Friday, November 30, 2007

Going raw

So as part of my experiments over the course of this year I have been trying out the raw diet this week. I've been mostly doing it at breakfast and lunch. Its near to impossible to be completely raw without only eating salad unless all your friends are raw...

I started off the week with raw smoothies: acai, soaked hemp and flax seeds for protein (I've been trying not to eat "processed" foods including protein powder which seems very processed). I've also added raw eggs to them. So far, no salmonella. I've been hearing the salmonella is in the shell anyway, not inside the egg and as long as you wash the egg off you should be ok. So far, I am :)

The smoothies keep me full usually till 1pm or so. I've been trying different salads and sashimi with no rice and no soy sauce because it contains wheat usually unless its tamari or shoyu - but again this is hard to find in your typical sushi take out place. So yesterday I had salmon and tuna sashimi with cucumber, avocado, ginger and sesame seeds. Quite tasty and I wasn't missing the soy sauce or rice. I don't know for how long these diets are sustainable, but I do have to say I've had an incredible amount of energy this week and I don't sleep a lot, nor do I drink caffiene.

I'm not going any percentage raw. I am however going to try some raw food restaurants just to continue the experiment. So far I have been to quintessence in the east vilage. I actually went y myself for saturday afternoon lunch because I was just in the neighborhood and I thought - why not. I found it quite tasty. They had this lovely almond curd/cheese they called fofu - it was so much tastier than tofu and had almost a velvety texture. Delicious. There was some sort of spinach puree with nuts and some sort of vegan/raw hollandaise sauce. I have no idea what was in there, but it tasted very good. I find raw food kind of expensive, but then again this is New York and most restaurants are fairly expensive, but I wonder what it is about raw food that would require it to be so expensive. I am still investigating this.

I am beginning to think more seriously about wider consulting opportunities outside of 1:1 counseling such as corporate wellness and advising fledging health and wellness businesses. I also have some business ideas of my own and would love to be in touch with anyone interested in developing similar businesses. Please find me at

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

websites are up and PCOS diet/healing network

My websites are up. Granted they are still a work in progress, but they are there for the world to see and get to know me and my work. The site dedicated to my consulting company is and the site dedicated to my health counseling business is: Feel free to check them out. More to come soon.

Tonight, I had the rest of the greens, tofu and kasha, and it was just as yummy as last night. I am trying to follow some theories of the Polycystic Ovaries (PCOS) diet originated by Dr. Nancy Dunne, N.D., Naturopathic Physician. According to her work there's not a lot to eat for a PCOS vegetarian/vegan restricted to only 60 grams of carbs a day. She recommends carbohydrates to be consumed come mostly from fruits and vegetables (most of my carbs do come from this form - but I also eat whole grains such as brown rice, millet, kasha and wild rice). I am trying to avoid wheat, spelt and oat products including kamut for a bit and see what happens. I have already cut out caffeine and alcohol, but I'm not sure if I can make it down to 60 grams of carbohydrates a day. I'm going to continue to eliminate white flour (it really is in everything, including la choy soy sauce) and white sugar (which is in anything in a package in this country, it is ridiculous - start reading your labels closely) and just eat my whole grains, but restrict them as well. If you would like to view Dr. Nancy Dunne's theories, here is a link to her site: and the link to sign up for her newsletter is:

It is my hope to be able to focus on polycystic ovarian syndrome and other unexplained issues of infertility and feminine problems that have been ignored or challenged by the traditional medical community as a main component of my health counseling pracitce. I am looking to build a network of alternative healers who specialize in this area to whom I can refer my clients and even build partnerships for a wellness center devoted to the treatment of women's health issues. If you are an acupuncturist, herbologist, chinese/eastern trained physician, naturopath or any other type of healer who specializes in the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome please contact me at or respond to this blog.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Raw vegan cheesecake

At some point I will have over 10 hours to think about making a cheesecake, when I do, I'm trying this recipe it looks awesome:


1 cup brazil nuts (or almonds)
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dried figs (or dates)
1/4 cup raisons
2 tbs. of orange juice
pinch of salt

2 cups raw cashews (soaked for 10 hours)
1 cup almonds or mac nuts (soaked for 2 hrs)
3 tbs. pine nuts
2 tbs. rejuvelac or lemon juice
pinch of salt
1/3 cup coconut water and 3 tbs. chopped meat
1 sun dried vanilla bean or 1 ts. vanilla extract
4 tbs. agave nectar or honey or 7-12 soaked dates

Whipped Cream
1 cup young coconut meat (chopped up)
3 tbs. raw cashews or mac nuts (soaked for 8-10 hrs)
8 soaked dates or 2 tbs. honey (or more if you like it sweeter)
3 tbs. coconut water or almond milk
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
drop of vanilla extract

1 pint really ripe red strawberries (sliced fine and put into a bowl)
3 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tbs agave nectar or honey
pure water (not tap)

How to: Ok, begin with a round cheezcake pan (spring form pan). Process all the ingredients for the crust. Press the mixture into the pan and set aside (chill in the fridge).
Now the filling. In the vitamix or champion juicer blend/process the cashews and almonds or macnuts untill they are creamy. Put this in a bowl and add the rejuvelac and salt. Mix really well. Put in a nut milk bag or cheese cloth or bowl covered with a towel and leave it out in a warm place (room temp) for 10-12 hrs. Combine this "cream cheez" mixture and blend it with the 1/3 cup coconut water and coconut meat, vanilla bean or extract, agave nectar or honey. Put in the freezer untill ready to use.
Blend all the ingredients for the whipped cream and chill in the freezer
Now for the topping. Take the strawberries and strain them, to get the strawberry liquid from the bowl, mix that with the lemon juice and a little agave nectar or honey. Set aside untill ready to use.

Yay, we're almost done. Ok. Take the spring form pan, pour the filling in and tap the pan down to get all the air bubbles. Layer the slices of strawberries on top and pour the lemon mixture over it. Put the whipped cream in a star tipped pipeing bag and pipe it all along the sides of the cake, or all over. Garnish with extra lemon zest, and put in the freezer for 8 hrs.

Coconut Oil and Mustard Greens

Tonight I dine on mustard greens and collards stir fried in coconut oil with burdock root and buckwheat kasha. I cannot tell you how awesome my apartment smells tonight. I've tried three different brands of coconut oil. The first two were equally gross, rancid smelling and imparted the same taste to my food. I threw them both out. But then I discovered Nutiva brand. I bought it at Fairway's organic market - but I've seen it at whole foods and also in my local health food store - Vitality Health Foods - 212-472-7700- 1412 1st Avenue (74th & 75th) in New York. I have to say I love this store, but I wish they would rent a bigger space. Every time I shop there (3-4 times a week) I knock something over. Trouble is now my hands smell like coconut. Although it is a lovely smell, so I don't mind and it beats smelling of garlic or turmeric, two spices I love as well but alas with no kitchen fan, I am not making any heavy duty curry any time soon. Last week I made some "greens" curry style and it did not smell up the apartment.

On another note, I joined the Weston A. Price Foundation in New York City ( and I will be ordering raw milk from Pennsylvania to be delivered to me somewhere in Manhattan. I'm really excited to try it. I've had it in Europe and in cheeses, but I'm really curious to try it on a more regular basis. I'd really love some raw goat milk and am going to see if I can get my hands on that. I'm searching for a good Indian store to buy goat meat at in New York City. I'm still also searching for the most economical form of grass fed beef - it is incredibly difficult to find. From my research, Ottomanelli's ( on York Avenue and 82nd Street sells it. I've had the "grass fed" sirloin once there. I'm still puzzled why they put "grass fed" in quotes. The meat was incredibly tasty but also incredibly expensive. I'll continue to shop there but no more than every 2 months or so. I might try to buy direct from a farm and see what I can get through Weston A. Price and the CSAs around New York. I can't wait till April when my CSA membership starts, that is if I make it off the wait list. Until then, I buy my veggies at Fairway when I can get across town (usually run through the park and bus back) or at Vitality Health Foods.

I'm thoroughly enjoying my dinner of sauteed greens, kasha and tofu. Yum! The kasha is especially good. Its slightly larger grained than what I remember as a child when my only experience was when it was in a dish called kasha varnikes (recipe: that had bowtie pasta in it. I suppose if you cover the grains in egg and then chicken fat, how can they taste bad? Tonight, I didn't quite use that recipe!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sobel Wellness Blog -

I am working on developing a separate blog exclusive to Sobel Wellness a division of Sobel Health Advisors, LLC that will focus on my health counseling business. The website and newsletter for the counseling business will be launching soon. Please email me at to sign up for the newsletter and to be kept informed about the website launches.

Sobel Health Advisors, LLC set to launch in December/January

This has been an extremely productive weekend! In addition to my health counseling business (however its all related) I have decided to start a small business consulting firm where I will be offering health care start ups assistance with business plan writing, raising capital and business development of key areas of the business. At some point later, I also hope to advise fellow holistic health counselors in developing other business offerings outside of 1:1 counseling such as wellness centers and the like. I will be offering these business consulting services in addition to my health counseling services under the same parent company. Stay tuned to the launch of the Sobel Health Advisors, LLC website in late December/early January. I could use any help in web development that anyone would like to offer me :)

Sobel Wellness, my holistic health counseling business, will also be launching around that time, perhaps in early February (because I will be in Thailand during the last week of January, first week of February, cannot wait! and I will be taking Thai Cooking classes - I'm very curious to know what goes into traditional Thai food and how I can incorporate or alter those cooking methods into recommendations for my clients). I am also investigating several other business ideas and attending networking events in New York. The businesses I am looking to get involved in are in the health and nutrition field as well as corporate wellness. If anyone has any ideas or would like to join me in building these businesses please contact me. Shortly I will be able to point you to the site and a new email for business related issues. At present that email is

Since my last class weekend and through recorded lectures I have been listening to this week, I have been engrossed in reading about raw food theories over this past weekend. I don't know if I have quite bought into eating raw meat and eggs (actually with my egg sensitivity I can't do this), though I am going to try and have some sashimi this week. I have to say though there is some merit in organic, pastured eggs (watch out for vegetarian fed eggs - chickens were meant to eat worms and chicken feed that is not necessarily entirely vegetarian) I had an egg complete with yolk and I didn't have quite the same reaction I have had to the extra large white eggs from the supermarket or an omelet in a restaurant. I'm not yet ready to go full force back into eating eggs - but I am going to start experimenting a bit more when I don't need to be around people or working to see what continued consumption of pastured, organic brown eggs will do to me. I really have no idea what would happen if I ate the egg raw. All my negative health reactions to eggs have been in cooked form - omelets, scrambled eggs, quiche etc. I'll continue to do experiments and monitor my progress on this blog.

I would however like to try raw milk and I am looking into a milk share with the Weston A. Price Foundation and if I can find some time visit a local farm and buy raw milk there. What I would really like to find is raw goat's milk, but not sure if that is available anywhere. Weston A. Price has options to pick up raw milk right here in New York City and its really inexpensive. In the meantime I have been experimenting with grass fed unhomogenized milk (from trader joes, vitality health and agatha and valenta (super super expensive from there) and goat milk (from TJs and various health food stores) and not been experiencing any of the digestive problems I would ordinarily experience with regular industrial cows milk. I've tried the full fat and low fat varieties and not noticed any differences. The coach farm full fat goat milk does taste the best, although oak knoll and meyerberg taste quite good too. I don't notice a tangy taste or anything. It tastes particularly fresh as does the grass fed cows milk - which tastes distinctly different from supermarket milk and even lactaid milk - which is what I have been drinking for the past 10 years except in my coffee or tea. So there's something to be said for that. I've been scouring health food stores for grass fed meat, but its incredibly hard to find. Organic meat is not necessarily grass fed and still incredibly high in fat. I've found Ottomanelli's butcher on the Upper East Side on York Avenue in the 80's to sell grass fed meat which is extremely tasty, though I can't vouch for the fat content. I did not have ground meat there, but next time I visit I will see if their ground meat comes in a 10% fat or less variety and if not I will see if I can find a cut of meat with that fat content and have them grind this. After all I have been reading and recently watching "Fast Food Nation" on DVD, I highly recommend anyone eating ground meat to do this.

I've also been cooking (and actually enjoying) several new grains and greens: Millet, Wild Rice (in the grain department), Collard greens, mustard greens, kale and swiss chard (in the green department). They take a very short time to get used to and they are just lovely. If I never eat anything with wheat, corn or rye in it again, I don't think I will miss it too much. The greens are bitter like many might think. Arugula is much more bitter. For those not allergic to almonds, I have been discovering the versatility of the almond: raw almonds are wonderful on their own as a snack and I've been trying just having a handful before a run or 30 minutes before a meal and it really makes me satiated and gives me a much better run. In addition, I have also discovered almond milk (but one needs to be a nutrition label reader because many of these contain added sugars - be sure to buy the unsweetened brand from blue diamond or pacific), almond cheese (contains casein - I am going to try to find a brand that doesn't, but so far no luck), almond cheesecake (no joke, I had some sweetened with dates and agave tonight from Vitality Health on 77th and 1st here on the Upper East Side and it was fabulous). Last night and tonight I dined on millet, a mixture of kale, swiss chard and collards with a bit of sesame oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds. I also steamed a piece of lemon sole in olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper - wrapped in aluminum foil. I made enough for two meals and enjoyed it again for dinner tonight, delish! After reading the ingredients in my American made soy sauce I am planning on throwing it out and buying shoyu or tamari that doesn't have six other ingredients that are not soy sauce (including wheat - why does there need to be wheat in soy sauce - this is beyond me - for years as a kid I avoided chinese food because of a wheat allergy and I used to carry my own tamari or other non-wheat containing soy sauce). Its strange because I feel as if I have outgrown this allergy (although I can never be completely sure) and have gone back to the non-authentic stuff - but that has to change. I've got mustard greens, more collards and red kale to cook later this week and I haven't tried the buckwheat yet. I also bought some chia seeds to put in my smoothie. I have so much energy and I definitely feel the difference. I've been contemplating raw cacao beans, but I have to admit they look a bit gross. I've put raw cacao nibs into my smoothies, they add some nice flavor - but I am a bit skeptical of them on their own. Next post perhaps I will get up the nerve to try them out. The raw coconut oil by Nutiva is delicious. I could eat it straight from the jar and I can't wait to saute some greens in it tomorrow.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The danger of sugar highs

I recently listened to a recorded lecture by Dr. Aajonus Vonderplanitz (no joke, that is his name) on the "primal diet" which incorporates raw foods and even raw meat into the diet and downplays the body's needs for sugars, even those from fruit. What I found especially interesting and even scary was what he said about fruit sugar. Dr. Vonderplanitz described that when killer monkeys prepare for the hunt, they consume ripe bananas in order to get a sugar high that enables them to go on a killing spree. The sugar in the bananas causes them to be able to go on this killing spree, giving them the energy to almost "go crazy" and be able to kill anything in their path. Think about this next time when reaching for a can of coke, bag of gummy bears or even more than one half of a ripe banana.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Speaking Engagements

in my attempts to become organized and a long term planner, I'm looking to book some speaking engagements in the spring/summer and fall of 2008. Here is a sampling of the topics I am considering:
  • Healthy meals in thirty minutes
  • Organic AND Locally Grown – Finding the Healthiest Food Possible in your area
  • Holiday Survival Strategies
  • Handling Stress on the High-pressure Job
  • Staying Healthy when you Travel for a Living
  • Carving out time for Exercise
  • The Easy Way to Beat Sugar Cravings - Crowding Them Out
  • Superfoods You Should Know About
  • Natural Remedies for Polycystic Ovaries
I would love some help in finding organizations at which to speak. I am currently going to work through my alumnae organizations and some small business organizations to which I belong, but I could certainly use some help in identifying new organizations.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Second Weekend Reactions to Integrative Nutrition

I just finished a three day marathon weekend at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. The experience has been nothing short of amazing. I am so excited to start developing my health counseling business around my niche areas of polycystic ovaries (from which I suffer and am attempting to treat naturally) and other reproductive issues affecting young women. I am looking to develop some other offerings as part of my business including career coaching and complex medical decision making management. I'm looking forward to finally be able to integrate my decision science training from Harvard with my nutrition training to offer this valuable service to future clients.

I am working on developing my health counseling business and selecting a name. I am looking forward to connecting with women suffering from polycystic ovaries and other related problems who are looking for natural means to alleviate their symptoms.