Friday, April 25, 2008

NYC Vegan Restaurants and Raw Vegan Chocolate

I had the pleasure of visiting two raw vegan restaurants earlier this week in NYC. The first was Bonobos at 18 E. 23rd Street. Bonobos is named after the Great Ape that lives in Africa. We share 99% of this ape's DNA. Bonobos website explains:

"Wild bonobos are happy pleasure loving creatures whose lifestyle is dictated by instinct and Mother Nature. They are very healthy and live long lives, dying from old age, accidents or predators. There is no evidence of degenerative disease like there is with their human relatives. Instinct is responsible for their diets instead of social custom and food manufacturers. Their diet is predominantly raw, wild and plant based: fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Since there is so much discussion about the correct diet for humans, bonobos can give us tremendous insight into what we are meant to eat and what kind of lifestyle we should have."

The food was fantastic! I enjoyed coconut water with my meal of a big green salad, lots of raw veggies and a yummy nut meat pattie:) I felt wonderful after my meal. There are so many tasty options for raw vegans that are packed with the good stuff we need to be healthy and vibrant. Check out Bonobos' menu here. If you live in NYC, be sure to stop in! I'll be back at Bonobos for the first Crazy Sexy Posse Meetup on May 3. Check out the Crazy Sexy Life forum here, you may want to join us!

The second restaurant I visited was Pure Food and Wine at54 Irving Place. This restaurant is the creation of Sarma Melngailis who wrote Raw Food Real World (a raw cookbook that I've mentioned in previous posts). The restaurant was a cozy and inviting place to settle in for a 3 hour meal! We enjoyed: Spicy Thai Lettuce Wraps with Tamarind Chile Sauce, Marinated Shitake and Avocado Sushi Rolls, and Rawviolis for starters. For the main dish, I ordered the Zucchini and Roma Tomato Lasagna with Basil-Pistachio Pesto, Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce, and Pignoli Ricotta (picture from Last, but NOT least, I savored a raw mint ice cream sundae, topped with unbelievably rich cacao truffles. To die for. I also enjoyed coconut water with my meal:) Its a good thing that I do not live in NYC, because I would want to eat there every night!

I had a wonderful conversation with a new friend that evening about raw vegan food. I've struggled with following a mostly raw, vegan diet in social situations, especially with family. My wise new friend helped me regain my confidence in my choice to follow this path. She helped me turn my insecurity into pride! Next time I feel like compromising my diet to "fit in", I am going to bring a delicious raw food dish to share with friends and family.

Lastly, I was just at Whole Foods picking up some greens for the weekend, when I got a hankering for chocolate. I'm not someone who can have a bar of chocolate hanging out in my cupboard without devouring it in one sitting, so I was looking for a single serving, organic dark chocolate treat. I was pleasantly surprised to find 100% Organic Vegan Raw (single serving) Chocolate bar! The chocolate (70% cacoa) is made by Love Street Living Foods. You can read an article about this company here. The article explains:

"The chocolate, made with a low-temperature (melted below 108 degrees) process, contains no processed sugar or hydrogenated fats or chemicals. The ingredients list starts with organic raw cacao (70 percent), which they source from Ecuador (cacao typically is roasted for chocolate). The rest: Organic raw cacao butter, organic raw coconut oil, organic raw agave nectar (the sweetener), organic raw whole vanilla bean, organic raw maca (powdered South American root vegetable), organic raw cayenne (a subtle touch of it) and Himalayan crystal salt."

The texture is more gritty than traditional chocolate, but it is still delicious, rich, and flavorful. Not to mention very satisfying:)

I am more and more motivated each day to continue on a (mostly) raw vegan path...people keep telling me I'm getting "the glow". Its not just the food, its part of a lifestyle, which I discovered through Crazy Sexy Life (CSL), Sivananda Yoga, and numerous spiritual teachers. Since returning from NYC, three friends have approached me on how to start on the CSL path and I love sharing my knowledge and resources. Thanks CSL!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead

p.s.-I picked up Alba's Body Sunscreen (30 S.P.F) today at Whole Foods! I'm ready to enjoy the sun (safely).


1 comment:

Carrie Nicole said...

Thanks for sharing Sundari... I too struggle with sticking to my raw vegan transformation with social situations and if I hear "protein" anything one more time, I might scream! ha ha.

Reading your post has been a boost of inspiration for me to continue on my path. I want that glow, I want the optimal health, I want to feel vibrant and the I want to share that with others. Cheers to you!