Posts tagged ‘brooklyn’
Cake, that is. Red velvet cake.
This weekend we celebrated Matt’s 33rd birthday with an amazeballs cake in the shape of his beloved iPad (see picture above). It was the best dang red velvet cake I’ve ever had. And I’ve had a lot of red velvet cake.
This edible art hails from the charming Ladybird Bakery in Park Slope, Brooklyn. It’s no wonder it was voted best bakery in the area–when I stepped inside the quaint shop, I was blown away by all the incredible dessert, cake, pie, and confection offerings. And I’ll repeat–this girl knows her desserts.
So, if you’re in the need of a birthday cake, custom cake, or just want to take a trip to satisfy your sweet tooth, check out Ladybird!
Yes, friends, that’s my weight, right there in BIG, BOLD letters.
A year ago, I would’ve been ashamed to tell you how much I weighed.
Now, I feel absolutely NO emotional connection to that number. As of today. I mean come on, it’s just a number, right? Right?
This morning I started Boot Camp again (Park Slopers, it’s awesome!) and after an hour of sweating my tush off, the trainer took measurements (to be done monthly). I haven’t looked at a scale in months, but I knew my weight was creeping up. These thoughts were confirmed when I looked down at the scale and saw the number 134.4 pounds SPEAK back to me (Yes, this scale not only displayed the number but SPOKE it…more like SHOUTED it!)
For the first time in my life, I looked down at that number and felt nothing. No disappointment. No, “Oh, I’m a bad, unmotivated person and I am worthless and should be ashamed of myself!” I’ve had years and years of that tape playing in my head, and truthfully it was getting really worn out.
Today I CELEBRATE my INDEPENDENCE from my weight. Would I like to lose a few pounds? Yes. But I’m motivated by getting into better shape and FEELING better about myself, and not living my life by the number on the scale. As someone who has been 145 pounds and also 118 pounds, been there, done that.
I can’t tell you how liberating I feel. To know that my self-worth, as a woman, a human being, has NOTHING to do with the way I look is friggin awesome. Sure, it took me many many many many many years and lots of hard work to get here, but baby, I’ve arrived!
Do you weigh yourself? What’s your relationship to the scale?
I have a super special treat for you today, friends. I have sampled the most delicious new food product out there in the market (called Faux Gras) and I just NEED to share it with you.
Not only that, but the creator of Faux Gras (a vegan alternative to Fois Gras), Ella Nemcova aka The Regal Vegan has been gracious enough to answer my questions.
Let me repeat: Faux Gras is amazing. I never liked the original stuff (who needs all that fat and cholesterol) and the thought of eating liver kinda skeeves me out. Faux Gras is smooth, creamy, tasty, and best of all, healthy. It’s a staple now in my refrigerator. Check out the website for some more information.
Cake & Carrots: How long has Faux Gras been in the making?
Ella Nemcova: I ran a Vegan dinner delivery service for 3 years, so I had the opportunity to experiment with lots and lots of food. Faux Gras came out of a Russian dish called “The Anastasia” as an homage to the food I grew up with.
C&C: You used to be a chef making vegan meals…what made you want to change your focus?
EN: The delivery service was so awesome for so many reasons, but limited in its reach. When I think of my mission to make delicious, healthy food easy for people to get and financially accessible, it isn’t the service. With Faux Gras now in 17 stores – it’s much easier to get good foods out there, and lays some groundwork for more healthy creations.
C&C: What has been your biggest success? Biggest hurdle?
EN: Well, the success right now is people love the stuff. Some die-hard vegans tell me they have made it part of their regular food rotation, some non-vegans claim to be addicted, and some jewish grammas are convinced there is liver in there. So that’s been amazing feedback. The biggest hurdle is the learning curve around running this kind of business. I love certain parts of it, and others I would like to hide in a closet and not open for many years.
C&C: Where can we find Faux Gras?
EN: Faux gras is available at these fine stores:
Park Slope: Blue Apron Foods, Back to the Land, Park Slope Food Coop
Fort Greene: Green Grape
Brooklyn Heights: Perelandra
Ditmas Park: Natural Frontier
Lower East Side: Earth Matters
East Village: Commodities
West Village: Lifethyme
Gramercy: Natural Frontier
Upper East: Natural Frontier, East Side Health Upper West: Health Nuts, Columbus Natural Foods Midtown East: Health Nuts Midtown West: Westerly
C&C: Does it come in any other “flavors?
EN: It is currently only sold in one flavor – but I do sell a truffled version at markets and I am working on a Påté de Campagne version with some big herb flavor and more chunky vegetables.
C&C: What can we expect from you next?
EN: Not sure when “next” is going to happen – but stay tuned. I tend to debut new products at the foodie markets (one in Greenpoint coming up May 22). I have a pasta sauce that is ridiculous, some seed crackers I love and a basil spread that is too good for primetime.
C&C: And, of course, tell us all about you!!!
EN: I’m a Brooklyn native, born in Latvia. I worked in advertising for 9 years before leaving to pursue my passion of travel, and good food. I came back and worked with a health counselor to get really healthy and feel amazing. I spend so much of my time talking about food that she thought I should be in the food world. Once I went on a cleanse and found a way to make it a “foodie-friendly” cleanse, with no gastronomic deprivation, I kept eating that way. Eventually, people started to ask me to cook for them – and The Regal Vegan was born. I then pursued my own health-coaching career at IIN – and now spend most of my time making and promoting healthy eating. I love experimenting with food and learning new techniques – as in my Macchaifi Kanacha green tea Kombucha and my nascent Shiso spouts, I have a fetish for interior design, and love to dance to soulful house music.
Thanks, Ella, for sharing with us. Visit Ella at The Regal Vegan to learn more about her services and Faux Gras!
I discovered a fabulous new cafe in Park Slope, and I feel damn proud of myself.
For those of you who live in my hood, you might’ve be familiar with Organic Heights cafe on the awesome Bergen Street. On Friday afternoon, I decided I wanted a clean, healthy lunch so I walked over to Organic Heights only to discover that it was no longer!
However, much to my luck, a new cafe has taken its place. Sun in Bloom now occupies the casual space with communal tables. A totally chill, relaxed vibe that I enjoyed. I even struck up a conversation with two very interesting people who educated me on an enzyme drink they sell.
The menu is simple but offers a lot of vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic, and raw offerings. I sampled the “Inspired Renewal Macrobiotic Bowl” and a cup of miso soup and it was DELISH. I love how they decribe their food as “Breakfast Inspired All-Day Delights,” which indeed they are…and only $8.50 for a large amount of food.
They also offer a selection of fresh juiced concoctions like the Rejuvenade and Ambrosia Elixir. And of course they have a large selection of sweets, both vegan and some are gluten free. I sampled a cupcake and a chocolate chip cookie (just a timy bite) and they were both super tasty.
Aimee, the owner, is super sweet and graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition with me. We spoke about her plans for Sun In Bloom (which just opened up in January) and she talked about holding workshops, lectures, and group meetings, making the cafe a place where people can enjoy delicious, healthy food and each other’s company. To read a review from the Brooklyn Paper about Aimee and Sun in Bloon, check it out here.
I will definitely be a regular fixture at Sun in Bloom. See you there!
Sun In Bloom
460 Bergen Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Once again, I had a different post prepared for today but of course life always seems to get in the way of our plans. I promise you’ll learn all about energy drinks tomorrow!
I felt compelled to write about what happened to me last night– a pretty big moment for me.
I got home from class and back to Brooklyn on the later side, around 8:30pm. I went to my favorite vegetarian café to pick up some vegetables for a late dinner, but unfortunately due to the late hour they were all gone (and probably for the better because who knew how long those veggies were sitting out in the open). Pissed, hungry, and grumpy (Matt and I call the combination of grumpy + hungry = grungry), I trudged home and started rooting around for something to make for dinner.
If you recall, in an earlier post I mentioned that I have a rule that I don’t east past 8pm, or 3 hours before bed. (I just feel so much better in the morning when I have an empty stomach—breakfast tastes so much yummier!) But, it was 8:45pm, I was hungry, and I decided I wanted to eat anyway. I figured the easiest and quickest meal to make was scrambled eggs with some purslane from my CSA, so I went ahead and made it.
Upon sitting down to the dining table, I paused for a moment, looked at my plate of food and literally asked myself out loud: “Amanda, do you really want this?”
“Yes, of course I want it,” I answered. “I’m hungry, I’ve had a long day, it’s not that much food, and it’s only protein. I think I’ll be OK in the morning”
“But remember your guidelines you created,” my inner-self answered. “Do you really NEED to eat this food” (Mind you, I’m still talking aloud)
So I looked down at my food, and I mean, really looked at it. Noticed the texture of the eggs, the smell, the yellow of the yolks and the green of the purslane. Did I really want this food in my body?
And as if by magic, I suddenly got up from the table, walked to the garbage, and threw it out. The entire meal I made, into the garbage. I went to the coffee maker and made myself some teeccino with rice milk instead. I stopped for a moment, thought about what I did, and a big smile came across my face.
What did I do? I stopped. I paused. I slowed down. I actually listened to what my body wanted instead of running on automatic pilot like I usually do. I took the time to think about how I would feel in 2 hours when I went to bed and how my body would be digesting the food as I slept. And I considered the state of my being 8 hours from then, when I woke up to eat breakfast and would feel bloated from the meal.
In the past, I probably would have gotten home, quickly eaten the meal, and most likely topped it off with something sweet, like chocolate. Again, auto-pilot. But this time was different. I practiced mindfulness and honored my body and my commitment to feeling my best.
So what can this tale do for you?
Remind you to listen to your body. Talk to yourself (it’s OK to sound like a crazy person!), ask if you really want what you are going to put in your mouth. Are you eating it for the right reasons? Are you honoring the commitments you made to yourself? And is that the exact food that is going to nourish you at that moment? I actually realized I had wanted something warm because I had eaten cooling salads and vegetables all day, and my body just craved warmth, despite the heat. I didn’t need the food to satisfy me. The warm drink was all I needed.
Be mindful of what you are doing when you are doing it. It’s a lot of work but the benefits you reap are well worth it. My body is really thanking me this morning, and I know yours will too.
Where in your life do you need to slow down and be more mindful?