Wow, I am getting very use to this no school thing. I took a full long week to enjoy my freedom before starting to prepare for my summer courses. While I relished the simple abundance of every moment, I thought I would share some of the notable highlights.
The week started out full of NYC pride, as I had my first visit to the new Yankee Stadium…magnificent! My friend looked like she had found the promised land, she was so excited.
Wow, those mowers deserve some props!
And then we watched our Yanks kick some Oriole butt back to Baltimore.
The rebirth of Washington Square Park…
In case you didn’t know, and actually care, WSP has been closed due to very controversial construction. This construction involved moving the fountain about three feet left to be in line with the arch. This kind of broke my heart because the park is basically the closest thing NYU has to a campus or “college green.” I can’t imagine my undergraduate years there without it, it’s where we congregate and graduate. So the incoming classes haven’t had access to it, and the last two graduating classes had to hold all University graduation at the old and new Yankee Stadiums.
Young and old celebrate the grand opening…
I have to say, the park is already back to its alive energetic self.
While I was very excited for the park to reopen, my Wednesday night activity was even cooler.
Gena was sweet enough to invite me to a Beam Green event. First off, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to go to Tavern on the Green for the first time. While many people rag on it for being a tourist trap, I couldn’t help but want to experience the fairyland atmosphere for myself. It was even more extravagant and opulent than I could have imagined, yet elegantly so. Check out the chandelier:
Beam Green was simply fabulous…I was actually a bit skeptical at first! BG is a social club with a focus on educating the community on achieving a healthy, organic and eco-conscious lifestyle. The club holds monthly meetings and events featuring prominent health and nutrition experts. I have been a long time fan of Natalia Rose, and I could not wait to hear her speak! We also had a great presentation from Dr. Ginger on how to progressively detoxify your diet, body and lifestyle. It was funny that she mentioned Tiger Balm, which I recently reviewed, as the safest pain reliving cream. Apparently, many other brands have ingredients that are dangerous when they enter your body through the skin, but Tiger Balm is an all natural and safe alternative!
Mary K. Boehmer is Beam Green’s gorgeous, generous and tireless founder. Mary truly inspired me last Wednesday; I couldn’t get over how contagious her energy was and how flawlessly she put the evening’s program together. Her passion and generosity are clear. Team Beam Green is on a mission to help educate the world on eco-conscious living and natural health and well-being, and at only $20 a month for membership, Team Green is the best bargain in NY!
The evening started with amazing delectables from Liquiteria, Babycakes, Whole Foods brown rice veggie sushi, a huge grilled and raw veggie platter with yummy dips, and non-soy coconut ice cream from Stogo.
Below: The tables on the left show “fake health” products according to Dr. G. And the table on the right was filled with this month’s raffle prizes!
Mary sweetly encouraged us not to be shy about taking home the leftovers. Here is Gena taking home some kale and veggies! Another great dress Ms. Gena!
I have to say I couldn’t wait to get home and devour the info provided in the Beam Green packets! Oh, yeah, and two breakfast’s worth of green juice!
No picture, but I had a cool opportunity to go visit the 50th floor of 7 World Trade Center for an event orientation. OMG the views were amazing! I have never seen such a gorgeous view of NY! The Brooklyn Bridge looked so tiny! With a pang of sadness, I must admit I can’t even fathom what the view from 110 floors must have been like!
Blogger Meet Up with Gina the Fitnessista! Wow, I was so excited to meet Gena, a fellow fitness-focused blogger. You won’t believe it but, she was even more drop dead gorgeous and charming in person. Not only did I get to meet Gina, but I also got to meet/see again, Ashley, Meghan, Gena, Brooke, Megan, and Katie.
Seeing this photo, I hate myself for not wearing heels! I am so freakishly short!
It’s all the fault of these:
Yeah, I need to accept that I am midget and must always wear heels on most if not all social occasions, even if that means forgoing my favorite flats.
So anyways, swiftly moving on from insecurity, lunch was fabulous. Unfortunately, my lunch hour was more than over before the food was served, so I had to ask them to package it up for me, so I could eat it at my desk. I am sorry if I was rude girls, but I hate when people take lunch hour and a halfs, and I figured a lunch hour and fifteen was about as far as I could comfortably push it! Despite being desk-side, lunch was super yummy. I feel bad for calling Caravan of Dreams too hippy dippy. Their food is holy yum and holy cheap to boot! And the waiter was really nice to put up with my time paranoia!
I had the Ecuador, which was carrot pasta with tomato jicama salsa, pea shoots, scrummy guac, juicy mango chunks and two flaxseed chips.
And a surprise treat: my co-worker had bought me a green juice from organic avenue! This one was the strongest I have had yet, it was as “meaty” as a juice can get! Thanks Claudia!
No real photos (thanks google images), but I had a fun night at Harry’s Water Taxi Beach with my roommate and a few of our friends. Plus, Ashley and Bo (the bears) happened to be sitting at the table next to us, so it was one big beach party! While I had a great time, the drinks were seriously strong, my vodka sodas were basically huge shots with a splash of soda. So after I was forced heavily persuaded to get a third, I went to bed with the room spinning around me. I woke up about 3 hours later and couldn’t go back to sleep, so it was a rough day. Oh well, it was fun at the time! Maybe I just need some proper training…jk
Gena and I went to Pure Food and Wine to celebrate her promotion, huge success in the raw food world, and much belatedly, her blog! An evening at Pure is always a great one, and this was no exception.
We split the sushi rolls, and I had a delicious salad of the day for my entree.
It was light and delicious. The tomatoes were absolute divinity and the salt and pepper on the watermelons was genius! The balsamic reduction was very yummy, I didn’t try the pistachio oil, but I am sure it was good!
I invited one of my girlfriends over for dinner, and decided to prepare a tapas spread. While there were many more things I wanted to make—roasted Brussels sprouts, grilled asparagus, spinach artichoke dip—since it was only two of us, I tried to restrain myself. Here is what did make the menu:
Caprese Salad—recipe from Everyday Italian Cookbook. I made this specifically for Laura, since I typically don’t like cold cheese (except goat and cottage), but OMG, this fresh mozzarella di buffalo was the best I have had since Capri two summers ago. I couldn’t believe how it melted in the mouth! And the yellow heirlooms were so sweet and mild!
I dressed it with a teaspoon EVOO, half a juiced lemon, a short drizzle balsamic vinegar and S+P. perfect and light!
I also made a very simple baby spinach and cucumber salad.
This is another Everyday Italian cookbook recipe, Sun-dried tomatoes and chickpeas spread. I cut the EVOO from 1/4 cup to 2 tsps and added water to make up for the missing liquid. This tasted just like sundried tomato hummus. The only problem, I forgot that I don’t actually like sundried tomato hummus; in fact, I really only like Cedars Garlic Hummus—I’m something of a purist. But if you do like sundried tomato hummus, you will like this.
Next, Moroccan Spiced Carrots from Matthew Kenney’s Mediterranean Cooking. This came out great! I substituted cooking spray for oil. Too much oil tends to be the only thing that bothers my otherwise resilient tummy, which is one reason I always ask for dressing on the side. I also hate my greens being wet or soggy, it really bothers me as a huge texture person.
Also on on the menu, but not pictured: Marinated Baked Tempeh. I just marinated half a cubed log of flax tempeh in soy sauce and garlic powder for a couple hours and then baked it in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes, turning once. Very yummy!
Finally, I saw this on my way out of the store and decided to try it: Sabra’s Caponata. Eggplant caponata is one of my favorite foods and I make it a lot. However, I was tempted to see how this compared. It was good, less chunky than most, with the exception of whole olives throughout. I don’t like olives, but they were easy to pick out. It was good, and since I don’t like Sabra’s hummus, I was happy I took a chance on their other products. Mine is way better, but this was way faster!
All of the above was served with pieces of warm, toasted whole wheat flat bread and a WW wrap. And a very nice Riesling that Laura brought.
For dessert, I enlisted Laura to help me taste test some of these great Guiltless Gourmet Dessert Bowls I received quite a while back. Here’s the deal, they come in three enticing flavors: hot chocolate brownie, black velvet brownie, and banana’s fosters cake.
They have several great features right off the bat,
- they are portion control
- they take under a minute to make with NO mess (see below)
- they are much healthier than any other fudge covered cake I have seen on the market, and they taste very good.
The ingredients like is quite recognizable, we’ve got some sugar and non-whole grain flour, but nothing artificial or scary at all.
Ingredients: Brownie Mix: Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals, Wheat Flour, Cocoa Powder, Nonfat Yogurt Powder (Cultured Nonfat Milk), Palm Oil, Eggs, Kosher Salt, Baking Soda (Leavening), Natural Flavor. Fudge Sauce: Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals, Evaporated Cane Juice Syrup, Water, Cocoa Powder, Nonfat Dry Milk, Cornstarch, Kosher Salt.
The nutrition stats aren’t bad for a warm gooey dessert: 200 calories, 3 grams fat, 3 grams fiber, 4 grams protein
What did we think? Laura and I sampled the chocolate varieties. I had the black velvet and though it was really good, natural tasting, certainly not health tasting and very filling.
Laura had the hot chocolate brownie and said it was yummy and super chocolaty!
About a month ago, I tried the Banana Foster’s Cake:
Basically, you just dump the mix into the bowl mix with 2 tablespoons of water and nuke for 30-40 seconds.
Presto: drizzle and enjoy.
While I loved the cake part, I didn’t love the sauce it tasted very very banana to me, and not in a good way, I am not a huge banana person…not even banana bread, so while the sauce was too strong, the cake was awesome. and again, very filling.
Bottom line: These are a great alternative to a rich dessert, if you want to feel like you are indulging, but don’t want to go hog wild on the “real thing.” Personally, I think these are great for an occasional treat, but I wouldn’t eat one every night because they are pretty rich and a bit high in sugar, and regular flour for a daily indulgence. But these are not tiny, so at least you know you will stop at one.
Breakneck Ridge Hike! (previously described)
Monday night post-hike: 10 minutes in the sauna and then I covered myself in Tiger Balm before passing out!
Wow that was a lot of info!
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