A Tale of Two Cities Musical: Broadway Review

OK, so just what does a BROADWAY SHOW review of A TALE OF TWO CITIES have to do with health and wellness?? A LOT! Last night I was thrilled to see the new Broadway musical A TALE.... And while I last-minute galloped off to the theatre with my husband in tow, unsure if we would like what we saw, I was INCREDIBLY MOVED by the performances of the entire cast! What a passionate, uplifting and powerful show it was. I was especially impressed with the actor JAMES BARBOUR who played the role of Sydney Carton. His performace broke through the gloom and repitition of these pre-election days and brought me into a cloud of stardust, orange sunsets and gritty streetlevel HOPE.

...thus where HEALTH and WELLNESS come in....read on for more on this...
As I mentioned, I was inspired by this show. At a time in our society when we are often left feeling blue, gloomy or simply uninspired I am the first one to offer up a NONTRADITIONAL solution to the mix of prescription drugs, fad diets and other trendy quick-fix methods to boost your MOOD BODY AND SOUL.

Kathy's Rx: Go engage yourself in some ART. If you live in NYC, go see a Broadway show. Or head out to a hometown play. Browse an art gallery, attend a choir concert, round up a group of holiday carolers, or even attend a local high school play. It is not enough to simply see movie though. Live stage shows are the BEST Rx for an ailing spirit. Really. I left the show feeling like I was on a cloud, and I danced down the rainy NYC streets to the subway and back home. For an evening, I actually FORGOT about all the election woes, financial problems and health catastrophes in the world. My spirit was renewed and my mind purified.

I ask you, what PILL or DIET or HAPPY MEAL can do that????

...And yes take you kids--over the age 10 I should think--to see A TALE on Broadway. And kids will LOVE shows like THE LITTLE MERMAID AND LION KING.

Again ...kudos to the TALE OF TWO CITIES CAST. And all this month they are participating in BROADWAY CARES. So check it all out...and give yourself and your family a little BROADWAY-THERAPY......


PS--A bit more on James Barbour: Mr. Barbour was formerly 'the beast' in Beauty in the Beast--among other roles on stage. His interpretation of Carton-an off-beat, terribly flawed not-so-leading drunk of a man--was top notch. It was a cross between Johnny Depp in PIRATES with a touch of the PHANTOM mixed in. A lesser actor could easily screw up this role--but Barbour was stunning. His voice is traditional, romantic, passionate and vibrant. It reaches out and grabs you by the heart.

I wonder.... why doesn't the TALE cd have James Barbour's voice on it??? I should hope they re-release a new recording...
Also, if Broadway ever opens a show based on the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies...James Barbour would make an excellent CAPTAIN SPARROW... wouldn't he???!


Friendly Bacteria: Top Five Probiotic Products

I despise taking pills. Therefore, taking a capsule, pearl or pill as my probiotic supplement just isn't for me. Luckily, there are a plethora of yummy and effective superfood-style probiotic products--that are all easy to swallow.
Read on for the top five list!

Before we begin... DID YOU KNOW--->The National Yogurt Association has criteria for “live and active cultures.” The finished yogurt product must contain at least 1 billion live lactic acid bacteria per gram at the time of manufacture, and the cultures must stay active throughout the stated shelf life. If yogurt is heat-treated after the culturing process, the active cultures are destroyed.

It's the yogurt product endorsed by Jamie Lee Curtis. It promises to help with digestive regularity. However, it doesn't have a milk-free option. So this product is not a choice for lactose-intolerant and vegan folks.
Another drawback--the product only says it contains "significant amounts" of active cultures. So you don't really know the strength level of the product.

4. Naked Juice Probiotics
The very popular NAKED Juice brand has come out with a probiotic juice blend. Easy to take and in delicious flavors like Very Berry and Tropical Mango. However--again they only say "billions" of culture. No number is given. And not dairy free...

3. Good Belly Juice and Juice shots
Good Belly gives a number of 20 billion active cultures per serving. Impressive. The juice and shots are easy to drink and come in interesting flavors like blueberry acai and strawberry rosehips. The shots are also fortified with vitamins and minerals. A great value for all the nutrition you get.
Oh and all Good Belly products are DAIRY FREE!

2. Attune Foods, bars
Hate yogurt? Not a fan of sweet juice? Well how about chocolate??? Attune bars are 100 calorie refrigerated chocolate bars that contain 5 times the amount of probiotics in regular yogurt. So that means at least 5 billion active cultures, Plus they are dairy free! Try mint chocolate or dar chocolate or even chocolate crisP. About 99 cents per bar.


Hardcore probiotics. Available in dairy free, kid-friendly and regular--this is the BEST probiotic product I have found. It has 50 billion active cultures in one small shot sized serving! But it will cost you...Each shot is around $3.45-$4. But if you're getting 50 times the healthy bacteria than in regular yogurt...its quite a deal. Try it and you'll be amazed. Find retailers on their website.

---Note that you will need to take probiotics for at least a week before noticing a great improvement in your digestive and immune system




Events: Whole Foods Stovetop Storytime Photos

We had a great turnout at the last Stovetop Storytime at Whole Foods on Bowery in New York City. The storytimes are presented by the amazing Whole Foods Bowery Culinary Center (all events listed at wholefoods.com)

If you missed out on attending this fall, don't worry--we will be back in 2009--so sign up early, as Storytime has previously sold out!

Oh, and did we mention IT'S FREE?!

More photos after the jump...
PS--Join THE LUNCHBOX BUNCH GROUP on Facebook for easy event and brand updates! LINK HERE: http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=19902441877


"Vegetarians are a Pain" Say Moms and Chefs Everywhere!

(pictured above: Retro Potato, 1950's vintage ad)

"Ugh! After-school playdate today! Tommy, Sally and Wendy are fine....it's that little Marsha who is a vegetarian. I guess she won't eat my spicy mustard turkey wraps. Such a pain! What does her mom feed her anyways!"-Typical mom, Anytown USA

"Table number eight has requested no chicken on the Mandarin Chicken Salad. Just more veggies she said. What a pain." -Typical chef, Anytown, USA

"Mom, I'm a vegetarian now. I can't eat that hot dog!" -Little Sally experimenting with a veg lifestyle.
Her mom's response: "Don't you dare go vegetarian! What ARE you going to eat then?????"

....There is a secret angst among moms and chefs everywhere who do not entertain a vegetarian lifestyle themselves...


...and for the most part, I agree with their situation. Really.

Read on for more on the controversy...

As a vegetarian and vegan for most of my life, I have become an EXPERT at being able to eat just about anywhere: a buffet-happy Royal Caribbean cruise, Le Bernardin's tasting menu, a BBQ joint, any Mexican restaurant, PARIS (and that was tricky!), polish relatives Thanksgiving dinner, a typical Pittsburgh wedding with only one meal option (chicken), Morimoto and all sushi, trekking across parts of Europe and even fast food such a In and Out Burger (one cheeseburger--hold the cheese and burger please!)

..but for the average mom or chef its not so easy. I am too often asked,


or more importantly to the frustrated... "WHAT DO I COOK YOU ANYWAYS?!"

I can only envision the ignorant minded picturing me scarfing down plates and plates of veggies and bread. Maybe a rice pilaf on the side, or even a bowl of beans or lentils. Trust me. I eat much better than that. In fact I always CRINGE at the option of a steamed veggie plate at a 'nice restaurant'. To me, to have that as the vegetarian option is simply tremendously ignorant--and frames the chef in a very poor and passe light.

So what's my secret hint to the frustrated chefs and moms out there?

The secret to successful vegetarian cooking: CURIOSITY AND CREATIVITY.

Our world has eaten MEAT and FISH for millions of years....and thus these tried-and-true main course dishes have evolved quite thoroughly. Everyone knows how to make a yummy hamburger, tuna fish salad or a delicious turkey bacon sandwich. These are time-tested American classics that most eaters admire and praise. But a good veggie burger??? That's tricky. I delicious tofu-pesto sandwich? Where would I begin?....


Here in New York City, there are over a dozen very excellent vegan restaurants. And hundreds of amazing vegetarian restaurants. The chefs have learned to get CREATIVE with ingredients like SEITAN, QUINOA, BROWN RICE, TOFU, TEMPEH, SPROUTED GRAINS, BUTTERNUT SQUASH, CHICKPEAS, BASIL, HERBS, SPICES, EXOTIC VEGGIES and FRUIT and more....

Here are a few of my favorite vegan entrees from NYC places:

Cauliflower Risotto, Counter

Butternut Squash Risotto, GoBo

Tofu-Pesto Sandwich, Caravan of Dreams

Seitan Skewers with Spicy Mustards, GoBo

Salt and Pepper mushrooms, GoBo

Port Wine Seitan, Blossom

Porcini Crusted Tempeh, Candle 79

The Veggie Burger, Cafeteria

...Now after reading these entrees I can understand your frustration as a mom or chef. But what do I feed the little veggie kid at the after-school playdate? Or the vegan relative at a holiday dinner. And where do I get some seitan in Middletown, Kansas.....?!

..And this is where CREATIVITY must meet CURIOSITY!! Great chefs and even moms, should be curious to experiment with new and different types of foods. There is a huge variety of proteins and grains that most people do not know how to prepare. You can buy seitan and tempeh at most grocery stores now a days...and google online "tempeh recipe" to find a plethora of ideas.

I can only hope that in proper time, our society will evolve to include vegetarian options in mainstream American cuisine.


Yes...it takes extra work and energy to try new menu ideas. And a lot of moms and chefs simply don't have time! But its worth taking a try. In one Saturday afternoon you can experiment with some amazing seitan, tofu, lentil, tempeh and exotic veggie food dishes. And soon those seitan, tempeh 'bacon' wraps will become just as easy as those cheese-hot dogs...


LASTLY....the most important point to consider is that a lot of the veggie food options are light years ahead of traditional meat-fare when it comes to nutrition. Meat contains a lot of chemicals and preservative--and heart clogging SATURATED FAT. Switching over to tofu-dogs form traditional dogs would be a huge improvement on anyones health.



calories: 45
protein: 9 g
fat: 0.5g (no saturated fat)

calories: 180
protein: 6g
fat: 16g, 7g saturated fat!!!!!