Join us for free cookies today at Gary Null’s Uptown Whole Foods!!!
Oh mint mallomar! You are the perfect treat for these cold winter days!
Every year, we find ourselves stumbling from the blinded haze of our bacchanal holiday debaucheries into the new year with hands raised to shield our aching heads from the menacing daylight that threatens to illuminate, with unforgiving honesty, the full state of our utterly depleted systems. We rise with the fiercest of convictions, chanting prayers, pledges, unbreakable oaths to the new year: the resolution to fast, cleanse, radically change our diets and ways of living, or bust. And we mean it. We really do. We feel so bad we would sell off vital organs to feel better, lose weight, and not get sick again. We would sell all our worldly possessions and take refuge with guru, shaman, or genie to find a way to change our ways. We will become vegan before 6! And Paleo on weekends, and join the gym and do the Crossfit class and meditate and do more yoga! We will never eat sugar ever again. We will juice every day. We will master cleanse. We will eliminate gluten. We will do whatever radical method it takes, for say 7 days to maybe 3 months, to feel better again. And when the initial high of swinging from one extreme to the next wears off, and our metabolisms adjust, we will settle comfortably back into our most favorite of amnesias and raise high our glasses in toast to our collective failures, and spend the rest of the year wallowing in cycles of regret, self loathing and binge indulging(to make us feel better of course) hoping to make it to the next year and find that surge of such bright will power once again. Ever wonder why you look back with nostalgia on either of those extremes and wish you could feel that good all the time?
As exciting as it is, constantly, and drastically, swinging from one extreme lifestyle to another, it does not a “healthy” person make. Binging on processed foods and alcohol one week and then fasting and juicing the next is not the health equivalent of “balancing out”. And yes, “thriving”, in a nation that prides itself on the mindset of “spend now, pay later!” as a viable life plan, does sound an awful lot like this exact kind of bi-polarism, but trust me, it never has, and it never will, translate to actual health in the long term.
Perhaps the quest for “feeling good” may be best talked about and approached not with the mindset of it being a peak to scramble up to, but as more of a base level of daily awareness to maintain. What if, instead of making vast and drastic changes to your lifestyle all at once, you were to start out small and pick a few things to either ease up on, and others to also include more of? What if you didnt wait until things got to feel so bad you felt you had to make extreme changes right this minute, or face dire consequences? What if you found a way to feel like you were nurturing your body instead of fighting with it constantly?
People always ask me for dietary advice for the New Year, often hoping, i think, to find one single diet or solution to all the anxiety they are feeling about the changes they want to make, or think they should make because it all seems so daunting and extreme. And in honor of all the resolutions being made, I’d like to dedicate the next several posts to key elements to health, starting today with just a few essential points:
1. Exercise. I dont care if its a 15 minute walk at lunch time, or an hour long spin class at the gym, or a yoga video at home- simply doing something: whatever you can, whenever you can, will have signifigant impact on your overall health, immediately. So, if you do nothing else in terms of dietary or lifestyle changes, please, do yourself this one favor and get out there and get your heart pumping just a little bit, at least three times a week.
2. Drink water. Seriously. Drink as much water as you can. Water helps flush our system of toxins, supports healthy elimination, keeps us hydrated and thus also energized. We, as creatures composed mostly of liquid, can’t get enough of it. Getting a good filter or ionization system for your home tap is a great investment too, if you’re looking to get some water- drinking inspiration.
3. Eat good quality, local and or/organic if possible, whole foods, especially plants. Whole foods means foods in their most basic form- or in their least processed forms. When you hear people talk about avoiding processed foods, they are simply stating the inverse of eating whole foods. Simply put- whole grains vs. processed flours- brown rice vs. brown rice crackers. In the most simple of terms there is more available nutrients in foods in their most basic form, and it is more easily digested and absorbed by the body in this form as well. Processing foods breaks down essential enzymes that make those foods’ nutrition digestible to begin with. Plants are the bottom of the food chain. The are composed of all the nutrition that feeds all the life above them on the food chain, thus have the most available nutrition of all the foods available. Including healthy doses of a variety of vegetables in every meal will boost your nutritional intake quite easily, as well as give you much needed fiber, amino acids, enzymes, and healthy carbs. Plus, we are living in the midst of an heirloom boom right now, with countless “vintage” vegetables being reintroduced to your local farmer’s market and even Whole Foods- so there is no reason not to get out there and try cooking and eating something new everyday that you can.
3. Make informed food choices. Know where your food comes from and how its been made, and what is in it. Read labels! We’ve heard it all before, but it truly makes a difference-on a personal scale as well as a global scale. The food you purchase is like casting a vote. You now have more and more options to actively make the choice to support local, organic, non gmo grown foods, or to support big business agriculture and factory farms. Vegan or omnivore- the choice is your responsibility to help shape the future of food.
3. Try not to think in extremes. When we make any kind of change to the amount, quality, or nutritional value of the food we consume- it has a direct effect on the body’s inner workings and metabolism. Making radical changes can have a radical effect- that may or may not be a good “shock to the system” internally. In the most simpilest of terms, a lot of fad diets work because they force you to abruptly eliminate key food groups and cause your metabolism to spike in response to such huge shifts in nutritional deprivation, often resulting in rapid weight loss. This is what we get hooked on: instant gratification. As time goes on and your metabolism adjusts to this state of deprivation, the effect decreases and you stop losing weight as quickly. This is what causes us to get bored and give up on diets after a few months, often causing us to retaliate and go back to the way we were eating before and end up gaining all the weight we lost back. My advice is to avoid any kind of extreme diet that calls for drastic changes all at once.
4. Try to think of the big picture. There are lots of little shifts in diet you can make, that might feel small at first but over a longer period of time add up to much bigger, more sustainable shifts internally. Simply starting to limit and eliminate foods that have negative nutritional effect on the body (which i will discuss in the next blog) can have just as profound an effect on weight loss and better digestion as diets can. Inversely, adding highly nutritious foods back into your diet can have a similar impact on weight loss and overall feelings of health. These are the keys to strategize diet around when looking to create changes that will be sustainable for the long run.
Bring in the new year with new treats from Sweet.! Visit our website, and type: NEWYEAR at checkout and receive free shipping! All through the month of January.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Sweet.! Enter code: HOLIDAYFUN and receive an additional $10 off all order over $100 at www.sweetbyjana.com through Jan 1st!
We are so excited to ring in the New Year with these new additions to our line of treats!
A whole slew of macaroons: almond coconut, chocolate dipped, and chocolate
mallomars! Mint and plain, bite sized perfection…
maple pecan buckwheat squares- need we say more?
and winter spice themed truffles: cinnamon, chai, mint and coffee
coming soon to a store near you, or www.sweetbyjana.com
Don’t live in or near NYC? Maybe you are near one of these two stores:
If those locations don’t work for your either, don’t worry, you can always buy our products online. A variety of online retailers carry our products.
Mouth Foods carries small batch, handmade foods. They love to support independent producers and creative products.
Raw Food World
The website of raw food power couple Angela Stokes and Matt Monarch, Raw Food World carries a variety of great raw vegan products as well as interesting and useful articles and content.
Scoutmob is a fun and funky website that bring artisnal products to your door. Visit their website to find awesome tips on shops and products in your area - Scoutmob supports local business!
With Love From Brooklyn
This sweet website bring Brooklyn based products to you no matter where you are based. Order any number of goodies made by Brooklyn producers. They also deliver internationally.
Raw Living, UK
For those of you based in Europe who are looking to get a your hands on some of our products, Raw Living, UK is the place to do it! They are the premiere supplier of raw food products in Europe and with a few clicks, some of our cookies can be yours!
And of course, you can always order directly from our website. So don’t let location stop you, treat yourself to our sweets no matter your location!
Today we wanted to take a moment to give a shout out to the juice bars that sell our products. Because what better way to wash down one of our Strawberry Jam Sandies than with a fresh glass of nut milk?
A few weeks ago we told you about the Creative Juice Cafes and all the things we love about them.
Organic Avenue provides organic cold pressed juices, as well as smoothies and some prepared foods. They also make cleanses and have a variety of different detox packages they offer. The best part? You can consult a cleanse concierge about your cleanse and get all the information and support you need!
Manhattan is not the only place in the Tri-state area that we sell our products. We have vendors in both Brooklyn and Hoboken!
Brooklynites can rejoice, because not one, but two stores are carrying our products!
In Brooklyn Heights you can find Sweet at Perelandra, located at 175 Remsen Street. Just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Borough Hall subway stop, this Brooklyn staple has been around since 1976! They have a great selection of organic groceries, prepared foods and supplements.
If you are in Fort Greene, you can find our treats at The Green Grape located at 735 Fulton St. What began as a wine store in 2004, now sells a wide selection of gourmet provisions, with a focus on local, fresh and sustainable. Pick up a bottle of wine and a pack of our cookies for a relaxing night in.
That’s right, you heard us correctly, we sell in New Jersey! Organic Basic Foods in Hoboken carries a selection of our products! Located at 204 Washington St, Organic Basic Foods has a great inventory of organic food and products. Follow their facebook page to get great tips and hints about products and ingredients they carry!
Today we’re going to take a look at the stores on the West Side that carry our products.
Two stores in and around Hell’s Kitchen carry our products!
1st, the Amish Market located at 731 9th Ave. The Amish Market was named after the wealth of products they carry that were grown or produced in Amish country (Lancaster, Pa). These days they have expanded their offerings to include a host of different healthy products. Make sure you check out their prepared foods - with vegan and vegetarian options, the Amish Market, is a great place to grab a lunch on the go. And of course, you can finish it off with a few of our Sweet treats!
If you find yourself a little farther north, you can drop by Westerly Natural Market located at 913 8th Ave. Westerly’s has a great selection of healthy food to nosh on. One thing we love about this store is the juicebar! Not only that, they offer an extensive list of raw vegan dishes on their menu! Not many markets can claim that. You’ll find the dishes to be the perfect compliment to a pack of Sweet cookies.
Life Thyme is located at 410 Sixth Avenue and is a great spot to pick up organic groceries as well as prepared meals. We love the raw vegan dishes that Life Thyme offers for the hungry person on the go. They have a great selection of supplements and beauty products, as well as a small juice bar. Perhaps best of all? According to their website, they now use organic coconut oil to pop their organic popcorn - yum!
Integral Yoga is a great place to stop by if you are near 14th Street. Located at 227 W 13th St, the Integral Yoga store is affiliated with the yoga center next door! Take a rejuvenating class and then pick up your favorite health food staples (don’t forget our cookies!).
This week we’ll be taking a thorough look at where to find our products. We will break down the list by geography and give you a bit of information about all of the fabulous vendors who carry the Sweet label.
The East Village and Midtown!
If you find yourself in The East Village with a hankering for something sweet and healthy, drop by Live Live & Organic, or Healthfully.
Live Live & Organic is located at 261 East 10th Street and is a great place to pick up raw organic snacks and treats, as well as a wide variety of natural beauty products and supplements. Live Live & Organic also offers nutritional consultations and can set you up with a personalized cleansing program if you want to detoxify.
Healthfully is another East Village health food gem! Located at 98 East 4th Street, Healthfully sells a wide array of healthy and natural products. You can find everything from shampoo to candy bars (healthy ones, of course!), and with their extensive list of grocery products, you can easily do most of your shopping here. Don’t forget to check out their specials!
Think that midtown is a health food wasteland? Think again! Next time you are north of 14th street, make a point of popping into Treehaus.
Treehaus is a midtown eatery that serves “American comfort food with a French Twist.” On the menu you can find grilled portobello mushrooms, hearty vegetable soup and, our personal favorite: an extensive salad bar! Aside from the fresh food, they also carry various packaged treats, including our cookies. The perfect way to end any meal!
Today we are going to take a look at one of our favorite sweeteners:
Agave nectar comes from the agave plant, a cactus-like plant that is native to parts of southern and western United States and central and tropical South America.
Agave nectar is produced in a similar way as maple syrup. The sap from the Agave leaves is drained and heated until the water evaporates and a thin syrup is left. Agave has a light and neutral flavor and it has a low glycemic index, which means it won’t spike your blood sugar.
There has been some controversy about the health benefits of agave nectar. We agree with Chef Matthew Kenney’s assessment:
I have received dozens of inquiries about agave in recent weeks, particularly following Dr. Mercola’s article. Rather than jump on one bandwagon or another, the intelligent approach seemed to require deep research and a further look into the issue. Along with a number of conversations, readings and studies, we sent Meredith Baird, who I have worked with on all projects for the past couple of years, to Mexico last week to explore and document the entire production process. While her findings have not addressed 100% of the ‘claims’, it is safe to say that many of them are exaggerated and include uneducated guesswork. There are a couple of issues we are still researching, particularly the temperatures that ‘raw’ agave may reach during processing. We will release our findings in the next couple weeks on www.matthewkenneylifestyle.com.
…As always, the most important factor is to listen to your body and try to remember that any sweetener should be used in moderation, and are primarily for dessert.
One year ago, many of the same ‘authorities’ proclaimed that cacao was toxic, full of harmful elements and could even cause nerve damage. Anyone that has been to a recent trade show or health food market will recognize that raw cacao usage has only grown rapidly in the past year.
I grew up with maple syrup and honey that were both produced in my back yard, so I’m comfortable with them both. Those are the options we recommend for anyone seeking alternatives, although they do alter the character of certain recipes. We will also explain this in more detail in our upcoming article.
In the meantime, it’s always good to relax a little – we are, after all, talking about the nectar of a plant, not the KFC Double Down. I sometimes find the drama to be more of the point than the issue being discussed with some of these topics. Obviously, nothing in excess is good for you- excessive equals obsessive. And that is never healthy.
I like the idea of listening to your body. And it is so much easier to do when our bodies aren’t junked up with loads of processed, refined unnecessary products, that some companies call food. Just my 2 cents worth.
Like Matthew we utilize agave in many of our products (like our cookies and caramel squares just to name a couple), and we believe that any sugar, no matter how healthy, should be eaten in moderation. The majority of your diet should be staples like vegetables, fruits and nuts. Sugar (no matter the source) should be a treat at the end of the meal, or a midday snack - not the meal itself. And finally, as with all things we put in our bodies, we believe that knowing the producer (or the company that produces it) is the best way to make sure you are getting an unadulterated product.
We just love dates! Big, soft, chewy dates that melt in your mouth! Dates are another powerhouse sweetener.
Dates are the dried fruit of the date palm which grows in dessert regions and is native to the Middle East and Indus Valley. Dates are prized in many cultures for their sweet rich flavors and their myriad of nutritional benefits.
Packed full of potassium, magnesium, fiber and even protein, dates not only can satiate your sweet tooth, but they are good for you too! Dates also have high levels of flourine which help protect your teeth from tooth decay.
They have a rich deep flavor that is a wonderful addition to many desserts. You can make a basic date past by soaking pitted dates in water for a few hours, draining them (keep the water to use for other recipes as it will be sweet and tasty), and processing them in the food processor until you have a smooth paste. If you are feeling decadent, add in a splash of vanilla extract or fresh vanilla beans. This paste can be used as a sugar substitute in many recipes.
Keep your dates whole, then chop them up and thrown them onto a bowl of chia pudding, or mix them into a fresh fruit salad with a squeeze of lemon.
Dates are also wonderful on their own as well, two or three dates makes a dessert in and of itself!
Raw honey is a wonderful natural sweetener that has a host of incredible benefits. While some vegans question humaneness of honey, when done correctly and sustainably, honey not only is humane, but actually is one way to help nurture the ever dwindling bee population. Like with all food you consume, the best way to make sure you are getting humane honey is to know your producer. Many bee keepers sell their honey at local farmers markets and you can speak with them directly about how they raise the bees.
We love raw honey because it packed full of all kinds of good stuff! To start, raw honey has strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. If you ever feel like you are coming own with a cold, just make yourself a glass of hot water with fresh squeezed lemon and a tablespoon of honey. Not only will the soothing drink taste good, it will also help fight against the bacteria in your system.
Honey also has strong anti-septic properties and has been used to heal wounds since ancient times.
And finally, honey is full of antioxidants which attack free radicals (which researchers believe might be the cause of aging).
Like all sugar, honey should be eaten in moderation. But if you are looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth and do your body good, honey definitely fits the bill!
We love honey drizzled over fresh orange slices with some cinnamon and fresh mint!
Yesterday we took a look at a sweetener from the sap of a tropical tree. Today we are going to look at a sweetener from the sap of a temperate tree.
That’s right, today’s sweetener is maple syrup!
Made form the sap of maple trees, maple syrup is dripping with health benefits. It can be credited with everything from boosting your immune system to supporting heart health and more.
Tests have shown that maple syrup contains compounds that are anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and could help manage type 2 diabetes.
So what is the best way to eat this healthy sweetener? Maple syrup can be used as the primary sweetener in many dishes, it does have a unique and often strong taste, so be aware of that when you use it. It goes well drizzled over breakfast granola or chia pudding, or can be used to sweeten sauces and reductions for desserts. Maple syrup, combined with cinnamon, vanilla and clove, makes the perfect based for a fall treat!