Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Finding Green in NYC

I love nature and the color green.  I grew up spending lazy summers in the Catskill region of upstate New York.  What I loved best about those summers were the nature walks.  Surrounding our bungalow were trailed woods. When we were little we looked for salamanders after the rain. When we were teenagers, it became a place to walk, talk, and discover with my friends.

When I first moved to Manhattan as an adult, I was walking in Central Park with a friend.  She told me how she despises Central Park because it all seems so fake and man-made.  Even though green surrounds you, buildings and cars are never far away and can often even be seen or heard.  It was completely the opposite for me though; I loved having a huge green area amidst all of the concrete and I declared it my favorite place in NYC.

I was reminded of this conversation while attending the Integrative Health Symposium last month when one of the speakers, discussing all aspects of health- nutritional, emotional, environmental- used the term "Nature Deficit Disorder" to describe the state of many city dwellers.  I ended taking a taxi home from the conference in order to make it home in time for the Sabbath and to my delight the driver turned onto Central Park Drive, a controversial part-time roadway running North and South through the park.  I quickly ended my phone conversation with my mother (sorry mom!), taking in all the beauty of the Park Drive and remembering how grateful I am for Central Park.

I have since made an extra-effort to expose myself, my spouse, and my kids to more nature.  Instead of going to playgrounds after school, on Sabbath afternoon excursions, and on Sundays, we have been exploring the more "natural" areas of Riverside and Central Park (with some help from the NYC Urban Park Rangers too), learning about red-tailed hawks, other birds and animals, trees, and plants.  Here are some pictures of nature and (obviously, since this is really a nutrition blog) nourishing green food-stuff too.

(This is actually the window-view from the library that I am sitting right now)

Green Foodstuff

Green Smoothies
(Yes, that is my Lenovo netbook being held together with duct tape)

 Kale Chips
(Toss kale leaves with oil, garlic powder, and salt. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, stir it up, bake for about 7-12 more minutes until desired crispiness)

 More green smoothies with my new favorite blender
(See below for blender information.  Recipes to come soon)

Fresh Direct produce delivery a few weeks ago

 My older son trimming our new wheatgrass patch.
(Yes, that is a NYC bus in the background, hence our need for green)

 Making a wheatgrass-kiwi-mango ice smoothie

Hope you enjoyed!
Visit again for soon-to-be posted research updates for pregnancy and pediatrics!

Blender information:

A hard-to-find book my kids love (that was handed down to us):

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