to drink / blueprint cleanse review

As I blogged about in February, I did the three day BluePrint cleanse in March through NYC’s online supermarket, FreshDirect. Previously, this popular cleanse was only available through BluePrint, but they’ve since rolled out BluePrintJuice at select locations. Juice cleanses are controversial. I think weight loss shouldn’t be the motivation behind it. I’d been eating poorly, not working out, and working too many hours in a cubicle, so I thought of it as a nice kickstart to a healthier lifestyle.

Did I like BluePrintJuice? If I did another one, I would buy juices from Liquiteria, which is a popular local juice shop. They have fresh juices and bottled juices. The green juice is the basis of all levels of the cleanse and the BPC version was definitely hard to down.

During the three days, I felt less distracted by the heaviness of carbs. I’m not a heavy coffee drinker, but I missed that little kick in the morning. It was also nice not to have to think about what to eat every day. I even went to dinner with a friend the first night at a local Italian eatery — she ate pasta and I drank juice!

Your daily juice plan for the level 1 renovation cleanse is 6 juices in the order of the green, gold, green, yellow, red, and white. I brought a wrong juice to work the first day and asked BPC through their Facebook if it was ok if I slightly tweaked the order. They said it was fine. I drank all 6 the first day but gave up finishing all 6 on day 2 and 3 and went to bed early.

From a cost perspective, FreshDirect was very convenient and cheaper. Although, if you live or work near a Whole Foods or a market that carries the juice, that could be equally convenient. FreshDirect has discounts that vary from 20% to 30% off. I believe the daily cost through BluePrint is $65. FreshDirect costs $45.50/day for three days. If you do more than three days, it is about $42 based on the level 1 renovation cleanse. As you get higher on the levels, the more green replaces the other colors. Another word of caution, FreshDirect omitted one red juice and gave me an extra green. I ended up drinking the extra green on the fourth day, for fun. Maybe it was just an honest mistake, but they’re pretty bad at owning up to their mistakes and responding to emails.

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weekends / antioxidants and blueprintjuice

My fridge has evolved over the years… friends have visited and have balked at the dearth of real food. Nowadays, it depends. Time is a luxury lately, so I’ve given into the convenience of FreshDirect.

Inspired by the salad I had at Cookshop, I put together my own salad of beets, blood orange, and strawberries. It must be antioxidant-heavy judging by the colors. I’ve been eating a ton of strawberries lately.

FD began selling BluePrintJuice of BluePrintCleanse fame. It has a longer shelf life than buying directly from BPC. FD is running a promotion, which makes a day’s worth of juice $45.50 if you order three days’ worth (i.e. the renovation cleanse). If you buy more, like four days, it is $2.50 cheaper a day. Ordering directly from BPC is $65/day. Buying from Whole Foods is about $49. BluePrintJuice doesn’t come with easy to follow numbers on the bottles, but the order is basically green, gold, green, yellow, red, white. I’ve been eating super poorly lately due to working too much, so let’s see how this goes!

weekends / ringing in 2012 with raclette

Raclette is a type of Swiss-French cheese. It smells unless you’re cooking/eating it. You grill the cheese on a bottom layer. Once it’s at the right melting point, you pour it on top of cooked potatoes, charcuterie, veggies, etc. You can also grill veggies on the top of the grill and/or keep your potatoes warm (depends on your grill). It’s similar to hotpot in that it’s easy to organize and does not require cooking skills.

I’d discovered raclette when I was in Zurich a few years ago and revisited it in Paris at my friend’s housewarming dinner. That friend graciously gifted me a raclette grill, and another friend here offered up his place, which led to a small gathering for a simple NYE raclette dinner.

New Yorkers have it easy. While in Paris, I helped my friend prep and we had to divide and conquer, i.e. go to this store for bread, that store for roses, and another place for wine, etc. We have a grocery delivery service called FreshDirect that has almost everything you need, except the grill and fresh baguettes. The fresh baguettes were easily solved – the market down my street gets daily delivered from TomCat and Balthazar. You can also buy cored pineapple, already cooked beets, peeled shallots, etc. Wash/slice/plate everything else hotpot style and you’re ready to eat!

We also had tons of dessert, both homemade (with a special dose of luck inside) and store-bought. I was so stuffed and could barely eat it! I’m looking forward to another raclette party some time in the near future. Hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve!

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to eat / abc kitchen

My food pics are too disorganized… I’m fast forwarding a bit since my last food post.

I’d never been to ABC Kitchen, but kept on hearing about it, so I included it in my itinerary for Parisian friend, E, back in June. The weekend was an overall success and she changed her mind on American dining. She LOVED ABC Kitchen so much that she ordered another helping of the crab toast to go (in lieu of airplane dining). The restaurant was also gracious in sharing how they make the crab toast and carrot/avocado salad.

ABC Kitchen is currently at the top of my ‘recommend’ list. A dear college friend was recently in town (her last visit before she moves across the Pacific!) so I recommended reservations at ABC Kitchen. She (and our other mutual friend) has good, high-end taste (c’est Jean Georges) so it’s only proper we go somewhere tasty and classy!

ABC Kitchen (35 E 18th St, NYC; Flatiron)

The service is great. Reservations aren’t too hard to get for small parties and are available via OpenTable. They have some flexibility if you call. I also love how they seat incomplete parties! I was admiring my friend’s three(!) stacked Hermes clic enamel bracelets while we were waiting for the third to arrive. She even let me try on my fave – the PM orange with gold hardware. I’m glad their price increase is minuscule compared to our friends at Chanel.

The three of us shared an app, a salad, a pizza, and two entrees. We started with the crab toast with lemon aioli – a must. I believe this is also on the dinner menu. The crispy, well oiled toast (I think it is olive oil) and loads of crabmeat are key.

Glimpsing at Yelp reviews, the roasted carrot and avocado salad with crunchy seeds, sour cream, and citrus is also a crowd favorite. A perfect bite consists of some greens, carrot, avocado, and crouton (as crispy as the toast). I hated carrots and peas as a child and have been completely converted through these market-to-table restaurants.

They really wanted to try the pizza. I love egg pizza so we got the mushrooms, parmesan, oregano, and farm egg pizza. This is probably the best whole wheat pizza I’ve ever had. The egg was properly cooked over easy and the medley of mushrooms was delicious.

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