Solixir, A sparkling botanical beverage

1 08 2010

Almost a year ago already, I met Scott and Brian of Solixir at my local Whole Foods. They were demoing a then new beverage, and were looking to add a team member in NYC to spread the word. Since then, I have been their NYC Field Marketing manager, and have loved getting to see Solixir grow.

Besides the fact that they are great guys, Solixir is an amazing beverage. There really is nothing else out there that is like it.

Solixir is an all natural, no GMO, sparkling botanical beverage. There are no added sugars or sweeteners, and each can is (total) under 60 calories.

Solixir comes in three different flavors, each providing a different function.

Orange Mate: Awake

Orange Mate is great in the morning, or any time you need a little pick-me-up. For me, that comes at about 3 pm daily. The energy source in Orange Mate comes from the yerba mate herb, a South American herb that many people are familiar with because it is popular in teas. In a can of Orange Mate, yerba mate provides a low 30 mg of natural caffeine, so the effect is a really nice wake-up, and a sustained energy. Unlike other energy drinks, packed with sugar and loaded with caffeine, Orange Mate doesn’t make you spike and crash or get jittery.

Pomegranate Ginger: Restore

Pomegranate Ginger is great for many reasons. I’d say it is my favorite flavor, but also as a SPINNING™ instructor, it a great recovery drink post workout. The full glass of water in each can (as in all flavors) hydrates my body right away, while the herbal blend encourages oxygen flow and aids in post-workout repair (elderflower/elderberry are vasodilators- a fancy way to say they open up blood vessels and allow for faster recovery). Pomegranate Ginger is also great to drink if you feel a little cold coming on, or if you have an (um, errr) hangover.

Blackberry Chamomile: Relax

Blackberry Chamomile is an awesome drink when you want to chill out. It contains lots of soothing herbs which are great for relaxing your body. I like to drink it when I want to de-stress or calm down a bit. It is also great to drink before bed.

All three flavors are really refreshing, just sweet enough (from real fruit juice), and provide your body with the hydration it needs.

Other quick things to note about Solixir:

•There is a full glass of water in each can, so you really are hydrating your body when you drink Solixir

•Solixir was developed by an herbalist and nutritionist

•If you live in NYC, you can grab cans of Solixir at Whole Foods, in the cooler section. It is also available on amazon.com.

•Solixir is privately owned, so when you buy a can, you will feel good about supporting an independent, ethical business

•If you like cocktails, Solixir makes a GREAT, healthier mixer. Pom Ginger and gin- add some Canton ginger liqueur if you’re feeling adventurous. Heaven.

As I said, I’m so lucky to work with a company that promotes a healthy lifestyle, and at the same time, exemplifies that with hard work and dedication, you can build your own business from the bottom up- and continue to grow!

Of course, Solixir is vegan. It is also gluten free. And delicious.

Stella dog loves Solixir too!





Vacation Recap

5 05 2010

First off, thank you to my man, Robbie, for the beautiful post…now get on it
more often. Turns out, a real camera (and a good photographer…thanks again Robbie) makes a huge difference, so after this post and going forth, I promise to lose the crappy phone camera shots as much a\s possible and deliver better pictures.

Last week, Robbie and I went to the Pacific Northwest. We basically flew into Seattle, then went to Orcas Island in the Puget Sounds, hung in Seattle, hiked a little Mt. Rainier, drove down to Portland, went to Willamette Valley wine country, then made our way up to Multnomah Falls, back to Settle then flew out. We packed our itinerary rather tight, but somehow we didn’t feel rushed.

We really got to see what we wanted to see (except a longer hike would have been great at Rainier), but for a week, I couldn’t have been happier with our trip. What a beautiful country we have…

So, I must highlight a few specific vegan foodie moments that were particularly memorable. First of all, Portland is a vegan HEAVEN. Everybody knows what the terms vegan means, and even the BIGMENLOVEMEAT hot dog truck guy had vegan hotdogs. Dude…it was crazy.

Our first WOW meal was at Portobello, an all vegan Italian-ish spot in Portland. What is awesome about them, besides the kick-ass food, is that they are really into organic, local produce and supporting local farmers. And, they make their seitan in house, which us in NYC know is a rarity. Side note: Sacred Chow does make their own- Kudos! Back to Portobello, though. We had the Pate, which was actually from Field Roast. It was served with an amazing baguette. You can’t get the Field Roast pate in retail, so if you are ever in Portland, eat it at Portobello.

Next, we had the Portobello Steak, with fleur de sel, olive oil whipped yukons and asparagus. The mushroom was perfectly cooked, as was the asparagus and the amazing creamy mashed potatoes. We also shared the Potato Gnocchi with rapini, fennel and cauliflower vellutata. The sauce on these buggers was plate-licking-worthy. It was so exciting to be able to visit a place with dished like this gnocchi, which is something usually seemingly vegan friendly but often containing eggs, or any number of non-vegan sauce ingredients.

We drank a beautiful bottle of Bunny Rouge from Hip Chicks Do Wine. It was such a beautiful, fruit-forward, well-loved wine. And it was local, baby!

For breakfast the next morning, we hit up Voodoo Doughnut. Robbie got the classic Voodoo style, filled with yummy, jammy blood. I barely remember what doughnuts taste like, but to me, it brought me right back to elementary school birthday parties. Robbie said it was spot on as well, and I trust his perspective on such matters. Regardless, they tasted awesome…

For lunch, we hit up Sweetpea. They have some killer lunch sandwiches, and we had one with some Field Roast, seitan, veg pepperoni,  pickled jalapenos, and other goodies. It was pretty awesome.

After a great lunch at Sweetpea, we hit up the rest of the vegan strip mall. YES- really. Next to Sweetpea is Herbivore, where I got an awesome zip-up hoodie and some fun buttons. Then, we went next door to  Food Fight grocery, an all vegan grocery store that I have been aching to visit for years. In case you were wondering, they’re open: EVERY F’ING DAY from 10-8PM (their signage says so!). I finally was able to try and buy Teese for the first time, as well as find a vegan jello mix! Rainbow cake on the way! The Teese is pretty rocking by the way. I love my Daiya (which is apparently pronounced day-ah…I don’t know how to feel about that), but Teese is easier to melt on things like nachos without drying out.

We also made the mandatory visit to Powell’s books. I thought you might be amused by this sign. Check out the “VEGAN” notation on the sign. Veg books took up most of the right aisle- it was a pretty beautiful sight.

Overall, it was an incredible trip. Not just the food, and the wine (oh..the wine…we brought 10 bottles home), but the country out there is really beautiful. And the folks there appreciate the land. They work with nature, not on it. This was made very clear while we were in Willamette Valley, talking one on one with the vinters. They respect the land and what it gives us. They nurture it and treat it as the living, fragile Earth that it is. The commitment to organic/natural/biodynamic farming that is prevalent out West is inspiring.

We’ll definitely be back.

When we got home, it was 30 degrees warmer, and time to take out the picnic basket for its inaugural trip. We had a wonderful picnic in Fort Greene park, with our Field Roast loot (the PATE, baby- and other things..mwahaha)…if you visit the factory in Seattle, you may just get as lucky as we did.

Cheers!





Thank you Colbert…we’re now safe!

13 03 2010

Stephen Colbert warns us all against Pringles recall. NATION, this is important…

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/267053/march-09-2010/consumer-alert—pringles

The scary thing is, these 2 flavors are being recalled because of possible salmonella contamination. This is related to a number of cases, where the food born bacteria has been found in hydrolyzed vegetable protein, or HVP, which is a free glutamate much like MSG.

Check out the following list of food additives that are similar to MSG in side effects:

Monopotassium glutamate, Glutamate, Glutamic Acid, Vegetable Protein Extract, Sodium Caseinate, Autolyzed Plant Protein, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP), Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP), Calcium Caseinate, Textured Protein, Yeast Extract, Autolyzed Yeast.

So, check your labels- because the above ingredients are widely added to seemingly healthy products.

P.S. Remember when there was a rumor flying around that Pringles were one molecule away from Elmer’s glue? I can’t find anything to back that up, but I like to believe that it is true…





Who owns our food?

12 03 2010

When buying food, I’ve been pretty good over the past few years at staying away from the big name companies. I try to buy local and organic whenever possible, but as organic/natural/small companies get more popular, they seem to be swallowed up by huge corps that are quickly monopolizing our food. We have a right to know what we are putting in our bodies and the bodies of those we love.

Take Health Valley, for example…owned by Hain. Yves? Yup, they’re Hain too. Naked juice? They’re owned by Pepsi, and Odwalla is owned by Coca-Cola. What about Green & Blacks? Cadbury Schweppes, people.

Here is a great chart for finding out whether or not your food is owned by a conglomerate.

http://nutritionwonderland.com/2009/02/organic-corporate-hierarchy/

And if you’d like to be even further informed and/or horrified, check out Coca-Cola’s own website, where they list all the companies they own, including one starting with every letter except X and Z. Impressive.

http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/brands/brandlist.html

I guess it all comes down to attempting to buy fresh ingredients that are local and hopefully organic, and educating ourselves so we can support the little guys.  If you haven’t yet, see Food Inc.

And congratulations to The Cove for winning best documentary at the Oscars. It is an incredible film, and a story that deserves worldwide attention.

http://www.thecovemovie.com

Coke takever





Okay- I will do this…again.

3 03 2010

I have completely neglected this blog, possibly because we’ve made such cool stuff over the past few months that it felt like past the point of no return territory. We received Veganomicon and Vegan Brunch for Xmas, so lots has been made. Our favorties included Mexican style sausages, beanball subs, vietnamese sandwiches and chickpea cutlets- to name a few. We’ve also been continuing our Mexican binge with achiote tofu/maywah shrimp tacos. NUM!

So, I vow to be good and update regularly.





Fall! I (kind of) love it…

20 11 2009

Okay, I’ve learned to love it- I must admit. I still hate the multitude of clothing, and not being able to throw on a dress and not wear sweaters, but in the fall, the city is just a whole different thing.

Robbie and I FINALLY got to Wave Hill, and it was absolutely worth the trip- which isn’t bad if you go on days when Wave Hill isn’t closed; but we’d still rather blame that fiasco from last time on Wave Hill. Why not?  The grounds are incredible, and with the hopefully long-lasting abuse of the old NYU student IDs, admission is only $3.00. Go!Here are a few pics from our visit- GIANT leaf, beautiful view, and stunning conservatories with craaazyyyy looking plants.

We’ve also been cooking up a storm lately. Lots of fall things; soups, anything with tomatoes, and generally anything seasonal/comforting. I’ve been trying my best to buy local/organic as much as possible. Until I started reading a lot more about the horrors of the veggie world (after feeling generally well educated about the animal side of it), I’ve learned that I can do so much more than I am doing. For example, I was able to spend 7.50 on: a huge eggplant, a quart of apple cider, 3 Macoun apples, and 2 huge butternut squash- all local and organic. I left the market feeling so good- I knew that I’d supported small, local, organic farmers in my area, and that I would be feeding myself and the person I love great, healthy, chemical free food. I hope to be able to do this more and more, as it is hypocritical to call myself a well informed, practicing environmentalist if local and organic are not up there in importance with the waste produced by factory animal farming. Anyway, here are a few of our yums- Serious Mac N Cheese, bruschetta, lasagna, and a spicy tempeh salad. The last is a veganized verson of a pizza Robbie had at Keste- it is topped with peppers and artichoke hearts, and instead of sauce, it is a butternut squash “cream” sauce. Delish!

The Mac N Cheese is the veganized version of Ina Garten’s recipe, which was in GQ.

To make it, cook about 3/4 pack of pasta (we love shells).

For the rest, you’ll need:

Preheated oven- 400

1/2 block each: FYH jack and FYH cheddar- cubed into 1/2″ pieces.

6 TBSP vegan butter

1 quart soymilk

1/2 cup flour

Spices: salt, pepper

1-2 plum tomatoes

Panko or bread crumbs.

Method:

In a saucepan, heat soymilk till it is warm, but not to a boil. While it heats, make a roux out of  your flour and butter by melting the butter and gradually whisking in the flour bit by bit. When they are mixed well, add your soymilk and stir until the mixture is a bit thickened. Add your cheese, and some salt and pepper. Keep mixing until cheese it melted, making sure not to keep the heat too high (or it gets too gooey)…

Mix drained pasta in with your cheese mixture and place in either a casserole dish or preferably, a dutch oven. Add a slice of tomatoes on top in a layer, and sprinkle liberally with panko/bread crumbs to top it all off.

Cover and bake till bubbly, about 35 minutes. Then, bake 5 minutes more under the broiler.

Enjoy!





A confused local grocer…

17 10 2009

Our local grocery store is the Met- a small, but packed store that carries all the standards, and randomly some really great vegan products. Weirdest of all, they carry Field Roast- vegan grain meat. It is the seitan superstar of all faux meats, and comes in sausages, slices, and even a stuffed “Celebration Roast” with butternut squash, apples, and mushrooms. It tastes incredible, and has become a staple (when we can afford it) on our menu. A few months ago, I noticed a familiar label in the packaged meat aisle at the Met. God knows why I was looking in that direction, but I was- and noticed Field Roast in the MEAT section. Not in the separate vegan/veg section with your standard Tofurkey/Light Life selection. Nope- the Field Roast vegan sausages were right next to the other premade “gourmet” (blech) real meat products. I thought this was hilarious (especially since they cost less here, at the Met, than at Whole Foods), and thought that would be the end of the story. Did they think it was meat? Maybe, but regardless, I was just happy to see it there. Last week, however, the story unfolded. As usual, I always look to see that the Met still carries it, as I have a fear that one day it will just be gone. Today, however, there were not only sausages, but Field Roast meatloaf and Field Roast Celebration Roast (which I’ve rarely seen anywhere). The best part is that it was priced out as an actual meat- handling warning label on it and all. This all confirmed by suspicion- the Met really doesn’t know it is vegan. And that’s good- it is a good enough product to be placed on the same “level” as it’s counterparts. Huzzah! We used it to make a pre-Thanksgiving vegan feast- with gravy, mashed local purple potatoes, and local greenbeans with almonds and rosemary. Vive la Field Roast!

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