The Unlikely Vegan Gets His NY Fix by Phil Shainmark

So, my brother-in-law Dan and I went to NY, and it was an awesome trip from start to finish. My father picked us up at the airport and took us to Royal Palace in White Plains, NY. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth talking about again. Dan and I were famished, so their buffet was definitely the way to go. We loaded up our plates and went to town. The staff there is so great, asking us what we liked and didn’t like, and talking to us about India and where the foods come from when we expressed an interest. I will go there any time I’m in the area. The next day we went to Long Island to see my grandparents, and go to Town Bagel (I needed my NY bagel fix). I realize this sounds exactly like my last trip to NY, and you’re right. I was in town for a similar amount of time and with similar time constraints, so we duplicated the trip almost exactly.

I was hoping to show Dan a little of where I grew up and feed him some of the food I grew up with and loved. I think after the Indian food and the bagels he was starting to realize a little why I am the way I am about certain foods. That evening, we went to dinner with my dad and his girlfriend at Trattoria Vivolo in Harrison NY. I got spaghetti with red sauce, and Dan got another pasta dish with meat. I asked him how it was, and he looked at me and said “this is the best Italian food I’ve ever had in my life.” Now Vivolo is a really good restaurant, but it’s by no means a national, Michelin starred place. He was finally starting to understand that almost any random place in NY was gonna give him Italian this good. After dinner we headed north to my Mom’s house to spend the night because we had an event to attend in Wappingers Falls, NY the next day.

We were in Wappingers by 11 am. It was the day of their St. Patrick’s day parade, and our friend’s parent’s house was right on the parade route, so we got invited there to watch it go by. The food was mostly meat stuff, and since we were a late addition to the festivities I didn’t expect anything. However, the homemade whisky apple cider was vegan, and there was plenty of that. Once the parade was done, we walked to a local pizza place to get Dan his first slices of real NY pizza. They looked delicious, and he seemed to really like them. We had some time to kill before going to a party in the Bronx, so we hung around Wappingers at AJ Cafe & Bar which was in FULL St. Paddy’s swing. Drinking all day, and not eating anything after breakfast was a terrible idea. On the ride down to the Bronx it all caught up with me and I ended up getting quite sick. Fortunately, when we arrived there was a ton of delicious food at the party, so I bounced back ok.

We spent the next day hanging out with some of my friends and went to the Bull and Barrel Brewery in Brewster NY. It’s a “western” style place with a mechanical bull. Dan is a craft beer guy, as is one of my friends who was with us. It’s mostly a burger place, but I had them make me waffle fries with mushrooms and onions. Our waitress and our server thought it was a great idea, and that they should add it to the menu. Unfortunately, they had a bunch of huge parties so they were out of some of the more popular beers, but the company was excellent so it wasn’t a total loss. A little later that afternoon we found out our 7am flight back to Vegas the next day was canceled, and moved to 7pm. So we got to sleep in AND go to Panino’s, a little local deli, and have lunch. The sandwiches were amazing, and I’ve been craving the zucchini, tomato and onions the lady made that I got on my sandwich (with olives and roasted red peppers) ever since.

Boca “Chicken” Burger

Since I’ve been home, there hasn’t been much new or exciting food-wise. Though I tried Boca Burgers “spicy Chik’n burger” and it’s awesome. The only other thing going on is that a friend of ours is a film maker, and he has expressed some interest in making a little documentary (3-5 mins) about me being Vegan as kind of a visual aid to this blog. I’m gonna talk to him this week and see what he has in mind.


Cut out the Grains to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease by Dr. Mercola

Alzheimer’s disease is at epidemic proportions, with 5.4 million Americans–including one in eight people aged 65 and over–living with the disease. In the next 20 years, it is projected that Alzheimer’s will affect one in four Americans, rivaling the current prevalence of obesity and diabetes. There is still no known accepted cure for this devastating disease, and no effective treatments. Alzheimer’s drugs are often of little to no benefit at all, which underscores the importance of prevention throughout your lifetime.

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Starting Seeds Indoors for Spring Planting

| by Priscilla Warhowsky

Who doesn’t love to walk into the garden and pick a summer ripened juicy tomato to eat off the vine or slice up later with basil and olive oil? It’s almost a rite of summer for gardeners. Many summer vegetables that love heat such as tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers can be started indoors as seeds in late March to mid April to get a head start on the season. Starting seeds indoors is easy, fun, and you get to watch your creation from seed to plant to your dinner plate….

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The Benefits of Turmeric Tea

| by Merlian News

Many people know about the healing benefits of turmeric: with the active ingredient curcumin, it is a potent anti-inflammatory, a digestive aid, a powerful anti-oxidant and may help to prevent cancer and other diseases. Turmeric is available loose as a spice, in pill form and as an extract. But did you know that one of the most effective ways to take turmeric is as a tea? Served hot or cold, turmeric is a refreshing addition to your daily routine.

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The Unlikely Vegan Dines Out by Phil Shainmark

| by Phil Shainmark

So since last time, I’ve tried some new things – Egyptian food for one – at a place called Pots here in Las Vegas. They have the usual hummus and babaghanoush, but they also offer a tasting menu, and my wife, my mother, and I all tried it. It was excellent. Ive noticed that being Vegan has made me move out of my comfort zone with a lot of foods. Egyptian was never something I would have tried in the past, but I’m glad I did now.

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9 Health Benefits of Thyme

Thyme, an herb native to the Mediterranean but now grown over most of the world, has been used for thousands of years as a medicine, an antidote for the Plague and in embalming preparations. And while it’s unlikely that thyme stopped the plague, modern research has proven that thyme does indeed combat infection. One study from 2010 suggests that thymol, the active ingredient in thyme, can reduce bacterial resistance to common drugs, including penicillin. A member of the mint family, thyme has long been used in Mediterranean cuisines for its sharp minty flavor as well as its medicinal properties.

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Happy New Year from the Unlikely Vegan

| by Phil Shainmark

While texting back and forth with one of my friends in Texas, we got on the discussion of sandwiches. I was lamenting that one of the only foods I genuinely miss is an Italian combo. Not that stuff you get out west where it’s a little ham and salami and some oil and vinegar (they put mayo on them out here!! MAYO!!) I mean a legit east coast, 10 types of meats with banana peppers and provolone, ITALIAN COMBO (which, if you ever find yourself in Hawthorne/Valhalla, NY, check out Pops Deli. Get menu option C4 – best Italian combo ever). So I was on a quest to get as close as I could to those flavors, and I feel that I’ve come pretty close….

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The Unlikely Vegan Explores Making Moral Choices by Phil Shainmark

| by Phil Shainmark

Is your pleasure more important than your morals? It’s an interesting question, and one that I’ve never been able to answer, or even fully articulate, till now. The 16-25 year old me says “absolutely.” I drank, did drugs, committed crimes. Hurt whoever, whenever, and treated people that loved me like crap. I did horrible things to people I should have cared about just so I could chase that NEW thing. Pleasure, not in a sexual sense, but the pleasure of just doing whatever the hell I wanted, whenever I wanted, was the GOAL. Now I thank the gods every day that I still have friends from back then that put up with me.

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13 Ayurvedic Anti-Aging Herbs by Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

In Ayurvedic herbal treatment, anti aging means principally keeping up a healthy body into herbal treatment and bringing down the operation of aging, degeneration and depreciation. The objective of herbal anti-aging treatment is to aim for a healthy aging mode, and to maintain both mind and body working at optimum level, so the treasures of old age can be relished with peace of mind and vitality.

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What Is Natto & How Do I Eat It?

| by Merlian News

Natto is a traditional Japanese food. It’s fermented soybeans that are rich in vegetable protein. Typically eaten with rice, natto has a mild cheese-like flavor and can be an acquired taste. It has a sort of sticky paste on its surface and once it is stirred, the paste increases its volume becoming even stickier. You will find that the paste pulls apart in such a way that resembles a web. This is another characteristic that sometimes turns people off. Still, the benefits make it worth exploring, and according to The New York Times, it’s catching on. If you’re the adventurous type or enjoy uncommon textures in your food, definitely try Natto! You can even make it yourself (video) if you want.

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