Category Archives: Health

Perfect Breakfast Bite: PB, Banana, and Honey Toast

This little toast creation is the perfect quick and easy breakfast. I’ve been buzzing around all morning, totally satisfied and feeling light. Here’s how to slap it together:

  1. Choose your toast of choice. This morning I used “Bread Alone” bread (I like them because they hand-make their bread using little more than organic grains, salt, and water.) I usually use Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Bread, but I wanted a little change this week.
  2. Once the toast has popped out of the toaster, slap on your nut butter of choice. I like almond butter or any organic peanut butter where the ingredients say: peanuts (and that’s it!)
  3. Slice up a banana and pile it on top. I like to make the slices look like scales, but that’s because I’m a bit weird.
  4. Sprinkle some flax seeds on top. Why flax seeds? Because it’s an ancient grain that can reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Gladiators used to chew them. Friggin’ awesome, right? Also, they look cute and give a tiny crunch texture.
  5. Drizzle your local seasonal honey on top. If you take honey to reduce seasonal allergies, make sure you have the right season of honey to match the time of year. Spring honey will not help you in the fall because the bees that made that spring honey weren’t exposed to the flowers and spores that bloom in the fall. Immune yourself with the proper season you’re trying to battle. (Got that little tip from a beekeeper in Union Square.)

Enjoy, yall!

Let me know if you make this and like it, or if you’ve made something similar before. Leave a comment! 

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Memphis Vegan Challenge: Day One

I’m gonna make this as quick as I can.

I woke up after eating an amazing last supper. Had breakfast with Chef B’friend. Then, he made me the best homemade travel meal ever to take on any plane. Behold!

IMG_0351The best airplane food EVER. Succotash and quinoa in a box with shelling peas, nuts, and an apple. Healthy balance up the wazoo.

While trying to get to Memphis I had several delays, gate changes, more delays, more gate changes, and one dog in a bag for a very long time. Continue reading

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The Last Supper: Final Meal Before Memphis Vegan Challenge

This was it. My last hoorah. The terminal supper. My final meal before I take on the BBQ capital of the world for my one-week Memphis Vegan Challenge!

Shall I have pizza covered with cheese? Shall I wolf down a porterhouse steak? Shall I combine both cow and dairy for a greasy Philly Cheese Steak? Continue reading

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My Memphis Vegan Challenge

This Tuesday, I’m puttin’ on my blue suede shoes and boarding a plane to Memphis, TN. The BBQ capital of the world. The dirty, dirty, yummy South. The fried Delta. Memfreako, TN.

And I’m going to be Vegan for the entire trip.

I hear people gasping in awe. I see heads dramatically turning, eyes wide with horror. Disbelief clouds the air like a thick fog hovering above the muddy banks of the Mississippi. Yeah. You heard me, boo. VEGAN in Memphis, the Fried-Meat-and-Cheese Mecca of the Mid-South.

It will be a challenge going to Huey’s and eschewing the cheddar on their delicious veggie burger. I may cry on the inside when my dad takes me to Memphis Pizza Cafe, and I cannot order the Ultimate Cheese. My soul will yearn for the feta block on that Castriati Salad at The Villa.

How am I going to survive this sadistic challenge?

Oh, there’s a blog on the internet focused on the exact thing I’ve got a question about? SWEET.

vegan crunk

So Bianca is an 18-year vegetarian and 8-year vegan who has this fabulous vegan food blog set in Memphis.

The best part about her blog is that she’s got a crunkalicious Memphis restaurant guide for vegans. #internetwin

Whoop that rack-of-ribs! Grit and Grind (on vegetables.) Wish me luck! I’ll let you know how it goes.

(Go check out Bianca at vegancrunk.blogspot.com)

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Upcoming Ten-Year High School Reunion: Oh, GOD, NO!!! WHY!?!?

I just realized that my ten-year high school reunion is coming up this fall. Thankfully, the universe was somewhat kind to me this morning, and I realized it’s in November. If it were at the beginning of September, I might have to make like a lemming and (metaphorically, of course) jump of the nearest cliff. IMG_0341

Combine the impending doom of the reunion and all the weddings I need to attend this fall, and it makes me want to crash diet like there’s no tomorrow. It makes me want to cut carbs and pop pills, which I can’t understand because I know that’s not the right way. It’s got to be my fear and not my better judgement whispering, “Eat only meat! I know you’re a vegetarian and don’t believe in it… but just buy a cow and eat only that for the next three months! You’ve got room in the freezer, right?”

I’m not going to crash diet. I’m not going to diet at all. I’m going to reverse the brainwashing in me that is screaming DIET! DIET! DIET! because diet’s don’t work. They. Do. Not. Work.

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These are not Tomatoes: Subway Semi-Horror Story

IMG_0327It’s hot outside, but I decided to go for a long run. My motivation: This amazing club sandwich with farmers market tomatoes and greens on multi-seed bread. Chef B’friend made it out of the leftover Quorn “turkey” roast I made last night. He placed it on the counter. I knew it was going to be so delicious, I needed to earn the right to eat its mastery.

I thought, “Yeah, I can do the usual path from my apartment in Harlem down the west side of Central Park, but I want to get out of my comfort zone.” My usual path takes me right down the C and B train line. When I get exhausted, I can just pop on the train, and it will take me back to my nice apartment in an air conditioned thing that I don’t even have to drive. I can just sit and drink water and feel safe.

I decided I’d run more east, hit up the top of the park (which I hadn’t really explored) and work my way across the park to get back to the subway home. My sandwich motivation will carry me through this hardship of newness… like a tasty, tasty overexposure filling my view for the final mile.

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Mayo-free Coleslaw! Warning: Seriously Addictive

I grew up hating coleslaw.

I was born hating it, and I carried a passionate desire within my child-self to destroy all that was coleslaw. This was a big deal because I’m from Memphis, TN (the BBQ capital of the universe). I hated coleslaw so much that I refused to eat BBQ for the first 15 years of my life because it was guilty by association. That cabbage-sprinkled cup of mayo looked disgusting, and I wrote it off forever until I found out there was a better way… the non-mayonaise way.

In the south, pasta salad is drenched in mayonnaise. Potato salad consists of potatoes swimming in mayo. Egg salad is mayonnaise with a side of egg. Cole slaw is not excluded from the mayo-party. It’s the host.

When I moved up to NY for college, I was ASTONISHED to find out my best friend Ray’s pasta salad recipe called for Italian dressing rather than mayonnaise. It was sacrilegious! And I liked it. Three years ago, my boyfriend informed me that we would be making coleslaw, and it didn’t include traditional mayo. With great trepidation and tremendous courage, I tried the stuff. Now, I’m addicted to it.

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I love this recipe because it’s super easy, super fast, and it keeps the veggies you use raw. Raw means nutrients. Delicious and healthy: Boom!

And now without any further ado, I present to you Chef B’friend’s Mayoless Coleslaw Recipe. (I’m going to share with you the completely white-stuff free version as well as the mayo-substitute version. Both are fantastic.)

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My NYC Fire Escape Garden

Growing your own food is easy, responsible, and super tasty. Plus, you don’t need that much space. Just utilize your imagination!

Reasons why growing your own food rocks:

  1. Lessen your carbon footprint by growing some things yourself. (Remember… those tomatoes at PathMart didn’t grow there. They grew hundreds of miles away. They hitched a ride on a huge truck across the country.)
  2. It’s cheaper to grow your own herbs than to keep buying those small packets. Plus, you only use about half of it before it goes off and you have to throw the thing away.
  3. Wanna be healthier? If you’ve grown it… you’ll eat it. Anything that makes us eat more fruits and veggies is a good thing.
  4. It forces you to be outdoors. Or, kind of outdoors. Anyway, you’ll probably get a little vitamin D from this activity.
  5. Monsanto can’t get you if you know where your food is coming from. (Make sure your seeds and seedlings are not genetically altered or modified.)
  6. You’ll reduce food waste. If you’ve waited for something to ripen on a vine that you take care of… you’re less likely to let it spoil and throw it out. That’s not really the case with that stupid banana that has gross brown spots you paid 50 cents for, right? That guy is going to spoil and get thrown out.
  7. It doesn’t take up that much time. I’d equate it to caring for fish in a tank.
  8. I sound like a hippie, but it’s fun. It turned fun. I don’t know how. Just kinda snuck up on me.

I can hear you say, “Well, I don’t have a backyard with room for a garden. I have no space!”

Dude. I live in New York City. I don’t have access to a yard… but I do use every inch of outdoorsey-type space I’ve got!

My First Fire Escape Garden:

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Chilis, mint, tomatoes, basil, lettuce. YUM!

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The tomatoes had a lovely view!

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Instant Oatmeal: Surprise! It’s not boring!

When we think about oatmeal, we think about mush. Then, we think about that scene from Oliver.


Not so appetizing. Right?

Let’s make this meal of oats into something that’s a bit more exciting, shall we?

Breakfast Idea:

If you’re in a rush, here’s an easy way to not skip breakfast. (Skipping breakfast will make you gain weight.)

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  1. Get some instant oatmeal (Ain’t nobody got time for the other stuff.)
  2. Shake some into a bowl and add just a little sea salt.
  3. Add boiling water to oatmeal to activate it, and mix with spoon.
  4. While the oatmeal is soaking, chop some strawberries or get out whatever other berries you want to add. (Chef B’friend’s fabulous mother suggests adding fresh ground black peppercorn to strawberries to make the flavor pop.)
  5. Add berries.
  6. Pour on a little soy or almond milk.
  7. Add honey to naturally sweeten it.
  8. Eat it!

Quick and easy. Delicious and will keep you from skipping breakfast. Or eating some horrid breakfast bar that has so many ingredients that you get bored whilst reading the label.

Dessert Idea: 

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This recipe was inspired by Chef B’friend’s mother’s recipe.

Everyone has an overripe banana or two hanging around the kitchen. Now, you don’t have to throw them away!

  1. Peel and mash bananas in bowl
  2. Add about 1 cup oatmeal (you can use instant) per banana in and mix. (Remember, you can stop right here for the no-bake option. Just form the cookies and throw them in the freezer to enjoy later!)
  3. Add any fillers you want: blueberries, chocolate, cinnamon, nuts, etc.
  4. Form the cookies
  5. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or line it with parchment paper or a silpat.
  6. Put them in the preheated (350 degrees) for 15 minutes
  7. Take them out. Let them cool. Look how cute they are. Eat them!

Do YOU have any bright ideas for using oatmeal? Leave a comment! 

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Clean Hand-Mashed Potatoes: Yes, you can eat them.

When we think about diets, we think about substituting “healthy” food for “guilty” food. What a totally messed up way to think about what fuels our body. If it’s natural… there’s a clean and delicious way to consume it. Potatoes get a bad rap. Let’s strip them down and allow ourselves to think about mashed potatoes in a whole new way.

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Yes, I like using sweet potatoes sometimes. Yes, there is a really good recipe that uses cauliflower instead of potatoes. That’s all fine and dandy, but my point is that we don’t have to “diet.” We have to de-brainwash ourselves into thinking that this vegetable is “bad” for us.

Now, adding lots of dairy and cheese will turn mashed potatoes into mashed thighs, but adding lots of dairy and cheese to ANYTHING will do that.

Here’s my recipe for clean hand-mashed potatoes. It’s a derivation of the version Chef B’friend taught me a while back:

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