Fashionable Food #1

Okay, so you’re thinking, how can a food be fashionable? But let me tell ya, in Manhattan, food is trendy. Having a green smoothie in your hand is way more fashionable than holding a Starbucks latte nowadays. When walking down the street I will occasionally hear the word “Kale”. And I just don’t understand. (But secretly love it.) So the fashionable food I am going to be talking about today, is Kale.

What is kale? 

Once upon a time I used to be called the “Cheeseburger Princess”. Ask my buddies. I used to order a cheeseburger at every meal. No matter what. (I don’t get it either.) Well, when you ordered a cheeseburger at the diner there would be this wacky green thing that came on the plate as well.  “Mom, what the heck is that thing?? Can I eat it?!?!” I would exclaim. My mom answered, “It’s edible but I wouldn’t eat it.” Well that my friend, is Kale. Kale was a garnish, something you wouldn’t touch and your ketchup would normally spill all over it and it looked nasty.  Kale must have moved to New York City to follow its dreams of becoming a Vegetable Powerhouse (I’m lame, i’m sorry) and somehow got noticed as it laid there limp on diner plates all over the city. Kale is loaded with vitamins and has so many health benefits. If you can get past the weird texture and bitter taste (which I don’t even notice anymore) your body will be thankful.

Why is kale so trendy? 

Kale is 100 percent a fashionable food. Stay at home moms prance around the Upper East Side in their Lululemon pants and a kale juice, as they talk about kale. I secretly love hashtagging #kale. Sh. I secretly love going out to dinner and ordering a kale salad for an appetizer. Sh again. But anyways, its a great trend to be apart of because who doesn’t want radiant skin and a beautiful body? Juice places are popping up left and right in every city and town. They have drinks like “Super Duper Greens” and “Green Lemonade” and “Kale Koolada” (Juice Generation) all with kale being the main attraction. I often wonder if people in Williamsburg were eating kale before the people in Manhattan….hmm. Just a thought. #trendyfood #hipsterfood

Kale Kreations

Okay. So I’m not superwoman in the kitchen at ALL. At all. My boyfriend, Zaan, is …but that’s because he’s from South Africa. I’m American. Anyways. These are some of my favorite kale things and they are so easy even I can make them.

1.) Kale w/ Acorn Squash

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Ingredients:

Kale

Acorn Squash (Or whatever kinda squash you prefer)

White onion

Garlic

Coconut Oil

Sunflower Seeds

Cinnamon

Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the acorn squash in half and douse in extra virgin olive oil. Bake for around an hour, the squash should be soft.

In a sauce pan, saute the onion and garlic in the coconut oil until the onion becomes translucent and fragrant. Add a generous amount of sea salt into the pan at this time.  Then add in your kale. After the kale has cooked down remove from heat and pour into a bowl.  Then slice up your acorn squash throw it on top along with some sunflower seeds and a touch of cinnamon.

2.) Kale Salad

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I eat kale salad almost everyday. Sometimes I make a fancy dressing but with this one I just did oil and vinegar! Throw on whatever ingredients you like!

Topped the salad with

1 oz blue cheese

Hardboiled eggs

Sundried tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes

Toss and Enjoy!

3. KALE SMOOTHIE TIME!

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I love love love drinking my greens. It’s like an IV of nutrients.

My kale smoothies vary but what I will always have in every kale smoothie:

1. KALE

2. Almond milk (Vanilla or unsweetened)

3. BANANA

4. Maca Powder************

I will sometimes do mixed berries, apple, ginger, lime, whatever. I like to change it up! Just make sure you always have a liquid base and I love having the banana in it because it makes it sweet.  What is Maca? It’s a plant. (Need I say more?) It supposedly helps with fatigue, memory, hormonal imbalances.  I don’t have much more to say because I don’t suffer from fatigue (Not yet at least) but hopefully this stuff will prevent it!

So you can either go out and buy a new dress from Bergdorf Goodman and spend 1000 dollars OR you could just buy a pound of kale for a $2.59, put it in a smoothie, and walk around with a green juice. You’ll be the talk of the town. I PROMISE.

Til next time.

Monica

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First post

My life kind of resembled a Sunday morning walk in the park.  Things just always seemed to go my way.

I was raised in a small town in Southern New Jersey with two supportive, loving, and gorgeous parents.  My mother was a pastors daughter and I was at church with her every Sunday.  My father was in the car business and was the life of the party. Which he still is.  I also have my little sister, who is an exact replica of myself.  While growing up, my life was perfect. I can’t even think about an occasion when I was unhappy.

For as long as I remember, my mother had Multiple Sclerosis. She was diagnosed shortly after I was born in the early 90s.  “Diagnosis and Adios” is what the doctors said about a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis before treatment options were available.  This never affected me growing up.

I remember in my teenage years my mother getting angry at me for my disruptive and rebellious behavior and she said how I’m going to get Multiple Sclerosis just like her.  And I deserved it. I responded with something coy like, “Whatever, Mom.”  I was 17 years old and life was my blank white canvas. I was NOT going to get Multiple Sclerosis because I was too cool, plus, it wasn’t hereditary anyways.

Moving to New York City was probably the  greatest decision I ever made. I was 20 years old when I moved to the big apple for college. My dorm room was the size of an elevator, but man did I love looking out my window and seeing the life behind one city.  After my move to the city, doors just started opening. I was doing things I never thought I would ever experience in my life.  But like I said, my life resembled a Sunday walk in the park.  I was lucky. I never got stressed out about things.  I would see my fellow peers running around screaming and stressing, and I would just sit there. With a smile on my face.

After I moved into my new apartment on the Upper East Side I developed a strong interest in running, yoga, and my vegan lifestyle. I was in the gym everyday and green juices were my favorite accessory. Along, with vodka club. And American Spirits. I seemed to be this activist for a healthy life, but I would count calories obsessively and drink every night while chain smoking, but I would never miss a gym session, oh no. I withered away, but I didn’t care, my life was perfect.  I was modeling, had an amazing job, and graduation was so close I could taste it…

One morning in April I was walking to class drinking my 3rd Venti Soy Misto from Starbucks and puffing away on my cigarette and I noticed a blind spot in my right eye.  I was so hopped up on caffeine and nicotine I pushed this blind spot in my eye out of mind and kept walking.  I noticed the blind spot reappear when I was overheated.  Throughout April and May I disregarded it completely. I think I knew something was up, and I wasn’t ready to face the truth. In early June I couldn’t take it anymore and finally went to an Ophthalmologist on the Upper East Side.  And that was it. He looked into my eye and saw damaged and dead nerves in my right eye. He pretty much could diagnosis me with Multiple Sclerosis right then and there but I needed to see my neurologist, get an MRI, and get a spinal tap. Little did I know I wouldn’t get a full diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis for about another year.

Aids, syphilis, brain tumor, cancer…you name it, I was tested for it.  I was almost relieved when they gave me a diagnosis of MS. My life completely stopped in its tracks.  I remember laying in bed just crying…thinking of my huge dreams, my future children and husband, everything. My life was perfect, this couldn’t be happening. I sobbed. How? How did this happen. My mother blamed herself. She sobbed. We sat there on a Tuesday night on my couch in New Jersey, she just held me and stripped me of all my clothing because I was overheating on a chilly January night.

But we stopped crying. My mom put on her leg brace and walked slowly but surely to work the next day.  I never thought about my mothers limp, but now it was all that I would notice when I looked at her.

But, let me tell you. Life goes on. It truly…truly does.  One year in with Multiple Sclerosis I experience very little symptoms and lead a pretty healthy life. I’m still in the gym everyday. I eat as healthy as I can, but I won’t restrict myself to life and all of it’s pleasures through food. You won’t see me chain smoking anymore or drinking an obscene amount of vodka but you will see me sip on red wine.  What I’ve learned is that i’m HUMAN. I’ve read every single healing health book there is. But let me tell you, it’s all rubbish, because no one is perfect.  I started this blog to show that life doesn’t stop after a life changing diagnosis. It doesn’t.  I’m not going to preach to not eat dairy or cheese, or chicken…I just won’t. It’s all about moderation.  Healing is all in our minds.  I keep strong every day and make the best decisions I can.  That’s what it is all about.

I hope you will join me on my journey.

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Monica