EATING ALL THE THINGS IN NYC

I’ve been travelling a little lately.

I spent a while in a remote region of Northern Ontario. Took a brief but sweet trip to Ottawa. But most recently, I went on a somewhat impulsive trip to New York City.

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If you want a rundown of all the insanely delicious, allergy-free, vegetable-centric, healthy restaurants New York has to offer I highly suggest you check out these posts from Angela and Leanne. In the city that never sleeps, you have virtually round the clock access to clean, healthy eats. And I’m sure they are all fantastic…

However…that was not my New York food experience.

While my usual approach to menu-hunting involves assessing all options and choosing the thing that sounds the most healthful and vegetable-dense, this time I had the singular desire to DO and EAT all the BEST THINGS this new city had to offer me. A bit of a change in strategy, if you will. From best for me, to the straight up best…And I’d say I fared pretty well.

So…where did I go? (In order of appearance)

BAOHAUS

What: light as a feather steamed taiwanese buns filled with braised meat, cilantro, pickled radish, peanuts & red sugar. veg options include tempura broccoli & tofu.

Why: everything is delicious and the place is just cool. blaring hip hop, tiny space and stupid-cute pics of owner Eddie Huang’s grandparents playing mah-jongg hanging on the wall. 

Where: 137 Rivington St, Lower East Side

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Source: The L Mag

LOVELY DAY

What: Thai-ish mixed bag. Fusion style small plates. Mandatory noodles and curries. Fresh fish mains. 

Why: ill admit the food might not blow your mind. but candlelit tables, quirky music, swank cocktails & prime people people watching make this place somewhere i’d go again. also, the waitresses and clientele were notably babely. soooo….theres that. 

Where: 196 Elizabeth St, NoLIta

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SARAGHINA 

What: Naples-style pizza (maxing out at $15) with a selection of other homestyle salads, seafood, pasta and small plates. 

Why: Its pizza. In brooklyn. And the place looks like this. YOU WANT TO GO TO THERE. 

Where: 435 Halsey St. Bed-Stuy. (Brooklyn)

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Source: Gothamist

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And lastly…

MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

What: the compost cookie. a bizarrely satisfying blend of chocolate, butterscotch, graham crumbs, pretzels, potato chips, oats and coffee grinds. Sounds more like my kitchen floor after a particularly solitary Saturday night. Am I right, ladies? 

Why: The short answer is David Chang. And the shorter answer is justgoeathedamncookie. Or was that the long answer?

Where: Multiple locations. I wento 382 Metropolitan Ave. in Williamsburg. OBVI. 

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And there you have it. NYC in a chocolate covered, cheese drenched, pizza flavoured nutshell.

Ima go eat sum salad and fantasize about my next visit.

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Loving Lately: Grain-Free Banana Chocolate Chunk Bread

Life, lately you ask?

Hectic. Dynamic. Incredibly fulfilling.

Ahh the plight of the working gal in her mid-twenties.

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im pretty into moons these days. anything lunar, really. i cant tell if its like a feminist thing or a trendy gothy thing or in some way related to my general love and appreciation of all things astrological….but i just thought you should know since we’re getting reacquainted. ;) 

Other things I’m into lately…

things im loving lately
  • new boxy topshop blazer i bought on sale for $40. woot.
  • feel good guru and generally all things raw and vegetable
  • my pendleton docs
  • GIRLS season 2
  • the new tegan and sara album (whatevvvver guys, i know its pop music but i like pop music and i think its good. im also pretty into taylor swift right now. moving on…)
  • Solar Raw cheesy kale chips. How did I just discover these? I’m an addict on the road to rock bottom and there’s no turning back.

And (of course) the most important thing I’m loving lately… this delicious grain-free totally guiltless banana bread. Honestly no amount of busy-lady life could keep me from sharing this recipe with you because I am totally IN LOVE. It’s moist and delicious and not at all like the dense gluten-free baked goods I’m used to. PERFECTION.

Banana Chocolate Chunk Bread
(Gluten, Grain, Nut & Sugar Free)
Adapted from here

Photo Credit: The Vibrant Family

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 bananas (mashed)
  • 2 tbsp honey or a pinch of stevia
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 white tbsp chia seeds (mix with 3 tbsp water and allow to sit for 5 min or so to form a gel)
  • 3 tbsp dark chocolate chunks (use a cut up chocolate bar if you like)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • dash of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Blend eggs, mashed bananas and coconut oil together, plus honey if using.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients and then combine with wet ingredients.
  3. Pour into greased bread pan and bake at 350F for 45 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

The result will be a very soft and cake-like banana bread. Ideal for breakfast, snacks or any other time you please!

What’s your go-to healthy treat right now? What else are you loving lately?  

Guest Post: Gillian’s Tips for the Gluten-Free Globetrotter


I’ve got a special treat for you this morning! A guest post from the impossibly lovely Gillian from Battle of the Bites. I bonded with Gillian earlier this year at a Chobani blogger event where we became fast friends over glasses of pinot, chatting about our mutual love of travel, healthy eats & Lena Dunham. The twenty-something trifecta.
;)

Today Gillian will be writing about a topic that affects many of us, gluten-free or not, traveling with food allergies. With the holiday/vacation season quickly approaching (hello winter in Canada!) it seemed like a great time to chat about some of the ways you can satisfy your wanderlust without cheating on your happy belly! Enjoy! 

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Meet Gillian.

I have a travel addiction and a gluten-allergy.

These things do not necessarily go well together. When travelling, we’re constantly being thrown into new situations, trying different kinds of food, and risking what I love to call “getting glutened”.

When I have gluten, in any small amount, my stomach blows up like I’m pregnant, I get sick to my stomach, suffer from terrible cramps and sometimes end up bed ridden. As anyone with a gluten allergy knows, it’s not fun, and it’s not smart to “cheat”.

Luckily the world is becoming more friendly to Celiacs and the gluten intolerant. Even Paris, my favourite bread and pastry loving city, is opening up gems like Helmut Newcake, a high end patisserie devoted solely to gluten-free goods and dishes.

When I was in Berlin this summer I went out for Thai food and was handed an entire gluten-free menu. I was so happy I could cry. I wanted to go back to the same restaurant every day.

When I’m not so lucky to stumble upon a miracle like this, the following tips are always helpful:

1. Booking your flight – most flights offer a gluten-free option. I often book
through expedia which doesn’t provide meal options and choose to bring my
own food (also for the sake of health and taste). I’ve learned that I can easily
get through airport security when flying to Europe with my big boxed salad
from Whole Foods.

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2. Packing snacks and staples – this is an obvious but important note. I tend
to pack a ton of protein bars, nuts, protein powder, and some chocolate.
The protein bars are great for layovers or when you’re wandering around
a city lost and unsure of your meal options. If I’m going somewhere for an
extended time I’ll sometimes pack gluten-free flour or my favourite pancake
mix.

3. Language barriers and eating out– if you don’t speak the language, explaining
your allergy at a restaurant can be complicated (I tried in German, “Nein
gluten?!”) Gluten-free restaurant cards can be very helpful in getting
your point across clearly– there are 54 languages available (http://
http://www.celiactravel.com/cards/). If you speak the language, it’s always a good
idea to call ahead and warn them of your allergy.

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4. Finding a place to stay – If your allergy is very serious there is even a gluten

free hotel guide – http://www.glutenfreehotelsguide.com/ – for hotels
that will cater to your gluten sensitive desires. Personally, I like to rent
apartments through Air BnB where I have access to a kitchen. If I’m staying
in a regular hotel I’ll ask that the mini bar be emptied so that I can fill it with
snacks and fresh produce.

5. To the market we go – one of my favourite things about eating gluten-free
Is that it can mean eating more real food. I like to go to markets and stock
up on fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, olives, wine…whatever the local
delicacies (without wheat) are, I have to try it. Hunting down an organic
store also tends to be helpful in finding a great array of gluten-free products.

With these tips I’ve managed to travel with a happy belly through many cities.

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I have a whole chapter on eating gluten-free in Paris in my upcoming book, so stay tuned on more info on how to eat crêpes and éclairs in the city of love (and pastries)!

Gillian’s current book The Guiltless Gourmet is available for purchase here and it is full to the brim with swoon-worthy gluten-free, whole food based recipes. The perfect Holiday gift for the G-Free folks in your life. Enjoy! 

Holiday Recipe Roundup!

Morning lovelies,

While I’ve got lots of holiday recipes and baking on the horizon this season, I thought I might take a minute to revisit a few of my older recipes that both you and I may have forgotten about…

5 minute Figberry Jam (sugar free and ridiculously easy)

Gluten-Free Flax Lace Cookies
(I really need to take some new photos because this one just doesn’t do these cookies justice. These crunchy, sweet & buttery bites are a crowd pleaser but they are completely wholesome and a definite Holiday favourite of mine.)

Roasted Pumpkin Seed & Edamame Snack Mix

Gluten-Free Paprika and Rosemary Stuffing

Pumpkin Barley Risotto (A great side or alternative main dish)

Twice Baked Apple Cider Brussel Sprouts

Savoury Apple, Dijon & Kale Cornbread

And of course you can never go wrong with a big batch of cranberry & chocolate packed ULTIMATE COOKIES

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Hope you enjoy these & maybe even give them a try this season!

What are your go-to Holiday recipes?

Healthy Hipster Holiday Gift Guide 2012

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It’s no secret that holiday shopping can be stressful no matter who you’re buying for. But when you’re hunting for hipster-friendly fare this process can become downright panic-attack-inducing…

“They already judge me so harshly,” you will cry. “Will they be able to mask their disdain if I buy them something lame?”

And I hate to be the one to tell you this, but the answer is no.

Upon receiving that edition of Sh&% Girls Say: The Book or that package of magnetic poetry or that Instagram-Filter-Shaped Picture Frame you found at urban outfitters and thought was SO THEM, they will be absolutely incapable of acting like a normal grateful human being. They will say or do something douchey. Guaranteed.

So…in order to avoid such catastrophic Christmas mornings….To give both you and your Ativan a break…Here goes my list of suggestions for the Healthy Hipster in your life.

Unique & Non-Lame Gift Ideas for the Hip and Healthy Urbanite

Things in a stocking

Wool Socks
Loose Leaf Tea & a Bodum Mug

Bottlehook Key Chain

DIY Things

Stamps and Ink
Yarn and Knitting Needles
Cross Stitch Patterns

Tasty Things

High percentage dark chocolate
Whole nuts with a metal cracker
Preserves (check your local farmers market!)

Things they can wear

Moccasins
Black North Face Fleece
Geometric Jewellery

Tshirts or other swag from local businesses in their neighborhood (check out bars/restaurants/coffee shops/libraries)

Things you can make for cheap (and probably put in a mason jar!)

DIY Terrarium Gift Kit



Homemade Granola

Whipped Coconut Body Butter

Hope you enjoy the tips, pals!
Any additions? What’s on your list this year?

HIIT IT

No words today.

Just this fantastic new HIIT workout.

Perfect for the treadmill or the pavement. Obvs I’m happiest in the outdoors but I live in Canada and I’m a bit of a wuss, so it’s good to have something that works both ways.

Feel free to swap out some or all of the light jog sections with brisk walking. Just pick it up for the runs and it’ll still kick your booty into 2013.

Enjoy it!

Sweat about it!

Then tell me how it goes.

Coconut Chocolate Bark

This coconut chocolate bark is, to put it simply, a revelation.

And like most revelations, it started out with humble beginnings. With a very utilitarian purpose. I was simply looking for new ways to incorporate coconut oil into my diet.

You see, in addition to all the benefits of coconut oil (which my nutritionist pal Joy has summarized beautifully in this post), it is also known to be a very healthful choice for people with gallbladder disease…which I have and have had since the age of about 8.

I haven’t mentioned this on the blog before because it seems like a total overshare, but I thought I’d say something now in case there are others out there who suffer from the same thing. And no, gallbladder disease is not something that only affects people who are overweight or over 50. Young’ins like me can be susceptible too for a wide variety of hereditary reasons (in my case a rare blood disorder). Represent.

So how does coconut oil help? Well, a doctor told me recently that coconut oil is unique because, unlike other fat sources (even healthy ones), it avoids your gallbladder entirely. That’s good news for everyone, not just gallstoney weirdos like me, because it is converted to usable energy very quickly leaving you feeling satisfied and energized, without the sluggish feelings that can sometimes accompany a high-fat meal. Universal win. So let’s get to it, shall we?

Coconut Chocolate Bark
Vegan, Grain-Free and pretty much everything-friendly.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp plain, vanilla or chocolate vegan protein powder (I used sun warrior blend)
  • 1-2 tbsp liquid sweetener or a few drops of good tasting stevia
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground coconut

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients except vanilla and coconut in a small microwaveable dish and heat in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds or until just bubbling.
  2. Add vanilla and coconut
  3. Transfer to a small freezer-friendly container, lined with saran wrap. I used a pie plate. Spread the mixture out thinly and pop into the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until set.
  4. Remove chocolate bark from freezer and slice into 12 pieces. Store in the fridge to avoid melting.

Nutrition facts: Around 50 calories/serving. 5 g healthy fats. 1.5 g protein. 

I enjoyed 2 big pieces (plus many spoon/bowl licks) as part of my breakfast this morning. Delicious. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Energizing Antioxidant Smoothie

If December is a month of celebration. Of fun, food, familytimes and fabulous holiday dresses…then what the heck is November? If you ask me, November is a month of dodging bullets. 

Bullet #1: STRESS – Whether you’re a student or a working stiff like me, the month of November tends to fall into that “crunch time” category. End of year budgets, final drafts of papers, it all seems to culminate smack dab in the middle of this strange penultimate month.

Bullet #2: SAD – And by SAD I mean SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER. Ie. “Its grey and cold and dark and I’m depressed” syndrome.

Bullet #3: DEBT – Christmas is coming….is your bank account ready? No? Then charge it! January-me will find a way sort this out.

and finally…

Bullet #4: ILLNESS - Everyone, everywhere is sick. Always.

My tips to dodging bullets 1-3 are mainly to stay conscious of them. Recognize that stress is fleeting, weather is changing and no gifts are worth the hassle of paying off that credit card.

As for Bullet 4…well there’s not much you can do to stop a cold once it’s started you can do your darndest to PREVENT it before it starts. And this nutrient-rich, energizing smoothie is a heck of a good start.

Love antioxidants? This smoothie packs em in like it’s nobody’s businesses.

Energizing Antioxidant-Rich Green Smoothie

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2-3 frozen chunks of spinach (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 scoop vegan protein powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or a few drops of stevia
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
  • 8-10 ice cubes
  • pinch of xantham gum (optional, for thickness)
  • 1/4 cup of brewed coffee (optional)

Directions:

Blend until smooth, adding more liquid if necessary.

Want another antioxidant rich recipe? Check out these delicious espresso berry muffins!

How do you dodge the November doldrums? Any tips on preventing winter colds?

This or That: Healthy Hipster Edition

Hey there.

So there’s a lot of trends that tend to go around the healthy blog world, and some I like more than others. Oatmeal obsession? Love it. Pumpkin fetish? I’m on board. Other trends…not so much. Srsly have you heard of shirataki noodles? It’s like you took a bowl of spaghetti and replaced the delicious satisfaction with rotten fish and indigestion.

Anyways I decided to suck up my ‘tude  and get on board with the current trend sweeping blogland. You bet it’s a quiz. Let’s get started.

This or That?
Find the original version here

1. Run/workout in the heat and humidity or freezing temps and snow? Neither. Autumn. The only thing that keeps me from spending literally the entire month of October outside walking, hiking, running or paddling is pumpkin pie.

2. Have washboard abs or flat abs? Is there any way to say the word “abs” without sounding like a knob? Whenever I see it in print I hear the voices of Hans and Franz  in my head. “Do you like my abs” “Gotta work on my abs” “Oooh my abs are so sore from working them so…” Ya you get the picture, I’m not answering this.

3. Dr. Oz or The Doctors? I kinda love Dr. Oz. I don’t know if it’s his boundless enthusiasm for all things fibrous, or the fact that he slightly resembles my Jewish grandmother, but I trust that man with my gastro-intestinal health.

4. Cardio or strength? For me strength almost always wins out, followed by circuit style cardio workouts, then running outside. As for the worst? I’d rather do a beep test in grade 9 gym class than use the elliptical machine (which ive been told im too short for) or take a spin class…shudder.

5. Cravings: Protein or carbs? Dead heat. I get grouchy when I dont have a little of both at every meal and snack.

6. Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper? Ummm….Jackie Warner.

7. Frozen Yogurt or Ice Cream? I’ve never been huge on either but I’ve been known to brave the dairy indigestion for a little tart froyo. Coconut bliss is also pretty darn delicious but I should probably stop making up my own answers.

8. To train: Upper body or Lower body? Upper for sure. Especially pullups and pushups. If they could bottle that feeling I would market it as Liquid Empowerment.

9. Protein powder or food with protein? Nothing beats delicious whole foods. Le duh!

10. Lunges or squats? An old dance injury makes both a little tricky for me but I’d have to say sumo squats because they are easiest on my joints.

11. Sweet or salty? Sweet in the morning, salty at night.

12. Workout attire: cute or comfy? Comfy for sure. I pretty much wear the same lululemon bottoms and this tshirt every time I workout. That said, I always wear my bright red lipstick…even at the gym. Can’t help myself.

13. Body Pump or Heavy lifting? I’ve never dont Body Pump but I’d really like to try it! I wouldn’t call my lifting heavy…but benchpressing and deadlifting are my jam.

14. Yoga or Pilates? Yoga. But its pretty pricey where I live so I like to treat myself to a class now and then as a luxury. Or I do my own yoga workouts like this one!

15. Nike or Adidas? Nike I guess.

16. Running on the treadmill or outdoors? Outside. Blaring this Passion Pit record. Mmmm…YES.

17. Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s? I’m CANADIAN guys. No TJs here. And WFs is way out of my price range. I shop at this health food store in the middle of Chinatown. It’s the best and cheapest in the city by far. 

18. Summer or Winter Olympics? Winter. I think my citizenship would get revoked if I said otherwise.

19. Exercises classes or Exercise videos? Videos. Fitness instructors freak me out (Unless its my friend Christine…a feminist human rights lawyer by day who teaches “flirty girl” fitness classes by night…she’s the best!)

20. Steamed veggies or roasted veggies? I roast everything. I’m roasting a squash right now.

YOUR TURN. Hit me with a few of your favourites. :)

Worknight Circuit Workout

Hey there pals.

Remember this face? Image

A heavily moustached hipster (because it’s Movember of course!) with a brand new workout to share!

Life lately, you ask? Well things have been busy as ever and I have barely had time to water my miniature cactus let alone blog.And fitness? Jeez. If I make it to the gym once or twice a week, maybe fit in a nice outdoor run now and then, I’ve been a happy girl.

Keeping my expectations realistic has been keeping me sane. 

But since the clocks have changed and the days have gotten shorter, I’ve been making an effort to up my activity level just a bit. Getting moving always improves my mood and regulates my sleep schedule, two things that I tend to struggle with during the many many winter months we have here in Toronto.

I’m sharing my workout with you today because it was a great mix of cardio and strength but didn’t totally knock me out. In other words, it was perfect for squeezing in at the end of a long work day. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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And remember, even when I’m not blogging, you can always find me on pinterest and twitter!

Have a great night! TGIalmostF!

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