Friday, September 24, 2010

FEAST OF SAN GENNARO IN LITTLE ITALY


The 84th annual San Gennaro Feast in Little Italy runs along Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston Street. We met with few friends for lunch there on a very hot and humid Wednesday afternoon and here's what we saw. Italian sausages, Mozzarella, Braciole, Calzone, Zeppole...
Games...
Decorations.
Our friend brought his camcorder so we made our day into a fun video. He's still editing, but if it turns out good I might show it to you. 
We picked a restaurant where the host was not so pushy and rude like in some of the other places. Gosh they were really bad at what they were trying to do and annoying. Food was nothing to write home about. I had eggplant parmigiano, pasta and the tiniest side salad. And that's what they called 3-course lunch...
It was nice to sit outside in the shade and watch the rude host on the other side of the street trying to get business and how mad he would get if people decided to go elsewhere.  Like we did. Right across from his place. He kept looking at us and shaking his head for a while. 
Gelato in all flavors imaginable.
More games.
Instead of gelato for dessert we had Pina Coladas. Not very good tasting, but satisfied my sweet tooth.
Taking a break from the festivities. 
We had good time and I would like to go back during the evening hours when I'm sure the party is going to be on. First time I went to San Gennaro Feast was back in 2002 and then it was during night time and the entire Mulberry Street was like a big block party. Amazing atmosphere. I highly recommend visiting if you're in New York.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

DOG DAYS

It's impossible to get this boy to stop and pose. Cats are so much easier. Mine meditate a lot.  Here's a link to a videos that really got me teary eyed. I just love seeing happy animals. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

FASHION'S NIGHT OUT 2010

Last Friday we celebrated Fashion's Night Out again. This was the second time it's been organized and seemed to have grown enormously compared to last year. Soho was popping, fashioniable people everywhere having good time. 
Stores offered free makeovers, product samples, gifts, wine, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and entertainment.FNO connects designers, celebrities, models and fashion editors that participate in exciting, one-of-a-kind events in stores open to the public after hours. It was like a giant block party.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

GREEN SMOOTHIE LOVE

As I might have mentioned few times before (or more like ten) I start my mornings with green smoothie. It consists of one banana, apple or pear, celery, kale or other leafy greens, almond milk and four raw food powders. Taste is ok because at this point I'm used to it and don't mind it at all. Why do I drink it and what are the health benefits? 

Spirulina

Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. This form of blue-green, single-celled super-algae offers a concentrated source of complete, balanced protein, with each serving of 1 Tablespoon providing all 8 essential amino acids and over 68% protein by weight. Spirulina also displays high levels of the antioxidants Beta-Carotene and Zeaxanthin, plus immune-supportive elements found in no other food. This incredible green protein powerhouse also displays potent blood-purification properties, and it is one of the only sources of the anti-inflammatory, joint-strengthening super Omega-6 fatty acid, GLA (Gamma-linolenic Acid).

Maca

Considered a favorite among raw foodists, vegetarians, adventurers, extreme athletes and health enthusiasts, Sunfood Maca Powder is an amazing superfood that can provide you with energy, endurance and strength needed for a variety of lifestyle conditions. Maca is a powerful adaptogen with the ability to balance and stabilize your body’s systems, and provide energy without overstimulating. For thousands of years, maca has been the staple superfood in the harsh, cold climates of the high Andes in Peru and is said to have been used by Incan warriors before going into battle, proving it to be an ideal food for your active lifestyle.
Hemp protein

Hemp Protein is a balanced, "whole" protein, rich in essential fatty acids, all ten essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.

Greens Powder

Perfect source for alkalizing your body’s pH level for energy & vitality without stimulants. Complete phytonutrient and antioxidant supplement that works synergistically in your body providing 49 different super foods, extracts and concentrates including supergreens, organic fruits & vegetables, probiotics, soluble and insoluble fibers, herbs, spices, natural flavonoids and enzymes. 

Benefits include increased energy levels without stimulants, boosts the immune system, improved digestion, balancing healthy blood sugar levels, promotes mental & cognitive acuity, alkalize and balance body pH, promote healthy heart & liver function, reduce inflammation, detoxify and promote overall wellness. 

Banana

Bananas are a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, and manganese. More in-depth info about bananas here.

Almond Milk

Great source of magnesium, potassium and Vitamin E. 

I make one huge pitcher and drink it all at once, but you can also store it in your refrigerator for up to two days, or freeze it.

Cheers to health, mate!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MY BEAUTY PRODUCTS

I'm still not 100% organic and toxin free, but I'm getting there little by little. Here are few of the products I use, missing few essentials like my toothpaste (Tom's of Maine) and my deodorant (Lavanila). Products from left to right: 

Alba Botanica Pineapple enzyme facial cleanser. Smells great, but tastes terrible. 
Shu Uemura cleansing beauty oil (facial wash). Cleans everything great, including eye makeup. No need for separate eye makeup remover.
Desert Essence Tea Tree cleansing pads. Strong tea tree oil scent, great for my oily and congested skin.
Moroccan oil.   Conditions hair, gives it beautiful shine while eliminating frizz. 
Burt's Bees Acne Spot treatment. I use it overnight to fight stubborn blemishes. 
Body Shop's Tea Tree oil. For daytime pimple war. Wear it under mineral make up. 
Nature's Gate Organic Tea Tree shampoo. Love it! Leaves my scalp healthy and refreshed.
Alba Botanica Sea Algae Enzyme facial scrub.  The scrubbing granules are just fine enough, like sand. My skin feels so smooth after using this once or twice a week.
ilike Organic Moisturizing Sour Cherry gel mask. Smells so sweet I could eat it. Hydrates and nourishes. Once or twice a week for 20 minutes does it for me.
Jason's Healthy Mouth mouthwash. With my favorite ingredient Organic Tea Tree Oil and Cinnamon.
These I carry with me. Hand moisturizer is very rich, but absorbs quickly and the scent just heavenly. 
And last but not least, my favorite body smoother and moisturizer that I use for cooking as well. I also use it for my hair and scalp as a mask. I do have two different containers, one for the kitchen and one for the bathroom, don't worry. This is as natural and organic as it can get.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

TOP 5 CHEMICALS TO AVOID IN COSMETICS

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As I continue to better my life through exercise, diet, relationships and green living I've also mentioned natural beauty products and getting away from toxins. I'm really concerned what I put on my skin and do not buy any products before reading the ingredient list carefully.

I came across this list of TOP5 chemicals to avoid in your beauty products on one of my favorite newsletters, the Healthy Bitch. At the end of this posting is a link to a database where you can check how your products rate. Just type in the product name or the company and be shocked to see the results.

1. Thimerosal - dangerous preservative derived from mercury is often found in mascaras. Mercury is known to cause brain damage. Even the amounts are small experts advice to stay away from all exposure to mercury. I mean why risk it when there are so many other alternatives? 

2. Sodium Laureth Sulfates - byproduct of chemical processing and is classified as a human and animal carcinogen (meaning it could cause cancer). Found in many foaming beauty products such as shampoo, face wash and body wash.

3. Toulene - often used in nail polish and is a human reproductive and developmental toxin. It can even cause liver damage or affect your nervous system and cause memory loss and weakness. 

4. Pthtalates - found in deodorants, perfumes, nail polishes and hair sprays, these toxins have been known to negatively affect the development of children. Look for "essential oils" instead of "fragrance", because companies are not required to list what "fragrance" contains.

5. Formaldehyde - found in nail polishes (makes your nails yellow), lotions, shampoos, soaps, body washes, sun blocks, toothpastes, and bubble baths and is recognized as a carcinogen by the National Cancer Institute.

Wonderful website to check is cosmeticdatabase.com for a listing of products and their ingredients to make sure the ones you're using now are safe!mascara_wand_square.jpeg 

Friday, September 10, 2010

FREE HUGS IN UNION SQUARE PARK

Hugs have been shown to reduce heart rates, improve overall moods, lower blood pressure, increase nerve activity, and a host of other beneficial effects.
Hugs also help people to bond on an emotional level. Hugs increase feelings of safety, security, trust, strength, healing, self worth, belonging, happiness, and appreciation.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

RAW FOOD GODDESS ANI PHYO IN THE CITY

I've become fascinated with raw foods lately. Smoothies have been part of my life for a while now and juicing as well. But I'm ready to take it step further and learn to make few raw food dishes. So when I heard Ani Phyo was in town I had to see her and get my raw food journey kickstart.  
Ani with Hyacinth Mills of New Life Journeys making smoothies for us to try.

WHY RAW?

Eating a diet rich in fresh greens, vegetables, and fruits is the easiest way to maintain optimal health and weight. It helps you avoid the foods that have been linked to degenerative diseases and weight gain, including “bad carbs” (such as white sugar and white flour) and “bad fats” (saturated and trans-fats). Additionally, raw greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds have vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes, and fiber--all essential for good health. Better nutrition will not only help prevent disease and overweight, but also slow the aging process and increase energy.

- Raw foods are better quality, therefore you eat less to satisfy your nutritional needs. The heat of cooking depletes vitamins, damages proteins and fats, and destroys enzymes which benefit digestion. As your percentage of raw foods increases you feel satisfied and have more energy on smaller meals because raw food has the best balance of water, nutrients, and fiber to meet your body’s needs.

- Eating a diet of raw foods can reverse or stop the advance of many chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Remember, cooking creates free radicals, which are the major cause of cancer. When you lower the number of free radicals your cells are bombarded with, you lower your risk of cancer.

- A raw food diet can protect you from acute diseases such as colds, flu, measles, etc. Raw foods maintain a healthy body and a healthy body will not become diseased.

- As long as you combine raw food properly according to the rules of Natural Hygiene, you will soon reach a level where you no longer suffer from heartburn, gas, indigestion or constipation.


Information gathered from Ani Phyo and New Life Journeys
Check out more about Ani here and my other favorite raw food goddess Sarma here. All I need now is the Vitamix and Excalibur Dehydrator...