Thursday, May 31, 2012

Why I love Riga, Latvia

 Business took me to Riga, Latvia last week. I admit, I knew very little about the country/city before I left. I was pleasantly surprised at how lovely it was. Here are 9 reasons why I love Riga, Latvia:

9. In the summer the suns sets around 10:15 pm
8. Padlock bridge - the tradition is to put a padlock on the bridge on your wedding day, lock it and then throw the key in the water. The padlock can't be opened the same as marriage can't be divorced. 
7. Skābeņu zupa (Sorrel soup)- After years of drinking the Caribbean drink made from the flowers, I was able to try out the rest of the plant
6. Black Magic Cafe - they have secret Harry Potter like doors that open when an employee pulls down a statue on a bookcase
5. Dozens of creative ways to eat beets (in soup, in salad, steamed, baked, juiced)
4. Dried fish galore! Who knew dried sea bass would taste so good, plus 1 serving is 2 Lats ($3.50)
3. Parisian and Italian style cafes. I had an espresso and chocolate everyday :)
2. Tasty high quality food for 3 Lats ($5).  For example: a piece of baked salmon, beet salad, bread and cake all for $5 :)
1. The peaceful city allows you to enjoy a walk down cobblestone streets or along the river without the noise and crowdedness of normal cities

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Brooklyn Half Marathon

Brooklyn Half Marathon in Coney Island
I PR'ed today! (that's Personal Record for the non-runners). I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon in 1:40:33, averaging a 7:41 pace per mile....beating my goal of 1:45 and running faster than my 10K pace last year :)

Considering I was sick all week and hurt my achilles tendon last month, I was quite worried about how I'd run. Maybe it was my awesome breakfast of Tangerine energy gel spread on toast - I ran out of jam and decided to be really efficient and eat both in the same go. It doesn't taste very good so unless you're hardcore I wouldn't recommend it.

The course was a nice mix of hills, downhill and flat. It covered Prospect Park, the surrounding area and then a straight shot to Coney Island. The weather was gorgeous and sunny. My husband ran with me most of the way, finishing only 1 minute before me. All in all a great day!

Now off to the airport for a business trip to Latvia.
Tangerine Energy Gel on Toast

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Strawberry Nut Shake

My friend who follows a Paleolithic diet recommended a few smoothies that involve soaked nuts/seeds for me to try. Although the Paleo diet which restricts carbs would never work for me, I like the smoothies...natural protein and sweetness 

Berry Nut Shake
2-3 cups pure water (depends on what consistency you want)
3 tablespoons almonds
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Stevia (didn't use)

Soak flax seeds and almonds in pure water overnight. Process the nuts on high in food processor or blender until ground. Add water slowly and process. Add berries, vanilla and nutmeg. Add stevia to sweeten to taste. Blend well

Yield: 2 servings

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Brooklyn Food Conference: Saturday, May 12!!!

Excited for next week's free food conference in BROOKLYN! My husband and I have had this on our calendars for 3 months now. I downloaded the program of events and was pleasantly shocked by the 92 pages of options and information. So many workshops :)

May 12: 9 am - 6 pm
Brooklyn Tech HS
29 Fort Greene Place
Brooklyn, New York 11217

More information: On May 12, 2012 over 5,000 people are expected to attend this free, all day event filled with keynotes from notable food activists, workshops, panel discussions, food demos, family programming, art and much more. The 2012 Conference will help strengthen the cooperative effort of individuals, groups and organizations fighting everyday for a healthy, sustainable and fair food system. Food activists, local farmers, academics, restaurateurs and health advocates and all those interested in food justice will gather to discuss the global food economy and its impact on our lives.

Mission Statement: The Brooklyn Food Coalition is a grassroots organization dedicated to the vision of a just and sustainable food system in Brooklyn through community organizing, public education, and research and advocacy. The Coalition is fundamentally committed to building an inclusive, multi-racial, multi-cultural alliance of residents and community-based groups from all parts of Brooklyn, reflecting the borough’s rich diversity. The Brooklyn Food Coalition is composed of neighborhood-based groups, working committees, and affiliate groups all working together in Brooklyn on projects that promote food justice and sustainable food. BFC staff provide coordination between groups.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: a NAACP man of the month in 1912

I’m so proud to belong to a religion that has valued unity and equality (race & gender) from day 1. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of the prophet of the Baha’i Faith, was even named one of The Crisis’ (NAACP’s official publication) “Men of the Month” for May 1912 by W. E. B. Du Bois. (read more here)  

April 30, 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá gave a talk at the 4th Annual Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People at Handel Hall, Chicago, Illinois . He clearly states that ones color does not matter. What matters is ones heart:

“Color or race is of no importance. He who is the image and likeness of God, who is the manifestation of the bestowals of God, is acceptable at the threshold of God — whether his color be white, black or brown; it matters not. Man is not man simply because of bodily attributes. The standard of divine measure and judgment is his intelligence and spirit.

The character and purity of the heart is of all importance. The heart illumined by the light of God is nearest and dearest to God, and inasmuch as God has endowed man with such favor that he is called the image of God, this is truly a supreme perfection of attainment, a divine station which is not to be sacrificed by the mere accident of color.”