Red Bamboo, Part Deux

When my friend asked if I wanted to go to lunch last week, there was no doubt in our minds that we were going back to Red Bamboo, the fabulous vegan restaurant in the Village that I wrote about back in November.

Above is the feast we shared, and it was just as amazing as the first time. We started with popcorn shrimp, which came with a spicy and tasty cocktail sauce. I’d always wondered how the vegan version of fish would taste, and I was delighted to find out that the taste and texture of this shrimp were really dead on.

My friend had roast beef, which was really good and I had the soul chicken sandwich, which, like the shrimp, had the taste and texture of actual chicken. There were four really big chunks of it, and I ended up just eating it without the bun because it was so good on its own.

Like good girls, we just had to split a dessert and we unanimously chose the s’mores cheesecake. When we went last time, we had pumpkin cheesecake, which tasted so much like real cheesecake I couldn’t believe it was vegan. The s’mores version, however, tasted more like fudge than that slightly sour cheesecakeness, and it was decadent and divine.

I was so in heaven after this meal that I ended up walking 80 blocks afterward and made the fella and Girl Child go back with me the very next day. And I cannot tell a lie: The GC and I just got back from having yet another fabulous meal at Red Bamboo.


A family on NutriBlast

In this house, we have fallen in love with Sage.

No, not the herb or the color (though I do love that hue now that I think about it), but the NutriBullet, which I just named this very second after trolling a baby names website. Sage means wise and healthy, so it’s pretty much a perfect name, non? (1.) because we’re being wise (finally!) about trying to eat (2.) healthy.
See what I did there?

I’ve made NutriBlasts every single day (sometimes twice!) since I wrote last week, and the Girl Child and fella have kind of become a bit obsessed with having a smoothie. I even got him to eat bananas, something he despises. It’s a win-win, really.

Would you just LOOK at the color of this? So green, so yummy!

Would you just LOOK at the color of this? So green, so yummy!

“P22,” which I wrote about recreating last week from the food truck I used to frequent down in FiDi, is by far my favorite. The mix of spinach, pineapple, mango and banana is just amazing. It’s so clean tasting and green, and I have it pretty much every morning because it’s that good.

Another favorite, for the Girl and I, at least, is carrot, apple, orange and grated ginger. I bought a nice hunk, if that’s the right word, of ginger root and stuck it in the freezer since that what the wise people on the Interweb suggested I do to keep it fresh the longest. I love the zing the root gives to the blend, especially when I use a heavy zesting hand. This smoothie is a bit pulpy, just so you know. I guess I could strain it, if I wasn’t so lazy.

Orange you glad … I don't have a punchline?

Orange you glad … I don’t have a punchline?

One blend I just tried today is sure to become my go-to dessert, which is something I just can’t cut out of my life/diet at all. I always need something sweet post-dinner, and this chocolate-covered cherry smoothie will let me have it with another side of spinach.  I found the recipe (and a bunch of others on the docket to try) on I love this site and can’t wait to work my way through all the recipes. If you’re new to making green smoothies at home as I am, the site might be a great starting point for you.

Some days I have just a smoothie for lunch and a “sensible-ish dinner,” but if I still feel peckish, I’ll snack on hummus with carrots, cucumbers or celery, have an apple with peanut butter or a bowl of Special K. Mixed with getting in a few days of walking and I’m happy to report that I’m down two pounds.

There’s still a long ways to go, and I have a feeling we’re going to be making some more healthy changes in the coming weeks, so hopefully the next two and 10 and 20 pounds won’t be hard. I already know they’ll be delicious!


Taking the NutriBullet for a spin

After spending the past week battling a stomach bug (such a great way to ring in a new year!), I finally hauled myself to Whole Foods to stock up on fixings for the NutriBullet. $70 and a four-block rainy walk with three bags heavy with produce and frozen fruits later, I gave the Bullet its first spin with spinach, pineapple and strawberries.

It was very spinachy and most definitely needed a banana to tone down that hearty flavor, but it was still very good, very clean-tasting. I’m going to try to recreate “P22,” my go-to smoothie truck order of spinach, pineapple, banana and mango as soon as the bananas sitting the counter ripen.

I always get a bit nervous using any sort of kitchen gadget, thanks to standing dripping in strawberry daiquiri because my mom didn’t put the lid on the food processor down right not once but three times in the span of five minutes and the countless messes I made and calamities I’ve had when trying something in the kitchen for the first time, but the NutriBullet was so easy even I could do it. It takes up absolutely no room on the counter, and it pulverized all my ingredients in about 20 seconds with not an explosion or leak in sight.

Welcome to the family, NutriBullet. I feel like I should give you a name because I think we’re going to be besties from here on out.


That New Year smell

What is it about a new year that just inspires such hope and so many plans to do and be better?
I don’t know, but I’ll have what it’s having and fall suite to all that resolution making like I always do.

But instead of all those, let’s face it, empty promises I make to myself year in and year out, I’m going to make it pretty easy on myself this year, kind of like I did over on Ink for Blood, where I was very, very proud to report I kept a resolution for the first time ever and wrote something for myself every single day of 2013.

Here on Run, Nikki, Run, losing weight is always the numero uno, the modus operandi, the Grand Poohbah of Things to Do. You get it, I get it (oh, do I ever!), so I’m pretty sick of saying I need to shed pounds … and then crickets. I lose my willpower, I get sick, life hands me a lemon, etc. and so forth — life just happens, just as it does for everyone, even those annoying people who I always seem to see running as I’m out huffing and puffing wherever I walk. They make time for exercise, no matter what, so who the hell am I to not do the same?

So to myself in 2014, I vow to do (at least) 20 minutes of movement every day. That could be 20 minutes of walking, which obviously is pretty doable here in New York since we walk everywhere. It could be 20 minutes of ab exercises or one of the old standby circuits (crunches, pushups, squats + lunges) I used to do. Hell, it could even be 20 minutes of dancing around the house to my iPod (clearly only when the Girl Child and fella are at school and work to save myself some embarrassment). The point is to just move. I am not going to make any changes to myself or my health while I sit here feeling sorry for how bad I sometimes feel about myself.

These cute new Reeboks should make this resolution a snap!

These cute new Reeboks should make this resolution a snap!

And I’m not going to make any changes to myself without eating better, so for Christmas, I asked my mom to get us a NutriBullet. I had my first green smoothie off a truck a while back and have become kind of obsessed with them since, so I’m excited to start making them at home. A bunch of my friends on Facebook use similar gadgets to make them, so I look forward to drinking these super-healthy concoctions for breakfast and lunch several times a week and swapping some recipes and talking smoothies with them.

Can't wait to fill this up with green goodness!

Can’t wait to fill this up with green goodness!

That’s it. Just these two simple things. If I can’t do them, then I should just go pound sand or something, right?
Maybe don’t answer that.

But I think these two simple things can lead to big, big change. Lost pounds, a healthier and happier me — and us, to be honest, because you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be dragging the fella into this and know he’ll thank me later — a more comfortable airplane ride to Ireland for our family vacay in August and obviously more energy to lift all those pints of Guinness that are on the menu for that trip.

Let’s do this, 2014. I’m not getting any younger, but I sure as hell can start taking care of this body as a way to thank it for bringing me this far.

Happy New Year!


2013 in review

Happy 2014! Thanks for sticking with my sporadic writings on Run, Nikki, Run … I have a couple resolutions I’m looking forward to sharing with you in the coming days, so stay tuned!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 900 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 15 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.