The self-proclaimed sweet tooth that I am had to find the best ice-cream in the city, and I might just have, the day I stumbled upon Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream shop on 7th street and 2nd avenue. This a-bit-of-a-mouth-full Brooklyn native brand "celebrates ingredients perfected by nature, not science", and I could not agree more! It's a rare thing in the food industry these days and I love the fact that they also have a range of vegan flavors made with coconut and cashew milk. I was lucky enough to try their BananaNut, SaltedCaramel and Chocolate vegan flavors. They are all, of course, to die for, on top of being Gluten, Soy and GMO Free.
Their NYC truck is still in Winter hibernation but watch out for it in Soho as Spring (hopefully) rolls over (soon) ~ I've spotted it on Greene and Prince street a few times...
I found feelfood thanks to my beloved GreenHopping app, amazing app that helps you locate juice bars and health food spots in various cities in the US.
Feelfood is just everything I love - simple white and wood decor, healthy fruit/veggies/nut based food, glass-bottled juices, unique nut milks - their matcha-cardamom-pumpkin-chia milk is to die for - healing waters with exotic ingredients such as ginger, tamarind, rose or bee pollen, vegan/gluten free pastries that very much suited my sweet tooth, particularly their new raw Hazelnut Dream bar. Walking into feelfood is like walking into a beach cafe with its mini-health-market selling organic grains, organic skincare and candles from Apoteke, local chocolate bars and other raw sweets, all made in locally.
As Gaeleen, one of the founder, told me "My business partner and I both came from the food world but we wanted to open a place where we could find and eat the food we believe in". No wonders why feelfood is such a welcoming place, the intention behind is right, the values are strong and you feel it right away.
First of all, how cute is the name Birdbath? Really... but that's far from being the only great thing about this place.
Birdbath, petite sister of City Bakery (famous Hot Chocolate spot around Union Square), offers scrumptious breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner options, for veg', non-veg' and vegans. All the ingredients are locally grown and mostly organic. Everything in the shop is made of recycled and sustainable materials and, my favorite part of all, the food prepared in the City Bakery kitchen is delivered several times a day to each of the 8 Birdbath locations by rickshaw! Wait, another great perk, you'll get a discount if you come pick up your treats by bike or skateboard. So put your helmet on people and go!
PS: Thank you Tyler and Jenna, for your recommendations and your smile!
Hands down, the best Pumpkin Burger Sandwich and Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie I've had in a while!
Even though I'm staying away from white sugar, white flour, dairy and all these days, I have to admit that French Patisserie, famously known for its "everything tastes better with butter" philosophy, has a lot to do with my love for food. As much as I consider myself a Citizen of the World, I am a Frenchy by birth. Baking cakes and making desserts with my sisters, my mom and/or my Grand Mom Mamette was a big part of my upbringing.
So when I found out that Francois Payard was teaching a class at the DeGustibus School, I couldn't resist to go see the French Pastry Master in action. And boy was it worth it! Such a well of knowledge and down-to-earth cooking wisdom.
I left the class with many new tips to apply to my baking and a beautiful message:
"Do What You Do with Love, Passion and Pride. Everything will Look, Sound, Feel and Taste Different."
"Money can't buy passion" he said,"I'd rather hire someone from the street, who really needs a job and who's going to commit 100%, rather than a know-it-all fresh out-of-school who could afford good education but doesn't have the drive".
Merci Chef Payard, belle leçon d’humilité sur fond de desserts remarquables a l’œil et au palais!
Next time you are shopping in Soho, keep going a little further West on Spring Street and you'll come across Vitamin CHICK, a new juice spot that is just adorable. Recently open by 2 Russian-American friends who decided, one day, to turn their lifestyle into a business and inspire New Yorkers to be a better version of themselves. Everything about this brand is super cute and girly yet their assortment is up to par with the more mature juice bars out there. I tried their Zen'd Up potion on my way to Elena Brower's yoga class the other day, perfect balance of veggies and fruits, sweet and sour from the pineapple, spinach, lime and celery. I love that they also carry superfoods and actually break down for you on their website the nutrient content of each juice and what they are good for. So please, go have some juice, you'll support a lovely new business in town!
The theme of this section of the blog is SHARING - sharing with the world what inspires me to Be the Change I Want to See in the World (quote by Ghandi, not me...). To continue with borrowed words, here is an excerpt from the Yogi Times article The Gift of Giving that inspired me to write this post:
"Giving is the source of Life. The natural law of energy states that when you give, you receive. Space is vacated in the giving so it can be filled in the receiving, keeping the energetic flow of the universe alive. Without giving, we become stale, our knowledge becomes stagnant and our ability to perform from our wisdom wanes." Read full article here
Give LOVE Give JOY Give PEACE Give THANKS Give FREELY
Non-Exhaustive Inspirational Links following the order of my collage - no ranking here:
Meghan Telpner for brilliant and fun nutrition insights
Sakara Life for scrumptious healthy meal delivery
Kris Carr for healing through food tips
Well+GoodNYC for wellness news
Melissa Ramos for nutrition meets acupuncture
Choosing Raw for raw food recipes
Fully Raw Kristina for more raw food living inspiration
Marie Forleo for juicy business wisdom
Food Babe for truth about what's really in your food
Danielle Laporte for white hot truth and sermons on life
Gabrielle Berstein for spiritual and miraculous vlogs
Kute Blackson for uplifting bigger picture love quotes
Satya Jewelry for beautifying goodies
Kimberly Snyder for beauty detox tips
Detoxinista for guilt-free indulging recipes
MindBodyGreen, wellness pandora box
Yogi Times for yoga news
The Daily Love for daily love
Tasty Yummies for mouth watering recipes
David Wolfe, the raw food well of knowledge
Free People for wise words and pretty pictures
Food Matters for natural health and films
Food Inc for healthy sustainable food news
Navitas Natural for superfoods
The Earth Diet for easy healthy recipes and inspiring healing stories
As you know, I usually stay away from white sugar, white flour but I loved the story and concept behind Canelé by Céline so much that I had to break my own rules. Céline used to be a lawyer who loved to bake canelés who, one day, decided to turn her passion into a business (hmmm, sounds familiar?!). Canelés are traditional pastries from the South West of France, famous for their crunchy bite and soft heart. What's extra special about Céline's recipe? She reworked the original one by cutting the sugar content by 1/3 and offers them into bite-size treats, making the traditional vanilla flavored one 25 calories only! Please take the time to visit Céline's new retail space on 82nd street, off of 1st avenue, to try her unique dark chocolate, pistachio, caramel canelés, to name a few of her unique flavors. Psst, I hear she's baking special batches for Oscar Night!