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nyc weekend recap – part II

Saturday and Sunday I hit up a few more great finds after work: Bonobos, Argo Tea and Liquidteria.  (Check out my NYC Weekend Recap – Part I for other great finds!)

Bonobos is a vegetarian restaurant located across the street from Madison Square Park.  They have a fairly simple menu with an upscale salad bar featuring nut pates, bean and/or grain salads and tons of veggies.

From their website: All food is serves in the most healthful delicious and nutritious manner with live enzymes intact as Mother Nature intended.  All vitamins, minerals and other food components are not changed by her.  We do not ass any processed cooked fats, salt or sugar to any of our food.  All fat in our foods has been put there by nature and is needed by our bodies.

Unfortunately, I did not have time to eat at Bonobos, but I did make sure to pick up a bottle of their famous Coconut Chai.

The Coconut Chai is made with a blend of fresh young coconut meat, spicy sweet chai masala and organic raw agave.  It is unbelievably good!  I may need to pick one of these up every time I visit NYC – seriously!

Across the street from Bonobos, is Argo Tea (located in the Flatiron Building).

It is like the Starbucks of Tea!  I had so much fun in there.  I am a huge tea drinker, and am not a big fan of coffee.  If I go to Starbucks, or a coffee shop, I normally get tea lattes or just plain tea, but they never have great tea, or a big selection of teas.  Well, this was such a treat for me!  You can order just a simple tea drink, or one of their specialty beverages which are phenomenal!  On Saturday, I ordered a chai tea latte, and Sunday I tried the earl gray vanilla latte – both were delicious.

You can pick from sweetened or unsweetened, and a variety of milks to use in your drinks.  We also sampled the MojiTea, which I loved.  But, I felt like a hot drink.  The MojiTea is a blend of Armenian Mint Tea, Lime Juice, Cane Sugar and Seltzer.  Ummm…would that be a perfect summer drink or what?!

They do sell their loose leaf teas, so I purchased the mint to create my own MojiTea!

Next up, was Liquidteria.  I have been wanting to go here for so long, and finally made the trek!  If I had known it was so close to my brother’s place, I would have gone a long time ago.  It is located in the East Village, which is adorable!  So many great finds there.

Liquidteria is a juice bar/takeaway cafe.  There menu looked delicious with a few fresh sandwiches, including a signature PB&J and an oatmeal bar.  This time, I was there for the juice that I have heard so much about – next time I will try the food!

They presh their juices fresh right on the spot, or they have some already bottled for easy on the go.  Since I wanted to take a few home with me, I went directly to the to-go case.  I bought 2 since I couldn’t decide!

Grasshopperapple, pear, pineapple, wheatgrass & mint.

All Greens w/ Apple, Lemon & Gingerkale, spinach, romaine, parsley, celery, cucumber, apple, lemon & ginger.

It is a really good thing that I don’t live around places like this, or I would be broke!!  Juice is a great way to get some greens in while on the go, so I do try to look up juice bars when I travel.  NYC just happens to have loads of them.

While we were exploring the city on Sunday, we came across a ‘Green Festival’ in Union Square.

There were a lot of booths set up for compost collections, green cleaning products, gardening supplies for roof/porch gardens, body care, sustainable restaurants and food products, etc.  It was really cool to see everything come together for a huge city like NYC.  They festival was sponsored by Whole Foods, and it was packed despite the rain.  Boston, you really need to get on this!!

 

Stonyfield, Nature’s Path and Organic Valley had a Breakfast Buffet set up featuing Stonyfield milk and yogurt, Organic Valley drinkable yogurt, and Nature’s Path granola, cereal and granola bars.

Since we had just eaten breakfast, we just took some samples to go.  I learned that Organic Valley products come from local dairy farmers!  Check out which farmers are a part of the coop in your area here – there are bio’s and stories on all of the farmers.  One of the farmers was there and was so proud of his products!  I loved knowing who my dairy comes from.  It made me want to purchase more of their products to help out those local farmers.

The blue containers above are reuseable yogurt containers from Stonyfield.  I was psyched to get these because I hate that I waste so much plastic from buying individual yogurts!  Yes, I could just buy bigger containers and put it into a glass jar to-go, but I rarely do that, so this will make me do it – no excuses now!

If you recycle your yogurt containers at your local Whole Foods, they will make the plastic into other items, such as the yogurt containers above and toothbrushes.  Stonyfield teamed up with Preserve® in order to aid in recycling efforts.  I already recycle my containers, but I thought i’d give the shout out!  Look for these bins and dump those yogurt containers in them.

(Source)

Another cool item that I spotted at the festival were these great pocket planters made by Woollypocket!

You can use them on any wall, inside or outside!  They had them planted with flowers, herbs, vegetables and even trees!

 It was so great to just stumble upon this little festival.  I learned so much more about green products and restaurants in the area.

What a great few days in the city!  I hope to be back again soon.

healthy tip of the week – green spring cleaners

This tip of the week is coming a little late!  I have had this post half written since Sunday, but just never got around to finish it up.  Better late than never!

Healthy Tip of the Week – Green Spring Cleaners

Cleaning products are filled with chemicals that are harmful for our bodies, our homes, and our environment!  If you scan the back of your name brand bathroom cleaner, I bet that you won’t know many of the ingredients listed.

More and more green products are showing up on our shelves these days, but is everyone buying them?  And, are they really all natural as they say they are?  I haven’t done enough research on that topic to speculate, however, I have read some studies which indicate that not all natural products are as earth friendly as they say they are.

I have used many of the greener products out there myself, and some definitely work better than others.  In particular, I have used the Method and Seventh Generation brands on numerous occasions.  But, even though I like these products, I’d prefer to mix up my own cleaning products if I can.  This way, I know exactly what I am breathing in and cleaning my kitchen sink with.

I spent some time over the weekend mixing up some green dish soap and all purpose spray.  I searched for a few recipes and researched what ingredients did what, and decided on the following mixes!

All Purpose Cleaner

from Gorgeously Green, recipe found here (ps – I have this book, and love it!!)

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure castile soap (peppermint is a favorite)
  • 3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 20 drops tea tree oil
  • 20 drops of lavender or lemongrass essential oil (I used orange)

Mix all ingredients together and shake!

I used my old Method bottles for storage.  At some point, I will make pretty labels!

Dish Soap

found here plus a few additions

  • 2 cups pure castile soap (I used peppermint)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 6 drops essential oil (I used orange)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vinegar

Combine two cups of liquid castile soap and 1/2 cup vinegar with 1/2 cup of warm water.  Add a few drops of essential oils and lemon juice for a pleasant scent.   Mix well and place in a bottle.  At first I put this into my plastic Method dish soap bottle, but decided on a fancier glass bottle instead!  Make sure to shake the soap well each time before using.

I just love the way this soap smells!  Very pepperminty!

After a few hours, the soap did eventually all mix together, and has stayed that way for the past week.

I have been using these products all week, and am happy to say that they work great!  The all purpose cleaner made my mirrors and windows sparkle, and the dish soap surprisingly got my dishes cleaner that the previous soap I was using!  I am psyched!

Purchasing the products to make these cleaners is definitely a little pricey, however, I barely put a dent in any of those products to make my spray and soap.  It will last for awhile!

Have you ever made any cleaning products at home?  Please share!