August 19, 2009

My first and last meeting as a Beam Green member

Last night, I was very excited to attend my first Beam Green meeting as a full member. After loving the first two meetings I attended, I signed up and invited a couple other bloggers to come to August's meeting with me.

The weather was a tad nast when I left work last night, so I waited out a short rain storm at Bonobo's, enjoying their Coco Malt shake (coconut meat, coconut water & "live chocolate malt") over A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers. Loving this read so far!

I then headed uptown to Tavern on the Green, where Beam Green meetings are held. As usual, there was a glorious bouquet of juices from Liquiteria...

...and a spread of fresh fruit & veggies, sushi rolls from Whole Foods and cookies from Babycakes.
The "Mr. Greens" juice from Liquiteria is delicious. It pretty much contains everything but the kitchen sink...beets, greens, ginger, algae, yo mama...I dunno, but it's great.

We also got to sample some food from a local raw delivery service called Three Wishes, which was a nice surprise. Their raw lasagna is almost as good as Pure's. Almost.

My plate was leaning a bit by the time I got to snap a terrible picture. Most of the pictures that follow are terrible too, but you get the idea! The lighting was just not workin' for me.

My main plate had a pile of crudites and Whole Foods maki, as well as a nori roll sample from the Three Wishes table.

Sometimes the simplest stuff is the best!

Mary Boehmer, founder of Beam Green, took the stage after we'd all had a chance to mingle and nosh a bit...

Followed by a Q&A session with Gene Stone, one of the founders of Stogo vegan ice cream shop here in NYC. I learned that Stogo features vegan ice creams with soy, coconut or hemp bases (all sweetened with agave). The most popular flavor is salted caramel, but the most "manly" flavor is mint chocolate chip! Apparently, the dudes favor that one. Not sure what the logic behind that is, but I do know that the boyf is consistent with that tendency. How funny!

He also ghost-wrote The Engine 2 Diet, which is a month-long vegan diet plan that was tried on a house full of firefighters with great success in lowering cholesterol and reducing risk of disease. Gene told us he has ghost-written dozens of books, including autobiographies of celebrities and the like. Who knows--you might have read something he wrote!

I was in extremely good company last night. Somehow, I managed not to get a picture of Gena, but of course, she was there, along with Dori, Missy and Melissa.

And for my contribution to the cause (besides the membership fee, that is), I wanted to share the wealth by introducing my favorite Brooklyn bloggers to Beam Green: Sarah, Vani and Olga!

Huzzah for bloggers loving Beam Green!

But back to Stogo: don't think we didn't get to sample the goods!

We were each served a scoop of their vanilla and chocolate coconut-based ice creams, which I enjoyed a little too much alongside a cup of tea and macaroon from Babycakes. Mother o'Gawd, I could live on this stuff.

After the necessary ice cream break, we heard from Gil Jacobs, a local colonic hydrotherapist. I heard him speak at the first Beam Green meeting I attended and got a lot from his overarching take on cleansing and becoming more healthy (highlights from which you can read here).

The theme of his brief talk last night was disease and illness. While I could see the logic behind what he was saying (if only from his point of view as a raw vegan and colonic hydrotherapist), I fear he may have alienated those in the audience new to his style of speaking. He presents cleansing (as a verb, not a noun) in a cut-and-dry manner that is at the same time likely overwhelming to anyone steeped in the Standard American Diet. He was saying that illness and disease (everything from cancer to diabetes) originate in the buildup of toxins in the body, and that furthermore, children born of people with a high level of toxicity begin life with inherent problems which will likely manifest themselves similarly (drug addiction, obesity, diabetes, etc.). I am over-simplifying here, but this is clearly not territory where I am comfortable! I will cut myself off with a "you had to be there."

Lastly, we listened to David Phillips speak about going green spiritually.

To be perfectly honest, this guy lost me. The basis of his teaching is Kabbalah, and what I took from him was encouragement to bury our own egos (garbage?) in order to find the root of what ails us spiritually and then solve it by forgoing personal agenda. I think. We all received a book on green Kabbalah to accompany this lecture, so I guess I'll have to refer back to it at some point!

In conclusion, this is what I thought of the Kabbalah talk:

Fruity. (Kidding, those are my apricots from the farmer's market. I just wanted to squeeze 'em in!)

Overall, I'd say my my day turned into a date with a coconut!

(Date-Coconut rolls from the bulk bins at Integral Yoga. AMAZING. But just another awkward picture insert.)

Between the above snack, my shake from Bonobo's and ice cream from Stogo, I may just have consumed several entire coconuts yesterday! That is the way to roll, dawgs. Maximum delicious.

But this story does not have a happy ending, alas. At the very end of the meeting, Mary informed us that it would, in fact, be the last. She has been offered an opportunity (still a mystery, as yet) that she cannot turn down, making last night both my first and last meeting as a Beam Green member! I'm so bummed, especially when I'd just gotten a couple other bloggers in on it with me. We'll just have to try and come up with an equally awesome excuse to hang out! Luckily, I have plenty of ideas, most of them involving food. (Is there really any other kind of idea?)


fitforfree said...

Awesome rundown of the evening, Diana . . . and thanks again for the invitation!

As much as I agree that most of us aren't doing ourselves any favors w/ the food we eat, it is a little jarring to hear someone essentially say "EVERYONE OUT THERE IS KILLING THEMSELVES!!" Gives a new meaning to "health nut," if you know what I mean. It reminds me of when my raw-vegan-former-boss would talk about the days he ate "horrible, awful crap -- whole wheat vegan pancakes, stir-fries, etc." -- I will admit that I worry that pursuing "greener" eating habits will lead me down that road!

I really enjoyed it, though -- lots of (delicious) food for thought.

Lia said...

Excellent book! I stumbled upon it somewhere, the Philippines maybe, and loved it. Enjoy!

I'm rather sad to hear that Beam Green is no longer because I was planning on checking it out properly when I got back to NYC in Dec. Alas, future opportunities await.

katherine said...

I'm sorry to hear Beam Green is no more! I really enjoyed the meeting I attended (where I happened to meet some pretty cool chicas, I'd say!) and wish I could have made it to the others. Sounds like last night was fun, interesting, and enjoyable - just what it should be.

And the eats look pretty fine too!

HangryPants said...

That's too bad about it being the last meeting.

And I think it's so funny that Gene was there!!! I just met him when I went to Stogo a couple weeks ago and was going to ask him about Beam Green, but I was too shy.

elise said...

based on the coco-date roll, i think that integral yoga store is very similar to the gary null's whole foods store i shop at near me. bulk bins galore and all those to die for treats (coconut date rolls included).

i really want to attend one of those. i think the membership fee is worth it for the food alone! im gonna have to take my sister to stogo while shes in town.

VeggieGirl said...

Too bad about Beam Green ending!! :( But at least you got to attend a couple of meetings, and even have a "fruity" encounter, hahaha ;)

Oh and what is it with Bonobos and rainstorms?? There's always a connection, as far as I'm concerned and have experienced...

K from ksgoodeats said...

That event sounds like a lot of fun between the speakers and the food. Sorry it was the last one, that's really unfortunate!

Dori said...

Great post! I have been working on mine all day with many interruptions (work I get paid for). I was so lost during Kabbalah as well, and I already knew about it from Israel. The guy spoke in circles and I couldn't figure out his point.

Anyway. Your Bonobos shake sounds delicious, I want. Missy brought me the banana carob thingies and I don't love them like you do, although they are addicting in a strange way. Crack in them, perhaps?

Love your random food inserts. I am stealing the photo with me in it. I have one of us with Gena you can grab it from my blog if I ever finish it!

chocolate-covered katie said...

I'm going to nyc again sometime this week... MUST go to Bonobo and try coconut crack (love your name for it!). Will you be around this week? I don't know yet when we'll get to go in, but I'll definitely email you when I know my plans better!

Gena said...

Love of my life, it's always amazing to see you. And the fact that I also got to see Olga, Dori, Missy, Danielle, Sarah, Vani, and Mel ... too much goodness for one night! It kind of made up for the sadness of BG ending.

I agree with you about Gil's lecture this time, and most certainly about the Kabbalah -- though I've so little knowledge of the latter that it's hard to make a call!

Olga said...

Ah, DianA, what an awesome review. I agree, when the last speaker was talking I was like "are we getting more ice cream after you're done or what?" :)

Thanks so much again for giving me the opportunity to go, so glad to have caught the last meeting! I really enjoyed all the amazing food and advice. Besides, seeing you ladies is always a plus!

Missy said...

Great recap! I was also pretty lost during the Kabbalah talk. All that yummy food made up for it though! I agree that we must find another way to have meetings like this even with no more Beam Green!

I loveeee the banana carob cubes by the way!

Jenny said...

sounds like such an awesome event! too bad there's no more :( i would totes drag my butt up to NYC and hit it up if i could!

emily said...

Sorry that was your last evening. I am sort of super jealous to have missed it! :)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

Wow you had like 50 bucks worth of free, raw, awesome nosh. I am so jealous. I have never, ever in San Diego (not like I'm living in a totally lame place) been to an event where anything of that caliber was served. Probably b/c it doesn't exist here. But I digress. NYC has such fabulous food it shames everywhere else.

And there is nothing I hate more than people who try to "sell you" on their life it colonics, raw food, Finding Jesus, or why they bought the model of car they did. It's like to each his own and get off the soap box. But I'm sure it was good entertainment and you at least got to hang out with your homegirls.

melissa said...

shocked to here about the end of beam green. but I do think there are tons of activites we can do and food we can eat. maybe it can be a monthly blogger social :)

Sassy-Kitchen said...

I'm new to blogging, and am always looking for more nyc people. You name-dropped so many things I love: bonobos, stogo, liquiteria, pure, integral, that I can't believe I haven't seen your blog before. Adding you to my blogroll!