A Couple of My Favorite Food Things

This month, I have two favorite food things. These food things came into my life because I hate deciding what to eat. I dread the trip to the grocery store every week. Thing 1 and thing 2 have made eating simpler, a bit more fun, and still healthy!

Vitamix – This kitchen tool has completely changed my life in just a week. I am very lazy in the kitchen. When I decide I am hungry, I want to be eating within 10 minutes. If it takes more than 10 minutes to prepare, I don’t really want it by the time it is ready (and I usually mess it up or I make SO much I end up throwing most of it away. Things just don’t taste as good after they are frozen so I don’t freeze.) I also happen to be the only person in NYC who does not order in, ever.  I have this vision of lukewarm, unhealthy, expensive food showing up at my door.  So I just don’t do it. This summer, I found myself eating snacks for dinner most nights. Mostly healthy snacks (popcorn, crackers and Tzatziki), but still snacks. Not enough nutrition.  I decided it was time to jump on the smoothie train. (I had considered a juicer because I actually prefer the consistency of juice, but juicers are a huge pain and not for someone who is lazy in the kitchen.)

I jumped WAY in paying over $500 for the Vitamix Professional Series 300. When it arrived and I set it up in my kitchen, it looked HUGE! My kitchen is super tiny with only ONE plug on a very small counter next to my sink. This plug is already supporting a microwave, a fridge, a toaster oven, and a coffee maker.  Could my kitchen support another appliance? I almost sent it back for a smaller version but I had already purchased a ton of fruits and veggies and was dying for a smoothie!  The first one was delicious and SO easy. Pineapple, banana, and kale. The next day I made cashew nut milk. 10 minutes from start to finish INCLUDING clean-up. I had purchased WAY more than I could eat before it went bad, but I learned that I can freeze fruit or use frozen fruit! You actually SHOULD use frozen fruit if you want a cold smoothie. I can stock up on Saturday to last the whole week. Amazing. Trader Joe’s power greens, some berries, almond milk, and yogurt and I have a full meal. After a couple of days of super yummy smoothies, I had a bit too much confidence and went off recipe and ended up with something really disgusting that tasted like an avocado kale mousse. I couldn’t drink it.  Everything else has been really delicious and healthy.  In the winter, I can use it to make soup! Definitely a very good investment (with a 7-year warranty!)

Naturebox – Another favorite food thing, a magical box of healthy snacks that arrives in the mail every month. I do love to snack. Naturebox donates meals to the hungry for every box I buy, no artificial anything, delivered right to my door.  $20 a month for 5 snacks packages is not super cheap, but I pay for convenience and health, so I am their target market. For the first few months, Naturebox picked my snacks for me. I hate deciding what to eat so I was happy to let the mystery box appear every month. I liked most of the snacks, but there were always a couple I was not wild about.  Then I finally got my act together to take advantage of their select your own snacks option!  There are so many delicious options to pick from. Here are a few of my favorites: Sourdough Cheddar Pretzels, Whole Wheat Apple Pie Figgy Bars, Lemon Tea Biscuits, Banana Bread Granola, and Everything Bagel Sticks (so this is what I was eating for dinner before I got my Vitamix). If you are thinking about trying it, hit me up. I can get you one free box when you sign up for a subscription (that you can of course cancel if you don’t love it as much as I do.) I can not, unfortunately, get you a discount on a Vitamix.

A Few of My Favorite Apps

Every once in a while I stumble across something cool.  I have this plan to write a monthly blog featuring a few of my favorite new things. That’s a lot of things. Let’s start with my new favorite apps and where it goes…

Bus New York City – I am a big fan of the bus. It’s not cool, I know. I ride the bus. I see who I am riding the bus with. But I get to stay above ground where there is more fresh air and more to see. And when you live on the far east side of NYC, the bus becomes your friend. What makes the bus fun, is the Bus NYC app. This app tells me exactly when the bus is coming! It’s amazing. I can see all of the buses on the route and watch them move along while I obsessively refresh the view. I can pull up the schedule to see exactly when the next bus is coming. I can save my favorite stops so I can pull them up quickly. My current commute to work involves changing from one bus to another so now I can get on bus #1 and try to perfectly time bus #2. So much fun. I paid $3 for this app, but worth every penny.

Citymapper – Shortly after my life was changed by the Bus New York City map, I learned about the Citymapper app. This app takes my real-time bus information to a whole new level. Citymapper will show me the fastest transit route to get to any destination in NYC. I have tried other apps that claim to do this (like HopStop) but I never took to them.  A couple of things about Citymapper that got me hooked right away. (1) it includes the path train as a transit option. Not many people know about or use the path for commutes within Manhattan (since it goes to NJ), but Citymapper does (2) The main screen includes an intuitive way to add home and work as shortcuts so I can always very quickly find the fastest way to get to the two places I go most.  Very cool.  In addition, the app will also display how long it will take to walk, bike, or cab it to my destination AND how many calories I would burn for walking or biking.  Even MORE, the biking option shows options for your own bike or using a bike share. I can see it does even more stuff that I haven’t figured out yet. Seriously, this app is awesome. And it was free. FREE! Unfortunately, Citymapper is telling me my two bus commute is not always the fastest option and I am still in a bit of denial about this.

Equanimity – My last app is not a transit app.  Equanimity is my meditation timer. Since I have been hitting the meditation pillow (almost) every day for 15 minutes, this one gets a lot of use. I like this app because it is simple and it keeps a record of my meditation. I have a nice log that reminds me I have issues with meditating on Saturday for some reason so I can’t get a good continuous run going. I have tried another app called Insight Timer that does the same things AND shows you who else is meditating with the Insight Timer app around the world (or near you.) That is all well and good, but the Insight Timer app is kind of hideous.  Sure, for most of the time I am meditating, I am not looking at the app, but a nice elegant interface gets me in the right mindset for my 15 minutes of quiet thinking.  Note: Insight Timer is FREE and I paid $5 for Equanimity. I pay for quality. It’s how I roll…

What are your favorite apps blog fans?