Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring is Here, Honey - How "Bees" It?

Andrew's Amazing Whipped Honey
Spring is officially here in NYC, but alas, the weather has not fully joined in on that confirmation just

So speaking of... now that it's getting close to allergy season for so many of us sufferers, what kind of treatments do you use?

I have tried locally sourced, raw honey for the past few years and it really has worked WONDERS for me. I'm actually in awe of a lot of people that do not know about this, so I decided to write and research a little. Hopefully it helps someone!

However, please keep in mind that this is BY NO MEANS a medical document; I am not a medical professional. You should always consult your own doctor/medical professional for advice before starting any treatment.

This is just what has worked for me. I'm not claiming it will work for everyone - but maybe it iwll help you determine if it is right for you.

Here's the breakdown:

You need RAW honey. Honey that is raw will still contain all the living enzymes needed to protect the body from a histamine overdose.

The raw honey should also be as local as possible. There is no magic or specific mileage or radius as to "how local is local?" Basically, any raw honey that is harvested nearby where the bees pollinate the same types of  flowers during the same season can be considered local.

Which brings me to the season appropriate factor: If you suffer with spring allergies, you need to use raw, local honey that is harvested in spring - and the same goes for the fall time. If you buy raw, local honey that was harvested in the alternate season, you won't necessarily benefit from allergy prevention because the pollens to which you are allergic will not be found in the honey from a previous season. (But I'm sure it's still tasty!)

It is also important to NOT heat the raw honey. Don't put it in your hot tea!

In summary, I'll leave you with the Mayo Clinic's article (from Brent A. Bauer, M.D.) on the affects of raw honey and let you formulate your own opinion(s):
  • Honey has been anecdotally reported to lessen symptoms in people with seasonal allergies. But these results haven't been consistently duplicated in clinical studies.
  • Still the idea isn't so far-fetched. Honey has been studied as a cough suppressant and may have anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, some experts point out that honey can contain traces of flower pollen — an allergen. And one treatment for allergies is repeated exposure to small amounts of allergens.
  • For now, however, it appears that honey may just be a sweet placebo. But don't let that stop you from using it in food and beverages. Just don't give honey to children younger than 1 year because of the risk of infant botulism, a rare but serious form of food poisoning. 
Even so it says it "appears that it's a sweet placebo" - that's okay, since it has worked for me! (Mind over matter, right?) I am a big fan of honey bees and love my local source: Andrew's. I find them at the Green Markets here in NYC and in some select health food stores. The whipped honey with cinnamon is a BIG favorite of mine and I'm a loyal fan... but like the Mayo Clinic points out, do NOT give honey to infants or even very small children.

Oh! And please help save the honey bees!

***DISCLAIMER: has not been compensated or encouraged to write this posting by any entity or corporation. 
This is merely my own, personal experience and does not contain medical facts or advice.***

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring Is On Its Way - And I'm Outta' Here

I've just had it with the weather forecasts for the northeast. I'm so glad I'm not from Boston. I would
have to just leave. As in: forever. There's no way I could put up with their snowfall amounts and still call that place home.
I found it bad enough that NYC seemed to have a really long winter last year, and this winter season was no picnic either..
Not to mention that tomorrow is the official FIRST day of SPRING and there's snow in our forecast.
So that's it.
I'm headed to Florida.
I'll let you know how the warm sun feels when I get there....
It won't be a long trip, but it will give me a moment to recharge and also have some more entries to my travel blog section.

I still love you New York, but I need a break from the cold and wintery crap for a moment... See you on the sunny side!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Birthday Cakes and "Business Cents"

Holy crap!

I think I may be in the wrong business! (Not that this is a real life-changing statement, because I am for SURE not in the right profession for my day job as it is... but that's off topic.)

Let me explain:

You see, next week is my little man's birthday. He's turning a rockin' 4 years old. We're pretty excited about it, and, as his parents, we've decided we're going to throw a very low-key children's party. (Remember this statement. It's important.)

We thought it would be low-cost as well. Low key + small children = Low Cost. That's the equation that makes SENSE, right?

Well, well, my dear readers - that could not be further from the truth.

We haven't even paid for any kind of entertainment and we're already in mucho bucks for this very easy-going party that is nothing for any record books. We don't have a clown nor have we rented a bouncy house. It's just a friendly gathering with 5 or 6 other "under fives" so to speak because, you know... he's FOUR!

But his cake? Over $200 ---and this is the BASIC cake. It's not shaped like anything special. There's no neon sign that was customized with his name. No one is serving it on a golden platter. It's just a whoppin' $200 plus NYC tax.

Geez Louise!

I had no idea. I'm still in sticker shock. My husband? Oh he knew. He predicted the price well before it was ordered and I told him he was flat out wrong-o on the price-o. "No way should it be over $80!" is what I said - and I thought I confidently added the Manhattan up-charge.

I hate to be wrong. But I was.

But again, I have the one 8" round cake - and no, it's not in the shape of anything. Because guess what? A shaped, specialized cake is starting - yes, STARTING - at $500. Seriously? This is not a wedding cake nor is it for a gazillion guests. LOW KEY. SMALL CHILDREN. We want LOW COST.

Sorry, we live in 2015 in Manhattan. You pay.

So there you have it.

Next week, I'll share the masterpiece from Carlos Bake Shop and we'll see if it tastes any better than mama's homemade cake. (Which, for the record, I don't think I've baked a cake in over 6 years at this point... so I'm sure the price far outweighs the risk if I baked it!)

I'll have to take on another job to pay for this low key celebration... I should start baking specialty cakes for a living...! Makes cents to me.....!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How to Ask for a Recommendation

I love getting emails and direct messages from y'all. I really do.
Wait - why did I just write "y'all"?
Wow. I forget sometimes where I am...

Ok, let's try that again:
So I like when you guys ask me questions about NYC and all it has to offer.
But PLEASE do me a favor! Before you ask, "What's your favorite --XYZ--?" take the time to give me some context.
  • Where in the city are you planning to visit? 
  • What kinds of cuisine do you or your party prefer/like? If you're vegan, tell me that! If you are a HUGE carnivore, let me know that.
  • What's your price point? Don't get a reservation at a place that has a dollar menu if you're looking to splurge. And on the other hand, if you want to spend a little, but not take out a second mortgage, just tell me. No judgement here!

This week alone, I had ten inquiries - all very generic in nature. And no, I'm not picking on anyone in particular as I really would like to help you with your New York "foodie" questions.
I just need more information than you're giving me to begin with, so if you can frame your questions, I'll help you out with a lot more specificity!

I'm also thinking of publishing some of the questions/answers in an upcoming blog. I think a lot of you are requesting the same things and it might be useful to you.

And I have some homework for you now, readers and followers:
Valentine's Day is approaching. Have you made your reservations yet? Let me know! I'm always interested to hear what others are planning -tourists and locals! Comment below or tweet your reply!

Join me!

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