Monday, September 21st, 2009
Kristen in daiya
, green smoothies
, new hope fertility center
, new york
, the daily show
, upper west side
, vegan cheese
, westerly market
, whole foods market
During our last trip to New York (in June 2009), we stayed at the Excelsior hotel in the Upper West Side. As a result, our room was quite small (I like to remember it as “quaint”) and there was no refrigeration. So, we ate all of our meals out and we referred to the meal part of our trip as a “vegan food safari.”
This trip is a little different. Since we’re staying in a nice apartment with a kitchen (and a huge refrigerator), we’ve been having at least one of our meals “home” everyday. We stocked up once at Whole Foods Market (I was not impressed with their organic produce, or their Raw section, at this location) and another time we shopped at Westerly Natural Market (they have a nice Raw section of goodies and ingredients, and the produce section is OK… what’s with all the fruit flies in these small NY markets???). Both times we walked from the UWS to Midtown for the shopping to get plenty of exercise (I love to walk every chance I get). My legs and butt are definitely getting a workout. Between walking to New Hope Fertility on the Upper East Side and the markets in Midtown, we’re clocking about 4-7 miles a day. It feels awesome!
Here is a picture of a delicious organic salad I made the other night that we gobbled up while watching The Daily Show. It had 2 avocados, 1 red bell pepper, 1 orange bell pepper, 2 stalks celery, 1/4 bunch cilantro, lime juice, and sea salt. It was so damn good!
I’ve been making organic green smoothies almost daily to make sure we still get plenty of greens in our diet. Most of them have been banana, dinosaur kale, and lime juice (the vitamin C in the lime helps the iron in the kale get assimilated). But, for the next couple of days, I’m going to make apple, curly kale, and lime juice. We’ve also been having almond butter / banana sandwiches, Raw cereal (GoRaw) and nut milk, and we’ve snacked on fresh fruit, dates, prunes, sprouted / dehydrated sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and coconut yogurt.
Of course, we’ve been eating some meals at one of our favorite restaurants, Blossom Cafe. It was so fun walking in there the first time. Everyone immediately recognized and welcomed us, as if we hadn’t been gone for even a day. We had lunch there and I enjoyed their Raw Autumn Sweet Potato Rolls and one of their huge green salads. I should’ve taken pictures but I was famished and dove in head first. Even the server marveled at how fast the Raw sweet potato rolls disappeared. My husband gobbled up their soy bacon cheeseburger, and we found out that they are using a new cheese by the company Daiya. Check it out. It’s pretty awesome. It melts great and is dairy free, soy free, and gluten free. I was impressed.
Last but not least, here is a picture of the view from our apartment at sunset. With a view like this, it makes it hard to leave the apartment.
In my next post, I’ll update you on the progress of our fertility adventure.
Friday, September 18th, 2009
Here is a quick tour of the apartment we’re renting in NY. Check back this weekend for a video of the cool delivery I just received today (hint: it has something to do with RAW FOOD!).
*Update: Hhhmm… just watched this after I posted it. Blogger is not giving me the best quality for the video (or maybe it’s just me?). I opted not to post this on YouTube because I thought I’d keep it just for my blog.
Thursday, September 17th, 2009
We arrived in New York safely. I love flying Jet Blue. They have Direct TV / movies and XM radio. They offer plenty of complimentary bottled water and snacks (although I passed on those because they’re not particularly healthy, ehem). We also opted to purchase seats with extra leg room, which was especially nice for my husband. And, we arrived in NY about 20 minutes early.
Here we are at the airport before departure. We checked our luggage, and mine just barely squeaked by, weighing in at 49.5 pounds. Yikes. I’m guessing the culprit is my Blendtec blender. A Raw girl’s gotta do what a Raw girl’s gotta do! Although I love my Vita-Mix 5200 (read my blog post reviewing the Blendtec vs Vita-mix), that thing is a monster in size and weight, so if I travel and have a kitchen accessible then I like taking my Blendtec. But, if I’m in a hotel room, then I like taking this awesome travel blender.
For my carry on backpack I came prepared with plenty of fresh Raw vegan foods for the flight. Ummm…. apparently I couldn’t wait for the flight before my stomach started grumbling so I’m munching away on an organic carrot here, while waiting to board the plane. I also packed a cucumber, red bell pepper, celery, prunes, Garlic Basil Chia Crisps, and an apple.
Here is a pic of some things I packed… water filter, sponge, glass mason jars, protein shaker bottles, Sun Warrior’s Raw Rice Protein Powder, as well as raw cashews, supplements, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, LOTS of prunes (you know the travel thing and making sure you’re pooping), dates, chia seeds, raspberry leaf tea, Dr. Bronner soap, and more. I wanted to make sure I had some stuff from home so I didn’t have to buy everything when we arrived. You can guess my luggage on the trip back will be considerably lighter. Too bad we’re not flying home for it to matter.
We’re going to have an awesome (long) drive home through the south, stopping off in Florida for a quick visit with my father-in-law as well as my friend in Texas (whom I met online), and she has MONKEYS!!!!! And, they love my Raw vegan recipes… check it out here. It can’t hurt to be around monkeys while I’m trying to get my own little Monkey to “stick” right?
We arrived at the apartment we rented and were very happy with it. It’s gorgeous. Small (of course, it’s New York), but gorgeous. We’re staying in an apartment in Trump’s Heritage building on the Hudson River. Here’s our living room. We have a nice kitchen with a huge refrigerator so I plan on shopping at Whole Foods today. Will share more pics and video soon.
Possible changes to our fertility plan. (I love this photo. I grabbed it from a blog discussing a documentary, A Child Against All Odds, but I can’t find the blog now.)
As you know, we came here with the intent on transferring a frozen embryo. But, while at the doctor’s office yesterday, where they did a sonogram of my ovaries and uterus, I inquired about the egg that I’m about to release naturally in the next few days. I thought it would be a waste to just let it go and asked whether we shouldn’t grab that egg while we’re here, fertilize it, and transfer it back this trip, if it makes it to 5 days successfully in the petri dish… and leave the frozen embryos in my “embryo bank” for future use (or to use on this trip in the event that the fresh retrieval doesn’t work). I’m all about getting as many healthy eggs at my young-ish age while I can, so I can store them for future attempts (whether for this first child or the next child), therefore giving me a better chance for success.
The doctor agreed that we could try that. We’ll see how things go. I’m due back at New Hope Fertility on Saturday for another sonogram and blood work to see if we can do this or if we should just proceed with the frozen transfer.
Monday, September 14th, 2009
The time is coming for another chance at having a baby…. exciting!!! We’re heading to New York this week for a frozen embryo transfer at New Hope Fertility Center. It’s one of those shown in the picture to the right. Aren’t they cool looking?
It’s been a great month. I’ve had the time to fully research the vaccine issue. I’ve eaten a super clean, HRAV (high raw, all vegan) diet. I’ve exercised by strength training and doing some cardio. I’ve had time to listen to many visualization CDs about birthing, infertility, etc. I’ve become a pro at deep breathing. I’ve made progress on new Kristen’s Raw projects (I’m bubbling over with excitement about them). And, I’m ecstatic and ready for the next attempt at becoming a mom.
I’ll keep you posted about the trip (fertility stuff, food and restaurants, and overall adventures in the Big Apple) through my blog here (I’ll do some videos from NY!), as well as Facebook and Twitter. Wish us luck!
PS. A special shout out to my mom (many of you know her through Facebook – Susan Sunny Larson – if you’re not friends with her there, you’re missing out on some serious humor. Although, be warned, she’s beautifully intense – haha). Mom is taking care of our home and dog while we’re gone. Thanks mom!!!
For those of you who don’t know the back story, feel free to check out these blog posts:
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.
Wednesday, June 17th, 2009
Sunday we went to Quintessence for a raw vegan brunch. We’d heard from different people that we had to try the “bagel and cream cheese.” So, off we went on a mini-raw adventure.
I immediately liked the Quintessence when we walked in. It was a delightful place with an interior that was bright, clean, and cheerful. And, the service was superb.
I started my meal with a large glass of fresh organic Green Juice, and it was fabulous. BIG YUM! Then, I went on to have the bagel and cream cheese. It was pretty good. The cheese had a nice flavor, and although the (kamut) bagel part was hard to bite into, I still enjoyed it.
My husband had the “fofu” (a raw version of tofu). Specifically, he chose the “Fofu Benedict.” They nailed it with the raw tofu, by making something that mimicked the cooked version. Regular cooked tofu is flavorless with a unique texture. Quintessence offered the exact same, but Raw. My husband’s fofu was served on the same type of kamut “bread” as my bagel, and topped with a raw vegan hollandaise sauce.
After the meal we enjoyed a cup of teeccino. Finally! We found a place serving our favorite herbal coffee. My husband had his teeccino black, while I opted for some raw nut milk in mine. It was the perfect ending to our brunch.
Saturday, June 13th, 2009
Friday was a fun day. Even though it started with clouds, we actually had the sun peak out for about 3 seconds. I am hopeful that tomorrow will be even better.
We started the day with tea in our hotel room. Then, we scooted our butts to the subway so we could go to Union Square where they have a green market (farmer’s type market) every Friday. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any fresh produce that was calling my name though (I needed fruit that could sit without refrigeration in our hotel room. So, we ended up going to Whole Foods and getting (organic) bananas, apples, and cherries.
When I’m traveling, I like to have plenty of fresh, organic Raw vegan snacks on hand in the hotel room. (Later, I put the cherries in a bag, in our hotel room’s ice bucket, with some ice and water to keep them chilled. Of course, I didn’t keep them there very long because we ate them around dinner time. And, I used the same set up to keep my Norwalk juice cold until I drank that baby down!)
But, before going to Whole Foods, we met Michelle for a juice at One Lucky Duck (I’ve fast become a regular there – wish they had one of those punch cards “Buy 10 Drinks, Get One Free!” That’d be sa-weet. Or better yet, “Buy 10 Mallomars, Get One Free!” – A girl can dream, right?). My husband and I arrived at One Lucky Duck early, so we each had a smoothie (Blue Sunset) and it was really good. Then, when Michelle arrived, I had some fresh plant blood (Green Spice: greens, lemon, ginger) while Michelle had the Hot Pink (beet, pear, pineapple, ginger) and she had a Mallomar. She took her time enjoying her Mallomar and actually made it last for about 15 minutes… taking small bites using a fork. So unlike me; I tear into one of those things with my hands and it’s gone, seriously, in 2-3 bites (usually about 1 minute). Before we left, I grabbed a Norwalk One Lucky Duck green juice to go (seen in the pic with apples, bananas, and cherries above). The Norwalk juice is great because it has a little bit of a shelf life, due to the extraction process, and as long as I can keep the juice chilled, I can store it for a day or two before drinking it (although, I always drink it the day I buy it).
It has been so fun meeting all of these different people in the city. My husband and I were saying how everyone we’ve met here has been so nice… even just people on the street. New York has been very welcoming to us. Thank you, New York!
Today is Friday and it’s another gloomy day in NY. I seriously thought today would be the day that I bust open the drapes upon waking and there’d be sunshine pouring through the windows, but no, it’s completely foggy and overcast again. Are we in Seattle? The constant drizzle is… well, so constant.
Here is my High Raw food intake for Thursday.
I started the day with a cup of herbal tea and a bowl of steel cut oatmeal with a splash of organic soy milk (no, I don’t mind organic soy milk in small quantities from time to time). We had a business breakfast meeting and I’m just not crazy about fruit in a “diner” setting. I’d rather have something “cooked” and low-fat vegan in a setting like that. Then, for most of the afternoon I drank water.
Evening time rolled around and we went to One Lucky Duck. I started my meal with a fresh organic plant blood (greens, lemon, ginger). One of the biggest things I miss when traveling is fresh organic plant blood (green juice), but when you’re in NY there are quite a few options (yay!).
Then, I had the Taco Salad. It was pretty good, although quite heavy with having not only guacamole, nut sour cream, and nut meat, but also a lot of dressing on it. Even though I would prefer less dressing, I’d still probably get the salad again someday if I were really hungry.
Finally… it was dessert time. Oh, the desserts at One Lucky Duck. I’m instantly transported into heaven every time. I started my dessert feast with one of my favorites, the Mallomar. But upon taking my second bite, I dropped it on the floor! Crap! I was so bummed. No “five second” rule here, friends, the floor was not very clean considering it’d been raining all day and people were trekking through the place with wet, dirty shoes from the subway, NY streets, etc. I sadly picked up my smished Mallomar and went up to the counter, alligator tear in my eye (not really, but it could have been for how bummed I was) and I gave it to the One Lucky Duck gal. I walked back to the table, mourning my Mallomar. But… One Lucky Duck Team came to my rescue! Five minutes later the gal behind the counter came over with a new one for me. I was one happy girl!
We quickly realized though that the Mallomars still wouldn’t be enough for us, so my husband and I shared a pint of their Raw ice cream. A pint, yes. A little overboard? Sure. But, we’re in NY and we’re at One Lucky Duck! It’s not like I could take it back to the hotel with me… gotta eat it all! And, so we did. It was wonderful.
Before leaving One Lucky Duck, I bought a bottle of their Norwalk juice. This is juice extracted with a Norwalk juicer which gently juices the produce, meaning that the result is reduced oxidation and increased shelf life. The juice will usually stay pretty fresh when stored properly (airtight container) for a few days. I grabbed a Norwalk green juice to go so I could alkalize a little in the hotel before going to bed.
Ahhh… such a lovely day of food. Yum! I LOVE GOOD, HEALTHY, ORGANIC, QUALITY FOOD! My birthday is coming up shortly and my husband asked me what I wanted to do. All I want is to eat at my favorite restaurants here in the city, and enjoy super delicious healthy food – all day. That’s a great day to me.
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.
Today was a nice day in New York. The sun came out many times. We spent the early part of the day walking around Central Park which was filled with runners, walkers, families, musicians, artists, and all kinds of neat stuff.
Then, we met Gena for fresh Plant Blood at Cafe Blossom. I was pretty hungry so I had three juices! Ha! I was buzzing on greens for the rest of the day and it felt great. Gena is a great gal and we hit it off. It was a gab fest that I was not ready to have end. Fortunately, we’re meeting up for dinner (and hopefully more juice dates) before I leave. This is a picture of us each enjoying a Plant Blood called Pink Lady. It was fabulous!!!
After our juice date with Gena, my husband and I went back to the room to freshen up for our get together with Dhru and Judita. We arrived at Pure Food and Wine early, so I opted for my 4th Plant Blood of the day around the corner at One Lucky Duck – Pure Juice & Takeaway.
Then, we met Dhru. It was great to finally meet face to face, and it was everything I expected… fun & cool. We really enjoyed talking with him and I look forward to spending more time with him before my trip ends.
When drinks ended, my husband and I elected to stick around and have dinner at Pure Food and Wine. As anticipated, dinner was very good. My husband ordered the lasagna (very popular) and I ordered a falafel dish. I admit though that my favorite part about PF&W and One Lucky Duck are the desserts. Heavenly. Flavorful. Awesome. Perfection. I want to make a meal out of them… and this isn’t out of the question.
As we know… raw desserts can often be eaten even as breakfast! The next time I go there, I’m either ordering two desserts for myself along with a nice cup of herbal tea for my meal. Or, I’m getting a salad and dessert (or two! Ha!).