Not Easy Bein’ Green

A Boring Entry About Revamping My Dietary Habits

December 7, 2009

A big THANKS Y’ALL for the comments/sympathy/advice on the post about losing my mind (and my breakfast and my will to live) on an airplane last week. Every time I get hit with labor pains really awful cramps, less than 24 hours later, I find myself surfing the Internet, scouring for any information that might improve the situation. I have made a lot of changes over the past few years that have helped lessen the regularity of “The Monster” as my roommate calls it. However, if last Monday was any indication, I have not yet found the solution for eradicating it completely.

HOWEVER! I sat and reflected on the events leading up to getting attacked by The Monster on an airplane back from LA and I do believe I have found the culprit and his name is Caffeine.

And now, let’s go back in time for some BACKSTORY ACTION!!!

The first time I ever got into coffee was back in college (DIDN’T WE ALL!? THOSE WERE THE DAYS!) when I had a three hour math class from 4:20-7:20 pm twice a week with the most monotone heavily Buffalo-accented professor that ever lived. He regaled us with stories about math and stories about how he liked to GEO Cache on the weekends, some kind of weird treasure-hunting activity you partake in using your GPS System. I had no idea what he was talking about (re: the GPS or the algebra) and would spend most of my time drooling onto the equations in my textbook.

NOT HELPFUL TO PASSING THE CLASS. Which was four credits, mind you. FOUR CREDITS.

I succumbed to sipping on some delicious flavored coffee from the little café in the lobby of the building, adding lots of extra milk. Mmmm! Suddenly, I WAS ALERT! And PAYING ATTENTION! And staying awake long enough to doodle caricatures of my professor in the margins of my notebook!! ALL WAS WELL. Until the following Saturday, when I did not have coffee and came down with the biggest headache in the history of the world.

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? I screamed, cradling my head and moaning.

That, said my boyfriend, is caffeine withdrawal.

And BOOM! I banished coffee from my sight.

That shit is CRAZY.

But it tastes so goooooooood.

Today, I waffle back and forth about coffee. It’s never become a regular staple, but when I need a pick me up, it is my very best friend. And sometimes, on lazy Saturdays or Sundays, a warm cup of coffee is just the thing. Perfection. Delicious. YUM.

I had been instructed by my gynecologist to lay off coffee (and chocolate! WHAT!) in order to ease the pain in my very fibrocystic boobs. Caffeine exacerbates the heavy feeling, the excruciating soreness that makes me want to take two bags of frozen peas and stuff them in my bra for two weeks out of every month. (Does anyone else experience this? MAKE IT STOP.)

HOWEVER, I did not realize that caffeine not only affects boob soreness but has the ability to turn regular menstrual cramps into sharp stabbing pains that make you barf on a plane.


Sure enough, when I reflect on the days leading up to that fateful day last week, aboard Delta flight #84, I had thrown all caution to the wind and sipped a lovely iced coffee with lots of soy almost every other day. BECAUSE I WAS IN LOS ANGELES! And that is my idea of HEAVEN! Because, you see, I LOVE THE TASTE OF COFFEE! And walking around the warm weather with an iced coffee, OH YOU GUYYYYYYYYS!

But then you end up in an airplane bathroom crying into your ice chips and was that lovely walk around Larchmont sipping on your beverage on a Sunday afternoon worth it? WAS IT? LAURA I AM TALKING TO YOU.

And so, I have made the decision to abandon caffeine. This makes me very upset though I think in the long run, it will be good for me. I know that a little coffee once a day is good for you and relatively harmless but I think I have to admit that for me, it probably isn’t worth it. Not to mention, I am very sensitive to how it makes me feel, often getting jittery and anxious after drinking one or two cups. (I AM PRETTY SURE THAT EVEN THOUGH I AM SITTING SAFELY AT MY DESK AT WORK, A SERIAL KILLER IS COMING BY TO CHOP ME IN TWO AT ANY MOMENT! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!)

Plus I noticed a DRAMATIC improvement in my cramps over the past year when I started taking B vitamins regularly. They were far less painful and didn’t last as long. While I was busy Googling the effects of caffeine, I came across a FUN FACT: Caffeine blocks the absorption of B vitamins. HA HA WHAT!? So even though I was taking my vitamins, the coffee I was drinking was rendering them null and void and PEOPLE? That is unacceptable. One more reason to kick caffeine to the curb, especially because B vitamins are important for like, making your brain, like, work. And stuff.

So, coffee is gone. Right now I’m favoring some herbal teas. (Lavender chamomile! HOLLER AT ME!) And I cry for the days of that sweet sweet coffee with soy milk.


Speaking of coffee with lots of soy milk…


I have decided to cut down (or cut out completely, which might be impossible) the amount of soy I ingest.

When I first became a vegan, I read all there was to read about giving up meat and dairy. I read “The China Study” and “Diet For A Small Planet” and I was convinced of the benefits of such a diet, for my body, for the animals and for the environment. However, like most new vegans/vegetarians, I gave up meat and dairy in favor of super processed soy products like Not Dogs, barbecue “chick’n” nuggets and fake cheeses and OH MAN, I know you think I’m nuts, but those things are TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASTY!!!!!

The problem was, they made me feel like crap. And they aren’t “real” food. My digestive tract went berserk every time I ate them and so, during the summer, with the help of my CSA and Michael Pollan, I tried to get rid of them entirely, favoring whole foods with ingredients I can pronounce. Foods like “Apple”.

I know. I’m a genius.

To worry me further, I have taken to reading “The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food”. I’m only 86 pages in and you guys? I AM TERRIFIED.

I feel extremely grateful that I’ve stopped eating the processed fake sausage but a bit worried that I continue to consume about a cup of soy milk every day and tofu about 4-5 times a week.

Something that really clicked for me was the information about soy and the estrogen it contains. My mother has gently suggested on numerous occasions that the soy was to blame for the issues with my uterus and I wonder if she is correct. And so I am totally freaked out right now that there is all this soy estrogen hanging out in my body, giving me various cancers and making me infertile. OH SOY! YOU ARE SO CRUEL. YET SO TASTY.

The book is fascinating and kind of flips everything I thought about soy on its head.

No, those soy nuts are not healthy and not a pure form of soy. No, Asians don’t eat a lot of tofu. And yes, a permutation of some sort of soy protein is in pretty much EVERY SINGLE FOOD EVER MADE and we are ALL GOING TO DIE AND DESTROY THE RAINFOREST AT THE SAME TIME.

Okay! So! Now that we’re clear! I suggest you pick up a copy of this book! I also suggest you give me other suggestions for stuff to eat that is not 1) meat and is not 2) soy. In the mean time, I will be over here! Eating APPLES. And that’s IT.

We’ll see how this experiment goes. I, for one, am at the point where I am ready to do anything for the sake of my body and my health. It has been through hell lately and I think the best thing I can do for it is to eat better. I will post later in the week about some meals I have replaced/swapped/deleted from my diet and the wonderful things I am now eating instead. I KNOW. YOU’RE EXCITED. ‘Til then, put down the Fakin’ Bacon and pick up an iced coffee and think of me, think of me fondly, over here with my mint tea and smiling happy soy-free ovaries.

How To Suck At Your New Year’s Resolutions

November 16, 2009

You guys, I am not doing so hot with my New Year’s resolutions. I started off so strong! As everyone does! In January, we’re all FRESH START! NEW YEAR! WOOOOO!! And suddenly the gym is crowded and we eschew desserts at the office and I get super pissed off because now the treadmills are all occupied and I can’t find any doughnuts and UGH!!!

But it’s a clean slate! So, I totally get that! And I love clean slates! I SUPPORT YOUR CLEAN SLATE.

It’s just…so hard to SUSTAIN. And I try not to make a gazillion resolutions for this very reason. So I chose some decent ones that were undoubtedly achievable

1. Stop drinking bottled water
2. Stop cursing
3. Stop popping my pimples

And I forget the rest.


No, they’re not.

Especially the bottled water.

Easy peasy.

James bought me a SIGG for Christmas last year, I figured I was good to go, I was happy happy happy for the first six months of 2009. And then you know what happened? I unscrewed my SIGG on the subway platform waiting for a train to arrive so I could have a delicious sip of fresh water when OH THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING, the top slid from my fingers, bounced on the platform and disappeared beneath the subway tracks. (Always to me. This stuff ALWAYS happens to me.)

And people? I love green living. I support the green movement completely. Global warming, I get it. Al Gore? Love you so hard. But honestly? No damn eco-friendly sustainable living philosophy is gonna get me to hop down on the NYC subway tracks and save my SIGG cap. OH NO. That privilege is reserved for babies in peril who fly out of their mothers hands in front of an oncoming train. And MAYBE a dog. But probably only puppies. Puppies and babies. I will save you. SIGG cap? Farewell, little buddy, nice knowin’ ya.

Back to the story.

All I had to do was buy a replacement screw cap from the SIGG website. But shortly after my cap committed suicide, SIGG came out and was all, WE LIED TO YOU! OUR WATER CONTAINERS ARE FULL OF BPA, WHATEVER THE HELL THAT IS, YOU PROBS HAVE CANCER, SORRY! And I was all, HM. I am not entirely sure I *WANT* a replacement SIGG cap.

So I didn’t order one.

And I kept telling myself I’d get something else.

Something BPA-free.

Something that wouldn’t cause me to grow a third leg.

But then, something bright and shiny distracted me. (AS USUAL.)

And before you know it, I was buying bottled water a few times a week and I upped my carbon emissions and I threw plastic into the recycling bin which probably means it’s just going into a landfill and therefore, I think I extended my time in purgatory by at least two years if not three. And also singlehandedly killed two dozen acres of Brazilian rainforest.

I have attempted to reuse my water bottles, specifically with my hot yoga practice which requires that I down at least ten gallons of H20 a day otherwise I go stark raving mad and start beating up homeless people for no good reason. But…I’m not entirely sure you SHOULD be reusing water bottles. I mean, even if I rinse them out and clean them, aren’t they full of CHEMICALS? Especially in a 105 degree yoga studio? OH GOD YOU GUYS! LIFE WASN’T MEANT TO BE THIS HARD!

I am currently evaluating buying an alternative to a SIGG. I know they said the new ones are okay and won’t cause my body to go into septic shock, BUT I CAN’T TRUST THEM ANYMORE. So, I am open to suggestions. Right now, I am leaning towards a super awesome BPA-free water thermos thing from L.L. Bean because apparently, I cannot get MORE like my father, so now I’m ordering sh*t from L.L. FREAKING BEAN!!!!!! I think along with my water thermos purchase, I will add on a few comfortable flannel button down shirts and just keep telling everyone how they’ll keep me warm when I’m out shoveling snow off the driveway. YA KNOW, DAT SNOW WON’T SHOVEL ITSELF! HA HA.

If you think I’m kidding about crazy people buying stuff from L.L. Bean, I was browsing their website and found this lovely water bottle and on that particular page, there is a review of this item by a woman who is “55-65 years old” and who wrote that the canteen in question is a “great size, fits into my neck harness”.

I’m sorry.

Your neck harness?

What the?

I think before I purchase a water bottle from L.L. Bean, I’m gonna need my AARP Card and a plow to hook my neck harness up to.


Where was I before I started making fun of my dad and neck harnesses?

New Year’s resolutions! HOLLER!

Giving up plastic water bottles = FAIL.


Which, I might add, displeases my mother on a daily basis. She actually got a priest to send me an e-mail about it though I think I’m gonna save that for another post because it is THAT GOOD. I do recall my mother telling me as a child that if I used bad language, the Holy Spirit wouldn’t want to live inside me anymore and if I kept it up, it would eventually go away. Only now is that striking me as super creepy. As a kid, that theory made 100% perfect sense.


Anyhow, it didn’t seem to work. I’m trying, I’m really trying but DAMN, that F word is tempting me all the time.

As far as popping pimples go, I have gotten WAY BETTER! Especially because I revamped my skincare routine and haven’t had the need to scar my skin lately. Which should make me feel better but really just makes me feel sad. I love popping pimples. Come here, there’s a good one on your chin! WAIT! WHERE ARE YOU GOING!?

I was kidding!

(I wasn’t!)

I have over a month to get these resolutions in order. HOLY SPIRIT PLEASE COME BACK TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PREFERABLY WITH A BPA-FREE NON-PLASTIC WATER CONTAINER!!!!!!

Abrupt Shift In Conversation

September 24, 2009


Do you want to talk about something else?

Because I do.

Preferably something that does not involve people dropping dead or dying or being sick or hospitals or funerals or, you know, stuff like that? I had the worst nightmare in the history of nightmares last night, something about being SKINNED ALIVE? I do not know. I think it’s better I forget. My mind is in a weary place.


MY CSA HAS BEEN GOING GREAT! Surprise, surprise, I never kept up with the CSA posts. Part of it is me being lazy but the bigger part is that I’m a boring eater so I usually take every single vegetable I receive and toss it with pasta and call it a meal. Um. Sorry? I thought I might have some crazy recipes to share, some AWESOME DISCOVERIES but really my summer has been veggies veggies pasta with the veggies veggies pasta with the veggies – WHAT THE HELL IS TATSOI? – pasta veggies pasta…

Last night, I made Vegan Yum Yum’s roasted pine nut and eggplant lasagna. I used homemade tomato sauce, whole wheat lasagna noodles, CSA eggplant, added some CSA basil and skipped the breadcrumbs.

I haven’t eaten it yet because the process took me super long and my roommate and I kept getting distracted by watching YouTube videos and dancing around the kitchen so. Um. I haven’t actually TRIED the lasagna, okay? But I packed it for lunch and in a little while, I will heat it up and see how it came out.


What else.


So, I received an e-mail in the middle of summer that essentially said PANIC PANIC PANIC TOMATO BLIGHT! No tomato shares! And I was all bummed because it was like, I FINALLY SIGN UP FOR 20 POUNDS OF TOMATOES and then they all get fungus and die cannot be eaten. That sucks.

HOWEVER! Then! Oh king of kings, glory be! I received an e-mail a few weeks ago that said even though the vegetable farmer’s tomatoes died went bad, the FRUIT farmer had some tomatoes! And you could have a 20 lb. box! For $15! And I was all SIGN THIS PLAYA UP NOW!

They were yellow heirloom tomatoes and they were divine. I made two huge batches of tomato sauce which are hanging out in my freezer, I put a bunch of them on a pizza, I made a huge caprese salad and then The Roommate and I took to eating about three a day, on a salad or on a sandwich or on its own like an apple. I don’t think I ingested anything for about two weeks except tomatoes. I don’t regret it. My digestive tract probably does. But I don’t.

Speaking of digestive tract, I am once again giving up dairy after a fleeting love affair with cheese. My skin has been completely awful this summer and I was all, “Hmmm…what the 15 year old is going on here?!” It might be the cheese. It might be the sugar. It might be the wine. So, in essence, it is my boyfriend, PCG who is the reason I am ingesting all this crap. (KISSES SCHNOOKUMS!)

And hey! That’s about all that’s new with me! What’s new with you guys!? I’m completely enamored with the recent fall weather and very much look forward to upcoming autumn-esque CSA deliveries of sweet potatoes and butternut squash. I have big plans tonight to veganize this very Octobery Martha Stewart recipe for TV night.

Speaking of which, are we all watching Glee? If not, you should be. You can catch all the episodes on Hulu so I don’t really see any reason NOT to watch other than maybe you’re a big fat jerk who doesn’t know what the best show on television is.

There are some exciting new developments happening career-wise for me but nothing has actually solidified yet so I don’t want to jump the gun and be all HOORAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY if it’s just a “Eh. Whatever.”


Here’s to life, to life, l’chaim. To no more dying. To the autumn leaves which will soon be blazing orange. To the frozen tomato sauce in my fridge. To the switching out of summer dresses for winter sweaters. TO VEGAN PUMPKIN WHOOPIE PIES, CAN I GET AN AMEN!?

CSA Week #1

June 16, 2009

I’ve decided to keep a running tab on my CSA shares every week. I’d like to keep track of how I used the produce, if I wasted anything and what kinds of delicious recipes I whipped up. AREN’T YOU ALL SO EXCITED FOR THIS?! YES? AWESOME. (IF YOU’RE NOT, SHUT UP. GO AWAY.)

Last week’s share was the first of the season! And as promised, was pretty pathetic. We were alerted that it’s especially rough due to the cool spring. So, many vegetables are going to take longer to ripen, etc. Wah wah, no tomatoes for weeks and weeks, booooooooo.

That being said, I walked away with:

* black beans

* one small head of lettuce

* kale

* pint of strawberries

* asparagus

* a pineapple

JUST KIDDING. How amazing would it be if you could grow pineapples on a Long Island farm? For real, man. But everything else is for serious.

I stupidly put the head of lettuce in my vegetable drawer in the fridge and by the next day it was wilted and inedible.

Um. Someone help me out here? Should I have put it in a bag? Kept it out on the counter? Eaten it right away? WHA HAPPINEDD TO MAH LETTICE?

I decided to cook the asparagus and kale in a Cashew Cream Sauce. I doubled the recipe because I had a lot of food and somewhere, it went horribly wrong. It got very watery and I cried buckets and buckets of tears. I salvaged what I could but it was still sort of runny and VERY cashew-y…or something?

It tasted delicious at the time regardless. It looked gross. But it tasted good. I wouldn’t serve it to my boyfriend if I had one. That’s all I’ll say. BUT IT TASTED GOOD. That night, anyway. Not so good heated up as leftovers the next day. In case you were wondering.

I roasted the asparagus before adding it to the sauce and lightly steamed the kale. I also threw in some whole wheat rigatoni and sun-dried tomatoes, two non-CSA items. (Well, and the cashews of course.)

I need to tweak that recipe for next time. I didn’t add the wine they suggested and perhaps that could’ve helped. I normally don’t use soy milk in my cashew cream sauce but did this time and maybe that’s where I ran into problems? I think just water and cashews in a food processor works best, with a touch of olive oil. WHO KNOWS.

I did many different things with my pint of strawberries. Things like, eat them for breakfast, eat them for lunch and eat them for a snack. My CSA sent out a warning that the strawberries tend to go bad pretty quickly but mine lasted about five days before showing any sign of mold. Or maybe I just didn’t notice. So who knows, now I might have some awesome moldy strawberries in my stomach. WAHOO! They were so delicious though! Ripe and red and juicy and everything you could ever want in a strawberry. If only they added money to your bank account every time you took a bite. THAT WOULD INDEED BE THE MOST PERFECT STRAWBERRY.

As far as the black beans go, I have not yet touched them. They are sitting in a paper bag on the counter. Do they go bad?? Anyone? Frankly, they are weirding me out. I’m assuming I have to shell them? And then soak them? I have not done either of these things before considering the only time I eat black beans, all I have to do is open a can, rinse them and shove them in my mouth with the rest of a burrito. THANK YOU, GOYA! So, thoughts here? Black beans? Wha?

And so goes Laura’s CSA Extravaganza Week #1! I don’t know if this will feature will be back next week as Alayna and I are going to see the Indigo Girls in Central Park tonight and I’m not sure I will be around to pick up my share. Allegedly, I am only missing more kale and asparagus and some oregano. My food might have to be donated this week but hopefully, Tuesdays will be free going forward.

GOING FORWARD. Listening to me getting all corporate and shit.

Coming soon: The Garden I Am Planting On Mah Windowsill! Possibly with pictures! Our first victim: BASIL! I have not killed it yet! Only because The Roommate keeps watering it for me!! THANK YOU ROOMMATE.

And now, am off to the Park to get mah Chick Folk Music on. I am a girl obsessed, peeps. Gimme your ideas for recipes! For black beans! For not killing lettuce! I am all ears. Unless you yell at me. In that case, LA LA LA I CANNOT HEAR YOU, LA LA LA.


May 4, 2009

This morning, in Spectrum Land, I instituted a self-imposed ban on all toxic foods. THAT IS RIGHT. I am officially on a cleanse. Have no fear, I am not going back to the dreaded Lemonade Master Cleanse of Doom. (I feel like I will never get the willpower up to do that EVER AGAIN. Every time I think about it, I remind myself of how much I missed chewing and the idea goes out the window.)

If you’re interested at all in the details, I am currently cutting out:

added sugars
animal products

I wanted to add gluten to the list but then I realized I had these super delicious honey oat English muffins in the refrigerator and I WILL BE DAMNED if those go to waste. DAMNED I SAY. Perhaps gluten will be eliminated after the English muffins are eliminated by my digestive tract. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYIN’.

I’m also trying to buy more organic/local produce. A new health food store opened up in my neighborhood and I walked out of there the other night with about 10,000 pounds of organic fruits and veggies for about $18.

Dear New Health Food Store—


Yours most sincerely,

The cleanse doesn’t really have to do with body image, even considering the last post I wrote. It’s more about how I’m feeling physically rather than how I look. Because, let’s be honest, thanks to Jillian, I look fierce. Please, help me forget that I just purchased two new Jillian DVD’s off OH GOD! THE PAIN! THE BURNING! I am about to get SCHOOLED y’all! But whatever. Bring it.

(Let’s NOT talk about the fact that along with the Jillian DVD’s, I somehow purchased a copy of “Italian for Dummies”. What? Why do I always place orders on when I’m drunk?)


Basically, my life got really busy and I got really lazy and it went a little like this: oh hey look! BROWNIES! CHEESE! And wait! MORE CHEESE! And cake! ooo I LOVE CAKE! And feta! YES! FETA! Swiss? Maybe swiss? And a cupcake? SWISS CHEESE *ON* A CUPCAKE!? YES!

Let’s be honest, you guys. My body? HATES DAIRY. And personally, when I stop and think about all the vegan literature I’ve read about dairy, I get disgusted with myself. Because dairy is gross.

However, the problem is that dairy is also FREAKING DELICIOUS. So, damn. How can I stay away!? I can’t.

But one piece of cheese turned into lots of pieces of cheese. And you know what goes good with cheese?


And HEY LOOK! A baseball game is on! You know what would make this experience awesome? If we were drinking BEER. And possibly eating something fried…sweet potato fries!? AW YEAH.

And OH! Alayna! You know what sounds great right now!? COCONUT MOJITOS!!!!! WOOOOO!

And now, you have an accurate picture of how I spent the month of April. It’s not that I have been drinking excessively, it’s just that I’ve been drinking frequently. And I realize that most of New York City operates this way. But? I don’t. I am a lightweight. Alcohol makes me feel tired and clogged up and how can I properly allow Jillian Michaels to shred me when I feel lethargic? I CANNOT.

So, alcohol? It goes.

Same with the dairy. Though really that just means giving up the cheese as I still avoid milk and yogurt at all costs. My body can’t handle either one and I just read a recent article on how much pus is in cow’s milk and OH MY GOD YOU GUYS! Every time I see someone drinking it, I want to punch them in the face. I think I’d rather see someone eating steak than drinking milk. (And now, all of you milk-drinkers can punch ME in the face. YOU ARE WELCOME.)

Caffeine. Well. Hm. I’m not technically supposed to be drinking caffeine what with my delicate flower body that begins to shake uncontrollably after two cups. However, thanks to getting less sleep than usual thanks to my alcohol drinking, I’ve needed some caffeine to keep me awake during the day. A VICIOUS CYCLE, I AM TELLING YOU.

Caffeine? You are dead to me.

Added sugars – self-explanatory. No more cupcakes for now. SIGH.

And there you have it. We’ll see how long this lasts. I haven’t imposed a time limit for myself; I just need to give my body some time to recover. It’s spring time and I feel that this is an appropriate course of action for right now. Today went well, was really tired, recovering from a few late weekend nights but cruised on through and made some excellent food choices!

Day #1 is over. Phew. And now it is time for me to get all up in mah meditation and think about how to make the world a better place. And how to book a freaking acting job. And how to cure cancer. And then get in bed for hours and hours of cleansed sleep. BRING IT.

For Those Who Care – CSA Deets

April 9, 2009

Sooooooooo, I decided to roll the dice this year and see whether or not I was bumped off the waitlist for the CSA near my house and given a slot. I was informed that I was #43 and therefore, had a good chance at getting in. (Which surprised me. #43 sounds LAME.) However! Lo and behold, on Monday, I got an e-mail telling me that I had secured a place and did I want it?


The pick up is every Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 down the street from my apartment. This is great because 1) Last year’s CSA pick up was on Thursday, which annoyed me for some reason because it was at the end of the week. By the time Monday rolled around, all the produce was gone and I would have to buy lunch or head to the grocery store. B) Last year’s CSA was five subway stops away. Most of the time, my friend JK picked it up for me since he lived nearby. Other times, I would have to drive over to get it because the vegetables were often heavy and walking 30 minutes home was excruciating. Driving = Evil.

SO! Picking up produce early in the week! Picking up produce down the street! Getting a FULL SHARE this year so that I hopefully don’t run out of vegetables in a few days! OH THE GLORY! THE GLORY OF IT ALL.

I decided to sign up for:

* a full vegetable share
* a fruit share
* an herb share
* a one-time delivery of tomatoes

Let it be known that everyone I know made fun of me for days for this last bullet point. The tomato delivery is simply that: a one time delivery of a 20 pound box of Roma tomatoes.

Upon hearing this, those closest to me either 1) Ripped out all their hair B) Fell out of their chair laughing at me or C3.) Both.


And I was all, TWENTY?


And I just blinked a few times because why was everyone yelling at me?


Calm down, dude. I’ll totally share.

It seemed simple enough to me. Tomatoes are delicious. I love tomatoes. Why wouldn’t I want a 20 pound bushel full in the middle of summer? I have absolutely no problem dumping the entire barrel on my kitchen floor, stomping on them like a crazed Italian and then putting them all in a huge pot to simmer for five straight days. I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THIS. My landlord and roommates probably would. But. Whatever. Who cares about THEM, am I right?

I signed up for the delivery to happen the week of September first. (The options were every week starting mid-August to mid-September. I could select any number of weeks or all of them. I thought that one delivery was pushing it, forget five of them.) September first is right smack in the middle so I figured that would be PRIME tomato time. Also, it happens to be the Tuesday before Labor Day.

Obviously, I have off for Labor Day which will give me time to get a handle on the tomato delivery. I am also traveling home to Long Island that weekend to attend one of my favorite people’s weddings. (ZOMG ASHLEY! YOU ARE GETTING MARRIED SOON.) I figured I could always pile the tomatoes in my car, head home to my parents’ house, cook ten thousand vats of tomato sauce using my mom’s pots and pans and then take a shower and go to a wedding. NO? SEEMS SIMPLE ENOUGH TO ME.

Deanna was obviously the most supportive person I talked to. She said I could learn to can the sauce OR I could simply freeze it AND/OR I could have a mozzarella/tomato caprese party.

I feel like that definitely needs to happen. Who wants to come?!

So, there you have it folks. I promise to document any tomato party I throw. I also promise to take pictures should I decide to stomp on the tomatoes on my kitchen floor. I feel like there needs to be several blog posts of me, rolling around on the floor among twenty pounds of tomatoes. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY POUNDS OF TOMATOES THAT IS!? SERIOUSLY, DO YOU!? Would they fill up my bathtub? Because that would be hilarious. Sort of gross. But hilarious.

One more selling point about this particular CSA — they have a box out during pick up where you can LEAVE BEHIND all the vegetables you don’t want. !!!!!!!!!!!!! NO WASTE! I can leave behind my beets! And Swiss Chard! And possibly take someone else’s eggplant! Or broccoli!


This summer is going to be the BEST SUMMER OF MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!

It could possibly top the summer I spent living and learning about life, scooping ice cream at an ice cream parlor.

Could possibly top the summer I spent in college working as an Orientation Aide and bonding with people, summer camp style.

Could possibly top the summer I spent waiting tables, making out with a convicted felon and smashing my car into a concrete median at JFK International Airport!


ME. TOMATOES. IN MY BATHTUB. Mark my words. This summer is going to rock.

CSA Update

March 26, 2009

I realize it’s been awhile since this post about whether or not to join the CSA this year.

The deadline for returning members was March 12th and kids, I decided to let it pass without joining up.

I am currently on the wait list for two other CSA’s, one much closer to my home which has been in existence for about a year and another, which is brand new and just a few subway stops away. Both of them, for some reason, are cheaper than the one I joined last year and as I said, closer to my apartment, making pick-up a lot easier. I’m currently of the mind that if I get an e-mail over the next few weeks that I have secured a spot, I will happily join up. If I do not, I will stay on the wait list for next year and figure out something else to do this summer—farmer’s market, move to Abbie’s farm in Connecticut, etc.

The ideal scenario would be to secure a spot in either of those two CSA’s linked above, especially the one which is almost DOWN THE STREET. The exciting thing about that one is that they offer vegetable and fruit shares but also an HERB share with separate BASIL share as well as a one-time tomato share. I did not participate in the tomato share offered by my CSA last year but kind of regret it. I was far too busy to figure out how to smush those delicious red babies into pizza and pasta sauce and that was a MISTAKE. If I get into the CSA, I plan on signing up for the tomatoes and then bugging the hell out of someone to teach me how to preserve them for the winter, all Little House on the Prairie and shit.

Oh! Good times with local agriculture!

Some other things I’d like to look into this summer if I do not get into the CSA:

* finding a way to grow some herbs. In pots? On a windowsill?
* finding a way to haul ass to a farmer’s market
* figuring out how to sleep in temperatures above 85 degrees so we don’t have to install our air conditioner this year
* figuring out to preserve more summer produce

Last year, the only thing I really had in excess was a crapload of zucchinis. I shredded them and froze them in bags for bread baking. Guess what? They are still in the freezer. Does frozen zucchini go bad? Anyone?

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT. A downright HILARIOUS and FASCINATING wrap-up of where I’m at with regards to the CSA and also, some ridiculously lame goals for the summer. Does anyone have some others to share? Keeping in mind that I live in a New York City apartment? I’m thinking water conservation wouldn’t hurt, perhaps putting a timer in the bathroom for showers?

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go eat a Macadamia Nut Luna bar which is neither local nor fresh nor anything at all except completely 100% vegan and processed and full of chemicals and vitamins. ONE STEP AT A TIME, PEOPLE.

To CSA or Not CSA, That Is The Question

February 25, 2009

Last year, as some of you may recall, I joined a CSA, specifically this one. I received a slot last year at the last second, after sitting on the waiting list for awhile and decided to split the vegetable share with a share partner and purchase a single fruit share just for me. I reasoned that I would probably take home a lot more vegetables than I could eat and so sharing seemed like a good idea.

I have received a few e-mails recently alerting me to the fact that registration is now open for returning members. I have until March 12th to decide whether or not to sign up and then registration will be open to new members or people on the waiting list from last year, etc. I’ve been waffling back and forth about whether or not to sign up so, I come to you, Internet for help.

I know a lot of my readers travel over from my cousin’s blog so if you do not chime in on this post, I AM GOING TO BE VERY UPSET because I KNOW you green people are reading, I KNOW YOU ARE. So, what do I do?

Let me give you some more information.

The CSA pick up fell on Thursdays last year, between 4:30 and 7:30 pm. I found this extremely difficult at the beginning, considering I usually had work until 5 or 6 and then class that night or a social commitment. I think for the first half of the summer, my friend JK picked up my vegetables and fruit and for that, HE DESERVES AN AWARD. And by award, I mean he should never be asked to do me any favors ever again.

HOWEVER, I can actively make the choice this year to keep Thursdays free thereby ensuring that I will be around to pick up my own stuff every week. I discovered about halfway through the summer that I really enjoyed the routine of the CSA pick up. I liked picking up my share and then coming home, figuring out recipes to make for the week, trying to find room in my fridge for all the greenery as my roommate stood in the kitchen observing, “OH. YOU WENT TO THE FARM AGAIN TODAY, DIDN’T YOU?”

As someone who really thrives on a full schedule, the CSA actually forced me to NOT make any plans at least one day a week and have an evening to myself or at least, a local evening in Astoria. This was a nice change from running from work to dinner with a friend in the city, etc. It allowed me to sit home and chill out or meet JK for some Thai food and “So You Think You Can Dance…” For other people, this might be how you spend most evenings. For me, it is an anomaly.

If I do decide to join the CSA again, I would like to re-evaluate my decision to split a share. I ran into a RIDICULOUS AMOUNT of drama with my share partner. Since I usually got back from the city towards the end of the pick up, my share partner was always responsible for splitting up the vegetables and making sure things were even. She found this exhausting and annoying (particularly because she had two little kids, WHICH I DIDN’T KNOW until, like, August!) and I found it frustrating because sometimes I didn’t like the way things were split. By the end of the summer, we agreed that we would each pick up the full share every OTHER week but I hated this as well. I found that I ran out of produce by the end of the first week and had to spend money on veggies and fruit at the grocery store for the second week which kind of defeated the whole SAVE MONEY ON GROCERIES AND BUY LOCAL point.

In short, I’m wondering if it’s better to just get an entire share for myself. The website clearly says that “Each share feeds 3-4 non-vegetarian family members. We understand that these shares may be too large for singles or small families.” The thing is, once I picked up an entire share for myself, it was gone by the end of the week with a few exceptions. (BEETS! AHHHHHHH BANE OF MY EXISTENCE!). So, this leads me to believe that while a full share might be too much for one “regular” person, a full share might actually be awesome for me, a crazy vegan who eats way more vegetables than the average Astoria human.

HOWEVER, it’s important to note that I eat way more produce than the average person if I like the produce in front of me. If you put out a plate of mushrooms, I’m probably going to stare at them and blink and then eat a cupcake instead. I like eggplant and tomatoes and cucumbers and zucchini and kale and all different kinds of lettuces and peppers and the problem with the CSA was that especially at the beginning of the summer, I received a lot of vegetables I did NOT enjoy. (See also: beets, Swiss chard.) I told myself it would help me branch out and try new things however, it didn’t. It just reinstated that I really don’t like beets or Swiss chard.

Is that reason enough to give up completely though? Is it worth it to miss out on those DELICIOUSLY JUICY TOMATOES and the crisp fresh basil and the warm zucchini bread I baked and the eggplant lasagna I made?! OH LORD! IT SEEMS AS IF MY HEART IS CALLING ME BACK TO THE CSA!

And yet, a full share for me full of Swiss chard and beets just…seems wasteful. I live in New York City and while I occasionally dropped off some of my uneaten veggies at the park last year, a lot if just went into the trash. I also don’t know if it’s entirely legal to surreptitiously dump some veggies into a flower bed at the public park. BUT HEY!

So, we have kind of a waste/compost problem should I decide to take on a full share myself, particularly at the beginning as the veggies kind of…suck. (Also now that I think about it, they sucked at the end too…just…way too many potatoes.) There is also the element of cost (MY GOD THIS BLOG IS GETTING LONG AND I’M HAVING A HARD TIME FINDING PLACES TO INSERT WITTY JOKES TO KEEP IT INTERESTING). Last year, I paid $260 for my half of the veggies and $150 for my full fruit share. This year, should I hog a whole veg share for myself, it would be $670 total. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

This makes me cringe but ALSO: they offer payment plans. The full amount is not due until the middle of May. I can also rationalize it by thinking about the time and money saved at the grocery store all summer long. For a long while last year, the only things I needed to purchase on a regular basis were beans, pasta and tofu. So, hmmm. It’s not that much money considering my monthly budget for food is $400 and this would be $670 spread over 26 weeks.


And so, Internet, I turn it over to you.

Do I…

1) Sign up for the CSA, split a share, same as last year.
B.) Sign up for the CSA, get a FULL share, eat so many vegetables I explode.
3h.) DO NOT sign up for the CSA and find other ways to eat local.

For this last one, I have thought many times about skipping the CSA and relying on the Union Square farmer’s market. The problem is—the only day I can get to the market is on Saturday mornings before I babysit the twins. This is not impossible of course but hard for me to commit to. I usually spend Saturdays cleaning the apartment, working out and then heading down to Battery Park City to babysit. So, I would need to really allot some time to get to the farmer’s market and then haul my purchases down to the twins’ house. Not impossible but not…entirely likely. HOWEVER, maybe it’s worth the commitment because I can select which vegetables I want thereby reducing the wasting of beets and Swiss chard.


Any other options I’m missing besides G) Never buy local at all ever or 15.) Move out of NYC and get a damn house with a garden so you can plant whatever you want.


So, okay fellow readers. To CSA or Not CSA?

A prize to the person who makes this decision for me.

And no, the prize will not be a bag full of beets.

Resolutions and Stuff

January 4, 2009

New Year’s Resolutions I’ve Written So Far:

1. Stop cursing
2. No more plastic water bottles
3. No more popping my pimples
4. No more white flour
5. Put more money into savings each week
6. Keep a gratitude journal

So far I’m doing great with all of these things except the fucking white flour and the fucking cursing. Everything else = awesome.

1. My cursing has spun out of control. I’m not really sure why. I’m also not really sure why I care. My mom always told me that the Holy Spirit drifts away from you when your language and thoughts are vulgar or impure. She also says that it’s indicative of a lot of deep-rooted anger.

I don’t know what the FUCK she’s talking about.


In all seriousness, it’s something I can do without and I’d like to think I’m a person who can think of better words to use than “asshat”.

2. James bought me a Sigg water bottle for Christmas. This eliminates the need for plastic water bottles and so far, in 2009, I have not purchased a SINGLE ONE. Go me. The End.

3. Popping pimples…sigh. I love popping my pimples. I love popping YOUR pimples. I swear I would if you let me. PLEASE? Notice that my resolution is to stop popping mine and not yours. SEE?

I get this from my mother. I’m not proud of it. I realize that there are going to be pimples breaking out of my pores, tempting me to do it, just squeeze! Just a little bit! And people, I JUST MAY HAVE TO DO IT. But really, I need to stop. I press my face a zillion times a day, scouring it for the slightest hint of a blemish and I guarantee you that in the process of touching my face with my OILY FINGERS all day, I am actually giving myself MORE PIMPLES than necessary.

Also, there is the tiny issue of scarring. And the fact that now that I am an old lady, I am starting to see these scars and they are not going away and OMG WHAT HAPPENED TO MY BEAUTIFUL SKINNNNNN?

Also, I am also seeing the beginnings of wrinkles. Pass me the botox. Thank you.

So, yeah. No picking. No popping. Unless it’s yours. Come here, there’s a nice one right there on your forehead…

4. White Flour

This one is HARD. I don’t particularly care for starchy things–potatoes, pizza, breads, etc. But I am a pasta WHORE. And I’ll buy brown rice pasta or whole wheat and eat it a few times and then realize “OH I FORGOT. I HATE THIS.” and banish it to the back of my cabinet. I then go back to the store, load up on the Barilla (Gemelli! Mezzo Rigatoni! Thick Spaghetti!) and call it a night.

Too much pasta. Too many carbs. Must cut it down. I don’t think I can eliminate white flour completely but I’d like to reduce. What is an appropriate goal here? Pasta twice a week instead of eighteen? You tell me. And I shall comply.

5. More money into savings = self-explanatory. I already logged in today and upped the ante which is pretty damn hilarious considering my pay cut. THANK YOU, ECONOMY.

6. Every night, before I go to sleep, I write down three things I’m grateful for. Things in the journal so far include:

a. eating leftover Thai food for lunch the next day
b. belting showtunes in my car
c. new green flannel sheets
d. Orbitz raspberry mint gum
e. Christmas lights still up after Christmas

Gratitude is something that I don’t pay enough attention to, don’t stop and think about enough. When I get into a really negative mood, gratitude is an instant mood lifter. It takes the focus away from myself and allows me to remember all that I have. It instantly makes any of my melodrama smaller and less important.

There you go. In unrelated news, I got new headshots taken yesterday. I think they came out SMASHING, don’t you?

Good. Me too.

Where I Blather Like A Crazy Liberal

December 16, 2008

Jennifer of Veg*n Cooking wrote:

I would love to read your thoughts on any number of “pressing social issues” – gay marriage, the economy, energy, war, environmental degradation. These are just suggestions though, feel free to ignore them. :-)

Oh come on, Jennifer. Other people suggested I write about falling down in public or what’s outside my window and you have to go and suggest something that involves THINKING? Something that requires a BRAIN? Something that requires a degree that is not a BFA in Music Theatre?


Pressing social issues.

Okay. Here we go.


by Laura Elizabeth, age 25.

We are fucked.

The End.

Ah, I kid, I kid.

Let’s take these one at a time.

Gay Marriage:

Gay people got screwed this year. SCREWED. And not in a good way.

I have to tell you, Jennifer and anyone else who cares, the passing of Prop 8 in California was devastating. It was shocking to me, absolutely shocking especially in places as “liberal” as Los Angeles where the vote was almost evenly split 50/50. I’ve said this before but I think that the way we treat gay people in this country will go down in history as our generation’s civil rights movement.

Perhaps I am unable to separate my emotions from the politics of it. I live with two gay men, my best friend in the world is a gay man, hell, I am involved in the music theatre world: it doesn’t get much gayer than that. And maybe one could argue that I’m just letting my love for my friends get in the way of the fact that they are living in SIN and need to change their ways. (Oh wait, someone did argue that with me. THANK YOU! SMOOCHES!) But even without my emotions, I can’t follow the logic. I don’t know what we are “protecting”. I don’t know why we can’t open our circle of love a little bit wider.

We are all human or we aren’t. To state that gay people can have rights but just not the same rights as straight people is agreeing that gay people are not really people. They are second-class citizens. They do not deserve the same rights and privileges the rest of us have.

And why? Because of their “sexual preference”? Sorry. Sexuality is not a preference. It’s an orientation. Trust me. If the two gay men I live with are STILL GAY after living with the HOTNESS that is me? THEY ARE BORN THAT WAY. Because people, I am hot.

Also, it seems to be a RELIGIOUS issue making its way into POLITICS which, if you haven’t noticed, isn’t really allowed in this country. So, that pisses me off. A LOT. I wonder what would happen if we removed the ability for states to issue marriage licenses. To everyone. Therefore, if you wanted to get “married”, you could get a civil union certificate from the state and then you could go to your church/synoguge/mosque/ceremony on the river at sunset and get “married” by a clergy person or your brother who was ordained a minister via the internet, etc.

I wonder about THAT.

Moving on.

The Economy:

Oh, Jennifer. We are FUCKED.

I, in particular am fucked because today, I was alerted that my temp agency is slashing my salary by 15%. This makes perfect sense, right? The employees I work with will probably forgo bonuses this year but they will still take home a steady paycheck, complete with health benefits, paid vacation and paid sick days. While, I, the temp, will get my hourly rate SLASHED by 15% while STILL taking home no health benefits, paid vacation or sick days. EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THIS IS FAIR.

It isn’t.

But hey, also? I could have been laid off today. So if it’s that or a pay cut? I’ll take the pay cut.

Still – if you have extra cash, please send it to me. I will put out. Thanks.


Hm. Like, what kind of energy?

Energy in terms of America’s reliance on oil? The oxymoronic phrase “clean coal”? The way my car gets 33 miles/gallon? That kind of energy?

Or the energy I have on a daily basis? The energy needed to do Jillian Michaels‘ 30 Day Shred? (THAT IS A CRAZY AMOUNT OF ENERGY, JENNIFER. SHE IS KICKING MY ASS.)

The energy I get after a cup of coffee?

Let’s just say I can’t drink caffeine because I literally bounce off walls. BOUNCE I TELL YOU.

I’m going to assume you meant the former type of energy. In that case, I will say that I have no freaking idea. I know our dependence on oil is bad. Period. Hell if I know how to stop that. I would assume stop drilling and stop killing polar bears and find a way to sustain our own energy instead of relying on foreign sources. I think Obama can do AMAZING THINGS about this. I think perhaps he could form his own “New Deal” by creating green jobs, therefore creating lots of clean energy AND much needed employment. Please go ask someone else how one would do this. I have no clue. BUT I THINK HE COULD.

I also think he could do the same with an issue like healthcare but I don’t think that was on your list.

If it WAS on your list, I would tell you that I wish I had healthcare because uh, my uterus kind of gives me problems and I get UTI’s once every few months and also? Paying out of pocket for your therapist = not that fun. See also: 15% PAY CUT/lots of Catholic guilt to work out.


Hm. My cousin has done three tours in the Middle East as a marine. Another cousin of mine leaves next month for Iraq. We are VERY excited.


I am not really qualified to talk about politics which is surprising considering how much I’ve written in this post so far. But honestly? War is bad. President Bush and his cohorts messed up royally and it has cost us in young American lives and in American dollars. It’s an embarrassment, a horror and I am still waiting to hear where they are storing Weapons of Mass Destruction. I hear we’ll get the answer soon. But I hate myself for even writing this as I sit in my New York City apartment, white and privileged and safely tucked in bed while it snows outside. There are men and women losing LIMBS and DYING and they are younger than me and I’m all, “Oh, I think I’ll blog tonight.”

Please excuse me while I punch myself in the face. Thanks.

Environmental Degradation:

WHY AM I WRITING THIS POST AT 11 PM? I have no brain cells left, Jennifer. NONE AT ALL.

Um. I think people that do not believe in climate change are deluded. They are scary. They freak me out with their THIS IS THE NATURAL WAY OF THE WORLD nonchalance. But that’s not really what we’re talking about here, is it? I mean climate change is an effect of environmental degradation and WE, the humans are degrading the environment, yes? We agree on that, I think. Or at any rate, that the environment is degrading and we are ACCELERATING the process?

I have to 100% say hell yes we are. The amount of waste I see in New York City on any given day is MIND BLOGGING. Hell, the amount of waste *I* produce is embarrassing. And here is how I feel about my personal impact on the environment: it sucks. It’s ENORMOUS.

I can do better.

I started out the year really well and have slowly eased up on things. I’ve forgotten my canvas bag and taken home plastic shopping bags. The roommates bought paper towels and I got used to having them around. I’ve bought excess clothing and make up that was not necessary, brand new things that were not environmentally friendly or needed at all really. I have even lost some of my veganism momentum, treating myself to the occasional egg sandwich, etc.

What I’m saying is: I have a lot to improve on. I’m constantly wondering WHAT MORE CAN I DO? because it never feels like enough. I also get more and more frantic about other people who seem to be CLUELESS about their waste. In the bathroom at work, for example, when I see a girl grab FIVE paper towels, pat her wet hand with one of them and throw them ALL in the garbage. GAHHHHHHHHH THE TREEEEEES, WOMAN. HAVE YOU NO SHAME!

But also? The thing is? Am I really helping at all?!? I mean I can look at what I did do this year that helped the environment and you can tell me:

* reduced plastic grocery bag consumption by about 80%
* went about 9 months without paper towels, now when we have them they are 100% recycled
* switched to 100% recycled toilet paper
* remained 89% vegan
* traded in disposable feminine products for a diva cup
* joined a CSA, ate local produce for 5 months this summer
* lost some weight, reducing my impact! Literally!
* unfortunately upped my driving by dating dreamy boyfriend in the suburbs – still only drove about 2 times per week, used mass transit otherwise
* not flushing the toilet every time I pee
* bought handmade soaps instead of shower gels in plastic bottles
* use one towel at the gym instead of two
* took only two trips that required air travel

There must be more. But the point is: I try, I do. But not hard enough. I was a bit too consumeristic this year, too many times I told myself I “deserved” that Starbucks latte, that extra pair of shoes. I’d like to be more conscious of it in 2009 and that goes hand in hand with being more frugal, more aware of what I’m spending money on, what impact that has on people. I’d like to do more–avoid leather products, buy more used things, more local things, etc.

The whole point of this is to say that I try but am I really helping? Does it even matter? For everything I do, aren’t there ten other people using 100 paper towels in the ladies room every day? So…is it worth it? Does it just make me feel trendy and hip to take my canvas bag to the grocery store? Is is just something I do because it makes me FEEL like I’m contributing and helping but in actuality, I’m not? At all?

I don’t know. You tell me.

Also, please make me a cup of tea because now I’m depressed.

Thanks to Jennifer’s suggestion, I can honestly say that the world hates gay people, men are dying in a pointless war, I am getting a pay cut effective Monday – MERRY CHRISTMAS, and I am single-handedly destroying the rainforest.

AMAZING! Anything else you’d like to discuss!? If so, I’ll be over here, drowning my sorrows with a bottle of bourbon. And also? watching this video on repeat: