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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

Maker’s Day

Yesterday I went to one of the biggest, most amazing convention/festivals I had been to in a long time – the Maker Faire, in Flushing Meadows Park, in queens.  No, this festival had nothing to do with food or fitness. But so many people – myself included – forget that a healthy is not only about food and workouts.  We need balance, and fun, and that what my Saturday was about.

I forced myself to put aside the massive homework assignment I have due monday, because I would not have made much progress anyway.  Instead, I nerd-ed out all day, at a giant DIY fest.

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they handed out some free healthy snacks!

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I saw the 'Sashimi Tabernacle Choir'! Yes, these fish moved and sang.

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I boarded & toured the BioBus

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saw some awesome DIY contraptions, like this knockoff segway

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ogled at the amazing 3D printers

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so. cool!

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I learned how to pick a lock! ...watch out...

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almost bought a plate of the delicious-looking vegan paella - cooked in HUGE vats!

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yes, there was a fire-breathing dragon.

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does anyone remember Mouse Trap, the board game? This one is Life-Size.

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We also saw some awesome circus students perform

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these guys are so amazing strong!

It was a blast, and I don’t regret doing it.  Yes, I may be slightly more anxious now that I have less time to get my work done, be feel so much less guilt.  If I had stayed in and worked all day, and still not gotten anything done, I would have felt worse.

In the spirit of the Maker Faire, I did a little ‘making’ of my own. In the form of two loaves.

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super moist banana oat-bread

This came out super moist, not too sweet.  I’m not sure if I want to tweak it or not.

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dark chocolate loaf, light and not too sweet

This one was bitter and bread-like, not so much like cake – but the consistency is near perfect, and it cuts like a dream.

So, I’m leaving this one up to you:

Which would you rather see the recipe for first? Banana bread or Dark Chocolate Loaf?

I hope the weekend went well for everyone.  I think we are finally getting some real autumn weather around here.  Now I’m off to finish some homework, and maybe get a little sleep.  I will certainly try 😉

What kinds of festivals to you go to for fun?

Welcome, Old Loves

Happy Friday!  My week has been rather uneventful – neither here nor there.  I’m still not into the routine here, so it’s been a bit rough.  But of course there are little things keeping me sane here.  Weekly discoveries? I think so.

1. I can make nut butter in my mini-prep!

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tiny batch of spiced pumpkin cashew butter - made an appearance in this week's WIAW

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it really is tiny. holds maybe 1 or 2 cups total?

2. An old favorite grab-and-go sandwich, made by a local NY company

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yummy, vegan, filling mini-meal!

3. Afternoon pick-me-up coffee alternative – Yerba Maté

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I wish the camera could capture how good this smells.

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with a side of puffins for munching

4. Must take advantage of summer’s last days, by wearing flowers of course!

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my messy bed in the background. and backlit.

5. Old snack loves brought back 🙂

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rice cake + sunflower butter + cinnamon. satisfied.

6.  OpenSky is the greatest ever.  [[It’s so worth it to join, you get awesome deals from celebrity foodies and such. click this link to join!]]

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ooh, what's in the box?

7.  Kath really isn’t kidding about how good the cville cluster granola is.

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it's granola from Great Harvest CVille! from Kath's opensky promo.

8.  Healthy light dinner, college style!

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horribly spiralized zucchini (I'm working on my technique) + mashed ginger sweet potato yogurt sauce + nooch

9.  I’m a nerd, and I love it!

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this is what I do with my Friday nights. How fun am I?

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love.

Have you recently re-discovered any old favorites? Loves and comforts?