Day 8, and This Week’s CSA.

I passed the one-week mark! Day eight, and I feel like I am going to fall over. I have to come clean and admit that I didn’t drink a single glass of juice today- I literally ran on herbal tea all day. So bad, I know, but there just wasn’t any time. Monday mornings are busy– I’m out the door by 9:30, and don’t come home until 2:30…and today I had to rush off after class to make the final payment on my new car (!). I got home, got Jack to bed, put Carolyn to sleep, and dove right into my homework for tomorrow’s Creative Writing class. No time to juice, and so I’m feeling pretty woozy. I am picking Luis up tomorrow morning, and when we get home I am going to juice enough to last me until Saturday, because I can’t allow this to happen again. But I’m here at day eight, over a week of juicing, and I really believe that if I had maintained my juice intake, I’d be feeling on top of the world.

Last night I sat on the phone gabbing with Patricia. It felt like a whole vacation in just that one phone call- we talked endlessly of food we’ve been cooking, the food we’re going to make and eat the next time we get together, and how we maintain living a healthy and somewhat high-maintenance lifestyle. I told her all about preserving my CSA veggies (I have to write up a post about this, I have a huge stockpile of organic veggies just waiting for winter!), and it was so great to share it with someone. I’ve been so excited about it, but there hasn’t been much interest in my frozen veggies around my house. Patty shares my enthusiasm for food, health, and life in general, so talking to her is like listening to the most beautiful music and feeling it in your soul. I miss her eternally. One thing is for certain- the next time I see her (hopefully soon), we are heading downtown to Babycakes and spoiling ourselves rotten!

Speaking of CSA veggies, here’s the rundown for this week’s share:

We have: a head of nappa cabbage (soon to become kimchi!), 2 eggplant, 4 green peppers, 10 carrots, 8 radishes, a bag of mixed greens with some snap peas inside, 6 tomatoes, a bunch of swiss chard, two jalepenos, 6 leeks, a bunch of chocolate mint, two winter squash, 6 pattypan squash, a bag of purple and yellow wax beans, and a little watermelon. The watermelon is so cute! I’m dying to juice it with some pineapple and ginger- yum!

As mentioned, the nappa cabbage is going into kimchi- I am on nappa cabbage overload, and kimchi is a quick and easy way to use and preserve it. For juice: greens, some tomatoes, carrots, chocolate mint, chard, and watermelon. For freezing: eggplant, peppers, tomatoes (as sauce), leeks, pattypan squash, and wax beans. The winter squash I am hoping to turn into soup and freeze that. It’s really too easy, and it’s going to make my winter so much more special, now that I have an abundance of fresh veggies!

Tomorrow is day 9 of juicing, and my busiest day of the week. It is also going to be gorgeous, which means biking to school! I am so excited.

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Prana Juice Bar and the Namaste Cafe.

During my trip up to visit James at Bloomsburg on Saturday, I had the pleasure of having juice and dinner at Bloomsburg’s one and only vegan eatery and juice bar- and I’ve been flapping my mouth about it ever since. Prana was amazing, everything that vegan food should be- healthy, delicious, varied, and affordable.

Prana

On our way up to Bloom, I had done a quick Google search of vegetarian restaurants in the area, just to see what my options would be. Prana had come up, but it seemed too good to be true- I honestly thought it was a hoax. What would a place like this be doing in a college town like Bloomsburg? Our visit was primarily, of course, to visit with James, so I filed Prana in the back of my mind and vowed to pop in right before we returned home, just to see.

It worked out that we ended up heading that way for dinner. We were joined by Joy, who was up visiting a friend of hers- so good to see her, and so much fun to have her come by to share the Prana experience!

I was immediately taken with their entryway. The restaurant is located in an old house set back from the street, with beautiful wide steps leading up to a porch with outdoor seating. The front yard is dominated by what at first looked like an odd mish-mosh of plants. It took me a minute to realize that their entire front was a garden!

Honestly, it was such a neat concept, it wouldn’t have mattered much if the food had been mediocre- it was just so great to see a restaurant growing their own food. Check out the red basil! I need to know their secret- I have killed off more basil plants than I can count.

We took our time pouring over the menu. There were so many wonderful options, I’m not used to going to a restaurant and having an entire menu of food to choose from!

Ultimately, I went for the Bliss Burger. I am always interested in trying different versions of veggie burgers, since the possibilities are so endless. It’s great to see how different restaurants make them. Prana does a millet and quinoa burger, and it did not disappoint!

Outrageous! The bread is made from sprouted grains, which puts this burger in my top 3 (bonus points for healthy bread)! I also got some green juice- Om!

Joy got quesadillas, and everyone else got assorted smoothies.

These were a little spicy and totally delicious. The smoothies were all great, but the winner was definitely my Mom’s- the Joyous Almond.

The best smoothie I have ever tasted, hands down. Trying to re-create this would be hopeless without a Vitamix (which they have) because of the almonds, so I’m not even going to attempt it. I’m just going to look forward to the next time I visit James.

The kids were so good. Even though we have our rougher days, they really are some of the most well-behaved children I’ve ever seen, especially considering Carolyn was feeling a little under the weather.

They gave Jack a little teacup to drink his smoothie out of- too cute!

The damage. I could have stayed there all day on that porch- the environment was so soothing. The interior was just as lovely, with an extravagant room decorated to look like a garden, as well as another room with an elegant old sofa and a piano. It was so charming!

Bonus: the staff and owner were so nice! Some of the best service I’ve ever experienced in a restaurant, really knowledgeable and passionate about the food and the business. My mother and I talked their ear off after we finished eating- I just couldn’t get over how unique it was.

It was one of the best meals of my life. A vegan, organic food spot with a rockin’ juice bar in Bloomsburg was the last thing I expected to find during my visit with James, so the surprise factor made the experience that much more fun. I heard rumor that there was the possibility of a new location opening up in Doylestown, but I don’t have confirmation of that yet. Keeping my fingers crossed! In the meantime, I’m left to try to re-create their perfectly blended juices here at home.

P.S. Day 7, and still going strong! Today was particularly challenging because I spent most of it chasing down a stunning Nissan Murano, and then went straight to pick up from the CSA, so I didn’t have time to juice. I didn’t consume anything other than water until about 3:30 PM. It was so tough, but every time I reach the end of another day, I feel so accomplished- it makes it all worth it. I don’t feel much lighter though, and as I type this I realize that I never weighed myself to keep track of my weight loss. I’ll take that as an excellent sign that it’s not about the numbers 🙂 I feel better physically, and we all know that’s what really matters!