown fruits and vegetables have significantly higher nutritional content than conventional produce: “Organically grown apples, wheat, sweet corn, potatoes and pears were examined over a 2 year period and were 63% higher in calcium, 73% higher in iron, 118% higher in magnesium, 178% higher in molybdenum, 91% higher in phosphorus, 125% higher in potassium and 60% higher in zinc than conventionally grown produce.” In addition, organic meats were not only found to be leaner, but also have about five times the omega-3s.
-In a conventional diet, we are exposed to over 70 pesticide-related pollutants on a daily basis. A recent 2009 report found that switching to an organic diet reduces pesticide exposure by over 95%.
-The Environmental Working Group published a list of the 12 most pesticide ridden foods based on 87,000 tests. Nectarines, peaches, apples, strawberries and imported grapes topped the list. The most pesticide-free non-organic produce includes onions, avocados, and sweet corn.
And… last but not least… a recipe of mine was featured in VegNews Recipe Club email newsletter today (my recipe for Teriyaki Noodles). Go to VegNews.com to subscribe.