A New Perspective

I love restaurants.  Unfortunately, my college-sized wallet does not.  Also, I’m not very good at budgeting when it comes to food.  I love trying new products, and often impulse-buy new-to-me health food items.  This doesn’t leave me much room for spending on restaurants and coffee shops and such.

At home we go out to eat a lot.  But I can’t spend that kind of money on myself here.  Every once in a while, though, I indulge.

Tonight was one of those nights, and I did not regret it.  The other day, my dad sent me a link this article.  The article highlights Souen, an asian (mostly vegan) macrobiotic chain of restaurants in Manhattan.  I have eaten there many times before, but I forgot about the place until now!  I used the opportunity to get together with a friend of mine who I don’t see often, and dragged him to Souen with me.

I wish I had taken a picture of the place itself, it’s really cool looking.  But it was really cold and wet and rainy, so I just wanted my warm food.

After taking a rather long time to decide what to eat, we finally got to it.  We started with the special appetizer – brussels sprouts in peanut sauce.

IMG 2773

This was the perfect, light appetizer.  The sprouts were very fresh and not overcooked or undercooked, and the sauce was not too overpowering like peanut sauces so often are.  Served hot, with a few toasted walnuts.

IMG 2775

kale, spinach, wakame, black beans, kabocha, broccoli, carrot and brown rice, with a choice of dressings - I got tahini dill

For dinner, I ordered the macro plate.  [[click here to read more about macrobiotics from Souen’s site]] I literally squealed when I saw the ratio of greens to other stuff on this plate.  One thing that now bothers me about restaurants is when the menu says the dish has all different veggies, then you get one bite of each.  If I order veggies, I want my veggies! But Souen does really well in this department.  Also, there was a piece of kabocha. Instant win.

IMG 2778

beautiful, colorful bowl of yum!

My friend chose the chef’s special ramen.  He keeps kosher, so he has never had ramen before as it’s usually cooked in fish stock or has pork or shellfish.  At a macrobiotic restaurant? All veggies.  I had a small taste, and the spice was amazing.

I was too full from my giant dinner plate, but my friend wanted to try one of the desserts.

IMG 2779

He went with the green tea mousse (dairy, egg, and soy-free).  The flavor was there, it tasted like they used real matcha powder.  But the texture was definitely not very mousse-like.  It seemed like it was made from agar-agar, and was kind of slimy.

You win some, you lose some – overall it was an excellent meal.

Yes, I’m getting to the meaning behind this post’s title.  Ever since I started getting more into nutrition and super foods, I have a completely new perspective when it comes to dining at restaurants.  I’m unsatisfied with a meal with ingredients that do not taste fresh.  I’m unsatisfied with a meal that doesn’t have enough green.  I’m unsatisfied with a meal that doesn’t have enough protein.  These are not to be taken as disordered thoughts – I have always loved my vegetables.  This is just to say that I have found the best way for me to curb cravings, avoid overeating, and feeling sick or bloated after meals.  Eat a balance.  After eating this way for a while now, I am often unsatisfied by a meal that does not have a good balance.

This meal filled me up, but was light and balanced.  It just physically feels good to eat clean.

Have you ever tried macrobiotic food? Are you a fan?

What is your ideal restaurant meal?

What foods give you energy and that awesome ‘clean-ness’ feel in?

When Did August Happen?

I’ve been inspired, again.  This time, by the who-knows-how-many healthy living bloggers that post their monthly goals.  So guess what I’m going to do here?  Well, I’m going to post some goals of my own, of course.  While I’ve often made mental goals and checklists, by posting them here I have a feeling that I’ll be more inclined to stick to them.

  • Variation: This applies to both fitness and food.  Fitness: vary my workouts, and never do the same thing more than twice a week.  My body and mind will thank me, hopefully.  Food: vary the foods I eat.  While there is nothing wrong with eating the same things everyday, I find that I am more satisfied with what I am eating when there is more variety involved.
  • Go with the Flow: Be more open to change in routine.  Unexpected things are bound to happen now and again, so I am going to try being flexible and not let it get to me as much.  I’ll post on here at least one instance of this – a critique of myself, per se.
  • Take real rest days, and enjoy them: I have a really difficult time not feeling guilty on rest days.  I deserve those rest days, and I aim to kick back and just enjoy them, guilt-free. At least one per week.
  • Get back into academia: I had this grand plan this summer to do a ton of programming and physics projects, but of course, ended up writing this blog instead.  For this last month, my goal is to get to the second level of project euler, a numeric or programming challenge.  No more online TV watching or recipe searching! (kidding about that last bit)
  • Fitness goals: be able to do 10 real push ups – no more of those silly knees, take a dance class at least once this month, stretch every day – after workout or before bed or both
  • Water: drink more, period.  Don’t forget to hydrate, especially when I think I’m hungry even though I just ate.
  • Limit up-and-down episodes: If I have the urge to eat everything in sight, first drink one full glass of water.  Then go for the veggies and fruits, then for the cravings – but don’t neglect the cravings

I know this is a scattered list, but I’m not expecting to complete every single one perfectly this month.  This may slightly defeat the purpose of setting goals with a deadline, but I don’t want the pressure of getting through every goal to get in the way of my reasons for choosing them.  Find a balance, be healthy. And of course, have a little treat now and then.

IMG 1110

What are your August goals?

[[also, what do you think of my new header?!?!]]