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!
...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.
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!
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:
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?)