Today was THE day. Yes, the day I met up with Jennifer, a nutrionist that works with joulebody (the cleanse I did recently, i.e. see “juice”) and also independently for those people wanting to go the extra mile for their health. She told me most of her clients are already decently healthy but want to take it a step further which she found funny because you would think very unhealthy people would be seeking her out, right? She is a fountain of knowledge. She is slight of build with lovely long brown hair and a knack for yoga, she took me around Whole Foods for an hour answering all my questions and grocery shopping with me. I will post a link to her website a.s.a.p., in the meantime here is what I learned! (and bought) First though a few pictures of interesting finds along the way to Whole Foods Tribeca.
A very old world looking fountain I came across while cutting thru the park, gas lit lamps! It was a rainy day and for some reason I love fountains in the rain, it just makes them… idk.. more interesting.
I found this nice little coffee shop across the street from Whole Foods, ( I promptly hid and disposed of my empty starbucks cup… I was being lazy and sbux is everywhere, but I lust for independent flavors! ) it had comic-esque pieces all over the walls, candles on the tables and a dark cozy feel. I had a conversation with the barista about tribeca and fair trade vs. direct trade coffee… yes, I was that annoying person from Portlandia asking hippie type questions ahahhaa. Anyway they are direct trade because with fair trade one farmers superior product can get mixed in with their surrounding fellow farmers inferior products, creating a mix (i.e. fair trade) and degrading the quality of the product, or so I was told. So they use private direct trade suppliers. I ordered a macchiato, it came in a tiny cup with the most lovely latte art on top, made with care… and yes Starbucks version of a macchiato is WRONG. So onto the point…
I didn’t know what Jennifer looked like so I decided to search for another person that looked like they were waiting around and bingo, we spotted each other pretty quickly, ha, and so after introductions the adventure began. We started in the produce section where I was informed of the benefits of various fruits and vegetables and how we should eat seasonally (i.e. eat what is in season during that season… Wintertime examples: pear, dried fruits, etc. Summertime: strawberries, melons, etc) I asked her about mushrooms, because I stopped eating them as I was convinced it created fungus in your body somehow since it IS a fungus. She informed me that mushrooms actually help reduce all that junk that is holding onto the walls of your G.I. tract by having a “pulling out” effect. She recommended Shitake, but regular mushrooms (aka the white ones) are ok too. If you think about it, if your G.I. tract lining is full of crud (red meat that stays behind, all those processed foods, etc) how can you readily absorb the nutrients your body needs? Also she pointed out the new rating system whole foods just adopted ( The Andi System) which measures just how nutritionally dense a food is, these are posted all around whole foods on little laminated posters. I also learned that you can sample anything in Whole Foods and return items simply because you don’t like them.. I don’t know of any grocery stores that have such an open policy, I love Whole Foods!
After the produce we covered raw foods and the bulk section (quinoa, whole grain brown rice and a bean like lentil makes a complete protien) and checked out the dairy/tofu/soy area (Do not eat soy, its too processed in the U.S., she recommended eating tofu or tempeh instead, the less processed your food is the better). If your looking for the benefits you recieve from milk turns out you can get the same ones from kale. Also if you must do yogurt do greek yogurt (this is my tip but I think she agreed) I informed her I have a bit of a sweet tooth so we picked a raw vegan chocolate out (JUST as good and better than “regular” chocolate) and I picked out a tea, as it is a better alternative to coffee (yerba mate is for energy, still has caffeine in it but… much less damaging to you). I also picked up some basics that you should have for everyday use for baking and cooking. Coconut Oil is good for baking and frying (get the kind you can use for high heat otherwise you risk turning your healthy cooking product into a carcinogen if the heat is too high !!) I also purchased a variety of food additives such as: nutritional yeast (good for salads etc) which is found in your G.I. tract naturally, also sea salt mixed with sesame seeds (the sesame seed oil coats the sea salt making it less harsh on your body, you can put it on everything).
Jennifer grew up on a macrobiotic diet so she is very familiar with korean/asian foods (her favorite section in the grocery store!). You can’t go wrong with soba or udon noodles with mixed veggies and tamari soy sauce which you can also use on Kale. As well as seaweed for use as a salad or the sheets of seaweed (like you see on sushi rolls) she heats right up over the stove to crispy and eats; very high in vitamins and good for you.. obviously. As far as sweeteners go try agave or other raw unprocessed sugars as it is far less damaging to you than refined sugar. I bought some raw honey for my tea and I can’t wait to have it! I asked Jennifer about vitamins as well…. if you can have too much? what should you have? etc. She informed me everything in moderation (common sense people!) and daily you should absolutely have fish oil-1000 mg (New Chapter is a good brand) a probiotic (keep these refrigerated after you open the bottle) and a multi (whole food vitamins are best, read the label, also you will know by price as most cost anywhere from $40-$50 a bottle) As far as meats go Fish is great, tuna do once in a great while but definitely do WILD Fish not farm raised, salmon is good. I chose some lighter filets of white fish because I don’t care for salmon all that much. Fish is also easy to cook, you can bread it and/or put a little olive oil and lemon and wallah! Done. Before the shopping trip was over we returned to the produce section for lemons (for your water, squeeze about a half of a lemon into it and let your skin and stomach reap the benefits; aids in digestion) and avocados (people are afraid of its fat content however its NATURAL fat, don’t eat a ton but you need it too, so don’t be scared, just eat it! Its also very good).
Overall I highly enjoyed my time with Jennifer learning at Whole Foods even if I had to lug it all home on the train and in the rain. hahaha. When your deciding which diet is best for you just feel it out, don’t be afraid to experiment. No one diet is better than another, its all about you. Obviously the less you eat modified and processed foods the better it will be for your body, but you have to do what feels right. Vegan is for some not all, Vegetarian is for some not all, same with macrobiotic and meat… Just be aware of your options and explore your local markets/grocery stores! Also it doesn’t hurt to look up coaches or people who make a life advising others about nutrition, thats what they are there for. Jennifer specializes in holistic health (Wiki me!).
There are many different types of health guides you can find, I advise you find a health food store near you and usually if they don’t have someone on staff they will keep a list of local contacts you can get in touch with. Also if you just have a question on a product or something an employee can usually help you out rather well. After this trip I also think of Whole Foods differently, I used to only think the affluent could afford it on the regular, however with their large selection and in house organic brand (365) you can easily pick and choose specific items and then buy the bulk of your food from Trader Joes or a local fresh market. Its the best of both worlds. Nutritionally sound foods should not be so difficult to access, for most it is hard to afford (I’m single so its easy for just me) and also all the junk food (i.e. pretty much everything in your regular everyday grocery store) is cheaper than the good foods which only adds to the pandemic of obesity this country is experiencing. Bottom line: This system is whack and you have to do your research/get creative to eat well but its not hard! Promise! Not to mention the less junk you eat it gets easier to curb your cravings and soon you’ll actually want that carrot stick as a snack! (=
Cheers to your health dear reader.
I saw a man saving this guy from the sidewalk in front of Whole Foods, he put him under a tree in the dirt, the dragon fly kept buzzing his wings around trying to dry them off, he was BIG
Caption: “Spit that other brew crap out and go visit a real coffee shop.” – Kaffe 1668
Now when you think of a shopoholic or a compulsive shopper it seems silly….. YET they exist. ! In fact I believe I may have a touch of both, however I manage well enough that my bills are paid and my stomach is always full and I’m not pummeling other girls over at sample sales for a pair of Vivienne Westwood shoes or something like that. I would like to point out though that, yes, I am a girl, and yes I do like to shop (mostly online or at crazy nyc stores.. so. many. good. ones.) I generally hate malls and large department stores, the only exception is when I’m with my Mom because I have spent many a year in a mall with that woman. lol. Anyway the point is the main reason I shop so much is because I get bored.. also I am not as pre-occupied with creative outlets as I once was which results in me having a killer wardrobe but at a stand still with my debt. So what is the point of all this? Well I am sure some of you out there have or are experiencing the same thing. Solution ? Do anything but shop! please?!?!? I mean, once in awhile, but not frequently. I do things other than shop that I love to do all the time but I just need to do more of it. Much like the character in the movie Shopoholic, I too would like to point out how overpriced and overdone all that stuff is.
Example: Almost every Betsey Johnson item I have gotten with thin straps breaks or starts to tear… now do you know how much on average her dresses and whatnot run? $200 and up easily. Luckily I am a bargain Queen (not always) so have never paid full price so when a strap breaks, disappointing, but not devastating….I just get it fixed. Example 2: I was bored surfing the net today and I decided to look at some Alexander McQueen jewelry online.. the ring for 2011 on sale for $150 at Saks that was simply brass and enamel….ya… (made in china) How much do you think that costs to make? I will say that 80% of the time I shop sales but even so, I have spent a bundle. All its doing is making it take longer for me to reach my goals. I want to do things for not only myself (travel, more schooling.. etc) but others as well. As long as I continue my current frivolous lifestyle… that will be more difficult. -AND- just think… how good will it be to be completely (or nearly) debt free??? FREAKIN’ AMAZING ! so there you go. Join me in my pursuit of happiness and financial freedom and good health. You can only benefit ! If you have any stories or comments about this topic, please, DO TELL
Also if you get a chance to check out the MTV True Life (yeah I used to get sucked in when I had cable) there is one featuring two girls who are (extreme) examples of how gone unchecked this type of habit can turn into a downward spiral, of course these girls also happen to have some serious underlying issues (I suspect causing this irrational shopping behavior) but still… their stories might have a similar effect on your over-shopping as does showing a bunch of teenagers horrific pictures of STD’s to try and dissuade them from having sex……….ya… right… I thought so. Can’t say I didn’t try to help you…. ahahah
This girl ran up her parents credit cards to $10,000 ! Making it harder for an already struggling family.. (my mind was blown as to why she had their cards in the first place, the show kind of explains. meh) Also in this particular screen shot she looks super…um.. pissed *cough* bitchy *cough* … Guuurrrl those Juicy Jeans don’t do shit for your ass, why did you buy 5 pair??? DON’T BE HER!! AH!
This chick spent so much not only did she have a pile of unopened bills (too afraid to look/avoiding payment) rent-a-center (even her furniture on credit ?!? shit.) repossessed pretty much her whole apartment. Reality Bites. (good movie ! anyone? anyone?) DON’T BE THIS GIRL! AHHHH !
So in conclusion, find balance in everything you do because its ever so important. Extremes are never healthy.
P.s. I will be posting some DIY projects soon, how much more satisfying ! Really ! Trust me on this one.
Ya it certainly feels that way sometimes, doesn’t it? I can recall many a time I walked through NYC, of all places, feeling more alone than ever. For a city of millions I must say it can be one of the loneliest. Why? Many reasons I suppose but perhaps one is, when you move somewhere new and you don’t really know anyone yet.. the more people around you the smaller you feel. Its not quite the same feeling you get when staring into the ocean from the beach at night, or contemplating your absolute tiny self in the huge universe (even though they call this place the center of the universe). No its not quite like that, but similar. I came here as a result of an ongoing daydream and because I have the drive of someone who likes to frequently jump into the deep end and learn how to swim.. fast… I don’t do it on purpose it just happens that way more often than not.. anyway my point to this rambling was if your feeling down today please try to cheer up, because for every crappy day there are a 100 (at least !) good/nice/wild/fun ones, right? Also because as I’ve learned, like many, you can never tell the future, just go with it and give it your all and if your especially lucky you’ll have some truly close and loving people around you and a lot of good stories to tell. There are many different definitions of success but I’d say living life how you envisioned it to the best of your ability amongst the dwellers of this crazy world, and sometimes (aka all the time) you gotta make your own world, a haven for ideas and adventures. Open up your heart and eyes and take it all in -but- protect your heart fiercely just the same, like an exotic rare bird in a cage, it can still fly but the outside world has a little less access to its beauty, save that for the right ones Oh, you’ll know <3
P.s. “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” Oscar Wilde
Today I enjoyed a much favored past time on a Sunday almost afternoon… the art of brunch! I met up with a few lovely lady friends and ate my last real food for the next few weeks as I will be starting my cleanse tomorrow (I was not supposed to eat any of this 24hrs prior so I broke the rules already basically(no caffeine, heavy carbs, etc just light meals aka healthy stufff) .. but just LOOK at these items and I’m sure you would have done the same…
Siberian Suntan: A Vegan White Russian topped with cinnamon with a slight tropical twist, interesting flavor mix
Chocolate encrusted french toast with pasilla and cinnamon maple syrup
Afterwards we went to a local health food store and bought some goodies and I spotted this babeh on the street, notice the “hood” ornament. Now I am home cleaning up and waiting for my delivery of the joulebody program to show up… Hope your Sunday is as relaxing as mine has been so far!
Not to be a Debbie Downer but a few if not a lot of questions have plagued me from time to time since I settled into Ny…
I am close with many people in my family and friends that I left behind in Michigan… at least I hope none of them feel I “left” them… anyway… I just saw an opening in the road to fulfill a long time daydream of mine and decided to take the chance. So far besides having a ridiculously nice apartment just fall into my lap as well as an amazing job/opportunity (not without much hard work of course) I do feel I was led here for one reason or another and I haven’t quite figured what that reason is yet. I miss my cousins (aka the closest to siblings I will ever have or want!) badly, my parents and best friend(s). I struggle with thoughts of feeling bad for not being around or participating more in their paths of growing ever taller and older. I am not sure when I will be done with N.Y. … I never had a plan here, I just came.. jobless with little money and only a guarantee of a room to reside in, the rest I figured out along the way.. I’m still figuring it out. I am from time to time restless in thought and body.. I am a traveler at heart; an adventurer; a risk taker; (not always good) and I doubt that will ever wane from me. I always seem to learn the hard way (unintentional!) and dive right into the deep end, sink or swim. I can only hope this path leads somewhere on the up and up. Progress, thats all. At this point I am at the “What’s next?” and it feels slow and dragging. I aim to stay positive however and I generally am… I think a vacation is in order as soon as work allows. I need some space. Home is absolutely where the heart is. Where and who is your home?