Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Natural Jet Lag Tips

Having just gone on one of my shorter trips to Europe, I found I was hit harder than usual by jet lag. Some of this I chalk up to the simultaneous affects of menopause (groan), but nonetheless, it took me more than four days to adjust to the six-hour time difference.

A couple of things I wish I'd known about before I went off on my trip—the easy-to-use Apps by Soul Lightening Acupressure, one specifically for jet lag and the other for insomnia. The Apps, which cost $2.99 each, illustrate acupressure points and the appropriate times to apply them.

For those unfamiliar with acupressure, it is based on the same principles as acupuncture, but it is done without needles—fingers, or other tools are used to work the points on the body. Acupuncture is a healing art that has been used in China for thousands of years. Qi/chi (energy) flows through specific pathways in the body called meridians. Along each meridian are points at which the Qi is most accessible for stimulation. Thin, sterile needles are inserted at specific points is to move and balance the Qi, thus restoring health and harmony in the body.

While I have used a variety of homeopathic remedies for jet lag in the past, the most effective remedy I have tried I just learned about on my return home this trip. Biotics brand Cytozyme THY, a thymus supplement* (vegetarians and vegans take note—this is made from cows) chewed in the morning and evening provided me with solid, sound, uninterrupted sleep—ahhhhh relief!

Disclaimer required by the FDA:
*The information provided here is for educational purposes only. This information is NOT medical advice, and has not been approved or evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. Please consult your health care practitioner for more information.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Friedrichsbad—The Utimate Badding Experience

All you thermal bath aficionados take note—the ultimate bad experience is to be had in aptly named Baden-Baden, Germany, known for its thousands-of-years-old mineral-rich thermal springs. Literally translated the name means bathing-bathing and that is what you can do in Baden-Baden where there are two huge thermal baths.

The modern facility, the Caracalla Spa, has indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, whirlpools and offers a range of spa therapies. At Caracalla, men and women bathe together wearing bathing suits in the pools and saunas, lounging in robes on the deck chairs and solarium.

Not so at the Friedrichsbad where the badding is au naturel—no suits, no nothing, except your own skin. Based on a Roman-Irish tradition, the thermal experience warms and cools your body through seventeen stations or rooms. The rooms are numbered but you do not have to follow them in exact order. In fact you won't  follow the numbers if you pay the extra fee for the soap/brush scrub down—highly recommended.

The grand stone building harkens back to another era, as do the spa rooms. Once your clothes are stashed in your locker, you don a long narrow sheet (called a towel but it is not) and enter the shower room. Here you rinse off and can go into one of two pools, or go through the door into the first warm room. I don't know how they do it, but in the warm-air and hot-air rooms the lounge chairs emanate heat which saturates your body. The protocol is to lay your sheet down on the lounger and then you on top of it for hygiene's sake. And speaking of cleanliness, the lack of chlorine aroma is definitely appreciated (I believe they purify with ozone).

Room number 3—the hot-air room (154ºF)—was my personal favorite—with beautiful tile-covered walls adorned with hand-painted colorful birds. This room is serene and soaks your body with deep heat. The steam room (my second favorite) is where one waits patiently for the scrub down. You can leave and go into the larger pools beyond, but don't miss out on your massage number or you will regret it. I invoked the Kneipp theory of immersing your extremities in cold water by employing the cold water hoses dotting the steam room, which uses natural geothermal heat as its warming source.

The scrub down is all too brief for my liking but wonderful nonetheless. Your sheet is laid down on a stone table and you on it. Soft or hard brush? I chose medium. Expert hands lather you with soap and scrub you from head to toe, both sides, before you are tapped and told to rinse off in the little shower within the massage room.

Then off you go to finish your water therapy. Some people spend three to four hours luxuriating in the spa, others make short order of it and are done in less than two. My advice, don't miss the finale—the resting or relaxation room. This is the cherry on top—a circular room with massage tables where the attendant wraps you in a warm sheet and then a blanket like you are a papoose. The tranquil, nurturing space allows your nervous system to integrate the deep healing of the waters and warmth. Linger here for as long as you want.

The bad is open year-round. Three days a week (Monday, Thursday and Saturday), men and women bathe separately except for the two  center pools which can be avoided by the modest. The rest of the week bathing is fully coed, so the shy and modest should plan accordingly.

The bad is open every day from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm, but you must arrive at least two hours before closing. Prices are 23, 35 or 47 Euros depending on whether you are getting a massage or not.

Friedrichsbad, Römerplatz 1, 76530 Baden-Baden; Tel: 07221 275970

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Enjoy Raw, Fresh, Organic on the Coast of Connecticut

If you find yourself east of New Haven—on the coast of Connecticut for vacation or driving past on I-95 in need of a healthy break—look for the delightful Foodworks Natural Foods Markets.

The store in Guilford, conveniently off of I-95 exit 59 on Route 1 aka Boston Post Road, has a full selection of frozen, fresh, and packaged foods as well as health and beauty products. Its gem, hidden in the back of the store, is the juice bar and deli. From 9:30 to 3 Monday to Friday you can get fresh made juices (my favorite is the Green Lemonade with lemons, kale, celery, ginger and apple), smoothies (options include fruit-only and vegan), wraps, sandwiches, salads and daily muffins in wheat and gluten-free varieties. I usually avoid gluten-free muffins since I can't eat eggs, but Foodworks makes their gluten-free muffins vegan-friendly with no eggs! The wraps and sandwiches, available pre-made in a cooler or made-to-order, are on gluten bread, but a variety of salads and sandwich stuffings are available for gluten-free shoppers like chickpea or quinoa salads.

The Foodworks in Old Saybrook is on Main Street near the corner of Route 1, a few blocks from the train station. No juice bar here, but a store chock-a-block with good food. Raw foodies take note that the Old Saybrook store sells Organic Nectars raw nut ice creams for those hankering for an indulgence.

Both stores sell not just one, but two brands of raw milk—thankfully legal in the state of Connecticut—both delicious, according to the dairy-drinkers in my family. Deliveries are Wednesdays and Fridays. For pet owners—both stores carry a good assortment of extremely healthy animal foods and snacks for your beloved critters.

While the Guilford juice bar and deli are only open until 3 (deli until 2 pm, juice and smoothies until 3) on weekdays, both stores are open seven days a week.

Foodworks Guilford, 450 Boston Post Road, Guilford, CT 06437, 203-458-9778
Open: Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 7 pm, Saturday 10 am to 7 pm, Sunday 11 am to 6 pm
Foodworks Old Saybrook, 17 Main Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475, 860-395-0770
Open: Monday to Saturday 9:30 am to 6 pm, Sunday 10 am to 5 pm
Web: food-works.org

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pigs Prohibited? Sample Vermont Eats

Here is a sample listing from Vermont Eats—this is a sneak preview of a new listing that will be in the next update

Prohibition Pig is known for its large selection of beers (about 24 on tap and over 100 bottles including local and international varieties and three gluten-free) and pub-style fare. You can check out the daily listing of draft beers here. Fans missing the Hurricane Irene-damaged Alchemist Pub will be heartened to learn that the Alchemist's brews are served and most of its staff now work at the Pig.

The Pig loves sweet potatoes—you will find sweet potato fries, sweet potato muffins,  sweet potato bread pudding, sweet potato buns and sweet potato bbq sauce in addition to plenty of non-sweet potato choices from vegie, tempeh and meat burgers to salads, sandwiches, plates and desserts.

Locally made kim chi, root beer, cheeses, and tempeh as well as Vermont-grown fruit and vegetables are used to create the menu options. In addition to its local beers, The Pig's alcohol offerings include Vermont-made Barr Hill Gin, Whistle Pig Rye, and Dunc's Mill Rums.

Located on Waterbury's Main Street right where The Alchemist used to be: 23 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05676, 802-244-4120

Open 7 days a week. Monday to Thursday the bar is open 4 pm to 12 midnight & dining until 10 pm; Friday & Saturday the bar is open 3 pm to 1 am, dining from 4 pm to 11pm; Sunday the bar is open 3 pm to 12 midnight, dining 4 pm to 9 pm
$ Starters $4-10; Salads & Sandwiches $7-9; Plates $14-19

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Vermont Eats...Again

I am thrilled to announce the launch of the Vermont Eats app.... again. Due to some technical difficulties the app got off to a rough start last fall, but it is now available as an individual app on both the iTunes® store and the Android Market.

Vermont Eats is a tour de force of the great, green, groovy food scene in Vermont.

Vermont Eats has over 1500 photos and 470 entries, all searchable by price, region and type of business including farmer's markets, artisan cheeses, farm-to-table restaurants, micro-breweries, pizzas, gluten-free foods, vegetarian options, organic farms, health food stores and about thirty more categories
—all easy-to-find with built-in Google maps.

Vermont Eats is a must-have for both residents and travelersyou won't want to leave home without this App! Eat well and enjoy!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Honor Earth Every Day

I remember this ad from when I was a kid. Sadly it is still relevant today except the airwaves are not showing ads like this anymore.

EARTH DAY—make it EVERY day.

Photo courtesy of NASA: http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_rec.php?id=2429

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Traveling Naturally Makes Top Ten Ecologist List

The Ecologist, the UK's preeminent environmental magazine since 1970 (now entirely online), has announced its top ten choices for green travel blogs around the world—and Traveling Naturally/Green Earth Guides made the grade.

Traveling Naturally/Green Earth Guides is in great company—others on the list are Green Traveller, National Geographic Adventure, The Man in Seat 61, The Feiring Line, Sustainable Travel international, Ethical Traveller, Ski Green Guide, Copenhagen Cycle Chic, and the Green Travel Blog.

Traveling green has never been easier!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Just Food Conference NYC

Local foodies check out Just Food's conference in New York City the last weekend in February filled with workshops, panel presentations, a jobs fair and a local food and business expo. Tickets are $30 a day, available online.

Just Food is a non profit promoting New York City CSAs, community gardens, access to local food for shelters and food pantries, as well as offering trainings in urban agriculture and community food preparation.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

London & UK Organic & Sustainable Eating

UK green travelers and residents need never go hungry again! Explore the following super useful tools:

At the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) you can search for restaurants which have been rated based on 14 criteria including use of local and seasonal foods, sustainable seafood and meats, water conservation, and fair trade.

Check out the 2012 sustainable restaurant award winners such as the restaurant at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Great Milton, Oxford where organic food grown in its own two-acre garden supplies the kitchen with over one hundred and fifty different vegetables and herbs. Another award winner, Ode, in Devon, serves local and organic meals for lunch and dinner.

With the new app from the Good Food Guide 2012  you can search for restaurants by cuisine type (vegetarian, French, etc), cost, distance, or alphabetically by name.

And for organic and natural food markets check out The London Organic Directory to find restaurants, cafés, pubs and health food stores.

If you need gluten-free options the UK Celiac Society provides a guide for allergy-sufferers which will help you find eateries and hotels.

Eating in the UK will never be the same—enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Paola's Restaurant—Inconspicuous Italian


I had no idea the treat I was in for as I settled into eat at Paola's with a very dear old friend of mine. I had been in New York for almost two weeks working on the grueling task of emptying a wreck of an apartment while staying at a friend's place. On my walk between the apartments I unwittingly passed Paola's every day, never noticing it behind its subdued facade. When my friend suggested it I was surprised at the address she gave, "Really? It's on 92nd and Madison?" certain there must be an error.

Low and behold, the address was correct and Paola's, whose entrance is on 92nd Street, not Madison (which explains how I missed it—sort of) is a sizable restaurant specializing in Italian food. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant is abuzz with people so reservations are recommended.

What many of the customers are likely unaware of is Paola's commitment to using fresh and local ingredients whenever possible. While the political issues of local food are understood, it is the freshness, quality and taste that drive the restaurant to prepare as much of its dishes with New York produced ingredients as it can. 

Vegetables and seasonal fruits come from the Union Square farmer's market (worth a trip if you have never been), as does some of the meat. One of the owner's of Paola's works some land in upstate New York, producing a small amount of vegetables for the restaurant and the future goal is for the restaurant to have its own farm where the restaurant can source a high percentage of its food.

Diners looking for gluten-free options will find plenty at Paola's including gluten-free pasta on request as well as specialty dishes that are senza gluten. My dish samplings included sumptuous spinach and ricotta on a bed of house-made tomato sauce and delectable grilled artichokes— a house specialty with origins from Rome's Jewish ghetto where fried artichokes are still a popular delicacy. The Carciofi alla giudía (Jewish-style artichokes) have a taste and texture not ordinarily experienced with this edible thistle—crunchy and succulent—it leaves you wanting more, as it should be.

While Paola's is not for those on a tight budget, you can certainly eat for under $30 if you order one course, but I warn you it is hard to only have one.

1295 Madison Avenue (entrance on 92nd Street)
New York City, NY 10128
Open for Lunch: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm; Dinner: 4:30 pm to 11:00 pm
Prices: Antipasti $12-18; Pastas $20-22; Main/Secondi $22-40; Brunch $12-26