Raw Food Star Sarma Melngailis Finally Arrested After Disappearing During Wage Lawsuit [UPDATE] – Eater NY

Raw food restaurateur and fugitive Sarma Melngailis has finally been arrested — about a year after disappearing in the midst of unpaid wage lawsuits at her hot spot restaurant Pure Food and Wine. Police arrested Melngailis in a hotel in Sevierville, Tenn. with a man named Anthony Strangis, according to local paper Sevier News Messenger. She was wanted for a scheme to defraud, grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, and violation of labor law. Melnagailis — well-known for her role in the raw food movement — may no longer be a practicing vegan. Detectives found her and Strangis on Tuesday after they ordered a pizza from a local Domino’s, according to TV station WBIR.

Pure Food and Wine opened in 2004 in Gramercy and was one of the city’s first raw food restaurants. But at the beginning of 2015, staff said they weren’t getting paid, all while Melngailis could not be reached. The staff staged multiple walk-outs and protests, eventually unionizing and suing her for back wages. One of the restaurant’s investors also filed a lawsuit against Melngailis, claiming that she took $280,000 from the restaurant’s account. Employees initially planned to reopen the restaurant without her, but they ultimately moved on. The restaurant, once a favorite of celebrities like Alec Baldwin, closed last July. Melngailis and Strangis are being held in Sevier County Jail.

Update: Melngailis and her husband, Strangis, face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of their crimes, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office. They’re charged with stealing nearly $800,000 from four different investors, not paying employees more than $40,000, and avoiding more than $400,000 in sales tax. The couple instead spent nearly $2 million of company money on luxury watches, hotel rooms, and at casinos.

Melngailis in particular transferred more than $1.6 million from the restaurant into her personal accounts and spent more than $1 million of it at casinos in Connecticut. She spent another $80,000 at places like Rolex and $10,000 on Uber rides, according to the Brooklyn Eagle. Meanwhile, she told employees and investors that she was expanding and then negotiating to sell the company to an investor.

The four investors she approached last February for cash to restart the business were former customers of Pure Food and Wine, according to the DA. She did spend some of the money bills and paying employees, but most of it went to her personal account and to casinos. A man who said he was an investor said on Facebook: “I visited her restaurant every year and was happy to help her business, which I loved. It was a sad and shocking betrayal. She hurt a LOT of people.”

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Not such a raw deal – The Hindu

We make a case for adopting nutrient-rich raw foods as part of a balanced diet

Imagine zucchini noodles in a pad Thai sauce with sprouts. Now think of pomegranate and strawberry-flavoured frozen mousse made of cashew butter and coconut. Brings a delicious picture to the mind’s eye, doesn’t it? These exotic recipes not only reflect global food trends, but also represent the ‘raw food’ diet that has taken off around the world.

These recipes are the work of Canada-based couple and former raw food chefs, Keren and Jeffrey Paquette, who helped initiate a raw food menu for Bangalore-based Cafe Vishala. “The theory is that food heated above 47 degrees Celsius begins to lose its enzymes, making it less nutritious and much harder for the body to digest. When you cook food, the reason it smells good is that the nutrients are released into the air,” explains Jeff, who has studied nutrition in Canada. Jeff was running a successful raw food business at Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc, Montreal, before deciding to quit and travel.

The guiding principles of the raw food diet are based on the premise that cooking damages nutrients, making them toxic for consumption. Raw food websites talk about how studies show that the immune system reacts to cooked food the same way it reacts to foreign pathogens. That’s why, they say, cooked food is a major contributor to the lifestyle diseases that plague our time. “Any dish you cook, you can find a way to make it raw. Raw food recipes for pizzas and sandwiches require a dehydrator, which cooks food on very low heat. The bread base in these dishes is made of raw nuts, seeds and sprouts,” explains Jeff, adding, “The slow cooking on low heat keeps the integrity of the nutrition. The dehydrator is also used for food preservation, so you can dry herbs, vegetables and fruits or make chips.”

A sustainable raw food diet, according to most websites, is a balanced mix of fruits for calories, vegetables for minerals and small portions of seeds and nuts for fats. “The most important thing when you change your diet, other than consulting your doctor if you have a health issue, is to educate yourself, because that will inspire and inform you,” chimes in Keren, who previously worked at Canada’s Rawlicious restaurant.

But there’s another side to adopting the raw food diet, and naturopathy consultant, Dr. Suriya Ramesh, points out, “The raw food diet can work out in the long run, but the problem is that your body gets used to it. And at that point, if you introduce anything other than raw food, you will face problems; your body needs to get used to all kinds of possibilities. Plus, accessing organic vegetables and fruits is not easy in India.” She suggests a combination of raw and cooked food, so that the body is primed to handle all types of food, including some processed food without preservatives.

Keren and Jeff suggest one raw food meal a day, with two other cooked meals. Khushpinder Kaur Sangha, fitness enthusiast and former IT professional, says, “I love raw food, but I take it along with regular cooked food or sometimes as breakfast. I eat a lot of salads because they give me energy and are easily digested. But I don’t think it’s practical to stick to an exclusive raw food diet. That, for me, would be insufficient, but it’s definitely important to include a portion of raw food in every meal.”

People take to raw food not only for its detoxifying effects; it also makes the body and mind feel lighter and clearer, paving the way for easy yoga and meditation. It also helps those who are vegan by choice or compelled by health.

What’s important when it comes to raw food, explains Keren, is to resist the temptation to eat heavy. “This may involve a few personal sacrifices, like giving up on sugar and sugar-based desserts. You just have to stock up on fruits and vegetables and eat more fresh food,” she says.

Why include raw food in the menu?

Kuldeep Sahu, chef at Cafe Vishala, that offers raw food options, explains, “We see that a growing number of people are becoming allergic to certain types of food. That’s one of the main reasons why we decided to offer raw food options on our menu. A lot of customers, especially international ones, are used to raw food or a menu with gluten-free breads and vegan options.”

Keywords: Raw foodnutrition

Lenny Kravitz adopts raw food diet – Belfast Telegraph

Lenny Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz

The rocker stopped using the oven and the microwave two months ago.

Lenny Kravitz is celebrating after cutting out cooked food for two months.

The healthy rocker has been eating nothing but raw fish, fruit and vegetables, and he insists his new diet has done wonders for his wellbeing.

Posting a photo of himself surrounded by fresh fruit and veg on Instagram, the Are You Gonna Go My Way singer writes: “100% raw for two months now. Amazing for one’s health and the environment. #rawfood.”

He’s not the first star to rave about the benefits of eating raw – Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, and Russell Simmons are among the celebrities who have turned vegetarian and vegan diets into grill, bake and fry-free diets.

Lenny has been a health freak for years and prior to his latest diet, he was a keen juicer.

“I have a Champion juicer with me at all times,” he recently told Men’s Fitness magazine. “I’ll hit the organic market or the farmer’s market and pick up some spinach, kale, carrots, beets, garlic – it really promotes great health. But I love good food, too.

“There’s a big, fat, greasy man inside of me. I live in Paris half the year, and I love indulging in pastries and fine foods and wine and Champagne. If I do cheat, it’s usually with something pretty outrageous. Then I get it out of my system and get back to trying to stay fit.”

His diet isn’t the only new thing Lenny is trying this year – he recently revealed he has taken up surfing.

The Let Love Rule star spends a large part of the year at his retreat on Eleuthera in the Bahamas and he’s made it his 2016 New Year’s resolution to take surfing lessons there.

“I don’t surf and I’m not the best swimmer,” he told Rolling Stone, “(but) I made a plan a month ago: Surfing is gonna change my music. It’s going to offer me something I don’t have that I need to move toward. Lately I’ve been listening to (the Beach Boys song) God Only Knows over and over. A Brian Wilson phase wouldn’t be bad.”

© Cover Media

The Raw Food Puzzle- Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs- a review – Examiner.com

Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs– The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals- Revised Edition
Lew Olson, PHD- Copyright 2010, 2015, North Atlantic Books.

A guide to feeding dogs balanced and nutritious raw and home-cooked meals.

After several bags of stale kibble, a few bouts of pancreatitis, and more news of massive dog food recalls I decided to look at feeding my senior dogs in a different manner to help them a little more in their senior years and to hopefully cut down on some vet bills.

But switching to a raw and natural diet from years on easy to serve kibble and cans is not as easy as one thinks.

But this book by Lew Olson provides an excellent breakdown of not only how to feed your dogs, but also why and what happens to their bodies when you make the switch. Filled with easy to read charts that list essential nutrients and supplements, the book leads you through the process, but also has good stand alone chapters for easy reference.

The sample recipes are great for beginning the transition and makes allowances for travel and health situations. The sample recipes are great for beginning the transition no matter what age your dogs are. It discusses and gives tips for picky eaters and my dog is one of those. She did not enjoy raw food ( perhaps because she is 13) and it was tough to make the change, so using the instructions of the book I switched her to cooked meals and she much preferred those, whereas my other dog thrives on the straight raw diet.

At first, the switch can seem daunting- there is a lot to learn about minerals and vitamins that are essential to their diet, but the book walks you through adding them to their diet. The reader will notice that particular brands of supplements are mentioned, but Olson has been a salesperson of those brands long before the book, and alternatives are provided instead of insisting on using the ones listed.

The trick to feeding raw and cooked is following the steps provided, and trying out the recipes until you find ones that work for your dog. If you are still unsure of making the switch, the author provides a section that describes using kibble slowly to transition. I used commercial raw brands first with a poultry base because the measurements and nutritional balance were already included- then by using the book I was able to adjust meals and wean them off the commercial brands to the less expensive regular grocery and butcher buys.

Finally, there are sections of the book devoted to specific types of dogs as well as health issues. Everything from senior dogs, toy breeds, working dogs and diets for kidney and liver needs, cancer, and gastric issues. The book is designed to be read as a manual but also as a book with stand alone sections for reference. The new edition has updated resources and websites to connect with others who have questions.

I highly recommend having this book readily on hand in your kitchen as it is one of the strongest dog nutrition books that I have read.

Why Refrigerators Were So Slow to Catch On in China – The Atlantic

“Have you thought about buying a refrigerator?” I asked my aunt one day over lunch.

I was living in a smallish rural town in Shandong province, China, called Jiaxiang, conducting fieldwork. “Aunt” in this case was actually the mother of a friend, and she regularly asked me over to their home for lunch. I’d noticed that their family, despite being able to afford it, did not own a refrigerator. In fact, most households in the area didn’t have refrigerators, and it had begun to strike me as a little odd. Granted, this was not a wealthy area, and living standards were well behind those in cities like Beijing or Shanghai. But even so, familiar appliances like televisions and washing machines were common enough. Refrigerators, somehow, apparently hadn’t caught on.

“I thought about it,” Aunt replied. “But then I looked at my sisters, and they don’t really use the refrigerators they bought. My oldest sister unplugged hers.”

Refrigerators are not an absolute necessity; most people in history have obviously gotten by without them. Still, the question isn’t really how so many people in Jiaxiang made do without them, but why. Consider this: According to census data, in the United States, the humble, utilitarian refrigerator is found in over 99 percent of households, making it the number-one appliance, more prevalent than cellphones, computers, washing machines, or even televisions. Some households in urban areas might manage without cars or washing machines, essentially outsourcing the functions of those things to public transportation or laundromats, but refrigerators seem to be so obviously convenient that people would be sure to buy them if they were available. Why would Aunt and so many others in Jiaxiang not bother to buy or use them, even if they had the means?

Over the following months as I watched how Aunt cooked and managed her kitchen, the answer became clear. The usefulness and necessity of the refrigerator depends on a number of factors that are not obviously related to the thing itself, from food packaging to the layout of communities to the length of school lunch breaks.

The first, and simplest thing is what I saw Aunt cook at home. Chinese cuisine is more varied than it is usually given credit for, and the food in Jiaxiang falls under the heading of Shandong regional cuisine, which is typically saltier and more savory than the Chinese fare that has been assimilated in the West. It includes dishes like stir-fried julienned potato with green pepper; tofu and bean sprouts in sauce; deep-fried fritters of grated daikon; thick soups of millet, often with large chunks of one type of gourd or another, boiled soft. Garlic, ginger, and leeks serve as the local equivalent of a mirepoix, and are used in most dishes, while the main starch is not rice, but mantou, or steamed bread buns.

All of this matters inasmuch as the primary purpose of refrigerators is food preservation, and most of the traditional foodstuffs used in Jiaxiang could generally keep for days or even weeks at room temperature. Produce like bok choy, carrots, and leeks might dry out a little, but will not spoil very quickly. The various sauces and oils used in local cooking keep at room temperature for months easily. Even eggs, contrary to what many Americans might believe, do not need refrigeration to stay fresh.

Still, even in the local cuisine, some Shangdong foods are still relatively perishable, and cooked foods especially so. It’s here that a number of other factors come into play in making refrigeration less relevant in Jiaxiang.

Take milk, for example. Traditionally, dairy products are not a part of the Chinese diet. But within the last several decades, many Chinese have begun to acquire a taste for milk and yogurt. When I did my fieldwork in Jiaxiang, milk and yogurt were available, but the large jugs of milk that are universal in American supermarkets were nowhere to be found, and for good reason. At that time, milk in Jiaxiang was only sold in soft plastic bags or small boxes of about 200 milliliters each, roughly the size of the palm of one’s hand. Such milk is UHT-treated—sterilized at higher temperatures than are used for regular pasteurization—and can be stored at room temperature for several months without spoiling, so long as it remains sealed. The small size of the packaging is purposeful, as once a bag is opened, it can be drunk in a single serving, obviating any need for cold storage. In this instance, technologies of food processing and packaging implicitly accommodated the general lack of refrigeration in the community.

Fresh meat and tofu were the only foods common to the local diet that could not be kept at room temperature for long periods. Which meant that any time my aunt wanted to cook a dish with meat, fish, or tofu, then those items had to be purchased the same day.

As is common outside North America, plenty of opportunities for daily shopping were available. Near Aunt’s house was a street lined with several dozen vendors: farmers selling produce and small shops that specialized in making and selling one particular sort of foodstuff or another. There were butchers who sold only chicken, or pork and lamb, or donkey (beef was virtually unavailable). In many cases, the animals were slaughtered on site and the meat sold the day of. My aunt and many other people in Jiaxiang therefore made almost daily trips to whichever market area was closest to them, often in the morning or on their way home at midday, picking up whatever meat and produce they might need.

The seasons played their part as well. Homes in Jiaxiang did not have indoor heating at that time (it was only introduced into the town the year after I left), which meant that in wintertime natural refrigeration became possible. Aunt would casually leave things like the raw pork filling used for making dumplings out on the kitchen counter all day, knowing it was cold enough to prevent any spoilage. Many people set vegetables out on metal railings that surrounded their kitchen windows. Summer required a slight change in habits, and greater care was taken to ensure that things were not left over at the end of the day, lest they go to waste.

Unless one had dinner out for a social occasion, the main meal of the day was lunch, with dinner consisting mostly of leftovers from midday. That meant the time when food had to be left out was kept to a minimum. But if lunch is to be the main meal of the day, someone has to be home in the middle of the day to make it.

Aunt worked as a nurse in the local hospital, and as traditionally is the case with state-owned institutions in China, there was an apartment complex specially built for the hospital workers right across the street, which saved her from having to make much of a commute. On most days—so long as she had not worked the night shift—she would go to work in the morning and come back a little before noon, when she would have enough time to prepare lunch. This schedule was more or less the norm in Jiaxiang. Adults had long breaks off work in the middle of the day. And high-school students, who might be in school till 8 or 9 p.m., were given enough time at midday to go home for lunch. The daily schedule of working adults and students thus accommodated schedules that allowed lunch to be cooked and eaten at home, and that, in turn, meant that most food eaten at home would be finished off the same day it was prepared.

But even in 2010, things were changing. Aunt now lives with her son in Shanghai, where he and his wife both work, and she spends her days looking after her young granddaughter. But in her son’s newly purchased apartment there is a refrigerator, and this one enjoys thorough use. In keeping with the more cosmopolitan tastes that Aunt’s son and daughter-in-law have acquired from their years in the city, their refrigerator is stocked with both mantou and jam, butter and hard-boiled quail eggs, yogurt, and Chinese chili sauce. The freezer contains prepackaged beef steaks bought from the local Metro supermarket (a German chain) as well as Aunt’s own homemade dumplings.

Aunt continues to do most of the cooking, but her son’s and daughter-in-law’s work schedules mean they are not often home for lunch, which now means that dinner is the main meal she cooks for, and any leftovers often have to be refrigerated if they are not to go to waste by the next day. There are a few small food and produce vendors nearby, but nothing like the market areas back in Jiaxiang. The supermarket is not too far from their house, but it is not so close as to make running out to buy groceries a five-minute errand.

Refrigerators are already the norm in most urban Chinese households, and they are increasingly common in places like Jiaxiang, too. But their adoption, complete as it might be in the end, hasn’t been so quick or automatic as other imports of Western middle-class life. A device like a refrigerator has to fit within a web of habits, conditions, and behaviors. But then again, maybe it fits best when it changes those habits, transforming them into new ones. Refrigerators allow their owners to buy groceries less often, to change up cooking habits and eating schedules and not worry about leftovers, to keep on-hand foods that are more perishable. These aren’t old habits, after all, but the peculiar habits of modern living. And those habits make refrigerators all but obligatory.

This article appears courtesy of Object Lessons.

Hislops Wholefood Cafe in Kaikoura cafe branches out into raw food – Marlborough Express

Cakes can be made to suit a range of dietary requirements.


Cakes can be made to suit a range of dietary requirements.

Olivia Hislop was brought up on organic whole foods, so it was something of a natural progression for her to move into creating raw food treats.

Daughter of Paul and Elizabeth Hislop, proprietors of Hislops Wholefood Cafe in Kaikoura, and granddaughter of Ivan and Ella Hislop, themselves famed for their organic homestead south of the township, she is no stranger to the benefits of healthy food.

Ivan and Ella began their organic journey back in the 1950s, something which at the time would have seemed radical but which has become increasingly mainstream in recent times.

Olivia Hislop is making a selection of raw cakes to combat allergies and health issues.


Olivia Hislop is making a selection of raw cakes to combat allergies and health issues.

It was in the 1950s that Ivan’s brother, Archie, brought a flourmill to the family homestead which was the catalyst for the business which is now a prominent feature on the highway north of town.

* Organic style
* Tourism wins for Kaikoura
* Beef and Lamb Hallmark of Excellence 

It was the organic whole grain flour which started the burgeoning business, along with organic honey produced from the family’s beehives. 

Beetroot juice is used to give cakes their vibrant colour.


Beetroot juice is used to give cakes their vibrant colour.

Organic vegetables came later and opening a cafe seemed a logical progression for Olivia’s father, Paul, and his wife Elizabeth.

The cafe opened in 1995 with the goal of making delicious organic wholefoods “the norm”, and since then it has created quite a name for itself.

Olivia, now a mother of two, has worked alongside her family since she was young, starting from helping in the garden with her two brothers.

Olivia Hislop has spent a year researching and trialling her line of raw cakes to come up with the winning formula.


Olivia Hislop has spent a year researching and trialling her line of raw cakes to come up with the winning formula.

“Our main job was pest control, running around with nets catching white butterflies that would eat the greens.

“We would fill a whole Agee jar each and go exchange them for pocket money from our grandparents.”

Now she is helping the business progress to the next phase with her raw food products.

Award-winning family-run Hislops Cafe prides itself in organic wholefoods cuisine.


Award-winning family-run Hislops Cafe prides itself in organic wholefoods cuisine.

“Popular in Europe and the United Kingdom, raw cakes are now starting to be recognised a lot more in New Zealand,” she says. 

“When I first started making them two years ago, I had to talk people into having a taste but now they are being requested.

“I wanted to create something that was yummy to eat but also really good for you, so using fresh garden vegetables and fruit to brighten and enrich delicious healthy cakes sounded like the perfect thing to try.

“It keeps my 5-year-old interested in veges too!”

It has taken Olivia a year of trial and error, trying different ingredients and methods, to get the recipe just right.

“When I started they were mostly made to be frozen.

“They would be melting in the cabinet so decided to make my own recipes.

“Getting the ratio just right so they don’t melt but still taste nice, that was the hard part.”

Olivia also spent a lot of time researching top quality natural ingredients and their nutritional value.

Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium, something which is lacking in New Zealand soils, while things like pumpkin seeds can offer a good iron boost, she says.

She is a firm believer in using food for health benefits and says eating a variety of food in its whole, raw state is a great way to retain nutrients and get the most out of quality ingredients.

“Cacao beans for example are rich in magnesium and iron, but by the time they are heated and processed with refined powders and sugars, it is rubbish.

“The cakes are raw, but im not super strict about using only raw ingredients – sometimes I like to add toasted nuts to sprinkle on top.

“More raw is good, but the main focus is to encourage more variety of whole foods into everyday eating, enjoying food in the form that’s best for our health.

“Simply put, when we eat foods closest to their natural form they are much easier for our body to digest. 

Once refined, processed and overheated, our system just doesn’t recognise it as food anymore, therefore creating a lot of health issues we all deal with day to day, mentally and physically.”

Olivia has worked hard to research the provenance of everything which goes into her raw food products, making sure they are from sustainable sources.

Her cakes and slices are sweetened with dad Paul’s certified organic manuka honey, something she had to trial to get the levels just right and make sure the flavour did not overpower the end product.

All of her ingredients are as natural, organic and whole as possible – she also uses pure maple syrup for sweetening, and coconut nectar for diabetics to avoid the sugar spike.

As well as a variety of cakes and slices in the cabinet at Hislops Cafe – these include chocolate slices, tropical treats and berry cheesecakes, Olivia loves a challenge and will also tailor-make items to cater for individual needs.

“That’s the reason I started trialling raw foods in the first place, so I could cater for friends with allergies.

“Everyone should be able to eat really yummy treats without having to resort to refined and over-processed foods, no matter what their dietary requirements.

“These days some people don’t have many options available and I want to help with that.” 






 – Kaikoura Star

How Students Can Live A Vegan Lifestyle On A Broke College Budget – Elite Daily (blog)

I’ve never been one of those people who responds to mention of a plant-based diet with, “But bacon is so good!” Despite this, I was skeptical about the word “vegan.”

The lifestyle, the political and social connotations, and the somehow inexplicable concept of cutting out all animal products were baffling to me.

When it comes to dieting, I’ve run the gamut. I come from a past of eating disorders, and I’ve tried a million quick fixes to drop pounds.

I’ve tried the South Beach Diet, the Atkins diet, the grapefruit-and-toast diet, the low-carb and low-fat diet and the restriction diet (eat anything, but everything in moderation). Two weeks ago, I was standing on the other side of all these failed attempts, almost in tears, at the breaking point of frustration. What more did I have to do to lose weight and keep it off?

Like a true Millennial, I turned to YouTube. There, I found an incredible community of vegan and plant-based advocates. I learned about the ethics behind a vegan diet, and also the science. Here was a lifestyle transformation where I could eat whole foods in abundance. Fruit, my once-feared enemy, could become my friend once again.

I cut meat and dairy a few weeks ago, and I haven’t looked back since. Below are my tips and tricks for navigating, purchasing and eating each meal of the day on your college campus:


Start the day with a fully raw breakfast (if you’re following high-carb, low-fat, like me). Once you get out onto campus and in the midst of the cafeterias, making smart choices gets tricky.

Starting the day with one fully raw meal ensures that your day will be balanced and filled with as many whole foods as possible. You can find cheap fruit at your local grocery store on your way home from class.

I’ve found bananas for $0.50 per pound, cantaloupe for $1 per fruit, mangos for 2/$1 and kiwi for 4/$1. In addition, fruits like apples, cuties, grapes and sometimes even berries can be found in the cafeteria. I usually fill up a takeout container a couple days in advance and supplement my breakfasts from it.


Try to make it the one and only time you’re in the cafeteria each day. I usually get whole wheat pasta with no sauce, and substitute in diced tomatoes or salsa I buy at the grocery store. I try to fill this up with vegetables, or grab a couple pieces on fruit on the side.

Stir-fry is another great option. I opt for a mix of rice noodles and brown rice, with a dash of teriyaki or gluten-free soy sauce and vegetables such as broccoli, sprouts, carrots, bell peppers, pineapple and water chestnuts.


If you’re running low on food, run back to the dining hall and stick to outsourcing soup, veggies and potatoes. On occasion, I’ll find vegetarian soup (black bean chili) from the dining hall, which I’ll cook over brown rice. If I can’t find soup, I’ll go for a couple of sweet potatoes, or make my own whole wheat pasta back in the dorm.

As far as affordability goes, I picked up a mini rice steamer for $15 at Walmart. Instant brown rice runs at about $2 per box, beans (for the rice) can be found around $1 per can, whole wheat, gluten-free noodles are about $2 a box and frozen veggies can be found at $2 a bag.

These prices vary from store to store, but the point is that these foods are some of the cheapest in the supermarket. Other good staples to have on hand include organic oatmeal or granola, chia and flax seeds (which can be bought in individual bags for a fraction of the cost), powered peanut butter or PB2 (Thrive Market sells some for around $2 less than wholesale price) and unsweetened almond milk.

Living on a tight budget and just a microwave, a rice cooker and a meat-and-processed-food-filled cafeteria has been difficult. But as you can see, it can be affordable and completely doable, given the right attitude and the willingness to educate yourself on the opportunities, products and offers out there.

May Contain Food review – half-baked swipe at food fixation – The Guardian

Anxieties related to eating, diet and restaurant protocol are something of a first-world issue, and when those anxieties are translated into contemporary dance, set to an a cappella and plainchant score, and performed at a niche metropolitan venue, you have an event whose multiple layers of fashionability, self-reference and irony are not easily teased apart.

May Contain Food, created by the choreographer and director Luca Silvestrini, seats its audience at tables around the Place’s performance space. There, we are “served” by Protein’s personable eight-strong cast, who dance and swoop around the room while delivering resistible appetisers (raw greens, cold rice) and idiosyncratic lyrics. We are invited to examine “the specials on the blackboard” – there isn’t a blackboard – before being served “an aperitif heritage fruit” (a cherry tomato), which we are advised to roll into our eye-sockets, hold to our ears (“listen to the tomato”), then chew 21 times.

Familiar phrases are intoned (“gluten-free”, “guilt-free”, “responsibly sourced”), and food flies around the stage, most memorably in a demonstration of “knife skills”, which turns into manic and uncontrolled hacking. Individual foodstuffs are viciously denounced, with a cucumber described as “a condom-wrapped piece of shit”, and a processed food as “the bastard child of insecticide and corporate greed”. Nor are vegetarians let off the hook, with one cast member angrily demanding to know why animals are not given the same love and space as free-range kale. This passage contains Silvestrini’s most inventive choreography, with cast members brutally manhandling their lolling, squawking, dull-eyed colleagues as if delivering them for slaughter. As a chef sings an anthem extolling the joys of meat-eating, her body orgasmically swaying against a white backdrop, she leaves a broad blood smear.

May Contain Food relates thematically to earlier works by Silvestrini, particularly The Big Sale (2005), which skewered hyper-consumerism, and Dear Body (2008), which took a satirical swipe at the cult of physical perfection. It’s performed with great verve – Sonya Cullingford is outstanding, and the reliably fleet-footed Carl Harrison on fine, arch form – and Orlando Gough’s score is splendidly, sonorously odd, with echoes of Corsican polyphony. But beyond charting the daftness of the food-fixated, which we’ve all had ample opportunity to do for ourselves over the years, Silvestrini doesn’t have a particular point to make, and the piece is just that bit too pleased with its own postmodern cleverness. It could also use some decisive editing. Unlike restaurateurs, choreographers should leave you wanting more.

At The Place until Saturday 7 May. Box office: 020 7121 1100

10 Foods That Fight Belly Bloat – Glamour

When bloating, cramping, or heartburn strikes, my brain goes into (WTF) detective mode, calculating every last morsel that passed through my lips and evaluating it after the fact as a potential threat. (CSI, dinner plate edition.)


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Instead of trying to eliminate everything that might cause an issue, what if you could feel better by adding certain foods?

Clinical herbalist Guido Masé prefers this route. Masé, the co-owner of Urban Moonshine—whose organic bitters are designed to get your digestive system in tip-top shape—and author of The Wild Medicine Solution: Healing with Aromatic, Bitter and Tonic Plants, explains that this type of stomach distress can be caused by the absence of important foods in our diet—and fixed by adding them.

Strongly scented herbs, for example, help control the nausea, gas, spasm, and cramping associated with everything from motion sickness to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), Masé says. “They relax the smooth muscle bands that line our digestive tract,” he says.

Here, Masé shares his short list of foods and herbs that help ease digestive distress the natural way. And thanks to the strong connections between the gut and all facets of health, they might also rev your metabolism and leave you with glowy skin.


“It’s no coincidence that the after-dinner mint is still popular, but try the natural tea version instead: It works both hot and iced,” Masé says. Peppermint can help relieve spasm and cramping in the belly, “and it dispels feelings of bloating and fullness when we’ve overindulged,” Masé explains. Research has also been done on its ability to help manage IBS. How about a cuppa?


This root is known as one of the best natural remedies for nausea. “Clinical research finds it beats Dramamine for nausea, and works wonders for morning sickness,” Masé explains. Add it to a stir-fry, make tea with freshly grated root and hot water, or pop a piece or two of crystallized ginger (great for traveling, says Masé) to help ease digestion. “Ginger is also a good anti-inflammatory,” and helps relax the digestive tract, he says.

Fennel seed and bulb

“You will often find a small tray of fennel seeds on the way out of an Indian restaurant: a small pinch of these seeds quickly relieves gas and bloating,” says Masé. If you suffer from chronic bloating, consider using the bulb—its oils help relieve flatulence (TMI?) “better than almost any other food.” Grate or slice it, and eat it raw or roasted (try this couscous and roasted fennel salad.)

Apple cider vinegar

The powers of apple cider vinegar are numerous, and one of the biggest is how it helps curb digestion issues like acid reflux. “It works because the valve at the bottom of the throat closes tightly when stimulated by vinegar, and helps keep stomach acid where it belongs,” Masé explains. Plus, it’s a fermented food that’s full of healthy bacteria essential for keeping your gut balanced and healthy—another important facet of flawless digestion.


Sure, the lettuce-like veggie brightens up any salad, but as a type of chicory, its bitter flavor has some functional purposes, as well. “The bitter flavor primes digestive function, enhances the production of digestive enzymes, and helps our digestion naturally break down what comes after the salad,” Masé says. He suggests tossing it with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and some salt, and enjoying it before your main course to prepare your stomach.

Milk thistle seed

The mildly bitter flavor of this seed works to get those digestive juices flowing, “but it really shines as a liver detoxifier and anti-inflammatory,” Masé notes. “Daily use enhances the production of bile from the liver and this can help encourage good bowel regularity.” Grind a few tablespoons in a coffee grinder and sprinkle in smoothies, oatmeal, or soups.

Burdock root

This root, a popular staple in herbal medicine around the world and of macrobiotic cuisine, is really beneficial for gut health, Masé says. “It’s rich in prebiotic starches that feed beneficial gut organisms, making burdock a great complement to fermented foods.” Bonus: It enhances sebum production, helping balance skin’s moisture levels and control breakouts.


“The artichoke plant itself is a classic digestive bitter, used to smooth out irregularity, relieve heartburn, and prevent the fermentation that leads to gas and bloating,” Masé says. The leaves are used in liquid bitters, but you don’t want to eat those—the heart is an effective alternative that actually tastes good too. Masé suggests eating them drizzled with olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

Slippery elm powder

This powder is a natural, herbal alternative to OTC laxatives. Masé explains: “Its water-soluble fiber content makes it an incredible, safe first-line laxative that is not habit forming—it’s soothing and restores regular bowel habits without ever loosening the stool.” Two tablespoons a day, mixed into a smoothie, is all you need for its effects.


Thinks: fermented, gut-boosting goodness. “Miso is loaded with a diversity of beneficial live organisms and helps restore and maintain good bowel health, especially after antibiotic use,” says Masé. Simply sipping on the warm broth can immediately calm and soothe your stomach. Add a dollop to hot water (but not boiling water—combine just before the water boils, or after you’ve taken boiling water off the stove) to make sure you don’t kill the miso’s healthy bacteria.

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